I Gave up the Panasonic G9 for? Sanity Check!

t2490jh

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It's been a long time since I have posted on this site. As we all know the camera industry is going through some difficult times. Three years ago I sold my Pentax gear (K52s) for the Panasonic G9. Well almost. I had a Fuji camera for about a week and hated the menu system. I'm a hobbyist who likes to take good pictures. Maybe I gravitated towards the G9 since for the simplicity and robustness of the camera. Very similar to the Pentax. What i hated about the Pentax was the glass. Slow and not very sharp in my opinion. I did love the Pentax 100mm 2.8. The Sigma 35mm 1.4 was outstanding and the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 was very good. That was it. I love the G9 and the selection of glass that I have. The lenses I have are the Leica 12mm 1.4, Leica 12-60 2.8-4.0, Leica 50-200 2.8-4.0, Olympus 25mm 1.2 pro, and the Olympus 45mm 1.2 pro. All lenses are outstanding. I know FF would give you improvements in DR, ISO performance, and DOF. For me, personally, I am very sensitive towards ISO performance than the other two. This is the reason I bought fast glass (at least for micro 4/3's).

The first question I would like to hear from this forum: Do you regret moving from micro 4/3's to FF (if you did)? Do you fine the weight and the cost prohibitive? Does anyone regret their choice?

The second question: Is anyone concerned with moving to another format or brand given the state of the industry? Other than Sony or Canon I think everyone else is at risk (for personal reasons I don't prefer either). The reason I ask this is that I'm not so sure on Panasonic FF given their limited market penetration and Nikon FF due to their fast fall from 2 to 3 in market share. I like the product offering of both companies. However, I'm not sure if the weight and cost of the glass is worth it or if they will be around in 3-5 years.

I really don't want this to be a micro 4/3's vs FF discussion bashing. I'm just interested on how one made decisions in their camera equipment over the past years - why they did and if they are happy about their decision.

Thanks much for your opinions and responses.
 

speedy

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It's been a long time since I have posted on this site. As we all know the camera industry is going through some difficult times. Three years ago I sold my Pentax gear (K52s) for the Panasonic G9. Well almost. I had a Fuji camera for about a week and hated the menu system. I'm a hobbyist who likes to take good pictures. Maybe I gravitated towards the G9 since for the simplicity and robustness of the camera. Very similar to the Pentax. What i hated about the Pentax was the glass. Slow and not very sharp in my opinion. I did love the Pentax 100mm 2.8. The Sigma 35mm 1.4 was outstanding and the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 was very good. That was it. I love the G9 and the selection of glass that I have. The lenses I have are the Leica 12mm 1.4, Leica 12-60 2.8-4.0, Leica 50-200 2.8-4.0, Olympus 25mm 1.2 pro, and the Olympus 45mm 1.2 pro. All lenses are outstanding. I know FF would give you improvements in DR, ISO performance, and DOF. For me, personally, I am very sensitive towards ISO performance than the other two. This is the reason I bought fast glass (at least for micro 4/3's).

The first question I would like to hear from this forum: Do you regret moving from micro 4/3's to FF (if you did)? Do you fine the weight and the cost prohibitive? Does anyone regret their choice?

The second question: Is anyone concerned with moving to another format or brand given the state of the industry? Other than Sony or Canon I think everyone else is at risk (for personal reasons I don't prefer either). The reason I ask this is that I'm not so sure on Panasonic FF given their limited market penetration and Nikon FF due to their fast fall from 2 to 3 in market share. I like the product offering of both companies. However, I'm not sure if the weight and cost of the glass is worth it or if they will be around in 3-5 years.

I really don't want this to be a micro 4/3's vs FF discussion bashing. I'm just interested on how one made decisions in their camera equipment over the past years - why they did and if they are happy about their decision.

Thanks much for your opinions and responses.
I went the other way. From a Canon 6D to a GX8, and some cheap lenses, to try out m4/3. The 6D simply collected dust for a couple of years, I sold it while it was still worth something. Still have a few flashes and nice lenses sitting in a cupboard in case I get an itch again, been nearly 7? years now, nothing happened yet. I'm really interested to see what happens in the next few years with the organic sensor Panasonic stated is coming to Lumix, and the new generation of stacked sensor cameras early next year. A proper global shutter would probably/possibly get me to upgrade, bit not to 36*24. Those technologies well only make m4/3 better than it already is, and it's already better than most people actually really need.
 

archaeopteryx

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it's already better than most people actually really need
This. Most of what I do doesn't need more than 2MP and a 1 m print from 16 MP outresolves what I was getting from drum scans of 4x5 Astia 100F. So I've no real reason to spend more or carry more than μ43. On rare occasions it'd be nice to have cleaner ISO 3200+ than the 16 MP Panasonic sensor in the body I have provides. But I could get another stop of dynamic range from updating to a 20 MP μ43 body if I needed it. And there's one or two stops faster μ43 lenses available than the ones I have for much less than what going back to a larger format would cost.

I was tempted to move to Nikon 1 rather than μ43 but, since Nikon's consistently oriented to 135 I didn't trust them to stay with the 1 system. I also use enough lens diversity a compact or bridge camera doesn't make sense—if I wanted to put money into that space a phone update would make more sense—and Fuji's lack of commitment to their XC lens line means what I consider to be the most relevant APS-C competitor to μ43 centers on the comparatively large, heavy, and expensive XF lenses. All that's changed since is a dramatic increase in the amount of focus bracketing I do. Panasonic remains the industry leader for that.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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When I entertain the thought of using another system, FF isn‘t even a hard look. The cost of everything is very hard to justify, and big heavy tele lenses would never leave the house. I give Fuji the hardest look, but the format only seems to get lukewarm reviews from other members here who use both systems. I’m not worried about the state of things. With the durability of modern bodies, I’ll have years of time to decide what to do if disaster strikes the format, which doesn’t seem likely with new glass and bodies still being launched. I love the Pana-Leica glass, from the 25mm 1.4 all the way to the 100-400. Granted, the PL12-60 could be a little more solid feeling, but it still takes great photos.
 

D7k1

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I could easily use my G9's for another 4-6 years and at that point smaller would be my needs. Just spent 4K on a new computer and monitors and using On1 AI NR has made a huge difference in my early and later imaging. Heck, I'm luckly the My G9s and Gx85 and my lenses haven't traded me in:)
 
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I have switched to m43 (Oly EM5) in 2013/2014 from DSLR (Nikon D800) due to size and weight. Honestly, I was greatly disappointed by the "pixel quality" of the EM5 - it looked muddy (for a lack of a better word) to me, at that time. But I was committed to never go back to DSLR. Probably m43 system was the best mirrorless system at that time. I was willing to accept and live with m43 limitations, image quality being the biggest one.

This summer I switched back to FF, but mirrorless. Weight and size is very comparable to m43 PRO gear. I got very impressed about how much margin for processing the FF images have. I found the Sony system to be the way to go due to the huge lens selection available, camera body size, AF, etc. I did not want to choose Sony at all, but I had no choice.

I do miss, from the m43 system, the tele reach, the wide DOF, and the excellent IBIS. I bought the EM1.3 for it's "computational stuff", but I found that I never used the Pro-capture feature, I only tested the Focus stacking feature, I did few HHHR shots, but the results did not convinced me (for 40-50 MPx images I prefer the Sony A7Riii). The ND filter was the most used "gimmick" and I liked the results. Plus some of this "computational gimmicks" are limited to few lenses only. Plus the not 100% compatibility between Oly and Pana (and I actually used to mix them a lot, as the Pana lenses were better suited to my needs).

And finally, I think the m43 system (body and lenses) will be able to produce the same image quality for years to come, despite the fact the system might die slowly, so from an actual user it should be absolutely fine as long as staying with this system. But its value (which I find now, actually, to be quite poor) it would worth almost nothing when the system will die, and at that point switching to another photo system will be painful (nothing worth selling in order to offset the cost of switching).

Now, given all above, I have kept the smallest m43 camera featuring an EVF (EM10.4) and 2 primes (P14/2.5 and P20/1.7) for traveling light purposes. And the P45-175 for more (telephoto) reach - the EM10.4 + P45-175 weights about 600 grams, so even if I throw in 2 extra batteries, the combo would be lighter than any FF zoom reaching 350mm.

And after I re-read your post I felt like answering directly your question: I do not regret going to FF and I don't find FF lenses (think third-party) price prohibitive on the Sony side of things (where third parties alternatives to Sony's own G and GM series abound, and the quality is excellent).
 

Mike Wingate

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I could afford to go FF. I belong to a few photogroups where my photos do well, as long as I don't mention what camera I use. I just dont want to upset others. I came from Pentax ME and MX 35 mm bodies, small, light lenses. The GX80 seemed almost familiar. I would not like the limitations of the FF zoom capabilities. I do not like the large size and weight of the bodies and lenses. Happy to stay with m43. I think that the Lumix G9 is a large body camera.
 

RAH

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I had an Olympus E-520 DSLR. When Oly discontinued support of DSLRs, I went to Canon APS-C (60D and then 80D). Liked it but didn't like the size of the cameras or especially the lenses. So when the first E-M10 came out, I jumped on it for travel (PERFECT travel camera!!). But I continued to mainly use the Canon equipment for wildlife and general at-home use.

But when the E-M5.3 came out with 20MP and hi-res mode, I decided to pretty much stop using the Canon equipment and use m43 for everything (including wildlife with the 75-300 plus now the Oly 100-400).

I DID seriously consider going FF via the Panasonic S5, as a camera for at-home use. Because I wanted hi-res mode, I didn't consider the similarly-priced other FF cameras from other companies. But ultimately I decided to forget the FF thing and stay with m43. I added an E-M1.3 (has some features over the E-M5.3, especially HHHR) instead of getting the Pany S5. I'm glad I made the decision. I still love m43 and its relatively small cameras and lenses.

As far as the G9, I'd much rather have an E-M1.3 (which I do). I'm with @Mike Wingate - the G9 is just too big as a m43 camera, IMHO. For me, the E-M5 is perfect for travel, E-M1 is perfect for everything else. I'm not saying the G9 isn't a nice camera - it's very nice, but they should lose than top LCD and make it smaller, I think (to be clear, I really like the top LCD on my Canon 80D, but that camera is much too damn big, so life's a bitch!).
 
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Mike Wingate

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The G9 is cheaper in the U.K. than the G90. if and when Panasonic replace the G9, It will have to be a better camera. the G9 is again at a bargain price.
 

WT21

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I've gone between 43 and FF several times since 2009, trying Canon Nikon and Sony. If I wanted to "gaurantee" that my vendor of choice was one of the "winners" I'd stick to Canon or Sony. Nikon or Fuji might also make it, but Canon and Sony are clearly the 1-2 leaders.

But, honestly, I don't care about that. I want a balance of weight, size and quality along with a proper camera, and m43 is the only platform that does that. I don't think it's going away, and honestly, m43 might find it's niche as you are not the first poster to say "I tried FF but didn't like it and I'm back to m43." but even if m43 doesn't "make it" -- who cares? Life is short. It's all electronics and none of the bodies will last forever from any of them.

Get the gear that makes shooting fun for you, get outside and enjoy.

As a hobbyist, I put price limits on what makes me comfortable. I like bodies no more than $800 used, and $100-400 is even better. I prefer lenses between $100-300. I found I'd prefer to have four $200 lenses than one $800 lens.

I've tried the $2,000 gear angle and all I do is obsess over taking care of it or wondering if I'm making economic use of them. I'd rather have gear that doesn't live in my brain, but instead lets me relax and have fun.

YMMV, but you asked, so there it is :)
 
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speedy

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I may have to eat my words some time down the track. I see Panasonic has just confirmed that they have an 18mm S series prime under development. Something I've wanted in m4/3 forever (9mm rectilinear, AF). Depending on size, weight, aperture and cost, I might be tempted. That, and the 35, 50 & 85 f1.8 primes on an S5 would make a lovely, capable kit. Just shooting the breeze here 😜
 

t2490jh

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I may have to eat my words some time down the track. I see Panasonic has just confirmed that they have an 18mm S series prime under development. Something I've wanted in m4/3 forever (9mm rectilinear, AF). Depending on size, weight, aperture and cost, I might be tempted. That, and the 35, 50 & 85 f1.8 primes on an S5 would make a lovely, capable kit. Just shooting the breeze here 😜
Personally that's what I want in a micro 4/3's camera. Don't get me wrong I love my Leica 12mm 1.4. It's just not wide enough at times. This is kind of the cross roads I'm at. I love the prime capability of FF. Different story when you get into the zooms. Too big, heavy, and expensive. There just isn't a perfect solution. Thanks for replying.
 

speedy

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Personally that's what I want in a micro 4/3's camera. Don't get me wrong I love my Leica 12mm 1.4. It's just not wide enough at times. This is kind of the cross roads I'm at. I love the prime capability of FF. Different story when you get into the zooms. Too big, heavy, and expensive. There just isn't a perfect solution. Thanks for replying.
No worries. I've wanted a rectilinear AF 8 or 9mm Panny or Oly prime since I got into the system. I've got the PL 8-18 which is one of my favorite lenses ever, and also the Laowa 10mm f2, which I'm also a huge fan of, but a native AF first party version would be terrific. Yeah yeah yeah, first world problems. I don't really shoot over 400mm (equivalent) so that's not really an issue either. Just wait and see what happens. My G9 and primes are small, light, excellent, and not stupid expensive
 

SpecFoto

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Got into M4/3 back in 2012 to use for our almost yearly trips overseas to Thailand (my wife is Thai) for the weight and bulkiness savings. Prior to 2012 I had taken my FF Nikon DSLR bodies and lenses. At first got the EM5 but the next year the EM1 came out at 16MP and got some really great lenses for it; the 3 f2.8 Pro zooms at 7-14, 12-40 and 40-150, the Nocticron 42.5 f1.2, Oly 12 f2, 17mm f1.8 and 75 f1.8. Added a G9 in 2018, but much prefer now the EM1 MkIII. Really love the system and continue to use it and added the 17mm f1.2 Pro lens this year.

But I wanted to look at Sony and all they were doing with FF mirrorless so in 2018 I bought a A7III 24 MP body. At first just a few primes, a Sony 35, 55 and 85 and I mainly used this setup for portraits with their excellent Eye Detect AF, which was substantially better than what the G9 had. Then traded up to a 42 MP A7RIII body and I really liked the added MP no doubt. Early this year I traded up to the 61MP A7RIV and now I am in love....:cloud-9-039: The IQ is fantastic, the 5.76 million dot EVF is so clear and crisp, the real time tracking works very well, the Eye Detect AF has further improved and the ability to shoot in camera with the 1.5x crop mode yielding a 26.4MP file is just great, I use this all the time for nature, wildlife and airshows. Have upgraded my lenses to now 6 primes and the Sony 100-400 GM zoom and am all set for anything I shoot. And the Sony kit can be small, just about a small as my Olympus gear, see below.

So where does that leave me with M4/3? I still will keep 2 systems using M4/3 for travel overseas, in harsh weather conditions, anytime I am boating or near the ocean and when I know I want to use the 3 fast 2.8 Pro zooms, which are better than what is available for Sony. But I am selling off some lenses and don't think that I will be buying another M4/3 body any time soon, unless OM Digital come out with a new EM1 style body with a 8 or 10 MP increase, then I might consider it in time.

Mirrorless Kits.jpg
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Brownie

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I'm not sure why so many people feel the need to 'move' from one format to the other? It's perfectly acceptable to have more than one. I love the G9 and have no plans to get out of M-4/3 anytime soon, but that has little to do with adding Sony to my choices.

Weight and cost. I shudder every time I look at the Sony 200-600 and compare the size to the PL 100-400. Then I realize that I am not giving up the 100-400. The two systems/lenses will be used as needed, or desired, or whatever. Oddly the Sony body is smaller than the G9, but physics still has the final say on lenses...for now. As to cost, I'm not sure that's a pertinent question. What one finds prohibitive may mean nothing to another. While I won't be buying every lens I want or need right off the bat, I fully expect to have my main 3 desired lenses by early July. Cost is something you should be able to decide on before you ever start, and if it's an issue, just don't do it.

I don't find IQ to be an issued for M-4/3 99% of the time. I don't know that I need more DR, or better ISO, but I guess time will tell and I may feel differently after experiencing the new system. As to DOF, I'm not a fan of razor thin focus ranges and except for the rare shot am Bokeh indifferent. I actually find myself desperately hoping the FF doesn't become a DOF nightmare.

I did consider the state of the industry when making a decision, but that wasn't the entirety. Focusing, lens selection, and other factors were more of a concern.
 

RAH

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No worries. I've wanted a rectilinear AF 8 or 9mm Panny or Oly prime since I got into the system. I've got the PL 8-18 which is one of my favorite lenses ever, and also the Laowa 10mm f2, which I'm also a huge fan of, but a native AF first party version would be terrific.
I agree. I wonder WHY neither Oly or Panasonic has produced anything wider than 12mm in a prime lens (as far as I know). I know there are thrid party ones, but I don't think there are any with AF. I'd buy one, but probably not enough other people?
 
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I'm not sure why so many people feel the need to 'move' from one format to the other? It's perfectly acceptable to have more than one. I love the G9 and have no plans to get out of M-4/3 anytime soon, but that has little to do with adding Sony to my choices.



I did consider the state of the industry when making a decision
I'm absolutely with you on both comments above. I did not switched (actually) from m43 to FF, but just got rid of the expensive m43 stuff (as per your second remark) and have expanded to FF mirrorless digital territory. But, to me at least, I look like a multi-format and multi-medium shooter at this moment. I just hope shooting film will teach me more photography-wise.
 
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I make my living with my G9's and most of my competition uses FF cameras of one flavor or another. I get calls all the time from my clients telling me that for some reason my photos are different, and to their eye, better. I can have any camera I want, and I do. I have Lumix G9's. The best lenses for this system are sublime, and even though relatively expensive for the system, they are so much less so than any full frame system lens equivalent. As far as the high iso performance, up to 6400 you're fine, and 10,000 is ok so long as you nail your exposure. And everything is better if you shoot raw. I've never met a jpeg that couldn't be made to sing with just a few tweaks of the raw file. Like anything in life, if you're willing to put in the time and work, you'll get better results. On the surface, FF will make up for a lack of effort on the part of the photographer. Ultimately I comes down to what you shoot. I shoot people and for me, I get everything I need and want out of what I use. If you shoot landscapes on a tripod and want to see every leaf and blade of grass, get a high megapixel something or other. But whatever you get, you'll get more if you shoot raw and learn how to process the files.
 
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It looks like from your post history that you've been contemplating moving to FF for a while. As a hobbyist, what do you hope to gain by doing so? Will it make the hobby more enjoyable? If yes, then make the switch.

I can say for me though, the size, weight, and cost is not worth it as a hobbyist. Constantly worrying about noise, bokeh, brand, etc, is exhausting. Once I quit putting so much emphasis on those things, the hobby became so much more enjoyable.
 

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