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9.11.2014

Thoughts GX1

Since I fell in love with the GX7 I decided to get the GX1 as my back-up body, especially since they were selling for around 300.00. It’s actually been off the bench quite a bit as the size is smaller than the GX7, and with image stabilized lenses, I do not lose much in image quality. I do like the larger, but not too large, size of the GX7 more, especially the second control dial. It’s not really a contest, The GX7 is better, but the GX1 is actually my compact street shooter now. I have the GM1, but that is my super stealthy camera, when I need great image quality that is very unobtrusive and am willing to deal with the minimal controls.
After using the GX7’s touch screen, not having a capacitive but a resistive touch screen takes a minute to get use to, and if I had to change one thing, it would be to give it a capacitive touch screen. I find that even with the GX7 I am using the back LCD for most of my framing and shots. I only use the EVF for moving subjects and bright light.

PROS

  • Point & Shoot size yet full featured, as an entry level SLR
  • Good image Quality
  • Longer Battery life than GX7
  • Control dial in small body


CONS

  • Resistive instead of capacitive touch screen
  • Low light a little bit worse
  • No in-body IS


9.04.2014

The Journey ends (for now...)


So back in June I realized I was kind of over my photography interests, and a lot of it stemmed from the fact that when I was out with my gear people seemed so unreceptive to it. I had not taken a picture in almost 8 months because I just dreaded carrying around all that huge gear and having to constantly explain myself in the street. I had the NEX 6 for smaller size, but I just never really warmed to it, as there was only one lens that really fit the system, which was the kit lens. Every other lens was so big it just made the whole set-up look goofy. 

So I sold it all: 2 Canons, 2 NEX cameras, 8 lenses and 3 flashes. I then used the money to see what would work for me and maybe bring back my fire. My initial thought was to go mirrorless, and see what I might like. I did chicken out halfway through getting 2 SLRs, the 6D & the Olympus E-620, but I eventually found the GX7, and from there it was pretty much a wrap; I started selling the rest off. The cameras I tried since 06/14:

  • Fujifilm XE-1
  • Olympus E-620
  • Powershot G1X Mk II
  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Olympus E-PL5
  • Olympus E-PL2
  • Sony RX100 MK II
  • Sony RX10
  • Olympus Stylus 1
  • Fujifilm f900EXR
  • Panasonic GX7
  • Panasonic GX1
  • Panasonic GM1

I was really torn about the reduced image quality of micro four thirds, but the ability of the system to just get out your way and let you enjoy photography of all types, was what won me over. If the NEX system had better lenses at cheaper prices I would have probably gone with them, but the whole micro four thirds ecosystem won me over not the just the camera bodies. Also a concern was every 5 minutes Sony is revamping their whole product line, and having a consistent line of progression is always something I like as a photographer and gear-head.

I was still not sure about my decision, but taking the 6D out for a spin with just one lens reminded me how big the system was, and for me it was a fail for city shooting. It was great for state parks and camera friendly areas, but I like the all aroundness of micro four thirds. With the wealth of camera bodies using the format in difference ways (and now Kodak is on board with an M43 camera and lens of their own), there is a lot of diversity.

So I settled on the:

  1. Panasonic GX7 – My main camera and first choice out.
  2. Panasonic GM1 – My stealth camera and and one I take if I am not 100% sure they allow photography.
  3. Panasonic GX1 – My Back-up/spare body, great with another lens attached so I don’t have to swap lenses with the GX7, but just have 2 cameras with different lenses. In a perfect world I could see one with the 12-35 2.8, and one with the 35-100 2.8.
  4. Fujifilm f900EXR - In my bag every day, good for all uses, and the 20x zoom is there if I need it. Also great as a loaner to hand to friends and family if they want to take some pictures.


So my camera journey is over now, I am on a 200.00 a month budget, and no big splurges unless my budget has saved up enough for it. Just to make it interesting I will make an entry every month, with a running total of my camera budget.

9.02.2014

Thoughts Canon 6D


Buying a Canon SLR you are always reminded of 2 things; you may make some sacrifices, but image quality is not one of them. When you are talking modern full frame, there is so much detail in the images and the low light ability is crazy. If image quality is your number one concern, then Canon or Nikon full frame is the way to go. I am a Canon fanboy at heart and so I went Canon with the 6D. I went Micro four thirds also, but bought the 6D thinking I would use that for landscapes and portraits. After using the GX7, I really was rooting for the image quality to not be so good on the 6D. Sadly, it was fantastic, but aside from image quality & lowlight, the camera paled when compared to the GX7 in other areas:

Focus - The focus was good, but not as good as the GX7 and the limited focus points really chafed after using the GX7.
Size - The camera, and more importantly the combination of camera and lens, made a huge difference in comfort, and since everything is smaller, the kit you bring is much lighter.
Price - The prices for new Micro four thirds lenses were about the prices for used Canon lenses. Everything is just a little bit cheaper.
Ergonomics - The 6D ergonomics aren't bad, but the GX7 is like an extension of my hand to me.
Fun - The GX7 with all its modern technology, conveniences, size, and being able to get a basic kit of lenses together for a reasonable price made it quick to get up to speed, and left a lot of room to grow as you learned to use it’s full capabilities. I just had more fun using it than the 6D. I felt when using the 6D I was using a dumbed-down camera in all aspects except sensor size. With the GX7, I felt I was using a top of the line travel mirrorless with all the bells & whistles.

PROS

  • Image quality
  • Low Light
  • Library of lenses, flashes, and accessories second to none


CONS

  • Big, even if small for a full frame camera
  • Expensive
  • Limited Focus points
  • Limited Shutter speed and that is especially a pain with a FF sensor since it gathers so much more light. Not having 1/8000 is kinda a shame.
  • Serviceable but dated interface