Friday, December 13, 2013

Panasonic GX7 First Look Review

Wow!

What can I say, just received the GX7, finally m43 is back in the game for me. Three years back I bought the GF1, I was so impressed with it together with the Panasonic 20mm, and it could take some great pictures. I then knew that the m43 and Panasonics would be the camera format for me. I invested in the PL 45, and it blew me away. These three items could have been all I had needed for a long time. The satisfaction also made me invest in more lenses: 8mm, 14mm, 25mm, and 14-140mm. It also made me invest in some more camera bodies: GH2, GF2 and G3.

Back to some weeks ago, for the first time I questioned if m43 still should be the playground for my photo future. The reason: None of the camera bodies I had bought since the GF1 had given me the same satisfaction and joy in using. They seemed too cheap, artificially crippled and more designed as toy then a tool for a photo enthusiast like myself. At the same time, Fuji was rolling out the X-E2 and some impressive lenses.

I seriously looked into selling all my equipment and go for the Fuji format, I basically was a checkout button away from buying the X-E2 with 14mm, 23mm and 35mm lenses. However, something held me back. Would a move to Fuji really make me take better pictures? I spent a lot of time researching the lenses of the format and comparing them with the m43 lenses on review sites, Flickr, forums, etc. My main comparison focus was between the X-E2 with the 23mm and the GX7 with the 20mm. I decided to give m43 one more chance, figuring I could always change later. The key was that I really liked the 20mm I already had, and the size would be much smaller. Even as I was waiting for the GX7 to arrive, I still wondered if maybe I should have gone in the other direction, especially with the good deals going on with Fuji right now.

Fast forward for today, the GX7 arrived. All my doubts faded. Finally Panasonic delivered the real follow-up to the GF1, what took them so long?? The camera has the right size, the EVF is fantastic (Really do not understand the issue to the reviewer at DPreview at all), the grip is great and “grippy”, the fast response, focus peaking, the stabilization for my primes, the two control wheels, the lcd and finally the Panasonic sensor is up to speed with the competition. The camera have a good premium feel to it.

I highly recommend the GX7, right now I would rate it 5 stars (and hopefully will in a couple of months as well). Now I will spend some time to streamline my camera and lens collection, I intend to keep the GX7, 14mm, 20mm, PL 25mm and PL 45mm, they are all great. I might look into replacing my 14mm with the 12-35mm lens as well.
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