I am not one to gush but Panasonic seems to be hitting their stride

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by GerrySiegel, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. In the mirrorless realm the two big micro four thirds players have managed to up their game each year. And yes, I know that they are always beset by the big Sony line and their innovations. I have both the Olympus EM-1 and grip which delivers a lot and fulfills the need to use all those phase detect lenses, some of them never equallted in quality in micro four thirds. But I got a used but perfect GX 8 and it has won first place in my bag. Why? Two things stand out. The viewfinder is pure bliss. Second, Panasonic has a rational menu system, maybe as good as we can find in mirrorless. And a rational layout. And just when we figured they are gonna rest on their laurels and such, they are coming out with a new and old design of MILC the G 9. I now will not consider any but the beautiful OLED finder with fast refresh and customability. So henceforth I am a Lumix person. With a soft spot for Olympus. Such a cornucipia we got. Quibbles? None from where i set. I think the die is cast on articulated LCD and that suits fine as well.... Lumix contrast focus is a speed demon IMO.... Feature sets are getting so complex, I guess Moores Law has to be satisfied and they need something to add to the programming.....how is your experience. Still happy with your smallish micro four thirds, And the Big Beast they called the GX 8 ( most underrated show stealer yet)
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  2. Interesting, glad to hear your experience with the GX8.

    The GX8 and GX7 hit a sweet spot that intrigues me and makes me consider switching to M4/3 from Pentax. Love the articulated finders, and the rangefinder styling. In general mirror less appeals to me for the guaranteed focus accuracy. Regardless of system, DSLRs are haunted by having to keep all that optical system aligned to deliver optimal focus (hence the rise of AF “fine tuning” over the last 10 years.)

    I was given pause with regards to the GX8 when Mike “The Online Photographer” tried one but gave up on it due to IS issues. Two other things that worry me are the presence of an AA filter, and reports of shutter shock.

    How do you find the GX8 with regards to critical sharpness? Is it giving you everything you expect?
  3. I bought the Olympus OMD EM5 back when it was the new camera on the block. I was using a flip-phone and wanted it for travel as we were going on vacation. So I bought it and used it. Pictures are very sharp and colors look good. In the camera store the EVF seemed nice but later I found that it does not work with prescription sunglasses and so I have to remove my glasses to shoot and then I cannot see the menu's. Over time I just quit using the EVF. I used the camera last week as the Grandkids were over and I exhausted both batteries with about 50 photos using the live view to shoot. Because of the battery life, inability to use the EVF and inability to see the live view in sunlight I do not actually take it anywhere and just use it around the house. The video has no input jacks for audio or headphones. I mostly using it with a Panasonic 25mm f1.7 lens. Anyway I feel that I wasted a pile of money on it as I felt after buying the D200 before that. Mostly I use my cell phone for digital photos as the picture quality is just as good and I have it with me all the time. For a hobby I am shooting Tri-X in 35mm and MF and am enjoying that quite a bit. I hiked for 6 hours at Pinnacles National Park yesterday and took my 35mm with a red filter and a 2 stop ND grad. film is drying as we speak and I am excited with how they look. Also some photos of my 3y/o Grandson on his birthday a couple days ago.

    There is a you tuber guy called Peter Gregg and he is all about the Panasonic G5. He say's it's the best camera for video and one of the best for stills. If I was going to purchase a digital camera which I am not it would be the Canon D80. The optical viewfinder is something I can use and it apparently is excellent with video but only 1080. "No 4K for you" as Peter Gregg says quite charmingly.

    Good luck with your Panasonic gear. I imagine it is top tech in camera's.
  4. Aloe plant in front yard.jpg I wish the battery life was longer, but then I always wish that. As to quality of images and sharpness, that gets into lenses as well. I typically have the 12-35 mounted and when I want to just shoot something for the heck of it, I rarely have any quibbles over quality right out of the camera. I am not fussy, A JPEG suffices for me so I make not pretense of being a sharp eyed viewer. I do not use glasses on the GX 8 and could not live without the EVF. I bought the Lumix larger add on rubber surround. The GX 8 uses the same battery as the older GH 2 so I now have about five batteries. They all get a workout. Batteries have a shelf live too..the new G 9 alleges some power saving features. That is overdue.
  5. I'm going for a new GX85 kit. That is what can afford now but completes my camera and lenses setup. Previously I have an E-P3 and 4 m43 lenses (Rokinon 7.5, Panasonic 20mm, Olympus 40-150 and Sigma 60)
    I only shoot JPG too.

    I forgot to mention the Olympus 9mm fisheye cap :)
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  6. I tend to follow the 'good enough' philosophy with cameras so I don't think I've ever been at the cutting edge, tech wise. Last year I traded my GF1 for a used GX-7 and nothing has happened since to make me think I need to change again. As Gerry says, the menus actually make sense, the viewfinder is good, there is enough control and customization available, and the images are good enough. Of course, the M4/3 lens line-up is important - I use both Lumix and Zuiko lenses without fear or favour. And - point of disclosure - I keep an Oly E-PL3 as my travel camera.
    So yes, I think Panasonic is a good choice. for the hobbyist photographer.
  7. The GX 7 is a great all around good value camera. Has most of the goodies. If one finds a good used one it still is most desirable. I have own, and would not part with it. With the 20mm 1.7 it is eminently modest in size and does a fine job. So I agree with Brian. My choice to go with four thirds and micro four thirds is one I have no quarrel with. But sometimes I can lust in my heart for the latest and greatest. But no hurry. Never a first adopter.
  8. Wow, I must be way behind the curve (So far, I can't even see the curve) I'm considering an 'upgrade' from an E-410 to a E-PL1, just a body, something with a short register I can finally use my Pen F (film) Zuiko's on. Figured I'd make a hooded screen eyepiece that is held in place on a stick slipped into the accessory /flash shoe. We'll see how these old film lenses, designed in the 60's for half frame film, do with a 110 film size digital sensor.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  9. I have always enjoyed the feel and lush look of Sony point and shoot models. But I decided to try a Panasonic Lumix point and shoot for the season sales. My objective is to have a camera that will be carryable on a belt along with my flip phone. Something with better than the photo capability of the Samsung phone which is barely acceptable from my cultivated taste and does not need a healthy and arduous dose of sharpening and fussing in PS. I decided to go for the pocketable model that is offered at a deep discount with a spare battery and a wheelbarrow of other goodies. Namely the Lumix ZS 100. I guess ZS could stand for super zoom. Well it is as much zoom as I will need anyway. The camera is minute. A real miniature. Came with a belt size case that is light as a feather loaded. Happily the menu is like the a la carte fashion of Panasonic menus. Namely superb. So far I am delighted with the photos and the ease of use. Even with my fat fingers I can manage. With the intelligent mode I can just hand it to my spouse and she has not hesitation to look at the LCD. It throws in, throws it the right word, a small but usable EVF. How the devil they pack so much power of computing on a chip still boggles me.. It is a slippery body one has to decide to hold with finger on the two top sides. Like a creampuff so to speak. I ordered a package of stick on rubberized grip stick ons from Amazon to add to the right front panel. But now I will have a camera that is so small and so light that I can hang it on my belt next to the phone and be ready to shoot the next visit from Santa. And yes there is a wee flash. And a 1" sensor which is pushed to an astonishingly high megabytes like 20 or so..(.gulp, whoda thought?. Some legerdermain them guys got!) 550.00 with a load of extras. Likely about to be discontinued. So are we all eventually :-(
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  10. The last point and shoot style camera I bought was the one that got me interested in Olympus brand. It was the Camedia C 5050. A Kodak CCD with 5 megapixels and a ro0bust metal body. It took three card styles but no SD card which may have been just starting to get common. Such is the history of digital. The Camedia is still holding up but it is dated by today's standards. Meaning that the small cameras have gotten smaller with more punch. And that has to do with the growth of chips and the efficiency of those little batteries. That plus the great quality of screen technology for viewing. i will later on take a photo of the C 5050 and the Lumix SZ 100 side by side. Cameras of equal price but not accounting for inflation the Lumix has more for the buck. And has more inputs and outlets. And WI FI which is kind of amazing when you think of how we communicate these days. Trouble for me is that the full manual is 406 pages. But I don't need to know all the stuff, thank my stars.
  11. I've still got a C5060 sitting in the drawer. Robust, not so little beast, I should give it a workout some day.
  12. Yes, the Camedia models of over 10 years back were solid and full of features. The Camedia C 5050 was my very first digital camera. It was so slick that I started to think of Olympus as well as my tried and true Canons over the years. I owned almost all the FD Canons and a flock of lenses. Now I still have the C 5050 which one gent called his little Leica. Well not quite but it offered so much for the time. Three separat card slots. Four AA batteries so no problem with battery types. A five mp sensor which just hit the OK spot for most average uses. I mean a whole book sported the results of shots with this one small camera. It had a tilt LCD. Which I used to be able to see at the time and an optical viewfinder. That matched the zoom. A fast lens up to 1.8. A macro mode and decent but slow menu up and down and across. Very slow write speeds it seemed. The Sony CCD did a good job but had to be recalled. Mine has a replacement. The zoom was slow moving and it was really chunky - is really chunky. Now the SZ 100 next to it is only a year old in production. It has a 20 mp sensor and functions galore. Mainly it has a beautiful large fixed LCD and a wee EVF. It still has a quality feel and has a decent lens. And whoops, it reall does say Leica. Now what more can one ask for? It is much easier to handle for me and is more user friendly overall. the company has learned some stuff over the years. Thirteen years. Price? About the same. Both have wee flash but the C 5050 took the intelligent Olympus flash system. And note the little top LCD which was thrown in. On off switch kept getting switched by accident. And with a cap on the lens, the zoom went beep beep beep--help I am trapped, that was funny..... Actually in constant dollars the Lumix is a better value all around. It shoots 4 K video and stereo recording, hot dog....where do they pack all that stuff in? If it had a little plug jack for an off camera flash I would call it perfect but it does have a small little puff puff on top...(Older Camedias had a plug jack for off camera flash when there was no hot shoe..it could have been adapted to the Lumix, but few would bother to use it I expect.) But me i still own that kind of cord.. And the Lumix, ah it uses SD cards and not the big CF cards. Or so called Smart Media or XD cards a la the 2004 Oly Them were the days.. But then Sony had its long fling with the Memory Stick, recall? C 5050 and SZ 100 compared.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  13. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    Panasonic - didn't they used to make T.Vs?:D
  14. And some good ones, since you mentioned it.. We still use and enjoy our Viera LCD model. Panasonic was a strong proponent of Plasma. I think they just dropped out of the TV business from what I can tell going on two or three years. But they are a broad electronics outfit. And still make toaster ovens and microwaves and high end video cameras and a whole bunch of stuff. National Panasonic. And Matsushita as I recall.. A good name for ages. Technics audio was top of the line, and they still produce a high end turntable for disk jockeys.... Not sure how many items they make for other imprimaturs either. I expect a bunch. Even did a Leica CL at one time. Long association led to the camera venture. May it thrive. Batteries and cells as well. Stuff that counts.
  15. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    Just pullin' your chain - from the photo I figured you had taken the gloves off but were still "board";)
    GerrySiegel likes this.
  16. Getting acquainted with what they call an upscale compact pocket size camera. In Hawaii we do not wear pants with big pockets and only rarely are jackets in order, though this Winter catches one with a sweater if you are too adapted to the tropics. I like the feel of the beast and I am not sure I will paste on a grip stick on where the finish is totally completely smooth. I am like a gecko in holding cameras, they rarely slip. But am thinking on that. ( The Canon G models I have looked at have modest but useful grippy sections and thumb wrest and they are well though out. Getting small and making sure no accidental pushes is getting to be a designer thrill flight... It has no selfie articulated LCD and I do not seek one....i could use WI FI and operate it via an IPAD even better.. It has a wee mini optical electronic finder that is barely usable but it is there. Tripod bush. Well located on off switch not likely to be moved.. EVF small so big deal.. But one can see the target and hope you got it in the image. The LCD is the cats meow though. Sharp and full featured.. It has so many functions to satisfy the demanding still and video user and good battery life..very good indeed. Includes stop motion animation, burst shots, 4 K video AVCHD MOV 4 and ability to splice and dice video in camera. Whodathunkit? Slow motion and fast motion. Panorama mode though I have never seen the attractiion and tried it once or twice. Good range on lens, not a super anything but good enough for most day to day without the heavy artillery...this is the new generations MINOX James Bond with big hands model eh? And too too many scene modes and three custom setting modes, about two more than I need. And an easy to use touch screen. One thing I have that is a continuing pet peeve about a lot of digitals is the situation where you say, hey how the hell do I get the EVF back on or how do I get the flash function back? It is a matter of the dependencies that is the evil thing! So if you pressed HDR and bracket mode why would you expect the flash to keep up, dumbkopf? But one can spend many an irritating minute trying to recall what one might have done....Siri, get me back to where I was yesterday!!! Book writer for micro four thirds say the dependencies are too many for him to lay out on a grid....i think not. Company could do it....save a lot of forum squawking with HELP requests saying I think my camera done gone broke. Anyway, for 550. I got the camera, a spare battery and a charger and a pouch, black Case Logic and a 32 meg SD card and i get to get a 3 yr warranty. Not bad. I am seeking a good case one that will clip on my belt and then I will be in seventh heaven. Or until next year, whichever comes first. Seriously, this has the feel of quality and some thought. And it has a decent 1" sensor which does a decent enough job. RAW and shades or levels of JPEG too. Full array of buttons and knobs and levers. Basic black I chose nor sure why, so I may need that red Zing bag to find it on the sofa. So I had to add this user followup to re affirm by enjoyment of the Panasonic Lumixes. Sony is no baloney. Salute Sony you gave us Walkman too.. Panasonic is Oeedokee for the smaller less hip crowd. And worthy of a hip hip hooray from yours truly. Lumix ZS100 .jpg
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018

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