Dil Roberts Photography
CATEGORIES


ARCHIVE




Friday, September 15, 2017

Panasonic GX85 and TZ101 Visits Wuerzburg


innovaeditor/assets/Blog/FF030040r.JPG

What better time to test a couple of new cameras than a family weekend in a new city. We do this once a year at around the end of May when everybody seems to have the time before summer starts. We select a different city every year and this year it was Wuerzburg. It’s situated in Bavaria, Germany and all of us can be there within a couple of hours by car.

I’ve already done the “Initial Thoughts” posts for the Panasonic GX85 and the Panasonic TZ101 cameras. When we all went to Wuerzburg these are the cameras I took and they turned out to be perfect for the job. I wanted something small that fits nicely in the hand with a small lens. Perfect, the GX85 with the Panasonic 12-32 mounted. Since I see long so to speak I wanted to take a camera with a longer lens. Again I thought the Panasonic TZ101 would be perfect in this role so that went into my shoulder bag too. It’s a very compact camera but it has a viewfinder and a 1” sensor. A couple of spare batteries and cards and I was ready to go. Picking the bag up I really thought it was empty and checked it again to ensure I had the cameras with me. They were Laughing



Panasonic TZ101

 

Panasonic GX85

 


The 12-32 is a fine lens and I like it very much but I must admit, it’s a bit short for me. That’s why I pressed the TZ101 into service. It’s zoom lens goes from 25 through to 250. Perfect.....or?

I love it that the GX7, its big brother the GX85 and the TZ101 take the same battery. It’s not often you find that nowadays. Only Fuji tended to do that until the introduction of the X-T2.

I hadn’t really taken these cameras out before, I’ve only made some test images with them. I’ve set the cameras up like I do with all my cameras; that way I know what’s going on when something doesn’t work. Of course, there are some differences with each camera but basically they’re all the same.

I wanted to take this possibility to really take both cameras through their paces, to see what both lenses could do and how the dynamic range is on the TZ101. The GX85 has the same sensor as all the other Panasonic 16MP cameras but it has a couple of other features that interest me. A family outing isn’t really the best time to test cameras as time is at a premium but at least I could see how sharp the lenses are etc. I didn’t expect to get any masterpieces on this little break, but it would give me a good idea of what to expect when photographing in earnest.

Battery seems to be about the same as the other Panasonic cameras, not really great but I have a few spare so it doesn’t really bother me. It only takes a minute to change. I tend to turn the camera off between taking shots, saving some battery life. The interval between turning the camera off and turning on again for the next shot varied considerably and I think I’ll keep this practice in the future. I only changed the battery once on both cameras. At the end of the weekend the second battery was still at the 50% point.

The EVF on the TZ101 seems to be a little better than that on the GM5 but it’s still not perfect when light is coming from the side. I have to shade it with my left hand just like the GM5. Not perfect but I can live with it. On the GX85, I really had trouble getting it sharp. I went through the setup at least 3 times before I reached a point where I thought I could use it. The GX7 seems a little better for me although that’s not really ideal either. Not a showstopper but something to think about. Quite a few reviews has mentioned this already and I knew about it before I purchased the camera. I think I need to mention here that I have to have an EVF on a camera. There is no way Ii can just hold a camera in front of me and snap away. I lack stability that way and my eyes aren’t what they used to be.

Both lenses seem to be sharp. I have the Panasonic 12-32 already but it didn’t cost a lot when you purchased it with the camera, so now I have another. Very pleased with it’s performance. The lens on the TZ101 has some distortion at the wide end and some work is needed to get the images need some work in PP to get them looking right. That’s the compromise you have to accept with such a large range. But, I did buy the lens for the long end and it looks quite acceptable. You can judge for yourselves when viewing the images at the end of this post.

Camera setup: Because I wanted to judge image and lens quality together with dynamic range on the two cameras, I just set both to P and let the cameras do their thing. It’s good to know how they expose. Some cameras do under or overexpose. If that’s the case I just adjust the camera for that and leave it. I’ll let you judge how the cameras exposed. I thought they did rather well, erring a little to the overexposure side.

Size: The TZ101 fits nicely in the palm of my hand or in a jacket pocket. Nice size, and it starts up in a second or two. Nothing for shooting sport with but for my photography it’s fast enough. The GX85 is pretty perfect for street photography and it’s a very discreet camera, especially when being used with a pancake or small prime lens. Both cameras are very quiet and no thought needs to be expended on shutter sound. If you’ve heard the shutter on the Sony A7r, that’s when you need to start worrying.

The GX85 is the perfect second body to take with the GX7; it should be because there’s hardly any difference between them. Just some extra functions on the GX85 over the GX7.

I did try the Minolta 90 f4 LM lens on the GX85 for a couple of shots and I’ll point those out when I post the images. My impression is there are better cameras out there for manual lenses. The EVF really isn’t suitable for these lenses. I personally found it difficult to nail focus, especially in bright light. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again any time soon. Just stick to AF lenses for this camera (same goes for the GX7 by the way). You really need a better EVF for this purpose. Then again I don’t thin the manufacturer had these lenses in mind during the design phase.

One nice function I like on the TZ101 is the ring around the top of the lens near the body. I’ve set this to adjust EC and I used it quite a bit, more than I thought I would and I would call that a nice feature. I’m going to keep that as it is, and it will get used quite a bit in the future, I’m certain of it.

One thing to remember here is the image format. The GX85 is a M43 sensor so we’re talking about the 4:3 format. The TZ101 has a 1” sensor and the format is 3:2. This sometimes irritates some users especially when they have two cameras with them which have different formats. Personally I prefer the 4:3 format, the 3:2 being a little too wide/tall for my tastes.

I must admit, out of habit because I mainly use M43 cameras, I automatically set the TZ101 to 4:3. This can be remedied in Lightroom but for some images I kept the format the way I set it.

The TZ101 will not become my main camera. It has distortion at the wide end and lacks a bit of contrast at the long end. The long end could also be a little sharper but they do sharpen up ok. Dynamic range is poorer than M43 but that was to be expected, the sensor being smaller. Purple fringing is present so if that bothers you, don’t purchase the camera. You will have to get rid of it in PP if you are shooting high contrast scenes. Be very careful when you place the sun in the scene, or very near the lens otherwise flare will be the result. Apart from that the camera is ideal for getting long or documentary photos you couldn’t otherwise get. There’s not a lot of competition for Panasonic in this camera sector apart from bridge cameras. But they do tend to be somewhat larger than the TZ101. All-in-all I think Panasonic are onto something here with this format and I look forward to the second iteration of this camera. There are things they can improve on such as lens performance and distortion at the wide end. I don’t know if it’s me but I’ve always suffered from purple fringing with Panasonic cameras, whether I’ve got native lenses on the camera or not.

And now for some images:

 

Panasonic GX85

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Minolta 90 f4

Taken with the Minolta 90 f4

 

Panasonic GX85 - Minolta 90 f4

 

Taken with the Minolta 90 f4

 

Panasonic GX85 - Minolta 90 f4

 

Taken with the Minolta 90 f4

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

Panasonic GX85 - Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6

 

 

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

Taken at full zoom

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

Taken at full zoom

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

Lens at it's widest

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 Same position as above but at full zoom

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

Lens at it's widest

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

Same position as previous shot but lens at full zoom

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

Not the best camera for low light work. There are much better out there.

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

Taken at full zoom again. Focusing was quick and reliable.

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

A last test I did. Here the lens is at it's widest. The barge on the river can be seen at full zoom in the image below.

 

Panasonic TZ101

 

The barge at full zoom

 

 

 


posted by on  under Cameras

 94


your name*

email address

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div> <a> <img>

verification code*
 




ABOUT

I'm an enthusiastic photographer who likes to tinker with manual lenses on most camera formats.

RECENT ENTRIES

-Friday, December 1, 2017
-Wednesday, November 15, 2017
-Wednesday, November 1, 2017
-Friday, October 27, 2017
-Monday, October 16, 2017

RECENT COMMENTS