EM-1 (4.0) vs GX8

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by MidasKiss, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. EM1

    48 vote(s)
    68.6%
  2. GX8

    13 vote(s)
    18.6%
  3. G7

    3 vote(s)
    4.3%
  4. EM10ii

    6 vote(s)
    8.6%
  1. MidasKiss

    MidasKiss Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Sep 15, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    Trying to figure out the best way to enter the M43 world. Looking at the GX8 and EM1, but am also giving thought to the G7 and EM10II.

    Background: I've been shooting for a year and a half with a Canon 700D, primarily with a 50mm and 40mm pancake. I also had a friends older kit lenses that I didn't really enjoy using that much. I've been working a lot on my post production, but have been feeling very limited by my lenses. I know I can get good shots with my Canon 700D and could just invest in new Canon lenses (and save money), but I think I prefer the M43 system overall and would rather swap system before I build up my lens selection.
    I also looked at the Fuji XT1, but didn't really see an advantage over M43 (maybe next gen fuji will widen the gap). I looked at Sony, they seem to have more lenses then people want to admit but it doubles or triples the budget and I'm just a student. If I don't go M43 I will probably just invest in some fullframe canon lenses and deal with a bulkier system.

    Uses: So far I've primarily shot landscapes, cityscape shots and a bit of "nature" (my cats or at the zoo haha). I'm wanting to challenge myself to improve, start shooting macro (60mm oly looks great) and portrait (45mm f1.8 or the 42.5 f1.7?), and learn to use an off camera flash for both (any recommendations?). I'm not massively into using video, but later down the track (when I can afford it) I want to get into underwater photography/videography so I would use it then. I'm doing masters research as a marine biologist, so I'm inspired by people like Alex Wild and Mark Carwardine who show the world great images from science.

    I'm in Australia so the prices for the kits look like:
    • GX8 ($1159) + Panasonic 12-35mm ($808) = $1967
    • EM-1 + 12-40mm = $1700
    • Or there's a guy selling a used EM1 + 12-40mm + Oly 25mm f1.8 + grip (but I don't see the use for the grip) for $1700 with only 2 months left on warranty. I'm wary about buying Olympus without warranty because of the rear dial / lug problem (is it actually that common?).
    I wasn't sure about the non pro zooms like the 12-50 or panasonic 12-42. I assume there is a noticeable difference.

    I've been researching since February! Because I have a camera I wasn't in a big rush, but I'm tiring not making a decision now. I was hoping more people with the GX8 would post their experiences (I've read the two threads going on here), but mainly people say they are using them but don't post much (probably to avoid the whining on certain forums). Overall feedback looks good though. If I went the GX8 route I would wait a little longer for the price to come down or for the lens to go on sale, at the moment they are both full price.

    Sorry for the wall of text, I have just been reading the forums for so long and always see people commenting that they need more information to be helpful.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    In terms of still photography image quality there isn't any real significant difference between any of the ยต4/3 cameras you mention. Yes there's some feature difference. Difference in AF speed when using old adapted 4/3 lenses. Lots of how many pixels can dance in the head of a pin things. The real difference is the interfaces of the cameras and how they handle, and video. Handle the cameras and see which you like best. The GX8 does 4 k video and is more capable.
     
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  3. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Do you like the 700D? The G7 is similar to the 700D (form, handling, etc). The GX8 and E-M1 are more advanced bodies (features, image stabilization, etc.) and different handling. Nothing wrong with moving up, but that's up to you to decide if you need it or not.

    There are other zoom options than the 12-35 / 12-40 it you prefer primes. But if you want an f/2.8 zoom, then go with the 12-35 for a Panasonic body or the 12-40 for an Olympus body.
     
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  4. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    394
    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    I personally use 2x EM1's professionally and they have been bulletproof. No issues whatsoever! Personally, I'd buy the new kit over the used but I'm GST registered :) Battery life is not great so that's the reason for the grip .... I love them :) Cannot say I like the look of Panasonic bodies much but they have some nice lenses but the Olympus ones are great too. The OM10 Mk2 has had issues with its lens mount and is currently withdrawn from sale (until November I believe) so I wouldn't go there.

    That's a pretty good used deal .... the Olympus 12-40 is a superb lens and the 25 is great too. Maybe you can get it for $1600 CASH :)

    Greetings from NZ!
     
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  5. Sniksekk

    Sniksekk Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Apr 7, 2015
    I've never regretted buying EM1 but haven't tried the others you ask about.

    Anyhow, there is one thing I would like to say.
    If you go for Olympus, I would try to save money and buy used 45mm for portraits, and if you love it. Later consider a 75MM 1.8 prime.
     
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  6. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    I can't speak to the Panny bodies you mentioned, but the E-M1 is a powerful camera that's packed with some amazing features. Live Composite, Keystone Comp, HDR modes, now focus stacking, etc... They all work great, and some (like Live Comp) are real game-changers. The IBIS is only bested by the newer E-M5 Mk II.

    If you want to shoot true macro, I'd take the E-M1 (especially with the new fw upgrade) and 60mm macro with an FL-600 flash for off-camera use any day. If you are looking more less magnification than 1:1, the 12-40 has great close-focusing ability.

    I wouldn't bother with the 12-50. It's an ok lens for a beginner and actually quite versatile, but just not sharp or fast enough when compared to the 12-40. So, if you are already prepared to get a 12-40, then do that (or the Panny 12-35, which is also supposed to be very good). It will do great for landscapes and city scapes, particularly with Live Comp and Keystone Comp.

    I just did my first portrait shoot with the 45 f/1.8 this afternoon. I wish it was the 42.5 f/1.2, but it still did a really good job.

    There is an underwater housing for the E-M1, but it costs $1000. I've never tried underwater photography, but with the new 8mm fisheye and the last fw upgrade, it might be worth a look.

    The dial issue has happened to me twice. For some people it hasn't happened at all. The second time it was no longer under warranty and cost me less than $150 to fix it, IIRC. Without knowing more about the condition of that used kit, it's hard to advise you. It sounds like a steal, but I too am wary of buying used.
     
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  7. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    In Sydney there is one supplier (bricks & mortor & online) that generally has good prices on Olympus & Panasonic. There might be other suppliers with good prices as well, but I have dealt with that company several times with good service & prices although occasionally from others with good deals at the time as well.

    Also, look at Olympusphere for photos from users from there with various models & also with underwater shots using an E-M1.
    This is one of them. http://olympusphere.com/phc/theme/photo/cont_cd/110096/p/o/spr/AUS
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
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  8. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    E-M1+12-40mm.

    IMVHO one of the best combo's out there.
     
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  9. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Finland
    Teemu
    Since you're thinking about getting the Oly 60mm (which I love btw!) I'd recommend an Olympus body to go with it. The Olympus IBIS is incredible and since the 60mm lens lacks OIS you'd probably want some kind of stabilization for you macro shots when you're not using a flash. Plus they both offer focus bracketing which is useful in macros.

    The E-M1 and E-M10II both get great images but are pretty different (size, ergonomics, price, etc.) so I'd recommend you go and try how they feel in your hands before making a decision.
     
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  10. MidasKiss

    MidasKiss Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Sep 15, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    I do like the 700D, I'm not so good that I've surpassed it but they said to look to lenses over bodies and that drew me straight into M43. Thanks for the advice!

    I've read reviews of the 75mm, seems amazing. I doubt I'm good enough to get the most out of the 75/150mm equivalent working distance though. How far away do you need to be to get a standard head/shoulders shot? Maybe one day!

    No matter what i'm getting the 60mm macro, it looks great. $150 for repairs isn't as bad as I thought, but I would feel more comfortable under warranty. The kit seemed in good condition, around 10 months with a shutter actuation around only 2500. The kit was a little dusty from not being used but overall seemed looked after. The owner was a young enthusiast from my university who went on to full frame Canon. I always have a bad gut feeling about buying used, but I'm accepting that it's not based on reason and am trying to work around it. I wish you could get it checked out by Olympus and buy the extended warranty after the fact.

    Is that the company starting with Digi (I'm not sure about naming stores on here?). I bought my Canon through a genuine ebay seller (got cashback so must have been genuine to some degree), so I'm not used to the stores. I'm finding around Sydney it's hard to find people who look after their mirrorless displays, so many cameras with no battery or the battery has no charge when I go to try them, which is pretty limiting for mirrorless cameras..

    Thanks for the resource too.

    Are you a Sydney local? Is there any good M43 or photography groups you recommend around?
    Edit: just saw you're from the Blue Mountains! I lived in Lawson for 19 years until I moved for university :drinks:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  11. MidasKiss

    MidasKiss Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Sep 15, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks.

    I've had a much better go of the EM1 than the EM10, which seemed a little on the small side but it seems lots of people still get good use out of it. The guy selling the used EM1 was nice enough to meet up with the EM1 at university so I could have a better try out of it than in the stores. The viewfinder seemed so much better than when I used it under the store lighting, I was doubting either my eyes or EVFs before that, but it was so crisp outside. The focus bracketing looks great! I was looking through tutorials of that the other day, and dreading the setups that some people use to get the good bracketing shots.
     
  12. MidasKiss

    MidasKiss Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Sep 15, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    Wow just checked the poll, 7 votes out of 7 for the EM1! Where are all the GX8 owners I wonder? Too busy out enjoying their new cameras I guess ;)

    I should have posted here ages ago. Now to decide over new vs used.

    Does anyone use the 25mm f1.8 that's included with the used EM1? I'll have to go dig through the lens showcase threads (what an awesome feature on this site by the way).

    Thanks for all taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it.
    :th_salute:
     
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  13. Sniksekk

    Sniksekk Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Apr 7, 2015
    Olympus announced a cashback in Europe yesterday with EM1 and some Primes.

    If you go for the Olympus house, take a search for Olympus in your country. Maybe it's a global thing?

    Link to Europe thread.
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/80594/#post-819189
     
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  14. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    256
    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Simon
    Maybe the lack of GX8 comments is due to the fact it was only released in August this year, whereas the EM1 has been around since 2013, so there will be more of them out there. Or maybe there are just more Olympus users on here :) Anyway, since the GX8 and EM1 are totally different in shape and ergonomics, I'd be wanting to at least hold each one before spending that amount of money.
     
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  15. MidasKiss

    MidasKiss Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Sep 15, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    I had a look and nothing in Australia. There was a cashback that ran throughout August so I doubt there will be anything soon here. I wish I had have been at this stage of my research 2 months ago, it was save $250 if you bought the camera with the pro lens.
     
  16. MidasKiss

    MidasKiss Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Sep 15, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    Good advice.

    I've handled both in stores and the EM1 I got to handle for 30 minutes or so the other day. It's only since last week that they have actually had batteries and lens on the GX8 body in the stores here. I always find it uncomfortable though while the salesperson eagerly watches me try the camera.

    Both feel good in my hands, people complain about the GX8 size but I don't really get the complaint. It's not significantly bigger than the EM1 and given that the 12-35mm seems much lighter/smaller than the 12-40 they are equal in my eyes. I never really felt like I got enough of a feel for a GX8 to spend so much money, but if I decided on a GX8 I'd feel a lot less bad about spending a good amount of time with one in store.
     
  17. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I font have to 25mm. But it is meant to be a good lens.
     
  18. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have bought from DigiDirect before (E-M5) but it is Cambuy that I linked to in the sentence (as it is here) "In Sydney there is one supplier (bricks & mortor & online) that generally has good prices on Olympus & Panasonic." Check out both of the pages for both brands. I've also had bargains (for the odd thing) from Dirt Cheap Cameras, Ryda & other West Australian companies but Cambuy will at least give you an idea of what price not to pay above & some may do even better (on some things).

    Nice to know you were a local. There are upper & lower Mountains Photography groups here. http://www.upperbluemtnscameraclub.com.au/
    http://www.bmpg.org.au/docs/home.php (Blue Mountains Photography Group).
    :drinks:
     
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  19. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Unfortunately, Australia did have a Cash Back offer (it was $250 back for the E-M1), but it has just ended though. I wouldn't be surprised if some new promotional offer will come up again soon though.
     
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  20. MidasKiss

    MidasKiss Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Sep 15, 2015
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks and thanks! I don't know how I missed the hyperlinks. I think I'm used to blue text linking to B&H and other american sites I don't use.
     
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