Micro 4/3 Panasonic GX80 (GX85) Is it the GF1 we always wanted?

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Lexington, VA
Real Name
Steve
It's really nice to see such good reviews. I think this is an important camera for Panasonic. All the punch of the higher end bodies in a smaller package and a smaller price. I suspect they'll do well with this one.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
I've had my GX80 for a good week or so now. This camera is tremendous!

My prior M4/3 experience was from Olympus cameras and while they do nice things, I've always felt the software in the cameras get in my way, squeezing some fun out of the hobby.

When I say Olympus's software gets in my way, I don't strictly mean the convoluted menus. Simply the operating principles are not what I desire from a camera. All in all, even though my photo catalogue cannot prove my accusations, Olympus somehow always produced subpar focusing. Being a CDAF system I was expecting perfection for every shot. Leica Q produced perfection for 99.99 % of the time so I was puzzled. I guess it comes down to the software in the camera and how its design (selection of focus points etc) aligns with my preferences!

Panasonic wasn't on my radar after getting into Leica because the whole corp is a generic consumer electronics maker, and from what I had read, they'd not be very tactile, mechanical cameras. But I did recognize Panasonic m4/3 lenses from early on to be rendering very attractively to my eye. So I guess I didn't discard the brand, just didn't want to spare effort into them at that point.

But twice burned from Olympus cameras and poor alignment between my brain and their software, I decided I just might give Panasonic a chance because I'm not here to seek a change of systems, just to get a secondary/'backup' system going on. For those moments when Leica M is not useful or usable.

Boy am I floored with GX80! This thing has the perfect software, perfect buttons (great tactility), fantastic display, fantastic accurate focusing thanks to DfD and software (big thanks to the carefully separated focusing modes that also make so much sense).

The poor-quality EVF is also a blessing in a way. It's more than usable when you NEED to use it but since it's not that great to look at, the camera is encouraging you to use the display. And it's always refreshing to be able to use such a great display after shooting an OVF-only camera for a few days.

I'm embracing the computer-y aspects of the camera, for example heavily utilising the touch display to change my focus point. And who knows, maybe the gimmick known as "4k photo mode" can produce me great street scenes one summer day?

It's like shooting a mirrorless computercamera can almost be.... fun? From a Leica M shooter's perspective. :)
 

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