New GX1 EVF Non-Compatible With Older Bodies?

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Biro, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Steve is reporting a rumor that the new, high-resolution EVF for the upcoming GX1 camera won't be compatible with older :43: bodies like the GF1 and GF2.

    43 Rumors | Blog | (FT3) Next bad news? New Panasonic DMW-LVF2 will not work on current GF cameras.

    Now, of course, it's only a rumor but it has me thinking. I’ve owned a number of micro four-thirds cameras over the past few years: E-PL1, G1, GF1 and G2. Over time, I gradually decided I’d largely be sticking with the Panasonic side of the system.

    But I recently picked up an E-PM1, which now replaces all of my smaller cameras, like the LX3 and any point-and-shoot. I thought this would remain my only Olympus micro four-thirds camera, as I have a G3 on order from Pansonic Direct. But the G3 (body only) has been backordered for three months and now we’re hearing about compatibility issues with the latest Panasonic viewfinders and lenses (I don't know of this last point is true. I'm referring to X lenses and older bodies. Perhaps a firmware update would solve that - if the rumor is true.).

    Granted, none of this would effect a G3 (if I ever get it). But I’m beginning to wonder if it might be better idea to just get an E-P3. At least it can use all of my Lumix lenses (14-45, 40-200, 100-300, 14 and 20). I just picked up the Oly 45 (fantastic lens) and the E-PM1 came with the Oly 14-42.

    Assuming the rumor is correct, would it alter anyone else's buying decisions?

    EDIT: If Amin thinks this post should be moved elsewhere, that's fine. I thought it should go here because it's rumor based.
  2. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    That would be disappointing but not altogether surprising. I would love to continue to use my GF1 with a better viewfinder than the LVF-1. I was okay with it until I bought the E-PL2 and the VF2; that spoiled me.

    But that may be part of Panasonic's strategy: create strong(er) incentives for the GF1 user to upgrade to the GX1. Doubt it will work for me, but then we haven't seen/heard what the GX1 is really all about.
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Huh, maybe the previous bodies don't have enough processing power to drive the higher resolution EVF, or the bandwidth requires a different connector.
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's nice that all Pens use the same battery and can share the VF-2/3. I don't know why people want a built in VF in their Pens?
  5. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    The rumors seem to hint that the issue is the Panasonic EVF connector. The old one may not be able to handle the bandwidth and higher refresh rate. I think it would be reasonable to ask that Pansonic allow the new EVF to be used on older bodies - even if it defaulted to a lower resolution on the GF1 and GF2.

    But I would take all of this back if Panasonic's new EVF could also be used on Olympus micro four-thirds cameras. That would be a tradeoff worth making. I think accessory compatibility, similar to lenses, would go a long way toward solidifying micro four thirds as the mirrorless system of choice for many.
  6. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I am with you on the VF - I thought I wanted a built-in VF, but I just don't use my VF-2 at all.

    I really appreciate the fact that the Oly's use the same battery. I have 3 different Panasonic chargers and batteries around here from a LX3 and a couple P&S cameras purchased within a year or two of each other. Annoying.
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Real Name:
    It's disappointing if the new EVF does not work with older bodies. Obviously, Pany wants people to upgrade their camera bodies.

    As to batteries, it's a huge revenue source for Pany. Hence the changes all the time.
  8. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    If the new EVF will not be compatible with the old GF series, this will be a good reason to keep my GF1 and not go to the GX1; I totally disagree with these marketing strategies and if Panasonic will still take my money, I doubt that they will in this way.... :mad:
  9. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    ....just like Olympus with their lens hoods.... nothing riles me more than paying over the odds for a $2 hood that should have been supplied, especially with the pricier lenses.

    I know alternatives are available, but they're usually generic and not designed for the lens in question, so of dubious use.

    The Panny EVF thing? Maybe it's just not technically possible to make it backwards compatible?
  10. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Sharing one type of battery/charger/evf inspires loyalty and encourages me to upgrade up the model line. Change up too much crap, and I start considering alternatives.

    Olympus may not be keeping up with the Joneses on ergonomics and megapixels per camera, but they're doing something right with the PEN line.
  11. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I agree that this really may not be a marketing strategy by Panasonic - the two VFs sound as if they are drastically different in resolution and refresh rate(?), which should mean there are big differences in processing power required. I will at least give them the benefit of the doubt until the specs are official.

    The lack of bundled hoods with high-priced lenses (hello, Oly!) drives me nuts, especially, when they are sold separately at 90% margin. I mean, I understand making a bit more on accessories, but really, $100 for a small piece of metal? :roll eyes:
  12. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    The VF incompatibility does not really surprise me, for two reasons. First, I think that it's likely the connection can't handle the bandwidth. Second, Panasonic doesn't appear to plan strategically with their designs. When the Gf1 came out it was a choice not to develop a high-res VF: their were no technical limitations. A true interest in evolving products would have allowed for this and provided more bandwidth in the connection.

    Anyway, disappointing, but no surprise. To me it's more disappointing that the VF is not built-in.
  13. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Panasonic doesn't understand what a system means. They chose to not make the firmware upgrades available for the older models, and now they're making accessories not compatible. Dumb. Really, really dumb.
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This is the exact thought that came to my mind when I was still on Page 1 of this thread. ;) A system requires compatible parts, and that includes lenses, lights, accessories, etc. Olympus understands that well, and makes their entire system modular and cross-compatible.
  15. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    I think it's fair for them to upgrade an interface on a camera 3 generations newer than the one in question. It's not like they're changing it on every iteration. Some aspects of the technology need to be upgraded from time to time to make progress.
  16. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    They are compatible, but they just miss some of the latest features like viewing the focal length on screen or adjusting the variable zoom speeds/steps. It's not like it doesn't function. I wouldn't expect Panasonic to really put too much effort into back porting it either. I'm fine with that, so long as it functions. That's not to say they shouldn't try their damnedest to do what they can.

    As for the VF, oly came out w/ the high res one first, easy to go backwards than forward. So it's not surprising it won't be compatible. I'd be surprised if it was honestly. I suspect not future proofing the port for bandwidth was a cost savings measure.

    Panasonic's battery choices seem to fall on how much smaller they can make the camera sadly. I really wish they stuck to maybe 2 different types at this point, but there's like a billion.

    And I'd want a built in VF so I could have the hotshoe free for a flash/trigger =)
  17. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    :biggrin: I wonder what the odds are at "Vegas" that the battery will be different than all other "F" series Pannies. :biggrin: :biggrin:
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    True, but the biggest problem with not having a VF is shooting in bright sunlight. Shooting in a controlled environment with lighting doesn't require a VF. If you prefer a VF then it is certainly an advantage at any time, but it's not hard to get by without one when using flash if you have an EVF you can mount on sunny days when you're not using flash.
  19. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    My biggest problem with not using a VF is that I look like a chimp, feel like an idiot, and don't think there's any connection between myself and the scene in front of me with the camera at arms length!!
  20. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    I agree with this 100%. Ned is right that the biggest practical problem with the lack of a VF is shooting in bright sunlight. But, generally, one can get by without one. But the intangibles, like those referred to above, are the problem for me.