Should I replace my GF1 for a GX1 for the sake of an LVF2?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Beena22, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Beena22

    Beena22 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    As the title suggests, I currently have a GF1 that I'm really happy with, aside from the fact that I really want an EVF as I can't bear shooting blind in bright light and miss having a camera up to my eye to steady it etc. I also get a bit frustrated at the low light performance of the GF1 but since getting Lightroom 4 and the Panasonic 14mm pancake this hasn't bothered me as much.

    I would just buy the LVF1 and keep the GF1 but I've heard such bad things about the quality of the picture from reviews that I don't think that I can justify spending the same amount of money on one, as I can get an LVF2 for pretty much the same cash. Obviously this will only work on the GX1 though so I guess my question is really "Is the GX1 worth the upgrade over the GF1"? and "Is the LVF1 really that bad?"

    I think I've basically talked myself into it and with a bit of selling and scrimping I can just about afford to pay £350 for a GX1 body and LVF2 but I'd appreciate the opinions of people who have either upgraded themselves from a GF1 or who have experience of the LVF1 or LVF2.

    Please don't mention the OMD as I really want one but will have to wait until the price drops a fair bit until I save for one of those beauties.
  2. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    I've used an LVF1, and it isn't worth getting in my opinion. I haven't used the LVF2 but it is the same resolution as the finder on the G5 which I find to be very usable and helpful.

    And aside from the LVF2, the GX1 is pretty much a superior camera to the GF1 in every way. If you like that body style, now is the time to upgrade while they're heavily discounting the GX1.
  3. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    I have a GF1 & GF2, both have LVF1's, the one for the GF2 I bought second hand half the price of the new one. I accept they are not as good as the latest viewfinders, but it has not held me back in anyway, but it's your choice at the end of the day. The GX1 is a better more upto date camera as is the LVF2.
  4. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2010
    i did recently upgrade from the trusty GF1 to the GX1. i did have the LVF1, but i don't have the LVF2 yet.
    i have found the GX1 to be a nice, if incremental, upgrade. it is overall a faster camera and does have the touch screen (touch focus being really the main advantage for me). but, the GF1 was no slouch. i am able to shoot consecutive images noticeably faster, thanks to both the overall improved speed in AF and the larger write cache (the camera doesn't need to wait until it is done writing to the card). i have noticed the marginal decrease in battery life.
    other nice additions are the in-camera level gauge and the new pin point focus area.
    but really, the biggest noticeable advantage is better high ISO performance. i was comfortable up to ISO 800 on the GF1 and i have found the ISO to be more than a stop better with the GX1. 1600 is better than 800. that does make a big difference in low light situations, in which i all too often find myself. even with fast primes (20 f1.7, 45 f1.8), there is a definite advantage. your keeper rate really goes up when you can bump up that shutter speed a stop or two, particularly with subjects that won't stay still.

    when i had the LVF1, i wasn't dissatisfied with the image quality in general. sure, it is relative low resolution, but it got the job done for me. i wasn't using it with any adapted manual lenses though. i would like the LVF2 and will eventually get it, but it isn't my highest priority right now.

    for me, the upgrade was more related to outside circumstances. i had some camera gear stolen, including my LVF1 and my extra battery for the GF1 (along with the Oly 45mm). with the very low prices of the GX1, it was hard to justify spending more than the cost of the upgrade to a new body to replace those accessories for an older body. so i was able to sell my GF1 and replace it with the GX1 for a total of $75 out of pocket. but, if i hadn't lost my LVF1 and the battery, i probably would have stuck with the GF1 since it met my needs and still is a fantastic camera that produces exceptional images.
  5. Beena22

    Beena22 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    Thanks for the responses. I might see if I can go and have a play with the GX1 and EVFs at my local camera store. I love the form factor of the GF1 and GX1 so don't want to go down the G route but I just can't live without an EVF of some description.
  6. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    As with most things, "it depends". :smile: I have a GF1 and LVF1, and for slow moving or static subjects it's fine. If you're panning at any rate though, it's terrible. For what I shoot it's mostly fine, although I do like the one in my G3 much better.
  7. smiclalef427

    smiclalef427 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 14, 2011
    For the price of the GX1s now, I think you would not be wasting your money if you wanted to upgrade. The LVF2 is a great viewfinder and I've been happy with it.

    I will admit that I liked the GF1 more than the GX1 when using without the viewfinder. The GF1 seemed more "special," although I'd be hard pressed to identify what I liked about it so much. Perhaps the slightly larger size, the nicer little door to access the USB and the awesome design of the GF1s flash makes the GX1 seem pedestrian.

    Although the touch screen is not something I ever use, I appreciate the screen on the GX1 (despite the same resolution) simply because it does not stick out as far as the screen on the GF1.
  8. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio

    But not just for the LVF-2; everything about the GX-1 is better. Only drawback I've found so far is Windows viewer doesn't support the new RAW files, but since you're using Lightroom it doesn't matter much.

    Only reason I haven't sold my GF-1 is because I want to have a backup, but I'm thinking about picking up another GX-1 because it's so much nicer and easier to use, especially when setting an AF point, which is particularly important when using spot metering.
  9. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    John Griggs

    If you haven't downloaded the most recent version of the Microsoft Camera Codec pack, do so -- it might help if you need that capability.

    Download Microsoft Camera Codec Pack (16.4.1899.0416) from Official Microsoft Download Center
  10. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Interesting. I downloaded one of the codec packs a few months ago, but as far as I could tell that was the most recent one. I'll check to see which one I have when I get home, but I thought GX-1 raw files were unsupported.
  11. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    I have the GX1 and LVF-2... and used to have the GF1 and LVF-1. While the older camera and viewfinder were fine in their day (and are also still fine if you can't or won't upgrade), the new equipment is simply much better. You can't go wrong with a GX1 at the current close-out prices. It makes paying regular price for the LVF-2 a reasonable proposition. But don't wait around - supplies of the GX1 are dwindling and as they do, prices will go back up. Another option, if a rangefinder form factor isn't mandatory, is the G5, which is also on closeout and the EVF is built in. I have both.
  12. Beena22

    Beena22 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    Thanks again for the comments everyone. Looks like the GX1 and LVF2 is the way to go.
  13. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    John Griggs
    It could very well be. I convert everything to DNG on import so it's not relevant to how I operate anymore. I mention it "just in case".

    The only real manufacturer specific RAW files I have are from my old Canon S90 and my Nikons. All my Panasonic stuff is converted by Lightroom on import.