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Friday, 23 February 2018


You prefer Fuji or you prefer M4/3. You have lenses in hand or you don’t.
At $847.99 (B&H) the GX8 is at a reasonable price today.

I think the question that gets asked on other forums re 'upgrading' is relevant here.

What do those 5 cameras have that you need, for your photography, that your current collection don't?

Apart from newness, that is.

If the answer is nothing, then stick with what you've got and as suggested by someone else, if you want to write about the new ones, get them on loan.

I have two GX85s. How about you buy one of them and I’ll buy a GX9? Just kidding.

I’m a complete convert to small µ43 bodies. When the G9 came along I thought about it, but then I’d be back where I was with my last Canon, an 80D. So the GX9 is attractive. And if I ever got back into shooting short videos for pay, I’d use it and just get an external recorder for the mic and headphone inputs, and better audio as well.

Another vote for Fuji. I sold my X-T10 for a GX8 in 2016, and it served me just fine for about a year. I did not really use the 4K, post-focus, or other whiz bang video features, but the EVF was great. But I missed the Fuji image quality - no noise at ISO 1600, and easy post processing with Fuji film sims. So I'm back in the Fuji camp with an X-E3 and a few too many lenses, all purchase used.

The GX9 seems to be more a mild upgrade of the GX85, and a slight downgrade from the GX8. Since you have some m4/3 lenses, go ahead and get a GX8, but don't get rid of the Fujis. You'll be back - whether it's the X-H1 or whatever comes next.

On the other hand, I understand the affinity for Pentax. KP + 20-40 Limited? Costs less than the X-H1 or K-1 body alone.

The GX9 appears to have the form factor of a GX7 - which I have and like - but it is smaller than I need it to be. The GX8 is just my favorite camera ever. It looks great with primes; people often ask me if I am shooting film.

The sensor turns out fine photographs. With a little Lightroom noise reduction I have no hesitation to use ISOs up to 6400. I will certainly get to local camera store to look at and look through the GX9 when it is released. But right now, I'm thinking (hoping I'll have the fortitude) to pick up a second GX8 body instead when the price drops.

That’s easy. The one you enjoy shooting with the most and that has the best lens for your shooting style.

What do you need a new camera for?

(Get the GX8.)

I'm late to the game here, but this is my take. I think you are torn between getting something that is capable of taking pictures and something that you physically enjoy ('bond' with).

In my case I have my Leica M system that gives me an emotional attachment, (I really enjoy using it) so as a natural result I get good pictures from it. I also have a micro 4/3 system that I regard as simply extremely competent in all kinds of situations, but had little emotional attachment. But using it I have taken a good many pictures that would have been virtually impossible using the Leica. So now contrary to expectations, perhaps a bond is indeed being formed?

If I wanted only one system that might satisfy both the 'competency' and the 'emotional' departments, I would be considering the Fuji X-H1. My suggestion: sell all your micro 4/3 gear and what ever else it takes. That would work well for many years to come. You have to have something you enjoy, and you have to have something that works really well.

None of the above, get a monopod for the Fuji(s) and get a Google Pixel 2 XL. Dpreview says “Google Pixel 2 is the best smartphone for stills photographers” and it’ll give you a lot to write about

Mike: One thing you might think about is what deficits in your current kit you are trying to fix/cure. I recently bought a K-1 after years of sticking with my Nikon D3. And I recently bought the Olympus OMD EM-1 Mark II (both cameras through your links, btw -- hope TOP's bottom line got a little boost there). I took both cameras to NYC for some playtime visiting family and friends last week.

Some observations: The K-1's IBIS did not get me the increase in sharp handheld photos of my friend's two-year old toddler that I hoped for. I was able to find a couple of sharp pix in the multitudes, but I was hoping to choose pictures as "keepers" just based on the emotional content of the pictures -- nope. My ratio of hits to misses was about the same as with my non-IBIS cameras. Part of this is that two-year olds move around a lot. Like a LOT. I had forgotten this from my own kids' kid-hood. So although the camera might be stable, the subject is in motion and with a 50/1.4 and 1/15 second exposures just aren't going to cut it.

Same observation of Olympus with a 25/2.8. Got some good ones, but there were plenty of critically OOF shots too. You have got to keep your subject matter in mind.

Second class of observations. I was shooting RAW (DNG) files with the K-1 and large JPG's with the Olympus. I got the files onto my computer and selected some good pictures to send to friends/family. The first thing I did?

    I threw away 95% of the data produced by the cameras!
This is because I only want to send files between 1-2 MB in size and the images I was working with in PS were 50-75 MB in size.

Now: your workflow is your own, of course, and your final working file size/needs may be larger than mine. But both cameras were complete overkill on this "assignment." This brings me back to the first paragraph of my comment above. What problem are you trying to solve with the upgrade? In my case it was adding IBIS to a FF camera -- something that the venerable D3 doesn't offer. (And as you see above, I am still learning how to use that feature to best advantage). But I think defining the need you are addressing with this purchase will help you to make a decision.

So: I think you should get the GX8. The Fuji is a beta-tester's dream. Don't be a beta tester. Ride the trailing edge of these technological marvels and save some dough.

BTW: Say the word and I will drive over to the finger lakes region with my K-1. You can spend all day seeing whether it works for you. It doesn't feel heavy to me at all. Maybe "bulky" is a better descriptor. For the heck of it, I put three cameras on a kitchen scale just now.

K-1 w/35 f:2.8 FA lens (no booster): 1228 grams
Olympus OMD EM-1 Mark II w/24 f:2.8 lens (no booster): 706 grams
D3 w/28 f:2.8 lens: 1806 grams

If you don't know which one of those cameras to get, don't get any of them. The only reason to get another camera, or indeed any other bit of kit, is so that you can do something that you can't do with what you've got.

Better to just go out and take some pictures, rather than wondering about stuff you might like but don't really need.

I doubt that any new camera will make you a happier person or even a better photographer. IS was once a "non-negotiable" for me as I got shakier over time. Surprise! I have done JUST FINE with a Fuji X camera (XT-10) in ALL KINDS OF LIGHT, including low. The camera does peachy at ISO 3200. Use a fast lens (the 35mm f/1.4 is my current fav) and you can indeed get usable shots of that famous (infamous?) black cat in the coal chute. At 1/60sec. If you are too shaky for that, well...
Oh! Did we not mention that the hopped-up, groovy kit lens for the Fuji's, the very sharp XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 features...OIS? Sorry. Permission to spend more $$ on a new piece of kit: DENIED. Put the cash in a CD instead. Xander will thank you some day... ;-)

I did not sleep last night. Been sleeping to much, not sleeping is not a problem usually, because of the cold weather. I read the other comments after I posted, and as I lay awake guess what I thought about. Yeah, your question and all those answers. I would like to update my comment. Get the new Fuji. It is your camera. I will send a small, sorry Mike it has to be small, donation to help with it’s huge cost. No need to put this up.

X-H1, Grasshopper

Thanks for making this easy :^p The answer is clearly #6! For me that would be a closeout G85, I want weather seals with my next camera (again). That means K-1 or GX8 from your list, but if the G85 and 12-60 come down as my income goes up, that would be my choice. I dropped my GX1 in the wet snow this week, and I'm nervous..

Maybe a used K-5 variant for me in the meantime - I have switched to micro43 but with no sealed lenses the DA system is the cheaper entry for weather resistance, and I have a few nice K-lenses in hand.


I think for me...if IBIS was the priority then I'd likely go for the Sony A7II which is on sale for a great price ($1,098). 24mp is plenty for me and I prefer full frame sensors, and I'd get it with the 55mm ($1,996 kit price, a savings of $600):


I'd also pick up the Sony 28mm f/2 ($423) and be all set with the 28/55 combo.

But if I was you (which of course I'm not) I'd get the Fuji. Your love of Fuji gear is pretty transparent, and it's that love that counts the most I think. There's no other reason I can think of as to why I've stuck with Nikon gear all these years, I just love shooting with it, and the results I get make me happy. Hopefully as I age (I'm 56) Nikon will finally make a full frame mirrorless camera body that includes IBIS, that would make me happy indeed.

Based on the pre-shipment reviews, the Fuji X-H1 would seem to be a very logical choice for you, but I realize you like to "spread the wealth" throughout camera brands. If I were you, I would go that route.

Mike, you're a print guy. Put your M43 and Fuji on tripods. Shoot a couple of your typical photos. Print them out. If the Panasonic looks good enough, that would be a great choice. They are lighter, the lenses are less expensive and have good IBIS. If the Fuji looks better to you, go for that. (my choice) Since you have spoken positively about EVFs, maybe you could do the same thing with a FF Sony instead of the Pentax. Same test.

I'd be very happy to re-purchase the GX8 today but would still suggest trying the GX9 before making a decision.

I moved from Nikon APS-C and initially found the pure image quality drop (mostly dynamic range/noise in low light if you compare real exposures by ignoring Panasonic's comparatively optimistic ISO ratings) disappointing. But I found that it is easy to more than compensate, for my kind of photography, by using lower shutter speeds (thanks to IBIS) and the live histogram, which is good enough to nail the exposure. The continuous spot metering over the focus point combines with the live histogram to minimise the need to boost exposure (and noise) in post. When you get used to it, it's a delight. Also, as you've pointed out, there's something rather nice about the punchy, contrasty high-ISO results and the quality of the noise.

I'm still thrilled by the quality of the viewfinder image previews and reviews; the instant review function can be turned off but I prefer to quickly dismiss it with a half-press of the shutter button. You keep the camera to your eye, get a wonderful preview, fast focussing with a focus point that you guide with your thumb on the rear LCD with your eye still at the viewfinder, and a genuinely useful review image. The GX9 would offer fewer viewfinder thrills but better IBIS. (Also, a flip-out screen—better for me for everything except portrait-oriented shots using the LCD screen.)

I see many complaints about GX8 ergonomics. I understand them, because I felt them as well, coming from a Nikon with excellent ergonomic design (I thought). But familiarity worked its magic and I now have no complaints. I have every button (there are many!) set up to my preferences and it's magic.

One side note: I'm on my second copy of the Olympus 25mm f/1.8, which I chose for its ability to deal with light sources in the frame. Great lens but both my copies appear to be showing the effects of a tilted lens element making the left 20% or so of the image quite soft—objects have to be much closer than the focal distance to be sharp in this area. I'm going to send it off to Olympus for repair after my upcoming trip. Lots of complaints about this very fault online, which predictably describe the lens as being decentered. If you went with a GX8 or GX9, you'd perhaps end up with an Oly 17mm, so this wouldn't be a problem for you.

Pentax K-1 + FA43 + a fistful of old Takumars and M-Primes

You can afford it, probably.

3. PS. It is down to about US$550 in Japan right now, so the US Blowout Sale might be coming sooner rather than later.


I think you've stated that APS-C is the sweet spot.

If the price of the new Fuji is in scope, then I suggest putting the due-now Sony A7 mk3 firmly into your sights. AF that actually works, full frame glory in that dim lighting you say you work in, and probably better video (who cares). Not to mention the mature IBIS is likely to out-perform Fuji's first effort. All for the same price, and better third-party and adapted lens options.


Seriously. For several reasons, I think your best choice would be a camera you do not list above - the Sony A6500.

First - it has IBIS, and Minolta/Sony have had IBIS since the Minolta A2 I bought in 2004. I used that camera for a photo I took at a shutter speed of 1/2 second that is sharp enough for me to read the text of the book my granddaughter was reading at the time.

Second - I have been very, very happy with the results from the Sony 24mm f:1.8 ZA lens on the A6500. You wrote that you were happy with that lens on your NEX-6, so you should have a first-hand feel for what you will be getting on the A6500 with that lens.

If you happened to keep that lens when you kept the NEX-6, that would be a significant savings right there on a high-quality 35mm-e lens. The savings might even justify your GAS attack - at least in your own mind. :-)

- Tom -

After reading your update, I think the answer is easy, or it would be if I were deciding for myself.

You have Fuji lenses and you like them. You like their XT 1 and 2. You really need IBIS. You ain't rich. You can get IBIS in the new Fuji and not have to buy new lenses. (I am assuming you don't have m4/3 laying around and that the IBIS on the new Fuji is effective.) Then the Fuji seems to be the most logical choice.

Lock your camera gear away for a while.
Buy a pen and a stack of paper and drwaw. For a while.
You'll start to see (in the litterally meaning) the world differently.
In my opinion better than through an EVF or OVF.

Ferrari 599 :-) I still have a weekly struggle with my HP9180. It still produces great prints....after n+ attempts.

Buy the Fuji - I want to read about your life with it. I went the X-T2 route and am thrilled but not yet settled on primes.

My previous comment which said in part, "The only reason to get another camera, or indeed any other bit of kit, is so that you can do something that you can't do with what you've got.", still stands although you've edited your post.

I've handled the K1, and was impressed to find that dimensions wise, it's just about the same size as my old K20d. However, it seems a little more squared off, and my nine inch span hands were not quite big enough. However you're a big lad, and it's probably not a problem for you.

I don't have much experience of the K1's AF but I've got a K3, and that focuses well in low light and will also focus pretty well on backlit faces wreathed in incense smoke. I can't even see their faces, but the camera gets a lock 8-9 times out of ten.

I keep the stabilisation on all the time and ignore it. It just works but as somebody else has said, stabilisation doesn't get round subject movement.

Then again, there's always the KP.

I am ordering the Panasonic Lumix GX9 because it is a perfect blend for me. Because:
1. I own a few great M4/3rd Lenses & purchasing more lenses will cost less money in the future.
2. It has new B&W & color picture Styles.
3. It can process RAW files in camera.
4. It has an Exposure Compensation Dial on top.
5. It has good built-in IBIS.
6. It has a Flip-Up LCD screen and not a Fully
Articulating Screen (Like a Camcorder does)
7. I has easy to use Blue Tooth Connection to my phone to geotag my photographs in real time with no hassles later on. It can also send my images to my phone for use with APPS.
8. It is a small, lightweight rangefinder style camera.
9. The Menu System is easy to understand.
10. No Low Pass Filter
11. Tilting EVF adds to its flexibility.
12. In-Camera Focus Stacking
13. Touchscreen LCD
14. Great 12-60mm "Kit" Lens
15. 4K Video Built-In

Get a K3/K3II/KP. APC like the Fujifilm, equally good sensor, IBIS, half the price and easier to find good lenses at a decent price.

How about a K70? It is much cheaper than the K1, yet it features most of the bells and whistles that make the K1 attractive, including pixel shift. With the money saved, you could buy a bunch of second-hand limited lenses and would end up with a small and light-weight wonder.

Mike, stop messing around. You can have a new full frame camera with IBIS right now for $1098 in the Sony a7II. I think it meets all your criteria, including budget. I recently repurchased mine from a friend I sold it to a year ago and damn if it doesn’t still produce a lovely file.

I never understood, why you didn't consider Sony a7/something back then, but now, as you have accumulated such lovely Fuji lenses which you enjoy and also enjoy the Fuji-colors/b&w conversions, the current decision is more than obvious: Fuji X-H1.
But to tell the truth: you already have everything you need for your photography, besides the itching IBIS bug.

None of the above -- get a new or used A7RII and an adapter for your Canon lenses.

You seem to be prepared to spend up to about $2,000 and from past posts you appear to be like the 35mm-e focal length. I'm a fan of the Fuji cameras, but I'm not sure all of the information is in yet on Fuji's IBIS, it may be excellent but it isn't yet proven in the real world. If you also require weather sealing, then it might be a good choice.
However, I also notice a good part of the list is m4/3 and you can get a lot of bang for your buck there. As others have noted a used E-M10 II can be had quite cheaply. If you need a more solid camera, the original E-M1 can be had for a good price. Either of these, combined with a used Olympus 17/1.8 would come in under $1,000. The Olympus 25/1.8 and 45/1.8 lenses could be added for not much more and give you an excellent three lens kit, with IBIS, for less than the cost of the Fuji body.

Do you have large hands? We are both about the same size, 6'2 and 200 pounds and I have large hands. I have been using some of the smaller m4/3 cameras for awhile, OMD-EM10 for example, and they are just too small. I'm always hitting buttons trying to find a good place for my thumb. I tried a GX8 and it felt a lot better in my hands, so I while I was tempted by the new GX9 it seems like it's a step backwards in ergonomics for those of us with large hands. If it's Panasonic, the GX8 or G9 seem the better options.

I'm somewhat surprised to not see the Sony A6500 on your list. It checks the top-priority box for you (IBIS) and I believe you already have at least one excellent lens for it that you seem to like very much. The form factor is a lot like the Panasonic GX8/9. From previous posts, you seemed to be very satisfied with the pictures you were getting with your old Sony, and this one would be better still in that regard. And the price is mid-pack among the cameras you mentioned.

Maybe there are things about this particular camera that are deal breakers for you. Or perhaps the best choice is hiding in plain sight...

Get The Fuji X-H1. It speaks to your heart.

For the GX8:

• It seems to have everything you want, and little you don't want.

• It was the flagship. Once a flagship, always a flagship.

• It already is a real bargain, but soon it will be a bargain at a discount. A point not to be discounted.

Against the GX8:

• Now that cameras are short term consumables, you're already behind the 8 ball with the GX8; it's older technology (see "bargain at a discount", above), and as such may not scratch your "new-gear-itus" for very long, but you'll be stuck with it for a while as the world goes by you.

As for the other options:

GX9: No longer the flagship, and arguably not as capable in some ways as its predecessor.

G9: The other strong contender, in my view, but not yet a known quantity, and sold a premium, of course.

Fuji X-H1 and Pentax K-1: You've decided to become a Panasonic photographer, so they're both disqualified. Besides which, the X-H1 seems to be oriented towards video, and both cameras are too large.

If having the newest of the new is primary, price be damned, go with the G9. If a recent flagship with the right features in the right size, and at the right price is what you're looking for, the GX8 wins it.

But you already knew all that, lol.

Is this a trick question? There is only one camera there and it's called "the Pentax", works well with a trio of ne plus ultra AF lenses called the FA Limited series which have focal lengths apparently chosen by means of occultish numerology :)

PS, I'm sure you have a lovely embossed leather strap that would go really well with a K-1

Glad to see the Pentax K-1 made the list, Mike. The K-1 II is certainly on my wish list once I pull the scratch together.

As a fan of prime lenses, I have not felt that the Pentax dslrs are heavy. Not with my classic primes. Once I make it to the full-frame Pentax I will be pleased to have done an end-run around that notion that there is such a thing as a 35-mm "equivalent" lens on a cropped sensor camera. To me, a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens, period, a 135mm is a 135mm, and so on. I just never got on the bandwagon with turning a field-of-view thing into thinking a lens has shifted to a different focal length. Just doesn't make sense.

Hope you find a path through your Baker's Dozen maze. I think I previously suggested doing something analogous to these comments, where you present most of the comments that come in and then select a few that are particularly engaging in your view. That would reduce the pressure on you as an editor I think. That's something I like to do in my own life - reduce those moments of difficult decision making if at all possible, by just going around them somehow. It's a good way to move forward and minimize stress that isn't really necessary.

Jeff Clevenger

Mike, unless you need weather sealing I would say get the gx9. The shutter is a dream, I bet it will be pretty fast and pretty sharp- and has all the latest firmware advances.

With Sigma Art lenses available for Sony now. You should go A7iii. It's the only way to be sure.

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