Micro 4/3 Why can't I love my G5?

P.H

Regular
Apr 4, 2011
Derby, UK
Apologies for the thinking aloud, but maybe something will come out of it...
My camera history over the last 7 or 8 years - LX3 which was my first serious digital camera, traded it in for a GX1 which I really liked but developed multiple faults probably due to being rattled about on a lot of bike trips, replaced with a GF5, which was a little used ebay bargain. Current lenses – 20mm, 45 – 150mm and 14mm which is probably for sale.
I started out liking the GF, mainly for the size, but as time goes on I'm using it less and less and I don't know why. It seems to be as capable as the GX1, the controls are not as intuitive but certainly not complicated, it does feel a bit of a backward step, but like I said the results are not.
I’m contemplating a GX80, in the hope I’ll enjoy it more, but am a bit nervous of spending what for me is a lot of money on something that won’t turn out to be an improvement. Thoughts?
 

Lightmancer

Legend
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
Paul, no need to apologise for your musings. I think you absolutely need to put your finger on just what it is that is not working for you. If you don't do that now you run the very real risk of carrying forward something that is a real underlying issue for you and, as you say, potentially making a costly mistake.

I also think that to find your answer you may need to look beyond your photo equipment and potentially beyond photography itself. Has anything changed in your life or lifestyle that has altered your attitude to photography in general or to the enjoyment you derive from it?

Never walk away from what you have unless you are certain that what you are moving towards is not only significantly better but that you can articulate that improvement to yourself and to others.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
If it's NOT photography you're fed up with, the GX80 will bring a lot to the table to make you like it again. In my view, it represents the best deal you can get on a current rangefinder style body these days, and it has the EVF that makes for a different shooting experience - more immersive, for one thing. And then there's I.B.I.S. - a very good implentation this time around, as well. That said, make sure you actually like the EVF - it's not everybody's cup of tea because of the technology used. I don't have any problems with it, but others can't abide it.

For me personally, the GX80 represents the end point in my search for a :mu43: rangefinder style camera - great package, great handling, very good build quality and nice IQ, and that's true for the SOOC JPEGs as well (a Panasonic first for me - though I much prefer working with RAW files). I use it as my primary travel camera because of the ideal combination of size, features, handling and quality for that purpose.

If, however, it's shooting itself that you have come to no longer crave, well - maybe it's better to accept it. However, the GF5 and your set of lenses won't take up a lot of space if you put them aside for some time and take them out again once you feel like it. The GF5 doesn't have a big resale value anyway, but it is a decent camera to work with, and it delivers solid RAW files, so it's worth keeping around.

On the subject of lenses, I'd actually look into adding the 12-32mm; that's what saved a similar camera for me (the Olympus E-PM1): tiny, yet capable of delivering very nice images in a variety of situations (O.I.S. ...), and all in a (jacket) pocketable package. It'll make it easier for you to sell the 14mm as well ...

After reading Bill's entry (I was writing while he was posting): I agree with what he says, basically - it all boils down to what's behind your dwindling desire to shoot ...

M.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
used E-M5 bodies are plentiful and cheap as an alternative.

Is it he use of the camera or the output that you are unhappy with?

Do you not enjoy the act of photography...or merely the act of using this particular camera?
 
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stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
Some sterling advice right up there! :inlove:

I'd have to agree. I think you need to be a little more forensic about why you're not shooting ATM. As whatever it is is likely to follow you to your next camera. Not much worse than seeing something you invested good money in atrophying on the shelf - I have found it can make the feeling worse. Also it can lead to resentment and an association of not wanting to shoot with the camera....not an easy feeling to then later shake.

Also I'd suggest being a little forensic about what it is that you like to shoot. What motivates you, what gives you that buzz - that feeling of total immersion is what it is about for me. Then think about what it is about that experience that is essential and what role the camera plays. For me I like a camera that disappears and becomes a part of me in those moments...but that's just me. :coco:

All I can add to what the learned gentlemen above have said is, if you end up deciding to 'upgrade', then please avoid buying on specification and advice only (though let them be a guide). Visit a store and try the cameras out - and don't discount anything - look for that alignment between what you need and what's on offer. Put a card in them and shoot - so take a few SD cards as you'll need to format between cameras (and take a photo of the tag FIRST so you know which is which when you get home). Take the images home and have a bo-peep at the outputs - see how much what you are now seeing aligns with how and what you saw at the time...but mostly its about walking away from the store to avoid that impulse purchase. The right camera will speak to you.
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
Very good advice so far!

All I can add is that we all have ups and downs with our hobby.
Times when everything just works fine.
And times when we're just uninspired. - Often those fall into winter, when there is less light. Less to photograph (depending on our type of photography). Or we're just less prone to go out and do things. So maybe it's just that.
Again, often we're pondering buying gear at those times (and often we do :) )... It's usually not the answer, but short term it can be fun (if expensive). Luke's advice of considering buying used is good. So is Mark's advice not to buy on specs, but to actually go to a store and see which camera speaks to you handlingwise... (which may very well be the G80 - but best to find out before buying :) )

If you're not sure if buying a new camera right now is the right decision, best to listen to your gut-feeling.
Taking a break from photography is fine. Sometimes we're stressing us a bit too much with our hobbies - and it's about having fun after all.
Or maybe just pocket your GF5 and 20mm everyday and see what happens. You don't have to take a picture everyday - but my experience showed me that if you have a camera with you, you're looking at the world with a different view.
 
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tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
Lots of sound advice in the posts above. I've been there . . . buying "new to me" equipment on the used market, trying to fix a perceived problem that was never there. I've sold my OM-D gear down to the E-M5 and a single lens. I also have a well used Fuji X30. I've started a pattern of using the X30 with the zoom set at 35mm only, to emulate the 17mm/1.8 on the E-M5. I'm just trying to force myself to "focus", if you will, on better compositions. If I do decide to buy another camera in the future, it will only be after very careful consideration.
 

Steve Noel

All-Pro
Oct 5, 2010
Casey County, KY
My wife has the Gf5, and really likes it, with the P20 mounted, and the results are stellar. But, I don't get along with it. It's like a professional driver, riding in the passenger seat with a much younger, excellent driver. I just want to do my own driving! ...E-m5, let's me feel like I'm driving, as long as I keep a MF lens attached, even though we both know it's not really true.
Back in the film days I decided to buy a really good AF camera. So, I sold a car and payed $1,050 for a new Nikon 8008, 85mm f1.8, and a small flash. Wouldn't let me drive! I'd been using an OM1. Over 20 years, I owned that 8008 3 times, and finally gave it to a dyed in the wool, film, Nikon friend. Nothing wrong with the camera. In fact, it was great. I just wanted to drive.
 

P.H

Regular
Apr 4, 2011
Derby, UK
Thank you all for taking the time to reply, plenty there to mull over.
It's made the question clearer, even if the answer seems just as elusive. It's also reassuring to learn others go through the same and hear how they deal with it.
I don't think there's been any particularly relevant life changes recently. I like to cycle, and photography is for me a natural extension of that, my rides are all about where I go and I've always got a camera. I've had some great trips in the last few months, but come back with fewer photos...
Ho Hum, I think I'll mull some more, a new toy may be the answer or maybe not, I quite like the idea of the 12-32 which comes as the kit lens, it's the sort of range I'd get most use out of. The other option is to look out for a used GX1, that would put me back to where I started and then I'd really know if it was me or the camera...
Thanks again.
 

P.H

Regular
Apr 4, 2011
Derby, UK
Well, I've had a few weeks of navel gazing and visited a couple of camera shops and also reviewed some of my favorite photos taken over the last decade. What sort of surprised me, even though it's something I already knew, is that my favorite photos were not necessarily taken with my favorite cameras (Or lenses)
hmm - That sort of leads me to the conclusion that for me it's not about the camera, except there's a pleasure in certain cameras that isn't just about the end result.
That's brought me to the realisation that I can't get everything I want in one camera. I'd like something with me all the time, I don't want to sacrifice too much IQ, I'm going to accept the pleasure of using it might not be as high as with something I'm less likely to carry. I also want something that I'll enjoy using just for itself. The second one is pretty easy, I enjoyed the GX1 and having had a play with one the GX80/85 feels like a natural progression, I'll probably wait to see where priced go after Christmas, but I think that decision is made. The carry everywhere isn't so easy, for now I'll probably keep the GF5 and stick the 12 - 32 on it, long term I might look out for a used GM1 or even consider going back to a LX if I could find a decent used one (I now regret selling mine!)
Well thanks for listening!! Time to stop thinking and start shooting...
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
The carry everywhere isn't so easy, for now I'll probably keep the GF5 and stick the 12 - 32 on it, long term I might look out for a used GM1 or even consider going back to a LX if I could find a decent used one (I now regret selling mine!)
I've personally given up on the concept of the small, serious-compact as a carry everywhere... With very few exceptions they're all large enough these days to require some sort of bag or pouch. So you might as well take an even bigger camera - as long as you find a good enough carrying solution for it.
(I personally like waistpacks e.g. my personal favourite, the Ultralight Camera Cover from Mindshift Gear - which is basically a camera holster without the added bulk and with an integrated belt)
 

Ripleysbaby

supernatural anesthetist
Sep 9, 2011
Cumbria UK
Garry
I've personally given up on the concept of the small, serious-compact as a carry everywhere... With very few exceptions they're all large enough these days to require some sort of bag or pouch. So you might as well take an even bigger camera - as long as you find a good enough carrying solution for it.
(I personally like waistpacks e.g. my personal favourite, the Ultralight Camera Cover from Mindshift Gear - which is basically a camera holster without the added bulk and with an integrated belt)
I like the look of the camera cover system. Thanks for that.
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
I like the look of the camera cover system. Thanks for that.
It's my absolute favourite carrying solution at the moment. Bagpacks are of no use for my kind of photography (taking pictures as I go along). With the ULCC I have the camera always at hand (I use my cameras without neckstrap - to have less clutter. Should work with neckstraps too I guess).

They're not perfect (what is? :) ), but I like the fact that they're always only as big as the camera&lens-combo inside.
I have the "ULCC 20" version, which works great for DSLRs/mirrorless with standard-ish zooms (e.g. the Olympus 12-60 or PanaLeica 14-150). The "20" didn't work so well with the Oly 12-40 (the lens barrel was too short), the smaller "10" might do the trick for that one.
 

P.H

Regular
Apr 4, 2011
Derby, UK
Well. the deed is done, prices fell to a point where I can't see them falling much lower, picked up the GX80 with 12-32 for £350 (with cashback) I think that's half the price at launch.
Still working my way through the features, but have been impressed with the little zoom fitted to the GF5.
One thing I didn't notice when playing with it in the shop is how much the IBS rattles when switched off, considering this is going to accompany me on cycling trips this does make me a little nervous. It'll always be in a well padded bag and has a two year warranty so I'm hoping it'll be OK.
Anyway, thanks again for the replies and giving me somewhere to post my dithering, time to get out and use it.
 

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