EM-1 v. GH3 size comparos

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by meyerweb, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    From a source I find generally accurate:

    Compare camera dimensions side by side

    If you position the EM-1 in front of the GH3, the primary difference is the height of the camera's shoulders. The height at the hot shoe appears identical, and the EM-1 very slightly (2.5mm) narrower in width.

    Personally, I think the extra height of the shoulders on the GH3 is probably an advantage, as it allows for a taller grip area.

    Comparing depth or the body itself is more difficult, since the dimensions include the extension of the eyepiece and the grip. The GH3 appears to have a somewhat deeper grip, a slightly thicker body, and a slightly more protruding EVF, but none the differences seem huge.

    Attached Files:

  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    With the exception of the hotshoe hump the EM-1 is shorter overall and a whopping 23% thinner. Essentially, it is less bulky than the GH3 but only 10% lighter. It's marginally better looking (personal preference & opinion) although the ugly grip makes it less appealing. If I had to choose, I'd go with the E-P5. :cool:
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    No, you can't say it's 23% thinner. The number just don't work that way. The "thickness" numbers quoted include the grip and the rearward protrusion of the EVF. The thickness of the body itself can't really be determined by looking at the measurements. But if you examine the photos closely, it appears the GH3 is slightly, but only slightly, thicker than the EM-1 (discounting the grip and EVF).
  4. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    /me sits back to watch people justifying it really is that much smaller than the GH3
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  5. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Oops. I missed this and started another thread using the camera size website. IMHO, these two are essentially the same size for all practical purposes, e.g., carrying and fitting in a bag.
  6. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    Actually, the link that you provided states very clearly under the comparison photos that the EM-1 is 23% thinner. I didn't just pull that number out of the air. :smile:
  7. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    Yes, and the body, not just the grip, looks about a quarter thinner as well.
  8. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    Thinner without a lens doesn't really mean much unless you intend just use the 15mm lens cap.
  9. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Well, here is another one of those cases where the size difference between two cameras means virtually nothing in real-world use. There is perhaps a 10 percent weight difference between the two. We can argue all day about the size difference. But, when all is said and done, neither fits in a pocket(!) and both require about the same-size case. Size and weight is not the metric we should be using to decide which of these cameras to buy.
  10. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2010
    I would say this. I mean someone switching from one to another will notice a difference, but I don't think the size difference is a major differentiator between the 2. The profile of the 2 cameras is very similar, and both are somewhat chunkier due to the grip (which won't bother you if you want that better grip vs. the thinner models.)
  11. SLOtographer

    SLOtographer Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 1, 2013
    Real Name:
    I find body size less important, once you get bigger than the small rangefinder style bodies. The lenses, accessories, and perhaps more importantly the ergonomics have greater weight in the decision process.

    The other advantage of M43, which goes beyond comparisons, is that you can have both a small form factor body and a DSLR style body with a single lens system. That's the beauty of it. When you want small, get a few primes and go. If you need the bigger lenses and such, then you have the OMD or GH/G series to balance the larger lenses.
  12. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Yes, but you're misinterpreting the number, I think. That's not the thickness of the body, it's the full depth from the back of the EVF eyepiece to the forward most part of the grip. If you think that's really an important measurement, then I guess it's accurate. If you're interested in the depth of the body itself, then the difference between the two is trivial.

    As for the grip, I find the one on the GH3 to be the perfect size, so if the one on the EM-1 is smaller, I'd consider that a negative.
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  13. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Really!!!??? To me, the body looks like it's a couple of mm thinner. Nowhere near 25%. Are you looking at the forward protrusion of the flash housing on the GH3?

    Put any lens other than a pancake on both cameras, and I suspect the difference in depth is trivial.
  14. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    Looking closely from a top down view you're right - the actual thickness of the bodies is very similar. The perceived difference, however is substantial, at least for me. I find the DSLR form factor chunky and ugly. The EM-1 has a more elegant design (IMHO). The left side of the body is tapered, as is the right rear corner. The EVF hump is smaller - on the GH-3 it extends almost as far as the grip. The EM-1 looks as if it was designed as much for form as for function - the GH-3 looks as if function were the only consideration. Olympus demonstrates that it is possible to pay attention to both.

    I guess I'm old school when it comes to the grip. I rest the camera on the heel of my left hand with my thumb and fingers around the lens. The weight of the camera is almost entirely on the left hand and my left elbow is pulled into my chest for stability. I could hold the right side with my thumb and two fingers if I chose. A fat grip is mostly useless to me - I just don't need it. I have large hands - so the bulk of the camera base is covered by my left hand. My right hand is loosely held so that I can operate controls and the shutter.
  15. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    I agree with Rev Bob - the GH3 isnt a particularly big camera and actually looks smaller in real life. But I do have a slight problem with my 'perception' of it being chunky, DSLR like. One of the problems is that the camera almost matches the size of the very bottom of the DSLR chain... so a bit like a Nikon D5200...


    So maybe I am just saying that I think it looks a bit cheap!
  16. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    May 16, 2013
    Even a pancake lens will double the thickness of the body. In fact, unless you're using the 14mm, all MFT lenses will protrude past the grip on both bodies.

    I keep reading stuff this like this and it's honestly baffling. The EM1 is a pretty hideous mismash of organic curves and sharp angles. The GH3 is a blob. Both are thoroughly ugly. And that's just fine. If you're looking at the camera, rather than through the camera, you're doing it wrong.

    I do find it odd that we have mirrorless cameras bigger than DSLRs like the D5200 and SL1. But...hey...there are times I wish I had space on my G5 for a couple more buttons and none of these cameras are nearly as conspicuous as a 5D/D800/D4 or a honking 1DX. Just looking at a 1DX makes my neck hurt.
  17. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    The GH3 has a flash in there, the EM-1 doesn't. I've found the built in flash to be very handy when I'm outdoors and need just a little fill. I'll happily trade accept the bigger hump in exchange for enhanced functionality. There were many times I didn't have a flash with me at all when I had an OM-D. I really don't understand Oly's aversion to including a flash. On the EM-5 we assumed it was because of the space needed for the 5-way IBIS sensors, but the EP-5 pretty much eliminates that theory.

    The first statement may be true. Whether the second is true we won't know until we can get our hands on the EM-1. But I'll choose function over form everyday of the week. I can't imagine the grip will be as successful as the one on the GH3, simply because the GH3 fits my hands perfectly. The shorter body on the EM-1 will, I suspect, leave my little finger hanging out with nowhere to go, just as on my GH2. And Oly's refusal to include a flash leads my to conclude they're putting form ahead of function. That was clearly true with the EM-5, and I think it's at least somewhat true of the EM-1. Which, to my taste at least, is far from beautiful.

    I learned to shoot in the days of the Nikon F, Canon FT, and similar cameras. I, too, cradle the camera in my left hand as you describe. I still find a large grip to be much more comfortable. To each his own. It's nice to have choices.

    It could look like a toy camera from Playskool, for all I care, given how well it works.

    Bingo! Controls sized and arranged for human hands require a certain about of space. Make the body too small and you have to eliminate controls, make them smaller, or cram them closer together. For me, the EM-5 is on the wrong side of that compromise, in all 3 ways, the GH3 is as good as any camera I've used. It may be nearly the size of a D5200, but a complete system is still dramatically smaller, and the D5200 doesn't nearly match the capabilities of the GH3.

    I decided to try the GH3 largely because I kept inadvertently hitting the WB button on my GH2, and the G5 / G6 have the same layout as that camera. I'm very glad I did.
  18. Eubios

    Eubios Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2012
    Real Name:
    ...From a practical point of view, I think the size differences are minimal:
  19. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:
    I can say that when I moved from a 20D with a Tokina 12-24 to a G1 ages ago, that the lump of camera I was carrying really dropped. Since then nothing has really changed as I see it in that department. You can argue mm and grammes here and there but apart from looking on the computer screen it makes NIFF difference.

    Then there was the first day I packed my new light camera into my bag with my 300f4 and tripod. Suddenly there was nothing lit weight about it.


    So for those who carry "just a GF-n camera with a 14mm only" the rest is of diminishing returns.

    Buy the one that feels good to you