Back in 2012, I wrote about how I was on a journey to learn to take insanely great pictures, and I was taking that journey using the Lumix GX1 camera, which I love. It's got much of a DSLR's quality, but with the much smaller form factor of a point and shoot camera. And like photographers like to say, "the best camera is the one you have with you" to get the shot, so a smaller camera like the GX1 beats out a bulky DSLR any day of the week for me, because I carry it in my bag all of the time. I've captured many spur of the moment shots that way, like this one celebrating 5 years of an employee working at our company, which only happened because I happened to have the camera with me:
I've also taken some fantastic photos with the GX1. Here's a link to my favorites and here's one of them:
So as you can imagine, I was very interested to learn about the successor to the GX1, a recently-released camera called the GX7.
And a friend recently asked me:
"I'm thinking about exchanging [the GX1] for the GX7KS...Yay or nay?"
My answer is, "it depends."
The GX7, which sells for $998 on Amazon with a 14-42 zoom lens, is a superior camera to the GX1 in several important ways:
- It has a same size sensor with 25% less noise.
- It has in-body image stabilization
- It has wifi and NFC capabilities
- It has an adjustable electronic viewfinder
- It has an adjustable, touch sensitive rear display panel
- It has 7 function buttons to which you can assign your own functions, and it has two dials that you can assign functions to (i.e., aperture on one and shutter speed for the other) -- the GX1 only has one dial.
- Higher ISO for better low light pics
These aren't small differences. They're meaningful ones. So if budget is not your primary concern, then yes definitely upgrade to the GX7. You may also want to consider the Sony NEX-7 which is in a similar price range -- $1,098 on Amazon with a lens. I'd go with the GX7 over the NEX-7 for these reasons, as mentioned by dpreview:
The Panasonic GX7's advantages over the Sony NEX-7:
- Sensor shift IBIS
- Tilt up EVF
- Better EVF - more screen resolution
- Better LCD - more screen resolution
- Touch screen
- Can shoot in 4 aspect ratios rather than 2
- Higher maximum sensitivity (ISO 25,600 vs 16,000)
- Slightly more powerful built in flash (GN 7 vs GN 6)
- Faster max shutter speed - 1/8000th
- Much smaller lenses
- Much wider variety of lenses
- 40 lenses available vs. 21 lenses available
- Longer exposures possible (60 sec vs 30 sec)
- Has 2X and 4X digital zoom (not that anyone would actually use it)
So back to the main question -- GX1 or GX7? Well, it really comes down to price, because you can get a screaming deal on a GX1 right now. There's literally one left on Amazon right now for $528 for camera and lens. That's half the price of the GX7. So if you're budget constrained, the GX1 will serve as a fantastic camera and leave your wallet thicker.
Lastly, here's a great YouTube video of the Panasonic Lumix product manager talking about the new GX7. I'd love to hear your comments below as well. And if you stumbled on this page, you might also like to read about how I'm hacking SmugMug + Lightroom in my photo workflow process.