Is the GX1 with 14-42 Kit lens really this bad, or is the XZ-2 really that good!?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
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MysteryLemon
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Is the GX1 with 14-42 Kit lens really this bad, or is the XZ-2 really that good!?
9 months ago

Not too long ago I owned an Olympus XZ-2.  It was a lovely bit of kit but I sold it in the end due to the auto focus being a load of rubbish, even with the most up to date firmware.  I went back to a DSLR but soon grew tired of lugging the heft that was a Pentax K20D around all the time.  I sold up just recently and decided that Micro 4/3 would be the answer.

With a budget of around £250, I scoured ebay and various review sites and decided upon the Lumix GX-1.  I love Lumix cameras, having owed a few in the past, including an LX3, so it seemed like the best way to go.

It arrived yesterday.  Firstly, I'm impressed.  It's a nice little camera.  Slightly uncomfortable to hold and I find my left hand always gets in the way of the auto focus assist lamp, but that's something I can get used to.
I had a play around in the dim light of my house at night and am mighty impressed with the auto focus.  It's spot on all the time, superb compared to how the XZ2 was in the same light.  I wasn't overly impressed with the image quality though.  It was mostly shooting at 1600 so I didn't expect amazing results but the JPGs were very smeary.  No detail at all.  I played with various settings and did eventually get them looking better but still, very little detail in the JPGs in low light.  The Raw images were better but not what I was expecting.  Dare I say it, the XZ-2s RAW images in the same lighting were less noisy and more detailed (although usually out of focus...)...
I've brought the camera with me to work today to have a play in much brighter light.  I took an image this morning to compare to an almost identical image I took on the XZ-2.  The lighting is similar at the same time of day although impossible to replicate exactly.  My issue isn't the colouring or levels though, it's the detail.  Have a look bellow...

The 100% crop from the XZ-2 image

The 100% crop from the GX1.
Admittedly, the XZ-2 image has been tweeked in photoshop.  It's also been sharpened a bit more from how it was out of the camera, however, the comparison is clear.  The GX1 image just doesn't have any detail to sharpen.  I'm quite shocked just how night and day the images detail is.  You would expect the GX1 to walk all over the XZ2.

Original images bellow

Both were shot in JPG mode.  Both have had some tweeking and cropping in Photoshop.  One is awesome, the other is a bit crap.
So where am I going wrong?  Are the JPGs really that bad out of the GX1?  Is the 14-42mm lens really this soft and lacking in detail?  I'm quite shocked just how good the XZ2s images are in comparison for detail and sharpness.  Is the XZ-2s lens and sensor really that good?
Help me out here...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Pentax K20D
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