Panasonic GM5 + 12-32, or LX100, or Sony RX100mk3

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dhazeghi, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Looking for something that I'm not going to think twice about carrying with me in a coat pocket (or car glove box). My priorities (in order of importance) are:

    Good EVF.
    Quality in good light.
    Quality in low light.

    The main options I'm looking at are the Panasonic GM5 and 12-32 kit lens, along with my existing 20/1.7 pancake, the Panasonic LX100 and the Sony RX100m3. The camera isn't my primary 'serious' camera, so interchangeable lenses isn't all that important. I've been making do with an E-PM2, VF2 and Panasonic 14-42 II, and while the quality is good, the portability is not, which means it doesn't get used a whole lot.

    I'm sort of leaning toward the GM5 kit, but it's the largest of the three, and the results I've seen from the 12-32 haven't really wowed me. I've also heard less than flattering things about the EVF.

    The LX100 by contrast seems to be excellent in the quality and EVF department, and quite a bit better in terms of portability, but the delay of waiting for the zoom to extend when turning the camera on and off is something I'm worried about. My cameras are always off unless I'm in the process of shooting them, so a 2 second delay turning it on (or off) would be rather frustrating. A manually-coupled zoom ring would have been ideal.

    The RX100m3 has the portability aspect strongly in its favor, but low light performance is rather concerning, and even the good light performance looks to be a big step down from the other options.

    Any thoughts or recommendations? Thanks.
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'd go with the LX100 without too much hesitation given your criteria. I have used it and the GX7 with 12-32 and 20/1.7. While the 20/1.7 is better than the LX100, the 12-32 is not, imo. As for the zoom delay, it bothered me less than having to open up the 12-32 to use it. I have to believe the user experience with the LX100 is a step up from the G5 as well, but I've never used the G so that is speculation on my part.

    If you really want to go off the farm consider an A6000 + 16-50 zoom.
  3. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I think you've summed up the major differences between the cameras very well, Dara. Have you handled them in person? If you're in Davis you're not exactly in the sticks. Try to get to a camera store and play with the cameras. Turn the LX100 on and off and determine if the lens response speed is really a problem. Are the EVF units in the GM5 and LX100 really different? I'll say this: I was in the same position as you a couple of months ago and I finally went with the LX100. Price was a factor for me. My company is a part of Panasonic's EPP program and I ordered my camera for $674.
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Honestly, the LX100 is pretty difficult to resist given those criteria. In my mind, it's even an appropriate replacement for the 12-35 or 12-40/2.8 given its price point (which will undoubtedly come down), giving a spare body that's almost the same size, price, and capabilities as the lens itself (plus 4K!).

    I do think the GM5 + 20mm is a really tempting combo though, especially since you already own it.

    RX100 would be difficult for me personally to justify, since it's not particularly comfortable to actually put in a pocket. I'd probably prefer a high quality camera phone like a Lumia 1020 to the RX100.
  5. darrellc

    darrellc Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    I have RX100ii, GM1 and looked at all three of your candidates In person as I also want a portable camera with EVF.

    I decided not to get the RX100v3 as I find it poor from a usability and responsiveness perspective. I had the v1 as well but I've never enjoyed the experience of using the cameras. I also don't find the low light performance very good and despite 20mp, I just find the files not on par with the GM1. But the are certainly the best IQ/size option so if that trumps other considerations...

    I really like the LX100 from a usability perspective but I really miss the touchscreen of my GM1 and GH4, I don't care for the power zoom, and I didn't like the fact you're at f2.8 by 50mm equivalent.

    I bought the GM5 as the VF is good enough (tiny but functional enough), I can pair with my PL15 and 45/1.8 for a tiny package with fast high quality lenses, I can carry as a backup to my GH4 when traveling or as a compact tele solution with the 35-100 when I choose to travel with my Sony A7 FF kit (I won't carry a FF 70-200 2.8 or 4). Just more flexible and a tiny package with a small prime (or the kit zoom if you're ok with slow zooms).
  6. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Got the LX100 myself and I think it fits your criteria perfectly TBH. The time it takes for the zoom to come out really isn't that long but if your splitting hairs and it matters that much you should try and check it out in person. I can time if you like and report back how long exactly it takes for the zoom to come out when turning the camera on.
  7. shermanshen

    shermanshen Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 28, 2014
    I know this camera doesn't necessarily fit your second priority, but I was in the same boat as you and I opted for the Ricoh GR (my other options were getting a small m43 lens or rx100 iii). No EVF, but very responsive and excellent image quality. No zoom, but you can shoot in crop mode, giving a 35mm fov (and I believe a 10 megapixel image) Low light is good because ISO 6400 looks better than my GX7 at ISO 3200 so you can push up the ISO to account for the f2.8 disadvantage. Portability is its biggest asset because even though it is wider than the RX100, it is a bit slimmer and the lens is flush with the grip. This makes it feel more natural in the pocket. One last thing I like about this camera is the fact that to the average person, it looks quite like an ordinary point and shoot. You can go relatively unnoticed when street shooting. I have had a lot of fun shooting with this camera and the image quality is top notch.
  8. Serhan

    Serhan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 7, 2011
    I have gm1 and had Rx 100. After I got GM1, I used RX100 less and finally RX100 also stopped working last summer. I love gm1 with the primes. The kit lens is good in good light, but too slow in the darker environment. It doesn't match the f2.8 zooms, but it is very small pancake lens size to have it with you. So if you are going to use it with primes, gm5 might be the best option, since you combine the best of 2 sides. I think performance wise it is not different then using your em2, but the silent option is in 10 bits, so you loose like half a stop compared to epm2. Also the evf is the smallest of all these 3, since I was checking to see if it is worthwhile to upgrade gm1. Similarly flash speed is the worst...

    Last fall to new years, I tried Canon g7x, LX100 and ended with a used RX100 III again. Canon G7X is very nice camera, but it had some backfocus issues and also too soft for close shots and a corrected fisheye at the wide end, but it has the best range. LX100 is a very good camera, but 12MP crop and a decent lens makes its IQ not better then the gx7/rx100. LX100 has a faster lens eg 1-2 stop better then the other options, but my Oly 25mm 1.8 has better corners wide open then what I got from LX100. Both g7x and LX100 had misaligned lenses, gx7 was half the frame, LX100 has it at the right edge. My problem with LX100 was its min shutter set up which pushes to 1/6sec before the auto iso goes above 1600. Size wise it competes with eg Pana GX7, same evf/af speed. etc so at the end it is btw 2 worlds for me, not a P&S and not a M43 cam to use all the time... 12MP was very good close up shots, eg family, pets, flowers but I felt maybe not enough for landscape use... You can check the dpreview samples...

    RX100 III is not the best of anything, but it is like the Swiss knife, eg fits in a pocket with a decent af/evf/nd filter with a 2.8 zoom with comparable high ISO to Lx100... Its lens is 1 stop faster then the gm5 kit lens. You can check dxo comparison, Sony sensor is close to m43, eg near LX100 in high iso, beats gm5 dyn range etc. I bought a used ver III at a good price from KEH with 10% discount. I think all of these 3 cameras are overpriced, since there is not much competition in their category... Here is the DXO comparison
    dxo comparison of lx100 vs RX100 III vs gm5

    I think everybody's take/preferences on these might be different, but I wanted a zoom camera for daily use eg when I don't need to carry evf, nd filter, with IS, etc. That kept me going to Nikon A/Ricog GR which both has better IQ but not the responsiveness, IS, evf, etc... I most probably will get gm5 at one point, but again not to replace RX100 III, but use it with the PL15, Oly 25/45 primes...

    Here is Robin's gm1 review, which has the same sensor as gm5:
    Close Encounter with Panasonic GM1, the Tiniest Micro Four Thirds Camera
  9. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I finally got to tolerate and sort of like GX7 viewfinder, but it's the smallest that I still find OK. LX100's EVF is a tiny bit smaller . A disappointment to me - a larger finder , like Sony NEX models would've made it a total triumph. GM5 EVF is smaller still. I don't know if I would use it much.
    I think I would go with GM5 to take advantage of your m43 lenses. LX100 and RX100 are both great, but I think better choice for people who don't have any investment in any particular system and want to stop there. Or, if you have lots of cash :smile: then you should just get everything and let use know how they compare :biggrin:
  10. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    2 seconds isn't that long.
  11. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    a nice smartphone is my pocketrocket solution. Its nice to edit on the go. but that's me :)

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Mu-43 mobile app
  12. hankbaskett

    hankbaskett Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    Have you considered an x100/s/t? That's my go-to jacket pocket camera. Perhaps a zoom lens is one of your criteria?

    I tend to agree about the rx100, I picked up a qx100 on the cheap last week (same sensor/lens), and it's more of a step down in IQ than I would have guessed from the rave reviews, although it beats the heck out of a cell phone.
  13. shermanshen

    shermanshen Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 28, 2014
    I don't know if you've tried the add on eyecup, but it makes a world of difference. I feel the same as you, the gx7's evf is nice and high resolution, but it seems tiny and doesn't block out that much light (especially when wearing glasses). The extra eyecup changes that completely and makes the evf appear much larger and more useable.
    • Like Like x 1
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