Panasonic GX1/G3 and old fashion E-P1 and E-10 reviews.


Street shooter comparison between the Sony Nex 7 and Panasonic GX1 by Mike Kobal (Click here).
Cameralabs (Click here) posted their full Panasonic GX1 review: “I really enjoyed shooting stills and video with it over an extended test period and remained impressed by its handling and output throughout. So despite a few missed opportunities, it will be warmly welcomed by enthusiasts and further strengthens the Micro Four Thirds standard. Recommended.” Also the spanish website Quesabese (Click here) tested the GX1.
You can buy the GX1 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay. But if you live in US you should take a special look at BHphoto (Click here)… you can get $100 up o $200 on all Panasonic lenses!
Panasonic G3 review at Macworld (Click here): “Add a well-rounded feature set and pleasing image quality, and the G3 certainly maintains its place as a player in the mirrorless interchangeable lens category.
G3 links at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

And now to the old fashion reviews:
Carl Garrard (Click here) posted his E-P1 review. As you know this is also the camera I use everyday. It’s not an old camera in terms of years (three) but in the digital area of continually new launched camera generation the E-P1 isn’t perceived as new anymore (sadly). You absolutely have to read his review: “Simply put the E-P1 is a well designed and handling camera that offers a ton of control wrapped up in a stylish unassuming exterior that produces beautiful images. And for the price you can get one for nowadays, even brand new, this camera is simply a steal. This is one of the primary motivations for reviewing the E-P1 years after its introduction, but certainly not the only one.  I’m glad I gave the E-P1 a second shot.
Form time to time you can find refurbished E-P1 cameras at Olympusmarket (Click here). And they sell for 150-170 Euro with kit lens. A real bargain. And believe me, you will not need any other camera for the next years.
Kirk Tuck (Click here) tested the: “I started this whole article off intending to talk about an Olympus camera that I consider to be their Sputnik of digital cameras.  Their moon launch.  The incredibly nice piece of alloy and glass that put them on the digital map in 1999.  Yes.  I’m talking about the supernaturally incredible e-10.“. The only palce where you can find the E-10 right now is on eBay (Click here).

For US readers: the Olympus PEN rebate action is still ongoing until tomorrow at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and Bhphoto (Click here). And the E-PL1 is still the most sold mirrorless camera at Amazon (Click here to see the ranking).

  • twoomy

    With Oly in the spotlight so much (deservedly so), I almost forgot that Panasonic was part of Micro-Four-Thirds. :) Hoping we’ll see some new glass soon, that 12-35 can’t come soon enough.

    • Jesper

      That’s the power of marketing and advertising. If only Pana and Oly could really take adavantage of that, M43 would have been a much more established format.

      • Gabriel

        Yes, there is the same lenses, one in silver for oly, one in black for pana :(

  • Bob B.

    It is too bad that everyone keeps reviewing the GX1 with that 14-42mm X lens. ( I know…that is how it is being sold). I think that lens is a junker (and the regular 14-42 is not much better), and takes away from a great camera. I would like to see a kit offered with the Pany 14mm, 20mm or 25mm f/1.4, with lens discount. Then you are talkin a great set up.

    • twoomy

      I’ve been waiting hopelessly for a simple standard zoom lens that has edge to edge sharpness. The oldest Pany 14-45 was fairly good, but you’re right, the 14-42mm blow, and while the 14-140mm superzoom is convenient, it’s got some corner/sharpness issues as well.

      It doesn’t have to be as bright as the legendary Oly 12-60 and it doesn’t have to be as small as a pancake prime. But if you’re going to sell people on m43, can’t you make a high-quality zoom? The 12-35 hollow display models have been floating around for too long.

      • Bob B.

        well..I like primes…but if the 12-35mm f/2.8 is GREAT I may pic one up for convenience and casual photos.
        That is what I do not get….the original 14-45mm zoom was the best of the bunch and it was discontinued and replaced with a totally inferior lens. Plastic lens-mount, less sharp? How often do you see that happen with a manufacturer. Certainly not Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Oly etc. Everyone else is always improving products….???? That whole situation with Panasonic is a big “HUH?” for me. (of course…it was just to increase profits by churning out cheap crap, but charging the same price). Gives the company a bad name though in my book.

        • frank

          Others always improve their products? Not! I’d say. The best manufactured / engineered things (be it lenses, audio equipment or cars) were made in the 80’s and early 90’s. Nowadays they are built to a certain standard, that is mostly dictated by marketeers instead of engineers. That goes for any manufacturer, any of them you have named. Sometimes in the early days of a range, engineers work their magic and produce a 7-14/4, or the 20/1.7, or GF1 and those products “over perform” according to marketeers, but lets just profit from that and stay clear from the “built to a price” products.

          • Bob B.

            you have a point…but usually a lens optical performance improves at least when an update is made. That is the point of the update. Right. (ie…it might be all plastic …but is is sharper!…LOL!).

        • Fan

          I heard that not all 14-45 copies were good.

        • Chez Wimpy

          -it was discontinued and replaced with a totally inferior lens

          not discontinued… replaced in kits. Anyone who wants the quality now has to pay $$$ for it.

      • Robbie

        C’mon, expecting a kit lens with edge to edge sharpness? Then, it’s not a kit lens…unless you are pampered by the ZD 14-42mm.

        • Walter

          I find problems with the ZD 14-42, too. I understand the 14-54 was the original kit lens for the E-1 — now *that’s* a good kit lens.

    • avds

      Why don’t you like it? According SLR Gear tests the X is on par with the 14-45 and considerably better than the regular 14-42, though I’m still not convinced about the image-doubling bug the X lenses seem to exhibit…

      • Brod1er

        Exactly. The lens is actually very good. People keep regurgitating the same old wives tales on forums.

        • Bob B.

          I read a in a number of different places that this lens was “softer” (especially at the 42mm end)…. than the standard 14-42mm lenses. I just checked a review on SLRGear for the X zoom which was rather good.
          They gave the X lens high marks.
          It is hard to know who to believe these days. I think that there is a LOT of corporate infiltration on many websites.
          Is there anyone who owns the Pany 14-42mm lens that perhaps also owns the old Pany 14-45mm zoom or the standard Panasonic 14-42mm lens that can tell us if there is an noticeable lack of performance with the new X zoom??????????

          I CAN say that I own the Pany 45-175mm X lens and that after the firmware fix my lens is a VERY GOOD performer….and for its price verses its size I am wowed.

          • avds

            Yeah, I appreciate you answered my inquiry about the 175X problem in an another thread too, thanks! I looked again in several places on the forums and it appears some other people are happy with it after the fix as well. Unfortunately there are still a few of those who think the fix was not good enough. And the lens doesn’t ship in Russia yet so I’d have to order it from another country and lose warranty, which is deal-breaking due my outstanding doubts about it…

            So I’m pretty much decided over the cheap, light, and reportedly sharp Olympus 40-150 for now.

            And the 14-42X is another headache due to image-doubling! But as regards its optical quality, there’s a review of that lens on this site and the reviewer compared it against other similar lenses. Results are inconclusive, but you might want to communicate with the reviewer for more help.

        • avds

          Yes, except that beside its optical quality which I don’t have worries about, it seems to be susceptible to the image-doubling problem similar to the other X lens, though it’s even more elusive on this lens…

  • James70094

    I have an E-P1 from a few years back and a used GH2 I bought last year. I still use my E-P1 as my main camera. Along with the 17mm f2.8 lens, it’s great. When I want more reach, I use the 14-150mm. I have not seen a compeling reason to upgrade until the EM-5. And I am in no hurry.

    • Rockfish

      I still use my E-P1 everyday in the studio with 45mm 1.8, considering the E-M5 but will always keep the E-P1 because it’s a classic in my eyes :-)

    • Reza

      Me too, I’m clinging on to my beloved E-P1 with 25K shutter clicks so far. E-M5 is the only new m43 camera that’s enticing, but right now I don’t have a grand to spend on a new camera, and the E-P1 still takes beautiful pictures.

      I think if I spend the $$ on a 45mm it’ll have more impact on my pictures than changing to an E-M5.

      (Still, E-M5 looks like the best of bunch so far)

      Oh and I still use my E-1 whenever I need weather sealing, and the pictures out of that camera have fabulous color in base ISO.

  • I strongly considered the E-P1, but chose the E-PL1 for the flash, ability to mount an EVF…… And the price at the time. Turns out the flash is a bit of a waste, but I did use it until I got some faster lenses. But the EVF was an eye opener, I really make full use of it.
    Really looking forward to getting better controls on the E-M5 though, especially the ability to easier adjust aperture, ISO and shutter speeds.

  • The power of marketing indeed. And that I think is the biggest problem.

    “MIcro 4/3” … has the word “Micro”… small, tiny, insignificant. Yes, compactness was the goal and it delivers on that in the area where it was intended, but this also sets unrealistic expectations. i.e. people expect long, fast zooms to be just as compact, which the format was never supposed oir intended (and thanks to the inconvenience of simple physics is unable) to deliver.

    The result – even though it meets all the original intentions, it fails to meet expectations and thus leaves consumers disappointed. Which isn’t to say it cannot be a success in the meantime and continue to be a success in that market in which it was intended to participate, it just means that it has painted itself into a bracket and set itself up to be seen as a perceived failure against other brands.

    Because those other brands haven’t fractured themselves by wearing their design goals and technology in their brand.

    Canon is Canon is Canon (and Nikon is Nikon is NIkon).

    When someone is looking at a Canon camera (or Nikon etc), sure they have to decide between APS-C, Full Frame, EF or EFS mount, IS lenses or non-IS. But these are features on the shopping list, not brand decisions. At the end of the day they are still buying “Canon”.

    Yes, you buy an E-P1 or an E-M5, you are “still buying Olympus” too, but more specifically than that, you are buying MICRO FOUR THIRDS.

    Brand identity is made stronger by keeping the technology in the background, not pushing it to the fore.

    With Olympus and Micro 4/3’s the Olympus brand is diluted by the emphasis on “Micro 4/3” and the fact that other manufacturers also provide Micro 4/3 lenses and bodies… and those other manufacturers also make phones, TV’s and other consumer electronics…. products that sit very comfortably in the consumer level photography space that compact ILC cameras inhabit.

    Joe Blow simply doesn’t care that Olympus created (with Kodak, ssssh) the 4/3 format and technology and that Panasonic are late to the party. Olympus risk seeing their early success disappear when the appeal of their technology is trumped by the greater brand appeal of their “partners”.

    • Vlad

      Yeah, make a story in your head, then share it with us and call it a fact.

      • Take a look at how many different ways the new E-M5 is referenced even on the forums followed by Olympus followers (is it the E-M5, the EM5, or is it the EPM5 or the OM-E5 or the E5M … ?)

        Then ask someone who does NOT follow every twist and turn of the Olympus marketting machine to explain the difference between an E-P1 an E-PL1 an E-PM1 and an E-M5.

        Ask them what the *current* Olympus camera models are.

        Olympus have a LOT of product and very little brand right now.

        • PS

          You may be right to a point but there is a different perspective to this too.

          The brand m43 is not like brand Canon or Nikon.

          But look at the positive side.

          The lens selection that m43 has managed in nowhere near what the others can manage

          Sony…..where are the mirroless lenses
          Nikon….where are the mirrorless lenses. Even APS lenses are not completing the range, you are forced to use Full Frame lenses if you want faster aperture.
          Canon… Dont have a mirrorless yet.

          So the brand can give you some advantage but after that it is the system and its compatibility that works.

          This is the beauty of 43 and m43. Dont like a Pana lens try the Oly. Pana is better at 20/25mm Oly is better at 12/45 mm. This is a choice that never existed with the brands.

          I see a paradym shift in the customer in comparison of the past. Earlier you selected a Brand because that was the Only way forward. Now you select a system and build from the best options you have from the various partners.

          This will turn out to be a strength and not a weakness.

          It will not matter who came early or late to the party. What matters is the fun that all those involved, can have.

        • Vlad

          Ok, let me give some details. I completely agree that their marketing isn’t good. But for completely different reasons. Saying that the name Micro Four Thirds somehow affects anything sounds ridiculous to me.
          How did you went from “micro” to “insignificant”? You seem to be sure that this is how it is perceived by the customers. For me it just looks like it is your own opinion.

          “The result – even though it meets all the original intentions, it fails to meet expectations and thus leaves consumers disappointed.”
          How many customers are actually disappointed? The forums that you are referring to aren’t representative of what’s going on in the real world.

          “Because those other brands haven’t fractured themselves by wearing their design goals and technology in their brand.”
          Yet NEX is Sony. When you go into the shop you buy an Olympus or a Panasonic camera. But I disagree that wearing design goals in your brand will fracture anything in the first place.

          “Brand identity is made stronger by keeping the technology in the background, not pushing it to the fore.”
          Is that some kind of general rule? Apple is a very good example of keeping technology in the background, but you still need to give an idea of what your devices are able to do. Seems to me that you are making a big deal out of a name that includes a reference to the size of the devices and another to their aspect ratio.

          Yes, the fact the Panasonic is also part of the system certainly doesn’t make it easier for Olympus. But that is completely separate from the brand Olympus, which has internal problems and nothing to see with the words Micro Four Thirds.

          “Take a look at how many different ways the new E-M5 is referenced even on the forums followed by Olympus followers (is it the E-M5, the EM5, or is it the EPM5 or the OM-E5 or the E5M … ?)”
          Does it actually matter? In my opinion, not one bit. They know what camera they are talking about.

          “Then ask someone who does NOT follow every twist and turn of the Olympus marketing machine to explain the difference between an E-P1 an E-PL1 an E-PM1 and an E-M5.”
          Now here we come to the real problem, where Olympus’ lineup is very badly defined. But that has to see with what they are doing in-house rather than Panasonic or the Micro Four Thirds standard.
          Also, ask the same person about the current Sony lineup – differences between C3 and 5N for example. Or the Panasonic lineup…

          I agree that Olympus has little brand now, but certainly not for the reasons you state.

    • Fan

      I don’t see a problem and I don’t see customers disappointed.

  • nice story about the E-10, which i never had (could just afford a used E-100rs at that time, after my first digital, the coolpix 950, back in 2000-2002)

  • It’s nice to see that photographic criteria still apply. I have the E-P2 and the E-PL3 and for low ISO landscape still prefer the former.

    I think they pushed Truepic too hard for the sensor’s size, so what they earned at high ISO, they lost at low ISO, with artefacts appearing because of the built in NR.

    Newer is not always better. The E-P2 can make use of the VF-2 so it has the best of both worlds, and still has that unforgettable design.

    • Seb

      Interesting. So, would you still recommend to go with a E-P2 as an entry level m43 body instead of the E-PM or E-PL3?

  • Well it has a stronger AA filter. OTH its has a bit more colour depth and DR, and no artefacts.

    In a summer’s day you might also find the E-P2’s ISO 100 useful, and it is quite sturdy, so it’s good for travel and landscape.

    OTH the PL3 is much more reactive for Street, and suitable for low light, so they complement each other.

    It is very easy to see the differences is you use the same lens on both.

    What is funny is that if you use the new 14-42 II IR with the E-P2 it becomes much more reactive too, so there must be some racy pedigree in the ‘old’ camera too.

    Finally I paid it 250 Euro, which is an absolute steal. Due only to the rapid succession of models, but not to IQ and build quality.

    Entry level? What about entry level photographers? :)

  • OM-4ever

    The E-10 was my first digital camera. At that time, I was also shooting with an (you guessed it) OM-4T and a Nikon F5 when the situation required the use of an AF lens.

    The quality from the E-10 was quite surprising at the time (not that it was a cheap camera), but I also remember calculating a bit later that about 16MP should be perfect for me in the future. :)

    • Solar

      @ Amalric,

      As an EP1 and EPM1 owner I agree with your statements 100%. The EP1 with FL36R flash (when necssary) creates beautiful JPGs with rich colors, and the base ISO of 100 compared with 200 in the EPM1 is noticeably different when there is adequate lighting conditions and using the same lens. The newer kit lens from the EPM1 also focuses quickly on the older body.

      I must get the EP1 out more…

  • MCP

    Nice review on the E-P1. Carl does a lot of different makers reviews and seems to pick out real solid cameras for review. I agree about the E-P1, a bargain deal right now and you don’t give up much for the money. I’ll add that EP-2’s are also on a bargain hunt for near the same price and you get just a little more.

    I like his reviews, he’s a real photog that mixes in reviews from a two sides of the fence standpoint. Not always the longest reviews but he gets to the crux of the matter. Affable and engaging, honest stuff.

    end of line.

  • Wow, E-PL1 is still selling like hotcakes. I just got one brand new for my parents a month ago for 190 CHF, thats less than 200 euros and slightly more than 200 usd!

  • I jumped onto the GX1 early and found it shock prone. A small tumble caused it to fail to power up. Panasonic added to my misery by voiding its warranty and estimating repairs at $350. I cant bare the thought of spending $1000 in total to carry this camera. Its 6 weeks old.

    I decided to junk it and pre-order the OM-D.

  • Wallbeck

    NEX7 is cleary a winner. Glad to know that I choose the right one.

    • “NEX 7 is clear winner”
      Where look you this. :-(

      • Wallbeck

        Of course, the video above.

        • VIDEO :-D
          Video use i only to nonsense. ;-)

  • Pixnat

    The E-P1 is a wonderful camera, and will remain like that for a long time. I still use mine much more than the GH2, which I use mainly for video.
    Despite of the “inferior” sensor, the E-P1 produces much more pleasing pictures (jpegs) than the GH2.

  • Yun

    I agree in term of camera alone , yes NEX 7 triumph it but when come to system camera , the advantage still goes to M4/3 due to optics superiority . If you are an advance shooter expect different type of focal length shooting
    , GX is better option . I might consider NEX but X Pro looks tempting .

  • C. Algor

    Admin, according to my web browser the site does not exist any more.

  • It is perhaps not entirely reasonable to compare the focus speeds of the 16mm f/2.8 and the 12mm f/2. The latter has a larger aperture, hence the focus is more critical. With the 16mm f/2.8, the depth of focus is deeper, hence the camera can be a little bit more sloppy in setting the focus.

  • safaridon

    Interesting if you look up the latest DSLR sales rankings in Japan for the latest week on you will find the GX1 now ranked #3 in sales and the only other MILS system among DSLRs in the top ten is the GF3 at #9. In comparison the much more expensive NEX7 is in #14 spot followed by the XPro1 at #16.

  • safaridon

    The caption to the video says AF test between the NEX7 with 16mm versus 12mm on the GX1 but the actual lens shown in the video is the 20/1.7? Most know that this 20/1.7 lens is one of the slowest AF ones on a Pany so this test was no true reflection of the relative AF speeds between these cameras. I think most review tests I have seen note the Pany GX1 to be faster than the NEX7 by a couple of tenths of second.

    • tobiasNEX7n

      you are wrong, the captions are correct, part one, the 16mm against the 12mm and part two, the CZ24mm against the 20mm1.7

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