In an industry that provides me with my very favorite of hobbies, the idea of perceived perfection in performance is often the benchmark. To this end, I too am guilty in that I often look for and test to make sure I have the best optics for whichever sensor I happen to have invested in. Often times, when we as photographers focus on measurable optical metrics, we can lose sight of the artistic, creative outlet that visual art such as photography can provide us. As the old adage goes as far as skill and creativity are concerned, sharpness is overrated.
I like to explore photography from a very large spectrum of angles, and find I enjoy myself most when I change my vantage from time to time. I don’t feel photography is one thing, and certainly feel for me that if it only provided me with one type of result, I’d not be nearly as happy. I like variety, I like difference, I like weird. For those who’ve been around for a while, you’ll probably remember articles I’ve written about Lensbaby products, and how the company resides just down the road from me. Back when this was a fledgling little blog, they offered me many opportunities to beta test new optics, and provide fodder for those looking for adaptable optics for their (at the time, young, new) mirrorless system cameras.
Say hello to the Lensbaby Trio 28mm f/3.5 lens. Three unique Lensbaby optics, built into a single lens for mirrorless systems, and I’ve been loving it. C’mon in for some examples and comparisons…
Well hi there! Been a while. Yes, I’ve been focused largely on launching the Nauti Straps stuff (utterly shameless plug, of which it will not be the last, surely) which has been going smashingly thus far, so thank you to everyone who’s supported me in that venture. That said and done, I’ve been long wanting to compare these two premier portrait focal length prime lenses for the two formats I shoot in concert in the Sony FE and micro 4/3 systems.
Enter the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar FE mount lens for Sony E mount cameras, and the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 DG Nocticron lens for micro 4/3 system shooters.
C’mon in for comparisons, pixel peeping galore and my thoughts as someone who has been shooting these two lenses for the better part of the last year.
I had never, ever noticed any issue with shutter shock personally. This goes for my experience with the GX8, the OMD EM5 years back that many claimed to have had issues, and any other camera I’ve owned and shot with. This isn’t to say that my cameras didn’t suffer from this issue, I’m just saying that I’ve never noticed it. That may be that I’ve not been a huge pixel peeper (except when doing these types of tests for these articles) or perhaps I’ve just been easily able to excuse any softness for whatever reason.
That said, I have received a few emails over the last couple months asking specifically about the shutter shock issue with the GX8 and so I thought it might be handy to run a test to satisfy my own curiosity, and better equip myself when attempting to answer these types of inquiries. C’mon in to see the results…
Well, my friends, I have been enjoying the comparison between these two great cameras, and in this article I would like to present my opinions and findings regarding how they directly compare to each other in regards to performance and file output, once and for all (for my purposes, anyway). Here’s my disclaimer… I don’t work for Panasonic. I’ve always researched and purchased my own gear, and do these tests in an attempt to help others like myself see what I wish that I could have seen in cases before buying stuff. Enjoy and I hope this shows you something you’ve not yet seen.
I’ve been looking at the comparison from the angle of one who is curious about replacing my historically favorite micro 4/3 camera in the GX7, with it’s intended upgrade in the GX8. I’ve now had the GX8 for a couple months and have shot a few thousand images with it, so I have been able to get a good feel for how it handles, performs and how the files look when digging into them. With the GX8, Panasonic has given us an increase in size, resolution and features, which have all looked good on paper, and I’m now wanting to really see that come through in practice, which in most cases, it has.
Here is what I’ve seen, and what I’ve found…
Panasonic has done well to progress the hybrid market bringing industry leading video features to remarkably affordable price points over the years. The GH line has always pushed into new territory with budget oriented motion shooters compared to all else available on the market. Along with cutting edge video features, they’ve also done well to provide competent still shooting devices incorporated into these wonderful, little mirrorless cameras. The GF and GX lines have historically incorporated a more still shooter driven skill set in a smaller, rangefinder style body while adding admirable video features as well.
There’s been no hiding my love for the GX7 over the past few years. In my mind, it has been the best balance of quality, size, feature and price yet available in the mirrorless landscape, playing to all of the benefits of a smaller format, mirrorless construction and very high end lens availability through the system partnership with Olympus, and third party collaboration and support from companies like Leica, Sigma, Voigtländer and many others.
With the GX8, Panasonic has brought us a newer, more beefed up version with the m4/3 system’s first 20mp sensor, dual IS feature and various 4K video and still modes in a camera that, while a bit bigger, can still fit into a large pocket with the right lens. A great machine, but is it truly a step forward in all ways? Having been shooting this camera extensively for the last month and a half, I feel comfortable giving my opinions and comparisons between the GX8 and it’s predecessor. C’mon in…
Currently, and while they last, Adorama is selling the GX7 with the 14-42 kit zoom for $547.99 which also includes a $50 Adorama Gift Card. This might be the last cache of new GX7 kits as they make way for a replacement later on this year.
The GX7, while heading toward the sunset, and rumored to be replaced this Fall, is a killer camera. It still has the current Panasonic sensor used in most every Panasonic camera from the last couple years, which is a great sensor, especially for RAW shooters like me. If you’re looking for a good, all around body that incorporates IBIS, an integrated tilting EVF, WiFi, Focus Peaking, 1080p at 60fps, and a slew of other bells and whistles, this is a great deal.
You can find them via Adorama here:
Black GX7 + 14-42 kit with $50 Adorama Gift Card HERE
Silver GX7 + 14-42 kit with $50 Adorama Gift Card HERE
I’ve been a big fan of the GX7, and feel it has been the best overall, micro 4/3 camera yet… for me at least. Great ergonomics, great features, direct external control for everything you need along with an intuitive and logical UI. It has a very good balance of size reduction while being very comfortable in the hand, even with larger optics, and I like mine very, very much.
A great camera for a great price.
If interested in why I’ve grown to praise the GX7 quite as much as I have, you can read my personal reviews and comparisons via these following links:
GX7, an evolution Part 1
GX7, an evolution Part 2
GX7 vs EM5, round 1
GX7 vs EM5, round 2
GX7 vs EM5, round 3
Now, readers may remember a mere 6 months or so ago, I purchased the Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95 lens (see that review on a new page HERE) for my micro 4/3 system setup. I’ve loved that lens, but since its announcement I’ve been curious about the Leica branded Nocticron, largely because I do really enjoy shooting two of the other Leica branded lenses for the system in the Summicron 15mm and 25mm models. The asking price for this portrait lens was always high for my taste, which was why I opted for the Voigt to begin with (which isn’t cheap in its own right, but 2/3 the retail price of the Nocti). Well, as luck would have it, an open box/like new Nocticron came up for sale at near the same price as the Voigtländer and my curiosity couldn’t be held back, and now I’m tasked with figuring out which one to hold onto.
Here are my initial impressions on this beautiful lens.