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Jump In With Both Feet? (GX-1+)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by RoadTraveler, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    There's a thread in the Olympus section that motivated me to share and ask for input. I don't expect much more than enthusiasm and support here in the Panasonic section, but maybe you guys will mention something I haven't thought of or read here yet. I'm focused on the GX-1 as the camera I want for entering m4/3 realm (features & value seem very good right now), maybe Olympus with get my money in the future?

    Currently I use a few Canon L lenses, a 5D2 and a 5D, but I'd really like to get back to a smaller system because I'm not happy about the spread in size, weight, and performance between the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 & 70-200 f/2.8 and the little Canon S100 and G12 I use when toting the big SLRs. Prior to the Canon digital SLRs several years ago I was a film hold-out (until the Canon 20D) with a few years experience using Leica M, Contax G rangefinders, and Canon film SLRs.

    Over the past several days I've been reading on this site and elsewhere and I'm convinced that with the right lenses a m4/3 system can do 75-90% of what I use my SLRs for, and hopefully it will be more pleasurable Seems the Panasonic GX-1 is a good camera for me to start with, most reviews are favorable, but won't know until I can use the camera (the one remaining real camera store in my town doesn't sell Panasonic).

    I almost ordered a GX-1 kit and a 12-35 f2.8 yesterday from Amazon, but found a thread here regarding the $200 discount on the 12-35 when purchased with a body. Soon I plan to place my order with B&H for both, plus a couple filters.

    Since I was already wanting a 16-35 or 17-40 for the Canon SLR, the 7-14 f/4 is very attractive, but I don't want to spend that money yet and I need to make sure I like the camera and m4/3 system first.

    Even if the GX-1 or Panasonic might not be long-term favorites, seems as long as the m4/3 systems continue to improve with these new, fast lenses are similar to the performance to the Canon stuff I've been using, I don't see too much risk in jumping-in? Panasonic's corporate health in not encouraging, but there are offering some nice lenses!


  2. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Have you considered the G3 as well? You can get it for a mere $299 now. It has a built in EVF and articulating screen, both significant features the GX1 lacks, in my opinion.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. apbtlvr

    apbtlvr Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 10, 2012
    I started out a few months ago with a GX1 body and a couple of lenses (14mm & 20mm) and feel it was an excellent choice. The recent price drop makes this camera even more attractive now. I suggest a couple of primes and maybe a extra battery and you should be pretty happy. The viewfinder is another accessory I'd recommend. My GX1 pretty much replaced a D300 & multiple lenses without any real complaints. I only use that body now with FX glass for my kids outdoor sports. I think you're making a good call.
  4. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012

    Do you mean this camera?

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 review | Cameralabs

    I just read this review, it sounds like the specs and handling are similar to the GX-1? Same sensor and touch screen? Sounds like a good tool, maybe a better 'second body' for me?

    The articulating screen is something I positively would like and use. I've never been a fan of electronic viewfinders, but I've never owned one and it's been a few years since I've looked at one. Also, while having the 'option' of a viewfinder is nice, particularly in bright sun, middle age has forced wearing glasses more often than not, and I'm not a fan of smashing my glasses into a viewfinder, yet looking at a screen is just fine. Though the above review comments on how positively small the camera is, it 'looks' larger than a GX-1 in pictures, but maybe that's mostly an illusions. Remember, I have other fantastic camera gear, this is all about getting back to a smaller system, of course most of the size savings might be in the lenses.

    Pros and cons for sure.

    $300 for this camera/kit seems like a super deal, I assume it was hundreds more when it was introduced. Unless I'm missing it, I don't see the same $200 discount on the 12-35 f/2.8 lens when buying this camera. That alone is likely a deal-breaker.
  5. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    The current prices do seem like a great deal compared to just a few months ago!

    Nope, I'm an experienced photographer/journalist and know what I want and need to do with the camera. Primes are cool, and I may buy some later, however I still have a few Leica M primes that I can adapt and use if m4/3 and I get along well. I was even going to buy a 'body only' and forget messing with the kit lens. But the savings is so small that it seems wise to get the 14-42 kit lens, and use it initially to see how I like the camera/system before I open the box on the 12/35 f/2.8 that will be my everyday tool.


    I've given serious thought to the external viewfinder, even had one in my B&H 'cart' this afternoon...but I removed it, there is no saving to buying it now, and I'll see how I like the LCD only first.

    This is lots of money that I don't need to spend... however if I like working with it and the results are to my liking, it would be a positive to jump into the m4/3, particularly when traveling by motorcycle or plane.
  6. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    One other thing I didn't mention in my initial post:

    I understand the difference with depth-of-field, but with essentially the same field of view, I like that the 12-35 will focus about 6 inches closer than a 24-70L. That along with the increased DOF will be helpful for close ups.

    Have not ordered anything yet... ;) 
  7. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Have you considered Olympus E-pl5?
    It has the om-d sensor, tilt screen and (2-axis IBIS);
  8. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Nope, don't know that model, I was kind of stuck on the GX-1 but I'm willing to consider Olympus. I will go looking now, thanks.


    Just read the specs on B&H.

    Other than it being more expensive and not offering the $200 discount for the 12-35 lens, there are some interesting features that seem 'better' than the GX-1, like:

    articulating screen
    the focusing system
    fast shutter (low shutter lag if I'm reading that spec correctly?)

    If not my first m4/3 body, maybe the E-PL5 should be my second?
  9. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Don't forget the E-PL5 sensor is without a doubt better than the GX1.
  10. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I was wanting to like this body, but I'm inclined to agree with the reviewer. If the screen swiveled and pivoted like my G12 or the Panasonic suggested above I think I'd like it. But as seen in this picture here I'm not impressed.

    Olympus E-PL5 Review: Top-Notch Guts in an Awkward Body
  11. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    That got my attention.
  12. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Not sure of the shutter... I have a GX-1 but I don't have an E-PL5 yet.

    Here are some great samples of e-pl5 images... and brief write up: (he uses this body to review other lenses too I think. Check the review list on his site)

    Robin Wong: Olympus PEN E-PL5 Review: Street Shooting in KL

    There's also olympus E-PM2 which is essentially E-PL5 without the flex screen and missing some control buttons (also the mode dial), at $100 less.

    I'm not sure of 12-35mm pricing lately. I've heard they're already selling at $800+ on Amazon.jp, and you can find them for less than $1100 from HK and Japan sellers on Ebay.
  13. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    The E-PM2 or E-P3 could be of interest, though I did just study the rear of the cameras and think the button layout looks better to me on the GX-1. Most of the GX-1 reviews I read seemed to compliment the functionality and layout on the rear of the Lumix.

    12-35 pricing is $1100 at B&H "IF" I buy it with a GX-1, which is the plan.

    Although it's okay to fuss over which body is best right now, the lenses are more important, and that I like the m4/3 way.

    Coming from the full-frame dSLR world, all of these bodies are relatively inexpensive, and I'm not concerned about using the same body for many years. It's more important that I like the m4/3 system.
    Even with all the helpful input above I'm still thinking the GX-1 seems like a nice, low-priced entry into m4/3. I'm going to sleep on it and continue my research tomorrow.
  14. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Well it's a great time to be shopping m43 gears ;) 

    Here's one last link..

    Black Friday reloaded: GX1 with lens for $399. 12-35mm X for $999. | 43 Rumors

    GX-1 for $50 less than Amazon (w/ 14-42 kit lens) and a $999 12-35mm (but as someone noted, this is a Japanese seller on Amazon. Not sure how it works out custom wise).

    Best of luck with your selection, I'm sure you'll enjoy 'em.
  15. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    It is a great time to be shopping for m4/3, seems the prices are good on the current offering and there are new great lenses. Of course, prices will likely be even lower later...

    Thanks for the link!

    Using the links on the 4/3 Rumors site, the GX-1 kit is indeed $50 less at Adorama [never purchased from them], while the Amazon link for the 12-35 lens is $50 more than the 4/3 Black Friday price of $999, now $1049.00

    I'm inclined to buy from B&H because I'm confident they have it, and with 2-day shipping I'll get it on Wednesday when I want it. Maybe I'll call B&H and see if they want to match the Adorama kit price...
  16. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    B&H Square Trade Protection

    Since it's related to my title of jumping in with both feet, rather than start a new thread…

    I rarely buy any kind of extended warranty (insurance) plan. However, because the front element of the Panasonic 7-14 f/4 is so exposed and can't be covered by a filter, ever, I'm giving it some thought.

    I would not even consider this if the coverage was just an extended warranty, but the accidental damage "drops & spills" coverage is what appeals.

    B&H's new warranty partner is Square Trade.

    SquareTrade, B&H Partner On Camera Protection | Consumer Electronic News | Blogs | Retailing | Appliances | CES | www.twice.com

    For the 7-14 mm lens it's $124 for 2 years or $165 for 3 years.

    Of course $165 adds a chunk to my total invoice and is a little less than 1/5 the price of a new replacement…at today's prices, which I assume are likely to continue falling.

    I know insurance plans are gambling, comments?
  17. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Unlike the bodies, most m4/3 lenses hold their value extremely well over time. That 7-14 won't go down too much, unless they come out with a new wide zoom.
  18. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012

    Good points and possibly a good argument in favor of the insurance.

    I'm very careful with my gear, but I also use it, and past experience shows 'stuff happens'. I'd still rather not spend the money on that.
  19. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    The GX1 is still a very capable camera, but it's just not going to make you really happy coming from a 5D2. I know because that's what I had 18 months ago. The difference to the new Sony sensor in the E-M5, EPL5 and (we all think) GH3 is a significant improvement. I actually sold all my m4/3 gear because of the thin files of the Panasonic sensors (GH2 and G3). They're not bad but it's hard to give up 2 stops of dynamic range and some bit depth in the files.

    The sensor in the E-m5 and friends is probably closer to the 5D2 than the original 5D and it had no banding in the shadows like the Canons. It has the sensor that can do the new lenses some justice.

    The 12-35 is very much like the original 24-70 L Canon. OK at 2.8 and very very good at f4. The 35-100 is reported to be between the V1 and V2 of the 70-200 Canons. That makes it very much like the 70-200f4LIS, I suppose, just smaller and more expensive.

    I know you'll save a few bucks by getting the Panasonic lens with a Panny kit. But I think it's a false ecomomy. You'll want to upgrade almost immediately and loose more on the "upgrade" to the Olympus. And you stand nearly no chance of using your Leica lenses efficiently with a GX1, except on a tripod. Evenwith the not very good add on VF.

    The E-M5 on the other hand is fabulous with MF lenses. It's EVF is second only to the Sony a77 and a99 viewfinders in usability. I have no issues manually focusing a CV 35mm f 1.2 on the E-M5 using the EVF.

    DOF issues aside, the switch from a 5 series 1 or 2 to an E-M5 with the fast zooms will be pretty smooth and a near total replacement. I don't think the GX1 will do that for you and you'll end up with either 2 systems or selling the m4/3.

  20. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    First thanks for the thoughtful and detailed reply [and opening pandoras box :wink:].

    While I do 'work' with my cameras, from looking at your site I'm surely not as good nor the same type of photographer as you. However, I don't want to give up 2 stops of dynamic range, nor the overall quality of the files. I was originally attracted to the GX-1, and [still] the Panasonic lenses, you've helped me take a hard look at the Olympus competition.

    Are there issues or concerns of using Panasonic's stabilized lenses with the Olympus stabilized bodies? The Panasonic lenses are larger/heavier than needed [12-35mm] because of the stabilization, if one has Olympus body stabilization, no?

    The Panasonic 7-14 f/4 still really appeals for super wide, and just a bit more than a Canon 7-40 f/4 while being wider!

    I still have my orig. 5D, I only purchased my new 5D2 which last year (I like live-view).

    Very informative. My lenses are older, I have the original 24-70L and 70-200L f/2.8 [no stabilization]. Considering all this m4/3 format as a possibly replacement for 35mm dSLR, it's in the fast and long lenses where the real size/weight saving seems biggest. This is one of my main reasons for wanting to try m4/3, if not to eventually completely move over as some have done.

    Not needing to buy the 12-35 f/2.8 at the same time as a m4/3 body (if I don't buy the GX-1) to save $200 on the lens is actually quite liberating. I may spend more on an Olympus kit initially, but I don't need to buy the $1,300 12-35 until 'after' buying into the m4/3 system and seeing how we get along.

    I'm not saying that I won't ever buy/use the EM5 or the future equivalent, but with the added viewfinder it still appears a bit large to me (though likely smaller than 5D), and the price of testing the m4/3 waters it high(er). If I knew today that I was going to dump all my dSLR stuff for m4/3, then the EM5 would possibly make sense. However, since much of my initial m4/3 interest is centered on 'smaller' form, the E-PL5 or E-PL2 have my full attention as both less expensive and more what I was looking for when I started researching the m4/3 gear. If I buy the additional Panasonic 7-14 & 12-35 lenses and the m4/3 looks like it's going to work for me, I'll surely buy a second body (I like working with 2 lenses on 2 bodies), which could be an EM5.

    If I correctly understand what I'm reading, the EPL5 has the same very good sensor as the OM EM5? And the EPL2 might also be 'the same' except for the tilting screen?
    I wish the EPL5 screen was less bulky and moved out to the side, but thinking about low & high angle shots it seems that I probably should go with the EPL5 over the EPL2 if I buy one of these two cameras?

    Great to know, although using my remaining Leica M lenses is not my first priority.

    That's both encouraging and scary...

    If the E-M5 (or initially the E-PL5) works for me and the fast m4/3 zooms can be a 'near' total replacement for the Canon 5D bodies, then there will be little reason to hold onto the SLR gear. I'll likely know after a few or several months of m4/3 use, at which time it could be time to sell the dSLR bodies to recoup some cash before they depreciate further. The real gutsy move might be to also sell the lenses. I'm not sure how much money the first gen. 24-70L and 70-200L f/2.8 (what a tank!) would bring, but trying to go back and replace them with new lenses would likely be prohibitively expensive, which is why I'll have to be damn sure I'm a m4/3 convert before selling the big SLR gear.


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