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Pen-F vs GX8

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by oldracer, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I like my GX7s a lot, but sorely miss the fully articulated LCD. The GX8 offers this and a lot of other neat stuff, but at a significant size penalty. I've been expecting to bite the bullet on size and switch at least one of my two GX7s for a GX8 prior to some July/August traveling this year.

    But now ... back on the fence. Here is an attempt at an apples/apples size comparison between the Pen-F (which appears to have my articulated LCD) and the GX8. I tried to size the two images so that the silver lens mounting rings were the same size. I'm probably off a few pixels but overall it looks like the Pen-F is about 10% narrower than the GX8 and about 10% shorter. It'll be not as thick, too, but that is probably because it has a smaller battery/less capacity. That would not be a plus for me. I liked the bigger battery space in the GX8.

    We'll see .....
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  2. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Seoul, South Korea
    I'm also considering both of these as potential upgrades to my GX7. I've been a fan of the Panny's for a while now, but given how little I actually do video, I've decided to wait for user reviews and IQ results to compare both. Who knows, I might go oly for my next cam.
  3. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    I guess we can't really compare them properly until the pen-f is released. At the moment, a lot would be just speculation
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    True enough, but my first question was size. IMHO we are suffering from feature bloat and spec overload in these cameras, so I wouldn't expect that any new tricks that the PEN-F offers up to be interesting enough on their own to make me switch. Mostly it's about size for me. I am very happy with the size of my GX7s.

    But now .... 43 Rumors has a visual comparison that makes the PEN-F look smaller than the GX7. My quandary gets worse: "How small is too small?" This is particularly relevant because I am thinking about getting the 100-400mm for a July trip to Tanzania for the great migration. I'm very comfortable with the 100-300mm on my GX7s right now, but bigger lens, smaller body ... ?!!?? I dunno.
  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I would think that you would want the GX8 for dual sync with 100-400mm.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I think we are at or past the point of diminishing returns on this kind of stuff. The problem with all of this VR stuff is that there is no practical way to test much beyond whether, in gross terms, it seems to work or not. Reviewers don't wobble in an identical fashion from shot to shot and wobble is not the same from reviewer to reviewer. Confirmation Bias is IMO huge. I shot the 100-300mm quite satisfactorily on a G1 on my last trip to southern Africa four or five years ago. So it's not something that I lose sleep over.

    The only way to actually test the VR stuff would be to do all the camera/lens tests on the same model shaker table, shooting the same size targets, using the same sequence of table movement commands. The commands would have to emulate real-world camera shake, so you would first have to instrument a statistically significant number of shooters and crunch all that data down to find a representative sample to make a standard table command dataset. All this may not be technically hard to do if a shaker table with appropriate motion capability exists, but it is going to be astronomically expensive. So basically we are left with the status quo: manufacturers' puffery, folklore, and oral tradition.

    I think it is telling that the manufacturers are not describing their VR test methods and test results in detail. My guess is that the testing is pretty rudimentary, probably with periodic (even sinusoidal) vibration inputs, and that they would be ashamed to show it.

    Edit 1/23/16: Much to my surprise, I just discovered that the Japanese "Camera and Imaging Products Association" (CIPA) has actually done pretty much what I thought (above) to be impossible. The have a spec for evaluating VR systems on a shaker table programmed with movements based on actual data from instrumented cameras/photographers. One interesting thing from the spec is that they only test in pitch and yaw, saying that their studies say that other motion is negligible and hence not worth including in the test protocol.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Fortunately, we never do any of that on this forum.:p 
    When I looked at 43rumors, the Pen F looks a little bigger than the GX7. If anything, the GX7 is just shifted a bit.

    Size comparison: PEN-F vs GX7 vs OMD | 43 Rumors
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  8. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Yes, thanks for that. I think you're right. It looks like the 43rumors photos have the camera pairs overlaid so that the lens mounts are on top of one another. I misinterpreted the photo. If I imagine a shift where the bottoms and left edges line up, it looks like the two are very close to the same size. Oh, well. We'll have the dimensions and lots more in about a week so then we'll know.
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I had the gx7 and it was a nice size with the 20. The F would be great with a few WR pancakes.
  10. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Your thoughts on size got me to thinking... When I eventually upgrade I think the GX8 with be the one unless I wait for a GX9-10. (My bias is to stay with Panasonic for best lens/software performance, menus, familiarity, etc.)

    But since I've already skipped one generation, the GX7, the GX8 is much larger than my GX1 tools, which are admittedly on the small side, both part of their appeal and sometimes a challenge in-use. A GX8 will likely be much better for most work uses, not so good when a compact lens and/or no LVF2 is mounted as a grab-and-go kit. As the saying goes, size matters sometimes.
  11. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    If someone is going to get the PL 100-400, then DFD would be the key. I already have the Gx8 and I am shortly ordering the 100-400 with another Gx8. Dual IS and DFD is just too useful not to have. Also I am a big 4k user, and I would be amazed if the PenF had IBIS and 4K video....but we shall soon Know.
  12. kadamnation

    kadamnation Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2013
    Boston, MA
    I did a size comparison as well on the "new pens?" thread, and based purely on mount size in the leaked images, the GX7 and the Pen F look to be almost identical in size. If anything the Pen will be slightly less deep, due to a less-protruding EVF eye cup and no front grip bump. As a GX7 fan—I'm over 19k shutter count and it's in the shop from over-use, rather than damage—I'm assuming the Pen F would be a closer match for my tastes than the larger GX8, but it might need the add-on grip or a half case to feel the same in the hand.

    On the other hand I originally came to the GX7 because I'd "upgraded" from my broken GX1 to an E-M5, but couldn't get along with the menus and dials so I went back to the GX series... So maybe the GX8 will end up being a better fit for one or both of us!

    If your GX7 is doing Ok, and there's nothing specific about either camera you truly lack (weather sealing e.g.), I'd say stick with the GX7 for a while. I hope mine comes back from repair soon, it's a helluva little. camera.
  13. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    If I'm to guess, wouldn't the Pen-f have on-chip PDAF?
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Legend

    Mar 21, 2014
    I like the size of the PEN F as it's mocked up now, given that I have the GX7 now. But I also use a hot-shoe thumb grip with my GX7. Without that grip, I don't love the ergonomics. The GX8 feels almost exactly the same in-hand as my GX7 + thumb grip. So that's an interesting aspect of the give and taken. I could enjoy the GX8 all by itself, and actually have the use of the hotshoe for once on a camera...

    What I don't like about the PEN F image is how central the lens mount is. It looks like a lot of wasted space on the right, and very little room to put your fingers, especially with any larger lens. The fact that it has no grip at all - not even a small but effective one like on the GX1 or E-PL7 - is also a disappointment. I know there's the add-on base plate grip, but it looks like then you'll have a camera as big as the GX8 but without the integral ergonomics and larger battery.

    All compromises everywhere, it's whichever one you can tolerate in the end...
  15. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Only one of those two cameras as shown looks like it can be properly held in the hand. The other looks usable, and suited, only to light and short-FL lenses. And a silly little glue-on grip won't change that to any great extent.

    P.S. I think your Lumix scaling is about 5% over-size.
  16. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Time will tell. I want to hold both. The GX7 is fine for me with the 100-300mm and some grip tape on the front; it doesn't look like it has much grip difference compared to the gripped Pen-F. Agree re glue-on but the Pen-F grip (from one muddy picture) looks like it attaches to the base plate and adds an Arca-Swiss bevel. So ... maybe.
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  17. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    My GX7 is very comfortable with the 100-300. Nearly all the weight is taken in the left hand. But the image you supplied looks particularly deficient. It's the 'middle' lenses like my 1240PRO or the 7-14PRO that make me worry. The new model looks like it is made with small primes in mind, like 17, 25, 45 1.8's.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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