Upgrading my GX1- Is GX85 enough for indoor sports?

Started Dec 11, 2017 | Discussions thread
OP Roy Bell New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Upgrading my GX1- Is GX85 enough for indoor sports?

kolyy wrote:

Roy Bell wrote:

Hey all. I have had my GX1 for quite some time now and decided to upgrade. I am a causal shooter and really like the camera for what it is- very compact and simple to operate with good photos. Obviously since the camera is coming up on being out for 7 years, it's getting a little outdated compared to my Note 8 phone which can shoot 4K

I did some brief research and it looked like the most logical move would be the GX85. It's cost friendly, had the features I wanted (4K) and some extra like the 5 axis stability. However, once it arrived, I was kind of surprised of how heavy and large the camera was in comparison to my GX1. This is pushing it for a pocket camera and I am debating if I should had just gotten the GX850 like I Was going to originally. I did some brief testing around the house on objects and pets and while the AF was extremely better than my GX1, I felt the end result wasn't 7 years better than my antiquated GX1.

The GX850 is significantly smaller. but you loose the EVF and IBIS. 4K video is limited to 5 min., burst shooting is slower and the RAW buffer is smaller. Controls are more limited on the GX800 (single rear wheel vs two dials). On the other hand, image quality and autofocus performance is the same.

This brings me to the next question. Is this enough camera for indoor sports (cheerleading, vollyball, etc)? The daughter joined cheerleading this year and I obviously want to get some good shots of her doing flips. I tried shooting video this weekend with the new one and, while the video was great with the 4K, trying to grab a frame of her mid air proved to be near impossible. Next weekend I will try just shooting normally and scrap the video idea.

Autofocus in video is slow, it is much faster in stills. I would not suggest shooting video or 4K Photo (which is in fact video as well) if what you want is stills. Shoot bursts in medium speed (6fps with live view) and choose a single small focusing area. I prefer AFF to AFC. I am not sure if you are used to using an EVF - use it, it will help you aim better.

The GX1 proved pretty good with her outdoor sports (horseback riding, soccer) coupled with the 45-150 lens. However, in dimly lit gyms, my frustration is growing with the M43.

You need a bright lens for that. You have to keep shutter speed high in order to get sharp pictures (freeze motion) and a bright lens will allow you the get it at more reasonable ISOs.

I am looking for some suggestions here. Should I stick with the GX85 and invest in some better lenses? 12-35, 35-100?

It does not matter if you stick with the GX85, you need a bright lens for indoor sports. The F2.8 zooms are a good idea, they provide not just more light, but very fast autofocus as well. If you need longer reach, there is the Olympus 40-150/2.8 as well.

Alternatively, you can use a set of primes. You have a 25mm (which one?), you can add the Panasonic 42.5/1.7 and/or Olympus 75mm/1.8. With primes you get more light, but sacrifice flexibility. You need to be able to choose your position in order to utilize primes effectively.

Current lenses I own are the original 14-42MM, 20MM, 25MM, and 45-150MM and the 12-32MM that came on the GX85

Or should I get the GX850 for a more pocket friendly camera and invest in a better shooter for the indoor stuff- C, DSLR, GH5/G9?

Possibly. The question is what is your constraint. If it is the amount of light, a different camera will not help, you need a bright lens first.

One issue I am having with the cheerleading stuff (since we are new to sport) is that we never sit in the same spot at these gyms. Last week we were almost on the mat and my 20mm wasn't wide enough for video. This weekend I could had used the 45-150 but we were sitting too low (judges in the way) so I moved to the floor and shot around 20mm on the stock lens. I of course did not even bring the 20mm prime this time. Spending almost a G note on the 12-35 might be great at one event, but the next one I will need more lens.

One of the other mothers was shooting with what appeared to be a C/DSLR Nikon and had some great pictures sitting all the way up in the stands. Am I asking for too much out of this platform? Or, should I invest in faster lenses and practice a little more with the indoor stuff? I appreciate the help and look forward to everyone's suggestions.

I would practice at this point, to gain experience and to make sure where the constraints are. What was the problem with the frame grab? Focus, motion blur, noise or composition? What was your aperture, shutter speed and ISO?

If you are going to stay with M43 at least for video, buying a fast lens would not go to waste. If you have the funds, a 35-100mm/2.8 seems the best option to me. Or one of the longer primes, they would double as a compact portrait lens as well. You can use the 25mm when a wider view is necessary (the 20mm is slower to focus).

So I went home and played with the camera a bit around the house. In the dimly lit dining room, I was able to bump iso way higher than I anticipated. Like 6400 it wasn't too bad and 12K was actually usable. I had no problem reading the label on the wine bottle with even the kit lens. In this regard, it blows the GX1 out of the water. I don't think I ever really went over 1600 on the GX1.  The gym lighting is at least twice the amount I was playing with last  night so I am pretty excited to try the higher iso in the gym now.

I ordered the 35-100 mm lens and can't wait to give that a try in the gym. My 25MM is the 1.7 version. This weekend is another competition. So hopefully my lens comes in and I can try it a bit beforehand. My GX85 came in about 10 minutes before I headed out the door last weekend so I didn't get any seat time with it.

I'm still not 100% sold on the body of the GX85 though. Coming from the GX1, I really thought it would had kept the smaller form. Yes, I compared sizes and specs, but that doesn't really seem that different until it's in your hand. I probably would had gone with the G85 had I held both of them prior. It just seems easier to hold and isn't that much bigger. Then picked up the smaller 850 for when we are out camping.

I am blown away by how many lenses there are now out as well. Last time I looked, there were maybe 6-8 panny lenses. I could see me eventually getting the 12-35mm for a nice indoor companion and the 12-60 looks really idea for when we are out camping or just not wanting to change lenses. Gonna have to check out the Oly options too now.

I will see how GX85 does this weekend. I was going to donate the GX1 to the oldest to play with since she was mentioning looking at cameras and been playing around with an older 35mm she found. I think it would be great for her to play with and learn the basics on. I get out of the hobby for long stretches so it takes time for me to get back on my feet and learn everything all over again. I will report back after the weekend.

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