The itch: trying different cameras (from a G85)

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Here I am playing with a brick, I mean Pentax K1 for the last 6 months.

I want to move on from it, but I really do like the images I get from it so much...
Especially if you can afford to stick the FA limited primes on it. The 31, 43 and 77 are such good focal lengths!
 

Macroramphosis

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I've held one, and it's fantastic. It is as ergonomically pleasing as the G9. There is a nice group of third party lenses. It is not unreasonably priced. Until about 3 weeks ago, it was a top contender for my next camera.
So what happened that you didn'y buy it, Tim?
 

Mike Wingate

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I have always been happy with my GX80. I hope that Panasonic Lumix will eventually release a new GX10. Or I shall buy a GX9 and G9 which is an amazing camera, especially with all the recent firmware updates.
 

demiro

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@WT21 I read your first post as "I want a new camera because I'm bored, and I'd like some baseline improvement as well". Apologies if I'm mischaracterizing, if I am it's probably a bit of projection on my part.

With that in mind, I would think the Nikon or Canon mirrorless offerings make sense. Yeah, new things to learn, or get used to, but I think that actually helps the boredom part. You'll shoot more to reach that comfort level you have with your G85. Same for processing. The Nikon files aren't inferior to what you get from Panasonic, just different. Oh yeah, full frame mirrorless will move the baseline as well, in a way you're likely to notice.

I ignored the Nikon Z stuff for a while, but been looking more at it lately. Gotta say I like it. I'm in no hurry to go buy something today, but I can see picking up a Z5 or 6 and a lens at some point, before really buying in to it.

Have fun evaluating your choices. That's what counts.
 

Brownie

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So what happened that you didn'y buy it, Tim?
The G9 firmware upgrade. In a nutshell, The DFD focusing system is one of the fastest in the world, accurate as hell, and almost perfect, until you get to action shots. This is where it fails. And I don't mean a dog chasing a ball, or kids running around, or even a basketball game. I mean fast, like racing and air shows. Jet fast. The camera spends way too much time hunting.

Backing up a bit: I had been poking around since the GH6 announcement, trying understand my options if Panasonic doesn't upgrade the G9. After seeing the Z5 and S5 up close and personal I was pretty much sold. The S5 is no larger than the G9 (lenses notwithstanding) and very comfortable. Menus I am familiar with, known excellence in features, etc. etc. Still, I had planned to wait to see if Panny announced a G9 successor before I bit, so this would likely be several months. Then they announced that the new G9 Firmware would give the G9 the same focusing capabilities as the S5. I was pretty happy about that as there was an upcoming air show. Knowing how the G9 and other Panny cameras had performed at previous shows I was excited to try it out. So I downloaded the firmware the day before and headed off to the air show. The end result was that my hit rate was no better or worse than before. I decided right then that if this was the best they can do for this kind of shooting the S5 isn't for me, and there isn't much point in waiting to see what happens with the G9's replacement. That's when I started looking in earnest.

I saw some of @TNcasual 's shots from the Pentax K-1 and we communicated a bit via PM. Everything sounded good until I started reading the in depth reviews and ended up at the same issue. It gets terrible marks for action photography. Some reviews really extoll this as a fantastic camera at a very reasonable cost, then lambast it extensively for that failing. Moving on...

I went back and looked more at the Nikons and a few forgettable Canons. Nothing really caught me until I arrived at the Sony A7 MK III. This camera does everything just right, at least for me. It's not bloated with unwanted video features, has a decent number of third party lens manufacturers (one of Nikon's shortcomings) is actually smaller than the G9, and is priced about the same as a GH5/GH6. The other advantage (again, for me) is that Sony sells an adaptor that allows you to use A-Mount Minolta and Sony glass and retain autofocus. I have a good number of the old Minolta lenses, all first generation Maxxum and most very highly regarded. In addition I have a Tamron 200-500 for reach. All of these lenses need an in-body motor for autofocus, which is what the adaptor provides. This will let me get on board with a kit lens and have almost every focal length immediately available while I slowly add new glass.

But, the main reason is the action focusing. The camera is rated as one of the fastest (if not the fastest) mirrorless focusing systems on the market. It is quick and accurate. This is what I'm looking for. Then yesterday I learned that Sony may be releasing an A7 MK IV later this year for a few hundred more, so I decided to wait and see if that would be a better option, or if it drives the price down on the Mk III.

None of this means I am getting out of M-4/3. I will absolutely keep the G9 and the fantastic glass. And since anything could happen between now and then this plan is actually pretty fluid. The right release from Panny could change my mind, but only if they sort out the focusing.

I remember when I was pretty new on the forum and the BIF people struggling with focus. Members we haven't seen for a while had entire threads dedicated to sorting it out. I would imagine a swallow is much more difficult than a jet fighter and admire those who are successful with the camera and action shots. Still, I have to wonder what the rate of keepers really is.
 
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I saw some of @TNcasual 's shots from the Pentax K-1 and we communicated a bit via PM. Everything sounded good until I started reading the in depth reviews and ended up at the same issue. It gets terrible marks for action photography. Some reviews really extoll this as a fantastic camera at a very reasonable cost, then lambast it extensively for that failing. Moving on...

Yes. The K1 is not for action shooters. It is a still subject camera for the most part. Which is what I shoot, mainly.

Edit:

Although I did capture this 'action' last time out on the kayak:

51269078851_d1387dccfb_o.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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Macroramphosis

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The G9 firmware upgrade. In a nutshell, The DFD focusing system is one of the fastest in the world, accurate as hell, and almost perfect, until you get to action shots. This is where it fails. And I don't mean a dog chasing a ball, or kids running around, or even a basketball game. I mean fast, like racing and air shows. Jet fast. The camera spends way too much time hunting.
I suffer from that with the GX8 when trying to do flying insects, which at close distance, is a very small window of opportunity - especially with the P30. The O60 may be better but I need an Oly body to really get the best of that lens I think. On the GX8, after two weeks, the P30 runs rings round it, not withstanding the problems of the shorter focal length.
Backing up a bit: I had been poking around since the GH6 announcement, trying understand my options if Panasonic doesn't upgrade the G9. After seeing the Z5 and S5 up close and personal I was pretty much sold. The S5 is no larger than the G9 (lenses notwithstanding) and very comfortable. Menus I am familiar with, known excellence in features, etc. etc. Still, I had planned to wait to see if Panny announced a G9 successor before I bit, so this would likely be several months. Then they announced that the new G9 Firmware would give the G9 the same focusing capabilities as the S5. I was pretty happy about that as there was an upcoming air show. Knowing how the G9 and other Panny cameras had performed at previous shows I was excited to try it out. So I downloaded the firmware the day before and headed off to the air show. The end result was that my hit rate was no better or worse than before. I decided right then that if this was the best they can do for this kind of shooting the S5 isn't for me, and there isn't much point in waiting to see what happens with the G9's replacement. That's when I started looking in earnest.
Gotcha - that makes perfect sense. And that's useful info, too, thank you.
I saw some of @TNcasual 's shots from the Pentax K-1 and we communicated a bit via PM. Everything sounded good until I started reading the in depth reviews and ended up at the same issue. It gets terrible marks for action photography. Some reviews really extoll this as a fantastic camera at a very reasonable cost, then lambast it extensively for that failing. Moving on...
I've read the same - a wonderful camera for landscape shooters who don't mind a little weight, as someone wrote.
I went back and looked more at the Nikons and a few forgettable Canons. Nothing really caught me until I arrived at the Sony A7 MK III. This camera does everything just right, at least for me. It's not bloated with unwanted video features, has a decent number of third party lens manufacturers (one of Nikon's shortcomings) is actually smaller than the G9, and is priced about the same as a GH5/GH6. The other advantage (again, for me) is that Sony sells an adaptor that allows you to use A-Mount Minolta and Sony glass and retain autofocus. I have a good number of the old Minolta lenses, all first generation Maxxum and most very highly regarded. In addition I have a Tamron 200-500 for reach. All of these lenses need an in-body motor for autofocus, which is what the adaptor provides. This will let me get on board with a kit lens and have almost every focal length immediately available while I slowly add new glass.
Interesting - I have never even seen an A7 of any denomination, let alone touched one....
But, the main reason is the action focusing. The camera is rated as one of the fastest (if not the fastest) mirrorless focusing systems on the market. It is quick and accurate. This is what I'm looking for. Then yesterday I learned that Sony may be releasing an A7 MK IV later this year for a few hundred more, so I decided to wait and see if that would be a better option, or if it drives the price down on the Mk III.

None of this means I am getting out of M-4/3. I will absolutely keep the G9 and the fantastic glass. And since anything could happen between now and then this plan is actually pretty fluid. The right release from Panny could change my mind, but only if they sort out the focusing.

I remember when I was pretty new on the forum and the BIF people struggling with focus. Members we haven't seen for a while had entire threads dedicated to sorting it out. I would imagine a swallow is much more difficult than a jet fighter and admire those who are successful with the camera and action shots. Still, I have to wonder what the rate of keepers really is.
I understand all that. But what I can never understand is how Danny in New Zealand can be so wonderful at BIF with his manual glass. sigh.

Is there a reason the EM1ii or iii don't do it for you?

Thanks for the reply, Tim, much appreciated....
 

WT21

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The G9 firmware upgrade. In a nutshell, The DFD focusing system is one of the fastest in the world, accurate as hell, and almost perfect, until you get to action shots. This is where it fails. And I don't mean a dog chasing a ball, or kids running around, or even a basketball game. I mean fast, like racing and air shows. Jet fast.
I'm not taking pictures of cars or planes, but family and dogs.

The G85 can't keep up (nor the G95). The G9 offers "animal and people" recognition. The G85 has face and eye detection, but that's only good for portraits, not for moving things. G85 has tracking, but the lag between shutter push and picture is too much. Would the G9 handle this well with the new firmware?

I think the Nikon may help, but it's AF system is very complex to use and I'm not sure I'm interested in the learning curve, TBH.

I vowed not to try Sony again, because I really don't like the bodies, controls, or colors, but their universe of glass (outside of most of Sony's offerings) is pretty extensive.
 

Brownie

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I understand all that. But what I can never understand is how Danny in New Zealand can be so wonderful at BIF with his manual glass. sigh.

Is there a reason the EM1ii or iii don't do it for you?
DOF and practice.

I have never held an Olympus camera of any denomination in my hands. Not that I have anything against them, I've just never been interested. I came to Panny via a bridge camera, liked it and just upgraded with never a thought about changing. I would be more interested in trying one if Oly's new owners got with Panny and sorted out compatible IS using each other's lenses. The way things stand now I'd be losing the IS in the 100-400 and the 50-200 if I went with Oly. And while it's true I'm going to end up buying new lenses regardless, it seems almost silly to amass a whole new collection of long M-4/3 glass because of a brand addition.

And really size never bothered me too much, so if I'm going to spend that kind of cash...in for a penny, in for a pound.
 

Brownie

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Would the G9 handle this well with the new firmware?


I vowed not to try Sony again, because I really don't like the bodies, controls, or colors, but their universe of glass (outside of most of Sony's offerings) is pretty extensive.
The G9 would handle that well without the new firmware, and better with it. It does an excellent job of tracking people and animals. The new firmware improved tracking, which IMO wasn't bad to begin with.

Sony wasn't even on my radar, I never looked at or considered an E Mount camera. But I have to tell you, when I picked up the A7 MK III for the first time it was reminiscent of the first time I held a G9. Very comfortable. My only complaint is the space between the grip and lens is a bit narrow, but I understand they've improved that on the A7R Mk IV, and the A7 Mk IV is expected to have the same body. In any event, it's not a deal killer. They've also updated colors and it sounds like the menu is getting revamped.

Edit: The last sentence is based on reviews (colors) and rumors (menu).
 
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Michael Meissner

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Yeah, I can’t recall anyone really raving about the G95 here. I’ve wondered why that is, and maybe your findings sum it up. The Em5iii is a really good camera, and I debate getting one again from time to time. Though the first Em5 I bought I sent back right away, too. The second one I used for quite a while before going back to the G9. I think to me, if you’re going to go with a gripped body, the camera should have more of the pro features, IMO. You get that on the G9 and EM1 line. The G85 is a good value, but the G95 just wasn’t very compelling.
I tend to think Panasonic over-priced the G95. First almost immediately after announcing it, Panasonic started having sale prices on the G9 which removed a lot of interest in the camera. In my mind, the G95 should be priced $100-200 under the G9.

In addition, Panasonic USA required that you buy the kit with the 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6. I tend to think the primary audience of the G95 is people who are wanting to upgrade a G85 at a moderate cost, because it uses the same battery as the G85 and it can take the same grip. But most people stepping up from the G85 already have the 12-60mm lens, and pairing the lens adds $100 to the price. If the G95 had been $600-700 without the lens, I might have gone for it to upgrade the G85. For me, the G9 is completely uninteresting since the main use I have for the G85 is recording live performances, and I need to record more than 30 minute shows without having to stop/restart the camera.

It is unfortunate that the G95 is a crop sensor when it comes to 4K video. This means instead of a 1.1x crop that you had on the G85, you have a 1.26x crop. I tend to think the people thinking about the G95 tend to be video (or mixed video/stills) centric, and 4K is becoming more important.

If the G95 had the new internal microprocessor used in the G9, GH5 mark II, etc. that has the new auto-focus support, it would have also been helpful.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I'm not taking pictures of cars or planes, but family and dogs.

The G85 can't keep up (nor the G95). The G9 offers "animal and people" recognition. The G85 has face and eye detection, but that's only good for portraits, not for moving things. G85 has tracking, but the lag between shutter push and picture is too much. Would the G9 handle this well with the new firmware?

I think the Nikon may help, but it's AF system is very complex to use and I'm not sure I'm interested in the learning curve, TBH.

I vowed not to try Sony again, because I really don't like the bodies, controls, or colors, but their universe of glass (outside of most of Sony's offerings) is pretty extensive.
To give you an idea, I was photographing my kids jumping off the dock into the lake (and getting launched into the air), and the G9 did a pretty darn good job keeping a lock on faces, with pretty good success rates. This was with the PL100-400 from a ways off, so the faces were relatively small in the frame, but it even tried to get the eye crosshair on the head most of the time. Not sure how it would compare to other cameras, but I was happy with the outcome.

I owned one Sony camera, the meager A5000, and I even recall that camera having some very fast AF.
 

WT21

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To give you an idea, I was photographing my kids jumping off the dock into the lake (and getting launched into the air), and the G9 did a pretty darn good job keeping a lock on faces, with pretty good success rates. This was with the PL100-400 from a ways off, so the faces were relatively small in the frame, but it even tried to get the eye crosshair on the head most of the time. Not sure how it would compare to other cameras, but I was happy with the outcome.

I owned one Sony camera, the meager A5000, and I even recall that camera having some very fast AF.
Are you talking pre- or post- the most recent firmware update?
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Are you talking pre- or post- the most recent firmware update?
Post update, though it was my first time shooting such a scene with the G9, so I can’t provide a relative improvement. I will say the head/face/eye detect is more aggressive than I recall from before. I don’t shoot a lot of people, but it seems to refresh faster. I don’t use animal detect much. I prefer to manually chose the focal point to ensure it gets the head/eye and not just the body. More important at 400mm since the focal plane is so shallow.
 

Stanga

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I bought the G90 just weeks before lockdown, but with the intention to take it with me on a foreign holiday that I had already paid for . I haven't been able to go out much or very far since then. But I am more than happy with it. Handling is great, and images taken with my better lenses look far better than the G80, which I owned before. The 4K crop is the only thing that I can fault.
 

PeeBee

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I'm not taking pictures of cars or planes, but family and dogs.

The G85 can't keep up (nor the G95). The G9 offers "animal and people" recognition. The G85 has face and eye detection, but that's only good for portraits, not for moving things. G85 has tracking, but the lag between shutter push and picture is too much. Would the G9 handle this well with the new firmware?

I think the Nikon may help, but it's AF system is very complex to use and I'm not sure I'm interested in the learning curve, TBH.

I vowed not to try Sony again, because I really don't like the bodies, controls, or colors, but their universe of glass (outside of most of Sony's offerings) is pretty extensive.

I think you'll find the EM5.3 performs better than the G80, if it's as similar to the EM1.2 as it's supposed to be. What I found going from the G80 to the Oly was that I noticed the improvement, but wasn't as much as I expected. Then after a few months of using the EM1, going back to the G80 felt significantly more sluggish. I noticed the downgrade more than I noticed the upgrade, so the scale of improvement wasn't that obvious at first.
 

WT21

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One thing I've learned - Nikon's use their own, unique way of approach and control! I've had to learn about AF and even ISO control. It's so different from my experience - which is Canon, Panaonsic, Olympus and a little Sony. Nikon is crazy different than all the rest!
 

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