G80 vs E-M1i vs E-M5ii vs...

Billabong

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I've been looking for a while now at switching from my Canon DSLR to a MFT camera. Originally I listed the areas I shoot as:
- Macro
- Landscape
- HDR
- BIF
Finding a camera to do all those well means it'd have to be an E-M1ii which is silly money. So if I cross BIF off the list that should open up more possibilities :) I'll replace BIF with night shots (star trails, light trails etc).

I'd like a body with good IBIS as that gives more options for landscape and macro shots. I'd like an EVF and a body that's not too small as I don't have small hands. I really like some of the features on the Olympus bodies like live composite and in camera focus stacking but they're not necessarily deal breakers...

Any thoughts on the 3 cameras I've mentioned please, or any other possibilities that spring to mind???
 

gryphon1911

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The only Oly camera in a reasonable price range to do EVERYTHING in that list is the EM1.1.

The PDAF will be what saves you there for the BIF. Juts about every other m43 camera should be perfectly fine in the other departments.
 

davidzvi

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Since you didn't video I'd cross the G80 off. If you're replacing BIF with star trails and the like I'd opt for the E-M5 mkII. Live Composite is the feature you want. Panasonic has something like it, but theirs is in one of the 4k photo modes and only saves a jpeg while the Olympus system does RAW. The E-M5 mkII also has the hi-res mode so depending on your macro work that could also be a big plus.
 

retiredfromlife

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If you have big hands you may need a grip for the EM5.2 As much as I like the G85 I own the stabilization is far better on Olympus bodies, but I like the options and menu system of Panasonic better.

If you are considering both the EM5.2 and the G85/80 you should look at both in a shop before making a decision. I would get the EM5.2 over the original EM1, or even the PenF with a grip
 

PeeBee

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Just a few observations of mine from several years of cross brand ownership:

I haven't used an EM5 2, but it's a contrast detect auto focus only model. In my opinion, Olympus's CDAF isn't as reliable as Panasonic's. By that, I mean, at least on the Olympus bodies I've used, they are less likely to acquire focus lock in more challenging situations. This is typically when the scene has too little contrast, like in low light, too much contrast, like a dark object against a bright background, or when the subject is moving. This to me is a big deal and tends to steer me towards Panasonic.

Panasonic's viewfinders can get a bit laggy in low light. It's an unnatural experience that can be a little frustrating. Using short focal lengths and wide apertures reduces the effect, and it's something I can live with, but I wish Panasonic's EVF's were as fluid as Olympus's.

Olympus cameras tend to have more customisation. The flip side of that is Olympus menus are more complex, which is ok for us techies, but overwhelming for some. A lot of it however is ' set and forget'.

Of the 3 bodies you're considering, the G80 is the only one with a built in flash and 4k video. 4k can give you 30 fps, 8mp still jpegs with some nifty buffering and in camera stacking options.

The EM5 2 has Hi-res mode, but since that requires 6 frames with no movement across them, I'm not sure how useful that actually is.

Panasonic bodies tend to be more durable than Olympus. This seems to have become less of an issue recently, but not so long ago these forums were full of Olympus quality issues. Burnt EVFs (EM1.1), eyecups and knobs falling off, rubber peeling, paint scratching or wearing off. That said, I have a 2.5 year old EM10 mk1 that still looks like new so I think handling plays a part in this.

Olympus bodes have more character, they look and feel like high quality, highly engineered instruments, whereas Panasonics tend to be little more nondescript.

Edit: Ooops, I forgot to add a conclusion. I think I'd go G80. I feel it would have the most reliable AF when using native lenses, it has 4k photo modes and a built in flash. Its probably the most robust of the bunch too. I'd be giving up Live Composite, Hi Res and some body character, but I feel the G80 is the best general purpose workhorse of the group.
 
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Billabong

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Thanks all, some great food for thought! I like the feel of the G80, if only it had IBIS as good as the Olympus and live composite...
Does focus stacking work pretty much the same in Panasonic & Olympus cameras? It looks like Olympus give you more control but I'd need to delve into manuals/reviews to confirm that. In camera focus stacking would be good for macro, which is maybe where Olympus have an advantage, especially with better IBIS?
 

PeeBee

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I may be wrong but from memory, Panasonic will only focus stack in 4k photo mode, so 8mp jpegs (I dont have time to check this right now).
It does allow focus bracketing of up to 999 full res raws for external stacking though. I'm not sure how this compares to Olympus. Panasonics approach however allows the user to select which areas of the in-camera stack are in focus.
 

retiredfromlife

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Thanks all, some great food for thought! I like the feel of the G80, if only it had IBIS as good as the Olympus and live composite...
Does focus stacking work pretty much the same in Panasonic & Olympus cameras? It looks like Olympus give you more control but I'd need to delve into manuals/reviews to confirm that. In camera focus stacking would be good for macro, which is maybe where Olympus have an advantage, especially with better IBIS?
The stacking on Olympus is better but you really need a tripod, but with Panasonic 4K stacking it can be done hand held but it has a few artifacts and is not as fine from what I see on reviews. I have used the stacking with my G85, it works but the bracketing is better as you get more control and greater number of photos at a higher resolution.

Olympus has the advantage of having flashes like the FL900 and the dual head flash that work with stacking to some degree. Panasonic does not have any flashes like that, that I have seen.
Olympus - Olympus Australia
 

PeeBee

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A quick google search suggests that Olympus in camera focus stacking is limited to the Oly 60mm Macro and their Pro range lenses only. It takes 8 images (raw or jpeg) but the final merged image is jpeg. Panasonics 4k stacking will create an image for every focus point across the frame that the lens is able to focus on, and will allow the user to select the required frames before merging the final image.
 

magIBIS

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I really think this three cameras are on par for your needs - little advantages, different compromises.

The main difference, you will encounter shooting will be in the handling, button layout, evf-feel. Nobody can decide that for you. Go and grab every one of them for some minutes.

It will be quickly clear to you, if there is something, that you don't like and it can't be improved. You can and probably will get used to a different menu and you can improve the grip on the em5II, but maybe you don't like the feel the evf gives, or something, that you would never think could bother you before.

While price is the second biggest point differing the three models now, it is really critical for the long term, if you simply like to pic the camera up, or not, for getting the shot and not loosing more money in changing the model again.

The price for used em1 in perfect shape is so low right now, that it really is a great balance for your needs, and it gives you a used oly 60 macro almost for free. But if you have a good idea to use that insane resolution of the em5II on a tripod, or you know you are more the 4k-stack grabber, then enjoy the other ones. It'll be a compromise, but you already know enough, to make it your compromise, not the one of marketing or someone else.
 

davidzvi

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....Of the 3 bodies you're considering, the G80 is the only one with a built in flash and 4k video. 4k can give you 30 fps, 8mp still jpegs with some nifty buffering and in camera stacking options......
Not sure I really agree with all your points, but I will point out something on the flash. The G80 flash cannot be pulled back to bounce and Panasonic removed the 4th pin in the hot shoe that provided power to their
DMW-FL70-K or the Olympus FL-LM3. While the lose of being able to use the FL70 really doesn't matter, the fact you can't use the LM3 or tilt the popup is just one of the reasons I don't have a G80/85. The LM3 is just so handy I've purchased and modified 3 for different Panasonic bodies and while the E-M5 mkII may not have a built in flash it does come with this little jewel of a flash. I have one modified for my GX85 even though it has a tilt-able built in flash.

I may be wrong but from memory, Panasonic will only focus stack in 4k photo mode, so 8mp jpegs (I dont have time to check this right now).
It does allow focus bracketing of up to 999 full res raws for external stacking though. I'm not sure how this compares to Olympus. Panasonics approach however allows the user to select which areas of the in-camera stack are in focus.
Another of those Olympus can do RAW while Panasonic only does it in JPeg.
 

PeeBee

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^ I don't use flash very often but there are times when having a built in flash has come in very handy, tilt-able or not. I found having a separate flash on the EPMI to be a PITA, I never had it fitted when I wanted it. It's a personal preference and a valid consideration when considering a new camera. I can tilt the flash on my GX85 and RX100, but I rarely do.

Sorry, I don't understand your stacking comment, don't both manufacturers output jpeg as the final merged image?
 

TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

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Thanks all, some great food for thought! I like the feel of the G80, if only it had IBIS as good as the Olympus and live composite...
Does focus stacking work pretty much the same in Panasonic & Olympus cameras? It looks like Olympus give you more control but I'd need to delve into manuals/reviews to confirm that. In camera focus stacking would be good for macro, which is maybe where Olympus have an advantage, especially with better IBIS?
only e-m1.1 and e-m1.2 have in-camera focus stacking, and it works only with specific lenses. e-m5.2 has focus bracketing - moving focus and saving pictures in raw(still huge timesaver).
As much as I love my 5.2, clearly you might be better off with em-1.1 - much cheaper, reliable af, even for BIF, focus stacking, still good for night shots. you might miss high res. if you need those huge files, except for that, it beats 5.2 in any way. I still chose 5.2 because of high res mode and smaller form factor.
 

gryphon1911

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only e-m1.1 and e-m1.2 have in-camera focus stacking, and it works only with specific lenses. e-m5.2 has focus bracketing - moving focus and saving pictures in raw(still huge timesaver).
As much as I love my 5.2, clearly you might be better off with em-1.1 - much cheaper, reliable af, even for BIF, focus stacking, still good for night shots. you might miss high res. if you need those huge files, except for that, it beats 5.2 in any way. I still chose 5.2 because of high res mode and smaller form factor.
The form factor is a big point to consider. You can always make the EM5.2 bigger, but you cannot make the EM1.1 smaller.
 

Carbonman

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only e-m1.1 and e-m1.2 have in-camera focus stacking, and it works only with specific lenses. e-m5.2 has focus bracketing - moving focus and saving pictures in raw(still huge timesaver).
As much as I love my 5.2, clearly you might be better off with em-1.1 - much cheaper, reliable af, even for BIF, focus stacking, still good for night shots. you might miss high res. if you need those huge files, except for that, it beats 5.2 in any way. I still chose 5.2 because of high res mode and smaller form factor.
BTW the E-M1 Mk.1 also has focus bracketing.
I bought the E-M1 precisely because it's larger - the integral grip is nearly perfect (E-M1 Mk.2 is even better). If you use Pro lenses, particularly the 40-150 or 300, the E-M1 is the way to go.
 

Billabong

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Thanks again all :2thumbs:

I need to see the E-M5ii in the flesh but my gut feeling is that it's too small. I know I can add the grip so I'll need to look at that too but it doesn't look like a very elegant solution to me. I have considered a used E-M1 i but have been put off by numerous reports of one of the strap lugs failing - not good!
 

magIBIS

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the strap lug reports are a typical internet thing - you read them and forget all the reports of the pros and enthusiasts, that like the ruggedness and reliability of the Olympus flagship.
yes - for the ones, that encounter it, it's nothing to laugh about. And they put that bad news for them straight into the world wide forum. How often did they report, that the camera slipped and that lug saved the lens? Or it fell down on stones and worked just fine after the shock? (some members will remember such posts here actually, because this is a positive forum ;-)

be aware, check the net, but remember - there's no good news hype
 

Billabong

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Yep, fair point magIBIS.

Am I right in thinking that the E-M1 i has focus stacking & live composite? Is the IBIS good? A used E-M1 i might be an ideal toe in the water as I could probably sell it for almost what I pay for it, should I decide a different camera is warranted! :laugh1:
 

wimg

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One additional comment:

If you happen to have or had and Canon L-lenses and really liked their output, I'd suggest you go Oly. You'll really like the image files produced.

You may consider the EM II silly money, but to be very honest, I reckon it will last you 5 years or more, plus it has a slightly larger pixel count, which is closer to what Canon bodies have these days anyway.

Of the three bodies mentioned, taking everything into account you mentioned, plus my remarks above, I would put the E-M1 I as number one on the list, followed by the E-M5. However, if you can extend your budget, I would seriously consider the E-M1 II. It's worth it IMO.

HTH, kind regards, Wim
 

gcogger

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If you happen to have or had and Canon L-lenses and really liked their output, I'd suggest you go Oly. You'll really like the image files produced.
I'm not sure why that would favour Olympus over Panasonic? I used to use the Canon system (including a number of L lenses), but I'm now using mostly Panasonic gear. I've seen no significant difference in the files produced by either micro 4/3 system, and the ergonomics of things like the Panasonic G and GH ranges are much closer to that of my Canon cameras than the Olympus cameras I've tried or owned (cameras like the E-M5 just feel clumsy in comparison, to me).
 

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