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Michiel78

What to buy: GM1 or GX7

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Just curious about your opinion. I'm going to visit Japan and New Zealand and I'd like a small cam for video as well as stills. I'm switching from my Canon 60D to m43 (don't have a lot of glass so no problem). Thought about the BMPCC but think it's better to wait for v2.0, and I loose the stills. Thought about the D5300, great for stills and video, but slightly too large, and not really optimized for video (no focus peaking, aperture-problems etc).

 

Right now I'm thinking about the GM1 or GX7. Both are small enough for my taste, use the same sensor en processor, so IQ should be the same. My considerations:

 

GM1

I like the small size and looks of this cam, but I'm worrying most about its ergonomics, especially when filming and using manual focus filming handheld. I'd like the Panasonic 20mm/1.7 II but it has no stabilisation and it's a little bit to large for the body, so a monopod or small tripod could be difficult. I won't be using a rig. But, since the GM1 cheaper than the GX7, I can buy the Speedbooster Nikon to m43 and use its tripod collar instead. Lenswise I'd go for the Nikon 50/1.8 or equivalent. The size-difference between GX7 or GM1 with Speedbooster would be eliminated of course. 

 

GX7

Its a bit less refined than the GX7, although I really like the beefy grip, so ergonomically it should be better. I've tried the EVF and although I see the seq-field problems, and don't think it's problematic and could be handy in the field. It's more expensive than the GM1, but when it comes bundled with the 20mm/1.7 II the price difference with the GM1is small. Also I like the 50p and MP4 video-modes, so its easier for my Macbook when pre-editing en route (make the final edit at home).

 

Essentially it comes down to this:

Would you go for GM1 + speedbooster and open the world of Nikon-mount lenses or go for the GX7 + 20mm (and bonus MP4 en 50p). Of course I could always buy the SB for the GX7 as well, but it goes a little over budget then, because I need to buy now and cannot wait for the new Panasonic-series showing up this year.

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I love the GM1 as a technical achievement and I think it's a great camera. But I probably wouldn't want to have it as my only camera, if we're talking stills + video, because of the ergonomics.

 

If you are climbing mountains and every gram counts, or you want to be able to store your camera in your pocket at all times, then the GM1 makes sense.

 

Actually, I don't think it would be a bad idea to throw in the Panasonic G6 into this equation... cheaper than any of them (so definately get the speed booster with it!), ergonomics are pretty good. EVF + flipscreen. It just is a bit bigger... but if you plan on using a speed booster + nikkor lenses, you are going to carry it in a bag anyway. What's the difference if there is a GX7 or G6 in your bag...? not much.

 

The G6 is quite a bit smaller than the EOS 60D, and half the weight: http://camerasize.com/compare/#100,455

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Thanks Julian. Funny we're talking English here while both from the Netherlands ;)

 

I'm considering the G6, but although it's the cheapest option, it uses a relative older sensor than the GX7 and GM1, but it has peaking.

I like the G6 audio-input, the better EVF.

 

It seems have to decide if I take my camera bag with me or not... I'm planning to use a small backpack so GX7+20mm will fit... choices choices...

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Also I like the 50p and MP4 video-modes, so its easier for my Macbook when pre-editing en route (make the final edit at home).

 

 

How is it easier for the Macbook? Because of the AVCHD, or am I missing something here?

 

I wouldn't worry too much about the easiness or toghness of the codec, because that is pretty easy to bypass. Just invest about 30 bucks or €ugenes to a small converter app that will convert the AVCHD (or other codecs, too) .MTS files to uncompressed .mov file, which will then be much easier for the editor and Macbook. Not any harder than the MP4. No need for more memory or processor power just because of some crappy compressed codec like AVCHD. 

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Another vote for the G6. AFAIK the only real advantage of the GX7 sensor is low light performance, and the G6 isn't exactly bad there - especially with SB. You can get them crazy cheap at the moment on ebay too (£275 body only on ebay UK!).

 

The G6 is a true hybrid camera - sooo simple to shoot video with. It's also much more ergonomic than the GM1 or GX7. Similar size to GX7 but handles much better for video. I don't like the GX7's wobbly EVF for video, and I really don't like the GM1's lack of EVF, especially if traveling.

 

If I were you, my choice would be G6, Speed Booster and Nikon 50mm 1.8 Pancake. You then have a small camera made for shooting video with a superb image, and you're investing a large percentage of your cash on the SB and lens which will potentially last you a lifetime. And your growing Nikon collection can go on any camera you buy in the future. Go for MFT glass (e.g. 20mm) if you want to be able to use auto mode a lot, but with focus peaking, EVF and histogram the G6 is a dream for manual glass, which IMHO is waaaay more filmic looking than MFT glass. 

 

I completely agree with Julian - I wouldn't have the GM1 OR the GX7 as my main video cam. They are interesting in image terms for video, but I really think they have been made primarily as stills cameras. I excitedly got to play with a friend's GX7 recently and immediately felt glad I'd gone for the G6 - much more video orientated. The D5300 is extremely small and light (have you held one? - not really that much bigger than a G6 with SB) but yes, a little annoying for video 'on the go'. I love the image I'm getting from my D5300 but if I'm travelling/keeping things light or need ease of use, I grab my G6.

 

If you're using FCPX to edit, I import AVCHD directly from the card ('copy media' box is ticked automatically) and my workflow is no different to MP4. I know it's not the approved way of doing it, but it's absolutely fine. I really have no idea why people go on about it as a problem so much. No need for conversion IMO. The MP4 codecs are fine on the G6, but 24P AVCHD is the best ...

 

Unless you have a very clear reason to go for the GX7 over the G6, I would give the G6 very serious consideration.

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Unless you have a very clear reason to go for the GX7 over the G6, I would give the G6 very serious consideration.

 

It's just that the GX7 or GM1 are so much more good-looking compared to the G6, but in the end, I think Julian and you are right... since the GH4 and other m43 cams are around the corner (imagine what would happen if Olympus got their video codecs right), it makes more sense to invest in SB en Nikon glass which can be used over and over again, and a lot less in a camera which probably will be replaced in 2 years. Also, the mic-input is an added bonus which I definitely like. 

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It's just that the GX7 or GM1 are so much more good-looking compared to the G6, but in the end, I think Julian and you are right... since the GH4 and other m43 cams are around the corner (imagine what would happen if Olympus got their video codecs right), it makes more sense to invest in SB en Nikon glass which can be used over and over again, and a lot less in a camera which probably will be replaced in 2 years. Also, the mic-input is an added bonus which I definitely like. 

Ah camera vanity! Yes I suffer from that too.

 

Having played with them all, my opinion:

 

GM1: cute, difficult to use for video

GX7: Thought I'd like it but wasn't taken with the design at all when I actually held it. If you haven't held one, I'd try it.

G6: Handles like a DSLR while being small and light, good for video even without add-ons/rig,

 

Looks in front of + inside the camera are the ones that really matter ...

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I haven't had much trouble shooting video to be honest.  It's been more intuitive than I expected.

Yes I should make it clear my analysis of the GM1 and GX7 are based on very brief encounters with each. But they are Panasonic cameras so of course they're going to be good for video to a certain degree. But the GM1 doesn't have an EVF, so right away you must have some stability and LCD glare issues. It's also tiny, which doesn't help with stability when shooting handheld, and the buttons surely aren't going to be too easy to get to while shooting compared to the G6 (which is only just big enough in these terms itself I think)? With a SB and manual prime attached to the GM1 (not even mentioning a z-finder), I don't fancy how easy it would be to get a decent grip on the body, adjust settings and focus/move the aperture ring. Just my 2 cents though … as I say I haven't used it much at all  :)

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A nice feature of the G6 compared to the GH2 that I only just realised yesterday is that you can assign the zoom lever on the body to adjust aperture (with smart MFT lenses). This avoids the problem of the single adjustment wheel for aperture & shutter where it is all too easy to inadvertently press too hard & switch from adjusting aperture & change shutter speed. Using the zoom lever under your right index finger for aperture means that you don't need to touch the shutter/aperture wheel at all.

The G6 is so cheap on eBay here in the UK now that it's half the price of the GM1 (admittedly with the cute kit lens) & 1/3 the price of the GX7.

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Just my 2 cents though

 

 

Those are all valid concerns.  I like the GM1, but I don't plan on running around with it as my A cam.  It's a stealthy and small option to capture nondescript shooting. That's the biggest feature of the cam for me.  However, when not trying to "steal" shots I certainly don't plan on running and gunning with the thing (even though I'm confident that I could do so if needed).  It'll serve well though for more considered (sticks/slider) shots, flying, and getting into tight corners.

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I own both the GH3 and the GM1. First, as for editing, FCPX handles 24p AVCHD files no problem, it takes just seconds to import them (on my 15" Retina). Second, I'm not so sure I'd get the GM1 as a main video camera, as much as I love shooting with it. I would also probably go with the G6 if price is a consideration and you don't mind the plasticky body. Just for the record, I prefer the rear monitor on the GM1 to that of the GH3. If you are planning to shoot flash, larger lenses will cast a shadow with the GM1. The flash can be titled upward with one finger, but I haven't tried it, and it would involve too much guess work. 

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I have had the GM1 for a few weeks now, its fantastic. No issues at all importing into FCPX and editing. I am finding that in most cases the video quality is as good if not better than the GH3. One point of interest is that since getting the little one the big one has had hardly any use at all. In fact i am thinking of selling the GH3 whilst its still under warranty and before any new models come out.

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Thanks for confirming the GM1 as a great cam, and that FCPX 10.1 has no issues with AVCHD.

 

I just went for the G6, although I do mind its plasticky body a little bit (the camera vanity indeed), but it's even cheaper than the Speedbooster now! So I'm staying within my 1000€ budget, while opening up an amazing range of lenses for the future. 

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@nac yeah, I carry around both the GM1 and the GH3 wherever I go, but I always reach for the GM1 first!

@michiel78 And it's not camera vanity, if you're holding and using something all day long, how it handles and how you feel about it's construction are important factors to take into account.

I still do a lot of slow motion and recorded sound; and I like having two bodies so I don't have to constantly change lenses in the middle of a shoot - so I won't be selling the GH3 anytime soon. Also, as I've already remarked, it's much more difficult to handhold the GM1 steady with longer lenses. Now, if Mastor Tech would just release the $600 Sailfish gimbal!

I've never handled the G6, but everyone seems to like the image quality and the viewfinder if I remember correctly. I'm sure you made the right choice.

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Why would you need image stabilization for the 20mm pancake? It's wide plus also fast.

 

Also you can get a riser for the camera so you can put it on a tripod

 

I would get the GX7 if you want to focus on stills, otherwise it's the gM1

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Why would you need image stabilization for the 20mm pancake? It's wide plus also fast.

 

20mm on GM1 is 40mm FF/30mm APS-C. Not that wide really. Handheld would still be very shaky. Granted IS not needed for stills but for video it would be handy. 

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I got to play with the GM1 in a showroom yesterday. Man that thing is tiny! It's even smaller in real life than in the photos. :)

 

It indeed is quite pocketable, but I believe it may even be too tiny for me, not just for my average sized man hands, but my alarmingly middle-aging eyes, too. You do need a handle or a rig of some sort for video. But it is a cool little toy, though.

 

Anyway, I think choosing between the GM1 and the GX7 is a bit like comparing cherries to grapefruits. Quite different things for different tastes and different uses.

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