Flickr Photo Stream

www.flickr.com

8.26.2014

Thoughts GX7

If I could have dreamed up my perfect camera this would have been it; small ergonomic body, lots of dials & controls and a touchscreen implementation that I actually use. Normally, I turn off the touchscreen on touchscreen cameras by default, but not only have I kept the GX7’s touchscreen on from day one, but I have even warmed to the touchscreen on the E-PL5 because of it. There is nothing I don’t like about the GX7, and if it had an APS-C  sized sensor I would marry it. Really, that is the biggest downside of the GX7, the four thirds sensor. 

The portability of the system brings a host of compromises, and I am willing to live with them because of the wide variety of cameras and lenses that are part of the system. Image quality is good, no doubt, but I still saw the difference between it and the 6D & 5D. I don’t want to get into a m43 vs FF thing now (that will be another post), this is about the GX7. It is so customizable, but still the default decisions they have made are brilliant out the box: the way you set exposure compensation by pressing in the rear dial, the quick and easy way to select a focus point with or without touch, opting for using the directional buttons instead of a scroll wheel to pick your point, the auto-ISO fine tuning available; it all just works.  Add that to reasonable priced lenses that follow the philosophy of small and useful as they cover most ranges in an Olympus and Panasonic version. 

I enjoyed shooting with it so much it really sparked my photography love in a way that had not occurred since my Canon XSi. It even made me buy the GX1, just because this is the line I want to roll with. I have to be honest, the in-body image stabilization is something Panasonic needed for a while even if only 2 axis, as it opens a whole field of lenses not just IS Panasonics. If it did not have the IS in-body I probably would have gone with the E-M5, but it’s hard to believe me liking a camera more than I like the GX7, so I am glad they did.

PROS
In-body IS
Controls
Focus implementation is spot on
Size

CONS
Image quality not equal to most APS-C and Full Frame Cameras
Short battery life, maybe it would be nice to have eth option of adding a hand grip for better battery life
…uhhhh that’s about it.

8.19.2014

Thoughts E-PL5


Looking at the E-PL5 I didn't realize how small it was until I held it in my hand and started using it. I was leaning towards buying the Panasonic GM1 to see what it was like, but no image stabilization held me back. The GM1 is smaller than the E-PL5, about the size of the RX100 II, but after using the E-PL5, I liked the extra size in the hand more than the RX100 II. I tested it out on a Regional Rail shoot, and it worked perfectly; the next time I went out to shoot at a Regional Rail stop in my heart that was the camera I wanted to take.

PROS

  • Size WITH Image stabilization and tilt screen
  • Touch screen focus
  • Just small enough
  • Very nice image quality
  • Surprising dynamic range for sensor size


CONS

  • Battery life short (about 300 shots)
  • Really could use an extra control dial
  • Ugly beast
  • Tilty ruins streamline profile


8.18.2014

Camera Journey 8.18.14 - Nearing the End

I never thought I would be at the point where I would be fighting with myself about sending the 6D back because of how much I love the GX7, and YES, I do love the GX7. I know logically and factually the 6D will blow away the GX7’s image quality, even though the GX7 IQ is very good. But the GX7 is the perfect combination of size, Image quality, and techie gear satisfaction. I took it out last weekend and it just felt like part of my hand. I went to Fort Delaware, (Fort Delaware, DE is a very camera friendly location), and seeing all those people with their big full frame SLRs and all the gear and heavy bags they had to bring and me knocking out great pictures with the GX7 and my 14-140 lens was the transformative moment I was waiting for when I started this reboot.  I have also settled in surprisingly with the E-PL5 as my stealth shooter, and it has made the RX100 II obsolete. I actually use that for my Regional Rail camera trips if I know I need to be low profile, and although I really wish it had an extra dial the compromise of size, Image stabilization, and image quality won me over. The kit glass is not as good as the RX100 II’s lens, but that is just a matter of buying good glass. I will probably just go with the 20 f/1.8 on the E-PL5 when I am stealth shooting. 

I also picked up the GX1, as it was selling for a song ($200.00), and it can be a back-up body for the GX7 with the same interface and once I look at the size, may knock the E-PL5 onto eBay.
I will be taking the 6D out shooting next weekend, and when I get I will look at the images and make a decision whether to put it up on eBay or not. I know the image quality will be better, but the question is will it be so much better that I have to keep it? I would really like to just go Micro 4/3rds all the way, but I will let my gut speak to me when I look at the photos next weekend.