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Anyone switched from Panasonic to Olympus?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by InlawBiker, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I'm mulling this over, I've been a confirmed Panasonic user for a while. The IBIS story is starting to get really appealing to me now though, I've just always found the Oly layout and menus confusing.

    I used to have an Oly C8080-wz, great camera but the buttons never made sense to me. Fast-forward to a borrowed E-P2 for a while, same thing! I just fumbled with the camera. Maybe I didn't give it a fair shot but who knows.

    I can switch between Nikon and Panasonic very easily, they're very similar at least in my brain. I just kind of "know" where the buttons are intuitively and I'm hesitant to give that up.

    Mainly though I like the weather sealing, IBIS and size of the E-M5 II, possibly the E-M1 if it feels smaller in the hand than it seems in photos. Never held one though.

    I guess I'm looking for success (or failure) stories of a switch. How long does it take to reprogram your brain into Olympese?

  2. shermanshen

    shermanshen Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 28, 2014
    I started with an epm2, then moved to a gx7, and now have an em5ii. I shoot the gx7 alongside the em5ii plenty and don't find too much difficulty with it. The 5 axis image stabilization is pretty magical, especially in video. The em5ii is a lovely camera and I bet you'd find yourself getting used to the oly menus simply because of extended use with it.
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I currently used Nikon, Olympus and Sony right now all at the same time. No problem navigating between the three systems. I've also used Panasonic and have no problems with the cameras. Once you get your customized settings down with Olympus, for the most part you'll only be changing settings in the Super Control Panel, which works similar to the Quick Menu in Panasonic. I think you'll have no problems switching!
  4. Kalifornier

    Kalifornier Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    There is a slight learning curve but it's not that bad. I regularly alternate between a GX7 and EPL-7.
  5. plaatje

    plaatje Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2012
    Long time Olympus user (E-p2, E-PM1, XZ-2) but also using Sony A550 and now for a few weeks the red Panasonic GM5 . . .
    No problems, still using all the other camera's . . .
  6. griswoldo

    griswoldo Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    I switched from a G5 to an EM-1 and never had a problem with the Olympus menu system or button configuration. I guess because the 2 cameras look different and feel different in my hand, my mind doesn't expect things to work in exactly the same way. Where I do get annoyed though is with the zoom lenses. Why can't Olympus and Panasonic both use the same zoom direction?
  7. Redwing

    Redwing Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 2, 2015
    I have a G5, and then purchased an E-M1 about a year ago. I find the Panasonic to be more intuitive for me in terms of controls (there are fewer of them on the G5, but still sufficient buttons/dials to cover almost all my needed adjustments) than the E-M1. I do have to say that I've found the E-M1 to be a slightly better camera in challenging conditions (low light indoor sports), in terms if IQ and focus ability, when using m4/3 lenses. Plus, the ability to use the 4/3rds 35-100F2.0, which also gives me a full additional stop of performance in low light scenarios, as well as incredible, prime matching/beating IQ in most situations, is an added benefit.

    I still occasionally fumble with the controls on the E-M1 (is the two way switch up or down? did I just change ISO or WB?), but it has not cost me any real losses in terms of missed images. I do think overall it's a better camera, especially over ISO 800, but it demands more attention and knowledge as you can customize everything on it.

    I still find myself using the G5 for less demanding conditions, it's a great camera that seems to have been forgotten by the M43 community in general.

    Go with what you like, if you feel the IBIS is a benefit, and the cameras are comfortable for you, go for it.
  8. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    I constantly switch between Panasonic, Olympus and Canon and have no problems forgetting my way around the menus.

    Just kidding. As with any technology, change requires a learning curve, and some individuals may cope with that better than others. To me, learning my way around a new 'toy' is all part of the fun.

    Personally I prefer Panasonic's way of thinking. To me, their implementation of some features just seems to be more logical, but Olympus cameras have a quirky charm that the Panasonics that I've owned can't replicate. That's probably why I like having one from each camp.

    Edit: Just one additional point I should mention is that I've found Panasonic's autofocus to be stronger than Olympus's at a consumer level. The S-AF on both the Lumix G's I've owned has been remarkable. The EPM1 and EM10 are noticeably and repeatedly weaker in lower or artificial light. If this is important, to you, you might want to test the Oly before you commit.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  9. gary0319

    gary0319 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Sarasota FL
    My first M43 after leaving the Canon World was a GX7, nice camera and I got better IQ with it than I was able to obtain with my 7D kit. On a whim I bought an Olympus E-M10 and then an E-PL7. I used all three for a number of months and finally decided that I liked the look, the EVF and the menu/SCP of the Olympus better, and sold the GX7 in favor of an E-M5 II. I had very little issue with switching between the Olympus and Panasonic systems and in fact still prefer the Panasonic lenses on my 3 Olympus bodies. I will agree with a previous poster that Olympus has a certain charm or magic to them that I haven't felt since my old Canon Elan7 film camera. The Olys just make me smile.
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'm another multi-system user who has no issues with Oly. I do think, based on anecdotal evidence, that a relatively small percentage of users do really struggle with Oly's interface and do not ever really "get it". As long as you are not in that group it should just be a matter of pushing through the learning curve.
  11. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I find that good control layout (not menus) is model dependent, not brand dependent. As such, I found the E-M1 to be among the best fits for controls in comparison to my Nikon gear (D300 and D610). The other m4/3rd's bodies that I have used include the E-PL2, E-PL5 and E-M5 and Panasonic G-3. I know that the Olympus menus have a setting for everything including the kitchen sink, but I actually found them easier to work with (mainly due to the SCP) than the G-3's menu. Panasonic uses terms and some icons that make no sense to me.

    Good luck,

  12. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    A lot of good responses here.
    I have owned a mix of Oly and Panny cameras and presently own one of each. Because the Olys are more customizable they can be more difficult--"what function did I assign F1 to again?"--but on the other hand the SCP sort of solves all ills. When in doubt, hit it and you can find your way around 99% of the things you want to do That's what I do when I forget!
  13. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Alright it seems my fears are unfounded, maybe I'll rent an Olympus for a weekend and see what happens.
  14. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    Funny thing to me, as I was recently doing research to buy a new camera I read lots of reviews on dpreview. They must be very familiar with Olympus cameras and not as familiar with Panasonic, because in the review of the G7 they mention it's numerous customizable buttons as possibly overwhelming or some such term. But in the review of the EM-1, they praised its numerous customizable buttons and such, never mentioning it as anything possibly negative. The only thing I could figure was that they viewed the G7 as a camera the less experienced might buy and be overwhelmed, but the EM-1 would only be bought by experienced photographers.

    I think I could have learned to use and be comfortable with either one after a time. I'm sure you'll be able to get along fine with an Olympus body as well.
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    I started with a G5 and sigma 30 mm, than a 2e hand D300. Than back to the G5. Traded all in, see signature.
    I found the D300 great in controls, never needed to dive in menu, well, not so often.
    As I remember G5 and sigma 30 had a faster startup time than the EM5 and sigma 19 mm and less lag between shots.
    I avoid AF. Both the AF and MF handling of the G5 was more practical.
    Still I enjoy the EM5 more than I did the G5, mainly due to the IBIS.
    Last friday I took 170 shots at SAIL Amsterdam and all of them I considered sharp (enough, my standards), even the AF ones.
  16. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Heh, I guess I'm the only one who did not enjoy using different cameras. Hell, I didn't enjoy using different cameras in the same system. I had a bit of trouble using both a GH2 (or 1, can't recall exactly) alongside a G3 at an event. It'd cause pause a few times when I needed to switch something. I just did not enjoy it, heh. Nor between a G3 and EM5.

    I should add, that's not to say either system is worse or better than the other. There are things I like from both, and can work within either one. I just like to have the same camera because it works out so much easier for events. same layout. same backup battery. no need to think about it really.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I started on a G1 and ended up with an E-PL1. Not too bad in use. However, I did find that Olympus menu system a bit harder to figure out than the Panasonic.
  18. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    I started out with a Panny GF-3 ,fell in love.then GH 2,even better but now am pretty much OLY. Except now they have this GX-8. In my personal observations,I see more people carrying Panny. At Best Buy they don't even display Oly cameras.
    In my personal observation I attribute the popularity of Panny to the brand name. They are big in many consumer products. Unless you visit your gastroenterologist you will seldom encounter an Oly product,but your gastroenterologist is likely to come at you from both directions with his Oly equipment. But you probably won't see the name plate.
  19. groan

    groan Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 19, 2014
    Ontario, Canada

    This is almost identical to what my M43 life has been.
    I started out a year or so ago with the GX7 with the 20 1.7, 12-35 2.8, 35-100 2.8 and the 100-300.
    I recently traveled NYC with just the GX7 and was so pissed off with my need to change lenses that before I did my trip to Nova Scotia I decided I wanted a second body. I found a good deal on the EM10 and was hooked. The EVF and feel (with the grip) was night and day. At first I wsa put off with teh retro look of the Olympus, Having come from a Nikon D90 I wanted a camera that loked different. The Pana did that and was happy for a year.

    Anyways, fast forward to This past weekend, and I am now a happy owner of the EM5II and the EM10. I'm keeping the Pana lenses, however I had to sell the 20 1.7 as incentive for the sale of the GX7.
  20. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I prefer being wholly unconscious when his Olympus equipment approaches my body. Zero desire to compare cameras or lenses at that point.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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