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Lumix GX7 & 8 - Panasonic's high end rangefinder style

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by FridgeMagnet, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I popped into London Camera Exchange and worked out that trading in my old G5, with the various discounts I could get about £300 off the body only price. Which is good. But I'm still having trouble answering that nagging question "what photos will you be able to take with this that you couldn't before?" Bah.
     
  2. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    Did you get the GX8?
     
  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I really don't think it's worth that amount of money... it's a nice camera, but - blimey a grand?!
     
    Virtual Blue likes this.
  4. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    No; in the end I decided that I didn't need any more frickin cameras, even at £300 off, and that any money would be better spent on, say, going on holiday. No point having a great camera and nothing to take pictures of.

    It's pro level stuff (and I could get almost a third off) but it's getting harder and harder to justify spending full price on new versions, particularly when you figure in the fact that it'll be half that or less in a year. The only camera I've ever bought new full price was the GR I think.
     
  5. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I got my Olympus OM EM-5 Mk II for just £580 which was hugely discounted from its quoted price. Bloody good camera too.
     
    dweller and Virtual Blue like this.
  6. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Video review of the GX8 here. Blimey, it's a chunk fella.

     
  7. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    My hands may not be as legendarily small as fogbat's, but I reckon I'd have a damned hard time gripping the handgrip on that!
     
  8. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I had a play with it recently and yeah, it's definitely Leica-style chunky—not all that much smaller than the GH4, though with fewer protruding bits. More like a main camera than the GX7 which is noticeably more compact. Still easily bag-portable though.

    I'm still considering it, but it depends on how much I can flog my Sony A900 for (which is a great camera but I just don't use it a lot because it's _really_ big and heavy, at least compared to any m43 kit). I might also sell off some film cameras as well. Digitalrev have it for £700 body only.
     
  9. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    ...still a lot for a body.
    Why not check in about 3-6 months time? It's still too new for a significant price drop - and I don't see it comparable to the GH4 (eternally expensive).
     
  10. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Oh, I won't have the money for at least that long I expect. I'm in no particular hurry.
     
  11. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I've just seen it refurbed for £800 including the 14-140 lens that I really want, which goes for around £300 on its own :/

    stop it!
     
  12. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    If I was spending that kind of dosh, I think I'd be more tempted by Sony's A7 full frame jobbie. Well, I'm already tempted, to be honest.
     
  13. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I have been tempted by it—I have some old Minolta A-mount lenses which should work well—but it's at least twice that, and my m43 lenses would be useless on it. I have a good selection of those. Plus, switching systems, I wouldn't then have any backup bodies.

    I've decided to try to rationalise my digital kit to just m43 as the system, plus the GR as pocket camera. It's just that the G5 I have is showing its age a little. I mean, it's okay, fine for most situations, but the EVF is not great in the bright sun (I'm picky about EVFs) and at 3200 I'd like a bit better IQ.
     
  14. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    Hey 4/3 users - I'm new to zooms. Can anyone comment on how well the Oly 40-150mm perform on a GX7?
    Is it decent cos it's pretty cheap for the price?
     
  15. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I've got one of these lenses. It's not a bad performer but pretty slow (in terms of aperture).
     
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  16. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I only have the Panasonic 45-150 but all I've seen seems to indicate that the two have basically the same performance. It's a surprisingly good lens, lightweight and very sharp; it's part of my standard bag for m43. The Olympus doesn't have OIS, but then the GX7 has IBIS so that shouldn't matter a lot.
     
    Virtual Blue likes this.
  17. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    Thanks you two! Think I will get one for xmas.

    I don't suppose you guys have played with the Sigma 60mm? It's alot cheaper than the Oly version.

    ETA - the zoom is so cheap, I maybe able to afford a macro too!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  18. grosun

    grosun wicket tunes

    Late to the question & it seems you've already made your mind up, but just to confirm, yeah it's surprisingly nice, and being mainly plastic makes it very light too. In the middle of its zoom range it's pretty sharp, & not awful at the ends.

    If you want some examples, this photo and the previous few were taken with it (on an Olympus body, but it shouldn't make an immense difference if the GX7 has IBIS)

     
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  19. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    edit: nm
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  20. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    Omg, there's a GX8 on another forum going for £475 - shell only. Unwanted Xmas buy from Black Friday.
    I am so tempted.
     
  21. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I ended up buying this in the end. I had to send it back because the lens they originally sent wouldn't connect :rolleyes: but it came back this week after like a frickin month.

    It's not really a different experience to using my existing Lumix cameras—it's just the same but better, without the bits that annoyed me previously. The EVF is mint, and has an eye shield; way way better than the G5. The exposure meter is smarter (seems to blow highlights noticeably less than my G5). It has a million options which I generally ignore, but some of which are useful e.g. applying colour filters to B&W photos. It's well built (as noted above it is relatively chunky) but still not at all heavy. AF speed is great but I don't find it any faster than the G5; all my Lumixes have had great AF.

    The ability to do combo lens + body stabilisation means that you can get some absurd shots. With the 14-140 I've taken shots at 1/15 and slower at the long end which were fine.

    I think the only thing that micro 4/3 still loses out on (and may always) is super-high ISO performance. What this means has changed a lot recently, but this top-of-the-range m43 camera shoots pretty well to 3200, with top-of-the-range full frames now in five digits of "pretty good" ISO. If you want tele shots in the dark you'll still get a higher quality image with full frame. Personally, I don't care; good performance at 3200 is the key for me, I rarely find I need to go higher than that.
     
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  22. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    You realise that a load of us had a sweepstake going on how quickly you'd crack? ;)
     
  23. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Well, it was only a matter of time....

    The more I use it in practice the more I think the best improvements are just in tidying up loose ends in the UI. The UI is _crucial_ to cameras after all; they all take pictures well enough, it's more a question of how convenient they are for the job you want them to do. So you can quickly turn off touchscreen for instance (when the camera's over your neck/shoulder and you don't want to be changing your focus point by accident when it bumps into you) and assign that to a function button so it can easily be switched. Same with disabling/enabling the direction pad, so you can avoid the "omg what happened to my white balance" moment when picking up the camera for that crucial shot. If you run around a lot at protests or wherever these are important things. You can automate some stuff, like electronic shutter for instance; there's an "auto" setting for that as well as "off" and "on", so it uses the E-shutter if it's capable and otherwise goes mechanical. Shutter sound is lovely btw though that's perhaps a minor point.

    You can set up your JPEGs in a much better and more complete way. You can manually set contrast curves. You can apply colour filters to in-camera B&W conversion (red, yellow etc). It all reminds me of the Ricoh GR, where you can customise everything how you like it and just leave it there, ready for use.

    There's loads more than this as well. I've not had one of Panasonic's pro-level cameras before so I can't say how much of it is new, but it's a big step up over the G series.
     
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  24. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    The 14-140mm lens is great as well by the way. There's nothing about it that makes you say "wow this is incredible" from looking at individual pictures, but it reliably takes good, sharp, shots over the whole focal length range, wide open. For a 28-280mm equivalent lens that's pretty impressive.
     
  25. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I've got the Olympus version, Great range but I wish it was faster.
     
  26. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Yeah, that would be nice, but it's okay for most purposes (in the daylight anyway). You can't get tight DOF shots with it but tbh if you want that you should be using specialised lenses anyway. I'd still like one of those 12-35 f2.8 lenses but they're more than the camera plus 14-140....
     
  27. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    I'm looking at the GX8 as I'm seeing the limitations with the GX7.
    Is it 'that much' better?

    The GX8 is more affordable now...
     
  28. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Depends on the limitations you’re seeing. In general I would say probably not; while it is better than the previous Lumixes I’ve had, it’s not super amazing better, and it’s noticeably larger than the GX7. But maybe there’s something specific you hate that it might help with.
     
    Virtual Blue likes this.
  29. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    The stabilisation on the GX7 gets on my nerves and at times, the autofocus.
    I've missed many 'moments' because of this.
    It's also quite shit in low lighting.

    Other than that, it's a great little companion.
    Just feels a little pushed at times.
     

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