Just upgraded to this from an LX3 and I'm loving it. Snappier all round, better noise control, faster burst rate and the combination of step zoom plus lens resume (resets the lens to the focal length it was at when the camera powered down) means I'm shooting much more in the middle of the range instead of slamming from full wide to full tele all the time.
(Plus, high-speed video at 720p!!!)
I did quite a bit of research before this upgrade, and while I was tempted by the rangefinder-style layout of the Fuji X20 (but too big for my taste and limited video) and the flip-out touch-screen of the Olympus XZ-2 (but there are stories of focussing issues and it lacks that high-speed video option) in the end, this was the one for me.
Englishman in France: The quick access C1 and C2 custom positions on the mode dial were incredibly useful on my Panasonic GF1. I never understood why Olympus never put this on their micro four thirds cameras, as they make a big thing about customization. I have to laugh when I see this really useful feature on the Stylus, yet not on their top of the range flagship E-M1. Thankfully, the E-M1 does have the same art filter setting, so it can take photos like my daughters VTECH kiddy zoom!
I've got both a GF1 and an Olympus E-PL3 (which also lacks custom positions on the mode dial), and what Olympus loses in quick access they gain in the ability to change exposure mode within a custom function setting. I use my MySet functions for different black & white settings, and the ability to switch between Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual within the same custom function is really useful. What the Olympus lacks is the ability to call up the MySet menu quickly using the function button - also, they really need to sort out the MySet interface - there are a couple of unnecessary steps that not only slow the process down, they make it too easy to cancel the process just as you think you're done. Even worse, if you're trying to change settings in a hurry, it's ridiculously easy to over-write a MySet setting without meaning to.
"Olympus PEN Lite E-PL6"
Is there something you've not been telling us DPReview? :-)
It seems a bit of an odd design - the wide end's not very wide, the long end's not very long, and it's only f2.8 at the widest setting.
Hopefully it's very good optically, and the weather sealing and small size are plus points. Interesting to see if there'll be a market for it.
Andy Crowe: "There's no such thing as a free lunch, it seems. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 offers a larger sensor than many of its big-sensor-small-camera competitors, but enters the market with only one lens designed to fit it without tipping over"
Surely all the pancake lenses (14mm, 17mm, 20mm and PZ14-42) would make perfectly good companions to this camera?
I'd want to actually try one before being certain, but having the lens protrude doesn't sound like much of an issue to me. I can't see it really affecting the operation of the camera
rtogog: This tiny camera is very cute & interesting, but till now no successful effort to miniaturize any zoom or tele lens. Refer to Sony Nex series. Camera becomes in-balance when lens with long focal lens attached on it. So,the existent of hand grip to counter the weight is very important not just like as shown on this model, it fit only pancake lens which is very limited on numbers.
That kit lens is pretty small, and if the issue is balance, then I'd be more worried about weight than absolute size. With my Olympus E-P3, I prefer shooting with the Panasonic 14-45 to the kit lens; it looks a bit ridiculous, but the balance is okay, and holding the camera by the lens gives a good stable grip.
What all M4/3 tele zooms need IMHO - more than size reduction - is tripod mounts, as even on my SLR-style G2 the (small and light for its range) 45-200mm zoom weighs down when mounted on a tripod.
As for tele lenses - if you want to do birdwatching you'll be out of luck, but for street and portraits, the Olympus 45mm has a narrower barrel than the M4/3 mount, and it's light too, so it'd make a good companion to the GM-1.
If they can raise a ton of money for a good cause with this, then good on 'em.
It is a bit tiresome, though, when they keep going on about the amazing design, yet basic ergonomic stuff like the placement of the ISO button is still really poor. I can't blame the designers for this - presumably all they could do was tweak the casing around the existing electronics - but it does reinforce the notion that "design" is all about looks and not about function. Sigh.
On the other hand, I'm really curious to know how that (apparently) recessed shutter speed dial can possibly work... when I first saw the front view I wondered if the dial on the top plate was just an indicator for some sort of rear thumb-wheel, but apparently not...
Really like the look of this - there's a whole load of features (silent shutter, tilting LCD, 1/320 flash sync) that have been on my wish list for years. If there are no nasty surprises when we see the thing in action, this looks like the logical eventual replacement for my trusty GF1.
One request for the final review - under manual focussing, could you tell us if the GX7 has a useable distance scale and also if it can hold on to a focus distance in MF when powered of and on again? My GF1 and G2 always reset focus to near infinity when powered down/power saving in MF, which is a pain when you're trying to use depth focussing. My Olympus E-PL3, on the other hand, can be set to resume focus.
digby dart: Wacom tablets are great, after using them for years in all sizes I have settled for the little bamboo for the last two, the pen screens are too expensive. A friend has an asus windows tablet with built in wacom pen screen and it's fantastic, he paid less then any Cintiq - that's shows how expensive the Cintiq is. My guess is the impending MS Windows 8 tablet will change that with wacom likely lowering their prices over time.
Also, just as a monitor, my Cintiq is superb - really good colour accuracy, contrast and viewing angle. There's probably £1000 of the price in just in that.
I'd be interested in something like this for working away from the studio, but the size and weight of the cabling and power brick on previous generations made that a bit impractical. Be interesting to see what this one's like.
Comparing Intuos/Cintiq with tablet devices like the Surface fails to take into account the greater responsiveness and pressure sensitivity of the Wacom devices. If you just want the stylus as a mouse-type pointer, then fine - but devices like the Cintiq are aimed at graphics professionals like me who really need the fine control they offer. At £1700, my 21" Cintiq was eye-wateringly expensive, but it paid for itself in improved productivity in about a year.
Zvonimir Tosic: One nice proof that photography community today is led largely by very conservative, unimaginative reviewers, who already have "a clear idea" how camera should look like before it's even made. Even from the point of exploration of different and unconventional mirrorless design possibilities, K-01 was a good exercise because it does fit many people who tried it. And it was a risk, that has paid itself off. Understanding from the Photokina interview, the K-01 was yearning some profit for Pentax.Those who ignored reviewers and listened to their own common sense, as every self-respectful person today should do, have in fact discovered something of great value.
I'm all in favour of inventive design, but the trouble is, you have to be able to sell these things to a mass market. In this case, I think the styling really works against it; as one contributor put it, it's playful, it signals that you're looking at a toy, when in fact you've got a serious photographic tool that (was) priced accordingly.
Consider other manufacturers in the mirrorless market - Panasonic kept a fairly conventional modern look (the GF1 looked like a big premium compact and the G1 like a tiny SLR). Both cameras handled well and the AF performance was ground-breaking. Olympus first two generations of PENs were sluggish in the AF department but so beautifully retro and gorgeous and jewel-like that people bought them anyway. Fuji went the same retro path and people loved the X100 even though the handling was initially a bit of a dog's breakfast.
But the poor old K-01? Not Retro, not small, not fast... it could have survived any one of those, but the combination was fatal
Unlike many here, I consider the extra depth of field you get with m4/3 to be an advantage. Each to his own.
The thing that strikes me about this lens is how "pinched in" the depth of field scale is - it's something I don't like about the DoF scale on the Olympus 12mm (which I own). There's no room for f8 or f16 marks on either lens and (on the 17mm) the f5.6 marks are so close together I wonder if they'd be useful.
A genuine question: does anyone know if it would have been feasible to give these lenses a longer manual focus throw so that the DoF scales could have been wider? There looks to be the space on the top of the lens for the scales to be nearly 3 times wider than they are, but I don't know if it would have been practical/economic for the focus mechanism to accommodate that.
KennethKwok: Comparison of LX7 to Nikon P7700======================
I only take family photos.
I was thinking of buying Nikon P7700 to be used witha Nikon Flash. I have the large Nikon SB-800 flash.I like bounced flash very much.If it looks too stupid, I might buy a smaller SB-400.
And Panasonic has enjoyed an excellent (close to top)reputation of the LX series.I see that the LX7 has f1.4, and also a 1080/60pI am very attracted to it.I expect the LX7 to work well with Nikon SB800/ SB400.DO YOU AGREE?
What is your recommendation please?Panny LX7 OR Nikon P7700?
I use a Panasonic LX3 with a Nikon SB-800 - TTL flash doesn't work, so you have to set the flash to Auto mode and select the aperture settings manually. It's a bit fiddly, but it works well.
A big flash like the SB-800 is really top-heavy on a tiny camera like the LX3/5/7 - I use a cheap wireless trigger and either hold the flash in my other hand, or for bounce you can set it to manual and put it up on a bookcase or something to bounce off the ceiling - I took a load of shots like this last Christmas at my mum-in-law's and they look great.
If you're going with a small flash for the Panasonic, I'd look at something like the Metz 24 AF-1 which is small and light and would give you TTl flash which a Nikon SB-400 wouldn't.
"The availability of Auto ISO in Manual exposure is something we've seen an increasing number of our readers ask about."
Back in the 90's, when I first became aware of digital photography, I blandly assumed that one of the advantages of digital over film would be some sort of "TAv" mode. To date I've never owned a camera that let me implement this... nice to see the demand finally appearing and more manufacturers including the feature.
My first two digital cameras were the G1 and G3 - the latter I was very fond of as an excellent all-round camera. I particularly valued the combination of fast zoom (35-140 f2-3) and fold-out screen. My only real complaint about the G3 was slow start-up times and hideous shutter lag.
By the time my G3 was showing its age Canon had neutered the G series with the fixed-screen slow-lensed G7, and I moved on to Fuji E-series and Panasonic LX compacts. Over time the G series design has moved back towards what I wanted - with the reintroduction of the folding screen - and I got to try a G11 recently and was impressed with its improved shooting speed. If only it also had the faster lens, I thought.
Now I can see why Canon has made the design decisions it has - the market is very different from 2003 when I bought my G3 - and I'm guessing increased cost/bulk of the faster lens means that taking the folding screen out keeps size/cost down. But still, Jeez - so close and yet so far!!!
Pic 4 (2nd row right) looks like one of those steampunk remakings that you see at scince fiction conventions...
Canon were never going to do anything radical on their first outing into mirrorless - they've got far too much invested in SLR sales to risk frightening the horses. What's interesting is how much more leeway they've left themselves compared to Nikon - using an APS-C sensor leaves them room to make much more capable models in the future. There's no reason why there couldn't be an EOS-M equivalent of the Sony Nex 7 if the market shifts towards mirrorless and they don't feel the need to protect the original Eos line so much. Given the performance of the Eos 7D (and what Fuji has been able to do with the APS-C sensor in the X-Pro 1) the fact that the Eos M mount can't support full-frame doesn't mean we won't eventually see some high-performing enthusiast/pro Eos M bodies.
But I'm convinced Canon will move very cautiously, at least for the next few years.
Ha! I've been using focus stacking for several years for tabletop photography, but I never knew there was a name for it! Cheers!
Hauer: Folks there are plenty of alternative programmes out there that amply do the job and cost a lot cheaper. Typical attitude when a Company gets too much market share... they become arrogant and over-confident!
The real problem is that no-one else out there is so far offering a reliable alternative for those of us who need CMYK processing - I use a number of graphics apps for the bulk of my work but Photoshop is the "hub" that lets me convert everything to CMYK, add colour profiles, etc.
Otherwise, I'd downgrade to elements and pay £80-odd to upgrade every couple of years.
The annoying thing is, for my professional needs, they perfected Photoshop in about 2003 - so I really only want to be upgrading if there's a compatibility issue with new hardware or OS.
Also, pulling this trick with Illustrator is particularly galling since Adobe bought out and discontinued its only serious rival, Macromedia Freehand, a couple of years ago.