Thoughts on Downsizing to Lumix Cameras

Posted Mar. 24th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Daniel,

Ever since you shared with us, as we cruised Antarctica, your experimentation with the Lumix micro four thirds system, we have looked back on the compactness and simplicity of your DMC-GX7 with great interest.

We have spent some time researching/comparing the Lumix systems, i.e., DMC-GM1 (nice system but, no viewfinder), DMC-LX100 (nice system but, no internal flash and a fixed lens) while the GX7 offers way more capability options than I feel we will ever need to use all within a compact manner; 16MP sensor, shoots RAW, has a fast processor/buffer, has impressive AF capabilities and in-camera image stability, features a tilting viewfinder and tilting-touchscreen 3″ monitor, and with the VARIO 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 (28-280mm) optical zoom, this set-up would be a very close replacement of what my wife is accustomed to shooting without having to carry multiple lenses. She is still enthusiastic and ready to grab fun and interesting subjects without having to be a Sherpa and our impression is this system appears to satisfy this objective. Also, with the control layout and menu assess I feel she will develop a more intuitive approach to the GX-7 system than has been her success with the D7000. So, Dan, any comments, suggestions, advise you can provide is certainly respected and sincerely appreciated.

Tim & Kooksie McCullough

Dear Tim and Kooksie,

Great to hear from you. Sounds like you’ve been having some wonderful adventures and using your gear. That’s always nice to hear.

Ok, so speaking of gear. I’m still a big fan of the Lumix system, actually even more than I was when we met. The GX7 is an interesting camera but to be honest I was never a big fan of that model. It shoots beautiful images but for me it has a strange form factor. I have to admit it may just be my old-fashioned desire for a normal looking camera, but for whatever reason the GX7 and I just never really clicked. Does that really mean anything negative? No,  It shoots great photos and has terrific features. That said, you should know that there should be a successor to the GX7 coming out shortly. If it were me I would most certainly wait to see what is next in line.

Photo of FZ1000 courtesy of Imaging Resource. Follow this link to their FZ100 review.

Photo of FZ1000 courtesy of Imaging Resource. Follow this link to their FZ100 review.

Now for my two cents on what you might want to consider other than the GX7 or its successor. One of the cameras Panasonic released about 4-5 months ago is what they call the Lumix FZ1000  This is an impressive camera for many reasons, but it’s a bit more limited in what you can add to it. For example, it is not an interchangeable lens camera. Its lens is fixed with an amazing 25-400mm F/2.8-F/4 Leica designed zoom. That covers a huge range and is plenty sufficient for most of the subjects I even shoot.

The FZ1000 does not use the larger Micro Four Thirds sensor that the GX7 and other interchangeable Lumix cameras use. The FZ1000 uses a smaller, but not a lot smaller, 1 inch sensor. There are some tradeoffs for having a smaller sensor such as shooting in low light. That said, this camera’s 1 inch sensor most likely produces images every bit as good as your Nikon D7000. My reason for using the Nikon as a comparison is to suggest that if you are happy with D7000 images, I’m confident you would be happy with FZ1000 images as well

Tools of the multi-media trade. Nikon D800 & 600mm F/4, GoPro Black Edition, Lumix GH4 & 100-300mm, Lumix GM1 & 12-32mm, Lumix LZ 1000 with 25-400mm

Tools of the multi-media trade. Nikon D800 and 600mm F/4, GoPro Black Edition, Lumix GH4 and 100-300mm, Lumix GM1 and 12-32mm, Lumix LZ 1000 with 25-400mm

The FZ1000 is small for what it is, though not as small as the GX7 with the 14-140mm zoom. However, with the FZ1000 you will get an additional 120mm extra telephoto over the 14-140mm on a GX7. The 14-140mm on the GX7 is the equivalent of 28-280mm. The price of the FZ1000 is about $900 compared to about $900 to $1200 for the GX7 with the NEW VERSION of the 14-140mm  currently listed on Amazon. And be aware, you do want to get the NEW Version 14-140mm if you go with this lens with any Lumix camera. Unless of course you buy the FZ1000 that does not take additional lenses.

You may want to go to our Corkboard/ Blog and type in FZ1000 to see the many posts I’ve done relating to this camera. But if you want one post that is mostly about the FZ1000, click on this link: http://naturalexposures.com/the-lumix-diaries-adventures-in-the-pantanal-continued/

I will finish by saying that many women really like the FZ1000 due to its small size, lack of a need to change and carry lenses, and its ability to produce high quality photos. Men often like to have the additional options for changing lenses but this is a great camera either way. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Best wishes, Dan

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