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Olympus OM-D EM-5 vs. Panasonic GX1

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by Country Parson, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Dan
    Has anyone seen any reviews that compare these two cameras? They look like the best two m4/3rds to me. Which one is better?
     
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  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Well, the EM5 doesn't exist yet, so no, not specifically. And I wouldn't necessarily agree that they're the "best two m4/3rds". The EM5 will quantitatively be the best Olympus when it hits the streets (although not the best for everyone). But the GX1 is nearly identical to the G3 except that the G3 has an articulating screen and built-in EVF and, for now at least, costs a good deal less. They jpeg engines are a bit different, but very similar. And a lot of people prefer the GH2 to either, both because of its more extensive controls and its sensor which is both multi-aspect and allows for a lower base ISO which seems pretty important to some folks. When the EM5 hits the streets, a lot of Olympus people (myself most definitely included!) will be very excited about it because it combines a lot of the Oly-specific strengths and features we've liked for a long time with a better sensor than has showed up in an Oly camera before, and some additional features that raise the bar. For ME, I expect the EM5 to be the best m43 camera. But there are a lot of Pany users out there who would argue that Olympus is just getting in the game with the EM5 and would still argue in favor of the G3, GH2, or GX1 for a lot of perfectly valid reasons.

    Nobody's ever been able to agree on "the best" m43 camera before now - I don't see any reason to expect that to change just because Olympus releases another great camera! :cool: And I'm sure Pany will come out with a GH3 or something within the next several months and change the whole comparison again. I think the key point is that there are enough really good m43 bodies available now to suit just about any taste, from the P&S upgrader to the DSLR user looking to reduce system size and weight. And there are a host of really decent native lenses available for any taste now too. Its really matured into a hell of a system and its only going to get better.

    -Ray
     
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  3. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    I don't recall where I saw it, but in one case the Olympus was said to have a slight advantage. But of course they are different cameras, the Olympus having the built-in EVF. The OM-D sensor is a new design.
     
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  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Its a new design in the sense that its new to Olympus - that we KNOW. Beyond that, there's only an amazing amount of speculation about what it is, who made it, how good it will be, etc. Some believe its the same sensor as the one in the G3 and GX1. Others believe its from someone other than Panasonic and is considerably better. It appears it will be better at high ISO than anything Olympus has shown to date, but whether its better than the current Pany sensor, we don't know. It may BE the current Pany sensor, with Oly's own processing engine. Or not. Speculation has ranged from a new flagship sensor from Pany to an alliance with Fuji or Sony or Kodak or possibly some other folks. Anyone's guess is as good as anyone else's...

    -Ray
     
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  5. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    If the PL25 starts rattlesnaking on the OMD, then it will NOT be the best m4/3 camera for me!

    Keeping my fingers crossed ...
     
  6. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    All the sensor speculation is enough to drive a person crazy (on other, lesser forums, of course, not mu-43 or here). I have an OM-D preorder in on the expectation that I will get a sensor as good as the one in the GX1/G3, a slightly more quiet shutter, a tilt screen, built-in viewfinder, lots of manual control, and a somewhat improved IBIS (already think it is pretty good in my E-P3). If they are using a newer Panasonic or other company's sensor design that does even better than the GX1, than it would be icing on the cake for me. But... I am secretly hoping it will match the GH2's DR at base ISO. :smile:
     
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  7. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Yes, that is on my wish list as well! I still can't figure out why it was quiet on my E-P2 and then scared off horses in nearby counties when on my P3.
     
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  8. pmagi

    pmagi New to SC

    2
    May 6, 2012
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  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I also did some testing with both cameras. My testing is more personal and about use, not techie stuff. Both are just great cameras. That being said, the form factor takes 1st place in the decision between the 2.
    I don't like EVF's. So the decision was easy for me. The GX1 is a killer camera that after more than a year, has me back in m43 land.

    I will not speak badly about either but will say that the GX1 is my preference for a street camera. The IQ is almost frightening. This goes for both. If you don't think the DSLR crowd is nervous, your sadly mistaken. These 2 cameras have created a new benchmark in the m43 arena and maybe beyond.

    By the way, I have an excellent copy of the 14-42PZ. Nice lens if you like zooms, I don't but it's nice. The 20 makes the camera.
    What I found was that the OMD has maybe a 1 1/2 stop advantage in low light. We're talking from maybe 3200 up. That is a big spread up there but does not mean the GX1 doesn't perform, it does.

    So really what we have is....a very educated user group of all genre's and levels of commitment. These two cameras meet the needs of most and the real difference is mainly in the form factor. We all know what lenses to use. We just have to decide how we need a camera to compliment our vision.

    PS, my daughter prefers the Oly...
     
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  10. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Dan
    Streetshooter, is the GX1 any smaller than the EM-5? Both of these cameras temp me to get back to m4/3 as well.
     
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Dan, yes the GX1 is smaller and it doesn't have that growth on top.
    It's about form....other then that...either is really amazing.
    I had given up on m43 and being an admin at both sites, well that's a big statement.

    One should not use the 20 and compare images against the Canon5D.
    Scary. If Moses had one of these cameras, there would be another Commandment.
     
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  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I don't love full time EVF's so much either, but the one on the EM5 doesn't get in my way, like the ones on the GH2 and G3 did, with their rearward extension over the LCD screen. There's very little rearward extension with the EM5's evf and if you pop the eyepiece offf, there's essentially none. And I love the flip up rear screen way more than I dislike the EVF. Particularly with the touch function that, when used with the 12mm in manual mode, just needs to be touched ANYWHERE to trigger the shutter. This is my favorite street shooting setup ever, with the EPL3 and Nex next best - love that screen.

    In a perfect world, there would be a 28mm EFL lens with a snap manual focus ring like the 12mm Oly. But there's not, so I shoot with that lens's 24mm EFL. Not my favorite, but I adapt pretty easily. I prefer it to anything longer than 28. And I really prefer shooting in zone focus a lot, which is a royal PIA with any other native m43 lens...

    M43 sensors have really been at a pretty high level since the GH2 showed up about a year and a half ago. I haven't really liked any of them as much as the OMD, but that's all down to personal preference for a few of the things about Oly's implementation. The Panasonics are great cameras, just a bit less to my taste. The GX1 is the first of the new-sensor cameras in a traditional GF1/Pen form factor, the OMD is the first one with a lot of the little Olympus touches. The G3 is probably the best value of the bunch. I'm sure the GH3 will be great for those who like Pany to begin with. You really can't go wrong - just pick whichever trips your trigger.

    I never left m43 - I've just augmented it with other gear. I still do, with the X-Pro 1. I like variety and the Fuji IQ is also pretty special. But m43 has been my primary system for better than 2 years now and I don't anticipate that changing anytime soon.

    -Ray
     
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  13. Iansky

    Iansky SC Top Veteran

    782
    Dec 8, 2011
    Cotswolds, UK
    I think that most of the side by side comparisons of the OMD & GX1 will be biased by the preference of that individual and their hand size, preference for style (DSLR/compact rangefinder) and historic loyalty to Panasonic/Olympus.

    I have been a Panasonic users since owning the GF1 and recently upgraded to the GX1 and find it is a step up in build/IQ/performance and form and coupled with the PanaLeica 25mm makes for a great street/landscape combo.

    To my mind, the GX1 should not be compared to the OMD as the only thing in common is the sensor (still disputed) - the OMD size, style, built in EVF / swivel LCD and viewfinder hump is more akin to the Panasonic G3/GH series and I suspect that later this year as promised, Panasonic will release a "very, very high quality"sic camera to replace the GH2 and in turn compete squarely with the OMD.

    I would not be surprised to see a camera that size wise sits between the GX1 and GH2 so will be similar in size to the OMD.

    I also think that these new launches will enhance the standing of Mu43 and help increase the flow of new customers to the format so all in all, regardless of make, we are the winners.
     
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  14. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Hey Don, So you like the GX1? Did you get it because it is more compact than the GXR/28?
     
  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Andrew, nothing but nothing can replace the GXR28.
    I got the GX1 because I'm a good grand pop.
    My daughter took 1 of my M8's in Sept 11.
    My grandson liked her camera so he took the other one. He gave me the GX1 with the PZ zoom.
    It's ok as the Leica's were in the storage cases unused for over 7 years.

    So maybe it was a fair trade. She has since bought the OMD.
    I compared the 2 beast and my conclusion stands at, form factor.

    And on that note, the GXR wins over almost any camera out there. I'm talking about for a user...get it.
    Don
     
  16. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Ah Don, Keeping the cameras in the family. What a great grandpop you are indeed! Have you tried the GXR A16 - I think you were keen to at one point. I like it. A lot. It will make you long for A16 28 and 50mm units.
     
  17. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I have not tried the A16. If your talking IQ, I stopped worrying about that years ago.
    The RD1s was 6mp and still blows most of the new cameras away.
    So now I'm only interested in form/function.
     
  18. Iansky

    Iansky SC Top Veteran

    782
    Dec 8, 2011
    Cotswolds, UK
    GX1does it for me - great quality with auto ISO

    I am delighted with the performance of my GX1+25mm combo, here are a few images from today using auto ISO between 400 - 1000ISO, I am delighted with the results.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    If we all followed suit we'd be a lot richer around here... Still, it's nice to have a GXR in various focal lengths. That is perhaps my favorite part of it.

    I hear that.
     
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