A year ago I hitched my wagon to the micro four thirds camera system. In the months since that decision it seems every week another video or blog post comes out questioning the viability of that particular market. And yet, seemingly every month manufacturers, in particular Olympus and Panasonic, keep innovating and releasing new products.
So Long Canon
I previously was in the Canon sphere of influence. I had marched my way through the Rebel series of APS-C cameras beginning with the original Rebel Digital upgrading to a T1i then ultimately purchasing a used T4i. These were all very capable and cost effective cameras especially for my neophyte sensibilities.
I grew tired and bored with the T4i. I wanted something new and somewhat different. At that time I was considering a Canon 70D. I was getting more interested in video and the T4i was lacking in features that I knew was available in other cameras.
Further research ensued and I became drawn toward the Panasonic cameras, particularly the GH4. The cost of that was prohibitive, even used. The G85 came out to replace the G7 but it too was outside my level of price pain.
Panasonic G7 is a Winner
The micro four thirds camera community continued to have nice things to say about the G7. The discussion of the video capability was quite favorable. Most were in agreement that for the money it was a very good option. Since the G85 was released I was able to get the G7 at $300 off at $497. I pulled the trigger and couldn’t be happier.
Interestingly the G7 went back up in price pretty much all this year. I’d walk past the display of Best Buy cameras and see it displayed at $797 feeling pretty smug.
A year later I am still perfectly happy with this camera. I’ve added a couple groovy Lumix zoom lenses, 12-35mm and 35-100mm in 2.8 along with a nifty fifty. I’m pretty well set in my photographic endeavors.
I think some might question going from a T4i to a G7. I would agree it’s a rather lateral move. The photographic qualities of each are similar. Neither bests the other in my unscientific hands.
However, the G7 is far lighter. The micro four thirds camera system is much smaller. It is a breeze to carry. In fact, I can slap the 12-35mm on the camera and stuff the 35-100mm in a coat pocket and enjoy pretty much any photographic challenge that the day will hold.
The G7 has 4K video. No big deal as I seldom shoot in that but it’s nice to have it available. Also the video tech in the G7 is pretty special. It certainly bests the Rebel line. I’m sure it’s at least as capable as the vaunted 70/80D cameras for video.
The Panasonic G9 is My Future
Going forward I only see a hopeful upgrade to the professional level micro 4/3 G9. Hugely expensive it won’t arrive in my stable of camera gear for quite a while. But rather than succumb to DSLR envy and revert back to the Canon or even go toward Sony’s mirrorless options, I will in fact set my sights toward the G9. What a beautiful camera that is looking like.
Certainly the micro four thirds camera system is not dead. From the looks of the G9, and even the GH5, it is quite alive.