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Should I get a GX7?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by eljay, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. eljay

    eljay Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2013
    Well, I barely got into the m43 world and GAS is at me again! I switched from Sony A200 DSLR to GX1 and I love m43 world!

    Here's what I bought over the last few months: GX1, LVF2, 20mm v1, 14-42PZ, 14-140mm v2.
    I love the 14-140mm v2 lens and it's on the camera all the time (...and having paid MSRP for it, it better be used all the time! haha). In dim light and indoors, I switch to the 20mm, but I find the slow AF hunt frustrating and the hunt/noise in video with it is pretty bad. The IQ is nice though! However, one Christmas with it is enough for me to think about switching it for the Oly 17mm 1.8.
    I found that rarely use the PZ lens as I'm just not used to the powerzoom and I prefer a manual zoom ring.

    Another growing frustration is always having to stick the LVF2 on top of the camera before I start shooting. I pretty much always use the viewfinder for stills and screen for videos. The LVF2 is nice, but the pictures always look much better on my PC than when looking at a scene through LVF2. That's not a bad thing. ;)  Plus, at some point, I'd like to look around for a flash and that would mean that LVF2 will have to be dismounted for those shots. So, I am lusting after a GX7 body that I hope would alleviate the above "complaints". And I do put 'complaints' in quotes because the GX1 is great. I don't want to spend more money, so I'm thinking of selling the GX1, LVF2, 14-42PZ, 20mm and get a GX7 and 17mm 1.8 lens. I think I should be pretty close on trade value. I'd end up with GX7, 17mm, 14-140mm, which should be a good enough kit for me.

    We know that GX1 is a superior camera to GX1. But, please tell me, given the above, is it just GAS or would this upgrade makes sense?
  2. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It's definitely an upgrade, however you may want to look at picking up a G5. I just managed to pick one up for $250 that included the kit lens, all accessories, and 2 spare batteries. I then sold the kit lens for $75 ( $55 net to me), bringing my total investment down to $195. Key advantages for the G5 over the GX1 include:
    - Integrated EVF (same resolution as the one in the VF2, so if you like that you should like this as well. Larger than the one on the GX7.)
    - Fully articulating screen (a surprisingly useful feature, MUCH better than the up/down only screen on the GX7, and worlds better than the fixed screen on the GX1. The resolution isn't as good as the GX7 screen, but it isn't a hindrance either)
    - Better sensor than the GX1 (better color and dynamic range, though not quite as good as the GX7's. Still, very good none the less)
    - Superior ergonomics (using the 14-140 II on the G5 is an absolute joy, and handling is vastly superior to either the GX1 or GX7)

    Having said that, the GX7 does had its advantages
    - IBIS for stabilizing those prime lenses
    - Focus peaking, which is very useful
    - Wireless flash mode, for using off camera flash
    - Wifi, for easier/faster sharing (only works with JPG though)
    - Built-In flash can be bounced off the ceiling, for softer, more natural lighting

    Having said all that, it really comes down to what features you value in your camera, and what your budget looks like/how much do you want to spend.

    Just a short note on your lenses, sell the 14-42 PZ, it's rubbish compared to the 14-140 II you own. I agree that the P20 can be slow to zoom, and the noise issue during video is annoying. I'll just comment that if you value an equivalent FOV, the O17 is the lens to get. However if you value sharpness a bit more, and don't mind the 50mm FOV, the new O25 is a fantastic lens. Super sharp, equally as good as the P20 or O45 primes are. That's not to say the O17 isn't sharp, it's just not as sharp as the O25 is. Typical used prices on an O17 is about $400, which is the new price for an O25.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The GX7 is a significant upgrade over the GX1, so it makes sense. That was my upgrade path (although I kept mine and just pasted the P14 to the front for when I want to pack light).

    With regards to what ijm5012 said, I would look at the G6 before the G5. The G5 is pretty much the GX1 with EVF, articulating screen, and touch focus. Its the same sensor as the GX1 and likely the same processor since they were released within months of each other. The G6 has the same sensor but upgraded processor, all the extras the G5 has, plus focus peaking, wifi, and very extensive video options. The G5 can be found with big discounts though.
  4. Jacquesass

    Jacquesass Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 17, 2014
    I am very happy moving from GX1+LVF2 to GX7. If you're funding your next purchase with your current equipment, I would sell everything except the 14-140. Before you buy the O17, you might want to wait a few weeks and see the reviews on the new PL15/1.7...
  5. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I am in similar position as you can see from my gear list. I am not even looking at Gx7 though . It just seems like it's still pricey for now, especially considering you can get the same image quality from lower priced Olympus bodies . I am also not really crazy about Gx7 style. It's so much beefier than Gx1, yet viewfinder is smallish and it's not as comfortable to hold as I thought it would be. Gx1 is a sleek gem in comparison.
    BTW, it was mentioned earlier that G5/6 have same sensor as Gx1. That is not true AFAIK . They have Gh2 sensor which is not better AFAIK .
    I am in holding mode right now. Still hoping for a true Gx1 replacement, a.slim cam with option to attach the excellent IMHO Lvf2. If not, maybe an Olympus .
    • Like Like x 1
  6. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    All 4 (as well as the 16mp GFs and the G3) share the same 1st generation 16mp Panasonic sensor, some have a different processor. The EM1 has a unique sensor made by Panasonic (its uniqueness is unverified, but its the only one w/ PDAF so its likely), GX7 and GM1 share a 2nd generation Panasonic 16mp sensor, and the GH3 and the rest of the 16 mp Olympus cameras share the Sony 16mp sensors (and all the 12mp m43 bodies share the same Panasonic 12mp sensor).
  7. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Can you post a link about this? That's the first I hear of this, about the G5/6 sensors. I have read in multiple places that it is Gh2 sensor and is Not the same as the Gx1.

  8. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Interesting. I've always read that the sensor in the GX1 is the sensor shared in the G3, and that the sensor in the G5 and G6 comes from the sensor in the GH2. When looking at DXO scores for the sensors (not that DXO is the be-all for sensor testing, but it's a consistent system at least), the GX1 an G3 score very similar to one another (GX1 & G3 comparison), and the G5 and G6 score very similar to one another as well (G5 & G6 comparison). Both the G5 and G6 show a modest improvement in Color Depth (roughly 0.5 bit improvement), but show noticeable gains in Dynamic Range (1 EV). Oddly enough, the G5 and G6 don't do as well regarding ISO, with both the G3 and GX1 posting better scores there.

    Considering the processing engine is different between the G5 and G6, yet they show nearly identical scores, it would lead one to believe that the processing engine doesn't make a huge difference in overall performance of the sensor, and that the differences between scores recorded for the GX1/G3 and G5/G6 would indicate a different sensor is used for those cameras, which is what has been stated on the internet numerous times (and everyone knows, if it's on the internet it's true).
  9. eljay

    eljay Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2013
    Thank you for the replies and input. Good pointers.

    Unfortunately, I am not a fan of G5/G6 bodies. Coming from the Sony Alpha DSLR, I like the m43 rangefinder style cameras. I do understand that GX7 is a bit bulkier than GX1. I'll have to try handling it again, but from holding it once I recall that it felt very nice. My hands are not small, but I'm very happy with the ergonomics of my GX1. The only camera where I wouldn't mind the bulk again would be the Sony A7. But that's probably long time down the road before I ever need FF capabilities.

    @ijm5012 - thanks for the suggestion on O25. I'll take a look at it.

    @Jacquesass - yes, the 14-140 is pretty much the only lens I really like from my collection at the moment. The 20mm produces nice images in the correct light.

    @Steven - I agree that GX7 is still pricey now. I'll likely just start selling off my lenses and if the right price comes along for my body+lvf2, I'll take it and look for a GX7 body. Perhaps a back-to-school sale will be the right time to pick one up.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    GX7 can also do 1/8000 shutter speed. To me IBIS is important enough so I never really clicked with G5 and G6. GX7 also seem to have different JPG color and AWB characteristics than previous Panasonic bodies.
  11. correos.e

    correos.e Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 25, 2012
    give it a try first - hold it in your hand at a shop. I did and I didn;t like the ergonomics, it's kind of fat. it was my ideal camera before holding it though. i ended up with an em10
  12. eljay

    eljay Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2013
    I haven't even considered an E-M10 until your post. Looking at size comparison, it is indeed smaller than a GX7 although a little taller due to EVF. Great, now there's another option! I knew posting here was a bad idea. :) 
  13. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    I moved on from a GF3 - which I guess has the same sensor as your GX1 - a fortnight ago and the GX7 has got to be worth the extra money over a G6.

    edit - I've seen the Olympus side-by-side with the GX7, and ... no. That's nothing against Olympus, just trying to simplify your life decisions.
  14. Tog

    Tog New to Mu-43

    Apr 14, 2014
    Another data point...I've had my GX7 paired with the P20 since December, and for what it's worth the combo focuses significantly faster than my previous E-PL1. No hunting even at low indoor light levels. You might want to hold onto the lens and give it a shot with the new body. It's the lens I shoot with 95% of the time (when not using the 45-200 for zoom). Great combo!
  15. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    My 2c - much better tool in every respect, however if size is amongst the things you liked a lot about the GX1, do try it first before committing the money. For what it's worth, I am absolutely amazed by what this camera offers.
  16. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    The G5/G6 are mentioned because you said you "don't want to spend more money". They are terrific values for their features and performance. Yes the GX7 is a more premium model but I find the performance difference is just slight and you really really have to look for them to be noticeable. A lot of people are turned off by the G series because of their DSLR looks but they are really quite small with excellent handling. I like using them much more than the GX7, but go for it if you are all about looks.

    Here's what they look like side by side.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Also: GX1 and G3 share same sensor and G5 and G6 have modified GH2 sensors. Not that it matters much because the differences are marginal in my opinion.
  17. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    One thing to consider is how you use the camera images, do you shoot jpeg or do you take raw and process them? If you are mainly jpeg user then the GX7 is light years ahead of the rest. Having had the G2, G5, GF1, GX1, and now settled on the GX7 I can say the 7 has far superior performance to the GX1 or G5 when it comes to nailing colours and tones, I use it with the 25mm stuck to the front all the time, even though I have the new 20mm to go with it (and had the old 20mm with all the rest) I find the focus to still be a little slow if you are trying to capture moving things.

    One of the best features ever for me is the manual assist with peaking in the GX7, being able to touch the shutter button and get focus then twiddle the focus ring to zone in on the exact area you want in focus then bang, shots taken, its just brilliant. I am glad I bought a GX7 and have sold off pretty much everything except for my old GF1 as its a battle scarred warrior and I love it to death :biggrin: The GX1 is sitting in its box hardly used and I think it will also go up on sale as its more of a point and shoot body than anything else to me, which means jpeg which it often gets horribly wrong.
  18. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    GF3 used the older 12 megapixel sensor, the GX1 has a generation newer 16 megapixel sensor..
  19. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Who am to dissuade GAS, heck I purchased enough m4/3 gear in 2012-13 to outfit a few photographers...centered around a few GX1 bodies with LVF2s. Not only do I love the overall build quality and tactile feel, but how does one argue against such a fantastic tool that was $250 or less at the end of its retail life. But I'm an unapologetic GX1 fan.

    The GX7 is surely a nice camera, an "upgrade", however reading many posts and watching the early adopters I'm not convinced I'd like it much better than the GX1/LVF2 combo that I enjoy using very much and receive excellent results from. I shoot little with flash, though I did buy a G3 to allow the use of a viewfinder and a hot shoe flash; I hardly ever use it. In a couple years the GX7 will be at fire sale prices and it will be easy to afford a few of them if I like. In the meantime I'll continue to focus on the many lenses I own and the techniques needed to create good images...surely the GX1 is 'enough' camera for a decade worth of images should I remain happy with the tool and the m4/3'system.
  20. Jacquesass

    Jacquesass Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 17, 2014
    I agree with this 100%. It makes manual focusing so much more accurate (and fun), especially if you want to use legacy lenses.
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