Back up body (Oly or Pana)


New to Mu-43
Jul 22, 2019
Hickling, Norfolk
I have not long since joined this forum, which I find to be populated with talented and knowledgable photographers who conduct themselves in a polite and tolerant way. (Unlike some of the other forums I have been looking at...)

A year or so ago I rediscovered my lifelong love of photography (including a 40+ year professional career as a scientific/medical photographer), having gone through a cancer diagnosis with a very tiring and stamina-sapping treatment: I sold all my Nikon gear because of its weight and bulk - I just didn't want to carry all that gear, and as a result I hardly took a picture during the first year or so of my treatment.

After trying just about every CSC camera on the market, I plumped for m43 and an Olympus OM10 mark 3, which, unlike all the others I tested, fell into my hands as if it was made for them and as soon as I put my eye to the viewfinder I was hooked. This wonderful little camera (that I don't view as crippled, as many commentators have suggested) is more than capable of the vast majority of things I - and I guess many photographers - want to do on a day to day basis.

My main interests are macro, landscape, architecture and patterns, though I need to develop my creative skills in all spheres - quite different to the scientific approach I have been used to.

I am currently slowly building a collection of lenses, but have decided that I would like a backup body (in my professional life I always had at least one...) and would like it to be able to extend my range of photography with a bit more control of some functions.

My budget is fairly tight and I need to make the right choice for a camera that will do the business on the rare occasions I want to go beyond the 10-3's abilities, but can still manage to carry around easily.

Used Olympus cameras that seem to fit the bill and that come somewhere near my budget would appear to be he EM1-1, the EM10-2 and the EM5-2.

I imagine that the sensors of these three will yield very similar iq, much the same as the M10-3, which lets me crop and enlarge to A3+ for club competitions and as wall hangers.

I am keen to try my hand at birds in flight, so the EM1.1 with PDAF could be a front runner for me. But it's that bit heavier as well as being an older camera that is now out of production.

Hi-res in camera is not that important to me as I tend to shoot as panoramas and stitch for I need that much more detail.

Good IBIS is essential, but I think these cameras should perform equally in this area.

I also would like to have more control over focus bracketing and want to be able to choose the size and number of steps. Other wider bracketing options may also be useful.

The touch screen is important to me, as is the ability to assign functions to buttons. Mysets would be good, and is the one thing I regret is not on the 10.3

The purpose of this rather long ramble is to ask whether there are other considerations I ought to be thinking of? Are there any Panny bodies I ought to consider?

If you've read this far, thank you!

Any thoughts would be very welcome...

With thanks in advance.



Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Jul 10, 2014
Vancouver BC
Real Name
The E-M1.1 probably ticks more boxes for you than anything else. Along with PDAF and IBIS you get weather resistance and good handling with larger/longer lenses compared to the E-M10 series.


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Mar 26, 2014
The E-M1 i is a remarkably small light camera. I think that would be a good choice for you.
The used prices are an amazing bargain.


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2015
Stockholm, Sweden
Real Name
As you are asking this question in the Olympus Camera forum you will probably not get many suggestions for Panasonic cameras!
But I will be brave and suggest the G80/85 or GX80/85 as an alternative.
You haven't mentioned which lenses you have, so let me point out that if you have Panasonic lenses and a Panasonic body (those mentioned and newer) you will benefit from Dual IBIS for certain lenses.
The same is true for certain Olympus lenses and cameras AFAIK.


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Jan 10, 2016
New Brunswick, Canada
Real Name
Rob Campbell
I think there’s value in sticking with Olympus as you won’t have to adapt your muscle memory when switching cameras.

Second vote for the EM1.1. A bit heavier, but has some additional features you might appreciate. The EM5mk2 or EM10mk2 could be good second candidates. Or maybe, just maybe, a used Pen-F?

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