Sony a7 and Panasonic GX7: Two Cameras sitting on my desk. Must return one.

Started Jan 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
harold1968 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,687
Re: Sony a7 and Panasonic GX7: Two Cameras sitting on my desk. Must return one.

I can't decide which to return. And I have about 3 days remaining to decide.

I'll say this upfront...I'm pretty new to photography. My background is in video. Wanted a great, lightweight, camera with FAST AUTOFOCUS to shoot my kids both at play and also for headshots. Also wanted a camera that can shoot 1080p24 and 1080p60 just in case I needed an emergency backup camera for my video work. I had a budget of around $1500.

The Sony a7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens - My first choice. I could afford it only because my brother works for Sony so I got $35% off. Woohoo! I was so excited to get it.

The Panasonic GX7 - Took me by surprise. I immediately fell in love with how fast the autofocus was. I got the 14-42mm kit lens along with a 45mm 1.8 lens for headshots. I'm bummed that there is no mic input for video but its not the end of the world. I LOVE the Autofocus speed. I love how the shutter button is less "squishy". I love how I can get some great fast lenses for not "that" much and still have a great shallow DOF. I currently have the kit lens, the 45mm 1.8 and will be receiving the 25mm 1.4 in two days. I debated getting the 12-35mm 2.8 instead of the 25mm, but it was too much for me right now.

I was set to return the Sony a7, or better yet, sell it with all the accessories (flash, extra battery, etc.) and make a few hundred buck in the process. I put the ad on Craigslist and had 2 offers right away.

But then I played with it some more and now I'm starting to really like it.

The Sony a7 - I love the EVF. Both cameras have great EVF's and LCD's. The GX7 is touchscreen, but that's not too big of a deal to me. Saves time when deleting clips mostly and then there's the touch focus which is nice. But the GX7 has an odd shaped 16:9 viewfinder which is hard to look through in my opinion. Maybe it's cuz I have long eyelashes and they hit the viewfinder but it's harder to look through. Got an eyecup on the way that may solve this issue. We'll see. I also really like the grip on the a7. It's a bit heavier, but in a good way. Remember, I don't have experience with any other photo cameras minus a Canon S95 point-and-shoot. Also, knowing that should I ever need the camera for backup for my "real video work" it does have a mic input as well as headphone jack and HDMI out which is great. I also like where the AF/AEL lock button is compared to the GX7. Naturally closer to my thumb which makes it easy. Both cameras are highly customizable which is nice.

CHRISTMAS -  I spent Christmas day with the Sony a7, but I'm so new to all this that I really didn't have time to explore it. Most of my shots were indoors of my kid (2 year old) and it was a bit frustrating and slow to focus. Definitely slower AF than the GX7. So I put it down for a week. Today I picked it up and played with it again for about 4 hours outside and quickly realized in daylight it's AF was pretty close to the GX7, if not the same. It's only in low light where the GX7 AF soars way beyond the Sony. Is it the kit lens that causes the slower AF in low light? Is it the camera? Not sure. But this is HUGE and really the only reason I'm considering selling it. Well, that, and it's gonna cost quite a bit to get some good fast lenses. I see that Samyang/Rokinon/Bower have released full frame e-mount fast primes (the 85mm 1.4 seems like it'd be a great headshot lens, no?) but I can't figure out which ones are for the a7 and I'm not sure how I'd be without autofocus.

Today I got MUCH quicker with the Sony a7 and my wife is probably gonna punch me when she hears that now I'm debating keeping it since I told her that I'd stop "debating" this and keep the GX7 just two days ago. Then again, it's night time now and the GX7 will probably start to shine over the a7.

So I have to return one soon. I'm literally 50-50 today. Yesterday I was 70% certain that I was keeping the GX7. Damn.


Panasonic GX7 w/ 14-42mm kit lens and extra battery, UV filters + 45mm 1.8, 25mm 1.4 = $1900 minus $400 (I'd make by selling the brand new Sony a7 with kit lens, extra battery and HVL-f20m flash)  TOTAL = $1500.

Sony a7 w/ kit lens, extra battery, HVL-f20m flash (minus Sony discount) TOTAL = $1550 (still need a good relatively fast portrait lens for shallow DOF headshots)

Not sure if writing this will help any, but I've read a ton and this site seems to be helpful sometimes for people making photography decisions. I also realize this is the Sony thread so I'm guessing I'll get more stick with Sony responses, but still it'll all help. Thanks!

No one can really advise you as you already have had a chance to play around.

It's simply absolute IQ vs speed of operation.
As you said, the Sony is only behind in certain circumstances, it's up to you.

I was choosing between a E-M1 and A7, I eventually chose the A7 but that didn't mean I didn't love the E-M1


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