Reasons to change from a GF1

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by photographworks, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. photographworks

    photographworks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Congratulations to Amin for his featured review of the Canon EOS-M on The Online Photographer.

    It has prompted me to get some feedback from users here on trading in my GF1 for a GX1 (that Amin mentions in the article) or maybe something else.

    The only lens I have ever had for the GF1 is the Panasonic 20mm lens and I have swung from liking the camera to disliking it to liking, to disliking it.

    I put my reasons both ways in an article on my site at PhotographWorks, but if I had to name one thing that I am unhappy with about the camera is that the images lack 'punch'.

    I tweak them, of course - but they are just not what I really want from an image straight out of the camera.

    Maybe it is me, although I seem to recall reading on DPReview ages ago something along the same lines about the images lacking punch, in the opinion of the reviewer.

    So - what do you think of the GF1? Is the GX1 better? I am not wedded to Panasonic (except that I think the build quality is excellent) but moving to something else has to be worth the move.
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  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    The GX1 is a pretty excellent body, but it would seem like you may get more satisfaction out of a new lens. Have you checked out the Panasonic-Leica 25mm image thread here? I mention the lens because many here prefer the rendering versus the 20/1.7, which some say can be a bit sterile.
  3. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    I would agree with Kyle here in the sense that maybe some new glass would give good perspective on what you have now. I've seen some GF1 pictures lately that are pretty stunning.

    That being said I think most people that have moved from the GF1 to the GX1 have been very happy. You will get much better performance out of the new body in dynamic range, ISO, AF speed, etc. I see from your site that you have the EVF-1 the new EVF-2 has much better resolution and is quite a joy to use.

    Your gripe about the switching when viewing images between the LCD and EVF has been resolved, if I understand you correctly. You can review images directly in the EVF or directly in the screen. There is even a menu option to review images only on the screen, with no buttons needing to be pressed. No eye sensor, however, so you still have to switch with a button located on the bottom part of the EVF.

    The GX1 was my first m4/3 camera but I find the menu operation to be really easy to use and I'm not often pressing things I don't want to press. Compared to the OM-D it is a breeze to set-up and learn. I suspect it would be even easier for you coming from the GF1.
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  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    My G3 is a better camera in EVERY way, but it doesn't elicit the emotional response my GF1 did ...
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  5. LeicaLook

    LeicaLook New to Mu-43

    Jul 23, 2012
    Los Angeles
    That's interesting. Is it the way the GF1 is designed? It looks like the right proportions for a camera. Maybe it's because I've been conditioned over the years, but the size and shape of the body in relation to the lens size and position seems right. I like the look of the GF1 a lot. GF3, not so much.
  6. photographworks

    photographworks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Krugorg - Thanks for the recommendation about the 25mm Panasonic-Leica. I hadn't thought about how the lens might render the image. I put it down to the processing engine.

    LeicaLook - Thanks for the comment on my site. I'll give the Photoshop Action a go.

    Danska - Yes, that's what I meant - about being able to set the review to show on the LCD. Good to see that implemented on the GX1. Must take a look through a LVF2 viewfinder on the GX1.
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I don't know. Perhaps it's because it was my first "real" camera, and the adventure of buying it in Korea. Perhaps it's the black and white "stormtrooper" looks (as opposed to the white and silver G3). Perhaps it feels (and looks) like a solid brick. I don't know, but something about it just resonates with me, against much logic.
  8. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    I agree! Can't let go of my GF1, even though I use it only rarely now.
  9. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    GX1 hits the spot

    I replaced my GF1 for the GX1 at Christmas time and did consider the G3 but wanted a smaller footprint camera to carry.

    I am delighted with the build & IQ of the GX1 and used it as my primary camera on a trip to India earlier this year (in place of X100 I took with me ), it performed in a faultless manner but due to bright sunlight, I did need to used the LVf2 that is a worthy addition and quick to fit/remove as well as being equal to the EVF on the G3.

    The GX1 is a little bit smaller than the GF1 but to me feels more solid and better made with a nice tactile feel and metal buttons on the rear.

    The touch screen is something I use very rarely but it does have advantages for quickly changing point of focus when shooting.

    The GX1+PanaLeica 25mm f1.4 combo is amazing (changed 20mm for 25mm as I wanted AFC facility that 20mm did not offer), yes the lens is bigger and more expensive but the IQ it delivers in combo with the GX1 is stunning with a lovely bokeh and rich creamy colours - I have no regrets at all for swapping GF1+20 for GX1+25 (the LVF2 is a great viewfinder as wellfor eye level work).



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  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Let's get back to basics. Define punch.

    Are you talking about muted colors, lack of contrast, lack of sharpness, or something else? Or some combination of the above?

    What settings are you using on the camera? Jpeg or raw? If jpeg, what choices for film mode, sharpening, contrast, etc.? If raw, how are you processing your images?

    The simple truth is that the 20mm 1.7 pictured (if that's what you're actually using) is an excellent lens, and buying a 25mm isn't going to solve your problems.

    I just glanced at the images on your blog. The shots with the person in front of the window lack contrast because the background is overexposed, and causing general, overall flare that makes the entire image flat. No lens will solve that problem. Backlight like that is hard to deal with, but you need to ensure you don't overexpose the background, then try to bring the subject up in post processing.

    I think the GF1 is capable of very "punchy" images. Let's try to take a look at what you're doing with it before throwing money at the problem.
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  11. photographworks

    photographworks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Reply to meyerweb

    You ask good questions and make good points.

    The shot of the young man against the window was the first shot I ever took with the camera. I didn't think it looked muted, showed lack of contrast, or lacked sharpness. It was taken in quite subdued and diffuse light and it looked fine to me.

    What I mean is that that particular shot is not one that I would point to and say that it looked duller than I would wish. I have plenty of others that I feel that way about, though. :(

    I shoot RAW and I have always assumed that the settings/film emulation - Standard, Vivid, etc. don't make any difference when shooting RAW.

    I have shot with Nikon cameras for years. My current camera is a D7000. The shots out of it knock spots off the GF1. They are brighter, with punchier colours and just more oomph.

    I don't know what the cause is, but I am seeing a difference between the output of the two cameras.
  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    Examples, please.
  13. photographworks

    photographworks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2009


    GF1 with 20mm lens
    Overcast day
    Imported into CS5 and converted from the RAW file at default values including no sharpening
  14. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    Lucille Sanchez
    I think the Panny 20mm is a excellent lens and if one does low light it is a must have, it packs so much 'punch' it'll knock your soxs off.

    IMO, the problem, whatever it might be, doesn't ly with this gem of a lens.
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  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Once I tried Olympus, it was a done deal. Colors, sharpness and metering on Olympus just looked better to me. I was about to dump M43, until I saw how Olympus processing rendered images. Beside DOF limitations, I feel Olympus, especially with my current E-M5 can easily match and in some respects exceed my current Nikon bodies (D3, D800E).
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  16. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    I use a Gf1 and I think I might understand what you're seeing. Photos from the Gf1 have a tendency to look a bit too blue/magenta. Colors seem to lack "punch" because they're not being represented accurately. Some work in post seems to always be required. The camera isn't a bad camera at all, the output just requires a bit of work.

    The software you use also makes a difference. I have CS5, Capture One and Corel Photo Pro X3. X3 was my program of choice until I noticed all of the photos appeared soft. I know the 20mm is a great lens, so my suspicion was the software. When I redid the photos in Capture One, the difference was dramatic. CS5 also does a better job than Corel in this respect.

    I posted three samples below using the same photo. No adjustments were made other than converting them to jpeg. I don't know how well the differences will come through from downsizing and uploading, but hopefully you'll be able to see the tendency to go blue/magenta (especially noticeable in the tire), and that the photo processed in Corel lacks contrast and clarity.



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  17. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    As far as image quality and not wanting to tweak things out of the camera, then, no, a new camera is not going to help you. Life tends not to cooperate with photographers and really does whatever it wants to. Every image from every camera will need to be tweaked if you really care about the image.
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  18. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    It is only a tool.

    The GF1 was an excellent tool that brought a lot of fun back into my photography. I used a wet darkroom for years. It took a lot of learning to get the most out of my negatives. I remember when I bought my first Nikon camera, a Nikkomat. I looked forward to the first photos out of a real camera.
    Didn't make any difference what so ever. I had paid money to get better photographs, but they hadn't gotten any better. So now what to do? I bought books or borrowed books from the library to learn all that I could about photography. Started to win a few contest. Then signed up with NYI and learned a lot more.

    Buying the camera is just the first step. LR, with the Nik software, Color Efex Pro, would do more for your photography than any new body or lens. If this sound like work, it is, but only if you are not doing something that you love. I am retired from being a CAD (computer assisted design) where I sat infront of my computer 8 hours a day. Now I take photos every chance I get, and sit in front of my computer doing P.P. I used to spend my Sat sitting in a stinking Darkroom for hours to just turn out 6 to 12 5x7 photos. This is so much easier, and the work is so much better.

    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
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  19. photographworks

    photographworks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2009

    Thank you, Judy. Too blue/magenta - that's what is bothering me.

    A big thank you.

    I am not sure whether I can make a preset in CS5 that will work every time in various lighting conditions - but I see the problem now.

    Maybe time to look at CaptureOne.

    thank you.
  20. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    Maybe you could borrow or buy a ColorChecker Passport to create a custom profile? I believe some people have found them very helpful.

    Or perhaps a GF1 user here has a profile for their camera that they can email you. It works in Lightroom, I'm not sure if it works with Photoshop though.
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