OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?

Started May 9, 2012 | Discussions
Optimus47
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OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
May 9, 2012

I am debating making the plunge into Micro Four Thirds Territory.
Although I love my D700, it is feeling very, very heavy these days,
and a little long in the tooth (only based on size/performance ratio).

OM-D EM5 versus GX-1...?
Which one would you choose and why...?

Based on better image quality?
Based on better value?

Tks!

Vlad S
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

Optimus47 wrote:

I am debating making the plunge into Micro Four Thirds Territory.
Although I love my D700, it is feeling very, very heavy these days,
and a little long in the tooth (only based on size/performance ratio).

OM-D EM5 versus GX-1...?
Which one would you choose and why...?

Based on better image quality?
Based on better value?

Depends on what your priorities are. GX-1 is much more portable with pancake lenses. O-M5 has better DR, faster burst rate, overall quicker, image stabilization with all lenses, viewfinder. Value-wise I think they are both priced fairly. In my opinion GX-1 is more of a "second" camera in one's kit, and the E-M5 is more of the "only/main" camera.

Vlad

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sean000
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

Whether there is much difference in value or image quality is debatable. The real differences lie in the features and form factor. The GX1 with a pancake prime and no viewfinder attached will be a slightly slimmer and more compact package. If you add the optional LVF2 viewfinder then the form factors become more similar.

The OM-D E-M5 of course has some features that the GX1 lacks: IBIS being the main one. You get stabilization with Olympus lenses and with legacy lenses. Lens-based stabilization is thought by some to be more effective... especially at longer focal lengths, but this is difficult to test. The E-M5 also boasts 5-axis stabilization, which you can read about in the review. The E-M5 also has a tiltable LCD screen and a few other useful features.

It's not an easy decision between these two cameras. I've been using a Panasonic GF1 since January of 2010, so the GX1 would seem like the logical upgrade path for me. However the E-M5 has some features that I would like: IBIS so I can get stabilization with the Oly 45mm f/1.8, the tiltable LCD, better stabilization for video (the 5-axis stabilization has been described as being almost like SteadyCam), and I like the Olympus implementation of AutoISO more than Panasonic's (although neither has as useful AutoISO as Nikon in my opinion).

I have also noticed that I almost never remove the add-on viewfinder from my GF1, so I might as well get a camera that has it built in. There is the GH2 and upcoming GH3, as well as the G3. But with the GX1 and G3 you do not get an eye sensor that automatically switches between EVF and LCD, which would be nice.

Both the GX1 and EM5 are fantastic cameras, but right now the only advantage the GX1 has for me personally is that it is more readily available. I'd really like to find an EM5 before our new baby arrives in late June, but that might not happen with the current backlog of orders.

Sean

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Chas2
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

This is such a personal decision...

Better image quality...if you read the reviews, probably the EM-5

Better value....well the EM-5 is definitely more expensive, so is it worth it to YOU to pay the extra for EM-5 feature set

form factor apart, the EM-5 has built in viewfinder, IBIS and tilt screen, faster burst mode, etc, not to mention weatherproofing, though most of the lenses you use will not be weather proofed...

I love my GF1, but go to my GH1 as primary on bright sunny days because of the EVF. GF1 becomes a second body, with a 9-18 wide on it, or the 20 mm.

Optimus47 wrote:

I am debating making the plunge into Micro Four Thirds Territory.
Although I love my D700, it is feeling very, very heavy these days,
and a little long in the tooth (only based on size/performance ratio).

OM-D EM5 versus GX-1...?
Which one would you choose and why...?

Based on better image quality?
Based on better value?

Tks!

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Optimus47
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Chas2, May 9, 2012

Thanks for all the comments, thus far. I'm very torn.

While I prefer the small GX-1 form factor (smaller is better),
the OM-D seems to have high marks in terms of picture quality,
ergonomics and overall usability.

I personally think that it is absolutely crazy that such small sensors
have decent results at ISO 3200 and 6400...

However, with that being said,
the price of the GX-1 has already dropped to approx $549 US for the body...!
I can buy a lens or two with the money left over...

  • If the sensor is similar or the same in the GX-1 and OM-D,

can we surmise that the image quality is pretty darn close?

(Personally, I wish they put a OM-D in an EP-4 style body.)

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Combatmedic870
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

Optimus47 wrote:

Thanks for all the comments, thus far. I'm very torn.

While I prefer the small GX-1 form factor (smaller is better),
the OM-D seems to have high marks in terms of picture quality,
ergonomics and overall usability.

Actually in reviews of them VS each other, most if not all preferred the ergonomics of the GX1. Buttons of the EM-5 are small and close to each other.

One thing i really like about the GX1 is that the pop up flash is tiltable. It works pretty dang good as a bounce flash in a pinch!

I personally think that it is absolutely crazy that such small sensors
have decent results at ISO 3200 and 6400...

Yep, the 16mp sesnor is a thing of beauty.

However, with that being said,
the price of the GX-1 has already dropped to approx $549 US for the body...!
I can buy a lens or two with the money left over...

This is how i think as well. You can buy a GX1 AND a 25mm 1.4 for less/same/close then a EM-5 with kit lens. Witch one do you think will be sharper?

LENSES before BODIES! That is how you get the most out of a camera body.

  • If the sensor is similar or the same in the GX-1 and OM-D,

can we surmise that the image quality is pretty darn close?

Yes you can, The image quality is very very close. High ISO is also very very close.
If you match the shutter speed, aperture and ISO, things get closer.

(Personally, I wish they put a OM-D in an EP-4 style body.)

This will be coming soon enough(once the EM-5 has sold enough). But it will be expensive. I still cant figure out why the EP-3 is so expensive.

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Ryan,

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Pikme
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

(Personally, I wish they put a OM-D in an EP-4 style body.)

Assuming you mean OMD sensor, they probably will announce something like that this year.

Oly and Panasonic have much different color signatures and different jpg processing, so that is something to take into account as you decide. I think Panasonic color is closer to Nikon than olympus so you might like it better. The difference is smaller if you shoot raw, but still there.

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Combatmedic870
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Pikme, May 9, 2012

This is true. Panasonic colors used to be....Not so good on skin tones. They are much better now,

Pikme wrote:

(Personally, I wish they put a OM-D in an EP-4 style body.)

Assuming you mean OMD sensor, they probably will announce something like that this year.

Oly and Panasonic have much different color signatures and different jpg processing, so that is something to take into account as you decide. I think Panasonic color is closer to Nikon than olympus so you might like it better. The difference is smaller if you shoot raw, but still there.

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Roberto M.

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Ryan,

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ohmydentist
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OM-D similar in price as GX1 + EVF
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

And I think OM-D is better featured than GX1 in almost every ways, imho.

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Just Shoot !

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Combatmedic870
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Re: OM-D similar in price as GX1 + EVF
In reply to ohmydentist, May 9, 2012

I think you have to look at it as features VS value. 549 vs 999 for bodies.
I think the GX1 has alot going for it. The EM-5 just kinda stole its thunder.

ohmydentist wrote:

And I think OM-D is better featured than GX1 in almost every ways, imho.

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^ ^

Just Shoot !

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Ryan,

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Marla2008
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Pikme, May 9, 2012

I'm a former D700 shooter, and to me, who had more DLSRs that I care to admit in the past, it remains the absolute benchmark for both handling/features and IQ. If I was to keep on lugging around a big cam, I wouldnt't give a damn about a D800 and would still happily shoot the D700, probably best value in the digital market as of today.

That being said, I switched to m4/3 last February, and not shot my remaining D90 ever since.

Let's me put it this way : unless you're going with the extra bull/weight for optimal FF IQ, APS-C DSLRs don't make much sense compared to m4/3. The GX-1 sensor trumps my D90 at all ISOs, is as fast (if not faster) for stationary subjects, and fits, with PL25 attached, in my (medium sized) purse.

I have 14-45; 25, 45, and briefly owned 45-200, 20, and 14-42R (as you can guess, I'm not a WA shooter, so, couldn't comment on this side of the lens line-up).

Though the 14-45, 20 and 45 are pretty amazing little lenses, the PL25 kicks them all in the butt for IQ (and most for AF speed). Yes, the 45 offers cool subject isolation, but to me it lacks character a bit, and is nowhere near the almost "organic" (as in, legacy glass) rendering of the PL (color depth, micro-contrast, bokeh...).

I do have an E-M5 on order, but it's gonna have to be one hell of a terrific camera to take me away from the GX-1, which is just a little power house !

So yes, the GX-1 (especially at its current price) is just a fantastic introduction to m4/3, and the PL25 IMHO the very best m4/3 lens available. That being said, as a portrait shooter, I still yearn for the D700 FF goodness...

Marla.

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007peter
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do you like EVF at all?
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

Optimus47 wrote:

Although I love my D700, it is feeling very, very heavy these days,

Most people coming from DSLR should probably choose an EVF form factor. While I am no a fan of EVF, I think choosing between GH2, EM5, or G3 with EVF makes the most sense for you.

OM-D EM5 versus GX-1...? Which one would you choose and why...?

They're not comparable, it is universally agree upon that EM5 is far superior . However, I still pick GX-1 because I can't stand EVF, I hate the HUMP on the top, I think EVF hump ruin the fun of going mirror-less in the first place.

The best EVF = NEX-7 . Not only is the resolution very high, it doesn't have a NASTY HUMP like EM5. The entire camera has a smooth brick design. I think a Sony NEX-7 vs EM5 debate is more appropriate for you.

Based on better image quality?

EM5 wins based on every sample review I'd read so far. I think its a non-contest win for EM5 here

Based on better value?

Correction: cheap doesn't equate to value . Yes, GX1 is much cheaper, but that alone doesn't make it a better value. I consider spending $ 2900 Nikon D800 a GREAT VALUE , while buying a $ 549 Canon T3 to be a very BAD VALUE.

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sean000
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Re: GX1 is not a better value for me.
In reply to Combatmedic870, May 9, 2012

Combatmedic870 wrote:

I think you have to look at it as features VS value. 549 vs 999 for bodies.
I think the GX1 has alot going for it. The EM-5 just kinda stole its thunder.

I agree that the GX1 is a great camera. I love my GF1 so of course I'm interested in the GX1. But is it really the better value? That depends a lot on whether or not you want the add-on EVF. Personally I think an EVF is essential for outdoor photography on sunny days, and I pretty much leave the EVF mounted to my GF1. So the LVF2 adds $230 making the GX1 body + LVF2 = $779. That's still $220 less than the EM5, but if you purchase the EM-5 now you also get a rebate for a free accessory like the FL-300R flash. That makes the difference in price pretty negligible. So for $999 I can get the EM5 with the included clip-on flash, built-in EVF, tiltable LCD, IBIS, and a second compact flash for just a little more than a GX1+LVF2.

I just hope I like the handling of the EM5 as much as I like the handling of my GF1 (which isn't perfect, but the GX1 addresses some of my issues with it).

Sean

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Combatmedic870
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Re: do you like EVF at all?
In reply to 007peter, May 9, 2012

Can i read the reviews your reading?

007peter wrote:

Optimus47 wrote:

Although I love my D700, it is feeling very, very heavy these days,

Most people coming from DSLR should probably choose an EVF form factor. While I am no a fan of EVF, I think choosing between GH2, EM5, or G3 with EVF makes the most sense for you.

OM-D EM5 versus GX-1...? Which one would you choose and why...?

They're not comparable, it is universally agree upon that EM5 is far superior . However, I still pick GX-1 because I can't stand EVF, I hate the HUMP on the top, I think EVF hump ruin the fun of going mirror-less in the first place.

The best EVF = NEX-7 . Not only is the resolution very high, it doesn't have a NASTY HUMP like EM5. The entire camera has a smooth brick design. I think a Sony NEX-7 vs EM5 debate is more appropriate for you.

Based on better image quality?

EM5 wins based on every sample review I'd read so far. I think its a non-contest win for EM5 here

Based on better value?

Correction: cheap doesn't equate to value . Yes, GX1 is much cheaper, but that alone doesn't make it a better value. I consider spending $ 2900 Nikon D800 a GREAT VALUE , while buying a $ 549 Canon T3 to be a very BAD VALUE.

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eyedo
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

I am a pro Nikon user.I have the D700 and D7000.
Quality is amazing on the D700.

I also had the GX1 and returned it.It was way too slow...

I bought the Oly OMD and absolutely love it.

Works great in many situations but from ehat I recently read may have a problem on low contrast subjects.

There are work arounds.I've yet to encounter that.I mean if I don't have to shoot a lousy looking set up why would I bother? Low contrast,move on....

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Marco Cinnirella
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Pikme, May 9, 2012

The GX1 is an excellent camera - if you read the amazon uk reviews for it I have a review up on there charting my GF1 upgrade experience to GX1 and it's all good from my perspective. The OM-D is the 'money no object' choice for ultimate stills IQ, but I can tell you that the GX1 is a superb stills camera and I have no hesitation leaving my DSLRS behind on most shoots - the only occasion when I think m 4/3 lags behind DSLRs is when shooting spore or kids running around - so far, even the OM-D can't match phase detect AF for that subject.

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Marco Cinnirella
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to eyedo, May 9, 2012

Too slw in what sense? AF-S is blisteringly fast but I concede that AF-C can't Match a DSLR

eyedo wrote:

I am a pro Nikon user.I have the D700 and D7000.
Quality is amazing on the D700.

I also had the GX1 and returned it.It was way too slow...

I bought the Oly OMD and absolutely love it.

Works great in many situations but from ehat I recently read may have a problem on low contrast subjects.

There are work arounds.I've yet to encounter that.I mean if I don't have to shoot a lousy looking set up why would I bother? Low contrast,move on....

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sbruno
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Marla2008, May 9, 2012

Marla2008 wrote:

I do have an E-M5 on order, but it's gonna have to be one hell of a terrific camera to take me away from the GX-1, which is just a little power house !

It is. The E-M5 is definitely a cut above the GX1 - build quality, image quality, handling, the LCD, overall design - it's a fantastic camera. Not that the GX1 was a slouch - a good value to be sure and a good second camera, as someone else noted. The way the I shoot, with the E-M5, my D700 is now my second camera

One thing that surprises me is the high noise of the GX1 images compared to the E-M5. While DR is better on the E-M5 according to the reviews, noise and detail preservation (even at 6400) is definitely an area in which I've noticed an improvement.

Whereas the GX1 is an evolutionary step in the m43 lineup, the E-M5 is revolutionary without a doubt.

Steve

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happypoppeye
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In reply to 007peter, May 9, 2012

Hate EVF's ...if I wanna watch with my eye stuck to a TV screen I'll sit at home.

PS, I know, LCD...

007peter wrote:

Optimus47 wrote:

Although I love my D700, it is feeling very, very heavy these days,

Most people coming from DSLR should probably choose an EVF form factor. While I am no a fan of EVF, I think choosing between GH2, EM5, or G3 with EVF makes the most sense for you.

OM-D EM5 versus GX-1...? Which one would you choose and why...?

They're not comparable, it is universally agree upon that EM5 is far superior . However, I still pick GX-1 because I can't stand EVF, I hate the HUMP on the top, I think EVF hump ruin the fun of going mirror-less in the first place.

The best EVF = NEX-7 . Not only is the resolution very high, it doesn't have a NASTY HUMP like EM5. The entire camera has a smooth brick design. I think a Sony NEX-7 vs EM5 debate is more appropriate for you.

Based on better image quality?

EM5 wins based on every sample review I'd read so far. I think its a non-contest win for EM5 here

Based on better value?

Correction: cheap doesn't equate to value . Yes, GX1 is much cheaper, but that alone doesn't make it a better value. I consider spending $ 2900 Nikon D800 a GREAT VALUE , while buying a $ 549 Canon T3 to be a very BAD VALUE.

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drusus
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Re: OM-D versus GX-1...? Which one and why?
In reply to Optimus47, May 9, 2012

Optimus47 wrote:

...
(Personally, I wish they put a OM-D in an EP-4 style body.)

They have. It's called the EP-3.

Drusus

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