EM5, EM10 or GX7

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by bpye, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. bpye

    bpye New to Mu-43

    Apr 15, 2016
    I am looking to get a micro 43 camera, seems to be a good way to have a very good camera that is also small enough that I can carry it most of the time (what's the point of a DSLR that I likely won't have with me often down to size...). I want to do landscape and urban photography, I'm not sure if that will change much. All my options are £350 or less pretty much, they are as follows.
    1. Used EM5 with new Panasonic 12-32mm
    2. Used EM5 with used Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (might be a little more)
    3. New EM10 with new Panasonic 12-32mm
    4. New GX7 with new Panasonic 12-32mm
    The 20 mm prime appears to cost more so perhaps the GX7 is the better deal for that reason. The GX7 and EM10 have very similar features as far as I can tell, the EM5 appears to be a step down in some ways and an improvement in others however. Any input would be much appreciated, thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  2. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The 12-32 isn't fast but it's a nice lens. Having owned all of these combinations (sad, I know) I can honestly say you can't go wrong photographically with any of them. If you don't need WR sealing, I'd go with one of the new models. The GX7 will give better video than the EM10 and the EM10 has slightly better IBIS. Of course, IBIS doesn't matter if you are using either of these lenses since they have OIS. The EVF of the GX7 bothers some folks but I wasn't one of them. I would lean toward the GX7 slightly for the ergonomics.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  3. Moula

    Moula Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2016
    Personally I prefer ergonomics of E-M10 Mk II over Mk I and also over both E-M5. Nice feature of GX7 is its rangefinder layout: nothing protrudes from outline and you do not push your nose into display. But I do not now your local prices and your personal preferences.
  4. bpye

    bpye New to Mu-43

    Apr 15, 2016
    Haven't had enough experience to really decide between the rangefinder and OM-D design, though I guess I can see what you are talking about. I would like the M10 Mkii or the M5 Mkii however they are way out of my price range.
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Hi, welcome to the forum.

    The E-M5 has two advantages: weather sealing and 5-axis IBIS. The sealing works only with sealed lenses (12-50, 14-150, pro lenses, etc.). There are no small sealed lenses. And I think 5-axis vs 3-axis alone is not a good enough reason, even less if you plan to use stabilized lenses with short focal lengths.
    So it comes down to E-M10 vs GX7

    Compact Camera Meter

    Rangefinder vs DSLR is a personal thing. If you can, go in a shop and try to handle this cameras, even if it is not the exact model. Better ergonomics and controls also depend on the user's hands. The same for the Pana vs Oly system: I used both and I liked both.
    I think that the GX7 can be marginally more pocketable (in a jacket) because of the shape. The GX7 has silent shutter, this means totally silent (you cannot use this for fast moving subjects and a few other minor limitations): good for stealth shots. E-M10 has a couple of nice modes for long exposure (on tripod, several seconds) night photography.

    EDIT: E-M10 vs. GX7

    The P20 can be good for street, maybe a little limiting for landscapes. If you are not sure about the focal length a zoom is better. A prime can be better for an old school learning style, when you first learn to master on tool (focal length) and then move to others. A tough school but worthy(?) if you have time and persistence. For casual shots, travel pictures, events, etc. a zoom is more versatile (in normal light).
    The P20 is much better in low light, so if you plan to go out and shoot mostly in the evening, indoor, etc. it has an advantage. In practice you'll get pictures with much less digital noise. Consider that depending on how you plan to use the pictures this can be more or less relevant: for web sharing is not a big issue, the same for small prints. Even less in black and white and for some kind of shots it can even add something.
    The P20 optically is a better lens, it may add that little extra "pop" to the pictures. Some pictures can benefit from this, for others it really does not matter.
    The P20 can blur the background much more but it is not a "blur machine" neither a classic portrait lens. If you want to play with portraits I'd recommend to get a manual focus lens like a Canon FD 50/1.8 , and a cheap adapter (all for about $30 with a good offer).
  6. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Welcome to M43.
    There is a crazy good deal on a NEW GX7 at CameraWorld
    Cameraworld - Buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 & 14-42mm II at CameraWorld

    I have no association with them but I have bought from them and they are good guys to deal with.


    EDIT - the link takes you to the GX7 + 20mm even though it says 14-42 - I don't know why. The GX7 with 14-42 is £50 cheaper
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
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  7. bpye

    bpye New to Mu-43

    Apr 15, 2016
    Yeah the cameraworld link is what I have been looking at. Alternatively the OM-D EM10 appears to be being sold on eBay £250 body only too and the 12-32mm is a little over £100, new but separated from a kit. I think I'm leaning toward the GX7 as I would like to try with a prime, however I certainly understand that it can be limiting.
  8. Lettermanian

    Lettermanian Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 4, 2014
    Surrey BC, Canada
    I had the GX7 before I purchased the EM10ii and I really did like the camera. I rarely used the evf - I didn't like how it was offset; prefer the middle of the camera - but the lcd is very nice, crisp and colourful. Ergonomics were different but definitely got used to how the camera felt and worked. Very pocketable with a small pancake lens like the 20mm or the 12-32. It has better video specs than the Oly if that's important, although my experience with the 20mm II lens is that of many: slow, hunting focus in video mode on both Panasonic and Olympus cameras. I don't have the 12-32 so I can't comment, but seems to get good overall reviews.

    Even though I prefer the Oly out-of-camera jpegs over those of Panasonic (I rarely do any post-processing), in this case I would probably choose the GX7 over the original EM10. Panasonic lenses are probably the best way to go since they have IS in the lens. The GX7 does have a limited 2-axis IBIS (only in stills mode, not video), so you can still use Oly or legacy mf lenses, the IS just won't be very effective. Good luck in your choice! :)
  9. You can also pick up the E-M10 from SRS for £250:

    Olympus OM-D E-M10 Camera Body

    I think I'd go with the Camera World deal, but you won't get the 12-32mm with that bundle. The 12-32mm can be found for just over £100 and they regularly come up on eBay:

    Panasonic LUMIX 12-32 New with Cokin Filter

    The GX7 is a much nicer camera to hold than either of the Olympus models. It has a really nice grip built in, which means it's nicer to use one handed and feels sturdy.

    Is this your first DSLR type of camera? If this is your first experience of a camera with a built in viewfinder then the GX7 one shouldn't bother you. The issue that folk have is that the GX7 has a 16:9 ratio EVF (widescreen TV) whilst all other mu43 viewfinders are 4:3 (old school TV). This means that when the EVF displays a 4:3 image, which is what the full sensor is, the image appears in the EVF with black bars at either ends. It's perfectly fine for composing photographs but if you started getting in to manual focussing then you'd want one of the bigger EVFs found in the GX7, E-M1 or E-M5ii, which are all expensive options!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Such nice cameras for such good prices.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    I know this doesn't help someone who's trying to make a decision, but I agree with drd1135. All three are excellent cameras, and they're a steal at current prices. It really comes down to matter of personal preference. Even so, you're likely to be delighted with your camera, no matter which one you choose.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. danelkins

    danelkins Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Norhtern Illinois
    If you are certain you will use a Panasonic lens then I would highly recommend a GX7. As you will find their is a higher level of performance with native lenses – lower CAs and AF speed. All of your options are great, and if a freind asked me a similar question I would recommend a GX7 kit with 14-42 and 20mm. If you decide on Oly then EM10 kit and P20mm
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 28, 2013
    Another vote for the GX-7. Agreed that IBIS may not be as good as the olympus cameras for non IS lenses but it has a better grip and ergonomics, better menus, it's IQ in RAW is as good as my EM-5 II, it can use my superb Lumix 7-14 without any purple blob problem, 1/8000 shutter that believe it or not is quite useful, tilting screen that has turned out to be a lot more useful that I had imagined, build quality is top notch and I love the swivel evf.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. danelkins

    danelkins Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Norhtern Illinois
    PLUS Electronic Shutter and Silent Mode
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    If you mainly process RAWs I recommend the GX7 if you can find it bundled with that 12-32 kit lens,
    but if a Jpeg user I find Olympus better (in general) so go for an E-M10 and either take the quite good 14-42 (any version) in the kit or go get that 12-32.
    In either case your next lens purchase should be a cheap long zoom (unless you get a bargain 2-lens kit deal), then your 20mm or 45mm prime.
  16. I've played around with a friend's EM-10 and loved the way it handled.
    But I am also the owner of a GX7 for several years and - it may qualify as the best all around camera, digital or otherwise, that I've ever owned and used.
    With either of these two, you can't go wrong.
    For some reason, the EM-5's which I fooled around with never really connected with me.
    But the lesson to be learned is - if at all possible - spend as much time as you can handling - if not shooting with - each of the 3 cameras. They actually all do handle differently. And, strange as it may seem or sound, the one which instinctively feels the best in your hands - and the most unobtrusively organic while shooting - IS I believe the best one for you.

    One final note. GX7's can now be found in very good shape lightly used, for even better prices, I suspect, than the new ones.

    Good luck making your decision. The truth is, all of them are fine cameras so it would be hard to 'go wrong'.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I had this exact same dilemma a couple years back, and after trying all the options at the store ended up with the GX7. Features aside, the shooting experience, ergonomics, user interface, and controls was just much better for me. It was the tactile stuff, the actual act of using the camera, that made the decision for me. I wish it had the E-M5's weather sealing and IBIS, but the GX7 just gets out of my way and becomes pretty invisible in use, which I'm realizing is about as big a compliment I can pay to a camera (after using a few other different competitors more recently).
    • Agree Agree x 2
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