G9 vs E-M5 Mark III for event photography

Started 4 weeks ago | Discussions thread
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Martin Ocando
MOD Martin Ocando Veteran Member • Posts: 6,369
G9 vs E-M5 Mark III for event photography

I just ran the dpreview camera comparison tool and the results say that the only differences between the two cameras are:

On the plus side:

  • G9 grip is way more comfortable
  • G9 has a higher rez viewfinder
  • G9 has a top LCD, which can be handly for tripod use, and also save battery life, as you can turn off the back LCD for general settings check
  • G9 has dual card slots
  • E-M5 Mark III is smaller and lighter... way lighter
  • E-M5 Mark III has live composite
  • E-M5 Mark III has phase detection

On the Minus side:

  • G9 is heavier and larger
  • G9 only has contrast detection, although is said to be better than Olympus CD.
  • E-M5 Mark III has worse battery life
  • E-M5 Mark III has no grip option, so far
  • E-M5 Mark III has one SD card slot only

So, considering all the options, what would you do? I was really leaning towards the G9 a few months ago, waiting for the E-M5 Mark III to show up. And now that it has, it was a little bit disappointing, as I was expecting more pro features, but the new smaller battery left me willing for something better. I was expecting to share the same battery as the E-M1 Mark II.

Although, the E-M5 Mark III is becoming more and more of an option for me, mainly because of the phase detection. I've been struggling with the E-M5 Mark II AF for quite a while, to the point that I can't trust it for a paid event. Although the G9 really looks like a way sturdier camera that can take me to a full event with no hiccups.

So, the final question is: Can the G9 AF hold up for a full day professional event, even a night time one, or should I play safe and go with the E-M5 Mark III and its new phase-detection AF?

I can manage the battery life, as I can simply bring more BLS-50s, but I can't trust a paid event to an unreliable AF.

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"One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it" - Galen Rowell

 Martin Ocando's gear list:Martin Ocando's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS +10 more
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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