Long post about scratches appearing on my GX7

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by a_hit_of_meth, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012
    A week or so after getting a used GX7, I noticed a large black mark near the bottom rear corner that I'm pretty sure was not there when I bought it. Since my focus in inspecting it was on other things like the sensor for dust and marks, flash, top plate and bottom plate, LCD and EVF and things like shutter actuations at high speeds so I may have overlooked it at first.

    On closer inspection of the affected area, I notice it was quite a deep scratch of the silver body paint revealing the black underneath. The area around it seemed fine.
    Yesterday I took it out and I noticed a few more scruff marks around the scratch, so I was thinking it may have been from sliding it in and out of the camera holster, which is a generic one made of nylon in and out. I couldn't find any hard spots on the inside of the bag or places that the zippers would make contact with the affected area. I've also never had issues with the nylon bag scratching up my E-m5 or E-m10 which I used with this bag extensively.

    Today I took it out again and noticed the part with the new scruff marks had gotten scratched even more and there was one black mark like a pinpoint area what had scratched through the paint. I had another look and thought it might be the plastic fasteners for the strap, which happened to be lined up around the same place. There's no way they could have pressed against the camera while in the bag since I keep the strap sticking out when stored in the bag. I'm also very careful with handling and I can't remember any instance, the fasteners made contact with the affected area. Other parts of the camera where they came into contact with, like the sides, don't show any marks at all and I highly doubt light contact would cause scratches or even marks in this location on the camera body. Still, I adjusted them so they are now further away.

    There's always the chance they were already there and maybe the first owner or shop staff covered it up with a silver pen, which is fine by me. The scratches don't really bother me, I bought it used and it's not like they will have a big impact on the resale value of a three year old parallel import model. What annoys me is not being sure exactly on what caused the scratches to appear.

    Has anyone had similar experience with scratches easily appearing on their GX7 or heard of similar issues? I've never read anything about the paint or finish coming off easily like what I had with my E-m5 chipping and read about with other Oly bodies.

    Here's the first scratch. The other scratch and scuff marks happened after I took this pic the lower right of the original scratch. The scruff marks are light and sort of look white, the scratches are deep and reveal the black base of the camera. You can see how the area affected is not on the bottom or bottom corner or any area that sticks out so it's difficult to imagine how something could scratch this area only and not the rest of the body.
  2. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    It's not a scratch as such, when the plastic is struck against another surface it flexes while the paint/finish does not, this causes the finish to flake off as it's no longer attached to the plastic.


    An example of such on a phone, note that it doesn't take much force at all for it to happen, with normal handling it will occur over time.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Another good example of it would be on the front of a car where a rock has hit the bumper bar or bonnet, the paint will flake in an larger area despite the permanent deformation being limited to a small area where the rock hit (happens on metal as well however it's normally limited to clear coat - the underlying paint has a stronger bond). The paint is very hard/rigid and cannot stretch, that's all it is.

    I would go out and take a picture of my car (I'm sure there's a few dozen rock marks due to highway driving) however it's 1am and I don't really feel like walking into spiderwebs (they come out at night).
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I'm guessing it may be specific to the silver finish. My black GX7 looks basically good as new. It's about ~15 months old at this point. It's funny, I'd have figured that the black would be a coating on top of an underlying silver finish, not the other way around. Huh.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    My silver GX7 has signs of wear even though I have not used it much - it was my backup camera but I never really bonded with it. I decided to sell it so I was taking pictures and I noticed a good number of spots with wear, mostly along the bottom edges. I used it with a tripod only twice, but I have several scratches in the paint near where the tripod plate was attached.
  6. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012
    Thanks for the input. Thanks especially for taking the time to read my long ass post.

    That seems to make sense. It does look more like scratches than paint just flaking off. The photo I took just doesn't show the depth of the scratch. It's wierd how it only happened once I started using it and how it only happens in one area as opposed to the rest of the body, which I guess that's a good thing. I guess being in a controlled environment at the store, then taken out to 12c weather and back into 22c indoors frequently might have something to do with the plastic flexing causing the paint to come off like you suggested.

    Actually, towards the top plate there is this chrome plastic bit similar to that of your pic starting to flake off as well. I've seen it on a few GX7's at second hand stores.

    No need to take a pic. My first car back in 04, a 98 Honda City (budget model available in Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia etc..), also purchased used, had that stuff all over the front bumper and hood. Spent a good part of my savings as a student getting it fixed and repainted only for it to happen again. I wish I could have the scratches on the GX7 repainted though.

    My silver E-m10 had a similar thing with the paint. The bottom plate showed indentations or marks from where I screwed the tripod on. Both my E-m5 and E-m10 paint on the top plate showed some marks or indentations where the strap was pressed against them when in the bag (why I keep the strap outside when packed these days), as well as paint chips on my E-m5.
    Never realized it was present with Pana bodies too, must be the magnesium alloy because I don't remember issues like this on metal bodies with a layer of paint. I used a GX1 for a while and didn't even use a camera bag, just put it into my rucksack side pocket without any issue. Also dropped my GF3 while on holiday a few years ago, dented and scratched up the point of contact but no other bits around are flaking off because of it.

    Funny thing is, I mentioned the deeper scratch revealed the black color underneath but the lighter scruff marks showed a white color underneath. On the bottom of the camera, there is also similar wear where the paint reveals a light grey color

    It's a small issue but now I keep thinking the rest of the body might start to show similar signs of wear.
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Your title made me curious so I opened the thread. The photo made me smile. To me, "large" might be an inch/25mm! My silver GX7 illustrates a sharply different philosophy; it's been on four continents that I can think of off hand and it's been dropped, banged, scraped, and generally treated like a hand tool. There is no way to turn it where you can't see wounds. But it works like a champion, which is my only real interest. Different people, different attitudes. Neither wrong.

    In Olden Times, "brassing" on a black Leica or Nikon body was viewed as the badge of honor that a working camera had earned.

    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  8. bahamot

    bahamot Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    Mine still looks pristine after almost 2 years of usage. Mostly used indoors though.
  9. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012

    I appreciate your input, I guess you're right, maybe not so much large but it is deep which is what got me wondering about the possible cause. I see on all the scratches/wear and tear threads people alluding to classic slr and rangefinder camera which exhibit brassing which I just don't get the comparison. The thing is, there is a difference between a patina that builds up over time and little scratches from light use, or in the case of my E-m5 little or no use at all. The paint started peeling after a week of having it mostly kept on my table.

    I have a Nikon FM and Canon AE-1 with scratches and dings all over, actual dents on the metal and deep scratches that make them look badass. Modern camera's with all the plastic they use don't look good at all with any scratches on the paint. If they did I would happily bang my camera against doors and railings as I walked along the road :)
  10. Benzy

    Benzy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2014
    My silver gx7 had black rub marks around the strap lugs. Kind of dumbfounded because I'd expect the metal underneath the finish is magnesium and silver in color. But it looked like natural wear and added to the character of the camera imo.

    Like others say, no point in dwelling on signs of use. I actually like buying worn lenses, especially typically expensive lenses in prime mechanical condition. They have a mojo about them and have already received their first signs of abuse at my benefit. They're always cheaper, much cheaper. An I spend zero brain power worrying about that first scratch and just use them in the wild without reservation.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    My OCD doesn't do scratches and dents, and so I've developed a highly advanced sense of surface sympathy. My 8 month old EM10 still looks like new, as does my 2 year old G5, 3 year old EPM1, 4 year old Canon, plus the 20 and 30 year old 35mm compacts that I still have. They've all been used, but with extra care and consideration.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Hmmm... I don't know what to make of the "Agrees." I was just amused by the polar opposite attitudes toward camera cosmetics, not that it is big news. I wasn't trying to criticize or make a point.

    Re brassing, I agree, these new cameras do not age as gracefully as the old ones. Too much paint and plastic, I guess.
  13. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    A solution for the OP : brass paint then black paint then a brillo pad.
    Better than new!!
  14. EricRose

    EricRose Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2014
    The upper 12
    Eric Rose
    Pristine cameras are for pussies :dash2:. If your out taking photos that last thing on your mind should be "oh gee I better not take that shot, I might scratch my camera".
  15. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Relax brother. You'll just make yourself crazy if you worry about it too much. Its not worth it. Try and take care of it, but let it age. In 3 or 4 or 5 years, you will replace it, the GX7 will be your cheap kit that you throw in the glove box when you want a camera but don't want to risk your precious GX11, and you will marvel at the abuse it takes while still delivering results.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Oh the humanity. I remember the first time I scratched my Harley...I just rode it harder the next time.

    Now get out and go shoot.
  17. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012
    Thanks for the input guys, I have been enjoying the camera and taking it out since I got it. Been in out in the rain, took it on a light hike, night market then at flower markets with lots of crowds where I knocked it against someone else's camera.
    Apart from the discomfort of having to squint into the viewfinder so hard, I'm enjoying my GX7 experience so far.

    You're absolutely right. Hopefully that GX11 will have better paint and a flip out screen rather than a bulky articulating one!

    Last time I scratched a bike it didn't make me go out and ride more, quite the opposite when you end up damaging a borrowed bike and having to pay for someone else's car side mirror to get fixed :) As long as the scratches don't get bigger I'll be happy shooting with this body for some time.

    I'm glad at least there's a positive to having these scratches on my camera. I do constantly worry and lose sleep over if people think I'm a pussy for having a pristine and well cared for camera body:)

    As mentioned in my original post it's not the scratch that bothers me it's the sudden, seemingly unexplained appearance of the scratches and the difficulty in narrowing down the cause.

    I've been home resting the past two days I've barely even touched my camera except to pick it up and take about a dozen pictures outside my window, and the smaller scratch from the picture I took the other day has gotten a little bigger.


    I haven't been carrying it around on my shoulder, or slipping it in and out of that old worn nylon bag.

    Maybe it's my sweaty palms causing the paint to scratch off like this. Sometimes when I pick it up the strap gets caught between my hand and the body, that could be it, especially if the scratches were already there and painted over to begin with. The rest of the paint on the body seems good, I even slid the plastic strap fasteners over the bottom plate to see if they would leave marks which they don't.
  18. EricRose

    EricRose Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2014
    The upper 12
    Eric Rose
    I'm glad you have a sense of humour.