GX1 vs Oly

Started Aug 22, 2012 | Discussions
skpman Regular Member • Posts: 206
GX1 vs Oly

First of all, I hope I don't start a flame war here.. but I'm in a bit of a dilemma.

I grabbed the GX1 on the $399 Amazon deal of the day sale. it was a bit of an impulse buy, as I was originally planning on going LX-5 or RX100 (pocketable). I'm new to photography, this is pretty much my first camera.

Since the purchase, I've been REALLY enjoying this camera (started with 20mm, added 12-50mm Oly lens). I spend hours everyday reading photo techniques and news.

Anyways, to the question:

What are the key differences between Oly and Pana? Which is considered better in the same price range?

From reading a little, it seems Oly has in-body IS and pana is in-lens. Oly has better JPEG. Pana has better AF.

I was considering getting a cheap E-PL1 body from my kid brother, but now I'm considering saving a bit and splurging on the OMD for myself, and getting my brother a GF1 or GH1 (I want to stay cross-brand for cameras, just for flexibility and comparison). What do you guys think?

Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Sony RX100
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pinnacle Senior Member • Posts: 2,539
Slow down a bit...

The GX1 is a very nice camera and I recommend that you hang on for a while, enjoying what the GX1 can do.

From what I can see looking at many of the m43rds lens groups on Flickr, the GX1 is producing very nice images.

I would think more about possible lens acquisitions and fine tuning your skillet with the multitude of features that the GX1 has to offer.
Dan
--

Will I learn from life's lessons or will I lose my faith in the goodness life's promise had to offer?

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OP skpman Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: Slow down a bit...

I think I do need to slow down a bit, I tend to go crazy when I get into something.

I think the JPEG rendering and in-body IS of oly is what tempts me to cross over. Oly will always have IS, no matter which lens you use... whereas pany only has IS on their lenses. JPEG can be overcome by lightroom... but the convenience...

Don't take me wrong, I love my GX1. It takes fantastic photos, especially with the 20mm pancake.

But I can resell the body for near the same price I bought it, so I'm not stuck with it if Oly well def give me a better experience. Hence the dilemma.

pinnacle wrote:

The GX1 is a very nice camera and I recommend that you hang on for a while, enjoying what the GX1 can do.

From what I can see looking at many of the m43rds lens groups on Flickr, the GX1 is producing very nice images.

I would think more about possible lens acquisitions and fine tuning your skillet with the multitude of features that the GX1 has to offer.
Dan
--

Will I learn from life's lessons or will I lose my faith in the goodness life's promise had to offer?

dcassat
dcassat Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Excellent Impulse!

I own an E-M5 but looked hard at the GX-1. Everyone that has the Pany loves it. Differences are as you have mentioned but here's the list:

IBIS - which is awesome on the OMD

JPEG rendering - which as historically leaned in the Oly's favor but I'm unsure...

User interface - different animals entirely, the Oly's are frustrating for many and if it weren't for the Super Control Panel on the Oly I would have jumped to Panasonic myself.

IQ - favors the OMD at high ISO and shadow detail. The OMD is the king right now.

Viewfinder - comes on the OMD so it wins on integration if you want the VF.

Handling - I'll give that one to the Pany but it's such a personal thing not a deal killer either way.

Price - the Gx1 is a fantastic deal right now and renders really good pictures.

There are more things like bracketing (bad implementation on the E-M5) and custom settings (MYSets are annoying compared to C1 and C2).

The OMD is a great camera but I believe and, have for some time, believed the Gx1 is a dark horse in this category.

So you made an excellent snap decision. Do you want an E-M5? Of course, but will you gain? Hmmm, can't answer that one for you.

-- hide signature --

Dan

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Chas2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,496
Re: GX1 vs Oly

skpman wrote:

First of all, I hope I don't start a flame war here.. but I'm in a bit of a dilemma.

Congratulations on the new purchase and welcome to photography and MFT in particular.

The beauty of the MFT is that the system is supported by two manufacturers Olympus and Panasonic, as well as several lens manufacturers. Major Olympus and Panasonic components are compatible, lenses and bodies, although there are differences in IS implementation, as you point out. Certain items have some cross compatibility, such as flashes, and others are manufacturer and/or model specific, such as proprietary port dependent accessories such as viewfinders, macro light, bluetooth modules.

Differences? Best to check it out yourself and ask specifics in the forum after you familiarize yourself with the basic differences.

Check the Four Thirds website, paying particular attention to the Micro Four Thirds subsite
http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/index.html

Check out the Olympus website, paying particular attention to the PEN and OMD subsites
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital.asp

Check out the Panasonic Lumix website, paying particular attention to the DSLM site
http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/

I grabbed the GX1 on the $399 Amazon deal of the day sale. it was a bit of an impulse buy, as I was originally planning on going LX-5 or RX100 (pocketable). I'm new to photography, this is pretty much my first camera.

Since the purchase, I've been REALLY enjoying this camera (started with 20mm, added 12-50mm Oly lens). I spend hours everyday reading photo techniques and news.

Anyways, to the question:

What are the key differences between Oly and Pana? Which is considered better in the same price range?

From reading a little, it seems Oly has in-body IS and pana is in-lens. Oly has better JPEG. Pana has better AF.

I was considering getting a cheap E-PL1 body from my kid brother, but now I'm considering saving a bit and splurging on the OMD for myself, and getting my brother a GF1 or GH1 (I want to stay cross-brand for cameras, just for flexibility and comparison). What do you guys think?

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Davidwa Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: GX1 vs Oly

Enjoy the camera you have. Another camera will not make you take better pictures only your skill and experience can do that.

Once you get to the stage that the camera is the limiting factor then thats the time to change. For now I do not believe you would see any difference between a GX1 and an OM-D

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OP skpman Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: Excellent Impulse!

It looks like Oly vs Pana is mainly input vs output... as in Pana is better on handling/manipulating the camera, but Oly's output pics are better in JPEG and image stability.

I'd say IQ is better on the OMD, especially because it costs 2x the GX1... I don't see the benefits of a viewfinder personally..

dcassat wrote:

I own an E-M5 but looked hard at the GX-1. Everyone that has the Pany loves it. Differences are as you have mentioned but here's the list:

IBIS - which is awesome on the OMD

JPEG rendering - which as historically leaned in the Oly's favor but I'm unsure...

User interface - different animals entirely, the Oly's are frustrating for many and if it weren't for the Super Control Panel on the Oly I would have jumped to Panasonic myself.

IQ - favors the OMD at high ISO and shadow detail. The OMD is the king right now.

Viewfinder - comes on the OMD so it wins on integration if you want the VF.

Handling - I'll give that one to the Pany but it's such a personal thing not a deal killer either way.

Price - the Gx1 is a fantastic deal right now and renders really good pictures.

There are more things like bracketing (bad implementation on the E-M5) and custom settings (MYSets are annoying compared to C1 and C2).

The OMD is a great camera but I believe and, have for some time, believed the Gx1 is a dark horse in this category.

So you made an excellent snap decision. Do you want an E-M5? Of course, but will you gain? Hmmm, can't answer that one for you.

-- hide signature --

Dan

David Clarke29 Contributing Member • Posts: 787
Re: Excellent Impulse!

Until recently I owned a GX-1 and was very happy with the results - even under some demanding conditions exposure wise. I recently stayed with some friends over in Rome but found the GX-1 difficult to compose with on account of the brilliant sunlight making it impossible to see the screen properly - quite a few shots were guesswork. The indoor shots in St. Peters however - most of which shot at 1600 iso - were very good indeed with beautiful rendition of colours.

On return to the UK I purchased the OM-D. I had reseached the quality of results from the Oly and found them to be at least as good as the GX-1 but the deciding factor for me was the evf. Since buying the OM-D I have been very satisfied with the picture quality and look forward to not having to squint at the rear screen again when in bright sunlight. Apart from the Panasonic 20mm pancake I use the Panny 14-42 PZ which despite not being favoured by some reviewers I find to be a good all purpose, well built lens and as sharp as a tack.

Dave. (UK)

brentbrent Veteran Member • Posts: 3,230
Re: GX1 vs Oly

The only MFT bodies I've owned are the GF1 and now the GX1. I've been adding lenses, and I'll probably wait a while before considering a new body. The Oly 45mm and the Samyang/Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye are two you might want to consider, both great lenses and neither of them in the price stratosphere.

You might also think about getting Lightroom and shooting raw, which mostly moots any jpg advantage that Oly may have. It's amazing what you can do with raw images in Lightroom. Also, I recently got the removable electronic viewfinder for the GX1 ($160 at B&H), and it really comes in handy. Of course, the EM-5 has a built in EVF, but sometimes it's nice to be able to remove it.

Just a couple of other thoughts on how to allocate whatever funds you have available for this hobby, but ultimately that's a personal decision. There's no doubt that the EM-5 has some significant advantages over the GX1, but at a significant cost.

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OP skpman Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: GX1 vs Oly

True.. wise words.

i'm curious though, OMD is on a different level than the GX1, but comparing GX1 to... E-PL3? E-P3? Which would be better?

Davidwa wrote:

Enjoy the camera you have. Another camera will not make you take better pictures only your skill and experience can do that.

Once you get to the stage that the camera is the limiting factor then thats the time to change. For now I do not believe you would see any difference between a GX1 and an OM-D

GregGory Veteran Member • Posts: 4,252
Re: Slow down a bit...

skpman wrote:

I think I do need to slow down a bit, I tend to go crazy when I get into something.

That's not all bad... but focus your excess energy on photography, not the shopping frenzy..

JPEG can be overcome by lightroom... but the convenience...

Becoming anything more than a weekend snapper, you effectively have to adapt a RAW workflow. Just like back in the 'chemical'/ analog days, the work in the lightroom work sets the average pictures and the stunning ones apart. Lightroom offers an excellent workflow, and since 4.0 it also offers decent detail, noise, and excellent DR to the pictures. And no, it doesn't even really 'cost' time, since you'll have to do some file management anyway, adding tags, weeding out the bad ones, starring the keepers, pick the right one with critical focus out of 4 samples, etc. This is where photography starts, namely having presentable portfolios, not just a HDD full of 'good' jpgs.

Don't take me wrong, I love my GX1. It takes fantastic photos, especially with the 20mm pancake.

But I can resell the body for near the same price I bought it, so I'm not stuck with it if Oly well def give me a better experience. Hence the dilemma.

The problem with the Olys is, they all suck due to dated sensors except the OM-D - which happens to have the best cropped sensor, better than the GX1, slightly better than the GH2/G5 (latter not verified yet), and far far better than any other Oly/ older 12mp sensor m43 (eg. GF5).

The loss of DR and noise characteristics of the the 12mp cameras will make you regret the swap. If you can afford (and justify) the OM-D, then go for it. Or hang in there, wait until Photokina where Oly is expected to present something. Could very well be updated versions of the 12mp cameras.

gl

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'If you can imagine sharing a waterbed with a baboon that's just been doused in itching powder.' J.C. reg. the suspension of the Lincoln Town Car '82

dcassat
dcassat Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
But 'suck' is a little strong!

No, I couldn't say the output from my E-PL2 sucked. Actually it had a lot of character and was great to work with the RAW files from. There were two issues. If you buried the shadows in your exposure, you regretted it because it came up all noise and secondly, you had to be ever so careful not to blow the highlights - the DR of that sensor just isn't that great. But on well exposed images it did really well.

But I made many, many images for it that were, IMO, fantastic.
--
Dan

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GregGory Veteran Member • Posts: 4,252
Re: But 'suck' is a little strong!

dcassat wrote:

But 'suck' is a little strong!

Point taken, should have used the term 'apply vacuum'.

No, I couldn't say the output from my E-PL2 sucked. Actually it had a lot of character and was great to work with the RAW files from. There were two issues. If you buried the shadows in your exposure, you regretted it because it came up all noise and secondly, you had to be ever so careful not to blow the highlights - the DR of that sensor just isn't that great. But on well exposed images it did really well.

You're right of course, but considering the situation of the OP, I really find it unlikely he'll be satisfied with the IQ coming from a GX1.

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'If you can imagine sharing a waterbed with a baboon that's just been doused in itching powder.' J.C. reg. the suspension of the Lincoln Town Car '82

OP skpman Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: Slow down a bit...

I just did a bit of research and you're right. It does seem like all Oly cameras except the OMD use the same 3-year old 12MP sensor. E-PLx, E-Px all share the same sensor... this is good news as it makes the E-PL1 more tempting to get for my brother.

Great advice! Thank you!

GregGory wrote:

skpman wrote:

I think I do need to slow down a bit, I tend to go crazy when I get into something.

That's not all bad... but focus your excess energy on photography, not the shopping frenzy..

JPEG can be overcome by lightroom... but the convenience...

Becoming anything more than a weekend snapper, you effectively have to adapt a RAW workflow. Just like back in the 'chemical'/ analog days, the work in the lightroom work sets the average pictures and the stunning ones apart. Lightroom offers an excellent workflow, and since 4.0 it also offers decent detail, noise, and excellent DR to the pictures. And no, it doesn't even really 'cost' time, since you'll have to do some file management anyway, adding tags, weeding out the bad ones, starring the keepers, pick the right one with critical focus out of 4 samples, etc. This is where photography starts, namely having presentable portfolios, not just a HDD full of 'good' jpgs.

Don't take me wrong, I love my GX1. It takes fantastic photos, especially with the 20mm pancake.

But I can resell the body for near the same price I bought it, so I'm not stuck with it if Oly well def give me a better experience. Hence the dilemma.

The problem with the Olys is, they all suck due to dated sensors except the OM-D - which happens to have the best cropped sensor, better than the GX1, slightly better than the GH2/G5 (latter not verified yet), and far far better than any other Oly/ older 12mp sensor m43 (eg. GF5).

The loss of DR and noise characteristics of the the 12mp cameras will make you regret the swap. If you can afford (and justify) the OM-D, then go for it. Or hang in there, wait until Photokina where Oly is expected to present something. Could very well be updated versions of the 12mp cameras.

gl

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'If you can imagine sharing a waterbed with a baboon that's just been doused in itching powder.' J.C. reg. the suspension of the Lincoln Town Car '82

OP skpman Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: But 'suck' is a little strong!

I think you meant E-Px? I love my GX1 and cannot settle for less now! I see now that E-Px, E-PLx aren't viable options for me due to its sensor... OMD is a bit out of budget right now, and I'm not sure it's worth the 2x cost. I think I'll stay with my pany. Very likely to get an Oly body for my brother though, esp since they're all the same sensor (except OMD). Learned a lot through this thread. Great thanks to everyone!

GregGory wrote:

dcassat wrote:

But 'suck' is a little strong!

Point taken, should have used the term 'apply vacuum'.

No, I couldn't say the output from my E-PL2 sucked. Actually it had a lot of character and was great to work with the RAW files from. There were two issues. If you buried the shadows in your exposure, you regretted it because it came up all noise and secondly, you had to be ever so careful not to blow the highlights - the DR of that sensor just isn't that great. But on well exposed images it did really well.

You're right of course, but considering the situation of the OP, I really find it unlikely he'll be satisfied with the IQ coming from a GX1.

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'If you can imagine sharing a waterbed with a baboon that's just been doused in itching powder.' J.C. reg. the suspension of the Lincoln Town Car '82

AndyMulhearn Contributing Member • Posts: 593
Re: Excellent Impulse!

David Clarke29 wrote:

On return to the UK I purchased the OM-D. I had reseached the quality of results from the Oly and found them to be at least as good as the GX-1 but the deciding factor for me was the evf.

Traitor

I found the same, but my solution was to buy the LVF2 with gives me a EVF when I want it and a small and discrete camera when I don't.

Only thing I miss in comparison with the OM-D is the tilting screen. I'd happily swap the touch screen on the GX1 for a tilting screen.

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kermitG9 Contributing Member • Posts: 701
Re: GX1 vs Oly

skpman wrote:

True.. wise words.

i'm curious though, OMD is on a different level than the GX1,

no.. you might notice an improvement in difficult shooting situations and assuming you're mastering the camera perfectly. For that, you need to know your camera and gain experience. I've learnt how to master my E-P2 (with over 50k shutter activations) and I can tell you that today, I'm still able to produce better output in difficult light conditions than with my E-M5 (still fighting against posterisation).

but comparing GX1 to... E-PL3? E-P3? Which would be better?

Wise words.. but I'm not sure you got the essence of the previous message..

What holds for the E-M5 is also true for the E-Px cameras.. All these cameras are able to produce tremendous output .. but only in the right hands (that implies having the "right eye" to spot a situation, using the right settings and choosing the right lens).

Asking where the GX1 is better than X makes no sense.. because the reality is that you are going to be on the critical path.. not your camera.

sbszine
sbszine Contributing Member • Posts: 500
Re: GX1 vs Oly

The GX1 is a great camera, especially at that price. If you've already got it I wouldn't bother switching to an Oly yet. Just get some experience with it and figure out what you like and dislike about it, and when you're ready to buy your next camera you'll have a better idea of what you want.

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Roger Nordin
Roger Nordin Senior Member • Posts: 1,649
Re: Slow down a bit...

skpman wrote:

I think the JPEG rendering and in-body IS of oly is what tempts me to cross over. Oly will always have IS, no matter which lens you use... whereas pany only has IS on their lenses. JPEG can be overcome by lightroom... but the convenience...

Don't be so sure you'll avoid LR with the Oly either. You see, Panny has built-in correction for CA artifacts that lenses can produce, and some lenses produce more than others. For instance the super hyped 12-35/2.8 seems to easily prone to generate a lot of CA sometimes, and while Panny JPEG shooters don't really notice, the Oly JPEG shoots do notice. Just as Oly choosed to have IBIS, and Panny not, Panny choosed to implement automatic CA corrections, and Oly not. Yes the CA is easily fixed in LR, ... oh, we are back in LR again.

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Regards,
Roger

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,711
Re: But 'suck' is a little strong!

skpman wrote:

I think you meant E-Px? I love my GX1 and cannot settle for less now! I see now that E-Px, E-PLx aren't viable options for me due to its sensor... OMD is a bit out of budget right now, and I'm not sure it's worth the 2x cost. I think I'll stay with my pany. Very likely to get an Oly body for my brother though, esp since they're all the same sensor (except OMD). Learned a lot through this thread. Great thanks to everyone!

Sounds like a good plan. I will add though that they all (except OMD) don't have the same sensor.

The Panny GHx cameras all (both) had unique sensors, in that they were larger multiaspect sensors.

In general though, in regards to IQ, there was a noticeable jump when GX1, G3 and the GH2 came out and were (except jpg) thought to be superior to all others before them. All the others before them were generally fairly comparable. Some bits of improvement here and there but nothing really significant. Then came OMD of we all know.

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Hubert

My non-digital gear: Agfa Isolette, Fed 2, Konica Auto S2, K1000, Yashica Electro 35 GX, Recesky, Olympus 35 RD

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