Single In Single in January (SiJ) 2021: discussion

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
I'm another who is struggling, in my case because my chosen "theme", trying to capture some sort of on street spontaneity in my nearest small market town has now had to be abandoned due to our third lockdown. I'd chosen a small unobtrusive camera for such a task, it wasn't the camera that was the challenge, I'm reasonably familiar with it and have come to just about accept its foibles mainly caused by its small size, delicate cursor wheel and my large hands, it was the theme that was my challenge and was taking me out of my comfort zone. I was beginning to feel that I'd chosen the right approach by day 3, the little dog that I entitled "Abandoned by the bins". I was quite pleased with that shot, a situation I initially walked past and then stopped, said fool, there's your shot and went back and got the shot. I missed a spontaneous shot on day 4 and had to settle for a shot I could have taken almost any day.
Now its back to my small rural parish, much photographed by me over the years, the only challenge now would be will I be able physically to walk to where the shot will be. I almost certainly know the shot before I even set out, the chance of spontaneity here is almost non existent, indeed the chance of meeting anyone is pretty remote. I see little pleasure in just taking a photograph for the sake of filling a daily requirement and as I've stated elsewhere I'm not keen on the idea of photographing objects about the house. I have few "interesting" possessions and very limited facilities to set aside an uncluttered area for such a task, as well as having difficulty with providing some dramatic lighting to lift the photograph above the mundane. Whilst I have wavered before on these challenges, this has come early, I've never given up before but this time I'm not so certain.

Barrie
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
While the lockdown and the cold weather are making life difficult, I think that by choosing my alphabet theme I have a chance of keeping this going - although I can see some creativity might be needed further down the line! I do find it hard to keep track of which day is which. Every day seems exactly the same. (There is also the creeping worry of the rapid progress of Covid at the moment. Some fairly near neighbours have succumbed and are apparently quite poorly,although at home at least). So having a photographic challenge is really quite beneficial.
As a footnote, I’m very interested in Sue’s progress with the GR. I’ve long been an admirer of the images that camera can produce but always held off from buying one.
 

Briar

All-Pro
Location
Scotland
The GRs and the GRDs (which I still own) are by FAR my favourite of all the cameras I own.

I’d recommend watching Ted Forbes’ The Art of Photography on YouTube if you are struggling to find inspiration/ideas for your photography during these difficult times. Look out for Ted’s photo assignment videos. They might help you see the small world we are all reluctantly finding ourselves living in these days in a new light/way, or teach you techniques you hadn’t considered before. Or they might do nothing but help you pass the time doing something that is not thinking about COVID and it’s impact on yours and all our lives.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Location
Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Sue
As a footnote, I’m very interested in Sue’s progress with the GR. I’ve long been an admirer of the images that camera can produce but always held off from buying one.
Just get it. I'm finding it easy to use, and enjoyable after watching that Sean Tucker video about minimalism where he explained how he uses his GRIII (in manual). I confess that I do use the digital zoom from time to time, because I think maybe I have a 35mm view of the world, rather than a 28mm. But, no matter. It's a very decent camera, and I think I might have to start using some of its presets, as well :) If I had the dosh, it would have been the GRIII (for its size) but I have been happy with the II.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Location
Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Sue
The GRs and the GRDs (which I still own) are by FAR my favourite of all the cameras I own.

I’d recommend watching Ted Forbes’ The Art of Photography on YouTube if you are struggling to find inspiration/ideas for your photography during these difficult times. Look out for Ted’s photo assignment videos. They might help you see the small world we are all reluctantly finding ourselves living in these days in a new light/way, or teach you techniques you hadn’t considered before. Or they might do nothing but help you pass the time doing something that is not thinking about COVID and it’s impact on yours and all our lives.
Thanks for that suggestion... having a look this minute :)
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
The GRs and the GRDs (which I still own) are by FAR my favourite of all the cameras I own.

I’d recommend watching Ted Forbes’ The Art of Photography on YouTube if you are struggling to find inspiration/ideas for your photography during these difficult times. Look out for Ted’s photo assignment videos. They might help you see the small world we are all reluctantly finding ourselves living in these days in a new light/way, or teach you techniques you hadn’t considered before. Or they might do nothing but help you pass the time doing something that is not thinking about COVID and it’s impact on yours and all our lives.
I'm actually kind of relieved you say this - because if there's a camera I think I might prefer over the GR III, it's the Q2. But that camera is a lot bigger, a totally different beast (bigger than an M with a decent 28mm on it - though that won't get you to f/1.7, and of course, neither AF nor macro). I once had the opportunity to briefly try the original Q, but great though it was, it never made me want to ditch my M10. The Q2 seems an amazing package - actually not that expensive for what you're actually getting (I know that must sound insane to some, but realistically, the quality you get would cost you the same or more on other systems, and you'd end up with a much bigger setup). How are you liking your Q2 Monochrom, Karen? The images sure look stunning ...

The GR III - well, you've probably all witnessed the kind of love-hate relationship I have with that camera. In the meantime, I'm completely convinced it's my own stubborness that's the problem - the camera has so few real weaknesses that it's quite frankly a marvel. Apart from my reluctance to work without a viewfinder, focus breathing (especially at close range) is really the only glaring issue, and of course, you can work around that or get used to it - and of course, you won't notice it in your results at all. Ricoh has pulled it off again.

Still, I remember feeling more comfortable with the original GR - because it basically forced you to focus and recompose (its AF system didn't really allow for anything else if you wanted to shoot quickly) whereas the GR III's touch-to-focus (and even release) feature begs to be used. Even though it's theoretically better for overall framing and IQ (no sharpness drift on recomposing your image), I wish I could ignore it more often and just snap away as before. This might also be because I'm just a tad too clumsy to hit the desired focus point on my first attempt on a regular basis (I'm still quite bad with touchscreens in general - the smartphone's is just okay). IQ-wise, while the GR was great, the GR III is even better. And if you care about low light shooting, the GR III is a huge step up from its predecessors: I.B.I.S. and much, much better high ISO quality.

M.
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
I haven't shot much with my GR III, partially because I've been using the KP lately, or else shooting film. Yesterday I pulled it out of its pouch and appreciated it some more, and carried it that day even though I didn't shoot it. I'm still noticing that I tend to sway back and forth between "normal" (40-50mm equivalent) and 28mm in my thinking. When my mind is geared for 28mm, I can compose away all day in that focal length. But then it will swing the other way and I'll struggle for a while with the wide angle. It's an odd thing.
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Just get it. I'm finding it easy to use, and enjoyable after watching that Sean Tucker video about minimalism where he explained how he uses his GRIII (in manual). I confess that I do use the digital zoom from time to time, because I think maybe I have a 35mm view of the world, rather than a 28mm. But, no matter. It's a very decent camera, and I think I might have to start using some of its presets, as well :) If I had the dosh, it would have been the GRIII (for its size) but I have been happy with the II.
Sean has been killing it lately, both with his GR implementation and his philosophy. A lot of what I'm trying to write about, put into better words!
 

Briar

All-Pro
Location
Scotland
I'm actually kind of relieved you say this - because if there's a camera I think I might prefer over the GR III, it's the Q2. But that camera is a lot bigger, a totally different beast (bigger than an M with a decent 28mm on it - though that won't get you to f/1.7, and of course, neither AF nor macro). I once had the opportunity to briefly try the original Q, but great though it was, it never made me want to ditch my M10. The Q2 seems an amazing package - actually not that expensive for what you're actually getting (I know that must sound insane to some, but realistically, the quality you get would cost you the same or more on other systems, and you'd end up with a much bigger setup). How are you liking your Q2 Monochrom, Karen? The images sure look stunning ...

The GR III - well, you've probably all witnessed the kind of love-hate relationship I have with that camera. In the meantime, I'm completely convinced it's my own stubborness that's the problem - the camera has so few real weaknesses that it's quite frankly a marvel. Apart from my reluctance to work without a viewfinder, focus breathing (especially at close range) is really the only glaring issue, and of course, you can work around that or get used to it - and of course, you won't notice it in your results at all. Ricoh has pulled it off again.

Still, I remember feeling more comfortable with the original GR - because it basically forced you to focus and recompose (its AF system didn't really allow for anything else if you wanted to shoot quickly) whereas the GR III's touch-to-focus (and even release) feature begs to be used. Even though it's theoretically better for overall framing and IQ (no sharpness drift on recomposing your image), I wish I could ignore it more often and just snap away as before. This might also be because I'm just a tad too clumsy to hit the desired focus point on my first attempt on a regular basis (I'm still quite bad with touchscreens in general - the smartphone's is just okay). IQ-wise, while the GR was great, the GR III is even better. And if you care about low light shooting, the GR III is a huge step up from its predecessors: I.B.I.S. and much, much better high ISO quality.

M.


Matt, I’ve never really understood your love-hate relationship with the GR III. Well, the love part yes (how could you not), but the hate (how could you????) Perhaps we just approach photography differently when using that camera (possibly any camera). While I wouldn’t say I am any less serious about photography than you, you do seem to put more thought into your photography than I. Certainly you dissect the form and function of cameras more than me.

I confess I rarely use the screen on the GR III to compose shots, I usually have a feeling of what the resultant photo will be before I take the shot. AKA just point and shoot. Spontaneous, instinctive or just lucky, I don’t know, but most of the time it captures what I see and somehow makes it look better. It’s become my go-to camera. I am very comfortable with the 28mm field of view which does help visualise what the resultant picture will be. I certainly couldn’t be as flippant with a 50mm and expect the same results. For me that just wouldn’t work. There would be lots of missing heads and weird things in focus.

I find it the most unobtrusive camera I own due to its size and ease of use. With it I can just relax straight into taking photographs in new towns, cities or countries where, with a larger camera, I would instead most likely feel self conscious and less inclined to take any shot until I was completely comfortable in my new surroundings. The GR III and, any of its predecessors, I guess enable me to just hit the ground running wherever I am.

As for the Q2 Monochrom ... it’s nice. Real nice. I did have reservations after I ordered it that I’d made a mistake. I convert most of my photographs to black and white but I wasn’t sure I wanted to restrict myself to just black and white with a camera. An expensive one at that. Fortunately, before I could change my mind and order the Q2 instead, the monochrom dispatched earlier than expected so I just ran with it. I figured I have other cameras that can produce colourful images, but none that are specialised for black and white. Size/weight wise, it’s about as big as I seem to want to carry these days. Being void of the red dot, I’m also not so self conscious that I am carrying an expensive camera but I could never be as care free as I am with the GR III. For me they are, what’s that saying ... different horses for different courses.

K
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Matt, I’ve never really understood your love-hate relationship with the GR III. Well, the love part yes (how could you not), but the hate (how could you????) Perhaps we just approach photography differently when using that camera (possibly any camera). While I wouldn’t say I am any less serious about photography than you, you do seem to put more thought into your photography than I. Certainly you dissect the form and function of cameras more than me.

I confess I rarely use the screen on the GR III to compose shots, I usually have a feeling of what the resultant photo will be before I take the shot. AKA just point and shoot. Spontaneous, instinctive or just lucky, I don’t know, but most of the time it captures what I see and somehow makes it look better. It’s become my go-to camera. I am very comfortable with the 28mm field of view which does help visualise what the resultant picture will be. I certainly couldn’t be as flippant with a 50mm and expect the same results. For me that just wouldn’t work. There would be lots of missing heads and weird things in focus.

I find it the most unobtrusive camera I own due to its size and ease of use. With it I can just relax straight into taking photographs in new towns, cities or countries where, with a larger camera, I would instead most likely feel self conscious and less inclined to take any shot until I was completely comfortable in my new surroundings. The GR III and, any of its predecessors, I guess enable me to just hit the ground running wherever I am.

As for the Q2 Monochrom ... it’s nice. Real nice. I did have reservations after I ordered it that I’d made a mistake. I convert most of my photographs to black and white but I wasn’t sure I wanted to restrict myself to just black and white with a camera. An expensive one at that. Fortunately, before I could change my mind and order the Q2 instead, the monochrom dispatched earlier than expected so I just ran with it. I figured I have other cameras that can produce colourful images, but none that are specialised for black and white. Size/weight wise, it’s about as big as I seem to want to carry these days. Being void of the red dot, I’m also not so self conscious that I am carrying an expensive camera but I could never be as care free as I am with the GR III. For me they are, what’s that saying ... different horses for different courses.

K
Much appreciated, Karen! Let me just say that obviously, "hate" is the wrong word for my occasional struggles with what the GR III is and does - my fault for using too strong a term. You hit the nail on the head with your assessment: I'm way too obsessed with framing and "getting it right in camera", and it's a fact that I'm feeling much more secure when using a viewfinder to achieve it (even a rangefinder!). Setting the AF point where it "needs" to be is another aspect of this - it's not the GR III's fault that it actually *allows* me to do that.

This is why the current challenge is quite an education: I regularly use the GX9/7.5mm combo with zone focus - no fiddling necessary whatsoever. And - it works, in many ways, most of the time. I think I should just stop worrying about this notion of perfection (as if I could - we're made like we're made; but I *can* relax). Still, there may be a Q2 in my future - but it doesn't mean the GR III will have to go.

M.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I really like the X100V, but . . .
If they made an x70 body with the new 26 mp sensor and the lens of the X100V, I’d sell the x100 and buy it. Even better, put a fixed version of the 27 2.8. I liked everything about the x70 except the focal length. For where I live and what I shoot, wide angles are just limiting. TBH, I find the 23 on the X100 tricky on many occasions. An x70 with a normal lens and just a flip screen would get my money very quickly. OK, I’m done whining for now.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I'm frankly quite surprised how easy it is to find something to shoot with a 15mm-e. However, yes, it doesn't always result in usable images because it's obviously a bit more difficult to control the foreground and background: I lost an interesting image (one I'll be trying to find again and redo) to the fact that there was a lot of distracting things going on in the background, but because I had concentrated on focus and center composition, I didn't notice all that until I looked at it on the screen.

This was to be expected - so, all within reason.

The GX9 is a different matter. It remains a very good camera - but its fiddliness becomes ever more apparant. As good as most aspects of it are, the total is far from perfect - and I notice that now, also because I have - and have had - many other cameras to compare it to.
  • The worst offender is the EVF; I don't know what exactly they did, but it's the worst version of this very viewfinder - it was good in the LX100, usable in the GX85 (GX80), but the optics are at their worst in the GX9; it's ostensibly all the same panel and assembly, but the GX9's is the one you have the least leeway with, it's a tunnel, and the eyecup, though seemingly deeper than the one on the GX85 (and LX100 - the latter two look exactly the same), it does not help the least bit against light from the side. As far as EVFs go, this is the worst I've ever owned, period. Even the old and often derided item in the Sony A6000 is a lot better in practice, even if it lacks resolution and punch - but it's reliably usable. The GX9's - is not; and not only that - it's often annoying and or distracting.
  • Manual focus experience is just about bearable - magnification is adjustable (though it took some finding out and needed reconfiguration - the preset of "2x" is useless), focus peaking less so. I had to dedicate an Fn button to invoke magnification, though - because otherwise, you'll invariably move the focus field, and have to reposition it. The implementation is way too "sophisticated" to be quick and straightforward - activate, (re)position, use different button to magnify. Again, the old Sony A6000 does this way better: press center button on control dial to invoke focus field, press again to magnify. Why can't I do that on the GX9?!
  • The exposre compensation wheel is easily knocked. This is not too big a deal because you see its setting - but together with the less-than-ideal EVF and focus experience and the ensuing fiddling and distraction, I sometimes miss the fact that it's not where I expect it to be, so I don't get sensible exposure (I work with aperture priority). This is sufficiently rare to only be a minor annoyance, though.
But there's also quite a bit of the handling paradigm I'm beginning to feel annoyed by. I want to give you two examples of what I mean:
  • When you use a "dumb" lens, every time you switch on the camera, you'll be asked if the preset focal length is still what you want. There's a pop-up on the screen and in the viewfinder, and you have to half-press the shutter (or tab on the screen for "yes") to make it go away. This has resulted in black or otherwise accidental shots; it's pure coincidence that it hasn't cost me shots yet.
  • If you use "C" mode (custom settings), you will *always* land in the "C" menu when entering the menu. This means that even for something simple like formatting the SD card, I'll have to jump around in the menus. Of course, you get used to it, but it's completely inefficient to have to do four or five actions instead of one or two, depending on the camera. Even my old M8 is much quicker and easier to handle (I can do it almost without looking).
So, while I do like the results from the GX9 and the camera works quite well with AF lenses, handling just isn't as satisfying as I'd like it to be. I'll move the body on as soon as there's a suitable replacement for it on the market. As far as I can see, there are two possible contenders: If the Leica CL2 sports I.B.I.S., I could move on my whole Fujifilm system alongside the GX9 (as well as four :mu43: lenses) and switch to that camera with the Leica primes (and maybe the standard zoom). Yes, that sounds hideously expensive, but it would provide reliably gorgeous results and, judging from handling the current CL, exactly the kind of experience I want from a compact rangefinder style camera. However, it looks as if there might be an alternative, and that would be much more affordable: If the upcoming Fujifilm X-E4 has I.B.I.S., it can replace both the X-E3 *and* the GX9. As it is, there's not a lot I dislike about the X-E3 except for that fact that it lacks I.B.I.S. - so, interesting times ahead. As it is, I think I'll resolve this "issue" (my wish for a small, capable, easy-to-use rangefinder style camera) in 2021 - if one of the two upcoming cameras sports I.B.I.S., that is. The GX9 doesn't quite cut it - not in terms of results, but in terms of user experience.

I will still have the E-M5 III as my :mu43: body - and I'll hang on to that camera; it's a little powerhouse, and apart from its iconic, but also ideosyncratic on-off switch, it's great. This is not about getting out of :mu43:, even though I'm about to sell a pretty large portion of the remaining system now.

I'll soldier on with the GX9 during SiJ 2021, of course. It's only fitting that the Fujifilm X-E4 will probably be announced on January 27 ...

M.
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
I'm frankly quite surprised how easy it is to find something to shoot with a 15mm-e. However, yes, it doesn't always result in usable images because it's obviously a bit more difficult to control the foreground and background: I lost an interesting image (one I'll be trying to find again and redo) to the fact that there was a lot of distracting things going on in the background, but because I had concentrated on focus and center composition, I didn't notice all that until I looked at it on the screen.

This was to be expected - so, all within reason.

The GX9 is a different matter. It remains a very good camera - but its fiddliness becomes ever more apparant. As good as most aspects of it are, the total is far from perfect - and I notice that now, also because I have - and have had - many other cameras to compare it to.
  • The worst offender is the EVF; I don't know what exactly they did, but it's the worst version of this very viewfinder - it was good in the LX100, usable in the GX85 (GX80), but the optics are at their worst in the GX9; it's ostensibly all the same panel and assembly, but the GX9's is the one you have the least leeway with, it's a tunnel, and the eyecup, though seemingly deeper than the one on the GX85 (and LX100 - the latter two look exactly the same), it does not help the least bit against light from the side. As far as EVFs go, this is the worst I've ever owned, period. Even the old and often derided item in the Sony A6000 is a lot better in practice, even if it lacks resolution and punch - but it's reliably usable. The GX9's - is not; and not only that - it's often annoying and or distracting.
  • Manual focus experience is just about bearable - magnification is adjustable (though it took some finding out and needed reconfiguration - the preset of "2x" is useless), focus peaking less so. I had to dedicate an Fn button to invoke magnification, though - because otherwise, you'll invariably move the focus field, and have to reposition it. The implementation is way too "sophisticated" to be quick and straightforward - activate, (re)position, use different button to magnify. Again, the old Sony A6000 does this way better: press center button on control dial to invoke focus field, press again to magnify. Why can't I do that on the GX9?!
  • The exposre compensation wheel is easily knocked. This is not too big a deal because you see its setting - but together with the less-than-ideal EVF and focus experience and the ensuing fiddling and distraction, I sometimes miss the fact that it's not where I expect it to be, so I don't get sensible exposure (I work with aperture priority). This is sufficiently rare to only be a minor annoyance, though.
But there's also quite a bit of the handling paradigm I'm beginning to feel annoyed by. I want to give you two examples of what I mean:
  • When you use a "dumb" lens, every time you switch on the camera, you'll be asked if the preset focal length is still what you want. There's a pop-up on the screen and in the viewfinder, and you have to half-press the shutter (or tab on the screen for "yes") to make it go away. This has resulted in black or otherwise accidental shots; it's pure coincidence that it hasn't cost me shots yet.
  • If you use "C" mode (custom settings), you will *always* land in the "C" menu when entering the menu. This means that even for something simple like formatting the SD card, I'll have to jump around in the menus. Of course, you get used to it, but it's completely inefficient to have to do four or five actions instead of one or two, depending on the camera. Even my old M8 is much quicker and easier to handle (I can do it almost without looking).
So, while I do like the results from the GX9 and the camera works quite well with AF lenses, handling just isn't as satisfying as I'd like it to be. I'll move the body on as soon as there's a suitable replacement for it on the market. As far as I can see, there are two possible contenders: If the Leica CL2 sports I.B.I.S., I could move on my whole Fujifilm system alongside the GX9 (as well as four :mu43: lenses) and switch to that camera with the Leica primes (and maybe the standard zoom). Yes, that sounds hideously expensive, but it would provide reliably gorgeous results and, judging from handling the current CL, exactly the kind of experience I want from a compact rangefinder style camera. However, it looks as if there might be an alternative, and that would be much more affordable: If the upcoming Fujifilm X-E4 has I.B.I.S., it can replace both the X-E3 *and* the GX9. As it is, there's not a lot I dislike about the X-E3 except for that fact that it lacks I.B.I.S. - so, interesting times ahead. As it is, I think I'll resolve this "issue" (my wish for a small, capable, easy-to-use rangefinder style camera) in 2021 - if one of the two upcoming cameras sports I.B.I.S., that is. The GX9 doesn't quite cut it - not in terms of results, but in terms of user experience.

I will still have the E-M5 III as my :mu43: body - and I'll hang on to that camera; it's a little powerhouse, and apart from its iconic, but also ideosyncratic on-off switch, it's great. This is not about getting out of :mu43:, even though I'm about to sell a pretty large portion of the remaining system now.

I'll soldier on with the GX9 during SiJ 2021, of course. It's only fitting that the Fujifilm X-E4 will probably be announced on January 27 ...

M.
Interesting, Matt. I find the EVF on the GX9 to be much better than on the 2 LX100s I’ve owned. It’s still small but I can at least get a sharp image through it, and the colours are reasonably accurate. (Digressing slightly, the X100T I owned briefly had a terrible EVF. It was way too contrasty and the colours were just weird.) I agree about the A6000 though, it had a very usable EVF, as did the E-M10 mk1, both despite apparently low resolution.
The exposure compensation dial on my GX9 is actually quite stiff (again I compare to the X100T whose dial moved if you breathed on it too hard). There must be some manufacturing variance going on for our experiences to be so different.
I do agree that the GX9 is a bit fiddly, but I can just about use it one handed (the on/off switch being perfectly placed, and the front dial falling nicely under my index finger), I’m getting used to where things are in the menus/buttons/touch screen and I am seriously impressed with its IQ - a step up from the old G7 for sure. Will I keep it long term?Probably not ( I rarely do ) as I really now hanker after a Ricoh GR...but those are pretty rare on the used market and prices really quite high. Maybe later this year.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Interesting, Matt. I find the EVF on the GX9 to be much better than on the 2 LX100s I’ve owned. It’s still small but I can at least get a sharp image through it, and the colours are reasonably accurate. (Digressing slightly, the X100T I owned briefly had a terrible EVF. It was way too contrasty and the colours were just weird.) I agree about the A6000 though, it had a very usable EVF, as did the E-M10 mk1, both despite apparently low resolution.
The exposure compensation dial on my GX9 is actually quite stiff (again I compare to the X100T whose dial moved if you breathed on it too hard). There must be some manufacturing variance going on for our experiences to be so different.
I do agree that the GX9 is a bit fiddly, but I can just about use it one handed (the on/off switch being perfectly placed, and the front dial falling nicely under my index finger), I’m getting used to where things are in the menus/buttons/touch screen and I am seriously impressed with its IQ - a step up from the old G7 for sure. Will I keep it long term?Probably not ( I rarely do ) as I really now hanker after a Ricoh GR...but those are pretty rare on the used market and prices really quite high. Maybe later this year.
You know, there are reasons why it took me so long to actually assess the GX9 and its place in my kit. First, the EVF issue may be *my* problem - I wear glasses, and my current pair is rather large; it's possible that the issues I have are caused by the combination of the small EVF and its eyepoint and my rather big pair of glasses. So, YMMV on this issue. It's just annoying and distracting enough to make shooting less enjoyable, at least with small manual lenses. The current challenge exacerbates that - with the 15mm f/1.7, I hardly ever experienced severe irritations.
The exposure compensation dial is admittedly not bad as such - I'd fully agree that there's worse; again, it's the cumulation of distractions and (sometimes minor) downfalls that take away from the shooting experience.
As to the power switch, yes, that's actually quite an asset - except if it isn't. Battery life isn't great on the GX9 as it is, and I have accidentally switched on the camera when putting it *back* into the bag a couple of times. But I like the position and the ease of use, no doubt. What's less convincing is the fact that sometimes, the camera takes a *lot* of time to switch off after flicking the switch. I'm currently looking into that - it may be caused by slower SD cards, but I'm not sure yet. I'm used to switching off my cameras (especially the Leica Ms) immediately after the shot; the GX9 is the only camera that refuses to follow orders immediately at times: I wouldn't mind if it kept on *working*, e.g. storing the image, in fact I'd expect it to - but it just freezes, and I can't switch it on again *until* it finishes with shutting down. This can take a long, long time - 20 to 30 seconds! It's disconcerting the first couple of times, and after that, it's still annoying.

The GX9's IQ is beyond reproach - it's great. I can't seem to enjoy shooting with it as much as I'd like to. No big deal - sometimes, things just don't click.

And sometimes, they just do. I've moaned time and again about the shortcomings of the Canon G1X III - but the truth is, that camera just works for me. Yes, it has its shortcomings and limitations, and they may be considerable, but the *package* delivers for me, down to very nice IQ and reliable handling, including the small, but very manageable EVF. So it goes - I'd consider the G1X III much more of a niche product than the very versatile GX9, but somehow, I feel much more comfortable with it.

M.
 
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mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
The worst offender is the EVF; I don't know what exactly they did, but it's the worst version of this very viewfinder
+1. I often wish now that Panasonic released an EVF-less version of GX85/GX9. It would be a bit more streamlined (pocketable) but still have the IBIS and good shutter that the GX800/850/880 lacks.

When you use a "dumb" lens, every time you switch on the camera, you'll be asked if the preset focal length is still what you want. There's a pop-up on the screen and in the viewfinder, and you have to half-press the shutter (or tab on the screen for "yes") to make it go away.
I much prefer this approach to Olympus's tactic. There the focal length of a dead lens is recorded deep into the camera menu and more infuriatingly it's stored in custom setting banks so that in worst case scenario every time you power on the camera the FL gets reset to something unusable. My blood still boils when I think about the usability of Pen-F and its devil-designed firmware.

You said GX9 suits for native AF lenses, I hold the same about Olympus. Simply unusable for adapted lenses. :)

Having said that, GX80 is a bit fiddly with adapted lenses to be sure. I don't have issues with the magnification schemes. The software works very much like Leica M in LV mode: press one button to magnify, then half-press of the shutter will get you back to full view. It's fluent enough. The fiddliness comes from small body form and the fact that the EVF is not very good. I think G9 would be a great body for some MF work, for example because I know what the firmware will be like.

The GX9's IQ is beyond reproach - it's great. I can't seem to enjoy shooting with it as much as I'd like to. No big deal - sometimes, things just don't click.
What you wrote in your posts sound very familiar to me, only my "GX9" is the Olympus Pen-F. :)
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Your reasons listed for not gelling with the GX9 are somewhat different from mine, Matt, but essentially boil down to being the same. While its output is really excellent, the user experience isn't, and it's hard to find the way around its fiddliness. I sometimes question whether getting rid of it was the right thing to do, that's most of the reason why I'm trying out an LX100II. Different interpretation of a very similar concept.

I'm finding the LX to be rather different initially. The direct exposure controls really do cut down on the fiddliness because I can treat the camera like it isn't a little computer. And the EVF DOES somehow seem better than on the GX9, even though that makes no sense, and I can tell it's the same in every noticeable way.

It's just the IQ that I'm not quite sold on yet. More testing required.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Your reasons listed for not gelling with the GX9 are somewhat different from mine, Matt, but essentially boil down to being the same. While its output is really excellent, the user experience isn't, and it's hard to find the way around its fiddliness. I sometimes question whether getting rid of it was the right thing to do, that's most of the reason why I'm trying out an LX100II. Different interpretation of a very similar concept.

I'm finding the LX to be rather different initially. The direct exposure controls really do cut down on the fiddliness because I can treat the camera like it isn't a little computer. And the EVF DOES somehow seem better than on the GX9, even though that makes no sense, and I can tell it's the same in every noticeable way.

It's just the IQ that I'm not quite sold on yet. More testing required.
Thing is, I really, really liked the original LX100 ... I thought I would be better served with the Canon G1X III, and I am in many ways (size, sensor, ruggedness), but I do miss the feeling of the LX100 in the hand and on the eye ... Oh, well. Silly old me. That said, the G1X III has proven itself again today - it's just such a competent, practical camera.

I think the LX100 II is a great pick, though - if and when the G1X III dies, I'll take a hard look at the LX series again.

M.
 
Location
Boston Burbs
Real Name
David
I really like the X100V, but . . .
If they made an x70 body with the new 26 mp sensor and the lens of the X100V, I’d sell the x100 and buy it. Even better, put a fixed version of the 27 2.8. I liked everything about the x70 except the focal length. For where I live and what I shoot, wide angles are just limiting. TBH, I find the 23 on the X100 tricky on many occasions. An x70 with a normal lens and just a flip screen would get my money very quickly. OK, I’m done whining for now.

And if the X100V had the X70 lens I'd consider it. :D

But that's more the sensor and AF as I did actually really like the overall X70 package.
 

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