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An adventure into the Panasonic GX85/80 begins - and a look at the Leica Nocticron for Micro Four Thirds


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6 hours ago, John Matthews said:

Another review. This one by Steve Huff... I like his not-so-scientific views on cameras and handling.

Haha, John, this is cool. Steve Huff, one of the first ambassadors of m43. Used to stop by his blog every day. Great guy! Also really dig his posts from the beginning of his place, beautifully written pieces!

 

Oh, shoot, seems like Steve has changed his site to smartphone ratio. Now it´s embedded within two columns, making it narrower to read.

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The camera which Panasonic can't decide what to call (GX80 in Europe, GX85 in the US and GX7 Mark II in Japan!) really excites me. It's the first time that anyone has put 5 axis in-body stabilisa

My first project with the GX80. Since size / weight does matter and securities are kinda picky, i had no choice but to leave my lovely Voigtländer 25 lens at home and put the Panasonic 20mm on it. I h

The GX80 is meeting my expectations for run & gun. I think this shoot exemplifies expectations one can have of this camera for your quick, set-it-up and shoot style videos… family, street, etc.

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7 hours ago, Javier López said:

Thanks John! Yes, Adding noise was a totally aesthetic choice, I wanted a little rough look for this video. I also own a GH4 and I pleased to say that Panasonic has improve the color a lot in the GX80, the yellowness of the GH4 natural profile has gone. In my opinion the GX80 has a more pleasant and organic tone. I also notice a huge improvement in terms of noise in dark areas and in underexposed images, I believe that It was the weakest point in GH4. Until now, I am very happy with this little monster, I would like to keep on making more test and comparisons between GX80 and GH4.

Concerning colors and the GX80, I'm impressed the most with the reds- they seem to really pop- deeply saturated, yet not overblown. For me, the blue channel is its weak point. Overall, I appreciate the Standard profile the most, but the Natural profile seems to be the most gradable, especially concerning those blues.

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A question about the Stabilizer. As far as I understand, we need to select the focal length of the attached lens, right? But for example if I use  a manual Super16 20mm lens? Or manual full frame 50mm lens? Which numbers we need to select, in order to get the best stabilization results?

And a question about the digital zoom, x2 and x4. When using a manual lens, there is no focus with the digital zoom selected. Does it focus with native lenses, while in digital zoom mode?

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3 minutes ago, 7 Lakes said:

A question about the Stabilizer. As far as I understand, we need to select the focal length of the attached lens, right? But for example if I use Super16 20mm lens? Or if I use a full frame 50mm lens? Whick numbers to select, in order to get the best stabilization results?

Focal length is focal length.  So, your answer is 20mm and 50mm. 

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took a few pics - late at night here - took a few videos - image and video stabilisation works incredibly well I'm very very impressed

only big BUT at the moment -is currently audio is a bit unusable - I could hear fan noise when I took a video of my daughter - couldn't work out what it was (pretty loud and very obvious) - its the noise of the OIS in the 14-140 which is only a cm or so from the microphones on the GX80 .....

mmm

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7 hours ago, Buckster said:

only big BUT at the moment -is currently audio is a bit unusable - I could hear fan noise when I took a video of my daughter - couldn't work out what it was (pretty loud and very obvious) - its the noise of the OIS in the 14-140 which is only a cm or so from the microphones on the GX80 .....

Onboard will have what sounds like a faucet running in the distance due to the IBIS. When in a windy situation, you'll need to find a way to protect the microphones. Other than those limitations, all is good. :) Seriously, external solutions are the only way to go. The audio is good enough for syncing, but that's about it. Personally, I don't have any problem working this way and making that little extra effort for good audio pays off.

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9 hours ago, John Matthews said:

I concur. Sensor size has nothing to do with focal length. Sensor size will determine only how much of the projected light coming from the lens is recorded.

Just remember, if you are on a speedbooster, adjust accordingly - so if the focal reduction is 0.71 it would be ie: 50mm x 0.71 = (approx) 35mm

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40 minutes ago, Michael Coffee said:

Just remember, if you are on a speedbooster, adjust accordingly - so if the focal reduction is 0.71 it would be ie: 50mm x 0.71 = (approx) 35mm

This is true. It's taking the light and condensing it onto a smaller sensor than the lens was designed for... a crazy-useful trick that results in more light on the sensor and less DOF. In my case, I'm just saving for a native, wide-angle lens for the moment. Shallow DOF and low light are not my issues- content and budget are. :) 

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Heya John, even my el cheapo focal reducer just seems to give some sort of s35 thing to my little gx7 - I use mostly vintage manual lenses, really should have got it ages ago! Highly recommended, and I will be moving up to a lens turbo 2 soon, eventually an active speedbooster - plus I hate maths, so now I never have to translate for s35 sensor equivalent! 

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10 hours ago, John Matthews said:

Onboard will have what sounds like a faucet running in the distance due to the IBIS. When in a windy situation, you'll need to find a way to protect the microphones. Other than those limitations, all is good. :) Seriously, external solutions are the only way to go. The audio is good enough for syncing, but that's about it. Personally, I don't have any problem working this way and making that little extra effort for good audio pays off.

true thanks

I've just come back from a day out with the kids - party, dry ski slope tubing

cannot believe how much better video is with the GX80 vs my G6 - obviously 4k vs 1080p, but that aside, the overall quality seems better, and what a difference the extra stabilisation makes, makes the videos seem far easier on the eyes to watch - no constant jiggling

it even coped with me taking a video from one tube to my daughters, whilst zooming down the ski slope

that video looks smoother than ones I've taken with the G6 just standing !

very impressed - great little camera

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I'm using these little cams for a modest project, and after a few weeks run n' gunning with the gx85, thought I'd give a quick critique.

First of all.  Great cam.  Wonderful IQ for such a small price.  So, there's that and it's a really big deal.

Now for the big "but." 

Outboard audio:  I knew it was going to be a pain buying into the gx85 insomuch as the post side of outboard audio sync'ing was going to be a hassle.  Now that's it's on the NLE in front of me and being unwieldy, there's a level of regret that's certainly frustrating.  Until one is actually dealing with hours of unsync'ed  audio, (again) it might be hard to empathize, but believe me, it's not fun.  Sync'ing interviews?  Not a problem.  Trying to sync each and every b-roll clip when your 2 cameras are wandering to various distances from the subject?  Not an enjoyable experience to clean up in post while the clock is ticking on the deadline.

Big compromise there when deciding to use the gx85.

The EVF.  Just not good enough for me.  And this is important.  I'm an older guy.  My eyes suck.  Trying to focus on that crappy EVF for a few hours can literally make me queasy and leave me with eyesight issues after using the cam for awhile.  Compared to the ease of using the EVF on our Fuji/Oly cams, it's like Panasonic is foisting some cruel joke on it's consumers.  It's really quite bad.  You can just never tell if your image is in focus on the damn thing, and the eye strain that mushy image generates is very much a big issue.  I'm attempting a work around with various loupe set-ups, but those things are awkward to use AND make the camera look like some sort of filming device; both things I'm trying to avoid.

Otherwise, the camera delivers as advertised.  On gear like this, it's all a compromise, and I think we know that.  Shooting a semi-pro doc with consumer gear is do-able, it's just not as elegant as it could be...maybe at this point in consumer camera development it's fair to even say it's not as elegant as it SHOULD be.

Now...if the EM5II video was just a tiny bit better I probably would have stuck with my Olympus for this assignment.  But, IQ tends to trump all else.

Anyway, if you're a hobbyist, you're probably going to love the value of this camera.  Having that stabilizer for most people who are awful at doing handheld will be worth it alone. -- But for doing actual work?  It's can be a slog in the documentary style of production.  All that said, my wife and I completed a doc last year (https://vimeo.com/140524680) using the GM1 and GX7, so we knew what we were getting into going into the production, it's just that our newer Fuji/Oly cams have kind of spoiled us in the interim, as the Oly allows on board audio recording --and the EFV's are actually an asset rather than a liability.

 

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Thanks for the review @fuzzynormal. You mentioned the EVF and the lack of proper sound- both of which many have conceded as being the drawbacks of the GX80. Cameralabs mentioned the field sequential EVF as more of a design limit of having the flat top (no hump like the EM5II).

We've talked about syncing before and, as more of a hobbyist, it's not a big deal for me. What I'm wondering though is when you import your sound files and then your video, doesn't your NLE organise the files so they appear next to each other? In my case with FCPX, I get an audio file right next to the video file. I select them and sync. I suppose with 100s of files this might become cumbersome. Have you tried just keeping the audio going non-stop and just letting the video files attach to it in post? There should be some sort of technical solution. If both devices have the same time stamp, I don't see why this couldn't be done.

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1 hour ago, fuzzynormal said:

I'm using these little cams for a modest project, and after a few weeks run n' gunning with the gx85, thought I'd give a quick critique.

First of all.  Great cam.  Wonderful IQ for such a small price.  So, there's that and it's a really big deal.

Now for the big "but." 

Outboard audio:  I knew it was going to be a pain buying into the gx85 insomuch as the post side of outboard audio sync'ing was going to be a hassle.  Now that's it's on the NLE in front of me and being unwieldy, there's a level of regret that's certainly frustrating.  Until one is actually dealing with hours of unsync'ed  audio, (again) it might be hard to empathize, but believe me, it's not fun.  Sync'ing interviews?  Not a problem.  Trying to sync each and every b-roll clip when your 2 cameras are wandering to various distances from the subject?  Not an enjoyable experience to clean up in post while the clock is ticking on the deadline.

Big compromise there when deciding to use the gx85.

The EVF.  Just not good enough for me.  And this is important.  I'm an older guy.  My eyes suck.  Trying to focus on that crappy EVF for a few hours can literally make me queasy and leave me with eyesight issues after using the cam for awhile.  Compared to the ease of using the EVF on our Fuji/Oly cams, it's like Panasonic is foisting some cruel joke on it's consumers.  It's really quite bad.  You can just never tell if your image is in focus on the damn thing, and the eye strain that mushy image generates is very much a big issue.  I'm attempting a work around with various loupe set-ups, but those things are awkward to use AND make the camera look like some sort of filming device; both things I'm trying to avoid.

Otherwise, the camera delivers as advertised.  On gear like this, it's all a compromise, and I think we know that.  Shooting a semi-pro doc with consumer gear is do-able, it's just not as elegant as it could be...maybe at this point in consumer camera development it's fair to even say it's not as elegant as it SHOULD be.

Now...if the EM5II video was just a tiny bit better I probably would have stuck with my Olympus for this assignment.  But, IQ tends to trump all else.

Anyway, if you're a hobbyist, you're probably going to love the value of this camera.  Having that stabilizer for most people who are awful at doing handheld will be worth it alone. -- But for doing actual work?  It's can be a slog in the documentary style of production.  All that said, my wife and I completed a doc last year (https://vimeo.com/140524680) using the GM1 and GX7, so we knew what we were getting into going into the production, it's just that our newer Fuji/Oly cams have kind of spoiled us in the interim, as the Oly allows on board audio recording --and the EFV's are actually an asset rather than a liability.

 

As far as synching goes, yes double sound is a major pain in the ass. FCPX does make it a helluva a lot simpler with it's automatic synch... Which is insanely accurate btw. Also I think Max developed a simple analog workaround that created a tapping noise, similar to a slate, minus the annoyance of a slate, when he pushed the record button on his Zoom. 

With the GX85, doesn't the focus peaking work with the evf? Shouldn't that make focusing easier on your eyes?

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mercer - I agree completely with your comments about the EVF. Really poor quality. For still photography, this is compensated for by the incredibly good auto-focusing of the camera, in all modes. When working seriously in stills the experience is this :  worrying all through the shoot that your shots are not in focus and then marvelling afterwards at how sharp the images can be. That said, I'm not crazy about my Sony A7R II's EVF and focusing either. The EM5 Mark II is best.

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i'm finding the EVF ok - it does what it needs to do really

My G6 one is much bigger but still not accurate enough to really determine if in focus or not

I prefer both EVFs to my DSLRs I owned previous (Fuji S5 etc)

I'm going to experiment with the 12-32 tomorrow - feels like a toy compared to the 14-140 - but hoping less IS noise

the IS noise is really annoying in videos

I'd have bought a G8 or GH5 - but the GX80 will do in the meantime

Question - but not to go too off-topic - if you use external recorder, how do you work out which audio is to which video when you get back from a day or week or shooting ? 

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