Tag Archives: panasonic

The GX1 is a veritable bargain

Just picked one of these up at the airport on the way through. They have been going for around £350 for the GX1 body and 14-42mm Vario lens, or £330 with the standard 14-42mm lens. Originally an £800 kit, the discount is because Panasonic is clearing inventory to make way for the GX7, which looks amazing by the way. Far from 2.5x the price amazing however.

GX1

The Sony RX100 and Fuji X100S were also on my radar. The RX100 is a great camera and much more compact than the GX1, but it has a much smaller sensor and is still twice the price at around £600. The only snag is that I’m going to have to spend another £200 on a prime to exceed the low-light performance of the RX100, but the result is a more capable kit, and it’s still £100 cheaper!

I also made the mistake of handling the Fuji X100S. It was a mistake because it almost cost me £900, but I quickly realised this and put it down before I could get more attached! That is one sexy piece of kit, and is in a different league IQ and interface wise. I would LOVE one, but at nearly £1000 (!), it’s hard to justify with the GX1 being such a bargain.

The GX1 won’t replace my SLR (no affordable wide angle lens), or my old Canon S90 (not quite pocketable). But it is much much less of a burden to carry than an SLR, will go many places the SLR wouldn’t. I shall be putting it to good use while in Amsterdam!

If you’re after a new camera …

… the Panasonic GF1 is quite a bargain at the moment at $990 NZD for the 14-45mm kit. In the UK it is just £329 (with £50 cashback), which at the current exchange rate is even cheaper.

The G1’s successor (G2) was recently released, which adds movie mode, a touch screen and a few minor improvements. When it comes to taking photos though, the two are almost indistinguishable.

The G2 however has an inferior kit lens (14-42mm, the better old one is 14-45mm), and costs $500 NZD more than the G1, which now costs about the same as the new “budget” model, the G10.

The G10 does have a basic movie mode, but loses the high resolution viewfinder and articulated screen. It too has the inferior 14-42mm lens, which in my view makes the G1 the better buy unless you absolutely must have movie mode. But if movie mode is important you really want a GH1 or G2 anyway (possibly GF1).

dpreview.com’s review of the G2 should tell you all you need to know. :)

Me though, I’ll be sticking with my 40D and Canon lens collection, plus the S90 for situations where a big camera is inconvenient (the S90 is by far the best compact I’ve ever used). I think the GF1 is the really interesting model in the Panasonic range as it realises the potential of the micro four thirds system – a big sensor in a small package. The problem however, is that a MFT (micro four thirds) camera can’t replace a compact because they’re all still too big to fit in a trouser pocket with a standard zoom.

I really don’t want to own 3 expensive cameras comprising two unique lens and accessory systems, so therefore a MFT camera would have to replace the DSLR. And the MFT system to date can not match the dynamic range and lens selection of the Canon EOS line. So for now I’ll stick with 40D + S90, with my most likely upgrade path to be a 5D MKII and/or 600D when the 40D starts to show its age (which it certainly isn’t yet).

The S90 may have cost a lot, at the time it was almost twice as much as a perfectly good compact like the Fuji F200EXR. But you’ll notice that its price hasn’t dropped at all since its introduction which to me indicates that demand is still high, and I think it was worth every penny.

So to put things in perspective, the S90 costs more than the G1 in the UK after the rebate, and if you don’t mind the larger size of the G1 it’s not difficult to see which is the better value!