GX1 14-42 X Image quality

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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GX1 14-42 X Image quality
Mar 19, 2013

I know that image quality and sharpness is a bit of a subjective thing, but I thought I would ask a general question anyway. I recently purchased a Panasonic GX1 with the 14-42 X PZ lens. Had some credit with Groupon and they had it for $499. My purpose was to replace my Canon S90 as a "truck console" camera and to use when I wanted a smaller camera than my DSLRs, but hopefully not sacrifice as much image quality as I do with S90, relegating it to when I needed something truly tiny, such as a theme park. I've been shooting professionally for over 20 years and my main camera is a D800. While I didn't expect the little 4/3 to approach it, I was hoping for something closer to it in crop mode, or one of my APS-C bodies than the S90.

At this point, I can't say that it's substantially out resolving the S90 at lower ISOs. Every shot is soft. I am aware of a "known" issue with the 14-42 PZ lens at the long end where shutter speeds between 60-250 or so seem to generate a shutter induced motion blur, but I have shot at all ranges of shutter speed, aperture and focal length, JPG and Raw, with and without flash, with and without stabilization, and have yet to see a shot that was crisp/sharp. It's hard to say if the images look more like they are slightly out of focus, have heavy Noise Reduction, or slight motion blur, but they are definitely soft. I'm certainly not getting the results I expected looking at the test scene images here for the Gx1.

I don't have another lens to try, and never intended to purchase any other lenses for it. I also have no use for it if I can't get good results from the collapsible 14-42. If I have to put a larger lens on I might as well buy a cheap kit 18-55 and stick it on an old D300 or 7000 without grip I have laying around. So my question is: Is the GX1 with the PZ lens capable of resolving good detail, and capturing sharp images, and I just have a bad copy?  Am just missing something about this camera?, or is the PZ lens just that bad?

Is anyone else getting good results with this combo?

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