May 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm #1258943
In reading about the new Panny G2, I see that it has a built in electronic viewfinder, image stabilization in the body, video modalities similar to the GF1, body weighs 3 oz more than the GF1 (but if you add the electronic viewfinder to the GF1 the weight is almost equal), and costs about $800 (including the 14-42mm kit lens), very similar to the cost of the GF1 with kit or pancake lens but without the electronic viewfinder.
This sounds close to the perfect micro 4/3 for backpacking.
Am I missing something other than not actually seeing if the images are as good as the GF1?May 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm #1609844
I've not read any in-depth G2 reviews yet, but I think it's a safe bet it will outperform the GF1, given it's a true second-generation µ4/3 camera. The GF1 EVF takes some criticism as not being as bright and crisp as even the G1 finder, so that's a clear advantage. Focus speed and performance should be improved too.
Whether the G2 is "perfect" depends on whether one's drawn to the Panny or the Oly approach. For me, the big difference is putting IS in the lenses or in the bodies. I prefer body because every lens can be stabilized, even legacy lenses.
RickMay 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm #1609856
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
I have lots of shooting time with both the Olympus and Panasonic systems and I loathe them both.
It it were not for the truly incredible Panasonic/Leica u4/3 45mm/2.8 lens I would have cashed out all of my MFT gear long ago.
So that lens, on a GF1, remains my main camera for family snapshots.
But for me, and backpacking, and landscapes in particular – the problem is not the system, the cameras, or the lenses, but the sensor format.
I'm an unabashed proponent of the Foveon sensor and I get sharper, and generally, more beautiful (dimensional) images out of my 4.7MP Sigma DP1 and DP2 even when upsampled to 12MP than I get out of MFT.
What I'm really holding out for is a Foveon sensor, full frame, mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Mmmm…May 15, 2010 at 5:11 am #1610006
@kencharpieLocale: Western Oregon
I confess immediately that I have nothing to add to the thread except to say that I LOVE the GF1. I've had mine for about 4 months now and am itching to get it on the trail with me. I have the 14-45mm lens, although I'd like to get the 20mm pancake.
I was really sold on the GF1 for my trail camera after reading this incredible review here:
16 days of being pounded around in the Himalayas convinced me that I could take it into the wilderness worry-free.
I'll have to take a look at the upcoming G2 now that I've seen it posted about here.May 15, 2010 at 8:41 am #1610037
How's your French? :-)
Looks like good news on noise, through ISO 1600.
RickMay 16, 2010 at 8:06 am #1610265
"I'm an unabashed proponent of the Foveon sensor and I get sharper, and generally, more beautiful (dimensional) images out of my 4.7MP Sigma DP1 and DP2 even when upsampled to 12MP than I get out of MFT."
I'm also a Foveon fan. I keep hoping that other companies will license Foveon's sensor, but since Sigma bought the company that seems pretty unlikely now. Maybe Sigma will get going on something like a DPx with interchangeable lenses…
One can hope, I suppose. The Foveon sensor is the closest I've seen to film in a small-format camera yet.
A 4×5 sized Foveon would be pretty amazing, though probably also staggeringly expensive. One can dream, right? :)May 16, 2010 at 10:33 am #1610306
I have a GH1 which I chose for its better sensor than all the rest of the u4/3 offerings. About one stop better dynamic range (important outdoors!) and noise, and selectable aspect ratios which DON'T crop but rather use more sensor area of its somewhat larger sensor. I like that a lot because 4:3 is not a ratio I've been able to get into. 3:2 is way better 99% of the time, and the other 1% is 16:9.May 17, 2010 at 9:59 am #1610585
And now, English. Mixed on high-ISO, thumbs-up on the improved CDAF performance.
I question whether I'd want to use a touchscreen menu in the sunlight with my sweaty, sunscreen and bug repellant-laden hands.
RickMay 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm #1612568
@swearingenLocale: Portland, Oregon
FWIW, I recently got the GH1, a forerunner of the G2. I think it's an excellent choice for a backpacking camera, and the G2 will likely be even better. That said, these are not exactly small cameras, nor is the GF1, so be sure your size expectations are realistic. I'm used to packing a Nikon D80, so to me the GH1 is welcome in that regard. I've looked at the GH1 and GF1 side by side in my local camera shop. The GF1 is slightly smaller, but the sizes are not really all that different. I think the GF1 is likely a better camera for street photography though, especially with the 20mm pancake. That combo can fit in a coat pocket, and using the GF1 won't draw attention in public the way the GH1 will. The GH1 looks like a serious DSLR, especially with the kit 14-140 lens. And you hold it to your eye like a DSLR. The GF1 looks more point and shooty, and you're composing with the LED, so you just look like a tourist taking grab shots. But when you're hiking this aspect doesn't really matter, and with either camera you'll likley use a neck strap so it will be handy all the time. In that mode of carry the modest amount of extra bulk of the G1/GH1/G2 vs. the GF1 is negligible. And the much better EVF is a definite plus. And the G1/GH1/G2 feels better balanced with a bigger lens like the 14-140, partly due to the better grip. I recently did a bikepack trip with the GH1 hanging from my neck all day in a padded case as I rode my bike. By the end of each day it was getting a little heavy, but it was still very doable. I really don't think I could have done that with my D80, at least not with an equivalent lens. I'm liking m4/3 a lot so far.
GordonMay 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm #1612628
@kencharpieLocale: Western Oregon
Some additional thoughts:
The slightly smaller size of the gf1 may make it easier to pack into a dry sack while hiking. Although the GH1 and G2 aren't much bigger, the size difference is a big deal to me. I've only recently entered the dslr realm from point-and-shoots and absolutely hate the size of most dslr cameras.
I have mine (with the 14-45 mm lens) in a 1L Sea to Summit dry bag. By letting the neck strap hang out of the bag opening and clipping the neck strap to the top of my pack (behind my head), I have the camera at the ready while on the trail without any of the camera's weight on my neck. I can slip the camera in and out of the dry sack quickly; which keeps it protected from sand, dust, and moisture. By tucking the neck strap under my sternum and/or shoulder strap, it doesn't bounce around while on the move.
I took a quick look at G2 reviews. Impressive. I'm still sold on the gf1's size and form… it draws less attention than larger cameras in public.
On the G2: I wouldn't want to use any touchscreen functionality in the backcountry. I would worry way too much about the screen. I like to stay worry free when backpacking…
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