*My, how the mighty (prices) have fallen. The GX1, best bang for the buck?

GX1 on sale!

I’m sure there are new cameras on the horizon.  With every camera manufacturer pumping a few new bells and whistles into newer body styles and wrapping it around warmed over sensor tech, those among us who play the patient opportunists really benefit.  I held off on the GX1 when it was released and opted for the G3 when upgrading from my GF1.  I gained the beautiful EVF, and at the time saved about $500 (when looking at the GX1 + add on EVF).  I’ve since been running a two camera setup (much as I do with my full frame work setup) as it allows me to always have a backup as well as be able to eliminate much in the way of lens changes.  Because I use the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as well, and I’ve recently traded my G3 to my brother in law for favors yet to be determined, I felt I could justify a compact body, sans EVF again.  Enter the GX1 which is now down to only $250 just about everywhere!  (it’s available at B&H – CLICK HERE – with 2% reward and free shipping).  C’mon in to see a couple shots of and with the GX1…

The difference between a big lens on the GX1

The difference between a big lens on the GX1

and a small lens on the GX1

and a small lens on the GX1

Now, having been a huge fan of the GF1, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t miss the form factor, and when the GX1 was released, I had a hard time not picking one up.  Now, I’m very glad that I hadn’t.  When released, it came in at $799, or $899 with the kit lens so now at about 30% of its going rate from a little while ago, it seems that A) we will see a new upgrade sometime soon, and B) it’s not going to be around for much longer.  The micro 4/3 system seems to use their sensors for about 2-3 years or so (with many bodies using the same sensors), making sense as this seems to be somewhat common for most manufacturers.  Sure there are new processors, new bells and whistles, but the heart of the camera seems to be consistent for a while and I don’t think we’re going to see a huge update in sensor tech with this next update, so, for a fraction of the cost, you can get a great camera that won’t be completely out performed for a while yet.

high key, yet detail still remains

high key, yet detail still remains

who says we can't achieve shallow DOF on these little cameras?

who says we can’t achieve shallow DOF on these little cameras?

Sharing the same sensor, with a few updates, from the G3, you can see my comparison between the older 12mp sensor and this newer 16mp sensor HERE.  While I feel that the newer Sony built sensor in the newer Oly’s has a slight edge over the 16mp Panasonic sensor, the Sony sensor isn’t without it’s drawbacks either.

Regardless, for $250, I would struggle to find more bang for the buck right now in any system, with any camera.  If you’re an existing micro 4/3 system user wanting to sneak a newer, very compact body into the mix, or looking to get into the system to gain access to the wonderful array of lenses and accessories, this could be a perfect opportunity.  The GX1 is available at B&H with free shipping and a 2% reward HERE.  Of course, the G3 is also currently $250 as well – CLICK HERE – , shipped for free as well, and you do get the included EVF.  Both great cameras with their own upsides, either of which I’d strongly suggest, especially for the current prices while they last.  Compact, fully functional and with a pancake lens = pocketable?  GX1.  Not much less compact, included EVF and tilt swivel screen? G3.

Thanks for the read and I hope everyone is well.

Cheers,

t

13 thoughts on “*My, how the mighty (prices) have fallen. The GX1, best bang for the buck?

  1. Great post. I’m now using the GH3 as my main camera, but find that the viewfinder of the GX1 is much superior, and the IQ seems the same to me, if you don’t count the much improved ISO handling of the GH3. For nature photography I really like the 6fps for 24 frames in RAW of the GH3 vs. 3.5 fps for 10 frames with the GX1. The GX1 really eats batteries, but if you are using flash or usually have plenty of light and don’t need better higher-ISO handling, it’s quite a steal!

    Like

    • Thanks Tara!

      I hope to acquire a GH3 sometime in the future as I think it provides, far and away, the most functional body for the system and can really see it as the first body that I could supplant my DSLR’s with as far as work is concerned. You’re right though, for the money, it’s a steal for the GX1 (or the G3 IMO!)

      Cheers,

      Tyson

      Like

  2. Great post, ive been using the G3 for a while now and love it, paired with the 20mm and its a damn fine cam. It doesn’t look as cool as the gx1 but i love having an evf. Great prices at the moment i paid a great deal more for mine but no regrets. Also, the metrado batteries which i believe can be used in both cameras are about £10 and extremely reliable. Been using 3 of them for last 2 years with the G3, no complaints!

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    • Thanks Chris,

      I too paid (double) for my G3 and had/have no regrets. They are quality cams and are just an amazing amount of quality for the price of a lower end compact (granted these don’t have a lens included, but hey, there are economical options for these as well). Honestly, I actually like the form factor of the G3 better personally. The tilt/swivel LCD is also something I miss greatly. Really the bulk of the EVF is the only drawback with the GX1 measuring in smaller than the GF1 is/was, and with the 14mm or 20mm pancake is just tiny compared to the image quality they are capable of producing. Really cool times to be a photo-geek.

      t

      Like

      • Absolutely cool times to be a camera geek. I really enjoy how the quality of these sensors are increasing and the investment into the lenses as well. Its its an (compared to dslr) affordable and fun option for me. The 14mm is definately my next lens. I really like primes!

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  3. Tyson – I have been shooting with a GX1 and EVF plus the panasonic 14-42 lenses (I have both the G5 kit lens and the shorter power OIS one). I find it to be remarkably good little camera. It has fine image quality and a full range of features. with the power OIS 14-42 it has decent closeup capability. The Rhododendron here in the Northwest are pretty much in full bloom right now. I have captured much of that beauty with the GX1 with fine quality.

    It would make a great camera for the street shooters.

    Like

    • Thanks Richard.

      Do you find any noticeable difference in image quality output between the GX1 and G5? RAW, JPEG? I know that the sensor is the same, but not sure about the processor… Yeah, I think most any of the micro 4/3 cams are right up a street shooters, uh, alley. Small, discreet and the system really has quality optical choices.

      Cheers,
      t

      Like

  4. Pingback: What is the best bang for the buck camera in the M43 system? - Blog for micro four third and competing cameras

  5. I just picked up a very lightly used GX1 body for a ridiculously fair price and I must echo most of your comments, Tyson: it’s not only a great little camera but it may be one of the insanely astounding bargains of the mu-4/3 world right now. I mainly got it to have a 2nd body for some of my nice mu-4/3 lenses – since I can only have one lens at a time on my main workhorse, the GX7 – but I can see already, after only a few days of shooting, that the GX1 is going to get used quite a lot and not merely as a backup. It’s beautifully designed & finished, and its handling/ergonomics is almost right up there next to my previous favorite micro 4/3 body, the underrated Olympus Pen E-PL2. The PL2, as Kirk Tuck once pointed out, was one of the cooler and better handling small digital Pens ever made – and though my own copy couldn’t quite equal the sensor performance of the PL5 I replaced it with, it felt better ‘in hand’ than any small camera I’ve used…..until the GX1.

    So – I don’t know if the GX1 currently qualifies as the bargain of the century – but damn it’s a nice camera.

    Cheers!

    Miguel

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  6. I had an E-PL5 before I got myself a GX1, and was pleasantly surprised by the latter’s high quality output. The Panasonic has superb handling / ergonomics and the 14-42 regular kit lens yields very sharp and detailed images after a bit of post. Even ISO 3200 has given me great images in low light, and somehow I find I don’t miss IBIS much. It’s slightly different rendering of colours also provides a viable alternative to images from the Oly.
    Oh, one more thing: I ditched the Slikypix RAW developer after it nearly drove me mad, and now I just use the jpegs, these being superb, benefiting greatly from in-camera processing…if input parameters are correctly applied. All in all, a most satisfying and addictive camera, bought brand new last year at a ridiculously low price and capable giving terrific images with the better lenses from Oly like the 14mm, the 45mm and Pana’s own 20mm f1.7–sharp and with good micro-contrast even wide open. I just wish I could lay my hands on a LVF2, here in Delhi, India. This is the only lack that keeps alive my longing for an OMD E-M5. My Nikon DSLR days are over…
    Thanks for the great article, and all the very best.
    Subroto Mukerji, 03 Feb 2015

    Like

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