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Talk me out of the GX-8

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by nstelemark, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    My intention was to buy the new Pen-F. However when I realized the Pen-F was almost the same size as the GX-8 I figured I should have another look at the Panny.

    So I did. :2thumbs:

    Full disclosure - I have an E-M1 but my normal (ie not super telephoto zooms) are all Panny with Power OIS.

    The Bad:
    - IBIS is better than Dual IS assuming it was configured correctly (not 100% sure on this), but this tracks with the tested reviews.
    - Image quality is sort of a wash. Oly JPEGs are better than the standard Panasonic settings, the Panny has more detail when processed (not a shock 16MP vs 20MP). But this is pretty minor.
    - Panny will not work well with 4/3 glass obviously.

    The Good:
    - AF on both cameras is excellent, and if the reviews are to be believed DFD on the GX-8 is better than the E-M1 (with Panny lenses).
    - Both cameras are great in the hand. The GX-8 feels slightly lighter.
    - Both bodies are super configurable

    The Amazing:
    - The GX-8 EVF is stunning, by far the best and makes the already excellent E-M1 EVF feel poor.
    - The Panasonic menus - wow. Really easy to use and really accessible.
    - The GX-8 touchscreen - combined with the menus is very very slick. Oly could really learn something from this.
    - 4K video of course.

    I have to say the last four items are making me really interested in trying one...

    Talk me out of it please.
     
  2. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    $575 refurb price on the E-M5 mark II, right now.

    :p
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    No refurbs in Canada anymore :frown:
     
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Larry

    the simple question is will it take better images? or allow you to take images you can't take now?

    Of your 'amazing' features . 4K video is the only one that slightly moves the needle for me... then again I have bought to many cameras for the video features and never used them

    just my thoughts

    K
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Exactly. And the answer is of course not. Image quality is a wash.

    So really this is user experience (a consideration) and 4K.

    I had myself convinced last night not to bother but ;-)
     
  6. Generationfourth

    Generationfourth Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Sep 11, 2015
    Your last four points are great points. I stick to panasonic rangefinder style because of the overall menu, design and implementation of the touch screen.

    To add the tilting evf is a major bonus for me. Even if you just offset it by a couple of degrees it makes the camera much more comfortable to use.

    edit: weather sealing was a major selling point to

    I absolutely love my GX8 and I was one of the initial haters of it.
     
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    OK

    lets break down the user experience thing

    1) the EVF.. not looked into this...is it bigger?... more resolution? . Also what do you want from a viewfinder... for me its just a frame... maybe your needs are different

    2) Menus and touch screens?... meh... yes I like a good UI.. but I don't constantly change settings.. Its a camera.. you have control of focus and three parameters for exposure... the rest is all gimmicks

    3) If you haven't shot edited and shared SD or HD, then 4K is unlikely to change things. Video is such a quantum leap compared to photography

    just thoughts

    K
     
  8. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    The viewfinder is bigger, brighter and the info on settings is in a better layout. It is at least as big a leap as the change from the E-M5 to say the VF-4, maybe more. I was surprised.

    Setting up things like timelapse or even shooting with the touchscreen is accessible without looking at a document or puzzling at the menus. Yes the Oly body will do everything in the menus and it works, but it is a bear to use sometimes. Even deciding on video modes is tricky. And setting up the function buttons is just annoying compared to this with a touchscreen (sorry for the huge image):

    Panasonic_Lumix_Gx8_review_241.

    I have shot and shared a fair bit of video for my own use and some private clients. I've done a fair bit of video editing (FCP and now FCPX). My main reason from staying away from 4K was space consumption and workflow. But I recently bought a 40" 4K display and wow, 4K video can be stunning. So, yes I like shooting video and I've done quite a bit of editing (I even have a small Compressor cluster at the office with some MacPros).

    I would really like to shoot some 4K paddling or surfing video. The only pita is the 2.5 mm mic jack which I will have to adapt.

    The E-M1 video is OK and IBIS is killer for hand held but 4K is certainly compelling.
     
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Larry

    totally agree with the screenshot... that does 'look' like a better way to go.

    as for 4K.. I think the more interesting area is the ability to pan, crop etc down to HD

    K
     
  10. Generationfourth

    Generationfourth Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Sep 11, 2015
    1. I believe the GX8 has a bigger viewfinder and the tilting option is highly underrated (in fact lots of forum users hate it despite the fact that it doesn't affect the user in anyway if not used). CamerastoreTV review of the pen-f says the display lags.

    2. I didn't think it would make that much of a difference till I tried an Olympus camera. CamerastoreTV's review of the Pen F highlights some of my gripes with the Olympus touchscreen integration. With all of my panasonic cameras I have them setup and running in 20 minutes. When I occasionally menu dive a panasonic the settings are much easier because: you can use the touchscreen for all menus/settings, paginating their menu items, the menu is categorized cleanly, and they kept 6 clearly tappable settings to a menu page. It's much easier to create a mental model of all the settings.

    3. I've found the quality of video itself is much better (dynamic range) on the panasonic.

    don't get me wrong... Olympus does a lot of things right- especially the feel of the camera: buttons, dials, textures, shutter sound. but as a User interface designer myself I found using it to be infuriating- I could go on and on but they are all moot points. I'd still take an Oly em5-ii over a sony, fuji, etc. you can't go wrong with both.
     
  11. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Yes for sure, the editing options increase with a higher res source file.
     
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Why were you going to get the Pen-F in the first place? IMO, unless you plan to shoot only JPEG images, or you NEED Oly's IBIS, the GX8 is a better option. While the GX8's IBIS isn't nearly as good as Oly's, it's certainly better than nothing.

    Other advantages for the GX8:
    • It's weather sealed. How olympus could charge $1200 for a non-weather sealed body is beyond me. IMO, anything over $1k should be weather sealed.
    • Better EVF (supposedly). From what I've read, the Pen-F EVF could be better. However the GX8 EVF is supposed to be the best EVF on a Panasonic camera yet, and having two GH4's, I'll say that's pretty impressive (I believe the GX8's is now as large as the E-M1's).
    • Tilting EVF. Maybe this matters to you, maybe it doesn't.
    • Not only is the 4K video really impressive, but the 1080p video is always much sharper than Olympus'.
    • Ergonomics: The GX8 has a better grip than the nonexistent one on the Pen-F
     
  13. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Wait for EM1 Mark II before robbing your upgrade bank..
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Yep, agreed. And then if you don't care for the E-M1 II, GX8 prices will have fallen even further, making it more affordable. It's a win/win!
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    What you say is right/important for you...

    for me

    1) the VF is a way of framing.. thats all.. yes resolution/framerate/lag are issues... but not dealbreakers

    2) Almost every digital camera UI is broken beyond belief. Photography is a simple process

    3) Yes Panasonic.. a major player in professional video does better than Olympus...
     
  16. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Like a lot of people I was seduced by the look of the Pen-F. It is a very attractive body.

    The EVF in the GX-8 is the best I have seen. Much better than the E-M1s.

    The GX-8 although large fits in the hand well, no grip needed for sure.
     
  17. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Greg
    OK my opinion - it is crazy to trade a ~1 year old camera for a newer one. Especially the top-end model. The E-M1 is a 4-5 year camera in my book. If you really want 4k you can wait around a while, pretty soon all of the cameras will have it and you can grab a 2nd body.
     
  18. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Spending $1200 on a camera because you like the way it looks is crazy IMO, but it's your money, not mine. Like the guys from The Camera Store TV said in their review at the end, for similar money (much less if you're willing to buy used), you can get the GX8, which is a far better camera.

    Weather sealing, 4K, better 1080p, competent AF (single or continuous), better ergonomics, better EVF, better menus, better touch screen implementation, etc. There's no doubt in my mind that the GX8 is the better camera.
     
  19. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    I have an EM-1 and a GX8. The GX8 has significantly better AF (AFS & AFC) than the EM-1 regardless of the lens brand. In electronic shutter mode the GX8 has significantly less rolling shutter effects. Good thing, because it has some real shutter shock issues with the mechanical shutter, which also has a tinny sound. Dual IS is still a couple of stops behind IBIS. I personally prefer the modal controls and SCP of the Olympus, because there are a number of settings that take fewer steps than the Panasonic. The 12% increase in resolution is just on the threshold of visibility.

    Bottom line: if you take pictures of things that move quickly in a non-deterministic manner, you will get pictures more often with the GX8 than the E-M1.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Not that I disagree with you, but for the record my E-M1 is 2.5 years old. I had one of the first NA preorders. So I have 1.5 years to go [emoji3]


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