OMD or G 3

Started Jun 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
bencr Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: OMD or G 3

I bought a G3 for my wife last year and I have had an OMD myself for about 2 weeks. They are both good cameras so I don't think you could go wrong with either one. I'm going to give you my opinion of both cameras when used for my own purposes and leave it up to you if any of these things apply to you.

In my opinion the pro's of the OMD are:

1. In-body stabilization (that works great). So if you are buying a lens that doesn't have panasonic's OIS you can use lower ISOs.

2. Higher supported flash sync speed (250 vs 160) although this depends on the flash you are using. I've read that you can cheat the sync speed, but my understanding is that you are entirely in manual mode at that point.
3. Metal body vs plastic.
4. Splash/dust proofing.
5. Better JPEG output once sharpening and noice reduction are turned down.
6. Better high ISO output and dynamic range.

7. I like the tilt screen for taking waist level photos (or on a tripod). It doesn't have to stick out sideways from the camera like the swivel screen of the G3.

8. Has eye detection for switching between the screen and viewfinder. Note that this can also be a real pain because the sensor is too sensitive. I often turn it off if I'm using the touch screen.

9. The memory card slot is on the side of the camera. This means you can change cards without taking the camera off a tripod.

I really like the pattern of the high ISO noise, which is good because in my playing around with lightroom 4.1 I've found that it doesn't respond well to noise reduction (at least at my level of photoshop skill, which is limited to playing with the Lightroom sliders). It is mostly luminance based and very fine grained so it doesn't appear blotchy the way many cameras do. However, being so fine grained also means that to get rid of it to any great extent means totally wiping out fine detail. However, IMHO ISO 6400 images are acceptible for prints as long as you aren't cropping the images or printing over 8x10 or 11x14 or so - and depending on your aesthetic acceptance of noise. Even cranking the ISO all the way up the images are usable for small web images (just don't look too closely).

I do not see any noticeable improvement in the single-shot AF speed between the OMD and the G3 (I haven't tried CF or CF tracking modes). One of my panasonic lenses actually focuses faster on the G3 (the 100-300). The 12-50 kit lens and 45mm f1.8 lenses focus pretty much the same speed on both cameras - too close to call.

I can't say that I've ever had a big problem with the G3 viewfinder, and I would say the same thing with the OMD - they both work fine. The one issue I've run into is that the OMD viewfinder cup is very shallow so you have to press your eye right up to it to keep out stray light. This becomes a problem with something (like the included flash) on the accessory port because it is so close to the top of the viewfinder.

Some people have had issues with the lugs where you attach a strap to the OMD. I agree they are a bit inconvenient but it doesn't bother me much. I use a black rapid strap attached to the tripod mount of the camera.

The G3 has some nice advantages (again, my opinion):
1. Much better built in grip.

2. The focus area can be made smaller (compared to the smallest it can be made on the OMD - very useful for wildlife/bird photography).

3. The touch screen implementation is better in some ways - everything is selectable on the screen. The OMD is a bit weird in that you can select the category of the setting you want to change but then have to use the dials or directional buttons to change things. The G3 touchscreen also works with gloves, but it works on pressure so you have to press down on the screen in a way that you don't with the OMD (or a smartphone).

4. Swivel screen is better if you want to take quick self portraits, and some may prefer it when shooting video.
5. Much, much cheaper.

6. You can actually buy spare OEM batteries for the camera! Some day this will be true of the OMD of course, but for now it is a pain.

I hope some of that is useful.

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Olympus OM-D E-M5
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