POLL: Do we really need a compact GX model with built-in viewfinder?


The picture on top shows the back of the Panasonic L1 Four Thirds camera

Now let’s face the big question. Who of you believes a GX model with built-in viewfinder would have been a better product than the newly announced Panasonic GX1? As you know the chiefs of Pana said that a GX model with built-in viewfinder “may price it out of the range of the people we’re trying to reach. And not everybody wants a viewfinder, so at least this gives the consumer the option of having it or not. Personally I do not use them…“. (Source: Photographyblog).

Let’s make some calculations about the possible price of the GX model with built-in viewfinder:
1) The GX1 body costs $700 at Amazon. The external viewfinder has been priced at around $250. Total price: $950
2) The NEX-7 costs $1200 (but price will go up because of the flood)
3) The Fuji X100 (which comes with fixed lens) also costs $1200.
4) The current Panasonic L1 Four Thirds camera with built-in viewfinder sells for $1900 at Amazon and for $1000 used on eBay (Click here).

So let’s assume the price of the GX model with built-in viewfinder would be $1000-$1100. The question is:

Would you buy a GX camera with built-in viewfinder (and priced at $1100) or would you still prefer the GX1?

View Results

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And an even more complicated question is:

Whay's the reason why you need a built-in viewfinder?

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  • Andrea

    Come on! The L1 is worth 150-200 € maximum.
    A little more (300?) the Leica-sister

    • Daemonius

      Leica is actually bit more. Most expensive was “kit” lens, which was 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 designed by Leica, looking like Leica and most of the time producing Leica images. :D Yea and it had aperture ring, which was awesome..

      I dont think anything in L1 design needed change, just switching OVF to EVF and thats all, that design is perfect.

  • bidou

    Another dumb out of context comparison…
    A G3 : less than 600€
    A L1 : Less than 200€ body only with an OPTICAL viewfinder and a mirrobox
    A Fuji x100: OVF/EVF plus premium construction (ok, GX1 seems to have a grade up design)

  • Oliver

    The G3 is priced at 580 Euros – even with titable display. So what´s the problem to make an afforable GX1 with built in viewfinder??????????????

    • Miroslav


      I agree that 1100 USD is too much for GX1 with EVF. You cannot simply add price of external EVF, inner parts are cheaper ( less material, simpler design, not sold separately, … ).

      NEX-7 is also overpriced, but that’s not our problem :).

      • admin

        Do you think Panasonic would price it at $700-800? Impossible. Panasonic never makes something cheap. I tried to be realistic.

        • Scotch

          I think Panasonic always make something cheap but they never sell it cheap :-)

        • Miroslav

          I mostly agree. It depends where they “position” it – mid level – with G line features or premium – with GH features ( this is where NEX-7 is ). GX1 is positioned a bit odd, because it has G features with price between G and GH.

          Oly price for E-PL with EVF would be 700-800 USD body only. For E-P with EVF 1000-1100.

          Whatever, I’d pay even 50% more for a camera body that has all the features I want. But there’s no m4/3 body at the moment with all features Olympus and Panasonic are offering across their range.

        • Mr. Reeee

          The GH2 body lists for $900 and it’s a lot more capable than either a GX1 or G3, so why would a GX1 with an integrated EFV cost $200 MORE?

          The EP3 is certainly way overpriced for what it is, but then, so is the GX1. Both should be no more than $599 considering their feature sets.

          • +1

            • JesperMP


              • +3..of course I can see the $699 price on the GX1 dropping down to $599 after release.. That is where it really should be.

                • +4
                  and I love mine :)

                • GeorgeH


                  Panasonic needs to get a clue.

                  • zstsc

                    +6 overpricing

                    • Boris


                      Having put the GH2 sensor in would make me rethink the situation.

                      For now GH2 is the king of the hill.

          • Olympius

            Mr Reese hits the nail on the head, as usual.

            I was just looking at the B&H Photo website. You can get — right now, today — a Lumix G3, with an integrated EVF, tilt-screen, 14-42 kit lens, and the SAME 16mp sensor as the GX1 for $600 USD. Or, you can pre-order a GX1, body only, no EVF, no tilt-screen for $700 USD. You spend $100 more for a less functional camera going with the GX1 over the G3.

            Honestly, I would take a GX1 over an Olympus EP3, no questions asked. It’s still a much better deal, and I think a more capable camera. But having to spend my own money, I would take the G3, and certainly the GH2 over the GX1, and over anything that Olympus makes. But then I like having a EVF built-in, and could absolutely care less about “rangefinder styling.”

            While there’s a lot to like about the GX1, the price is not one of them. It’s pretty obvious that Panasonic wants to set the GX1 against the EP3 and NEX5, and I think it’s a better camera than either of those choices, but not when the G3 and GH2 are thrown into the mix. Panasonic is in the unenviable position of having to compete against it’s own successes.

            Had they tossed in the 16mp multi-aspect sensor of the GH2, or EVEN the 12mp multi-aspect sensor of the GH1, they might have had a success with the GX1. But making it a G3 without a EVF, and charging more, it’s going to be a dud, at least anywhere outside of Japan/Asia.

            It’s a shame, as the GX1 is a really nice camera for what it is. But honestly, I would never pay more than $500 for micro 4/3 camera without a EVF or kit lens, no matter what. That basically leaves the E-PM1 as being the only relevant non-EVF camera on the market for yours truly.

            – Olympius

          • Jason


        • Look…as far as I am concerned…if the above G camera was made and at this point I would expect it to have a new sensor. It’s time. I would be glad to pay $1200 for the body alone. Give me both the viewfinder and fuller dynamic range and I think that is THE digital camera that I have been waiting for to augment my new, very good prime lenses…. But I am a camera nut…so I do not think even a lot of enthusiasts would mortgage the farm and pony up that much cash for a camera, apparently Panasonic does not either…read the fine print.
          Admin…I like the comment you included in quotes…there were others from all of the press and interviews also…that make me believe that Panasonic will not be making this camera.
          …but I could see Fuji making it. (the X10 and X100 REALLY point in that direction for their ILC to be announced soon!)
          …Canon…I am wondering..mum is the word there in mirrorless world.

        • ronnbot

          All Panasonic had to do was repackage the G3; that is, make the body rectangular with the EVF at a corner, then shove in the engine from the GF3 and call it a day.

          Price it no more than $100 (for the body) higher than the cost of a G3 right now and they will sell like hotcakes, especially that the NEX7 is delayed. I would’ve bought one and tell everyone I know to buy one too. (I’ve suggested the G3 to many but some didn’t like that it looks like a DSLR!).

          Then, Panasonic can take their time to make the GFPro with top-notch materials controls and $1000+ pricing.

      • Boke-Aji

        good point. you read my mind

    • CarolStee

      With the 14-42mm kit lens the GH2 costs US$999 and the G3 lists for US$699 but discounts to US$614. The GX1 has the same sensor as the G3, not the premium sensor of the GH2, but it has some new features. So a fair price for a GX1 with an integrated EVF would be US$799. Selling the body and the EVF separately is a way to maximize profits.

    • mahler

      Price, development cost, development time, not enough market demand. More?

  • BornBad

    g3 body is available for 600$, why should a gx1 cost twice as much?

    it can’t be that hard to relocate flash and evf for less than 500$.

    • twice the price? G3 body $599. GX1 body $699, Amazon pre-order. ????????????????????????????? ok..add $250 for the LVF…it is still nowhere near twice the price as the G3. I think the build on the GX1 will be worlds better than the G3, which does justify some of the expense…

      • carpandean

        He was referring to a GX1 with a built-in viewfinder for $1100, as proposed by the Admin in the post we are all commenting on. That would be almost twice as much as the G3.

  • Miroslav

    I hope we’re going to get a camera based on this kind of poll.

  • Anonymous

    i live in a very sunny place so most of the times i cant use the screen to compose and focus. so yes i like viewfinders and i wont buy a external one.
    but, really wanna face it? mirrowless means no nice viewfinder, only electronic ones.
    now i badly want mirrows back

  • DaevaBN

    i only want viewfinder for the awesome manual lenses

  • JF

    Hmmm, I’m not convinced by the view finder on the sides of the camera, I think the center is a good balanced position to hold the camera.As view finder is mandatory for me and a tiltable is a plus, G and GH series are for me perfect configurations…

    • Mr. Reeee

      I tried a NEX-7 and it felt quite odd and out of balance. Both my hands were on the right side of my face in order to hold it. It was a bit like playing a flute. That was using the Zeiss 24mm lens, which for the NEX system, is quite small. I can’t imagine trying to balance a 14-140mm or a 100-300mm like that.

      That left-side viewfinder body style was originally designed for pancake lenses, not for telephotos or zooms. Zooms didn’t even exist at the time.

      • Question. Why is everyone trying to make the GX camera into a camera that is already being made. If you want a GH2 with a centered hi-rez viewfinder and articulating screen, buy THAT camera, it is here for you now…WHY are people suggesting that THIS still-oriented camera be made similar. This is a DIFFERENT camera line. Hello.

        • digifan


        • GeorgeH

          In case you missed it, it should have been priced accordingly which means less than the G3.

        • Mr. Reeee

          I have a GH2, but I firmly believe that to further Micro Four Thirds as a complete system, it should have in addition the the GH, G and GF-GX-EPxx style bodies, a reasonably compact body with a built-in viewfinder and movable display.

          Whether I personally like the left-side viewfinder style or not is immaterial. There really SHOULD be some M4/3 cameras like that to draw more users to the system. Think M4/3 version of a Nikon or Canon “bridge” camera like the G12 or P7000, except it would be one you’d WANT to use. ;-)

          We M4/3 users have been wishing, but those wishes have fallen on the deaf ears of Panasonic and Olympus. Meanwhile, Sony has actually delivered a camera, the NEX-7, with a very impressive feature set and technical specs while fulfilling most of our wishes. The NEX isn’t perfect by any means… poor lens selection, odd interface and questionable handling for some. Still, that’s no easy feat.

          • Justin

            The promise of micro 4/3 is in its perfect ratio of SIZE to image quality. Size of the sensor, size of the lens, and size of the body. The GH2, while a great camera in it’s own right and a real joy when hacked (thank you Vitally), does not make good on the promise of small size body. Is it smaller? Sure. But not as small as it could be, as evidenced by cameras like the GF1, GF2, GF3, GX1, etc.

            Panasonic has spoiled us with articulating lcds and decent built-in evfs but they’ve stuck them in bigger bodies. We’re asking them to do one better. Put everything we want in a small form factor. Price it somewhere close to what we want.

            Now a bit of reality. That interview that those Panaosnic guys gave was terrible. It gives away the whole deck of cards. Panasonic knows what it must do. It just has been delaying doing it for any number of good and bad reasons. Good like: takes more miniaturization of parts, profit margins aren’t there, will corrupt their heirarchy of product line, investments are going elsewhere liek lenses and new sensor technology. Bad: not forward thinking enough, trying to milk the same old for what it’s worth for as long as possible, not enough investment in R&D.

            We need to keep the pressure on Panasonic. Poor sales of a low production model liek the GX1 won’t really help our cause. Thanks to 43 rumors guy for creating great polls. Keep them coming.
            I predict a year from now we will finally take delivery of the camera we have all been craving and it will indeed be awesome and replete with features like a new multi-aspect sensor, built-in high resolution evf, articulating much higher quality lcd, better weather seals, and other, unexpected imporvements. By then most of teh supply issues with 4/3 lenses will have been worked out. There will be plenty of 14-42x lenses, the other normal and tele zoom x lenses will be widely available and there may even be multiple kit options for discounts on these high quality glass. Will all of this happen after the arrival of the GH3? Probably.

    • JesperMP

      I tried NEX-7, and to me it was just right (albeit briefly in a shop).
      I acknowledge that there are others that are more comfortable with the EVF centered over the lens mount. But as the many many requests on several forums shows you, there are a lot of people that would love the EVF in the corner, “rangefinder-style”.

      • Absolutely – then you don’t get greasy nose marks on the rear screen!! :0)

        • +1000…It’s a whole different head that some people cannot embrace, although a lot will just based on the recent success of the Fuji X100.

  • Scotch

    can people just get a G3 and end this discussion?

    • GeorgeH

      This is the point! The GX1 is could have been a humpless version of the G3 for the same price but Panasonic decided to get greedy and charge more for less.

      Given the feature discrepancy if Panasonic charged appropriately this would not be an issue.

      • digifan

        G3 Plasic vs GX1 metal
        G3 EVF vs GX1 no EVF but optional VF
        G3 Articulate LCD vs GX1 no articulated LCD
        G3 Fast AF vs GX1 fastest AF
        G3 good IQ vs GX1 even better IQ
        and maybe more…

        I like the differentiaion of the models. GX1 is just right, hope the JPG IQ is comparable to Oly’s this time.

        • GeorgeH


          Using your logic, if they released a G4 with better AF and improved image processing that should be $799 or more? Give me a break.

          Look, progress happens, it is natural that newer components would switch out older ones. Your arguments don’t fly. The sturdier body does not make up for a $250 EVF or tiltable LCD.

    • ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    • MikeS

      The G3 is not an enthusiast camera, not because of the form factor, but because of the lack of external controls. In this regard, it’s beaten by entry-level DSLRs across the board. Even the GX1 barely equals this level of control, but it is nowhere near what enthusiast-level DSLRs provide. It’s less about EVFs and rangefinders than it is about providing enthusiasts with a complete package in the most compact form.

      • brudy

        That’s exactly it. It’s not just just a built-in VF (I’ll never buy a camera at this price without a built-in EVF), but enough external controls for those of us who want them in a reasonably sized body. This is why the X100 is a success and why people seem to love the idea of the NEX-7. I think sometimes the m43 bodies are about too many compromises. No EVF, not enough external controls, bad high iso. It just doesn’t add up for me. I’m personally holding out for the NEX7 or possibly the upcoming fuji interchangeable system appearing next year to bridge my Canon stuff and the p&s world.

    • I’m sorry, but a G3 is in no way an enthusiast/semi-pro grade camera. The build quality on it is absolute garbage. Thats like saying why don’t high end Canon users just buy Rebel’s instead of the 7D? I mean, they both take photos right?

      What m4/3’s is truly missing is Canon 7D/ Nikon D300s level of camera. And by that I don’t mean a huge DSLR clone. I simply mean a rugged camera, with high end features, and a level of fit and finish we’re accustom to. Even the GH2 is no where near the build quality of a D300. Would you feel comfortable taking either the G3/GH2 out in the rain? Or what about accidentally dropping one in the snow?

      • > What m4/3′s is truly missing is Canon 7D/ Nikon D300s level of camera.

        What’s next? You might as well start recalling Olympus saying something about releasing a m43 replacement for the 43? [/sarcasm]

        > Even the GH2 is no where near the build quality of a D300.

        The current craze is the “small camera” – and everything what doesn’t fit the cliche isn’t going to see the day light.

        Essentially, despite all the fanfare of O&P around the prowess of the m43, they themselves see it only as a second camera for professionals, not the main one. IOW, they have already admitted the defeat – even before trying.

        IMO we have more chances of a weather-sealed, sturdy body from Sony or even Samsung than the m43. Sony in particular has to (make and) remake their whole lens line anyway – it wouldn’t harm to make some of the new lenses weather-sealed.

    • That’s what I wanted to do. Today, I went to a photography shop with the firm intention to replace my GF1 by a G3 based on its specs, but then I remembered reading some criticism about the clickable wheel at the back, so I gave it a try. God! It’s not a clickable wheel at all! It does not click, just softly gets depressed 2 or 3 mm with no tactile feedback – no click like on the GF1! And this was a clear dealbreaker for me. I’m ok with plastic, I was ok with the buttons and their layout and the overall design, but come on, the control wheel is an essential item on a camera and I can’t believe they could make it so dirt cheap!
      So here I am, ready to spend money, but Panasonic won’t release a camera I’ll be happy to buy….

    • ArKersaint

      @ scotch : problem with g3 is mainly protruding eye adapter on the behind… Hence the need of evf on the left corner !

  • Jedalus

    If the target is enthusiast photographers a viewfinder is necessary for any outdoor photography, and street photography is where a product like this excels. I think the key selling feature of the gx1 over the G3 and GH2 is the size, so it was a mistake to not incorporate the view finder to make total package a photographer has to carry as small as possible. That said, having the tilt function despite being an external view finder is a good consolation prize. However, $250 for the viewfinder does border on extortion for a must have accessory.

    • gl

      I’ve taken two GH2’s out during gale force winds. It wasn’t raining hard, but highly accelerated spray was slowly wetting both bodies. I occasionally dried them off but they were pretty damp most of the time. Surprisingly, not a glitch with either.

      Yes they feel ultra cheap, and I certainly wouldn’t want to drop them on a hard surface – but they are a bit tougher than they seem, and even though I’d like something more sturdy & sealed, I gladly traded all that for best sensor and video quality at a price I could afford.

      Of course we all have different ways of shooting and different priorities, but if you care about IQ & controls & features & viewfinder, seriously consider compromising on the body and just grab a GH2. It’s a beaut.

      • Olympius

        Yes, the G series cameras all feel somewhat “cheap” when compared to DSLR’s, especially pro-spec DSLR’s like the Olympus E-x series. However, in regards to usability, image quality, and durability, they are much better cameras than an initial impression would indicate. They are a photographer’s camera, even though they are better known for their outstanding video quality. The amount of control you are given is incredible for such a small package, and it is truly pro-spec (from someone who owns true pro quality DSLR’s) in regards to their usability; and in reality, even more so than many prosumer DSLR’s.

        A GH series camera with one of those awesome Lumix pancake lenses is far more compact than any of the NEX cameras, or the Pens with their kit 14-42, including the E-PM1. This nonsense about them not being “compact” because they have an EVF and a grip is absolute BS. The 20mm pancake extends out further from the body than the grip does. And once you put an external EVF on ANY of the Pens, the GF1 or the GX1, the GH series wins out easily in terms of true compactness and durability.

        The only people who would knock the GH series are those who never owned one.

        – Olympius

        • pdc

          @gl and Olympius.

          The problem with this forum is that there are way too many opinions from those who either haven’t owned or used m43 equipment, or approach photography from a fashion or fad point of view. I banged my G1 around a lot, and it never failed to perform – ditto for my current GH2. Panasonic does know how to build cameras that are “durable enough” at a price point that is very attractive.

          Given the rapid rate of obsolescence in digital camera bodies, perhaps the GX1 is built much more sturdily than it need be. I have purchased several other Lumix point and shoots and superzooms, and none of them have ever failed – as opposed to the Sony, Nikon, Canon, and Pentax compacts my kids have purchased.

          I may pass on the GX1 for myself (although am thinking it would be a great upgrade to my wife’s ZS3), but they are moving in the right direction and I really do think they will come up with a NEX-7 killer before too long. m43 is a much “sweeter spot” than APS-C mirrorless as implemented by Sony and Samsung.

  • ypocaramel

    Sony told Imaging Resource the reason why the NEX-7 has a EVF at its small size is because of the OLED tech, that’s not something Panasonic (or Olympus) currently has. I haven’t heard from Panny’s OLED R&D in years; the Sony OLED EVF tech is shared with Sony’s never dying dream of a head mounted TV (synergistic eh?).

    I voted yes, I would never refuse an EVF, but a GX1 with a EVF is a really G3. And the G3 is not that much bigger except for the EVF hump. It’s not even mainly the EVF – I think people were hoping for a super-camera to match or kill the NEX-7, which didn’t turn up. But hey, we got a reasonably compact, metal bodied compact, pricey, but more choice doesn’t hurt anyone. The GH2 is only a year old, maybe a super-cam will turn up next year.

    • Miroslav

      “I think people were hoping for a super-camera to match or kill the NEX-7”

      People here were hoping for some new features that would show what to expect in the future m4/3 cameras, regardless of shape. Instead, we got a repackaged G3, a camera that basically ignores everything competition has done in the past year and a half.

      What is Panasonic’s answer to Sony’s focus peaking and Nikon’s electronic shutter? Better jpeg engine and orientation sensor??? Let’s hope recent bad news did not affect Olympus R&D…

      • ypocaramel

        Doesn’t the GX1 have an orientation sensor and an digital level? We don’t know about the jpeg engine yet.

        Yes, I’m disappointed at the lack of (in order of importance): wireless TTL flash, focus peaking, sweep panorama and high resolution back LCD.

        I would find these features very useful, but not critical. The GX1 still has usable ISO 3200, some great compact lens choices, a control layout and form factor I like, and a hotshoe for when I shoot events. Only the NEX-7 can fulfill all of my critera, but eh, that Zeiss E 24mm is $1000, $400 more than the 25mm Panasonic DG, that makes a big difference for me.

        • Miroslav

          “Doesn’t the GX1 have an orientation sensor and an digital level?”

          Yes, and that’s my point – improved jpeg engine and orientation sensor are the ONLY new things introduced in GX1. Everything else has been seen before on Panasonic m4/3 cameras.

          P.S. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad at you :).

          • ypocaramel

            We’re just having a nice, rational debate here. I hope :p Fire away.

            • Miroslav

              Of course!

    • Mr. Reeee

      What we’re seeing is a lack of vision on the part of Panasonic and Olympus. Remember how we were hoping for a PEN with an integrated EVF only a few months ago? The situation with the GX1 is the same damn thing. How quickly we forget.

      Sony isn’t the only company that produces OLED components. No company produces EVERY part used in a product. Electronics and camera companies buy parts from multiple sources to assemble a whole product.

      Both P & O are guilty of milking the same cow twice, instead of doing something new.

      • ypocaramel

        Yes, but I don’t think Sony is selling their OLED tech. The other company strong in OLED, Samsung, might have something, but I have no idea.

        • Last news I heard (admittedly from more than half year ago) is that OLED demand by far outstrips the supply.

          Samsung was commenting that they do not yet produce enough OLED to cover all their own products. (E.g. they still have a number of smartphones without OLED.)

          There were estimates on when new OLED fabs would open, but gosh I can’t recall them.

      • Anonymous

        Mr Reeee
        I almost bought Oly E-P3 ,.this week until a guy from Oly told me; the Pen-Pro with built in view finder is coming,..I ask Him when ? ,..He said soon,..just wait, probably 3-6 month,.
        if this is true it will be worth to wait,..but untill then ,I have to wait the Street Shooter Kit E-P3 which available in january- look like B&H change the availablelitty for this from mid -november to january 2012

    • Andi

      And think about the size of a GX-body – or in other words: crafting a GF1-like body with not exceeding the size would require a reduction of the display if a rangefinder-style EVF has to be placed into the body. I don’t want to miss a 3″ display.

  • I want a viewfinder because the screen sucks in the sun… was looking at the G3, the GF1 is hard to let go though.

  • Sergey

    we need a PRO camera with VF!

    • al-chi

      VF + manual time and fstop!

    • spam

      That’s a Canon 1D or Nikon D3, why would Panasonic make something like that? Even semipro models like Canon 7D, Nikon d300s and pentax K5 is is a completely different class. mFT tech isn’t ready for that kind of cameras.

  • Berneck1

    If the GX1 came out before the X100 and NEX-7, people would love it! The competition has changed our minds as to what a good mirroeles camera can be.

    The only thing that is keeping Oly/Pana in the game are the lenses. They better act fast or m43 will be left in the dust.

    I say this as a big fan of m43, but I really am starting to look hard at the other offerings. If I had a crystal ball, I think I’d see myself with another system in a few years….

    • I’d say that pretty much sums it up. Right now m4/3’s has two things still going for it, the combo of AF Speed and lens selection. But who knows how much longer that advantage will last. Nikon has already bested their AF speed, but obviously has no lenses. Sony, while quick enough for most things isn’t as fast as Panny/Oly. However, once they finally make a few pancakes (which they are working on) lens selection will be a wash between the two systems IMO. Plus, Sony will always have a sensor advantage. So for those of us not chasing kids around Sony will soon be the more attractive system.

  • anon

    There is a missing option on the second poll:

    “Because I want to leave the hot shoe free for something else, e.g. flash, macro lights”

    • admin

      Right! I added it. Thanks!

  • Mike

    Truly sick and tired of the viewfinder angst. Sorry Admin, like your site, but pulling it from my bookmarks/daily viewing. Perhaps in a month or so I can check back and see if the hand-wringing has stopped and posts and comments revolve around possibilities and not complaints.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Buh Bye! ;-)

      Y’know, it sucks for the rest of us, too. It has kind of reached a fever pitch of late. It’ll die down once the GX1 finally ships. Then we can all start anticipating final announcements for Panasonic’s fast zooms and hoping for the “pro” M4/3 bodies due sometime next year.

      @Berneck… You’re certainly not alone. The myriad advantages of a viewfinder are a given. So, why state the obvious? ;-)

  • Berneck1

    Is it just me….

    Nobody seems to think a viewfinder is great for stability? That’s the reason I want a built-in.

    In low-light situations a viewfinder is very helpful….

    • Ben Y

      I was looking for this option too.

    • +1

      Whenever I shoot tele handheld, I use the EVF.
      I never tried attached EVF nor corner positioned EVF, I have yet to be convinced that they are just as good.

    • Neicila


  • dzv

    I don’t want to vote in this poll, because I think it’s based on a false assumption. As others have said, I don’t think an internal viewfinder automatically justifies a much higher price. That’s just what Panasonic wants us to believe. And to be fair, they’re not alone. Companies will always try to charge a premium for things if they think they can get away with it.

    I actually think the GX1 is overpriced as it is, for what it is. If I absolutely had to buy a mirrorless camera right now, it would probably be the G3, because of the EVF and swivel screen. I just can’t believe they removed the auto EVF/LCD switch on the G3. That sent such a clear message of “We’re going to remove features from some of our cameras just to protect our other lines,” and that attitude has only become more clear since then.

    It really frustrates me to witness the “evolution” of the MFT system as it has unfolded. I bought into the system because I believed (and still do believe) that it has a solid foundation on which an excellent camera system can grow. I’m really hoping that Olympus releases a PEN Pro and gives it the features that a prosumer camera deserves to have, although the corporate troubles obviously leave us wondering if that will ever happen. I’m only glad that I haven’t invested too heavily into the whole system, with only 2 natives lenses. The ability to enjoy shooting with legacy glass has been a saving grace, in that regard.

  • > Do we really need a compact GX model with built-in viewfinder?

    Yes, we do! :)
    I would buy a 4/3-camera with the built-in viewfinder, even if ít costs 1300 € (of course, with appropriate quality). We don’t need a toy, what we need is an instrument!

  • The main reasons for (built-in) EVF is, to me to be able to hold the camera more steady – and image composition with better control, not least in strong light.
    The add-on EVF for GX1 is:
    1. Too expensive
    2. Not at all state-of-the-art, one generation old compared to Olympus and two generations old compared to Sony. It is poor and as expensive as the Sony!
    I am pragmatic towards camera design: The G3 is a far better compromise and choise for intense photography than GX1. (Remember difference in price if you include EVF)
    You may feel mory sexy with GX1, but I doubt you will be percieved as that by other people.

    • ypocaramel

      The G3 EVF is a different design from the G2(1), and presumably that EVF is the one in the LVF2. They have the same magnification – 0.7x (35mm equiv). By comparison the VF-2 has a 0.56x magnification and the A77 1.09x.

      I don’t know anything about EVF design so I can’t say anything further.

      (1) – http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG3/DMCG3A.HTM @EVF

  • It s not a question of price, if Pana make a very good camera, with built in evf or ovf, a real good sensor and manual controls, they will sell it !!!

  • Chris

    IMHO people are such big liars on this question. If they really thought they need a built in finder sooo badly because its smaller and more convenient, then they would buy the g3. The real reason is they need the sexy nostalgic look of an antique rangefinder to satisfy their baisc instinct. Reminds me on a joke.
    A rich man wants to find the ideal wife out of three women. He gave them 1million bucks. The first one spent the million on luxury and amusement. The second saved the million in the bank under the man’s name. The third invested the million and made two. Which one did the man finally coose?
    Answer: The one with the biggest boops

    • As soon as you touch the flimsy controls on a G3 you’ll understand why we don’t buy them. I would be ok with an EVF in the center so long as the build quality is up to par. However, I would prefer it in the corner. I simply prefer that position, and it’s as simple as that.

  • Scot

    You missed another reason for EVF.

    Because I wear reading glasses and my arms just aren’t long enough.

    • Exactly – is it just me or as we all get older don’t we need to hold things further away to read them? A small camera held at arms length looks and feels wrong and is just plain daft – you can’t possibly hold it still – no wonder image stabilisation has become essential over the last few years!! We are so used to seeing it now, but I remember when these point and shoots first came out with just a rear screen and I wandered past all these middle aged tourists with their arms outstretched and a tiny device on the end of them I thought how silly it looked – as I put my SLR up to my eye (firm and shake free!) and photographed them!! :0)

      • You don’t have to hold it at arms length, unless as you say is the case for you, your eyes are failing.

        You hold it at a comfortable distance with bent arms.

        You can hold it with your elbows very bent and your upper arms resting on your body.

        If you wear a neck strap you can use the pressure of your arms against the strap to form an extremely stable brace position. I regularly shoot at slow 1/15 in this way.

        Holding the camera away from your face has advantages. People aren’t alerted to the fact that you are taking a photo for one. Small kids can react to your face while you shoot.

        And the idea that your head and body are somehow absolutely still and therefore form an excellent brace for your camera is ridiculous.

        A viewfinder is useful when it’s very bright and the sun is at your back. But it’s not a necessity all the time, and sometimes, not even desirable.

        People just like things the way they’ve always been.

        • dzv

          You make some good points, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who prefers to hold the camera to my eye 95% of the time, and not just because it’s the way it’s always been. It’s simply because it feels better. I have the option to shoot either way (with my GH1), but I just always prefer to use the EVF, except in special cases where it’s not practical. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a more compact, not-fake-SLR body that still gives me that option.

  • Frederic Hew

    Look at the proportions of this thing – having an EVF flush with the camera top requires a smaller screen and / or a bigger camera.

    …and then teh EVF will protrude to the back and the forums will be full of complaints again.

    The L1 is a Panasonic take on the Olympus E-330. It designed to be sold rebranded as a Leica, and this is what people are looking obsessively for – the poor man’s leica. Actually, I find the E-330 a much better design with it’s contoured surfaces, better grip and flippy screen. It’s much more practical, innovative and daring and in my opinion looks better too.

    • Anonymous

      I am glad that someone finally mentioned the necessity of a view finder for those of us who have lost the ability to focus close.

      Trying to see details for focusing or even framing on a screen held at arms length in the sun is a frustrating experience.

      It amazes me that any camera manufacture would ignore the over 40 year old crowd as a market.

  • Sören

    One advantage of an external VF WOULD be, that you buy it once and you COULD use it on upcoming models. That WOULD relativize the price.
    But Panasonic don’t manage to make this kind of compatibility. Sad.

  • st3v4nt

    I don’t care much about another flavored of Lumix G-series as long as they can be bought easily and Pany Sales in my country not just sell Air Conditioner and LCD TV….:-(

  • MikeH

    I’d rather it have a swivel (not just tilt) screen than EVF and that addition would only add a slight bit to the width of the camera. That said, the whining about the GX1 is a little much as they didn’t price this camera in NEX7 territory they are pricing it against the NEX5N, and it has build, sensor, processing engine, AF speed, touch screen, and feature improvements over the GF1.

    Leaving out 1080P is short-sighted though as the newer engine should be able to handle it so they are likely artificially crippling the software.

    If they built in all the features of the GH2 for the same price or less, what would the point of the GH2 become? A larger body allows for more room for electronics and better heat dissipation (hello NEX?) and stabilizes longer lenses better.

    I think there are only two ways that those here will see their dream GX1 with all the features of a GH2 in the form factor of a GX1 – either the new GH3 is that camera or if Panasonic thinks that you would be willing to pay more than a GH2/3 for the smaller form factor camera.

  • Re built-in EVF:

    1. Size. External VFs protrude from the body WAY too much.

    2. Constant worries that I might accidentally lose it. (Or it can be stolen.)

    I love the fact that they are tilt-able, but since 75% of time camera spends in my bag or is idling in my hands, I simply do not like the idea of something external, expensive and easily detachable being on the camera all the time.

  • Vivek

    I think Panasonic lost it completely. Here is what I expect from them to keep the m43 viable:

    1. Make and sell small sized flashes with swivel/bounce features (take a look at Nikon V1’s flash, is that difficult?!).

    2. Don’t keep changing the battery models. REALLY annoying!

    3. Make built in EVF cams. If the GX1 had been built with an EVF, I would not be still waiting for the NEX-7.

    4. Never again make toy lenses like the stereo $#^&!

    5. Make the Olympus version of Panasonic NMOS sensor a standard in Panasonic cams (ie., get rid of the flex strip implementation).

    • ypocaramel

      The internal flash on the GX1 tilts. If you need more power get a Olympus 300R – it’s been reported to work fine on the Panasonic (no wireless remote).

      I’ve worked with the 270ex ii and I don’t find it that useful, possibly in a real small room but it’s just not powerful enough when bounced unless used in a really small room. I don’t really find GN20 something bounce flashes to be that useful hence.

  • Roger48

    It is all very well droning on about the virtues of the Sony NEX-7, but you cannot actually buy one as sales have been postponed indefinately because of the floods in Thailand.

    The GX1 will be available in the UK from Amazon from 16th December. You may get the Sony sometime next year, but why do we not talk about the virtues (or lack of them) of the GX1 which you CAN get very soon.

    • Vivek

      There are several cams out there that can be bought (assuming one does not own one). Almost all of Panasonic’s own models are still languishing in boxes at retailers.

      Does the GX1 make a compelling case for a serious look? No!

      GH2 with its built in EVF and swivel LCD blows it out of the water in every aspect.

      Sony NEX-7 is well worth the wait. Even if I do not use it at all, I will still buy it to make a small statement with my wallet (I would not buy the NEX-5n for the same reasons). :)

  • I need: EVF + multiaspect sensor!

  • Stravinsky

    Viewfinder with focus peaking. II agree with admin’s comparison. I believe that the reason the L1 retained it’s value is because of nostalgic reason. People my age, in their forties, with a job and kids, grew up lusting after quality made rangefinder camera gear. Isn’t that the reason for the whole olympus Pen stuff? My generation, as well as the boomer generation, have a lot of buying power. Fuji x100, X10, evenNex7;have nostalgia elements. One reason I would never buy a Nex 5n, great as it may be, is because it’s “modern ” design. Panasonic knows this,but maybe they are focused on younger, less picky generation. The people that accepted mp3 over analog, texting over writing a postcard, etc. The viewfinder is next to walk the plank…

    • …yes – and those young ones can bloody well see the screen when it is held at arms length damn ’em! :0) Well all I can say is Joel Meyerowitz uses an old 1938 viewfinder camera – and by that I mean a camera where all of it is basically a giant viewfinder, huge – so if Panny insist on losing the built-in EVF then we need 14″ rear screens!!! Then all us over forties (nearly 60’s in my case!!) might be able to see what we are taking photos of again!! :0)

    • Frederic Hew

      > Isn’t that the reason for the whole olympus Pen stuff?

      None of the vintage Pens is a rangefinder.

      The Pen F(FT FV) is an SLR and the rest are point and shoot cameras with a fixed focus lens.

  • I like the GX1 it looks great, I get why it doesn’t have a EFV and I understand it is up against the NEX-5 not the NEX-7 which is way, way more expensive – I don’t think Panasonic have the resources of Sony (neither do Olympus) it has some great ideas and it is fast by all accounts – but, I don’t know, it just seems like a bit of a “lets fix this missing enthusiast camera everyone things we don’t have anymore” – judging by the remarks of Panasonic in the interview I think they see this ‘enthusiast’ market as small and vocal but the revenue really doesn’t warrant a radical new design or rethink.

  • I’m going to think aloud here, and in the process try to make sense of what Panasonic have done.

    I like the GX-1. I think it will sell. Even though a lot of you bemoan the lack of EVF, there are a lot of people who don’t need one and will be happy with the GX-1.

    One of the appeals of m43 is video-capability. But is it necessary? The marketing “challenge” is that the G System is not linear in price and features due to this. It’s not simple: GF < G ≈ GX < GH.

    Prior to GX-1, the G3 was the stills specialist. You paid more for the GH-2 and got video capability. Simple.

    The general consensus I'm getting from posts on this site are that a rangefinder style is ideal for street shooting, and DSLR style is ideal for photography which requires stability and careful composition such as telephoto and macro photography i.e. longer focal length photography.

    The G3 and GX-1 may both be stills specialist but they suit different styles of photography.

    If the GX-1 is a stills specialist, I think most people will put the m43 primes on it (Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Olympus 12mm f/2 and 45mm f/1.8 and/or Noktor 12mm). Then hang out for the fast 12-35mm.

    I don't think the X range of video enhanced lenses really go with the GX-1. The 14-42 is well suited to the GF-3. The 45-175 suited to the GH-2. GX-1 buyers may even rather the old 14-45 that came with the GF-1 kit.

    Despite what Panasonic have said, I think most people here are still confused with the "X". Does X mean premium or video? X lenses are video enhanced. The GX-1 is definitely premium, but not clearly video. It's not the GF-Pro we envisaged either, but it is the image quality king at the moment.

    In summary:

    – GF-3 is size queen (14-42X)
    – GF-X is street-stills specialist (PRIMES)
    – G3 is stills all-rounder
    – GH-2 is Video-Capable King

    I am not taking blame for confusing you with this. It's a marketing challenge that Panasonic have made a dog's breakfast of.

  • Stravinsky

    One more thing : take a look at the newly released Samsung NX200. Looks like a perfectly decent and capable camera. Because is lacking a viewfinder, I wouldn’t even go near. First of all, design wise, it looks unbalanced, and I think the model name and number makes it too close to sony as a copy cat product. But if it had a viewfinder, especially a really good oled one (( Samsung has the technology) there would be lots of people looking at it and the preorders would be flooding Amazon and other retailers.

    • dzv

      > take a look at the newly released Samsung NX200. Looks like a perfectly decent and capable camera. Because is lacking a viewfinder, I wouldn’t even go near.

      I agree. I find the NX200 quite interesting, but without an EVF, I can’t even consider buying it.

      • Wait for the NX20 – the two digit models have the BI EVF.

        It was rumored to be announced around January – Samsung said that NX20 got /delayed/ by Sony’s release of NEX-7, so it might be something interesting.

  • GHX

    The GX1 is conservatively made and is overpriced.
    It looks like its made of parts of ealier models and probably is..it is not what id call a premium camera…whats the X for exactly?

    They want you to think a EVF is special when earlier cheaper models g1,g2,g3 have EVF already.

    You fall for this new strategy then all the best to you.

  • WT21

    PRICING: if you haven’t noticed, it seems the Japanese manufacturers are all trying to raise their camera prices. Likely due to the strengthening Yen. And since they are ALL Japanese, they aren’t competeing against other currencies. Expect higher prices to come, and a GX1 + integrated EVF to be >$1,000.

    WHY BUILT IN: Admin, all your reasons applied to me, but the #1 reason for me is that I am tired of fearing that my $200 external EVF will pop off. My problem, though, is that I prefer Oly colors, and Oly is very busy right now trying to go out of business.

  • katy

    I’m feeling sorry for Panasonic: when the G3 was announced the nay sayers were whining that it wasn’t a GF1 replacement because of its EVF and the design wasn’t rangefinder like…da de da yada yada. Well Panny within a short while came out with this new GX1 camera that does resemble the GF1 and is even better to look at IMHO, with many improvements over the earlier model.

    They thought they were giving us what we wanted! It seems they rushed out the GX1 too soon because of their eagerness to please us. But no! the ungrateful are still whining. Panny will surely in the next iteration – given more time – add most of the things we are asking for, just be patient.

    I think the GX1 is a very attractive camera.

    • GeorgeH

      So Katy, you feel that the GX1 is prettier so it warrants having less features than the G3 at the same price? WOW!

      • katy

        I wouldn’t call the GX1 pretty it is more elegant than that. I think it is the best designed camera out of all the m4/3s.

        By the way I have the G3, GF2 and the GF1! I just think Panny brought out the GX1 because people were clamouring for this rangefinder style and whining that the G3 wasn’t it. What makes me think that the GX1 was Pannys response to this was the speed in which it came out so soon after the G3’s release.

        I firmly believe Panny were listening to us. And look how we responded.

        • GeorgeH

          I don’t discount that the GX1 is a pretty / elegant but I buy a camera because it is a tool, not because I want to impress people by how it looks. Feature-wise, there is no reason it should priced as much as the G3.

    • WT21

      Don’t let yourself get confused. There are many people on the internet. Billions. Not sure how many care about Panasonic cameras, but it’s likely at least hundreds if not thousands.

      The Internet is not “one mind” — so group A complains about the G3, while group B complains about the GX1. There is not a single person or a group of people called “the internet”and it’s not you (or Panasonic) vs. the internet. It’s a cacophony of voices.

    • Jojo

      With you on the GX1 being an attractive camera – not just in looks but what it offers.

      I’m quite new to m43 and I’m looking forward to getting one. I’m impressed with the m43 concept (as opposed to the disaster of 43) and have watched closely right from the start. The GF1 is the camera that first tempted me to buy into the system, but I didn’t at that time – only the 20/1.7 seemed desirable and the original add on VF was rather pokey (small image size). It was the Olympus 12 & 45mm lenses on the way that prompted me to invest in the system earlier this year – with a basic Olympus body and the 20mm lens. I now have a 14/20/45 outfit and will add a better body and wider lens, so the GX1 seems ideal (with the better mk2 VF), so chalk up one sale at least!

      The biggest past moans I read on this forum were about the dumbing down of the GF range. The GX1 seems to be what so many were asking for! Both build quality and IQ would appear to be a step up – what’s not to appeal to a photographer?

      If you think of competing with the NEX range, the GF3 competes with the NEX3, the GX1 with the NEX 5, surely there will be a higher model to face the NEX7 in time – Pany will be taking note of the massive interest & advance orders for the 7.

  • GeorgeH

    The reason I use the EVF:

    a) because it is more stable than sticking my arms forward in front of me.
    b) better composition because I am immersed in the image and don’t have anything distracting around me
    c) So I can stick it in a case and not worry about breaking / dropping it.

    BTW, the way you asked the first question gives Panasonic a way out. It assumes that they’ve priced the GX1 correctly which is erroneous. I have yet to see any information on why a “rangerfinder” style body should be priced more expensive than traditional DSLR style bodies.

    According to DPReview, the G3 and GX1 both start at $699.

    WHY ARE THEY THE SAME PRICE???? (street price aside)

    They should have made the G3 in both DSLR and Rangefinder flavors (priced the same). The GX1 just shows that Pansonic is greedy and doesn’t understand their customers or their business.

    Just to be nice, I’ll give Panasonic a way out. Next time, create the GX2 with an EVF (tiltable) but built in. No one has that to date. This would at least give you more flexible angles, allows you to not have to worry about cases and losing a $250 accessory.

  • All the comparable cameras Admin references are priced at $1200 or more, so how does he assume a price of $1000-1,100 for a Panasonic camera with VSOLE (Viewfinder Stuck on Left End… hey, figured we need an acronym for that.)

    Admittedly, it’s possible to argue that such a camera would be just a rearrangement of the components in the GH2, so it “should” cost the same as that plus a bit extra for the metal body bits that everyone seems to want even though they make the camera heavier and do nothing for picture-taking performance.

    However, all these companies are in business to make money, so if its competitors are selling comparable cameras for more than $1200, Panasonic would certainly do the same.

    I wonder how many of the posters who are saying, “I absolutely MUST have a VSOLE” actually are going to pony up for a NEX-7 system.

    I also wonder how many who say they want a VSOLE because they “prefer rangefinder-style photography” have actually USED a real rangefinder camera any time in the recent past…? Not many, I suspect! I’m one of the few: I still have an Epson R-D1 and enjoy using it (although nowadays I don’t use it nearly as much as my GH2.) But the real advantage of this type of camera is its true optical range/viewfinder, not merely the fact that the eyepiece is stuck on the left end.

    • GeorgeH

      How many would pray $1200? Don’t know but let’s not forget a few things:

      NEX-7 is 24 Megapixels, has 2.4M dot EVF and 900K dot tiltable LCD $1200
      G3 is 16 Megapixels, has 1.4M dot EVF and 460K dot tiltable LCD $699
      GX1 is 16 Megapixels, has no EVF and 460K dot non-tiltable LCD $699

      I think people would gladly pay for $699 if the GX1 had the same EVF and tiltable LCD as the G3. Not everyone wants to pay the premium for the NEX-7 because it’s not in the same league as what is being discussed.

      If the hypothetical GX1 had 24 Megapixels and a 2.4M dot EVF and 900k dot tiltable LCD then YES, Panasonic would be able to charge $1200 but what is being discussed in a GX1 with the same features as the G3. The NEX-7 is only relevant to show that a VSOLE camera can be made with built-in flash plus tiltable LCD.

      • infared

        George. Buy the G3. or…better ye, the GH2. Your cameras have arrived. The GX line is a continuation of the GF. The GF is a different camera series. :-)

        • GeorgeH

          The GX1 is the continuation of the GF series. Great.

          GF1 + 20mm : $899
          20mm : $400

          Thus GF1 body only then is worth $499. Unfortunately the GX1 wasn’t priced the same. If it was, I don’t think the reaction would have been the same.

  • Ojojo

    Not sure how the votes are going as the computer I’m using won’t display them or let me vote. I am aware of comments here and on previous posts on GX1.

    It really comes down to the mix of features chosen for each model. Panasonic clearly see that manufacturing m43 cameras they need a number of different models for different customers but there can’t be too many variations.

    To attract more new customers they altered the focus of the GF range to more of a compact p&s concept – so we have the GF3 with pancake prime or standard X zoom as a logical entry point, VF probably not needed for target market.

    The entry point for SLR styling is the G3. There should be a higher model for each of these entry points/styles. Which gives us the GH2 and now the GX1. Pany have chosen to offer the GX1 with a choice of add on VF or just use the screen.

    The problem with this logical approach is that it is NOT an upgrade path. The four cameras are all really appealing to different people. If you want SLR styling you will likely choose G3 or GH2 according to the features you want.

    Similarly, if you want the GF3 that will satisfy your needs for now. The “GX1 customer” is an entirely different photographer. He/she wants the compact form, the GF3 doesn’t meet their requirements, so most probably they WILL want a VF! At present their only options are GX1 + VF, G3 (probably already rejected that choice), or go elsewhere.

    He question in my mind is will Pany see the need for a “GX with built-in VF”? Where would it fit into the overall picture and would there be a place for both models? It seems more likely that one would draw sales away from the other. My own feeling is that Pany have made the wrong choice. The GX1 will sell fairly well so Pany decision makers will miss the point that a GX with built-in VF would have done even better!

    The only hope for this “GX Super” coming seems to be a model pitched well up market, but I fear they will be concerned over losing GH3 sales. Even if so, surely that is better than the alternative of losing sales to the likes of Sony

    So do we really need a compact GX model with built-in viewfinder? YES!!!!!

  • The Master

    I think the Poll speaks for itself. I see an easy 3-1 ratio, in favor of a rangefinder type camera with built in viewfinder, so what’s to discuss, the people have spoken. Just geterdone, Panasonic and you will sell more cameras and have happy customers. Hell, the ones that don’t want it, seem to be happy with what there is available now, for the most part, so I don’t really understand why they need to say they don’t want others to have what they want too. Seems sort of selfish, huh?

    • Bimbo

      I think that’s an unfair assessment. The fact that we’re all on 43rumors shows that we are the enthusiast segment of market.

      If you go to Lumix’s Facebook page for example, you will see tons of people who just want to upgrade from a P&S and who don’t really care if an EVF is there or not.

      We are the 1%

      • The Master

        Well, then Bimbo, I guess they are in luck, because there are about six different M 4/3 camera’s available, without a viewfinder for them to choose from. There are no rangefinder style with built in viewfinder for M 4/3 for those of us that want one, to choose from though, so I guess I missed your point.

        • dzv

          > there are about six different M 4/3 camera’s available, without a viewfinder for them to choose from.

          Actually, more like 11 ;)

      • TR

        Yes, but an important 1%. You keep enthusiests happy then the point and shoot upgraders follow the people they know. My brother in law just bought an olympus e-p3 (bought more than he knows how to use). Why? Well because I use olympus and I am the only person he knows who works on shots and has an opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Just an Honest opinion
    I guess why people want the EVF ala rangefinder style because:
    -is looks like Leica, Zeiss,Voigtlander,.and there consider an Elite camera,..
    -Compact ,cool design,,..
    -we’re want to look like as an old school people and also,
    -looks so stealthy,.[for street shooter] ,.

    and we really hoped panasonic to make this kind of camera because:
    panasonic has the Closed relationship with Leica,
    had a Historical moment with LC1,.
    had Disappointed the GF1 user with their,.GF2,3,..
    and WE really want rangefinder Style so Bad,.

  • John

    G3 and GX1 are about the same except the GX1 has no viewfinder and the G3 less buttons. Thus why will the GX1 be so much more expensive than the G3? They should change the placement of the viewfinder on the G3 and add a couple more buttons and we have a Fuji X100

    Best solution would be:
    GH2 – DSLR type camera
    G3 (with modified VF and more buttons – “professional compact”
    GF3 – Quality P&S

  • AdriZ

    There’s no reason GX (with same GX1 features/qualities) with built-in EVF to cost more than GX1 + external EVF ! On the contrary, it should be cheaper ! 850$ or 900$ seems to me to be a good price (including the same Pana margin percentage)

    Finally, if we concatenate all the reaction, what people wants is “A micro 4/3 version of the NEX-7” ! Not complicated to understand Mr. Pana… ;)

  • joey

    gx1 is basically a viewfinderless g3, how much does the g3 cost?
    this poll is ridiculous

    • admin

      You have to compare oranges with oranges and not with bananas! Compare the GX with built-in viewfinder with current camera with compact design and built-in viewfinder on the corner. A G3 has not the same built quality of the GX line, has not a compact design as the GX1 and so on.

  • rrockley

    The GX1 body costs $700. The external viewfinder has been priced at around $250. So why assume that a GX with a built in VF would be $1000 to $1100? That makes no sense. Why not assume $950.

    • admin

      Because I am sure Panasonic will put an extra price on it. It has a different cost to develop a built-in viewfinder than an external viewfinder.

  • HB

    Poll should include: because viewfinder completes a stabilization triangle while focusing attention only on the image.

    • rrockley

      Why does it cost more to develop an internal EVF when they already have developed an external one?

  • safaridon

    Thank you ADMIN for providing this comparison with the L1 as it illustrates the dilema Pany faced.

    First as noted the L1 was a very big brick and expensive with the excellent lens bundled with it and as a result it did not sell well. Pany in GX1 is making the right decisions in making it smaller, more affordable by available body only from start so can bundle with any lens desired.

    The L1 had only a 2.5″ size LCD screen, the G3 and GX1 a 3″ size based on 3:2 ratio. To keep the body size down the NEX7 and X100 use only an equivalent 2.4″ screen based on 3:2 ratio lowering the body by 0.2″ and Pany should do the same on such a model.

    The L1 back however illustrates what Pany could do and that is place a small EVF to the far left of the LCD in the middle so the body height could be substantially lowered much like Pany showed in their patent sketch. Ie it would be about the width and height of the Leica X1 with a number of control buttons on the left.

    However looking at the GX1 body I think Pany is more likely to produce the next rangefinder style body slightly larger (ie GH2 replacement) based more on the G3. Use a smaller or rather lower swivel screen and place the hotshoe/flash to the far left.

    As for realistic pricing the all new metal body of the GX1 is more expensive than the G1 body. Most manufactures except for entry models will price their new products at a price they believe the market will bear and yes I would expect the street price for GX1 body may well be $600 in 6 months.

    People seem to have lost their perspective in that the target and competitors of this GX1 model as specified are the NEX5N probably the best selling mirrorless ILS camera in the world at present. The GX1 with EVF is equal price to the NEX5N and less than EP3. Last time I looked at current asking price on NEX7 model with kit lens it had jumped to $1750!

    No doubt Pany did not anticipate the rapid OLED EVFs and sensor advances made by Sony in producing the NEX5N and NEX7 and given development time lag the GX1 was in reaction to the prior years models which were less capable.

    I would expect much of the discussion on this forum of the G3 being better specified and better bargain should realistically make more people at least aware of just how good and practical that model is. I am a bit surprised to the comments by some of the G3 body being cheap plastic as in fact it has a lightweight aluminum metal outer front casing compared to plastic on most DSLRs? So far the DSLR buying public has been slow to react but these smaller lenses and awareness of the relative overall sizes may well change the equation.

  • y’know, at the end of the day, the GX doesn’t have a Vf, Tilt screen, nor IBIS… So get over it. Either buy it for what it DOES, or take your bucks somewhere else where it has those option you want.

    Done and Done.

  • MP Burke

    I use the EVF because I need the dioptric correction and I can see what I am doing. I don’t particularly care where it is. Before I got my G2, I would have said I could do without the screen, but I have found the tilt and swivel features of the screen to be sometimes useful. Thus I regard a fixed screen as the worst possible option.
    The GX1 is not aimed at users like me and I will be looking forward to the next iteration of GH camera to see if the sensor has been improved enough to persuade me to upgrade. Since they already have the simplified G3, they ought to retain the same number of controls for the next GH camera.
    I have never seen a NEX-7, let alone had the chance to inspect one. The release in Europe seems to have been indefinitely delayed. I am not convinced that the apparent sales success of the NEX-7 is anything to do with having the viewfinder on the left. I suspect that if they made a NEX-6 model with the same sensor, but no viewfinder it would also be a success.
    I am not an admirer of the faux rangefinder Fuji X100. If you look at the old Olympus XA, that was a very compact fixed lens rangefinder camera and the viewfinder was centred over the lens. In that position the parallax error is minimised. In most other rangefinder cameras the film wind-on mechanism is on the right hand side and the viewfinder is necessarily at the left, to leave space for the rangefinder mechanism. There seems to be no practical reason for having an EVF on the left hand side- it just seems to be copying the appearance of cameras like the Leica.

  • Alyson

    Panny missed a big opportunity. They could have simply taken the G3 exactly as it is, repacked it in a premium retro looking shell (e.g. X100), charged a premium for it and it would have been a big success.

    The G3 seems to be a well regarded product, but to a lot of us, it looks like a toy. To some of us, looks matter and we’re willing to pay for it. We really want to be excited about something when we’re dropping down $700.

    • Mike

      They basically did exactly what you asked for Alyson. They packed every feature of the G3 except the EVF and swivel screen in to a much smaller and more well built form for the same price. They even added a few features that don’t exist on the G3. Cramming electronics into smaller packages has heat, reliability, and other issues. I see the GX1 as the response to those who were less than receptive to the consumer oriented path that the GF2 and the GF3 took, and in that respect, they seem to have listened to many of the complaints with the introduction of the GX1.

      The NEX7 might convince them that they can move higher end with the GXx line if it has excellent sales in comparison to the GX1, or that might already be in development. The GX1 was most likely not in planning or development with the knowledge of the NEX7.

      • Alyson

        Uh Mike … “They basically did exactly what you asked for .. EXCEPT…” Well isn’t that the whole point of this? We wanted a EVF and articulating LCD. That’s like saying, they did exactly what you asked for, except the very things you asked for. Geez.

        • spam

          Yes they did exactly what you didn’t want, but repackaging G3 would have made a camera similar in size to G3. Some certainly would like the viewfinder at the corner in stead of the middle, but most don’t care. Panasonic know that and made something in between G3 and GF3, now they have two models for slightly different customer needs in stead of two models for the same customers. Makes sense to me.

          • Mike



            Why even have a G3 if the feature set between the GX1 and the G3 are going to be functionally exactly identical? The G3 must be selling to some acceptible level for Panasonic else they might have already considered doing precisely what you asked for at a GH2 level price or very near it.

    • theDA

      What your looking for is a G3 upgrade. This is a GF1 upgrade.

      • No. Have you had a G3 in your hands? I did, yesterday, with the firm intention to buy it. But the control wheel is a disaster. Does not “click” just softly gets depressed 3 millimeters without any frank feedback…

  • The master

    The reason for me wanting a built in viewfinder is not so much that I use one all the time, but that when I do want to use one I would like it to be there and not make the camer a struggle to get in and out of a pocket or bag, due to a sticky rubber protrusion, like onthe current offerings. if Sony can do it with a larger sensor, ( Nex 7) then why not Panasonic?

  • The real issue here is design philosophy. Panasonic has used the usual Japanese “confusion strategy” for m4/3 cameras. In this strategy, you build some overlap in form/function/features so that the consumer can’t make a perfectly rational choice for themselves. Unfortunately, marketing research shows that this strategy works well on many purchasers, as the more confusion and details they have to resolve in buying, the more they ask and the more easily they are led (by sales people). But I don’t think they’re trying to take advantage of that. The problem is that they’re just setting different engineering groups to work on a series of models and there’s no master strategy.

    Consider the following lineup:

    DSLR-like–> GH2, G3, G10 (already we see a problem, don’t we? ;~)
    compact-like–> GF3, GX1

    Makes no sense, does it? Five different targets with lots of overlap. Now try this:

    DSLR-like–> GDV#, GDS#, GD# (video+stills high end, stills-oriented mid, entry level)
    compact-like–> GCX#, GCR#, GCF# (high-end, mid, entry level)

    And consider that the primary difference between the two lines is EVF versus none, hinged LCD versus fixed, hi-power flash versus low, maybe a few other small things that you expect in a DSLR versus compact style difference. But other than those things, they share exactly the same internals, controls, build quality, etc., in the equivalent models.

    Thus, a GDV# is the GH2 DSLR-type replacement, metal build, lots of controls, high performance, etc., while the GCX# is the SAME THING, except with the EVF and bigger flash. Complete shared parts otherwise.

    Now, you as the consumer have a decision: smaller size of compact or at-the-face of DSLR? You simply buy what you need. Now some of you are saying (probably like Panasonic’s confused engineers ;~) that “but I can’t use a GH2-like camera because it’s too big. Here’s the thing, it can be smaller. The reason why Panasonic is making a GF3 and a GH2 different sizes is as much to be able to point to the shelf and ask “do you want the small one or the big one?” Really. It is a bit like that. But Apple got this right with the iPod: same basic engine in smaller packages leaving off some significant feature. Want the feature, buy the higher model. Don’t want the feature, buy the lower model. (Memory obviously enters into that a bit, but Apple has reduced the number of things that you’re juggling in a decision to a minimum. If you want to really win at the consumer level, you eventually have to do that. Even Nikon realized this with the J1/V1, which basically follow a variant of the strategy I’m outlining here.

    “Let the customer choose” is different than “Make the customer choose.” What I think all of us really want to choose is: small DSLR-like experience versus slightly smaller compact-like experience. Panasonic actually comes slightly close to that with the G3/GX1 combo, but they’ve not got the details right.

    • alexander

      +1 Panasonic should look what users want not vice versa!

      • “And consider that the primary difference between the two lines is EVF versus none, hinged LCD versus fixed, hi-power flash versus low, maybe a few other small things that you expect in a DSLR versus compact style difference. But other than those things, they share exactly the same internals, controls, build quality, etc., in the equivalent models.”

        I perfectly agree that the key (ergonomic) difference between the C and D lines is EVF. Not having it will always give a lead in size and simplicity (and hence the prices/features ratio).

        But I totally disagree that there should be no hinged screens on the C line.

        At the end it would be a breakthrough if there was some customization (like for the Dell laptops, e.g. hinged/fixed LCD, OLED vs. NO OLED etc.) within each D/C lines.

    • mahler

      Sorry, Mr. Hogan, why do you refer to Panasonic only? Olympus has more or less the same problem, and its bodies are even more similar in form factor and have at least the same confusing feature collection. The naming convention used isn’t that important.

      Olympus is not anything closer to what some people want to have with their rangefinderish with EVF camera vision than Panasonic, Ricoh, or Samsung. The NEX-7 is the first ever model fulfilling some of those users demands in the body, but lacking a convincing native lens system.

      So where’s the problem? Do you think that Panasonic, Olympus, and Samsung do not have already something in the pipeline to compete with the NEX-7? Do you think that those companies would disclose that now?

      I do not think at all that Panasonic doesn’t follow the line of “Let the customer choose”. The GH2 suites perfectly not only me. It is the manufacturer with the most diverse body line-up for the same mount. There is only one (albeit vocal) group left, which needs their camera vision addressed. Just one. Not too bad for a 2.5 year old camera system.

      And you should recognize that the DSLR form factor is very popular and one of the reasons for the success of the G3 and GH2.

      So, there is really no big problem.

    • Elf

      You just know the fix is in when Nikon Tom tells you your all so clever…what a bunch of losers

    • Olympius


      I like your GD, GC product outline, it makes a lot of sense for Panasonic to implement something like that if they want to stay relevant in micro 4/3. I myself was wishing the GX1 would be more of a GH2 type of camera than a G3 without a EVF and tilt screen.

      However, I think they only need high/low for the EVF model, and high/low for the “rangefinder-esque” type camera.

      Going with the current Lumix product line, I would like to see a GH3 with a magnesium alloy body, with the same basic features of the GH1/GH2, with the addition of an external aspect ratio switch, like the LX5 has. The GX3 would be a magnesium alloy body with no EVF, no tilt-screen, but the SAME multi-aspect sensor and internal electronics, and even external controls. This would be the GCV# and GCX# in your example.

      I think the G3 / GF3 are fairly decent mid/low cameras as they are, even though, being old-fashioned, I like the controls, look and feel of the G2 over the G3. But the GF4 / G4 both need to have the same sensor, 16mp or whatever is next in line, unlike the 12mp in the GF3, and the 16mp in the G3. These would be the GDS# & GCR#.

      As for the ultra low-end, I don’t think they need one. Let the P&S cameras, like the LX5 and super zooms, take on that role, or the old stock of unsold, discontinued micro 4/3 cameras. :-)

      But the real problem, at least being expressed in this forum, is that the Fuji X100, X10, Sony NEX7 and even the Nikon V1 have changed the game for mirrorless. People want, for whatever reason, optical or electronic viewfinders in camera bodies that look like Leica M9’s. That seems to be the gold standard that everyone needs to shoot for, anyway.

      From what little I can determine from the information I’ve seen, it seems as if Fuji, of all companies, may come closest to that ideal of a Japanese Leica M9 in a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera, both in terms of IQ and look & feel. The X10 already looks a mini M9. I guess we will find out how well they execute on this sometime next year.

      – Olympius

  • michael

    I have an E-PL2 with the 20mm 1.7. I’d LOVE to buy the 45mm 1.8 and the new panny X lenses, but I’m not sticking with the system if it remains a bunch of lookalikes. m4/3 needs a real RF-style camera with viewfinder.

    The first company who makes the camera I want (and has decent lenses to go with it, unlike Sony) gets my money. I’m ready to spend it TODAY.

    • michael..your only hopes are Fuji and perhaps Canon. …it ain’t happening in PanyLand.

  • alexander


  • hiplnsdrftr

    The reality is is that most digital cameras are essentially disposable electronic devices. Many of them are only used for a handfull of years by the original owner.

    If I were to purchase a GX1, it would be in lieu of a Canon S95 or G12. Therefore, I want it to be as small and as cheap as possible. If that means sacrificing a built in EVF then so be it.

    By 2014 there will likely be better cameras, with better features.

    Case in point. I took out my Canon S70 the other day. It took great photos in 2005 and it still takes great photos. However, the RAW processor is so painfully slow that it drove me crazy after a few minutes. I did not notice it at all in 2005, but compared to the S95 speed, the S70 is tedious.

    So, at some point the GX1 is a GX1 and apparently that is a compact camera without a viewfinder. If you want a viewfinder buy a different camera.

    However, the price of the GX1 needs to reflect that positioning.

    • pdc

      Very good point.

      The rate of obsolescence in electronics is such that a life cycle of 2-3 years is the best we can expect from our digital cameras. In the days of film a camera purchase could be considered a long term investment, and so one was willing to pay premium prices for durability and functional features – with the hope that one’s photography would grow into the full possibilities provided by the camera and lenses you had invested in. While this may still be true for non-automatic lenses, we have to be much more pragmatic about throwing away the body and our AF lenses in fairly short order.

      The electronics giants Sony, Panasonic, Samsung (and other possible contenders like Toshiba) understand and exploit functional obsolescence much better than the traditional camera manufacturers like Nikon, Canon, Leica, Fuji, Pentax etc. In the long run the latter are not likely to survive, and we will see more of them morph into the electronics landscape.

      If you can live without an EVF in a compact form factor, and you don’t already own a cutting edge m43 camera then buy the GX1 and do the best you can with it until you junk it in favour of something that suits you better. If you need a built-in EVF now, buy the G3 or GH2 and enjoy shooting great pictures and videos.

  • Voldenuit

    I’m of two minds on the viewfinder issue.

    Firstly, I love the compactness of my GF1. It’s not just about the size, the lack of protrusions from VF/flash hump and EVF cup make the camera easy to slide in and out of pockets, bags, etc. I can fit the GF1 into spaces the G3 won’t go (let alone a GH2).

    OTOH, the lack of EVF is an issue because the LCD can be hard to read outdoors in bright light. Having said that, I tested the EVF on a GH2 recently and was unimpressed by the image quality – there was tearing with motion and it looked small and grainy despite the 1.44M dot resolution.

    Right now, I’m considering a GH2 to supplement (not replace) my GF1. It still has the best IQ of any m43 camera, and the hacked video is amazing, if the 176 Mbit GOP1 samples are any indication (plus they seem to have ironed out many of the stability kinks).

  • Janie

    Who needs a viewfinder? I am so used to shooting with MF cameras anyway..
    all I need is better sensor, I don’t need no hi ISO BS, bring me the dynamic range of a 5d in a gf1 body with no changes and same 12mp resolution, and I would immediately buy that body!

  • dzv

    It occurred to me today that Ricoh’s GXR is probably the closest thing to my ideal camera system. I think they have the opportunity to really exploit the gap in the enthusiast/prosumer mirrorless market, if they have the vision to do so. They did say that they are going to “fill in the gap,” but nobody seems to know exactly which gap they meant.

    If they come out with the previously rumored m43 mount module, that would be the first (huge) step in the right direction. Then imagine if they released a 2nd body; a rangefinder shape with a built in EVF (and preferably also a swivel screen). I think the GXR system would suddenly become hugely attractive with just those two extra products. They could go even further, of course, and release a 3rd or 4th body (eg. SLR-shaped and video-oriented), to cover a whole spectrum of user needs. By using the same internal electronics across the range, I’m sure they could come out with several body styles quite easily and for minimal R&D cost.

    I can even see ways they could further modularize the system. Eg. A swappable CPU module, so you could keep the exact same body and external controls for many years while you just update to newer internal electronics.

    The possibilities in the GXR system seem almost endless. Hmmm, I’m starting to drool…

  • theDA

    Believe it or not, there are people who just want a upgraded version of the GF1. No peephole viewfinder, no tilt screen, no dslr aesthetics. Just a simple quality camera like a GF1 but better performance. SIMPLE. If you do not agree, then GX1 is not for you. You cant argue otherwise. Get a GH2/G3 or just wait for a GH3/G4 or switch to nex.

    • mahler

      +10, I totally agree.

  • I think the GX1 is a bit too small to include a built in EVF. I want Panasonic to think this out before slapping an EVF on the GX1. I don’t want to see it sacrificing the accessory port nor the screen size just to include an EVF. My opinion would be the GX1 should be the rangefinder type sans the EVF, the GF series could be the rangefinder with the EVF and the G and GH series would be the DSLR style type. That’s what I think at least…

  • mahler

    This site (43rumors.com not rangefinderrumors.com) becomes more and more a Panasonic bashing site. Panasonic releases a new camera? Admin puts every effort in collecting the negative things about it. A poll is created to prove that Panasonic made the wrong camera. The camera isn’t available in masses before Christmas? HUGE mistake. It does not have an EVF – terrible.

    Olympus turns out to be a company of bad or at least questionable conduct? Oh what a pitty, we may loose the only company, which makes the right products for photographers. Panasonic is always the big electronic giant, who has no clue about photography and does not care about customers.

    Why, wasn’t the same asked and polled (maybe I don’t remember), when the Olympus EP-3 (essentially the same concept as the GX1) was released? The EP-3 was praised as a great camera, whereas the GX1 is mostly received as a product, which does not meet the customer demands.

    Why wasn’t Olympus (the company, which makes the “great” PENs) able to make a PEN with a build-in view finder?

    The people who want a RF with VF should stop whining, and accept that it was not the time yet, where both m4/3 manufacturers were able to deliver such a camera. It is very likely, though, that it is in development, but they need time to do it properly and to integrate the latest technology (2 mpx OLED EVF) and possibly go ahead of the competition.

    Panasonic has the most diverse product line (from GF3 to AG-AF100) for the same mount, and is still slammed for not being innovative enough or having no vision. Stupid.

    The GX1 is meant to replace the GF1. It fulfills this role perfectly. So why all the fuss?

  • calxn

    The two biggest reasons for a viewfinder aren’t even listed in the poll. The first being brightness of the lcd in the sun. The second being stability when using large lenses (holding it to the eye is much easier to balance than holding at arm’s length). The poll list “sexy” and “being used to it” seems to have a definite slant. Was the poll requested by Panasonic’s marketing to justify the lack of viewfinder? This is why consumer electronic companies don’t get photography. Sony kinda gets it because of their experience in professional video.

    • Vivek

      Well said!

      You have to admit though that neither Panasonic nor the “blendtech” Olympus have any clue about ergonomics when it comes to their mirrorless cams.

      Sony sucks very badly (quite a feat!) in that department with their Nex’3,5,C3 and 5N.

    • > The two biggest reasons for a viewfinder aren’t even listed in the poll.

      The poll is about the *built-in* viewfinder. Not viewfinder in general.

  • overrated_viewfinder

    view finders are overrated, and subpart to larger 3 inch screens. Why do you want to squint with 1 eye on a .5 inch screen? instead of viewing with 2 eyes on a larger 3 inch screen? You think you can see clearer with 1 eye smaller screen? no you can’t. Too bright outdoors, wear a hat. Not professional looking? Hold the 3inch screen higher to your eye. Built in View finders are not neccesary and show less detail then larger 3 inch screen.

  • hiplnsdrftr

    In any ca$e, Pana$onic ha$ left plenty of room for gradual incremental upgrade$.

    They learned something from studying Canon?

  • fgl42

    No. I would buy it for $699 with a built in viewfinder. If they can’t bring it to market for that price with a built in viewfinder I won’t buy it. But they can bring cameras to market for that price- look at the G3. The gouging on these types of cameras (rangefinder form factor) has gotten ridiculous.

  • RW

    I (and many others) want a built in viewfinder in a compact package. Either PanOly builds one or they can sit still and watch while Sony or Fuji scoops that part of the market.

    I’m tired of being told by others that I don’t actually want or need this, and I’m tired of debating about it. I’ll vote with my wallet next time.

    • fgl42

      Well said RW! I completely agree.

  • FD

    To me one of the fundamentals of photography is good lighting and we know that in a lot of occasions this requires the sun to be behind or at a right angle to the shooter and in these situations even a particularly glare resistant screen can be difficult to use especially when focusing manually.

    I know that the compactness is part of the appeal of these cameras but even the GF3 although simplified to an extent is still pushed as a photographic tool, that’s the whole reason these cameras have larger sensors surely? I’m not saying all micro 4/3 cameras should be scaled down pro DSLR’s but I think it would be nice to have at least one compact model with a built in viewfinder.

    I’m confident the number of people who would use a built in EVF is greater than the amount that would use the hotshoe for an external flash.

  • There was a big “digiexpo” fair with mostly cameras (some Hifi) in the convention center here last weekend.

    Sony was big. Canon was big. Nikon too. Huge white cardboard sets towering over the visitors. Olympus was there probably only since they have a contract with a big local “pro” camera shop. Panasonic was nowhere. Nikon 1 was there.

    Actually, very few people were trying out the Nikon 1 or Sony NEX cameras. I think the mindset is still on mirror cameras for most people. But quite many were at the two Olympus tables which had the latest models (E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1) plus some older models with exhibition offer prices. People were eagerly trying things out. Olympus is interesting and feels like a known brand. (I asked the nice guy there if I could try the 45 mm and the 40-150 mm Oly lenses that were on sale on my GF1 body. Sure thing. I ended up buying both of those. Testing during the weekend, found out that, suprisingly, the 40-150 el cheapo seems to focus really well with a bird telescope.) Trying the Olympus cameras, I’m somewhat jealous of their image stabilization that the GF1 doesn’t have.

    Nex-7 felt suprisingly un-sexy. I don’t know if those dials can really be used without watching the display with a hawk like gaze. The clicks and the cogs seemed so close together that you can’t run on feel alone. Nikon 1 had a pretty good display, and took good photos I was surprised very positively (Panoly need to improve the display. Didn’t test the E-P3 tho). The whole camera was quite unnecessarily big.

    Thoughts on GF1 “prestige”:

    The GF1 is made in Japan. At least it says so. At first I was super-careful with it, but I’ve learned to relax after a few forest trips where it got a few scratches. It started to feel like My Camera that’s made to be carried wherever I go and whatever I do. I also have two guitars that were made in Japan. I love my 1989 Ibanez and it would sell today for the same amount that I bought it for in 1997 or so (used). It’s strange that there is such a country where craftmanship traditions and attention to detail make it worthwhile to bring stuff over to the other side of the globe.

    I am sure there are Chinese, Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese shops doing very high quality work too or having at least people capable and motivated to do that. We have to see if something breaks through. If some unit can reach a prestige status, making consistently good stuff and earning global respect and rewards. Maybe that can happen if the NEX stuff turns out to be good.
    Ie lack of stuff like this:

    Of course, often even the cheap electronics is nowadays of high quality and has required many low wage hours of high precision work. We just lap it up and complain of the mildest of nuisances.

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