GX7 as E-M5 backup?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dhazeghi, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    So I'm stuck with a little dilemma. My E-PM2 has been sitting in its drawer, unloved, for several months. The reason why I got the E-PM2 in the first place was to act as a backup for the E-M5. The E-M5's hump makes it a bit unwieldy to stick in a pocket, and the classic SLR look, much as I enjoy it, attracts attention in the way that a smaller P&S-like camera does not. I want something that nobody would take a second glance at.

    The problem I have with the E-PM2 is that while it takes great images, and I'm more or less okay with the ergonomics, I find an EVF essential, and with the VF-2 hooked up, the E-PM2 becomes clumsy to dump in a pocket, and sticks out like a sore thumb. As a result, I usually just take the E-M5 or don't bother with a camera.

    The only m4/3 at the moment with a built-in EVF and no hump is of course the GX7. Everything I've read says the GX7 is an excellent camera, but looking at the dimensions, it seems to be basically the same size as the E-M5 modulo the hump. So I'm wondering if the GX7 is small enough to be discreet and unobtrusive in the way the E-M5 clearly is not. I'm also a little reluctant to go dual-brand, not because I have anything against Panasonic, but because it means another set of menus and quirks to learn.

    In short, I'm looking for opinions on which m4/3 most closely fits the following:
    1) Unobtrusive (P&S-like)
    2) Has an EVF
    3) Pocketable (small)

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  2. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    I can't wait till olympus comes out with a pm2 with built in Evf. Maybe they can make it gf3 small too.
     
  3. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Dara - I picked up a used GX-7 last December precisely because I've been waiting for an m43 with built-in EVF but no hump. I also own the E-M5 and an E-PL3 with a VF-2. The E-PL3 was my main street shooter with either the body cap lens or the Panny 20, but I am no longer as comfortable shooting with an LCD only and having the VF-2 all the time makes the PL3 less compact.

    The size of the GX-7 is actually great; while it is as wide and deep as the E-M5, it is not as tall without the hump, and looks visibly smaller. I use it mainly with my legacy Pen F manual lenses-----the focus peaking is great for these legacy lenses. I also found the controls more intuitive than the E-M5, and the menus are relatively straightforward. The GX-7 would be pocketable with a pancake like the 20mm; I'm considering getting the new Oly pancake zoom for this purpose. The GX-7 has become my main camera for the legacy lenses and m43 primes, while I use the E-M5 when I use the bigger Oly zooms (legacy OM zooms and the 75-300 MkII), As good as the grip is on the GX-7, I still prefer the balance of the E-M5 with the grip and batter pack when I use the zooms. Hope this helps.
     
  4. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    680
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    I have those two and like both. The GX7 is great, IQ basically indistinguishable from EM5, it's a bit smaller and lighter. But not really pants pocket sized. Maybe a large jacket pocket would work.

    I admit I get confused by the two UIs, and carrying two battery & charger sets is annoying.

    I tend to use the EM5 for tripod work (I have the RRS L-bracket & grip combo) and when the weather might be an issue, or the conditions otherwise a bit rougher on the camera. The GX7 stays in my day bag most days. I've also used them at the same shoot to avoid swapping lenses.
     
  5. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I would love to see something like that too, but at this stage, the E-PM series is their low-end, so I doubt we'll be seeing an EVF there any time soon.

    Thank you, yes that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. Especially for street shooting, one doesn't want to stick out. In use, do you find the GX7 noticeably larger than the E-PL3, or are differences in practice not significant? I should clarify that by pocketable, I meant jacket pockets. Pant pockets are for keys and cell phones, not cameras!

    Yes, that's what I meant, sorry! I have to admit the talk of indistinguishable IQ worries me - I might end up neglecting the E-M5 if the GX7 proved too good!

    Okay, that makes sense to me. The fact that the E-PM2 and E-M5 don't share batteries always annoyed me too, though since the E-PM2 has gotten so little use, I sort of forgot about it lately.
     
  7. sge998

    sge998 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Jan 14, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    Beware the GX7 might end up being your go to camera :wink:
    Silent shutter, higher res EVF, better touch screen, and focus peaking.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    .



    Thank you, yes that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. Especially for street shooting, one doesn't want to stick out. In use, do you find the GX7 noticeably larger than the E-PL3, or are differences in practice not significant? I should clarify that by pocketable, I meant jacket pockets. Pant pockets are for keys and cell phones, not cameras!

    Dara- practically speaking, the GX-7 is a bit bigger than the PL-3, width- and depth-wise. That said, with the right pancake lens, it should fit in a jacket pocket.
     
  9. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I find with mine that the EVF eyepiece, with the optional eyecup, is not ideal for pockets because the eyecup is rubber -- the sort of rubber that doesn't slide. And I don't want to use it without the eyecup (I wear eyeglasses).

    As soon as you put a non-pancake lens on, it is definitely not for the pocket.

    But yes, it is definitely discreet and unobtrusive IME.
     
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Fancier EVF, touch screen and focus peaking I can live without, but I've been dreaming about having a silent shutter for a long time.

    Perfect!

    That's really what it comes down to. I suppose in 20 years, taking a photography with anything other than a cellphone will be considered an unusual phenomenon, but for now, there seems to be a real difference between the way people react to P&S cameras vs. SLRs. Alas, the E-M5 tends to be noticed as one of the latter.

    Regarding the eyecup, is it well secured, or can it be detached? I have an auto detaching eyecup on my E-M5 which can be rather annoying.

    I'll concede that without a pancake lens, no camera really belongs in the pocket, but at this point I'm not really excited about the pancake options. To wit:

    14/2.5 - not wide enough
    20/1.7 - slow focus in low light
    12-32 - short at the long end
    14-42X - slow turning camera on and off, and slow extending zoom
    14-42 EZ - slow turning camera on and off (from the videos)
     
  11. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    680
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    I know what you mean about the EM5 eyecup. The GX7 one is very secure.
     
  12. mpresley

    mpresley Mu-43 Regular

    175
    Sep 13, 2012
    Wolfe City, TX
    Michael
    I don't know what else I could add to what's been said. I have both and the GX7 has become the more used body. I use it with my manual focus lens - the focus peaking function is great. Even something as heavy as the Voigtlander 42.5mm feels good on it. I still prefer the EM-5 with the grip for use with the 35-100 and the 100-300. I know the lab tests says the two cameras are pretty much identical in sensor performance but I feel that the EM-5 is still the better camera for low light work. I do have a little problem with ergonomics of the GX7 - my thumb tends to hit the buttons on the top rear of the body... but it's a minor annoyance. The ability to use the touch screen to move the focus point while looking through the EVF is a pretty cool feature as well. I shoot using the Natural picture mode when shooting jpegs and they respond pretty well to tweaks in Lightroom. I've either been lucky or just more careful since I've read of others having problems with the EM-5 eyecup, I haven't had any issues (yet).
     
  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    The optional eyecup is just right. Very secure, but no struggle at all to remove when you want to. And it comes with a cute baby lanyard, so, when you pop it off, it just hangs from the nearest neckstrap eyelet.
     
  14. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I have both as well as the EP5 (don't say, I know I suffer from G.A.S. LOL). Anyway, the GX7 is really a nice camera. I find it quite easy to use and for MF it is better than the EM5. However (IMHO), the IBIS of the EM5 is better than the stabilization system of the GX7. You probably wont regret buying it. The EP5 is fabulous and the EV4 is way better than the GX7 VF and the EM5 VF. But it is kind of awkward and sticks out a lot. Not a problem for shooting, but a hassle getting it in and out of your bag....
     
  15. vtsteevo

    vtsteevo Mu-43 Regular

    96
    Nov 20, 2012

    25/1.4 - Just right :biggrin:
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Perfect, thanks!

    I can certainly see why the GX7 would take priority with manual focus. I suppose with respect to low light, the effectiveness of the IBIS may be one factor, but my impression was that at least in RAW, there wouldn't be a meaningful difference in image quality?

    You're lucky on the E-M5 eyecup. I can't count the number of times I've almost lost mine.

    I actually had looked a bit at the E-P5. The aesthetics are great, and it even shares the batteries with my E-M5. But I can't get away from the idea that it doesn't really solve the issues I have with the E-PM2 - namely needing the EVF and having it interfere both with storage and with shooting. If the GX7 looked more like the E-P5 (e.g. smaller or removable grip), my decision would be easier.

    Not unless I get a coat with bigger pockets!