Panasonic Holiday Deals

As I’ve done with Nikon products on, I’m going to start trying to do similar things with mirrorless products when I can. Panasonic has just listed their November rebates. Here’s my take.

First, the rebates:

  • Up to US$600 off on Panasonic GH4 kits
  • US$200 off on Panasonic GX8 kits
  • US$100 off on Panasonic GX85 kits
  • Up to US$300 off on Panasonic G7 kits
  • $150 off on the LX100 camera
  • US$30 off on the 14mm f/2.5 lens
  • US$50 off on the Leica 15mm lens 
  • US$30 off on the 20mm lens
  • US$100 off on the 30mm macro lens
  • US$200 off on the Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens
  • US$50 off on the 42.5mm f/1.7 lens
  • US$100 off on the 7-14mm lens
  • US$300 off on the 12-35mm X lens 
  • US$150 off on the 14-140mm lens 
  • US$400 off on the 35-100mm X lens
  • US$100 off on the compact 35-100mm lens
  • US$50 off on the 100-300mm lens 

I’m not going to comment on the camera bodies much. The GH4 is nearing end-of-life. If you’re deep into 4K video with some still shooting, the new price is very tempting. You’re not going to find another 4K video camera that’s as competent at this price. And the upcoming GH5 is going to be nearly twice the price when it arrives.

While the rest of the bodies represent nice discounts—especially the previous generation G7 ones—I’m not a huge fan of any of them for various reasons (mostly because I think there’s a better option elsewhere). They’re all competent cameras, I just think there are better options for the price.

The LX-100 at US$650 is an interesting choice. The LX-100 has been my carry-everywhere camera pretty much since it came out. I wish it were more than 12.8mp, but I’ve come to love it’s photographer-centric controls, a good EVF, and lens competence in a nice, coat-pocket-sized package. It really could use a sensor upgrade at this point, but that seems like it won’t come until some time later in 2017, if then. 

On to the lenses. Here are the ones I think you should be looking closely at if you’re an m4/3 user:

  • 7-14mm f/4 — not as good as the faster Olympus wide-angle zoom, but far less expensive, and very usable for the landscape photographer looking for some flexibility.
  • 12-35mm f/2.8 G X — As with many of the choices here, Olympus’ equivalent or near equivalent is better, but more expensive (and also often larger). This lens has some things that aren’t perfect, but I appreciate it for having a fast mid-range zoom in a compact size. That’s why you buy it: you need a fast mid-range zoom in a compact size. At the new price, it’s starting to tip into bargain territory. See my full review.
  • 30mm f/2.8 Macro — I’m not a huge fan of near-normal macros because the working distance to the front element is so small. That said, this is almost 30% off a very good close up lens. Very good. I’m not sure you’ll use it at 1:1 because of the working distance, but at 2:1 it’s very convenient.
  • 35-100mm f/2.8 G X — See what I wrote about the 12-35mm f/2.8, because it mostly applies here, too. It’s closer to the Olympus near-equivalent, smaller, and at the highly discounted price, also tipping towards bargain.
  • 42.5mm f/1.2 — very pricey, but very good, too. The Olympus 45mm remains the bargain here, but Panasonic/Leica have pushed things right up to the limit with this expensive lens.
  • 100-300mm f/4-5.6 — Not much of a discount, but this lens is already fairly priced. It’s the go-to lens for long reach on m4/3 bodies at a truly affordable price. 

The rest of the lenses I’m less thrilled with. They all cater a bit more to the consumer than the critical enthusiast. By all means take a look at them, but my own personal opinion of m4/3 is that you really want top-quality glass on the small sensor. I can vouch for the lenses above

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