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smkunder
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Olympus/Panasonic


As I continue to search my possible move to a M4/3 for a lightweight addition to my Nikon system. I notice that there is not as much written about the Panasonic Lumix system compared to the Olympus OMD system. Being a complete newbie to the 4/3 system and trying to learn as much as I can, I am wondering if there is a reason? and what that might be. Not trying to start any gear wars, just trying to learn.


Oct 11, 2017 at 06:36 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Olympus/Panasonic


Have you tried doing a Google search?


Oct 11, 2017 at 09:05 PM
smkunder
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Olympus/Panasonic


Yes of course, just looking to experienced M4/3 users for their input


Oct 11, 2017 at 09:25 PM
barisaxer
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Olympus/Panasonic


If you really like video Panasonic. If you are a mostly still person Olympus. I have voted and used both. It is close but that is my opinion and worth what you have paid for it.


Oct 12, 2017 at 02:17 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Olympus/Panasonic


I was about to wright a lengthy answer yesterday evening before bed time but got too tired and had to stop so we'll see how this turns out.

Most people on these forums are still photographers, there are few video oriented photographers here but they do exist.

Olympus is historically better for stills and Panasonic better for video since their release of the GH3 and then the two amazing video/stills camera GH4 and GH5.
Olympus has a long heritage in photography, specially with their OM series in the 70's where they really made an impact. This is probably one reason most still shooters go with Olympus, it's a camera company and not an electronics company like Panasonic is. However, Panasonic have proven they can make both cameras and lenses and do it very well so nothing like Sony that took several years to understand the need for good lenses as well.

If comparing E-M1 Mark II vs GH5

Simple fact is they are both very good at stills. They both have more or less a very similar sensor. Olympus is now also good at video but not as good (or even near) the GH5. However, Olympus IBIS (in body stabilization) is better then GH5's which makes some people chose the Olympus over the GH5 for much hand held shooting. Panasonic has closed the gap somewhat here though with IBIS (GH4 didn't have it at all).

Olympus uses contrast and phase detect auto focus points. PDAF for tracking and with older 43 lenses. Contrast detect AF for normal single AF and normal m43 lenses. Olympus still have problem with tracking though it has gotten better. Good thing with PDAF is that it works with all AF lenses, Olympus or Panasonic doesn't matter. Panasonic uses their new depth from defocus system which reads each lenses focus and defocus character and judges focus from that, both for single AF and tracking AF. It works, in some cases very well but no where near a good DSLR for tracking. Problem with this is that Panasonic only programs depth from defocus information from their own lenses which means it doesn't work with any Olympus lenses. This is no problem for single AF still shots but if you want tracking it's a big problem as the camera reverts back to normal contrast detect focus.

This in practice means that, I, for example, and many others I suspect, won't be looking too hard at the GH5 since we will lose many possible goodies with our Olympus lenses. I don't wanna change out my 40-150mm F2.8 PRO zoom for Panasonics 35-100 F2.8. I love my 40-150 too much, it's my most used lens.
The E-M1 Mark II is also faster when it comes to RAW photos with 18fps and tracking (with the subjects tracking works fine for) or 60fps for very short durations and no tracking (about a second with 60 RAW shots). It's also got Pro Capture mode where the camera starts shooting those 60fps when you half press the shutter which helps in getting moments you would otherwise have missed. You can hold the shutter half way and let the camera shoot and remove shots, once you press it fully it will save 14 before the shutter is fully pressed and everything after.

The GH5 on the other hand can use 4k and 6k video/still grabs which means you can grab JPG frames from filming, even high speed filming. Pro's are that you can grab far more then 60 shots but they will only be JPG.

I see the GH5 as a very interesting camera, specially since they are more like Nikon with knobs and dials for most important functions, this is something I miss on the Olympus. It's more about button presses followed by dial rotation. I really liked Nikons way of having a dedicated knob for say, AF-S or AF-C and Panasonic has gone down this route.

The GH5 is quite a bit bigger then the E-M1.2, it actually resembles a smaller DSLR more then a mirrorless but in some cases this might not be a bad thing.

Bottom line is both cameras are very good. If you plan on shooting a lot of video the GH5 is the clear choice for most people. If you plan shooting high speed events as a still photographer I would say the E-M1.2.
Look through the lens line ups. Olympus and Panasonic lenses work on each others camera bodies but not always to the full. Like I said, Olympus will use and track with PDAF no matter if it's a Oly and Pana lens but the Panasonic won't use their Depth from defocus function with Olympus lenses which cripples them somewhat. The focus is still very fast for normal AF but not as good for tracking.
Olympus seem to be on a roll with high end lenses as of late. Panasonics lenses are great but they don't release them as fast it seems like. Olympus is working hard on expanding their PRO lens line up. They have F2.8 covered from 7 to 150mm (14-300 FOV EQ to 35mm format). They have released their first F1.2 lens (25mm) and will be releasing a 17 and 45 F1.2 next year as well.

Panasonic has got the superb 42,5mm F1.2 lens but as far as is known there are no announced plans for any other F1.2 lenses as of yet. Panasonic have settled a little bit more on smaller size and slower lenses with their new lineup. 8-18 F2.8-F4, 12-60 F2.8-F4 and the upcoming 50-200 F2.8-F4. Smaller lenses with variable aperture though still very high quality.

The Olympus lenses aren't large but a F2.8 will be larger then a 2.8-4 lens given the same zoom range.

Best thing to do is get a hold of the cameras and try them and look through their entire system.

/Rasmus



Oct 12, 2017 at 05:14 AM
pr4photos
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Olympus/Panasonic


I haven't used the Olympus cameras, but I use a Panasonic Lumix GX8, and am delighted with it. I happily use it alongside my full frame Nikons on a professional photoshoot


Oct 12, 2017 at 08:51 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Olympus/Panasonic


pr4photos wrote:
I haven't used the Olympus cameras, but I use a Panasonic Lumix GX8, and am delighted with it. I happily use it alongside my full frame Nikons on a professional photoshoot



Waiting to see what Panasonic will announce in November, according to 43rumors they will announce a new high end camera but we'll see. Hoping for a GX8 replacement as the GX8 was always interesting to me but I never got it.
The only problem I have with spending money on a Panasonic body instead of an Olympus is the fact that I've got mostly Olympus lenses and that Panasonic doesn't utilise PDAF. This would most likely make my Old lenses work pretty bad for C-AF in sports and bird photography. Then again, the E-M1 isn't very good to start with...

Panasonic has got lots of nice things that are interesting, menu system, AF system as far as how one can set up the focus points and lots of other things.

Edit: Latest rumour from 43rumors.com is that "Panasonic will try and follow Sony A7" so possibly another GH5 camera body with other features? Lower MP sensor with better ISO capabilities? Higher MP sensor with slower speed?



Oct 12, 2017 at 11:27 AM
smkunder
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Olympus/Panasonic


Great info, thank you, that is the just kind of info I was looking for.


Oct 12, 2017 at 01:03 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Olympus/Panasonic


Olympus has been the dominant m43 player for stills photography but Panasonic is trying to reposition and re-establish themselves in this sector of the market ... possibly with the best m43 sensor and AF?

https://www.43rumors.com/ft4-panasonic-following-sony-a7-philosophy/



Oct 12, 2017 at 01:35 PM
Wilbus
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Olympus/Panasonic


smkunder wrote:
Great info, thank you, that is the just kind of info I was looking for.


Glad to help

@Bobbytan yeah saw that post earlier. Got my hope up for a high speed Panasonic stills oriented camera, like an E-M1.2 challenger



Oct 12, 2017 at 09:09 PM
 

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gunmetal
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Olympus/Panasonic


Lots of great responses. Having used both I agree with the sentiment that Olympus still holds the edge for stills and Panasonic has the edge for video but both companies have really really narrowed that gap with the em1ii and gh5. The image stabilization with the Olympus kit puts out incredibly smooth high quality 4k footage. Some comparisons show stills out of the gh5 as nearly indistinguishable from the em1ii.


Oct 12, 2017 at 10:38 PM
InlawBiker
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Olympus/Panasonic


Look to be honest they're pretty much the same. I have both Oly and Panasonic.

I like Olympus JPG's out of the camera better. IBIS is better depending on the camera.

I like Panasonic controls and video. The controls are much closer to Nikon's philosophy in my opinion. Autofocus is better in my opinion too, in AF-S. AF-C is not up to Nikon's standard yet.

I slightly prefer Panasonic. Olympus has a solid photography pedigree which is probably why they outsell and are more talked about.



Oct 14, 2017 at 05:12 PM
galenapass
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Olympus/Panasonic


When deciding between the 2 - I would advise renting from lensrentals.com....or something similar. While I currently shoot with Olympus, I find the tilting viewfinder on the GX8 to be something I really like. Both cameras are going to give you essentially similar IQ. But there is no substitute for holding either in your hand and using the camera. I would have never known about the tilting view finder and how well it fits with my style of shooting if I had not rented. Another point that you may consider is that Oly menu settings are very extensive and can be source of frustration for some users. Ultimately it was Oly IBIS that won me over, but I REALLY love that GX8 view finder.


Oct 14, 2017 at 05:24 PM
mdmarcus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Olympus/Panasonic


I have owned and shot both Olympus and Panasonic as well as Canon and Nikon and Sony. In my view, shooting stills and raw, as I pretty much always do, and making prints no larger than 20 inches or so, it makes little difference in what you use. For m4/3s I have owned a Pany G1, G3, GF2, GX1 (now my backup), GX7, GX8 (my current main camera), and Oly EM5 I. (I also currently own and use a Canon 6D and Sony RX100ii, so all of the 3 cameras I now use most are 20 MP.)

I once did a real world dynamic-range/resolution comparison of a bright-sun/deep-shadow forest scene using the EM5 with their 12-40 Pro versus a Nikon D750 with their 24-120, both set to f8.0, at their lowest ISO, and shot raw. At 100% in Lightroom, with my typical raw adjustments, there was little difference I could see in the two photos, except for some of tree trunks, the Oly look slightly sharper. What I could pull out of the deep shadow was for all practical purposes equal. It was at that point I got over my "dynamic-range envy." Despite these results, the EM5 was sold after I got the GX8.

From the above, it is clear I have a Pany bias for my still photography.One reason I like Pany best is their lens sizes, much smaller than Oly's at equal focal lengths. As almost all lens reviews establish, Oly make some very fine lens, but Leica designed Panys are no slouch in their abilities to produce sharp lenses. I still have the Oly 12-40 Pro and it is the best M4/3 zoom lens in many reviews. The only fault I have with it is its weight, especially for airline travel. In recent weeks, I became curious just how much better this lens is relative to others in real world photographs. So, I took it and my old Pany 14-45, the original kit lens for the G1, out to backyard for a shoot out of images near and far using the GX8. These are the kind of photos one might make while traveling or hiking. I shot different comparable zoom settings over a range of f-stops for each. Bringing the resulting photos into Lightroom and looking at them at 100% as unedited raws and then as raws tweaked with my usual adjustments, I found little difference between the individual pairings ... sometimes the Oly looked slightly better, other times the Pany did the same. There were no consistent differences in the two sets. (At this point, I wonder whether the in-camera GX8 tweaking of the Pany lens does better than it does with the Oly? I would think that for raw images, there should be little difference there, but don't know.)

So, at this point, it should be clear that I like Pany cameras and lens most for still photography. As I said, I now have three 20 MP cameras that I typically use, including sensors on a full frame, m4/3s, and 1-inch. It should come as no surprise that I now also have done back yard comparisons of three, shooting raw, as I have done for lenses above. Yes, the 1-inch sensor has a bit less resolution at 100% in LR than does the full frame sensor, and the m4/3s is in the middle. No surprise. But, if I did not have the photos side by side, I am sure I not would see any difference at 100% in LR. I do like the original Canon raw colors most, but all can be edited to equal in LR. So, I conclude, for most of my real world travel and hiking photograph, which get displayed mostly on computer screens and phones of friends and others, I will use the GX8, which gives me the options to change lens for bird, wildlife, and fisheye photos. When I travel to cities, the RX100ii gets shoved into a pocket, sometimes in my jeans.

Now back to the question of Pany or Oly cameras for stills (I rarely shoot videos, and Pany GH5 is the clear winner here). My experience with Oly cameras is limited to the EM5 I, which I did compare to the G3 and GX7 and saw no difference in processed raws. I have no experience with other Olys, so consider this: I think all reviews place the Canon 6D sensor ahead of any and all m4/3s sensors. Yet, I found from my experience comparing real world photos that, when shooting raw, a 20 MP Pany sensor is a good match for a 20 MP 6D sensor. As such, to me, the statement that an Oly EM camera is better than a Pany for stills should be taken with a very large block of salt. I have used the G3 for wildlife in southern Africa and birds in Mexico. From that I now often say, if you can count the whiskers on a cheetah shot at 600 with a Pany 100-300i on a G3, the camera combo is good enough, and I found that is possible even with often heavy cropping in LR:

http://mdmarcusphotos.zenfolio.com/p625404679

I moved to the GX8 to give a few extra pixels for cropping. And I recently added a Pany 14-140 II to my kit, for which I had read many very positive reviews. I think I am in love with this GX8 combo. Having a 28-280 mm equivalent in an outfit smaller than one with with an Oly 12-40 is like magic. (I should add, I still use the 6D when I want onboard GPS.)

So, what is not to like? On all of the m4/3s I have had problems hitting buttons that change settings. I am still working to learn how to handle the cameras differently and have set some buttons to aid in recovery from such unwanted changes. Sometimes I miss focus, but that is more often my fault than the cameras. For bird photography, having the GX8 EVF offset to the left I think has affected my abilities sometimes to find the bird when zoomed in, so I then back off the zoom some. That is all I can think of now in the negative. I have loved EVFs since the G1, the GX8 is the best. (I know others hate EVFs ... that's their problem.) I love having the histogram and highlight warnings in the EVF. The menu system of the EM5, as most agree, really sucks! I spent much of two weekends and some hours between trying to figure it out and get the camera setup to use the way I wanted. After that, I had no problem with the menus and I am sure I would have much less problem now with any other Oly. I have had no similar problem learning the menu and set up the camera for any other camera I have owned. The last weird thing about the EM5i relates to the position of the rear focus lock button, which is sunk behind a rear top ledge of the camera; my thumb did not have the correct joint arrangement to allow me readily or regularly access that button. It appears that may have been fixed in later models, but I don't know.

Finally, while you can rent and test cameras before buying, since there is growing consensus that all modern digital cameras are "good enough" for most photographers needs, an alternative to renting is just go to your local camera store, or Best Buy, and pick up a few. Take a card and make a few shots with the demos. Then go home, look at the photos, and think about what you liked about the feel in the hand. Does the brand you like have the lenses you like? Then buy. Hope this helps.


Edited on Oct 17, 2017 at 06:06 PM · View previous versions



Oct 17, 2017 at 05:46 PM
smkunder
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Olympus/Panasonic


mdmarcus wrote:
I have owned and shot both Olympus and Panasonic as well as Canon and Nikon and Sony. In my view, shooting stills and raw, as I pretty much always do, and making prints no larger than 20 inches or so, it makes little difference in what you use. For m4/3s I have owned a Pany G1, G3, GF2, GX1 (now my backup), GX7, GX8 (my current main camera), and Oly EM5 I. (I also currently own and use a Canon 6D and Sony RX100ii, so all of the 3 cameras I now use most are 20 MP.)

I once did
...Show more

Fantastic response thank you, exactly the type of input one needs when trying to make a system change. I love this forum!



Oct 17, 2017 at 05:59 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Olympus/Panasonic


For me, itís largely about using the cameras: I enjoy Olympus, but havenít enjoyed the Panasonic cameras Iíve tried, despite the fact that theyíre very capable.

Lens-wise, I use both brands depending on my needs. Their best lenses are all great.



Oct 22, 2017 at 03:34 AM
Kit Laughlin
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Olympus/Panasonic


I have little to add to Rasmus's and MDMarkus's excellent mini-reviews, apart from a comment or two on the video side, my main work use presently.

For video, Panasonic's controls and menu system are far less fiddly to use. And if you plan on taking HDMI out of the Olympus bodies, with the OMD EM10mkii, you lose access to the menu system, making the setting up of this camera extremely difficult in this situation. OTOH, if you are simply recording video to the card, this objection does not apply. The higher-end Oly bodies have IBIS that is good enough to use hand-held as mini 'SteadyCams', and this feature alone has meant that quite a few pros have one in their bags.

Personally, from a stills perspective, I cannot see any difference between the top-end 16Mp and now 20Mp bodies, though if shooting JPEGS, many seem to prefer the OOC Oly JPEGs. I can work with either, by tweaking the excellent in-camera profiles to my tastes if needing to shoot JPEGs.

Finally, for anyone coming from FF Canon or Nikon backgrounds, the Panasonic menu system will be far easier to understand; like mdmarkus above, I spent a whole weekend, on and off, setting up my first Olympus pro body: the biggest problem is that the interactions between the menu items are not explicit anywhere. This is inefficient, and can be annoying.

Last comment: like mdmarkus, and coming from Nikon FF bodies, I too compared the outputs in different circumstances. I found that (surprise, surprise) content trumps technical pixel-level considerations. I realised that for my needs, FF was a luxury and the odd client I still have just loves the images I now make exclusively on Ķ4/3rds. I am a prime-only shooter, and I have all the best Oly and Panny primes (wide to 90mm) and I imagine that helps, but shooting technique and composition make the biggest difference to the final images, and IMHO a much bigger contribution than sensor size. I used to need to carry two big Pelikan cases onto and around jobs; now it's a small shoulder bag. I much prefer the latter.



Oct 23, 2017 at 02:36 AM
lbloom
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Olympus/Panasonic


I own a stack of both Oly and Lumix bodies.

The GX8 is my pick of the lot.



Oct 25, 2017 at 04:28 AM
imxkal
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Olympus/Panasonic


lbloom wrote:
I own a stack of both Oly and Lumix bodies.

The GX8 is my pick of the lot.


Same boat here.
I owned the E-M1, GX7, G85, and now the GX8. I have to say the panasonic bodies fit better in my hand. Also the menu layout is much more easier on the panasonic than the olympus imo.



Oct 28, 2017 at 02:27 PM
kimknapp
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Olympus/Panasonic


For me, it was the opposite. Had the GX8 and went to the EM1.2.

Settings kept accidentally changing every time I picked up the GX8. Probably could have got around it, but I am extremely happy with the EM1.2 for birding photos.

Kim



Oct 29, 2017 at 12:57 PM
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