GX7 as second body? Something else? (have E-M10)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by WendyK, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    I have been looking to add a second body due to an upcoming summer full of events and projects for which having another body would be very useful and having a backup body could be important.

    I have an E-M10 and all Oly lenses except the Sigma 60, so no stabilized lenses. Overall I love my E-M10, but after learning and shooting more over this past year, there are a few things I would like to have in a second body that I don't have now. Since I shoot mostly outdoors during the day, a shutter speed higher than 1/4000 would come in very handy, I don't need 4K video but would like better video than I have, and a silent shutter also would be very nice in certain situations. I want comparable features/controls to my E-M10, and roughly the same size or smaller. Must have an EVF. Budget is $500 max - I would prefer less but don't think I can get the features I want for much less. For situations where I am taking 2 bodies I would likely have the Oly 12-40 on the E-M10 (with the grip), and a prime on the second body (25/45/60).

    The GX7 seems to fit the bill nicely, and Adorama is selling some new ones on eBay for $449, which is pretty close to that great Black Friday deal I missed out on - I almost pulled the trigger back then, but was leaving town and would not have been home to accept a package. Do you think the GX7 will drop much further than $450 if a successor is announced? It seems there are only vague rumors of a successor so far.

    How hard would it be to use both Oly and Panny simultaneously? Will I be able to set them up in a way that is similar enough that I won't get irritated (assign similar functions to dials, for example)? I don't mind learning a new system and I tend to learn how to use gadgets quickly.

    I will not NEED the second body for another month or two, but given how long I have been waiting for the GX7 to go back under $500, should I jump? Are there any other bodies I should consider?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    If you are not already relying on the Olympus-only features in your E-M10 then the GX7 at current sale prices would make an excellent second body and might even take over as favourite.
    The only unchanging irritation I find between the two manufacturers is the zoom ring direction.
     
  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    If your main issue is 1/8000 second, you could instead invest in a high grade ND filter (or CPL, which will also knock down the light coming in). Get some step-up rings to match your various filter threads, and the magnetic attachment kit (I forgot the brand). Even with 1/8000 shutter, you can't always shoot wide open on a fast prime in full daylight. The ND filter can help, and also help with effects shots (like slowing water motion down). IMO wide open shots during the day have a pretty cool look to them, since people aren't used to that kind of effect.

    If you need a second body for other reasons (like perhaps you are shooting something that is dynamic and you need wide angle on one and telephoto on another), that's a good reason to get a 2nd body. But that's a lot of money for just one more stop of shutter speed. IMO of course. YMMV

    The EM10 and GX7 handle pretty differently, though, so either find one to play with, or understand that you might prefer one over the other pretty strongly.
     
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I had a used GX7 for a couple of months just to evaluate the Panasonic experience. Overall, I thought it was an excellent camera with some very nice handling and features. For under $500, it's a no-brainer really. The only negative things I had against it were:

    - The IBIS is not very effective. TBH - I found it hard sometimes to see the difference it made at all.

    - The viewfinder is OK, but it has a "tunnel vision" feel to it and sometimes gives a "rainbow" effect as you move your eye. Not a big deal, but it's there.

    - It always defaults to rear-screen Live View on switching on. I generally use the the EVF for 90%+ of the time and I found it annoying having to press the DISP button 4 or 5 times to cycle through the modes to the point where it was turned off.

    On the plus side:

    - The menus and general operation are quite different to Oly. Not better or worse - just different. The Q-menu feature is nice though.

    - Some of the usability things are better than Oly - e.g. proper Custom fns on the dial

    - The AF implementation is superb - much better than Oly in terms of positioning the AF points and controlling it via the rear screen

    I've now settled on an E-M1 and E-M5 pair which works better for me, but there's no doubt that the GX7 is a great camera.
     
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  5. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    It's an excellent camera and has many benefits, particularly the electronic shutter and associated silent mode. Depending on your dominant eye, having the viewfinder on the left hand side can be a bonus, no squashing your 'proboscis' against the screen, added bonus when you have a runny nose ;)
     
  6. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    hmmm...good to know, though the GX7 would have a prime on it most of the time most likely.

    The primary reason for a second body is for events and situations (of which there will be quite a few this summer) where lens changes may be difficult and having two bodies with different lenses would help me a lot. I mentioned the 1/8000 shutter speed, better video, etc. as reasons why I prefer to try something else rather than get another E-M10 for a second body. I do have an ND filter that fits the Oly 12-40 and step down rings for other lenses. One of the things I'll be doing this summer is acting as a volunteer photographer on a local public garden project, and many of those gardens are only open during the sunny hours and I won't always get to choose to go on an overcast day. I might need both the ND filter and 1/8000 on some occasions. I also will be visiting many beautiful private gardens for another project, and this may be the only time I will ever get to see them so two bodies would help me to get a variety of types of shots in a short period of time without a lot of lens changes and without slowing down my friends too much.

    In terms of preferring one body over the other very strongly, I suspect you are right, but I think that is part of the fun. I am a pretty flexible person, new enough to photography that I am not set in my ways yet, so I will learn more about what I like and don't like. When it comes to lenses, I love them all for different reasons, I don't have a preferred focal length yet, so maybe I will like each body for different situations.

    Yeah, I knew it's nowhere near as good as the Oly, but most of the time the GX7 would have a smaller prime on it, and for handheld macro shots or lower light situations I can always use the E-M10.

    Thanks to all of you for your feedback! If anyone else wants to weigh in, feel free.
     
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    In situations that require fairly fast action (weddings, some tourism) I have shot two bodies for many years. I would weigh in as follows:

    Having two dissimilar bodies is great if you want two different toys to play with. There is nothing wrong with this. And why stop at 2?

    If you are seriously taking pictures, two identical bodies is the way to go. In this situation, think "tools" not "toys."

    In your case, the implication is that you plan to seriously take pictures in situations where two bodies would be advantageous. That is my situation as well.

    I shoot two GX7s, a black one and a silver one. That way if one starts to screw up I can keep track. Also if one has settings deliberately different than the other (something I try to avoid) I know which is which. Stored lens-down in a bag it's also easier to grab the lens/body that I want.

    GX7 fan though I am, I recommend that you buy a second E-M10. A quick look on eBay seems to indicate that they are selling for near the same price as the new GX7s.

    Edit: Oh, and having identical tools simplifies the battery and charger logistics as well.
     
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  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Yes, for events, especially with primes, I would suggest two bodies or instead get a pro zoom.

    I'm good with tech, and have used the Oly bodies and the Panny. I am sure you will adapt. But the frustration is not in using one body or the other. It's using both at an event. Personally, I end up muddling around when I'm try to switch quickly from one body to the other, and they don't have similar controls.

    If you are simply curious about the GX7 and need some validation to spend your cash, then yes -- go for it. If you are looking for a manageable situation where you are shooting two bodies, then I could not recommend having these two fairly different cameras, but YMMV.
     
  9. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Definitely something to consider, and I will think about it. Thanks.
     
  10. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Good points. A lot to think about. Though I'm not a pro and my income won't rely on getting it right, these events/visits will be focused on the photography vs. simply documenting a visit, so I take your point. I think it will come down to how important I think these summer events are vs. the fun of having a different body over the long term.
     
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Exactly.

    My standard two body setup is one body with the 14-140mm and a second body with either the 9-18mm or the 100-300mm, depending on the mission. I am in the process of selling my primes (12/2, 20mm, 45mm) because I found that I never used them. The low light capabilities of the GX7 and the fact that I almost always carry a monopod have eliminated the need I thought that I had for speed.
     
  12. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Dec 29, 2013
    a second body with an m-10, could be only another m10, at least an m5 if you need protection against rain and sand.
    getting a gx7 could make your m10 become the second body :p
    gx7 has to me a better sensor, fine details and colours are better preserved, I own also an e-pl5 (same sensor than m10), ad gx7 take pics.. better to me.
    the only thing gx7 looses against oly, is IBIS I think, I find oly better performer.
    If you need for work, it would be better a second m10, same feeling but different lens length.
    If you need the best IQ, also sell m10 and buy a gx7 (and yes, me too I have the same GAS of buying an olympus body, such as m5,m10 or e-pl7, but than I shoot some pics with e-pl5, than again with gx7, and so search for a lens instead than a body :p :p )
     
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    WendyK, another thought: You are not getting married here. A very viable option would be to buy a second E-M10 for the summer events, then sell it in favor of a toy like a GX-7 when the summer need is past. Buying wisely and with patience here on the buy/sell forum, an approach like this will not cost you very much. One time I did this with a G1 and a 100-300mm lens for a specific African trip and I actually made a profit on the round trip!
     
  14. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Definitely something to consider, thanks!
     
  15. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Well, that thought had occurred to me, though I am a big fan of Oly IBIS. Another option could be to get the Gx7 at the good price, try it out, decide which camera I like best and sell/trade for another of whichever one I prefer. I won't truly need the second body until June.

    FYI, to those who have mentioned it, I do have a pro zoom (Oly 12-40).
     
  16. DMLarson

    DMLarson Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Aug 19, 2014
    Dan
    I have both, and an EM1. I agree that, from my experience, the IBIS on the GX7 leaves a lot to be desired. I always get better results with my Olympus bodies IBIS than the GX7, to the point where I will be taking a tripod with me on my next slot canyon hike where I need the GX7 and P7-14. In well lit situations the GX7 is nice to shoot, and I love pairing it with my O75. If you don't absolutely need the 1/8000 shutter, I would also recommend another EM10. Or, if you can save a little more money, you may love the EM1.
     
  17. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Having not had experience with the high-end OM-Ds as far as IBIS goes, I imagine that they do in fact perform better, but it's still pretty easy to work within the capabilities of the GX7's IBIS. At 50mm, you can reliably get 1/15s or 1/20s sharp exposures, which I guess corresponds to 2-3 stops of effectiveness. So while it's not magic, it's probably worthwhile to evaluate how and when you use IBIS. For any shots involving people, you're at the mercy of ISO and fast lenses anyway, because you need to keep the shutter speed up no matter what.

    I am biased because I love the way my GX7 handles and couldn't stand the ergonomics of the E-M10 (nor its terrible focus peaking). But we all have different needs out a camera, obviously!
     
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  18. DMLarson

    DMLarson Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Aug 19, 2014
    Dan
    I also like the focus peaking on the GX7. And yes, it is very comfortable to hold.
     
  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Coming from a DSLR with NO stabilization, I'm feeling pretty good about the 3-4 stops I get out of the GX7. I hear the Olympus 5 axis is mind-boggling, but the E-M10 only has 3 axis anyway.

    To be honest, I don't get the fascination with IBIS. I just don't have THAT many subjects that can tolerate a 1/5 shutter speed, stabilized or not. Even landscapes, I'm worried about leaves rustling and making soft pics when I go that low. I am happy that it lets me handhold a longer lens at 1/100 instead of 1/800, though. But anything beyond 2-3 stops and I struggle to see where I would actually use it. Not that I wouldn't welcome the best tech, I am just not going to use it as a main purchasing decision.
     
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  20. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    My first m43 camera was an Olympus (E-PL1) and when I got back into the system after divesting my DLSR gear, I was sure that I would go the Olympus route again, most likely with the E-M10. I knew the Olympus menu system and liked the customization as well as the SCP. However, after trying the both the E-M10 and E-M5, I ended up getting back into the system with a G5, followed by a G6 and now I have a GX7. Of all those cameras I find the GX7 just about perfect and now definitely prefer the Panasonic menus to that of the Olympus cameras. I don't mind shooting both side by side though, but I'm not a professional. As far as the advantage of 1/8000sec shutter is concerned, it should also be mentioned that on the GX7 it can be paired with a low ISO of 125 giving even a little more flexibility. I would agree with those that have said that if you get a GX7 you might find that it becomes your primary camera for anything where you don't require IBIS.
     
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