Panasonic GX800/GX850 or Olympus E-PL9 or...

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morinor Senior Member • Posts: 1,034
Panasonic GX800/GX850 or Olympus E-PL9 or...

I am in search for an always carrying around MFT camera. So that it means that I need it to be as small as possible. I have seen those two cameras that seems to meet that requirement. I want some video capabilities but it will be good to have something acceptable when it is needed. Not having a viewfinder is not something bothering. What I have seen here and there between those two:

Panasonic Pros:

  1. Very small, light and thin. It fits in pockets of different sizes more than any other recent MFT camera.
  2. It has DFD for focusing.
  3. The Panasonic 12-32mm pancake lens is from what I have seen the best collapsible zoom MFT lens.
  4. Panasonic has more lenses available, many of those being good ones. Compatibility with them is for sure (aperture change through them as an example).
  5. It has a screen that goes all the way up.
  6. It directly charges with a USB cable.

Panasonic Cons:

  1. You cannot adjust setting while video recording.
  2. 4K video can cause overheat easily (I am not sure if FHD video can cause this also)
  3. Only optical stabilization. Panasonic 12-32mm offers satisfactory stabilization.
  4. Maximum mechanical shutter is 1/500 s.

Olympus Pros:

  1. It has in body stabilization. Every lens can be stabilized. It is even better than the optical of Panasonic 12-32mm.
  2. It has highlight and shadow metering.
  3. You can change setting during video recording.
  4. The screen can rotate both up and all the way down.
  5. 4K video doesn't overheat.
  6. Maximum mechanical shutter is 1/4000 s.

Olympus Cons:

  1. It has simple CDAF. Though playing with E-M10 II/III, I didn't notice quite a difference on stationary objects. I do not know what is the real difference.
  2. The Olympus 14-42mm pancake lens is mediocre.
  3. It is a little bigger, but not so much.

Video is something to consider but maybe I can live without having the best. The biggest give or take of each option at the moment seem to be the size, the kit lens included and the in body stabilization.

A GX80/GX85 would be a good option (having both dual image stabilization and the Panasonic 12-32mm), but I have found it to be quite large and thick. Even E-M10 II/III seem smaller with the exception of the viewfinder bump. Also it doesn't have a flipping screen which I found a plus for an every day usage. I think Panasonic has missed actually to provide a smaller body without a viewfinder, but with image stabilization and flipping screen. After the merge of GX80/GX85 and GX8 with the GX9 release, a GX90 could be something like that?

Please provide your experience or other things to consider that they are not in the debate (IQ, ergonomics, easy of use, AF performance, face/eye recognition).

 morinor's gear list:morinor's gear list
Nikon D750 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Nikon 85mm F1.8G Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +5 more
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