Love at first sight ... Panasonic Lumix GX-7

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by L0n3Gr3yW0lf, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jul 31, 2013
    Romania
    Ovidiu
    After a long time I managed to upgrade from the, almost antique, Panasonic Lumix G1 to a very little used, bought in February 2015 for 450 $ Panasonic Lumix GX-7. I pay 360 $ (with shipping) 3 days ago.

    When I got it in my hands it became love at first sight, I never seen a more sexy camera in my life. And I couldn't wait to get to test it. And yesterday I got to do that a little, the pictures I got to take are mostly closeup of flowers though. What I learned so far, about the camera:

    + Ergonomics: Very solid build quality, feels a lot better then the old G1 (even though I never had problems with the G1 on that side except for one small problem), the grip feels so good (and better then G1 because the texture feels better even though the grip is smaller, the G1 texture is so low quality that it rubs off at the smallest scratch and becomes shiny slippery plastic). The tilting screen works great and looks awesome, same with the EVF and the number of buttons and costume Functions is incredible (for me) and even a bit scary (at first).

    - Ergonomics: I find it hard to change lenses because the release mount is so close to the edge of the camera and it makes it feel like the camera will slip out of my hands and when I try to grip and release the lens I always touch the screen with my fingers, I need to find a balanced way of changing the lenses and get used to it. The screen doesn't come out when shooting upright (like G1) so I will have to get used to that limitation, I do shoot vertical often. I wish there was a dedicate control (that can be assigned) to ISO as there are 3 dials (I would have liked the push dial to activate ISO control in Aperture Mode for example) but no one but Fujifilm (XT-1) offer direct ISO control (and I never understood why because it feels like ISO is more useful and more used then EV Comp). The dials do turn a bit hard but I guess they will loosen up a bit more with time and it makes it less likely to turn by accident.

    + Features: Peaking is so nice to have and it makes manual focus so easy and a joy, and I don't take so many pictures because of it (with G1 I usually take 3-5 shots and check later which one has better focus). IBIS looks useful when the lens doesn't have it, I didn't get to test it much though.

    - Features: The biggest disappointment so far with this camera is the thing that I love the most too: Focus Peaking. I love shooting with legacy lenses. But I noticed almost half the time Focus Peaking doesn't show up when you want it, there where a lot of times where there was not contrast highlights where you want to put the focus (and not before or after that point too). I tried changing the sensitivity and the color but still the same. It's very frustrating. When it works it's brilliant, when it doesn't it feels like using the G1 again (well maybe not exactly because the screen is higher resolution and the magnification box is a lot better, but still). And it's not a problem of high enough contrast because there was contrast, enough that I could see the sharpness. Weird.


    But enough with my ranting, I still love the camera and there are still a lot I need to learn and test. and I will get that chance today as I will go to an Air Show. To bad I only have the Panasonic 14-42mm f 3.5-5.6 kit lens (and the only AF lens) and the longest lens I have is a M42 Revuenon 50mm f 1.8. I will post bellow a few of the I made yesterday, they are edited in Lightroom to my liking.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jul 31, 2013
    Romania
    Ovidiu
    Taken in RAW format and edited in Lightroom and exported to JPEG. Lens: Revuenon 50mm f 1.8 M42 mount. P1420997. P1430003. P1430046. P1430049. P1430053. P1430076. P1430098. P1430100. P1430175.
     
    • Like Like x 12
  3. jjpistols

    jjpistols Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Jan 12, 2014
    Austin Texas y'all
    Very nice flowers, and don't mess with that cat! Enjoy the new camera!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. CameraNoob

    CameraNoob Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Aug 22, 2014
    Atlanta
    Very nice.

    Enjoy the camera. Here are some flowers I took with the GX7 and Oly 45 1.8 uploadfromtaptalk1437549439059.

    uploadfromtaptalk1437549185238.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Glad you're enjoying your new tool. I made exactly the same upgrade a couple of years ago, from a pair of G1s to a pair of GX7s, and have never regretted it.

    Two things I found, though: Battery life in the GX7 is much reduced compared to the G1. If you used to carry one spare battery, plan on carrying two. The villain is the smaller grip, which doesn't have room for an adequate battery. As you said, I also miss the articulated EVF because I can't shoot portrait/vertical shots from a low angle unless I am willing to lie in the dirt. For these two reasons I was planning to upgrade to the GX8 based on the features list. I'm now rethinking that, though, because it is such a monster. I'll wait to actually handle one before deciding.

    Re "a balanced way of changing the lenses", I am a huge believer in double back caps. Been using them for decades. If you search here for my posts on the subject you can see how they work.

    Re focus it's the nature of the beast. A contrast-detect AF system needs some contrast to detect. Not really Panny's fault. You just didn't see it on the G1 because the peaking wasn't there to make it obvious.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Nice shots! I like the way you process with very little noise reduction, I'm the same way. The natural grain on M4/3 cameras is actually quite pleasant when you don't try to smudge it away with NR, in my humble opinion.

    Perfect timing on the hissing cat...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jul 31, 2013
    Romania
    Ovidiu
    Thanks for your reply. So far I don't mind the battery life, I got a spare, (I was used to getting over 500 shots with G1/G2) and what I love about the battery placement in the grip is that you have access to it even on the tripod (which most mirrorless don't allow you). And what luck (good or bad I can't tell right now) has it that the day I GX7 arrive the GX8 was announced and even though I do lust for one, I wont deny that, I love GX7 so much that I'm not in a hurry to replace it (and the lack of funds too).

    What I meant about "a balanced way of changing the lenses" was that if I hold the release lens button with my left hand and take off the lens with my right hand there is to little space to keep the camera with my left hand stable or even in my hand. It was the way I got used to changing lenses with the G1. The GX7 has the lens mount more to the right side of the camera (facing the GX7 towards you) and the lens release button right at the edge. I will just have to get used to holding the camera by the grip with my right hand and use my (clumsy) left hand to release the lens and take it off.

    I did had a lot of missed focus and opportunities because my eye didn't see the natural outline of DOF or my finger wasn't fast enough and in sync with my eye. Its one of the biggest reasons I went for GX7, so that I will lesson those moments, and it did work to some extend (maybe I was hoping to much into thinking it will solve the problem completely). There are some moments when my eye does see the DOF outline (the sharp region) very clearly but Focus Peaking didn't activate or was very faint. Maybe I'm expecting to much, maybe in the future the amount of contrast needed for Focus Peaking (and AF) will be lower for the camera to "see" better.
     
  8. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jul 31, 2013
    Romania
    Ovidiu
    Thank you for your kind words. At first I was very annoyed by the amount of grain I would get even with the slightest of sharpening in Lightroom, even at ISO 100. But I got used to it over time as I prefer a sharp(er) image more then a noisy one. No I think it became a fact of life for me (even though I would still love no grain at ISO 100 with +50 to +75 in Lightroom).

    The moment with the cat was caught in a burst and I was lucky that I got the focus point right where it was needed, with the help of Focus Peaking of course.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Accidental pocket post, oops!
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  10. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jul 31, 2013
    Romania
    Ovidiu
    So after getting back from the Air Show with 1300 images, mostly because of shooting in burst mode, I learned a few things and limitations, mostly on my behalf:

    1) Class 4 Micro SD Card is not fast enough for RAW burst, need a new and faster memory card
    2) An old 50mm f 1.8 lens is not long enough for most shots of such small subjects at such large distances
    3) Even at f 8 and focus set at infinity Focus Peaking is not very accurate, that or either the lens is to soft even at such large aperture
    4) GX-7 is NOT weather sealed (just nice of the weather to rub it in my face that I went for Panasonic instead of Olympus E-M5 with a very cold rain)

    Now all of the above is just user's fault so I still love this camera. The build quality was so nice to have in hand all they long, and the matching all metal M42 - M4/3 adapter and Revuenon 50mm f 1.8 made old school. The high resolution tilting screen worked great, and I even got to use the EVF tilted a few times, very weird feeling so I still need to learn and get used to that. Battery life was great, after 1300 shots I still had one bar left on the second battery. The button placement is pretty good, still need to get used to them as I did get lost on what to push, but every thing was easy to get too.

    One thing that I found very strange and even scary at first. Out of habit (of saving the highlights from the exposure) I underexpose the images by 1/3 of a stop but after I imported the in Lightroom the images was darker then I expected, they looked like almost one full stop underexposed. I will try to see what is that about.

    I will post bellow a few of the images from the Military Air Show, edited in Lightroom to my liking.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jul 31, 2013
    Romania
    Ovidiu
  12. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Jul 31, 2013
    Romania
    Ovidiu
    P1440734. P1440957. P1450653_stitch. P1450466. P1450765_stitch. P1450993_stitch. P1460121. P1450430. P1450947. P1450375. Update:
    After a couple of months with the camera I am definitely in love with it, the ergonomics are excellent, the handling is great, the image quality is very good. I even got an Yashica C/Y adapter and a Yashica DSB 28mm f 2.8 (great lens) and Yashica ML 50mm f 2 (incredible lens, best I ever owned) and I love the combo with them. Focus Peaking shows 99% of the time with the 50mm on and its very intense effect most of the time. And with the 28mm I got even 1/8th of a second sharp image thanks to the IBIS. Here are some of the images I took in the last 2 months:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Greg
    Very nice photos from some nice old lenses. I just got a GX7 and I'm learning the ins and outs. I agree about the manual focus. I have a few old lenses that were, before the GX7, just a curiosity. Focus zoom and peaking with IBIS makes them very useful!