Panasonic GH2 20mm F1.7 vs. Pentax K-x 40mm F2.8 Limited

Another view of these two cameras to illustrate their relative size. The GH2 is definitely smaller than the K-x, but I'm waffling on whether or not the size difference is a big deal. Yes, I can stuff the GH2 into an oversized winter coat pocket, but you then have a giant lump in your pocket that feels awkward and may make you look disfigured. You know, "Is that a GH2 in your pocket or are you happy to see me?"... At the end of the day, they both are best borne in a bag.

Please note a couple of things. One, the camera and lens combination on the right are just about the smallest APS-C dSLR package available right now. Two, the camera body on the left is just about the largest M43 body available right now. So we are in effect talking about the two extremes of either class.

Also, I can't really comment on the zoom sizes because I don't have comparable lenses for each camera. For the Panasonic I have the 14-140 variable aperture 10x zoom. It's marginally smaller than the Pentax DA* 16-50 F2.8, but it's much slower. And the Pentax is much faster but less zoomier. So it's apples to oranges. What would be more fair is an APS-C 28-200 super zoom, which I don't have right now.

Finally, take a look at how far the viewfinder on the GH2 extends beyond the back of the camera. It's an interesting design decision - to help prevent schnozes from gooping up the back of the camera. It clearly inhibits pocketability, but helps usability. It's also an indication of how important Panasonic's designers thought the EVF was to the usability of the camera. From discussion that I've read on message boards, the use of an EVF vs and OVF is one of those divisive issues - people either love it or hate it. Maybe they've read the message boards as well and doing all that they can to make EVF acceptable to those enamored with OVF. I'll continue to share my thoughts on this key part of the GH2 in future posts.


  1. I'm enjoying your comparisons with the K-x. Not to mention the snazzy red body next to the sober black GH2. I love the protruding eye-cup on the GH2 just as much as I hated constantly having to wipe greasy smears from the back of my previous D300's glossy screen. That eye-cup was almost level with the screen. What were the Nikon designers thinking!? Also, if you're comparing the GH2 with the K-x, there is a fundamental difference in that the GH2 has more than one option for composing a shot: you can choose either the EVF or the fluid live view on the rear screen. The fact that the screen is articulated makes a big difference to the kind of photos I am able to take. It's not as limiting as being forced to have the lens (more or less) aligned with your eye.

  2. Thanks Björn! Yes, the live view of the K-x is painful to use. The GH2 is much much better, as it should be without the mirror and with 2x the cost.

    Overall, I do like the EVF, but I do have some niggles.

  3. John, I wonder if you have the 14-140mm lens too? It would be great to see how big a size difference there is between the K-x with the kit zoom and the GH2 with the longer zoom.

  4. @Raffwal, I do have the 14-140, but I think a comparison to the K-x kit lens would be a bit unfair, as the 14-140 is 10x, going all the way up to a 35mm equivalent 280mm, while the Pentax 18-55 is 3x that's closer to a 35mm equivalent 80mm. Apples and oranges.

    What would be more fair is a 18-250 super zoom for the Pentax, which I don't have...

  5. John, it would certainly not be an equivalent lens. However, I was approaching this on a practical level. If I was to purchase a GH2, I'd get it with the 10x zoom and was just wondering how huge it is IRL.