May 152013

INSANE Deal of the Day! The Panasonic GX1 for $249 at Amazon, Prime Eligible


WOW!!! This is a giveaway and will not last long. The Panasonic GX1 is being cleared out at Amazon right now for $249. New in box GX1 Micro 4/3 body, $249. This was the main competitor to the E-P3 and while I preferred the Olympus E-P3, the GX1 was considered the comeback camera from the original GF1. If you want one, get it now at $249. They will not last!


If you want a perfect lens for this camera that you will ADORE, go for this one.

Dec 272012

My Leica love and Pursuit by Nilton Junior

Hi guys! My name is Nilton (speak it as Newton) and I would like to share with you a little about my Leica love and pursuit.

I can say that the very begging is when I was about 9 or 10 years old and my beloved Mom had a small eyeglasses store, I was there all time listening about dioptric grads, types of glasses, aberrations, and others optical terms, but the most I can remember was about good glasses from Carls Zeiss that she no so often used to sell. It was fantastic; if I remember right it was the most exotic glass you could buy for your frame in that time. Here it is, my very first memories about good German optics.

Panasonic GX1 + Canon FD 55mm 1.2f @ 1.4f – ISO 800 – 1/400


When I was about 17 years old I realized I really loved Physics, Mechanical Physics, but pretty much Optic Physics as well, so I went to engineering school. There I had my second touch with German optics products as I performed a 2 year government paid research about laser emission from neodymium glass at about ultra violet spectrum, almost not visible light. So what equipment did I use to make all that measurements of emission, reflection and absorption? Almost all very high precision equipment was from Leica or Zeiss. They are the most well named brands between scientists tools and an optical lab, without them is legless, or so.

Well, but what does all of that geek stuff have to do about photography? Probably nothing but making a big story short, when little small things from the past creates standards and marks at our minds and influence ours decisions about every thing in life, this has done  a lot for my photography style, and I can tell it is just the beginning.

Fujifilm X100 from my wife J @ 2.0f – ISO 3200 – 1/300


In 2007 I was about to make my first trip for Europe, and decided to buy a decent camera. I knew nothing about photography, but remember that the seed was planted, so I bought a Canon G9! Yes… I know, WTF?! Actually, the only preference I had that time that remains in me today is, I want a damn small but powerful camera with me. Never thought about using an SLR.

So after that trip I realized that the G9 didn’t achieve the image quality I wanted. I mean, it is a pretty good camera, but autofocus, high ISO and available light photography are not the highs from it. I needed to move on.

Panasonic GX1 + Olympus 12mm 2.0 @ 2.0f – ISO 160 – 1/3200


So talking about photography with my best friend (this damn lucky boy today works at Playboy Magazine) he told me that a certain company was making partnership with Leica glass. Yes, something inside my head instantly lighted up and it all made sense. I WANT A LEICA. That time I didn´t know Leica and Zeiss made photographic products, I was a lab geek, remember?

Panasonic GX1 + Summilux 25mm @ 1.4f – ISO 160 – 1/1300


So I started to research the most I could about Leica glass and the company making the trade with them. So I discovered Panasonic. Yes. My life brought me here, to Panasonic MFT cameras line up! I know that apparently Steve likes Olympus more but I never tried Olympus, but man, they don´t have the Leica partnership, J. I bought the GF1 and that was passion at first click and of course bought a summilux 25mm too.

That time I knew little about M cameras, just knew they were (and are) insanely expensive and that I would never, ever, ever buy one. I was so happy with my Panasonic/Summilux combo, it is a little taste and the closest I could get from a real Leica. From then to now I changed my GF1 for a GX1 and don’t regret that decision. It is very superior with faster autofocus and better high ISO capabilities. I’ve recently started trying third-party lenses with adaptor.

The major brand I use for my MFT camera is Canon FD. They are cheap and you can get great results. I just love my Canon FD 55mm 1.2f.

Panasonic GX1 + Canon FD 100-200mm 5.6 @ 16f – ISO 160 – 1/500


But, what about Leica?! Is it in that tinny dark area from my heart? Forgotten? NEVER!  After discovering, about one and half-year ago, Steve’s Site, I made a decision, I will buy my Leica M with a summilux 50, so I started saving. Yes, I’m on budget and hope I can get my hands over the new Leica M next year!

PS.: Please, I hope my English isn’t that bad, it is not my native language.

Best regards guys!

Nilton Junior

Jan 062012

My final thoughts on the Panasonic GX1 vs E-P3

So I know some of you are waiting for my review of the Panasonic GX1. Ive had the camera for while now and have been shooting it daily, and shooting it next to my micro 4/3 fave, the Olympus E-P3. I posted the review from David Babsky who loved the camera and you can read that 3500 word review HERE. I feel that David did a good job talking about the cameras features and capabilities so I did not want to re-hash what he said. I do not feel as excited about it as he does though so I will just give my thoughts on it in this short article instead of doing a full blown review. David posted ISO samples, crops, and talked about the design and control so no real need for me to repeat it.

The Panasonic GX1 and the Olympus 17 2.8

At about $700, the GX-1 and kit zoom is not cheap. Many complained about the Nikon V1 at $850 even though it focuses faster, has a more solid build, has a fantastic built in EVF and can compete with any M4/3 camera at high ISO. Oh, and it also shoots better quality HD video than either of these M4/3 cameras! So using that logic, the GX-1 should not cost what it does. When I received the camera I was a bit disappointed in the feel of it. While it is leagues better than the brain farts that were the GF2 and GF3, the GX1 just doesn’t have that sweet solid feel that the E-P3 has. But for many, the feel doesn’t matter. The inside, the guts, the good stuff…that is what matters and that is what gives us the image that we see on our computer screen.

When the GX1 was announced my thoughts were “FINALLY”! Panasonic was going back to their GF1 roots with the same body design and control and that was/is a good thing. When I started using the camera I realized it really is not much better than the old GF1. I mean, of course it does much better in low light and focuses faster but it still doesn’t have in body image stabilization. It is still on the small side and smaller than the GF1. The rear dial feels cheaply made, and the big one for me…no built in EVF! GRRRR.

Why oh why didn’t they put in an EVF? The Fuji X100, The Nikon V1, the Sony NEX-7 – All newer cameras and all have EVF’s. Even if the GX1 came in at $800 or even $900, an EVF would have been welcomed and made it much more enjoyable to shoot. It would have also separated itself from the E-P3, it’s main competition. To me, if I were to stick with Micro 4/3, and there is good reason to just due to the amazing lenses that are available, I would stick with the E-P3 no question. I would NOT sell my E-P3 for a GX1, no way, no how.


Again, this is not really a review of the GX1 as I feel it is not needed due to David’s review that explained the camera in detail but I know many were wondering how I liked this camera. Bottom line?  I like the GX1 but I like the E-P3 more. I like the feel of the E-P3, the control, the LCD, the touch screen, the filters as well as the color more with the Olympus. It is what it is and after spending time with both, side by side, those are my opinions.

There are areas where the GX1 does indeed beat the E-P3 though. The sensor IS without a doubt a better sensor than the Olympus’s aging 12MP many years old design. The low light/high ISO performance is better with the GX1. No question. BUT…in good light I found the Olympus to provide me with more pleasing images every time. I also love the B&W Art filter on the Olympus and use it quite often. The GX1 can not replicate it in camera. The GX1 takes better HD video with less jello effect (the E-P3 is lousy in this regard) and I would pick it over the Oly for video. Then again, if video is your thing and you are in the Micro 4/3 camp, go with a GH2 :)

ISO 1600 from the GX1, taken at night in a parking garage – click the image for larger


I am not bashing the GX1. If someone wanted to get into M4/3 right now, I’d say that the GX1 is a good choice due to the low light abilities and newer sensor. At the same time, I would say that I enjoy shooting the E-P3 more. I am not alone in this either. I spoke with a few people this past week who own both and every one of them agreed with my findings. There is just something about the little Oly that gets me. If a Leica talks to my soul, the PEN talks to my heart. The Panasonic doesn’t really speak to me much at all. Then again I am a guy who loves the camera look, feel, and style in addition to what it gives me in the images.

The Panasonic 25 1.4 on the E-P3. This is a GREAT lens…

The Panasonic GX1 with the 25 1.4

The power of the EVF

If the GX1 was $599 Id say BUY IT NOW and consider it a steal. I also think the E-P3 should come down to $600 because today cameras like these SHOULD have an EVF built in. The V1 showed me this and I use the V1’s EVF 95% of the time. I think more and more cameras will be coming with fantastic EVF’s (Fuji X-Pro 1) and any camera in the $800 and up price range that doesn’t is asking for trouble. For example, if Leica releases an X2 without a built in EVF there will be plenty of bitching and moaning because we all know an X2 will not be cheap.

So to sum it up, the GX1 is a great little Micro 4/3 camera. It is a much better successor to the GF1 than the GF2 and GF3 by far and has the latest Micro 4/3 sensor technology. But for those wanting to get into Micro 4/3 then you have choices and in the enthusiast camp, it is mainly between the GX1 and E-P3. You have to decide what you desire more. Both come in at the same price right now with their kit lenses and both can mount the Olympus or Panasonic or ANY Micro 4/3 lens. Either way, if you own the E-P3, I would stick with it. If you own a GX1, that is great too. Both have their pros and cons and both can deliver fantastic images.

The Olympus Pros vs the GX1

  • Better out of camera color
  • Better body feel (in my opinion)
  • Better LCD and Touch screen implementation
  • In body Image Stabilization
  • AF is just as fast as the new GX1
  • Buttons and dials feel more solid than the GX1
  • Art Filters

The Panasonic GX1 Pros vs the E-P3

  • Thinner and sleeker
  • Better high ISO performance
  • More resolution – 16MP vs 12MP
  • New sensor technology
  • HD Video a bit better on the GX1

Below are a few snaps taken with both cameras. Enjoy!

The 1st four were shot with the GX1

The next few are from the E-P3

Dec 312011

Panasonic GX1 vs Olympus E-P3 – Part 3 – RAW

OK, here we are with part 3 of this continuing comparison between the new Panasonic GX1 and the Olympus E-P3. This time, after the difference in  JPEGs by each camera yesterday where the GX1 tended to underexpose a little and the Oly overexposing a little we get to take a look at RAW performance of each camera. The Olympus JPEGS were IMO a bit snappier and sharper than the GX1 JPEGS but can the Panasonic do better when it come to the RAW files?

All of the images below were shot with the same lens on each camera. Each file was processed to JPEG from RAW using ACR 6.6. I included crops embedded in larger JPEGS this time, so click on each image and an 1800 pixel wide JPEG will open with an embedded 100% crop from each file.

If you found this post and did not see the others yet, you can see PART 1 HERE and PART 2 HERE.

 1st up! Panasonic GX1 with the 25 again at f/8 – FROM RAW – click image to see large with 100% crop – Much sharper now

The Olympus…darker blue sky and sharp!

This time at f/2.8 the image from the Panasonic seems softer. Focus may have missed here though  – I was using center point and focused at the same point as the Olympus below.

The E-P3 has that Olympus color…

This next image is not 100% accurate as the GX1 was shot at f/4, and the Olympus was mistakenly shot at f/3.5. So this gives the GX1 a slight edge. You can see this is pretty sharp from both cameras. 

The Olympus at f/3.5 but still very sharp. Both did great, but there are some color differences here.

The Panasonic once again at f/8 with the 25 – see the larger version to see the full crop…

…and the Olympus, f/8 – NEITHER camera nailed the color or WB here BTW though the Oly is closer

There you have it! Which do you prefer?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Dec 292011


Panasonic GX1 vs Olympus E-P3  – Part 1 – Basics and High ISO

Part 2 Part 3

Over the next few days I am going to be posting a series of “comparison” tests pitting the new Panasonic GX1 against the Olympus E-P3. I have both here side by side and all of you know I LOVE the Olympus E-P3 but I also know it has an aging sensor and the GX1 has the latest and greatest from Panasonic inside that should be giving better everything. But HIGH ISO is not the be all end all for many of us, including me because quite frankly, I rarely shoot in higher ISO’s. BUT many of you do so this 1st test will put the two cameras against each other in the high ISO department as this has been the most requested comparison between these two cameras.

ISO performance doest tell the whole story. Olympus PEN cameras are much loved for their out of camera color and JPEG quality and  the E-P3 is the best of the PEN’s to date so this should be interesting to see how it stacks up against the GX1. The pricing is the same at $799 each with kit lens. The Panasonic is smaller and thinner than the meaty and solid E-P3, but the GX1 feels pretty good with the included rubbery grip. Still, I prefer the slightly larger E-P3 in my hand.

The E-P3 has a 12Mp sensor. The same sensor used in the E-P2 and E-P1. The GX-1 has a new 16MP sensor from Panasonic that has gotten rave reviews already as it is in the Panasonic G3. The LCD on the E-P3 is, in my opinion, better. It is higher resolution and an OLED display. It looks really good. The E-P3 also has in body IS, the Panasonic relies on the lenses. Many will prefer the Panasonic menu system, while others may prefer the Olympus as it has come a long way since the E-P1 days. I also prefer the scroll thumb wheel on the E-P3 over the cheaper feeling dial of the GX1. I am looking forward to this comparison to see which one will deliver the more pleasing images.

To read my full Olympus E-P3 review you can click HERE. My GX1 review will be posted soon. Even with all of these upcoming comparisons, one thing is for sure. Either of these cameras are capable of taking fantastic images.

Over the next few days and next week I will post the rest of the comparisons. So check back to see the results.

Part 2: Out of camera JPEGS and Color. White balance, ISO up to 800, and more.

Part 3: Sharpness and Detail/RAW performance – 16MP vs 12MP

Part 4: – Auto focus speed/accuracy and overall usability

Part 5: – Video Performance and final conclusion between these two cameras.

For today I am taking a look at the HIGH ISO performance of these cameras. Take a look below and check it out.


Click the images for the full size image from RAW. No adjustments were done. This was strictly a NOISE/HIGH ISO test, not sharpness.

First up the GX1 at ISO 1600 from RAW – No Noise Reduction at all – Click image for full size file

The same image with the E-P3 – ISO 1600, From RAW, no NR and yes, same lens was used for both

The GX1 is cleaner, and did better with the Auto White Balance. Here are the crops if you do not want to download the full files

Now let’s move on the ISO 3200…

First is the full GX1 16MP file at ISO 3200  – Indoor, low light. – Click the image for full size

Below is the full size file from the Olympus E-P3 at ISO 3200 – For BOTH files Noise Reduction was OFF, as in NO NR at all during the RAW conversion. This is so we can see how each sensor is really performing in regards to noise.

and some crops. 1st from each of the files above

1st the GX1, then the E-P3 and then the GX-1 resized to 12MP to match the GX1. Clearly the GX1 is giving better high ISO performance, which makes sense since the sensor is newer. 

ISO 6400 comparison

GX1 – 6400 – from RAW – NO NR

E-P3 – ISO 6400 – NO NR – From RAW

and the crops

So there you go. It is clear that the GX1 easily beats the E-P3 when it comes to HIGH ISO. It also appears that the auto WB did better with the GX1 here as well. If you shoot in low light and high ISO, the GX1 will give you the best performance in regards to noise.


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