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| p.1 #10 · Best Micro Four Thirds System? Olympus or Panasonic? |
I owned the original E-P1, and now have owned multiple Panasonic bodies. Panasonic seems to really make cameras for photographers. Controls are very well laid out, easy to access. I didn't like the E-P1's control layout at all. That said, the new E-M5 looks to be incredible, both in image quality and usability. It seems that Olympus really concentrated hard on the experience and hit a home run. I use both the GH2 and the GX1, and I love both. The GX1 is really fun to use, and I actually tend to use it more. I also have the external EVF for it. I use my GH2 for longer lens use or more serious deliberate shooting. The tilt/swivel LCD and built in viewfinder work really well for this, and the multi-aspect sensor of the GH series is really a great feature....3:2 with no cropping.
But when I go out for off the cuff shooting I prefer to use the GX1. It handles beautifully, is really small and well built, and has great image quality. I have also been amazed at how good the little pop-up flash can be used. It can be locked into a bounce position and, at least with a fast lens, is quite useful for good quality lighting in a tiny package.
For instance, these both were shot with the GX1 and the pop-up flash, first with the Oly 45/1.8 and the second with the Panasonic Leica 25/1.4:
At low ISO, the GH2 might have a tiny, tiny bit more detail in the shadows. At high ISO, the GX1 is noticeably better, especially at 3200 and above, where it maintains accurate color and better noise control, while the GH2 moves to a green tint at really high sensitivities.
One thing I will say: If you go Panasonic...do NOT buy the GF2 or GF3...the sensor is old and way underperforming compared to something like the GX1 or the GH2. The GH1 is an older sensor, but a very good sensor, though it suffers from banding above ISO 1600. If going Olympus, the E-M5, E-P3, E-PL3 or E-PM1 are the way to go.
Take a look at the Micro 4/3 Image Thread for a bunch of samples of mine (and many other great photographers here), or go to my website...anything from the past year+ has been with Micro 4/3.
You can read my review of the GX1 here: http://admiringlight.com/blog/panasonic-lumix-dmc-gx1-review/