« Tea with Jon and Bill (OT) | Main | New Leica Lens for Micro 4/3 »

Thursday, 01 August 2013

Comments

Built in EVF! This is the missing link that made me sell the GX1. At last, no bell tower protruding high above the body.

Hope it sells like hotcakes so Olympus will follow suit.

cheers

I can resist everything but temptation

in the UK the GX7 20f1.7 kit is some £350 cheaper than the E-p5 17f1.8 and VF4.

Very interesting. Personally, I've already invested in the OM-D after having been totally sold to M4/3 standard by the now-lowly E-PL1, but it is refreshing seeing that sometimes big houses listen to the "common user". With so much choice from the lineup of Panasonic and Olympus bodies and lens, who miss the total absence of Canon and Nikon in the game field?

Panasonic finally loses the strap slots and moves towards the strap lugs and triangular rings

I just wanted to be the first comment for once, and I'm somewhat sleepless anyway.

Wow!

Thanks for staying up late.
Gabe

OMG, I want one!
This is the camera that I've been waiting for! ... Sadly, I have absolutely no justification for buying one, since my current camera is perfectly adequate. :)

It is, however, everything I've ever hoped for in a modern camera (provided it has enough dials & knobs, but Panasonic almost always gets that right.) This could be my 'last' camera. I'm grinning right now.

Will

With the EVF and IBIS, this is the first Panasonic m4/3 body that interests me.

On the one hand, I already own a VF3 so that's no big deal if I sometime get a E-PL3 or E-PL5, say. On the other hand, having all of that built in along with a better sensor than the one in my E-PL1 is quite a pleasant thought. I'd have probably sold off my E-PL1 if I hadn't gotten the VF-3 to save my brain from only having a screen on the back of the camera.

But on the gripping hand, who am i kidding? I'll have $1000 to spend on a camera body about the time my now 11 year old son graduates from college ... it took me months to come up with the money for a used Olympus 17/2.8 from KEH O_o

I'd be better off just looking, sighing and going back to my E-PL1 & slightly slow 17/2.8 while saving for an Olympus 45/1.8 instead.

Finally an M4/3 camera I'd want to have! A beauty, too! This will be a popular camera, even at the price, which will be lower after a while. Too bad it's too late for me---already had my NEX 7 for more than a year. And it's a great camera despite its handful of flaws (mostly annoyances---raw performance is actually pretty darn good). I look forward to the stuff coming from Sony these next 6 months or so.

William, I agree but...

When the next New Big Thing GX8 (or whatever) comes along, the price of this camera w/lens will probably be within reason in comparison to our budgets. After all, I bought my current micro 4/3 cameras as second generations and saved about 2/3 of the original selling prices. Then there's the second hand market where nearly new cameras sell cheap since they're now considered "obsolete". It's how I could afford the nearly new Canon DSLR I mainly use. So let those who must have the New Big Thing Right Now take the hit on prices.

Very, very sexy indeed and packed with all the features that a serious enthusiast wants.

I've done a comparison of the size and weight of an awesome general-purpose travel kit from m4/3 and Nikon APS-C. With m4/3 you save 60% of the size and weight, and you get IBIS.

Those are some very strong arguments indeed!

It is nice to see that Panasonic in the latest Micro 4/3 (MFT)products attempt to take into account the users suggestions. During Photokina 2012 I've seen some people asking the Panasonic managers and designers about a possible follow-up of their Four-Thirds Lumix LC1 for the MFT system, and here we are, the GX7.
Personally, I've been waiting patiently for the last two years to upgrade my good old Panasonic GF1, and I think the GX7 is a first true contender.

Personally, I think that until the prices of mirrorless cameras with built in VFs drops substantially, Canon & Nikon are going to sell an awful lot of Rebels and D3200s.

I understand that this isn't an entry level model, but it doesn't feel like a $1000 camera to me. Sonys NEX-6 at $850 is a little more palatable, but still too much for what you get relative to models without VFs or to DSLRs. (I thought that these cameras were supposed to be simpler/cheaper than DSLRs - at least that's what the "DSLRs are doomed" squad keeps saying).

The Panasonic 'G' series is the exception. Those don't seem all that popular for some reason.

I've no doubt that I could seriously enjoy this camera. Teamed up with the 20 and the Oly 45 (maybe the 75 and a WA for more coverage) it would be a very enjoyable system. I hope options like this are around in the future when my need for a DSLR has dwindled and I can seriously consider moving to a compact mirrorless.

Oh...a tiltable EVF that is not obtrusive and won't fall off. A camera that my current m43 lenses will work on. It is a body not made by a company with folks in leadership positions that were around (and arguably had knowledge of the crimes) when now convicted criminals ran it.

A company that is not associated with my more recent purchase error, Fujifilm's sticky aperture blade failure x100. Methinks that if this goes through about 6-8 months without major flaws showing (Fuji) it may well be my next m43 as my Olympus E-P3 is now starting to go to pieces.

I read the first few sentences of this post and thought:

"Yeah, but Mike, it won't have IBIS, so how can you claim this has it all? Ummmmmmm....nevermind.

"But I bet it has a low-resolution viewfinder, right? Errrrrrrrrrrrrr.......nope, 2.76M "dots".

"OK, but I bet the price of the body + kit lens is much more expensive than the body only! Wrong again. The kit lens only adds $100 to the price."

Frankly, I don't see how Panasonic will do anything other than sell these by the boatload...No, scratch that. I predict this camera will be perpetually out of stock.

Best,
Adam

Why would they choose an eye point of only 17.5mm? Surely eyeglass wearers like me cannot live with that? My camera's eye point is 22mm and it is only just enough when wearing glasses. I would not want to go below 21mm.

What were they thinking?

What a great looking camera. It checks nearly all of my boxes. If I had to complain about something its that I'd like for a camera to have a real shutter speed dial instead of a Mode dial. That's personal preference though, I realize most people want more options than Manual and Aperture. In two or three years when the GX9 has pushed the price of this camera down I may well buy it!

Adam

It's great to see so many fine cameras in the niche I happen to most interested in! While I'm quite happy with my Olympus E-M5, I like knowing that appealing options out there.

Unfortunately as a glasses wearer, I'm afraid the GX7 won't be among them for the reason Arg mentions. The combination of a large 0.7x magnification VF with an eyepoint of only 17.5mm likely won't work. My current E-M5 has a 18mm eyepoint but only a 0.58x magnification viewfinder, which is ok. The new Olympus VF-4, by comparison, offers 0.74x magnification with a 21mm eyepoint — that looks like the better choice for glasses wearers. (All magnification numbers taken from DPreview for easy comparison.)

Wow. My OMDs days may be numbered ...

"...I'll be very interested to see the first photo of the GX7 next to the E-P5 with its EVF perched on top, though. The form-factor difference is going to be rather glaring..."

Mike, the folks over at Camerasize.com have already put pictures of the GX7 up for comparison! Those guys are fast!!

[Right you are, Jamie, and thanks, but what I was getting at was that the E-P5 with its "bell tower" add-on EVF is going to look a lot different than the GX7 with its integral EVF. Camerasize's E-P5 doesn't have the EVF mounted on it. --Mike]

Seems like a home run spec-wise, but for those not already invested in m43 it's going to be a tough sell against the NEX-6 unless the street price drops quickly.

Had this come out around the same time as the OM-D I probably would have bought this body. The central VF from the OM-D digs into my back more than I care for, and the tiny, mushy buttons are not enjoyable (prefer the controls on my LX-5). However, one thing that hasn't been mentioned (and many pooh pooh) is weather sealing, and that is what would keep me from using a GX7 as my main body. For those of us in rainy climes who have active lifestyles (skiing, cycling, hiking, etc) it's been invaluable. If this body were weather sealed it would be game over.

Re: Mike replies: Well, if you do, do it through my links, would you? We've just lost Pentax, our biggest advertiser. (The ad is still up, but it will be coming down as soon as we settle accounts—or we don't, as the case may be.)

I hope that this means you will gain Ricoh as a new advertiser and they stay with you... though at this point it doesn't sound like it.

Arg, ginsbu and anyone else who can help...

Would someone be able to explain what factors affect the useability of EVFs with glasses? ginsbu suggests it is the Eye Relief combined with magnification. Would it be possible to expand on that?

My Nex-7 supposedly has an Eye Relief of "23mm from the eyepiece and 21mm from the eyepiece frame". Does this mean the Eye Relief increases when I remove the plastic eye cup or does it drop?

All I know is that with the eyecup in place I can't see the whole frame but without it I can just see the full extent of the viewfinder.

I am keen to know what to look for as the Nex-7 is not for me and I am now on the lookout again. How are the Fuji and Olympus EVFs when used with glasses?

Thanks in advance.

WHY DIDN'T THEY MAKE THIS CAMERA FIRST?????

The enthusiast corner of the market has been screaming for exactly this camera since the inception of m4/3...

Why they waited 4 years is completely mind-boggling.

Is it wrong of me to be disappointed that there's no on-sensor PDAF?

But I share the joy. Panasonic has delivered everything I ever said I wanted in an m4/3 with the GX7 (rangefinder body style, corner EVF, tilt-LCD, IBIS). Bonus, the sync speed looks to be 1/250s (vs. the GX1's 1/160s).

Also, I wear glasses, and shoot with the G3, which has the same eyepoint/magnification and find it comfortable and easily usable. OTOH, I'm only just starting to go presbyopic.

This whole market segment is getting pretty dang sweet. While the mirrorless cameras still can't fully replace DSLRs for photojournalism and action photography, I can state that I successfully used my X-Pro1 to shoot professional NHRA drag racing last weekend on continuous AF and high-speed mode, and I was very pleased with the results.

The new GX-7 looks nice, and gets back to the original vision of the GF1, which is one of the reasons that model was so well-received and successful. The addition of an EVF will be a big plus to enhance the functionality of a nice camera system.

Arg and Ginsbu:

I'm very much an eyeglass wearer - as in, since childhood a very long time ago - and am currently using a Panasonic G3 with the same 17.5mm eye relief. I use the EVF almost exclusively for shooting, reserving the screen mostly for review and menus. I can see the entire frame just fine with careful eye/EVF positioning, something that became second nature very quickly.

I was just about to pull the trigger on a Panasonic G5 when this news came out. A permanently attached viewfinder that tilts up and in-body stabilization for my beloved 20mm 1.7?

Yeah, I'm going for it.

Only silver in the US, that's a drag. I haven't owned a silver camera since 1976. I'll wait, or I'll paint. Overall, aside from using a dumb battery (why not the GH3 battery?), it seems like a great piece of kit.

And oh yeah, HOW ABOUT RELEASING IT IN BLACK for the US market?

A lot of micro four-thirds shooters have been waiting for a rangefinder-styled camera with a built-in viewfinder for a long time. Many have moved to a Sony NEX-7 or NEX-6 because they were tired of waiting. But now, the GX7 is here and it looks like a great piece. What's more, it looks like a better deal overall than the Olympus E-P5 with VF-4 kit.

Now, a word of advice for all of those people who expect a repeat from the Panasonic playbook, meaning a major dive in the price of the GX7 after six or eight months: Don't count on it.

It is very likely we'll see big discounts yet again for the G6 and whatever the latest GF-series camera is. But notice how the price of the GH2 didn't drop for a very long time. The GH3 was very nearly out already before big savings were seen.

Likewise, don't look for the price of the Olympus E-P5 to drop all that much for quite a while. The E-P3 stubbornly held its pricetag until only a few months ago, when the fast and furious close-out fire sales began.

The OM-D is another camera that has held its marketplace value, while Oly's E-PL- and E-PM-series cameras saw big discounts over the course of a year after their introductions in two or more generations.

So what does all of this mean to us? It's clear both Panasonic and Olympus will protect the price of their high-end camera bodies with the savings to be found on the mid- and low-line products. The Panasonic GX1 was introduced with - what? - a $699 MSRP? The GX7 starts at a grand without lens. The GX line has clearly moved upmarket.

I think the best we'll see for a long time is the occasional $100 or $150 discount sale. So, if you really want a GX7, I say start saving and hope for some kind of sale at Christmas.

Eyeglass wearers - try the Fujifilm X-E1 with its 23mm Viewfinder eye point. You will like it. I was thrilled to replace my E-PL1 + VF2 with the Fuji.

Mike - replace Pentax with Fujifilm. It is a company with a philosophy that I feel is closely aligned with the ideals of your (admittedly diverse) readership. I know you like M43, and for good reasons, but I get the impression you've just not had the opportunity to experience the Fujifilm sweetness as yet.

@John -- what about this camera makes it an appealing upgrade to the OM-D?

I think this thing looks great, but there's nothing about it which says to me, "That'd so scratch this itch I have with the OM-D!"

One also hopes that Panasonic has the Sony FourThirds sensors. I suspect they have.

They already made the jump with the GH3 (though not many, including myself, noticed!). The GH3 sensor has the same DxoMark results (within experimental error) as the OMD: it's the same sensor.

This also means that OMD users unless you like the different position of the EVF or perfer the GX7 haptics there's not a lot of reason to switch to the GX7.

I think for everyone it's noce to see that Panasonic has looked at it's rivals (you can see bits of the NEX, Fuji and Olympus cameras in this one) and added a few ideas of it's own. Hopefully now they'll apply similar thinking to the rest of their microFourThirds bodies (as Olympus has done). And adopt the Sony sensor in all of them.

Hi, Mike- have you heard the sound of the shutter on the EP-5 ? VERY Leica M-3-ish!!

[Yes, it's lovely, addictive even. --Mike]

I like this camera a lot, but I like the idea of someone selling me their lightly used GH3 in order to get the GX7 even more.

"We've just lost Pentax, our biggest advertiser."

I still think an approach like charging $20 per year say for access to the comments section makes sense. You have a pretty dedicated readership many of whom would kick in for full access. Seems to be working for Andrew Sullivan's The Dish. Crowdfunding may be the way to go. Just saying.

Oh no. Just a week after I spent about the same for a NEX-6 with two lenses.

Regarding Alberto Bengoa's featured comment, the GX7 does have two wheels (along with the mode dial). There's one at the back, and a second around the shutter release button.

Hey Ben -

The GF1 was my first MFT camera, replaced about a year ago with the the OMD. I'm reasonably pleased with the image files I get out of my OMD(definitely an improvement over the GF1) but I don't love the interface. I routinely and inadvertently change settings and have to figure out how to change them back. This has literally happened dozens of times and has caused me to miss shots or get a result that was less than desirable. I think its the combination of those squishy control buttons on the back and a somewhat byzantine menu system. Of lesser importance, I've never been a fan of the OMD's "retro" look (hey, its not an OM1 - 4) - I find the cleaner more utilitarian design of the GX7 more appealing. Finally I'm interested by reported lack of an anti-aliasing filter. No experience with this but the consensus seems to be that it results in files with more detail. I'm only semi-serious about throwing the OMD over the side for the GX7 but it got my attention ... j

Hi Mike,

Panasonic had several tech announcements this year that sounded pretty interesting. Do you know if any of it is used in the GX7?

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/02/04/panasonic-promises-high-sensitivity-sensors-using-micro-color-splitters

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/06/12/Fujifilm-and-panasonic-organic-CMOS-sensor-industry-leading-dynamic-range-and-sensitivity

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2007/05/14/panasonicrobustsensor

I've asked the same at DPR, nobody seems to know. Does Panasonic? ;-)

[I don't. Your question "does Panasonic?" is interesting, though--often, we deal here in the U.S. with tech reps and marketing people, who sometimes don't know about the technical "innards." They know a lot about how the controls work and what the features are, but not the underlying technology. A number of times I've had U.S. tech reps tell me they don't know the answer to a question and that they need to ask Japan and get back to me. So the answer to your question *could* be "no," if by "Panasonic" we mean the company's English-speaking U.S. representatives, or local reps in other countries. --Mike]

Along with the obvious features everyone is commenting one is one that is notable because of it's absence on so many mirrorless cameras: the tripod socket is centred under the lens and the battery & memory card are housed in the grip in such a way that you can change the battery and memory card while on a tripod without having to remove the camera from the tripod. Simple, but stunning if you do much work on a tripod.
John Driggers
Adelaide South Australia

Nic M wrote:
> Panasonic had several tech announcements this year that sounded
> pretty interesting. Do you know if any of it is used in the GX7?

The probability that they're using e.g. micro-splitters in the GX7 is vanishingly small, for the following reasons:

1) Panasonic didn't mention anything about such an innovation being used in the GX7, even though touting innovation and improvements is considered good for marketing purposes.

2) The micro-splitting device Panasonic demonstrated creates a non-conventional pixel array. Non-conventional — i.e. non-Bayer — arrays, like Foveon's X3 and Fuji's X-trans require the development of special-purpose color processing algorithms / firmware for the cameras, custom raw developer software, and also generally have much less support by third-party raw developer software publishers.

3) The micro-splitters rely on self-interference of optical waves and implement, unlike a conventional diffraction gratings, a physical process that's in the domain of evanescent waves. The inherent exponential decay of the separated light bundles would then preclude the light from reaching the pixels if the pixel pitch is much larger than the wavelength. The pixel pitch of the GX7's sensor, being about 3.8µ, is much too large for the evanescent separated waves to cover the distance between the micro-splitter and the pixels.

The comments to this entry are closed.