GX7 gets a silver award, really?

Started Nov 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
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GX7 gets a silver award, really?
Nov 8, 2013

There seemed to be a lot of discontent with DPReview's scoring of the GX7 in the first thread, so I thought I'd be the first to fan the flames by starting this thread.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52478117

I'll try to summarize some of the points that were articulated in the first thread, then I'll add some of my own. If I miss anything, feel free to add it.

The first thing I'll say is that a lot of people were thrown off by the fact that the E-P5 got the same silver award as the GX7. The E-P5 is a fine camera I'm sure, but it's no GX7. From my perspective, it literally does nothing better than the GX7.

Not only is there strong evidence that Panasonic's 2-axis IBIS outclasses Olympus' 5-axis IBIS (on the E-M5 no less), but the E-P5 was apparently plagued by a shutter shock issue (which DPReview misclassified as simply hand shake that the IBIS couldn't correct).

Here's the site in question comparing the GX7 to the E-M5 IBIS:

http://tysonrobichaudphotography.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/the-gx7-vs-the-om-d-e-m5-battle-for-my-affection-round-1-ibis-evfs-lcds/

Then, the worst insult (to me and a lot of people) is downgrading the Panasonic for not stabilizing video. Really? This is beyond ridiculous, and it should be obvious to anyone who's followed Panasonic's video exploits over the last decade.

The Panasonic GH2, GH3, and GX7 are simply some of the finest video shooters on the planet. From my perspective, you don't touch Panasonic for video when Olympus, Canon, and Nikon are still not touching what Panasonic did with the GH1, much less the 3 year old GH2.

Why would Panasonic even want to offer the option to stabilize video in body? They've been offering some incredibly good stabilized lenses since the inception of the MFT system. They've literally covered Olympus' butt on this front for years, and now they're kicked in the butt because they didn't offer completely unnecessary for the Panasonic MFT system.

And IMO, Panasonic's lenses stabilize video better than the 5-axis IBIS to begin with, especially on long lenses. If reviews like this continue to sway the buying public, it wouldn't surprise me if we lost OIS entirely, which would  be a huge mistake, again IMHO. Not only does OIS provide a continuously stabilized view (which 5-axis IBIS doesn't), it seems considerably more effective on long lenses to me. If we're getting 300mm to 500mm (1000mm eq) lenses in the future with only IBIS to cover them, I'm afraid we're going to lose something with this system.

No system is going to be complete without OIS, IMO, which people here seem to be doing everything in their power to eliminate, seemingly to spite their own faces. Furthermore, if 5-axis IBIS never develops a way to provide a continuously stabilized live view, 500mm lenses are going to be a major pain to use, as you'll get non-stop shaking until you press the shutter button. Not good enough.

And I'll mention I'm still not 100% convinced that the shutter shock problem with the E-P5 isn't partially due to the 5-axis IBIS system. I started a thread on this but deleted it because I wasn't sure I was right. But, if the 5-axis IBIS did have something to do with it, it's not entirely improbably that Panasonic would have chosen a different type of IBIS for this reason.

Then, to the viewfinder. This thing seems amazing to me. The ability to rotate it like that is incredible. Truly novel creation. And DPReview admits that it's large and sharp, but it's "bulky". Whatever.

Now let's talk about ergonomics. Almost everyone that even talks about the issue of ergonomics and has tried both Panasonic and Olympus favors the Panasonic styling. Almost to a man (or woman), they say Panasonic cameras are easier to hold and use.

I'll add that I'm not surprised by this, given the pro-Olympus bias. I have no problem with Olympus getting their props, as I want the whole MFT ecosystem to do well.

But, it's about time Panasonic stopped getting kicked around. The truth of the matter is, for my money, there's nothing with still images that I can do with an Olympus camera that I can't do with a Panasonic. But, video wise, there's a whole lot I can do with a Panasonic camera that I can't do with an Olympus.

Bottom line for me is that being a stills and video guy, Olympus (and CaNikon) don't cut it. Please stop trying to force the only company that does cut it out out of business. All Panasonic has done over the past several years is produce excellent cameras without any fanfare and minimal advertising.

This is the company that invented various classes of cameras, including the travel zoom and bridge cameras. This is probably OT, but I'm going to talk a little about history and other classes of camera. Panasonic was literally producing polished cameras in these classes (in their first year) that the other manufacturers still weren't matching 5 years later. I remember picking up a  Nikon P500 and Olympus SP-800UZ a few years ago and thinking this junk is the best these manufacturers can produce. If you picked up a Panasonic bridge camera in 2006, it would have easily outclassed what they were doing in 2010 and 2011. That's how far ahead they were.

But, more importantly, something I've noticed is that Panasonic is the least likely to put out a junk camera or a camera that makes you think "what the hell is this?" Almost everything they put out is polished to a shine. I'm speaking as someone who has to obsessively try every class of camera and camcorder when it comes out. I've said it before, but this is the reason I came to MFT in the first place.

Okay, enough of the OT. I'll open it up to comments now.

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