E-PL7 or DMC-GM1

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by MJW1948, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. MJW1948

    MJW1948 New to Mu-43

    Jun 24, 2016
    Mark White

    Looking for some opinions. I am replacing my old Pentax DSLR which has failed with a Micro 4/3. I enjoyed the Pentax but it was just too large and heavy with all the lens.

    I am looking for light and small and was getting ready to buy the Olympus E-PL7 with the 14-42 kit lens when I came across the Panasonic DMC-GM1 with the 12-32 kit lens at a closeout price that is $50 less than the Olympus.

    Both cameras seem to get good reviews and seem comparable. I like the build quality of the Panasonic but I like the fact that you can add an EVF and the tilt screen feature on the Olympus. I do a lot of shooting in the desert, I live in the South West, and conditions are very bright so I have a concern about the Panasonic.

    Also, if I did buy the Panasonic, would the Olympus M. Zuiko 40-150mm Lens work on it?

    Thanks for any opinions.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  2. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Welcome to the forum! I came from a Pentax K-x, and my first m43 body was an Olympus E-PM1. I've not handled either of the bodies you mention, but I disliked all the menu diving, even as I moved up to the E-PM2 and E-PL5. Although it's nice to be able to add a tilting EVF, it adds a lot of bulk to the camera, making it as big if not bigger in some respects than otherwise larger bodies. I wasn't truly happy with the ergonomics till I got an E-M5. I'm currently shooting with an E-M10 (the original), and it's my favorite body thus far. It's comparable to the E-PL7 with an extra dial and a built-in EVF. E-M10s can be had new quite inexpensively. A recent deal had them priced at $299! Having used a variety of bodies, I would never buy a body w/o a built-in EVF, and I use the tilting screen quite often. I also want separate dials for aperture and shutter speed. As far as kit lenses go, I much prefer the Panasonic lenses, either the 14-42 II or the 12-32. Both are very sharp, have nice build quality, and are tiny. My concern with the bodies you mention is that coming from a DSLR, you might find yourself frustrated by the relative lack of direct controls. At any rate, I was. I really like my E-M10 and the lenses I'm currently using. Hope this helps some. :)

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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  3. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Welcome to the forums!

    Can I suggest the E-M10 (mk I). It is available around $400 with the kit 14-42 lens these days and is almost the same size as the E-PL7 (other than the viewfinder hump). Since you are coming from a DSLR and will be shooting in bright conditions, I would think that an EVF would be something you would appreciate.

    All Panasonic and Olympus lenses will work on bodies from either manufacturer, though you may prefer Panasonic lenses with OIS on Pana bodies which do not have IBIS.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  4. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I'd want an EVF at the very least for shooting in bright conditions. EM10 or GX7 bodies are super cheap now, I'd go for one of the two.
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  5. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    I concur about the EVF, but to get back to your initial question: If you value handling over size, the E-PL7 is the much better camera. On the other hand, for its size, the GM1 is very capable, works well enough, and the kit lens (12-32mm) is way better than the somewhat mushy 14-42mm PZ. However, it's really tiny, so using it can be quite fiddly, in spite of the good touchscreen implementation. There's just not enough space to put your fingers (even for someone who hasn't huge hands like me). So, what I'd do (but that's pushing up the cost) is, in order of preference:
    - Get an E-M10 body - great camera, small enough, yet with a very good EVF and superior handling. Add the 12-32mm.
    - Get an E-PL7 body - technically, it's an E-M10 minus the EVF and one control dial, but fantastic handling thanks to the tilting touchscreen and the grip. Add the 12-32mm.
    - Get an E-M10 kit (it comes with the 14-42mm PZ).
    - Get an E-PL7 kit.
    - Get a GM1 kit. Enjoy the ability to put it into even the smallest of jacket pockets (or even a pants pocket if you prefer roomy clothing ...).

    If size and price are crucial, the GM1 is still a very good proposition. But you can get better usability (and overall performance) from the Olympus bodies, and they come without the compromises the diminuitive size dictate.

  6. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    GM1 is really tiny! At times it feels too small - which is why a added my own thumb rest to it. It's a very capable camera (especially given the size) but the main issues with it IMO are:
    - crappy dial (changing aperture/shutter speed can be annoying)
    - no tilt screen
    - mechanical shutter only up to 1/500s
    - no IBIS
    - really limited flash (no faster than 1/60s)
    - DR isn't as good as e.g. E-PM2 had (I replaced my E-PM2 with GM1 and this was one of the first things I noticed).

    I'm waiting for Olympus' announcement of the upcoming E-PL8. It looks smaller than E-PL7 and - who knows - it MIGHT have 5-axis IBIS and some other goodies (1080p/60fps video, focus bracketing etc). At least it has proper dials and a tilt screen.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  7. DennisH

    DennisH Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 27, 2016
    I had both and I chose the GM1 over the E-PL7. I wanted the lightest smallest kit I could get with the 12-32 and the 32-100 lens with it. I did not care for a EVF in that system with the idea of trying to find the smallest. Olympus lens will work but without stabilization and for me I need stabilization or my pictures take a dump. If you want an EVF you could move up to the GM5 and have the same system. I would only get the GM1 or GM5 if you main idea is to have the smallest system with you, camera and 2 zooms (12-32, 35-100). Otherwise I would get the PL7 if that will be your main and get an external EVF. I use the GM1 most of the time now even over my M10-2.
  8. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I have owned a GM1 since last November, and the nearest I have to the EPL7 is the EPL5 which I 've used for two years. The GM1 is certainly small and handy, but now that summer is here, I cannot see its screen for most of my outdoor shots. WIth the PEN, I can either flip the screen for a better angle or attach an EVF.

    The GM1 is well suited as an extra or backup camera for someone who is already an M43 user. It provodes portability and easily backfills as a camera I can bring along. For a primary camera, I want to be able to have the EVF, tilt screen, and IBIS.

    Would the GM5 be better? Well, when shooting flowers and little kids, tilt screen is still better than EVF for me.
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  9. MJW1948

    MJW1948 New to Mu-43

    Jun 24, 2016
    Mark White
    Hello and thanks for all your replies. You gave me a lot to think about that had me seriously reconsidering either of my choices.
    I first checked out a Pentax DSLR body only for just over $300 on BH Photo. As I already have three Pentax lens. filters etc this would have been my most economical choice. Then I said why do I want to continue lugging around a large camera bag. I will stick with my decision to go light and small.

    I then thought about the lack of the EVF and how difficult it would be in very bright conditions. As mentioned, the E-M10 could be had a good price so I started shopping and found both Amazon and Best Buy had it at a closeout price of $434 in black with the 14-42 lens. I ordered it from Best Buy and I also purchased an ED 40-150 Olympus lens from the Olympic outlet store for $79.00. I know both of these lens are kit lens but they are an economical way to get started I did the same with my Pentax DSLR 10 years ago and eventually added some higher quality lens.

    I'm really eager to try things out but I'll have to wait until July 5th as Best Buy has to ship the camera. Again, thanks for all your replies, I suspect I'll be very happy with my choice.

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  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I suspect you will as well!
  11. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    You would be surprise with 40-150's performance. It's the cheap and yet sharp lens too :2thumbs:

    Some of my shot using that lens


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  12. MJW1948

    MJW1948 New to Mu-43

    Jun 24, 2016
    Mark White
    Great shots, would not have guessed they were from the 40--150 kit lens. The reviews I read on it were generally very positive. When I saw it for $79 on the Olympus refurb site, I said why not.

    When I first bought my Pentax DSLR 10 years ago, I went with the kit lens until I learned at least the basics of the camera before I jumped into better lens. Even with the kit lens, I was able to get many good shots of my son's baseball games and track meets. I won't be taking sport shots this time around, maybe an occasional spring training game here in Arizona, but I plan on getting a good prime lens for landscape and architecture.
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