Upgrading from LX3: GX1 vs OM-D vs NEX-7

Started Jul 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Aethera
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Upgrading from LX3: GX1 vs OM-D vs NEX-7
Jul 8, 2012

Hi all, I've made another thread regarding this before, but having researched a little bit more, and soon making the actual purchase, I'd like some more input before I make the decision.

I've had the chance to play with the GX1 and the OM-D at a shop, but haven't had a chance to handle the NEX-7. I've also done some reading on the advantages and disadvantages of upgrading, namely the different depth of field due to the size of the sensor and minimum focusing distance.

My primary objective for this camera is to take travel photos, I also like to take pictures of my every day life, nothing crazy, but often in low light and indoors where flash would overexpose the image, so having fast lens might be important (or does good high ISO performance do the same thing for me in this case?)

I have a budget of approximately 1500, give or take about 500. I will be purchasing the camera in Hong Kong, and from my price checking around the city, the prices here are slightly better than what's available on amazon, and no custom as well.

On the camera side, I feel these things are important to me in order of importance:
1. Viewfinder
2. Image quality
3. Portability
4. Form (How nice it looks externally)
4. Versatility

The GX1 has the advantage of being the cheapest, and also most pocketable due to the size of the body + the wonderful pancakes available. The price point will also allow me to get more lens, though with the viewfinder, it'll bring the price close to the OM-D and NEX-7, thus taking away some of this advantage. I also like the existing controls I've learned from my LX-3 and familiarity is nice. It also handles nicer for me personally, compared to the OM-D. (Haven't tried the NEX) Though it looks a bit ugly with the EVF attached.

The OM-D is the newest and best, but body devalues quickly as I've learned. IBIS is something that seems like it would be nice for my purposes, and the tiltable screen is also a nice touch. No build in flash isn't a deal breaker, as I hardly use flash on my LX-3, but the ability for the GX1 to tilt the flash back to act as a bounce flash seems nice, and just the ability to have the flash when I need it seems nice. Access to the library of m4/3 lens is again another plus. The looks of the camera I'm not too sold on, as I am not a fan of the retro look, being too young to appreciate the old olympus cameras. I am warming to it the more I see it though, so it's not a deal breaker.

The NEX-7 is wonderful with its APS-C sensor giving a nice shallow depth, having both a viewfinder (that receives very good reviews) and flash is a very good thing for me. The lack of lens is a bit worrying, as I've heard the 16mm pancake doesn't perform too well with the 24mp sensor of the NEX-7, and the Zeiss 24mm is a bit out of the budget at the moment. I could eventually work to that, but in the mean time, would a lack of solid lenses hurt me? Though I like to experiment and learn more about photography, I still feel auto focus is very important, so using adapters for legacy lens is not something I'm currently considering.

That said, anyone have any input to anything I don't see or haven't thought about? I don't plan on building a huge collection of lens, I'm just doing this as a hobby, a record of my everyday life, and I think 2-4 lens will suffice. For m4/3, I think the kit lens + the 20mm pana would serve me well, and if I get the GX, I might be able to squeeze the 12mm oly or 25mm pana leica in stretching my budget out a bit, and eventually add the 12-35mm pana x.

For the NEX, I think I would pick up the kit lens, and something else, but I'm not sure what. I would like a pancake, but I don't know if the quality will really suffer that much. The lack of fast lens (I like to have a shallow depth in most my photos) worries me, but I like wide lens, so the conversion factor for FLs on APS-C seems like it would work for me. I'd eventually work towards the Zeiss 24mm, but Sony doesn't seem to have a clear roadmap of where it's going in terms of lens.

Any advice/help would be much appreciated!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Sony Alpha NEX-7
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