Monday, January 2, 2012

Current Thoughts on the Lumix DMC-GX1

I believe that the new Lumix DMC-GX1 offers little for me that the DMC-G3 doesn't include for about half the price, if you include the new LVF2 finder that I would require to use the GX1 regularly.
I have had a pair of Lumix bodies, the G1 and GF1 for a couple of years.  They are somewhat complementary, and I like the shape of the GF1 (size is not really that much smaller than the G1) for packing as a back-up camera.  Both are excellent cameras in my opinion.  In fact, they have changed the way I am able to practice travel and street photography.

Since I really require a finder for a camera I use often, much of the packability is lost in the GF1 when it is attached.  The same appears to be true of the GX1.

Lumix DMC-GX1 with LVF2 Finder (photo credit: www.panasonic.com)

I recently purchased the G3, and am quite impressed.  It will replace my G1 in time, as I gain the same level of comfort with the controls that I currently have with the G1.  Originally, I had thought to purchase a GX1 at some point, to replace my GF1.  However, I am having real trouble seeing any features that would motivate me to buy the GX1, which has a higher price for the body only than the G3 kit with 14-42 zoom.  If you include the additional cost of the new LVF2 finder (my current LVF1 won't fit the GX1), it is approximately double the cost of the G3 kit.  

Importantly, the G3 and GX1 reportedly share the same sensor, and viewfinder.  Of course, in the G3 the finder is inside the body, on the GX1, it's removable.

So, for now, my thinking is that two G3s will be my new Micro 4/3 kit for the next few years.  

I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this.  I do appreciate the styling and form factor differences between the GX1 and G3, but not at the additional cost.  Does the ability to shoot at iso 12,800 on the GX1, rather than 6,400 on the G3 really add anything?  I don't have direct experience, but cannot imagine a useful image at that iso setting from current Micro 4/3 sensor technology.

A side note is that with the light, compact Micro 4/3 bodies, I actually do often carry two bodies.  It is great to not have to change lenses in the field, and I like to have primes on each of them, usually the 20mm f1.7 on the GF1 and the 45mm Pana-Leica f2.8 macro on the other.  I would never, ever carry two Nikon DSLR bodies and lenses if I could avoid it.

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