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Andrew Reid

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

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30 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

This has already been posted on this thread and I wish they'd tested the video AF on a tripod.

 

I had seen this one. Though, it's nice to see it again. Matthew tests stuff quite well. Though, I find the CameraLabs.com photos to be some of the sharpest out there. Thanks for posting this. 

I wish someone would hack the GX85, and get VLog and CinelikeD on it. Apart from log profiles and a mic input jack, it seems to be perfect for the price. 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
11 minutes ago, mercer said:

1. How is the IBIS with non ois lenses?

In my opinion, stellar. Some will say EM5II is ever-so-slightly better, but that's 1080p.

11 minutes ago, mercer said:

3. I have recently become interested in stills photography, but now lack a camera to shoot with, so is micro 4/3rds a viable stills camera as well... Specifically the GX85's raw capabilities?

You get 16MP. That's enough for some very large wall prints. How big do you need? A few years ago, I was using tricks like UniWB to get an accurate reading of a histogram so that I wouldn't blow out highlights- this camera doesn't need that trick. It's very much WYSIWYG from what you see on the screen. However, MFT sensors aren't really know for their DR abilities, but this one does a great job keeping highlights down and telling you the truth about when they go over. Having shot many cameras in RAW for the past 8 years, I've seen better pure performance, but they were more of a lottery when you got it on the computer. Finally, the GX80's JPEG's actually look remarkably similar in DR to the RAW's- and that's a good thing.

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19 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

In my opinion, stellar. Some will say EM5II is ever-so-slightly better, but that's 1080p.

You get 16MP. That's enough for some very large wall prints. How big do you need? A few years ago, I was using tricks like UniWB to get an accurate reading of a histogram so that I wouldn't blow out highlights- this camera doesn't need that trick. It's very much WYSIWYG from what you see on the screen. However, MFT sensors aren't really know for their DR abilities, but this one does a great job keeping highlights down and telling you the truth about when they go over. Having shot many cameras in RAW for the past 8 years, I've seen better pure performance, but they were more of a lottery when you got it on the computer. Finally, the GX80's JPEG's actually look remarkably similar in DR to the RAW's- and that's a good thing.

Good to hear. I don't need huge prints, or anything, just have been enjoying photo essays on Flickr and I figured if I want to start with stills, that raw would be the way to go. Do you think the D5500 would be better for stills than the GX85? I don't necessarily need 4K video, but the ibis is a major selling point for stills and video, I'd imagine? I do really like the video image from both cameras... That D5500 flat profile is simply gorgeous and it has a mic input. Ugh too many decisions.

Thanks for the reply!!!

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3 minutes ago, mercer said:

Good to hear. I don't need huge prints, or anything, just have been enjoying photo essays on Flickr and I figured if I want to start with stills, that raw would be the way to go. Do you think the D5500 would be better for stills than the GX85? I don't necessarily need 4K video, but the ibis is a major selling point for stills and video, I'd imagine? I do really like the video image from both cameras... That D5500 flat profile is simply gorgeous and it has a mic input. Ugh too many decisions.

Thanks for the reply!!!

From a pure photography point of view, the D5500 is better. How much better? We're talking single percentage points better. However, when you compare the feature set of the Panasonic for photography and video (minus microphone input), the Panasonic offers much more, especially for video. I'll also say that 4k trumps flat profile. Get a good external recorder and enjoy great sound. There's my take on it. I looked at the D5500, but came to the conclusion that video isn't Nikon's bread and butter. The GX80 offers cutting-edge 2016 tech and features for a crazy price.

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30 minutes ago, mercer said:

Good to hear. I don't need huge prints, or anything, just have been enjoying photo essays on Flickr and I figured if I want to start with stills, that raw would be the way to go. Do you think the D5500 would be better for stills than the GX85? I don't necessarily need 4K video, but the ibis is a major selling point for stills and video, I'd imagine? I do really like the video image from both cameras... That D5500 flat profile is simply gorgeous and it has a mic input. Ugh too many decisions.

Thanks for the reply!!!

I have a GX8, not a GX85, and the sensors are different of course, but I found that when I moved from a Nikon D810 and two D5200's my photography keeper rate improved dramatically. This is because the stabilisation of the GX8 body and OIS lenses is so good, camera shake at low shutter speeds became a thing of the past.

Also the Panny autofocus and face tracking is so good that it helped improve keeper rate too. I do photojournalism so having good AF really helps in catching the image quickly and accurately. When I realised that no-one wanted the huge images that the 810 delivers, it was time to switch to the Panny.

Although OIS lenses with AF are great, I prefer the more "organic" approach to photography with manual lenses (when time allows) so my go to lens is now the Voit 25mm f/0.95. The inbody stabilisation of the GX8 really helps when using the Voit. I am sure that the GX85 with vintage lenses would be just as good, if not better.

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

3. I have recently become interested in stills photography, but now lack a camera to shoot with, so is micro 4/3rds a viable stills camera as well... Specifically the GX85's raw capabilities?

 

In my experience with the gf1 and gx7 on the stills side, I like the results with vintage lenses, and they have bags of character, and a "snap shot" smaller film format feel.. a real still guy could probably get amazing results, but when I had even a aspc Canon 50d for a while, even with a crappy old canon kit zoom and on full auto, the pics coming out of that thing blew away anything I have been able to get with the Panasonics! Again, I'm no stills expert, but it seems you have to be a pretty serious photo guy to pull amazing images out of the Panasonics.. love them for video, apart from the motion.. can work around the colour.. but for stills - I would almost reach for my el cheapo $100 Samsung Galaxy J1 phone! MFT stills always just seem congested within the frame somehow for me.. the can't touch even the aspc Canon's for my tastes! I love the look of medium format stills even more :)

Tons of options for stills, built in intevalvometer.. good burst rates etc - all the stills features, but no where near the Canon's etc for me!

Sure the Panasonic can take ok photos, but all the photo's that make me say wow, and look like you could reach into the frame have usually been on a 5d or medium format cam.. never really seen an MFT still that really wowed me! Again, I am not a huge stills shooter in any way, just my two cents worth :)

Dusting Powder.jpg

GX7 with Minolta 28mm

Leunig Exhibiton.jpg

GF1 with Olympus 25 2.8 4/3

Tram.jpg

 

Samsung Galaxy J1 smartphone

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21 minutes ago, Michael Coffee said:

In my experience with the gf1 and gx7 on the stills side, I like the results with vintage lenses, and they have bags of character, and a "snap shot" smaller film format feel.. a real still guy could probably get amazing results, but when I had even a aspc Canon 50d for a while, even with a crappy old canon kit zoom and on full auto, the pics coming out of that thing blew away anything I have been able to get with the Panasonics! Again, I'm no stills expert, but it seems you have to be a pretty serious photo guy to pull amazing images out of the Panasonics.. love them for video, apart from the motion.. can work around the colour.. but for stills - I would almost reach for my el cheapo $100 Samsung Galaxy J1 phone! MFT stills always just seem congested within the frame somehow for me.. the can't touch even the aspc Canon's for my tastes! I love the look of medium format stills even more :)

Tons of options for stills, built in intevalvometer.. good burst rates etc - all the stills features, but no where near the Canon's etc for me!

Sure the Panasonic can take ok photos, but all the photo's that make me say wow, and look like you could reach into the frame have usually been on a 5d or medium format cam.. never really seen an MFT still that really wowed me! Again, I am not a huge stills shooter in any way, just my two cents worth :)

Thanks for the input Michael. I would seriously doubt if a 50d or 5D III would knock the socks off a GX80 in terms of anything, when talking about the final product of a print or "getting the shot" experience. Not saying they would do poorly either. Photography tech is at a point today (even 5 years ago) at which the "problem" is no longer the camera. Medium-sized wall prints can be had with amazing quality and ease- probably rating up with the medium format cameras of yesteryear. Back then, if just one part of the process went sour, your print would suffer. Now, the process has been perfected. It would be crazy to say MFT can't take an exposition quality photo; hell, if a phone can do it, why couldn't MFT? :) 

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I was very doubtful ref my commitment to M4/3s after the G6 - useability great - but photo quality - wasn't convinced with - just didn't like the output much, dull, seemingly not great DR, and files didn't seem to like much post-processing Lightroom

GX80 was cheap enough to take a punt on - at a minimum would make a great video recorder

But .. GX80 from initial tests seems much better photo wise vs my G6 - photo ouput seems very similar in IQ to my Nex 5n - and that is a VERY good thing - the sensor to me seems much much improved

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1 hour ago, Michael Coffee said:

In my experience with the gf1 and gx7 on the stills side, I like the results with vintage lenses, and they have bags of character, and a "snap shot" smaller film format feel.. a real still guy could probably get amazing results, but when I had even a aspc Canon 50d for a while, even with a crappy old canon kit zoom and on full auto, the pics coming out of that thing blew away anything I have been able to get with the Panasonics! Again, I'm no stills expert, but it seems you have to be a pretty serious photo guy to pull amazing images out of the Panasonics.. love them for video, apart from the motion.. can work around the colour.. but for stills - I would almost reach for my el cheapo $100 Samsung Galaxy J1 phone! MFT stills always just seem congested within the frame somehow for me.. the can't touch even the aspc Canon's for my tastes! I love the look of medium format stills even more :)

Tons of options for stills, built in intevalvometer.. good burst rates etc - all the stills features, but no where near the Canon's etc for me!

Sure the Panasonic can take ok photos, but all the photo's that make me say wow, and look like you could reach into the frame have usually been on a 5d or medium format cam.. never really seen an MFT still that really wowed me! Again, I am not a huge stills shooter in any way, just my two cents worth :)

Dusting Powder.jpg

GX7 with Minolta 28mm

Leunig Exhibiton.jpg

GF1 with Olympus 25 2.8 4/3

Tram.jpg

 

Samsung Galaxy J1 smartphone

You photos look like those taken from early phone cameras with resolutions running in 1 and 2 Megapixels. Even the one from the GX7. What could be the secret?

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@mercer @John Matthews @Michael Coffee etc..

I have shot with a plethora of cameras including Fuji's, Panasonics, Sony's, Nikons (crop and full frame). In terms of JPEG output, the Fuji and (extremely surprisingly) the Sony a6300 have for me been the most pleasing. But in terms of RAW, they're all as good as you ever need them to be. What matters more than anything is the scene and the lens. If you don't believe me you can look through my photos http://www.sebcastilho.com/people/ The images can be downloaded too and EXIF data is in tact. Theres stills from all the cameras Ive used there including some film cameras.

What matters a lot too is ergonomics and in this regard I find mirrorless cameras to have a big advantage over DSLRs due to their live-view autofocus capability, allowing you to get angles that are very difficult with a DSLR. 

@sanveer The write up probably won't happen for at least a few weeks because I want to shoot and edit some videos first. But if you have any questions you can message me.

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1 hour ago, Inazuma said:

@sanveer The write up probably won't happen for at least a few weeks because I want to shoot and edit some videos first. But if you have any questions you can message me.

Thanks, will msg you for it.

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Such conflicting opinions. I primarily use vintage lenses and one thing I did notice with the G7 and now with BMMCC is that the crop factor sometimes crops out some of the character of the lenses and since I will primarily use vintage lenses for stills as well, I wonder how much that will come into play? Honestly, I am completely in the middle on this one. I also have a couple small paid gigs at the end of the summer that will affect my decision based on the video side of the camera. 

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8 hours ago, Buckster said:

I was very doubtful ref my commitment to M4/3s after the G6 - useability great - but photo quality - wasn't convinced with - just didn't like the output much, dull, seemingly not great DR, and files didn't seem to like much post-processing Lightroom

GX80 was cheap enough to take a punt on - at a minimum would make a great video recorder

But .. GX80 from initial tests seems much better photo wise vs my G6 - photo ouput seems very similar in IQ to my Nex 5n - and that is a VERY good thing - the sensor to me seems much much improved

Well G6 still uses GH2 sensor which is quite old, their new gen sensor (gx7 and newer) is certainly on par to Sony M43 sensor.

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9 hours ago, mercer said:

@Inazuma do you happen to have any footage available, for download, from the GX80 and from the D5500 Flat profile? I would love to give them both a go. 

I shot this with both those cameras as part of a series of side-by-side shots a few weeks ago. Both cameras are on Standard profile. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByDASBWUzaNVNWdxLVlwdXFBS1U

Here is a clip from just the D5500 on Flat profile: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByDASBWUzaNVbmVNdy1kYlZSTU0

Here is a scene that was shot simultaneously by the GX7 and D5500. GX7 on Standard -5 all. D5500 on Flat with -3 all (yes you can actually make the Flat profile flatter but I wouldn't recommend it): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByDASBWUzaNVYjhleEREVlJWSEk

I wouldn't judge colour or DR differences too much based on these shots because the variable ND filters used cause colour shifts and changes in specular highlights

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16 hours ago, Inazuma said:
16 hours ago, sanveer said:

You photos look like those taken from early phone cameras with resolutions running in 1 and 2 Megapixels. Even the one from the GX7. What could be the secret?

 

Haha, thanks... they have all gone through FB processing, had some grain etc.. maybe it's just the look I like in stills out of the Panasonic! I actually prefer frames I have pulled from the video footage to any still I have taken on the Panasonics..!? That's the thing though, I never felt the Panny's stills were better than my phone, with any lens I've tried - but the first time I took a shot with the Canon 50d I was amazed by the difference I could see.. for a real hybrid cam I would get a 5d mk2 myself I reckon ..or even an eos M. I am definitely not a stills expert in any way, just my own percieved take on the aesthetics... most total beginner serious stills shooters with any cameras seem take way better shots than I ever get :) You could definitely learn most everything for stills on the Panasonics, tons of photo features.. their stills just never seem to wow me for some reason. I have always gotten cams just for video - but putting the 50d next to the panasonics for stills I saw a huge difference! Maybe it's just me - some people like them, and they are very convienient, great for lenses .. the pics just never do it for me somehow..

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12 hours ago, mercer said:

Such conflicting opinions. I primarily use vintage lenses and one thing I did notice with the G7 and now with BMMCC is that the crop factor sometimes crops out some of the character of the lenses and since I will primarily use vintage lenses for stills as well, I wonder how much that will come into play? Honestly, I am completely in the middle on this one. I also have a couple small paid gigs at the end of the summer that will affect my decision based on the video side of the camera. 

Hey, if you are learning stills, the Panasonics should be great, but if you really need them, a serious amateur or even pro might be happy to shoot for next to nothing .. even quick shots I grabbed with a serious stills guy's kit (a 7d and canon L 70-200 I think) seemed good, and the shots they got looked awesome to me :)

These are out of cam, and I suppose most stills get tons of post these days anyway - but also like the video I suppose, Canon stuff just seems to come out of the camera more "right"!

Rez.jpg

David 1.jpg

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54 minutes ago, Michael Coffee said:

Hey, if you are learning stills, the Panasonics should be great, but if you really need them, a serious amateur or even pro might be happy to shoot for next to nothing .. even quick shots I grabbed with a serious stills guy's kit (a 7d and canon L 70-200 I think) seemed good, and the shots they got looked awesome to me :)

These are out of cam, and I suppose most stills get tons of post these days anyway - but also like the video I suppose, Canon stuff just seems to come out of the camera more "right"!

@Michael Coffee

No disrespect, but I think we just have different tastes in what looks "awesome" or "right." IMO, these are reference snapshots at best, maybe a nice reminder of a day you spent together to remember a person's face... nothing striking in terms of the tech of the 7D & 70-200 and frankly they could have been shot with any camera or phone. In terms of video, ANY camera Canon is offering right now under 1 grand wouldn't be even in the same ball park as the GX80. They're just too light on features and IQ for 2016. Maybe the 5DM4 will be available at a decent price... we'll see, but I have my doubts.

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16 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

I think we just have different tastes in what looks "awesome" or "right."

Add into it the tendency to evangelize and thus rationalize one's camera purchase... which is a pretty big inclination among enthusiast (and even pros) and you get opinions that are clouded with so much subjective attitude they're sort of worthless.

Bottom line, if it works for you, have at it.

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