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Friday, 17 July 2015

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Something about it clearly makes it *seem* big. But to me, any system camera under 500 grams is very reasonable. SLRs and DSLRs are mostly closer to a kilo, if not bigger, and when I started, the cameras getting down there around half a kilo were miracles.

(I have to admit, I love compact, and it'll take a very strong argument to make me choose a significantly heavier camera.)

The viewfinder on the GX7 is crummy. I hope this one is better. I Nikon F viewfinder from 1970 had a better viewfinder by far. Can we go back to the future please? I compared a Sony A7 and even a Fuji X-E2 to the GX7 yesterday and the Panasonic is a slouch in comparison. It needs a serious upgrade.

More importantly, the GX8 comes in at $1,200 for the body, when you can get a new GX7 for $550 at Amazon, and even cheaper if you look around.
I think the vision of m4/3rd has always been a small body, with small lens, inexpensive for "good enough" image quality. At $1,200 with a large body, you could go for a much cheaper XT-10, K-3... for much better image quality.

BIG camera, small sensor The body is large enough to house a Full Frame sensor. Meh. My FFFilm LTM Leica only weighs 410 grams. What a porker.

I'm over six feet tall, wear size 13 shoes and wear XLarge gloves. My very large hands love holding the really small, but well designed Sony NEX 5n. Ergonomics and size are two different things.

Then there is the excuse that Big Bodies are needed for balance. Back in the day I used a 14 oz Canon Film Rebel (plastic lens mount) with 5.5 lb EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM—not a problem. People who have a balance problem, with long lenses, just haven't learned the proper way to hold them.

Panasonic losing me as a GX8 customer, is No Big Deal, to them or to me.

Too small is bad, but thism thing has a PASM dial instead of a shutter speed dial. Wha?

Wait a minute . . .

Fujifilm XPro-1: 139.5mm x 81.8mm x 42.5mm and weighting in at 450g w/battery & card.

So the XPro-1 is bigger but weights less? Intgeresting.

Sarcasm much?

In my opinion this defeats the purpose of a system with a comparatively small sensor. I've been waiting for this camera, but considering the size I'm more likely to get a Fuji or Sony 7 instead. Especially strange is seeing that Panasonic must have chosen to fill the body with pebbles rather than put in a huge battery that should have been possible.

With, as Mike wrote: "the greater depth of the digital bodies is largely due to the built-in handgrips", the relevant comparison with a Leica M camera would be with standard lenses, like f/2,0 35 or 50mm (equivalent), attached. Few people put cameras and lenses separately in their pockets. OK, I admit to having done it occasionally.

I love my GX7. It's my favourite camera of the many I've owned. But it's never been out of the house except wearing the bottom half of the "ever ready case" Panasonic supplied with it, which improves its fit to my hand no end.

By my estimate, the ERC adds about 5mm to the height and depth, and about 10mm to the width, and weighs somewhere between 25 and 50g. It sounds like the GX8 is spot on!

My order is on the way...

I am still using a 1Ds mk lll, the camera that once made a man nudge his wife in the British Museum to point out to her how big my camera was. I'm not sure his wife was impressed by size, but he was. How the times have changed. Today I sometimes get the impression that some shooters give me the same look that some folk give to obeese people. One that says, "There's no excuse for that size"

No biggie


Sean

Big is relative, consider (approx sizes)

Nikon D3s: 160 x 157 x 88 mm 1240g or
Nikon D800: 146 x 123 x 82 mm 1008g

So the GX8 is less than half the weight of the D800 and the bonus of smaller lenses.

I'm happier with the slightly bigger size.

+1 for Ken...when I started to mess with M 4/3rd's, I got an "on sale" G3, and I thought: "...this is ridiculously small"...then when in use, my fat palm was causing camera setting changes...too small...

The bigger issue with this, is that if I'm not mistaken, this is pricer than the new G7. Does it have more value, and more usabililty than the new G7? Or are we paying a premium for just the design?

I buy a m4/3s every year or so and then sell them after I realize that I can not easily sharpen my fingertips to operate them.

I think it's a beautiful designed camera.
And I also think that it's too big for my likeing, considering it's still a MFT camera.
It surely dips into APSC size territory, namely an upcoming Fujifilm XE3 comes to mind, when considering budget, weight and size...

The unobtrusiveness for candid street shooting will be diminished somewhat, imo. At least when I consider the formfactor of the GX1 or GX7.

Nonetheless, a beautiful camera is a beautiful camera. I wouldnt go that far and call it a beast though...

I recently bought a Fuji X100T; the goal was a compact camera with good IQ, to be a carry/travel camera. Also liked the idea of the "rangefinder" style as I can't work with a rear LCD. I like the files that I am getting from this camera, but the physical/handling aspect has been difficult. When I grip the camera with my right hand, the lower thumb pad often hits one or more of the fiddly buttons on the back and changes a setting. I've had to add a thumb rest and a grip in an effort to eliminate this. What's really irritating for me is that I don't want most of the myriad programmable "features" that can be assigned to these buttons, so I am playing around with various combinations of the few that I will use, in order to be aware of hitting something by mistake. I suppose that the physical issue is the price that one has to pay for the smaller size. The endless menus and permutations are OK, once you figure out how to eliminate most of them from accidental contact. One surprise with this camera is the lack of adequate documentation, given Fuji's seemingly consumer centric orientation.

Olympus OM-10 (full frame, film camera): 136 x 83 x 50 mm.

Large is the new small, or vice versa.

Ken James: "The race for 'small' has gotten out of hand."

What a classic phrase, Ken! Bronze it, Mike!

I was having some 4/3 envy until I went to Camersize.com. I compared the size of an Olympus OM-D E-M5 II with the 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens I was coveting with my Sony A7II and the 28-70mm kit lens and low and behold there is almost no difference! The Panasonic GX8 body is even physically bigger than the A7II - I no longer have that moment of envy.

The greater depth of a digital camera, compared to a film camera of the same mount register, is largely due to what's behind the sensor. That is, the rear screen, most probably a circuit board, and in my camera the shake reduction mechanism.

According to Pentax Forums, the typical manual focus SLR is about 50mm deep. My old K20D is 65mm deep. These figures ignore any front overhang of the pentaprism hump, not at issue here, though some camera dimensions these days are quoted 'minus protusions'.

If you want to boggle at some big film SLRs, look at the dimensions for the Pentax 6x7 cameras. A bit bigger than the Canon and Nikon top dogs, and about 40% heavier. Of course the lenses are much heavier too. You are looking at 2300g/5 lbs US or more just for the camera and 105mm standard lens.

I agree somewhat with Ken that a bigger camera is easier to work with in some ways. But, once it gets that big, why not a bigger sensor? Not needed? Smaller lenses?

"The race for 'small' has gotten out of hand. I totally welcome a reasonable size camera."

Ergonomics are one of the great imponderables. A largish DSLR that I used to carry for hours without discomfort using only a wrist strap gave a friend hand cramps in a handful of minutes. But I am so happy I don't have to carry such a thing any more.

My first reaction to an image of the GX8 was confusion, why had they so obviously bulked up such a nice camera. The only ergonomic thing I've wished with my GX7 is that it were a little smaller.

I, and my hands, which aren't particularly small, size Large gloves, really like the Oly Pen Lites and Minis. I find the tiny GM1 neither "too 'finicky,'" nor "too small to work with any ease".

Mr James is certainly right for himself, far from right for me.

If I were even to consider this monster beast, I would be deterred by the way they have changed the most perfectly placed on/off switch I've encountered and the best rear wheel I've ever used, with its push to change function feature and perfect placement, for my particular thumb.

One outstanding thing about the GX7 is that its a modest sized camera with IBIS. I've always thought Panny's choice of mostly bodies without IS and a line of prime lenses also without IS to be strange.

To get an inconspicuous camera for use in the dim, one had to use Oly bodies until the GX7, and now again. I would love the GM1 (or GM5, perhaps) for that role, but a lovely, fast prime on it is no faster than the kit zoom with IS, once the light goes down. An Oly E-PM2 is not quite as small, but 2-3 stops faster, for that use. An E-PMx the same size, but with the IBIS from the E-M5 II, is my fantasy. Unrealistic, I fear, but I can dream ...

I know a couple of left eyed shooters who were happy about the way the GX7 keeps all its controls over on the right. The GX8 moves an important control far to the left.

The good news, for me? My choice of of E-M5 IIs for the field, without waiting to see the GX7 replacement, was the right one.

I wish all those who are finicky about ergonomics, size, control placement, etc. the luck, maybe even luxury, these days, of some quality tryout time before buying any camera.

I'm not sure I like the size of this thing either. But one of the big advantages of m43 is that I can keep my lenses and jump to Olympus. If Fuji or Sony come out with a model I'm not keen on, I don't have the same fallback.

Before we get too over-wrought about the gargantuan size of this beast, let me translate millimeters to inches for what I presume is mostly an American audience. In the biggest dimensional jump, the length, the GX8 is about four-tenths of an inch longer than a GX7; it's just slightly more than a quarter of an inch taller (~.28) and not quite a third of an inch thicker (~.32.) Quite frankly, I doubt that I would much notice the difference.

In return for the extra size, you get a fully-articulated rear LCD (as opposed to one that only tilts on the GX7), a 20.3 meg sensor with (according to Panasonic) better dynamic range, as opposed to the GX7s 16 megs, improved resolution in the tilt-up eyepiece viewfinder, and a better hand grip.

I have two GX7s and they are the favorite digital cameras of my life, so far, but I'm thinking about trying this one. The price is a little steep, though.

I wonder if this whole mirrorless business is getting away from Nikon and Canon. It seems to me that mirrorless is really the future, but no camera company so far has been able to simply jump in with a top-of-the-line performer -- it takes some evolution before you get there. So the m4/3 makers and Sony have been working hard on mirrorless, and I fear when Nikon and Canon finally make their move, it'll be with markedly inferior cameras...simply because they haven't yet gone through that evolutionary process. I've used Nikons for nearly forty years now, and I really like and respect the company. But where are they?

I got rid of all my big black gear and bought a GX7 almost two years ago. So far my GAS is cured. The display has its faults, but it's never bothered me.

I had a brief relapse until I saw my 45-200mm won't be supported by the new IS system. That would mean not only shelling out twice the money for some incremental improvements, but going lens shopping again, which risks a GAS relapse. I think I'll choose to be happy with what I have.

My Pentax ZX-M (a fantastic plastic SLR) measures 133 x 51 x 92 and weighs 305 grams. 28 more with a roll of Ektar loaded. Its battery will last for about 3,000 exposures and a spare weighs 20 grams. It is great for backcountry travel with a single small lens, like a 28/2.8.

It's when you try to carry more lenses that things get heavy and big, and the only system that can soundly beat it, considering the extra batteries and possibly charger that must be hauled along, is m43. It does not matter much how big the bodies get as long as the lenses stay tiny. In this equation, a bigger factor is the batteries and any charger: grams (and cubic incheds) per exposure away from civilization.

I think it breaks down a number of aspects:

1. Big so as to be comfortable to hold.
2. Having sufficient weight to give a feeling of solidness
3. Having a good build quality and/or weather sealing again to give a feeling of being worth the price.

I think that these three aspects are really more independent than otherwise.

In fact, I would like my camera to have 1 and 3 but not necessarily 2. My almost 5 years old Pentax K-5 is comfortable, but I tend to find it too heavy. Notably, it has battery grips attached at most times. And yes, my wrists are not very strong from all the code that was written by them.

I held GX7 and I think that GX8 with 14-35/2.8 could be just the right thing for 95% of what I photograph when I need AF.

The Ricoh GXR + Biogon 25/2.8 is still and by far my most preferred camera in terms of ergonomics not to mention astounding image quality I get from it.

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