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Thread: GH1 vs GF1

  1. #1
    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    GH1 vs GF1

    Not long ago I bought a GF1. I love the camera and the IQ is great for such a small package. But it's been winter and I've seen few sunny days when using the camera. Today I went out into a sunny day to take some pictures and of course encountered the difficulty of using the display screen as a finder in the full sun.

    Now I'm considering buying the add-on LVF. But I'm also pausing for a minute to reconsider. By the time you add on the LVF, the sleek form factor of the camera (isn't this the real claim to fame of this body vs. the GH1?) is gone.

    So I want to ask those of you who have or have had both a GF1 and a GH1... does the additional bulkiness of the GH1 over the GF1 amount to a significant difference? Or in practical usage, is the GH1 really a better choice than the GF1 with LVF?

    Your thoughts on this would be appreciated as I consider buying a LVF for my GF1 vs. buying a GH1.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    well I only have a G1 (functionally identical to the GH1) and while I want to talk myself into the GF-1 I couldn't be without the articulating screen and the EVF and the grip. For example while sitting around a bird nest last spring I had the camera focused and ready with a remote release and the evf swiveled to where I was able to see it comfortably from where I was sitting in the "hide". I could keep an eye out for the approach of the bird and glance over at it to confirm things when it arrived at the nest.

    I really wanted to buy the GF1 as a second camera but after using the G1 for a while I found that the GF was a little "tiddly" in my (not large) hands and was hard to grip. Well, by the edges with my tea cup finger out.

    In full sunlight I find the EVF fantastic for taking, focus and review too. I just can't imagine useing any longer lenses on the GF while holding it out before me.

    A hoodman may make a difference, for this but I happen to like holding the camera to my chest and using it TLR style looking down at it. I reckon this'd be spot on for video too.

    I can (and do) always fold the screen back and use it just the same as a GF (which seems to be how my wife likes to use it...

    Equally plenty of people will argue otherwise ... and an EVF for the GF isn't really as dear as the GH1

    Last edited by pellicle; 8th February 2010 at 11:16.

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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Now I'm considering buying the add-on LVF. But I'm also pausing for a minute to reconsider. By the time you add on the LVF, the sleek form factor of the camera (isn't this the real claim to fame of this body vs. the GH1?) is gone.
    This is exactly what I went through before I decided to buy my GH1 to add to the G1 we already own. The GF1 form factor in the end didn't have any advantages over the GH1, especially given all the different lens combinations on the camera, the need for additional EVF which then takes away your flash hot shoe, etc. I held the GF1 to compare it to the GH1, and even with the 20 lens on it it wasn't significantly more compact than the GH1. I have no issues sticking the GH1/20 inside a coat pocket.

    IMO the GF1/EP-x are great cameras if you're used to shooting using your LCD and not your EVF, or I suppose if you're simply a fan of that old-school form factor look (in which case the true comparison is EP-2 vs. GH1). To me the GF1 is a nice P&S LX3 replacement with interchangeable lenses which works best with small lenses like the 20/1.7, Pen F, CV, etc. The moment you attach your EVF more or less permanently on the camera I'd say you're better off going with the larger form factor and the additional built-in capabilities that offers.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    I had planned on picking up a GH2 anyway, when they materialize, for the EVF, articulating screen, and better movie capability. But now find myself struggling with using the GF1 in direct sun and not wanting to wait.

    I guess going with the add-on EVF on my GF1 is a reasonable interim solution at this point. I don't really want to give up the GF1 because for many circumstances, I really like using the camera... I probably should give the EVF a try before leaping on a GH1 not long before the GH2 shows up. I guess I may find it makes the camera perfectly useable, if somewhat more dimensionally "awkward".

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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    I have both. Had the G1 since Dec. 08 and the GF1 since Sept. and I bought the EVF from Monza as soon as it was available in US.

    IF I only had one, it would be G1/GH1 but I like having both bodies since I use GF1 as backup body for travel, carry the GF1 most days with 20 and 98% of time use the EVF. It is NOT as good as the EVF on the G1, no doubt about it, but it works for me quite well--with MF lenses (and my eyes aren't 'young' LOL and of course AF. I set the diopter so I don't have to wear glasses--I don't have an extreme correction). You should be able to sell it when/if you buy the GH2 though--and it would serve you in the meantime. Who knows when the GH2 will actually be available LOL.

    BTW--I knew when I bought the GF1 I would not use it without the EVF--often its just not possible to use the LCD for good composition and focusing and I would have problems using MF.

    Diane

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    Thanks, everyone, for the input.

    With my GF1 experience, I know for sure that the m4/3 format is something I want to stick with for casual/travel use. I love the GF1 and like the system enough that having a second body is a for-sure thing for me. I also know now that, even with a casual-use camera, having an eye level EVF option is often an essential tool.

    I decided not long after getting the GF1 that a GH1/GH2 was going to be added for sure at some point... so I decided to order the add-on EVF for my GF1 and will hold off on the GH1, for a while anyway, in hopes of seeing a GH2 before too long.

    As an aside topic....
    I did a little IQ comparo between my GF1 and my (long-unused) 20D 17-85mm kit and the IQ difference at ISO 100 was negligible, despite the difference in sensor/lens size. At ISO 800 the APS sensor was noticibly superior, even in the aged 20D. The 20D is quite long in the tooth as digital cameras goes, but it was nice to see that I could attain very similar IQ between these two cameras (at least at low ISO), despite the sensor size (4/3 vs. APS). It would be interesting to see how the GF1 m4/3 IQ with 14-45mm compares to the IQ of the 17-85 kit lens on a 50D.
    Last edited by DHart; 8th February 2010 at 12:50.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    Diane... do you keep the add-on EVF on your GF1 or do you install it and remove it before and after each use? It seems like it would be prone to getting hit or damaged as it sits above the camera? Does the connection feel strong and solid or somewhat fragile? Just curious. I have ordered one for my GF1 now.

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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    I leave it on all the time. It actually feels quite soiid to me--not fragile at all. I was afraid it would slip like my Voigtlander viewer, but it doesn't at all--it fits into the connection quite firmly. I put it in a bag in between uses--and take it out--daily--I'm careful, but not overly. The only thing that I'm particularly careful about is that it doesn't 'angle up' by being caught on something, but it 'clicks' into place 'down'--you have to give it a bit of effort to release it and press it down to hold it down, so that really hasn't been much of an issue.

    I just ordered the Panasonic full cover--the lens cover and the 1/2 cover. I've been told that I will have to take the EVF off when I have the cover on--that seems reasonable. I will only use the full cover when I carry it in my handbag, so will just carry the little EVF case in a zip compartment in my bag. Otherwise, I expect I will just leave it on as I have since Sept. in the 1/2 case to use.

    Diane

  9. #9
    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    I leave it on all the time. It actually feels quite soiid to me--not fragile at all. I was afraid it would slip like my Voigtlander viewer, but it doesn't at all--it fits into the connection quite firmly. I put it in a bag in between uses--and take it out--daily--I'm careful, but not overly. The only thing that I'm particularly careful about is that it doesn't 'angle up' by being caught on something, but it 'clicks' into place 'down'--you have to give it a bit of effort to release it and press it down to hold it down, so that really hasn't been much of an issue.

    I just ordered the Panasonic full cover--the lens cover and the 1/2 cover. I've been told that I will have to take the EVF off when I have the cover on--that seems reasonable. I will only use the full cover when I carry it in my handbag, so will just carry the little EVF case in a zip compartment in my bag. Otherwise, I expect I will just leave it on as I have since Sept. in the 1/2 case to use.

    Diane
    That sounds good... now I'm really looking forward to having the EVF option. Like you, I may well wind up using it most of the time. Should be here Wednesday and I'm excited about it! Thanks for your help.

    Don

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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    Don, one thing I forgot to mention is that the diopter is easily changed and needs checking if you put it in bag and take out. Otherwise, you might feel your eyes had gone to pot overnight LOL. Someone on another forum was saying how difficult it was to MF--just couldn't get it correct--asked if he'd checked his diopter recently--DUH!!!. I check how in focus the settings across the bottom are each time I pick up the camera. Likely you would have picked up on this quickly anyhow.

    Diane

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    As an aside topic....
    I did a little IQ comparo between my GF1 and my (long-unused) 20D 17-85mm kit and the IQ difference at ISO 100 was negligible, despite the difference in sensor/lens size. At ISO 800 the APS sensor was noticibly superior, even in the aged 20D. The 20D is quite long in the tooth as digital cameras goes, but it was nice to see that I could attain very similar IQ between these two cameras (at least at low ISO), despite the sensor size (4/3 vs. APS). It would be interesting to see how the GF1 m4/3 IQ with 14-45mm compares to the IQ of the 17-85 kit lens on a 50D.
    this is an interesting point, because the 20D isn't really that far off the top of the shelf in many ways.

    If you take the first 5D it was 4368 x 2912 which is 121pix/mm in any given direction. Now the 20D sensor is 3504 x 2336 @ 22.5x15mm which is 155pix/mm in any given direction.

    Now, the 5D MkII which is 5616 x 3744 @ 36x24mm which is 156pix/mm now starts to look like little more revolution than a larger 20D with different noise handling.

    :-)

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: GH1 vs GF1

    pellicle... the "larger 20D sensor with different noise handling" (5DII) is a wonderful thing!

    Since I got my GF1, I've used it whenever I wanted to do any personal image making... because it was new and a lot of fun to explore with. I've almost convinced myself I don't need my larger cameras for my personal photography use... but not quite.

    Yesterday I was thinking about that and decided to grab my stored/no-longer-used 20D and 5D (now I use a 5DII, when I'm working) and use them for some personal images.

    It's funny how little time with the GF1 it took for my 28-70 f/2.8L and 5D to feel absolutely gargantuan! But at the same time, with the 5D especially, I was reminded that in spite of how fun and small my GF1 is, the old adage that you "can't have it both ways" came immediately to mind. As with all things in life, especially cameras, compromise is the operative word no matter what your choice is.

    I love my growing Lumix Gxx system and will continue to use it for much of my personal photography (especially travel), and continue to use the larger equipment as well when small and light-weight isn't a requirement for the task at hand.

    An interesting (to me) adjunct, the GF1 reinvigorated my interest in photography as a hobby... because of this, I am shooting much more "personal" work and the spin off from that is now I'm using my larger equipment for some personal work as well. This is something I haven't done for quite some time... thanks to the Lumix, my passion for the hobby (as opposed to my profession) has been reinvigorated! That's a HUGE plus for me with the GF1!

    =====

    The EVF for my GF1 arrives tomorrow and I'm really excited to see how it changes my use of the camera!
    Last edited by DHart; 9th February 2010 at 13:18.

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