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Author Topic: What to buy to replace my G9  (Read 4653 times)

pflower

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What to buy to replace my G9
« on: November 10, 2010, 03:57:46 pm »

My G9 has sadly gone, stolen or just dropped out of my pocket.  So I am now in the market for a replacement.  I am thinking of a 4/3rds camera on the assumption that the quality of these will be somewhat better than the G9.  But the whole area seems deeply confusing and I am not at all sure what is on offer.  So far i have identified the Panasonic GF1, Olympus EP-2 and Sony Nex5.

I was perfectly happy with the G9 on AV or manual at ISO 80 and using the lcd to frame.  Don't need or particularly want a viewfinder on a camera like this.  Decent quality at ISO 400 would be nice (which the G9 never had), built in flash would also be nice for snapshots at parties etc., but mostly I am interested in image quality and ease of use and performance in auto mode so that my daughter can use it as well.  90% of what I did with the G9 was at its base iso with a slight adjustment to the ev to compensate for blowing the highlights.  Size is not really a consideration, when I actually hold the cameras I can make a decision on that.

Anyone got any suggestions or comments?  Obviously I am going to have to go and try these out at a shop but is there anything else I should be looking at?

Thanks
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Ken Bennett

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 08:09:26 pm »

Do you need the zoom? I replaced my dead G7 with a GF1 and the 20/1.7 lens, once I realized that I shot pretty much everything at the widest (~35mm) lens setting. The GF1 has significantly better image quality, handles well, and the 20mm lens is very good shooting close to wide open. Love it. With the 20 it's not much larger than my G7. Not shirt pocket size, of course....

If you need the zoom, the Panny 14-45 is quite good, but it's a much larger package.
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bradf

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 05:21:51 am »

Im also looking to buy something small, good quality, p&s ability as well as decent controls and was thinking of a MFT or the NEX 5.
However a colleague suggested I look at the new Panasonic LX5.
I must say I'm quite impressed by it -it seems to offer a fair bit of bang in return for the hard-earned.
Hope this is of interest. I'd appreciate your thoughts too.
Cheers.
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pflower

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2010, 01:57:22 pm »

Thanks for your comments.  I went and played with the Sony, Olympus and the GF1.  Of the three I have to say that I was most impressed with the GF1.  Just felt much nicer.  Frankly at this level I am not going to go pixel peeping to compare image quality - I have looked at what is out there on the net by way of examples and can't really believe there is much in it.

WIth the 20mm this is perfectly pocketable.  The 14-45 is much larger - certainly couldn't get the camera and this lens into my pockets.  Would I need it or more accurately want it? Possibly.  Problem is as far as I can tell you can't buy the 14-45 separately - it only comes as a kit lens.  I am tempted to buy the GF1 With the 20mm and then, if I need a zoom try and find another one later.  Anyone got any suggestions as to what is available to buy separately in the 14-45 range?

On the other hand the GH2 is arriving in a couple of weeks (according to Amazon).  Saw a GH1 which is surprisingly similar in size to the GF1.  Decisions to be made.  Curiously I looked back and saw that I haven't actually made any photographs with my old G9 for about 3 weeks. Yet now I know I've lost it there is a powerful urge to go and replace it immediately - like tomorrow and not next week or in January. 
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Ken Bennett

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2010, 07:10:36 pm »

I understand the urge to replace it immediately. When my G7 died I went out that same day and bought the GF1, even though I could go weeks without shooting the G7.

My wife has a G1 with the 14-45 lens. It's similar to the GH1, same sort of form factor and handling. She really likes it, and that lens is quite something. I have seen the 14-45 on sale at Amazon by itself, not sure how available it might be on a daily basis.

When you put the G1 with the 14-45 next to a Canon 40D with the 17-55, the size difference is quite striking. The G1 is far smaller that I expected looking at it online.
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Owin

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2010, 08:40:10 pm »

Have you looked at the G12? I know you said you fancied a 4/3rds, just thought I'd throw it into the mix.

I'm in the same predicament my G9 is up for replacement and I'm wondering what to replace it with. I'll keep my eye on this thread, keep us informed of your evaluations.
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DaveL

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2010, 09:14:53 am »

My 2 cents worth...
Had a G9 with Franiec grip that I loved. (Bought it after reading trip to Japan here.)
Needed the articulating screen...bought a G11.
Feel and build quality isn't the same. I've had 2-G11's. First one failed; warranty replacement.
During that interval I bought a small pany with a big lens. It's my everyday carry now.

I find the ergonomics of the G11 aren't the best. It's the buttons on the back, top right of the camera. Canon has made changes on the G12.  Purpose of my  rant? Hope you spend enough time with the camera in hand to make sure it works for you...

I believe I've picked up a stop, may be two of additional ISO in the G11 over the G9.

DaveL
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pflower

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2010, 12:35:30 pm »

I spent a couple of hours playing around this morning with the Sony, GF1 and Olympus.  Had a look at the G12.  In the end I decided to go with the GF1 with the 20mm lens.  Like K Bennett I realised that 90% of the shots I took with the G9 had been at its widest setting. I may get the zoom for my daughter if she needs it.  Drab and wet in London today.  But I walked between showers and took about 50 shots.  Immediately realised that I am going to have to work on my technique with this camera - at least 50% of them held with one hand and with shutter speeds of about 1/30th were very shaky.  I guess the stabiliser in the G9 spoilt me - I could easily take shots at 1/20th or so without any visible camera shake.

Those that were sharp look very good. I will explore more this weekend.  I still haven't figured a lot of the camera out and it does odd things from time to time.  The manual isn't the clearest either.  My major gripe - the USB port on the camera is not the standard USB port used by Nikon, Canon and every USB hard drive manufacturer - its smaller and proprietary.  So another cable to forget or lose.  I can't keep hold of card readers and lose them constantly so this is a bore.  I shall have to order 3 or 4 additional ones to leave with all computers.  Why people have to try and reinvent the wheel is beyond me!!

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Ken Bennett

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2010, 02:29:02 pm »

Good luck with the GF1, hope you get as much enjoyment as I have.

I would highly recommend the EVF accessory. Not for the view -- it's low quality -- but for the stability of having the camera up to your eye. I get much better photos when I shoot the old fashioned way, two hands, elbows tucked in, camera braced against my face.

As for card readers, I have them taped to my desk or the base of my iMac so they don't wander. Then of course I haul out my laptop and can't find one. Oh well.
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Lost

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2010, 04:12:52 pm »

Good choice! You have to watch the shutter speed if you use aperture priority and auto-ISO with the GF1. For some reason, the camera always wants to drop the speed to 1/30th, which is too slow for my hands. But treat it the same way as you would a flim-SLR and you'll get some great pictures...

JGreon

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2010, 01:14:49 pm »

pflower,

the 14-45mm is available separately; eg both B&H and Amazon have it listed as a standalone item.

Gerry
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pflower

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2010, 02:35:15 pm »

2 days in and I am hooked.  Having got over the shock that I can't hold the thing steady at 1/30th, I started to up the ISO to get to at least 1/100th.  My other digital cameras are a D2x and an H3D-39 - neither of which really work much beyond 200 ISO.  THe GF1 at 800 seems extremely good to me and even at 1250 a small application of noise reduction in Lightroom works wonders.  For something so small the files are wonderfully clear and sharp.

So I suspect other lenses follow.  I note that the 14-45 is indeed sold separately (the dealer I bought the camera from said that it wasn't) but there is also a 14-42 and a 14-140.  Never been a fan of long telephotos but wondering whether these zooms are any good - any experienced users care to comment?

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Ken Bennett

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2010, 03:15:08 pm »

We have the 14-45, which is excellent. I have seen reports that the newer 14-42 is not as good, but I have no personal experience. There is a new 14/2.5 which may be available soon for $400 (gack!), but I want it anyway. The 45-200 also gets good reviews -- see the G-1 and GF-1 reviews on the main LL page.
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Lost

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2010, 03:20:38 pm »

I have the 20mm and the 14-45mm, plus a small number of old Minolta MD lenses.

The 14-45 is very good and almost as sharp as the 20mm. It is a bit slow and the IS seems to not be as effective as that in my Canon SLR lenses. If I was buying now I would probably prefer the new 14mm prime lens and the 45mm macro - though the latter seems expensive in comparison to similar SLR lenses.  BTW, the GF1 and 14-45 are really tough. I managed to drop the camera or hit it against rocks several times while hiking. Despite a cracked hood and broken UV filter, everything survived and works as good as new.

For longer lengths we have my old Minolta MD 50mm (100mm equivalent) and a very nice 100-300mm Minolta zoom that we found in a fleamarket in Japan. The adapter for u4/3 cost ~20 UKP from eBay and works just fine. It is *really* hard to focus a 300mm (600mm effective) lens on the GF1, but with a tripod, the results can be very good.

jimgolden

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Re: What to buy to replace my G9
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2010, 06:16:25 pm »

GF1 w/ 20mm is killer - I keep it in my bag and use it daily. i also have the EVF which I find quite helpful...enjoy
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