Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Questions
retsie
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Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
Apr 25, 2013

Hi.  I posted this question under open forum; should have done it here.

Both are on sale now, $399.  I have read "gazillion" comments/reviews on both - they are great cameras.  I have Olympus PL1, which I love, but it doesn't have AF assist.  I don't shoot RAW

I need guidance from experts. 

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photofan1986
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to retsie, Apr 25, 2013

The GX1 uses a more recent sensor, better at high iso. However, the Olympus has a better jpeg processing in the normal iso range.

Regarding features, the EP-3 has in body image stabilization. Both have a built-in flash, a similar body size...

Both have a touch screen, but the Oly has a better capacitive amoled screen.

All in all, I'd say if you'll shoot in the normal iso range (up to 1600), pick the Oly. I'd think about the Panasonic for higher iso range, but only when shooting raw.

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walkaround
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to photofan1986, Apr 25, 2013

photofan1986 wrote:

However, the Olympus has a better jpeg processing in the normal iso range.

In what sense is it "better"?

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cprevost
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to walkaround, Apr 25, 2013

The Ep-5 photos are being leaked today. New model is probably announced in the next few weeks. This should drive down the price of the ep3 even further. I love mine to death. It's a great camera. The consensus is that Oly produces better OOC jpegs in terms of color rendition. The ibs in the Oly may allow you to use slower shutter speeds hand held which would negate the high ISO advantage of the Panny. Having said that the Panny is highly regarded as well. I don't think there is enough difference between them to make an easy call either way.

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Alumna Gorp
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to cprevost, Apr 25, 2013

Here in the UK I have seen the Panasonic GX1 with kit lenses sell for £299.

The EP3 has inbody IS and a better touch screen, and it supports wireless flash as well.

The Pany has more mp and that is about it.

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Guy Parsons
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Neither.....
In reply to retsie, Apr 25, 2013

retsie wrote:

Hi.  I posted this question under open forum; should have done it here.

Both are on sale now, $399.  I have read "gazillion" comments/reviews on both - they are great cameras.  I have Olympus PL1, which I love, but it doesn't have AF assist.  I don't shoot RAW

I need guidance from experts. 

Hah! This "expert" says wait some more until E-PL5 prices start to fall or stabilise as that is the real jump up from the E-PL1 and is the easiest to use of the Pens or E-M5 at present.

Can use IBIS or OIS of unswitched lenses so you always have stabilisation if needed whereas the Pany bodies leave you in the lurch for stabilisation if you want to use Oly lenses or most of the Pany primes.

The feature I like best (here I go again!) is the ability to map MySets to the Mode dial, makes for easy operation, sort of like the Panasonic C1/C2 deal but better in actual use.

A smaller focus box can be "permanently" set so it's there at turn on.

I rarely do video so assigned the Red button to 2x digital tele converter and that delivers a good image that looks OK on a screen or prints OK up to 8x10 inches. Makes my max 150mm into 300mm framing.

It's the new sensor in the E-PL5 that makes life better as it delivers better results at higher ISO than the E-PL1 (or E-P3) manages and with lower noise in shadows. Plus of course the latest AF combined with the new sensor makes AF in low light way more reliable with the kit lenses. I never seem to need the AF assist light, I turned it off and never have used it in fact. When the AF fails it's too darn dark to see anything with your eyes anyway, so I go to bed.

Maybe 100 or so more $ than E-P3 price seen now but worth every cent.

I do have E-PL1 and E-P3 and E-PL5 and guess which is the only one I use now?

Some notes on E-PL5 here .

Regards...... Guy

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retsie
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to retsie, Apr 26, 2013

Thank you for the replies.

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ttan98
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Re: Neither.....
In reply to Guy Parsons, Apr 26, 2013

Guy Parsons wrote:

retsie wrote:

Hi.  I posted this question under open forum; should have done it here.

Both are on sale now, $399.  I have read "gazillion" comments/reviews on both - they are great cameras.  I have Olympus PL1, which I love, but it doesn't have AF assist.  I don't shoot RAW

I need guidance from experts. 

Hah! This "expert" says wait some more until E-PL5 prices start to fall or stabilise as that is the real jump up from the E-PL1 and is the easiest to use of the Pens or E-M5 at present.

Can use IBIS or OIS of unswitched lenses so you always have stabilisation if needed whereas the Pany bodies leave you in the lurch for stabilisation if you want to use Oly lenses or most of the Pany primes.

The feature I like best (here I go again!) is the ability to map MySets to the Mode dial, makes for easy operation, sort of like the Panasonic C1/C2 deal but better in actual use.

A smaller focus box can be "permanently" set so it's there at turn on.

I rarely do video so assigned the Red button to 2x digital tele converter and that delivers a good image that looks OK on a screen or prints OK up to 8x10 inches. Makes my max 150mm into 300mm framing.

It's the new sensor in the E-PL5 that makes life better as it delivers better results at higher ISO than the E-PL1 (or E-P3) manages and with lower noise in shadows. Plus of course the latest AF combined with the new sensor makes AF in low light way more reliable with the kit lenses. I never seem to need the AF assist light, I turned it off and never have used it in fact. When the AF fails it's too darn dark to see anything with your eyes anyway, so I go to bed.

Maybe 100 or so more $ than E-P3 price seen now but worth every cent.

I do have E-PL1 and E-P3 and E-PL5 and guess which is the only one I use now?

Some notes on E-PL5 here .

Regards...... Guy

I bought my EP-3 for $345 and a current new EPL5 costs $700, on hind sight should I pay extra $355 to gain an extra stop and 1 DR, and a few extra features, maybe and maybe not, I choose the latter, I don't regret it, because I have Sony 5n to take low light images...

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walkaround
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to cprevost, Apr 26, 2013

cprevost wrote:

The consensus is that Oly produces better OOC jpegs in terms of color rendition.

There is absolutely no "consensus" on that, except maybe in your mind.

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Marathonianbull
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to retsie, Apr 26, 2013

So please let us know, whenever decided, if you've finally opted for better Color Accuracy & IBIS (w/ any lenses) & fun OLED & In-Camera Panoramas & some great optional EVFs (VF-1, VF-2)!, or for Higher True Resolution Files & Cleaner High ISO Images & CA Auto-Correction (w/ Lumix lenses)... I'd get both if I could, but that's called "Camera Fetichism" isn't it?

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Msnap
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to walkaround, Apr 26, 2013

walkaround wrote:

cprevost wrote:

The consensus is that Oly produces better OOC jpegs in terms of color rendition.

There is absolutely no "consensus" on that, except maybe in your mind.

I think there is. I think Olympus colours are world-renowned.

DC Resource has a large number of comparisons between Olympus and Panasonic JPEG output.

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walkaround
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to Msnap, Apr 26, 2013

Msnap wrote:

walkaround wrote:

cprevost wrote:

The consensus is that Oly produces better OOC jpegs in terms of color rendition.

There is absolutely no "consensus" on that, except maybe in your mind.

I think there is. I think Olympus colours are world-renowned.

DC Resource has a large number of comparisons between Olympus and Panasonic JPEG output.

I've highlighted in bold the important part of your sentence.

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Neither.....
In reply to ttan98, Apr 26, 2013

ttan98 wrote:

I bought my EP-3 for $345 and a current new EPL5 costs $700, on hind sight should I pay extra $355 to gain an extra stop and 1 DR, and a few extra features, maybe and maybe not, I choose the latter, I don't regret it, because I have Sony 5n to take low light images...

I see you are in Melbourne, well, the best Aussie price for an E-PL5 body seems to be $588.06 from discountcameras.com.au free mail order from Melbourne. They are buyers from Olympus Australia so the two year Oly Australia warranty is good there.

I bought my body from digidirect.com.au from their Sydney store, combining after-Christmas sales price with OS trip to get the GST refunded brought it down to $510.90

But the whole point is to not be in a hurry and wait for the price slide that always happens when a new model appears or is about to appear. In my case though this time, I wanted the E-PL5 features so for the first time bought at sort of regular prices.

Comparing my E-P3 or E-PL1 results to the E-PL5 - well, it's really different in the shadows and at higher ISO, for me worth the upgrade ahead of the price drop, but sensible people would wait a bit longer. If a pixel peeper then the daylight noise content is so much less in the E-PL5 shots at ISO 200. The new sensor just works so much better.

Anyway, it's saving me money as the kit lenses work so much better on the E-PL5 that I don't see the urgent need to seek out primes for lower light conditions.

The way I rate it I guess, all Pens & E-M5 = nice, except that the E-PL5 is nicest, mainly for me because of the MySets to Mode dial thing plus the ability to use OIS in unswitched lenses plus the "permanent" smaller focus point. The better results from the sensor are just a really nice bonus. I actually bought it for the ease of use factor and not primarily for the new sensor. The MySets on the Mode dial has now made the E-PL5 such an easy and convenient camera to use.

Regards...... Guy

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LudwigVB
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to walkaround, Apr 26, 2013

walkaround wrote:

Msnap wrote:

walkaround wrote:

cprevost wrote:

The consensus is that Oly produces better OOC jpegs in terms of color rendition.

There is absolutely no "consensus" on that, except maybe in your mind.

I think there is. I think Olympus colours are world-renowned.

DC Resource has a large number of comparisons between Olympus and Panasonic JPEG output.

I've highlighted in bold the important part of your sentence.

I think Msnap is right. Many reviewers have said Oly OOC jpegs are best. My own digital camera experience, with Olympus E-PL1 and E-P2, Canon EOS 10D, 20D, 30D and 40D, and Panasonic LX5 and G3, accords with that view -- IMHO, of course.

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SirSeth
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to LudwigVB, Apr 26, 2013

I've shot a lot with Canon, Panasonic, and Olympus and most of my friends shoot Canon or Nikon (surprise surprise). Even they regard Olympus colors and the JPG engine to be very very good. Some of us feel colors and other positives of Olympus cameras outweigh the high ISO advantages of Canon or Nikon APS-C. That's a personal choice, but few people I know that shoot Canon or Nikon feel that Canon or Nikon colors are better than Olympus. That's my experience at least. Olympus knows colors and has a JPG engine that is really hard to beat.

Not that the GX1 is a bad camera, but if shooting JPGs primarily, the Olympus has an edge in the JPG engine for color. Personally, I prefer in-body IS and the capacitive touch screen as well. Both cameras are a great deal at going prices. Expect the E-P3 to sell for even less when the E-P5 hits.

Best,

Seth

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walkaround
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to SirSeth, Apr 27, 2013

SirSeth wrote:

...but few people I know that shoot Canon or Nikon feel that Canon or Nikon colors are better than Olympus.

Then you don't very many people. Leave mom's basement once and a while. I hate to be the one to break the bad news to you, but the average person doesn't even know Olympus is still in business. And there are just as many blog and forum posts from Canon fanboys spouting off about "Canon colors" and how nobody can touch them. I assume you know white balance and picture style are adjustable...

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ttan98
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Re: Neither.....
In reply to Guy Parsons, Apr 27, 2013

Guy Parsons wrote:

ttan98 wrote:

I bought my EP-3 for $345 and a current new EPL5 costs $700, on hind sight should I pay extra $355 to gain an extra stop and 1 DR, and a few extra features, maybe and maybe not, I choose the latter, I don't regret it, because I have Sony 5n to take low light images...

I see you are in Melbourne, well, the best Aussie price for an E-PL5 body seems to be $588.06 from discountcameras.com.au free mail order from Melbourne. They are buyers from Olympus Australia so the two year Oly Australia warranty is good there.

I bought my body from digidirect.com.au from their Sydney store, combining after-Christmas sales price with OS trip to get the GST refunded brought it down to $510.90

But the whole point is to not be in a hurry and wait for the price slide that always happens when a new model appears or is about to appear. In my case though this time, I wanted the E-PL5 features so for the first time bought at sort of regular prices.

Comparing my E-P3 or E-PL1 results to the E-PL5 - well, it's really different in the shadows and at higher ISO, for me worth the upgrade ahead of the price drop, but sensible people would wait a bit longer. If a pixel peeper then the daylight noise content is so much less in the E-PL5 shots at ISO 200. The new sensor just works so much better.

Anyway, it's saving me money as the kit lenses work so much better on the E-PL5 that I don't see the urgent need to seek out primes for lower light conditions.

The way I rate it I guess, all Pens & E-M5 = nice, except that the E-PL5 is nicest, mainly for me because of the MySets to Mode dial thing plus the ability to use OIS in unswitched lenses plus the "permanent" smaller focus point. The better results from the sensor are just a really nice bonus. I actually bought it for the ease of use factor and not primarily for the new sensor. The MySets on the Mode dial has now made the E-PL5 such an easy and convenient camera to use.

Regards...... Guy

No intention to upgrade really also Ep-5 pending, I am happy with the EP-3, just for interest, visited the site digidirect.com.au, they are now selling EPL-5 for $699 with kit lens. You must have bought yours at a very good price.

I am not a professional photographer, just an amateur, in future I will buy run out models only, so I can get them at a heavily discounted prices ----->50% off in case of my EP-3.

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Si2005
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to retsie, Apr 27, 2013

I own an E-P3 and I did own a GX1

I understand that sometimes choices are limited by what's available and how you can fund a purchase (part-ex, local store). So although there are alternatives between the two listed, here are my thoughts

They are both good.

The E-P3 is better built and has a bit better kit lens, The lens I had on the GX1 (the std 14.42 kit lens) was soft.

The 14-42 Olympus and the 12-50 I also have are about the same (so you would choose the 12-50 because of the increased range) in terms of sharpness, both are better than the Panny kit lens.

The GX1 is better in low light and has less noise in the shadows.

The E-P3 has built in image stabilsation, so if you want to use manual lenses then that would be a better choice. It also has a button to help you focus manually. The GX1 has this feature too but it's not as convenient.

I like the buttons on the E-P3 better than the ones on the GX1. For example they both have a thumb wheel but the Oly one is much better.

There is a flash on both, which is good. The GX1 flash tilts upwards for bounce, but neither flash is very powerful. Good for fill in though.

The screen is better on the E-P3

I wouldn't sweat too much over the choice, they are both good. You can't make a poor choice.

I traded my GX1 because I got a great 12-50 lens deal, but the lens has no image stabilsation and neither does the GX1 body. The GX1 kit lens was soft, but the 12-50 on the GX1 was great, albeit the 3.8 to 6.3 aperture meant blurry indoor shots. That was fixed by changing to the E-P3 with the IS built into the body.

Plus when I look back at the dozens of cameras I have had over the years I just prefer the pics I have taken with my Olympus cameras. The E-PL1 and E-PM1 were not for me though, the AF was too slow on the E-PL1 and the E-PM1 just didn't have enough controls (lot's of presses just to delete a photo for example).

The GX1 and E-P3 have fast AF

After all that, just pick what you like. Composition is far more important. You can take a great pic an a £70 camera.

If you want to think about alternatives try a Nex-5N or maybe something SLR style like a Nikon 5000 or a Pentax K20D, older, but still take great pics.

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SirSeth
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Re: Between Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3
In reply to walkaround, Apr 28, 2013

walkaround wrote:

SirSeth wrote:

...but few people I know that shoot Canon or Nikon feel that Canon or Nikon colors are better than Olympus.

Then you don't very many people. Leave mom's basement once and a while. I hate to be the one to break the bad news to you, but the average person doesn't even know Olympus is still in business. And there are just as many blog and forum posts from Canon fanboys spouting off about "Canon colors" and how nobody can touch them. I assume you know white balance and picture style are adjustable...

You happy?

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Guy Parsons
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ttan98........
In reply to ttan98, Apr 28, 2013

ttan98 wrote: ..... No intention to upgrade really also Ep-5 pending, I am happy with the EP-3, just for interest, visited the site digidirect.com.au, they are now selling EPL-5 for $699 with kit lens. You must have bought yours at a very good price.

...... what's wrong with this posting editor, today I can't get rid of the red when posting !

[Guy speaking]......

I bought body only, regular Digidirect price is $610 ('tis cheaper from Discountcameras) but the week after Christmas had something like store wide 20% off most things plus I had an NZ trip looming, so they accumulated my order (a big one for me) over the next few weeks and by the time they could deliver and they did honour the post Christmas prices, I was within the 30 day window to get my GST back when off to NZ. Also squeezed a couple of the 20% Olympus cashback lenses into that order.

That was the first time I've bought a "new" camera, I usually do wait for the run-down prices. The E-P3 that I got as a warranty replacement for an unfixable E-PL1 is now not used at all, the E-PL5 is so much better for me. I don't regret that "new" purchase at all. I can see me getting a second E-PL5 when prices start down, as the faulty E-PL1 experience left me wary about travel with only one body.

So the lesson for me is to buy camera hardware during Aussie post Christmas sales only and/or just before a OS trip. And the time to buy software downloaded from USA is their November Black Friday period.

Regards...... Guy

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