Battle of some Portrait Primes. Full Frame vs m4/3, Zeiss vs Leica, let the pissing contest commence…

battle

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.

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*GX8 Shutter Shock test. Mechanical and Electronic both with and without IBIS…

IMG_9722I 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…

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*The Panasonic Lumix GX8 vs GX7 showdown. How much of an upgrade is it, really? Well… w/ @LumixUSA

gx7 vs gx8

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…

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*The Panasonic GX8 done grow’d up! A first look comparison w/ @LumixUSA

Panasonic Lumix GX7 vs GX8 Comparison

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…

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*Might be close to the last chance to grab a GX7 kit on super sale @adorama

Panasonic_Lumix_DMC-GX7_1008118

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

Happy shooting, 

Tyson

*A Pana-Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 review – I never should have doubted you.

Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH OIS Lens Panasonic

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.

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*The Mighty Might, Panasonic GM1 on super sale

iPhone 5s vs Panasonic Lumix GM1

Adorama has the Panasonic, micro 4/3 GM1 camera with 12-32mm pancake zoom for $598 which comes with a $200 Adorama Gift Card, dropping the price for the camera and lens to an effective $398!  The lens itself retails for $348, and while that may be a little steep for the lens itself, it is a true 24mm e-fov wide angle lens that is sharper than many of the comparable prime lenses for the system at like aperture, across this zoom lens’ range.  While the asking price for the lens itself might be debatable, the quality and sheer minuscule footprint cannot be.  Sure that $200 gift card is only valid at Adorama, but if you’re like me, you’ll find a way to eventually spend two hundred bucks on something there.

That’s a pretty sweet deal for this little powerhouse of a camera and lens that I feel is the best kit lens I’ve used for the system.  

You can see the deal, currently running at Adorama via my affiliate links below:

GM1 (Blue) with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Silver) + $200 Adorama Gift Card HERE 

GM1 (Orange) with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Silver) + $200 Adorama Gift Card HERE

If you’d like, you can read my thoughts on the GM1 HERE and the 12-32mm Kit Lens HERE.

I bought my GM1 as soon as it was available, and it has been with me every day since, literally.  With the right lenses, this camera is pocketable and is small enough to go anywhere.  It has the same sensor as the GX7, which is rumored to also be included in the soon to be announced G7, which is a great performing sensor, especially for RAW file capture, and in my test/review, out performed the Sony sensor in the Olympus OMD EM5 in most every way.  The GM5 is essentially the same exact camera with a hot shoe and an EVF.  Both great additions, but for this price, I think it would be hard to find a better overall value of size, performance and build quality offered with the GM1.  It’s a great little machine, and by little, I mean tiny.

You can stay posted on reviews, tutorials and deals by finding me on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram or if you prefer to receive email alerts when articles are posted, feel free to add your email address at the top right of the page here.  

Happy shooting.

Tyson