E-M1 & 12-40 compared to GH3 & 12-35 ... user impressions so far

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by deang001, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. deang001

    deang001 Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    Finally got the E-M1 & 12-40 yesterday.

    My initial impressions as a GH3 user and on the E-M1 in general ... everyone is different ... below are just my impressions in relation to what I like in a camera !! :smile:

    Also, I'm not a tech head ... I just like taking photos.

    If anyone else has these two cameras please share your thoughts.

    First thing that surprised me is the actual size ... I knew it would be small, but this is smaller than I expected. The handling & ergonomics of the GH3 is much much better IMO.

    With the 12-40 mounted everything seems awkward. Button placement is also better on the GH3 but OK on the E-M1 ... definitely workable. My ideal E-M1 would have been 25% bigger. I like to carry around my GH3 with just a hand strap a lot of the time. Tried this walking home from work last night with the E-M1 and it's quite uncomfortable in comparison. I will get the grip for sure.

    The VF is magnificent !!! Absolutely destroys the GH3. It's like my eye just moved out of a 400 sq. ft apartment into a 2300 sq. ft apartment !!!!! Coming from Nikon FF, this aspect alone trumps the GH3 as a better camera to use. A big bright VF is very important to me. Great job, Olympus. Panasonic should be ashamed of themselves for the smeary VF they put in the GH3 ... it's terrible. The VF in the GH3 is OK size wise, but is a smeary mess.

    The actual buttons on the E-M1 are nicer than the GH3. On the GH3 they still feel a bit dinky compared to a DSLR. The E-M1's button feel like a DSLR.

    The lever to switch between AF-C, AF-S & MF on the GH3 is excellent and missed on the E-M1

    IBIS for video is incredible ... pity Olympus refuse to take advantage of this. The interview I saw with the CEO (I think CEO) of Olympus and his explanation of why they don't develop video in their O-MD's seems absurd to me. As if people would be confused as to whether it's a stills or video camera !! To me, the whole thing reeks of two Japanese companies having a secret deal behind closed doors as to what features would be developed in their respective cameras ... at the consumers expense. We all want 5-axis IBIS with some decent codecs and bit rates ... is it that difficult? So far neither have delivered on this combination.

    IBIS for shooting stills seems excellent too but not sure how much of an advantage it is over lens based IS. However, it's wonderful to have lenses like the PL25 stabilised ... something the GH3 can't do and a very big deal for the E-M1.

    These dial sets are a bit silly IMO. Having complete control over what dial does what in 1&2 mode would be much better. Saying that, it's still pretty workable for what I wanted and that being to quickly change ISO while seeing the shutter speed read out. Can't even come close to doing this on a GH3.

    The build quality is amazing ... but so is the GH3. E-M1 does seem sturdier though.

    I can't comment on IQ too much yet as I only used it for around an hour last night walking home from work. I will say that the 12-40 focused very quick in low light but I felt no difference between it and the GH3 & 12-35 in low light focusing speed. For video, the GH3 seemed better.

    Quickly looking at my higher ISO images from last night, the GH3 images seemed a lot better to me in as far as the grain goes. More pleasing ... hard to define. I switched every noise reduction feature off in the cam that I could find as I do with all my cameras. Still, I can't really comment yet, as I haven't used it anywhere near enough.

    My over all feeling thus far is that what I want is a GH4 :smile: This GH4 needs to have the same body as the GH3 but with the E-M1's VF, larger buttons, and 5 axis IBIS !!!

    I think I must be the sort of person that like my M43 camera to be a mini DSLR's I guess after using the E-M1 for a little bit.

    I'll try and update some more impressions on IQ and lenses as I use them both more side by side.

    Cheers !
    • Like Like x 3
  2. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Real Name:
    Brian Caslis
    I like my cameras to be a mini-DSLR also. That's why I bought the E-M1.