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GH2 or OM-D E-M5?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by agkelly73, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. agkelly73

    agkelly73 New to Mu-43

    Feb 7, 2012
    Hello all. Brand new to the forum but not 4/3 so to speak. I currently have an Olympus E-420 4/3 but looking to purchase a m4/3 body in the next few days and wanted to get some opinions from the folks in the forum. Over the past several weeks I had been eyeing the Panny GH2, however with the OM-D release I find myself having a great debate. So I have two questions.

    First Question: Go with the GH2 w/ 14-42 kit lens….or….preorder the OM-D E-M5 w/12-50 lens? (Cost is not a deciding factor in case folks were wondering.)

    Secondly: Which prime would you guys start with?
    A. Panny 25mm f/1.4
    B. Oly 45mm f/1.8
    C. Panny 20mm f/1.7

    I’ve read around on the forum and there are lots of folks that like each. Once I order whichever camera I decide to go with I will be ordering one of the primes.

    If it helps, I do intend to shoot some video with whatever I get, but it isn’t my primary means for doing so either. I mostly like to photograph scenes, landscapes, classic cars, architecture, unique looking objects etc. Also like taking photos at night of city scenes etc. Most of the time I’m not photographing people.

    Thanks for the input.
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If cost is not a factor, get the OM-D! With the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux (best bokeh, fastest for night photos, and best focal length for scenes and general non-people shots).
    Use the m.Zuiko 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 as your video lens and bad-weather lens (smooth, quiet, good range, fully weather sealed).
  3. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    This is a very good question, and one that people are glossing over. The OM-D is not better in every way; you have to decide which features are more important to you. If the Olympus is using the G3 sensor, then the GH2 has better sensor performance, plus being multi-aspect. The GH2 also has great controls. I have never broken a camera due to weather damage, and I have used a Nikon D40 with 18-55mm lens in the middle of a large water balloon fight. So, my answer is "it depends." If I were in your position, I think I'd be going GH2. Of course, there could be a few things that would sway me to the Olympus if they were good enough:
    -3D tracking (will it really do motion?)
    -autofocus with 4/3 lenses

    As for a first lens, the 45mm is a portrait lens, while the 20mm and 25mm are general-purpose lenses. If cost is no object, get the 25mm.
  4. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    I'm going to preface this by saying that in my opinion, Panasonic glass produces more pleasing images than Olympus glass. For what you mentioned you like shooting, I agree with Ned - the PL25 seems like the right focal length. If you want to go a little wider, a lot cheaper and a lot more portable/inconspicuous, the 20mm f/1.7 is actually a fantastic lens. It doesn't quite have the bokeh of the 25, and it's a tad less bright, but it's still yields beautiful shots and I like shooting that focal length for cars and general-purpose photos. The 45mm is awesome, but it's hardly all-purpose, so I'd recommend it as a third lens. You might also want to look into the 7-14. It's my favorite lens so far - great image quality, fun distortion at the 7mm end and very versatile, but the 20 or the 25 would be my choice for a first lens.

    No input on the bodies - I'm in the same boat (GH2 vs G3 vs E-M5 for my next body), and until I handle all three, I'm not going to know which to go with.
  5. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I went with the OM-D over the GH2. Why?

    1. weather-sealed body
    2. 1/250 flash sync
    3. 5-axis in-body stabilization
    4. weak AA filter
    5. don't care about video

    I'm planning on using my few Panny G1 lenses on it until the new X lenses come out.
  6. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    With all due respect, you are asking people to speculate on how great the E-M5 is compared to a GH2. One is a proven performer and the other just looks great on paper. As much as I am a supporter of Olympus cameras, their M4/3 video capability has been iffy at best. So, even though the E-M5 has new IS system with video IS available, nobody can tell you whether it performs better than the GH2 or not, in terms of video capability... Also, don't know if the PL25 has the rattlesnake sound with the E-M5... there are just too many unknowns...

    On the other hand, if you can wait a while longer, I would suggest waiting till the GH3 is launched. Then, you can compare a GH2, E-M5, and a GH3...
  7. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    If video is important (for example, you need 1080p 24p), then the GH2 is your ticket.

    However, as an E-series owner, you're probably used to the way Olympus "renders" their images. A lot of people (myself included) prefer the way Olympus meters, white balances, and outputs their JPEGS/RAW. So I would recommend you take a look at the GH2's output to see if you're ok with it. Having said that, if you're a RAW shooter and don't mind PPing most/all of your photos, then it's a moot point.

    I had an E-PL1 and a GF2. Upgraded the E-PL1 to an E-P3. Will be selling my GF2 to replace it with another body - initially I was thinking of the E-PM1 but the E-M5 announcement came out just in time. I am switching to an all-Oly setup for now. But that's my preference and there are plenty of happy Panasonic owners too.

    With regards to lenses, the 20+45 will be a very good combo. You can swap out the 20 for the 25, if cost is not a big deal. Personally I much prefer the 50mm effective focal length of the PL25. Once I get the E-M5, it and the 25mm will make for a very happy couple. :biggrin:

    P.S. You can also wait for the GH3 as hkpzee mentioned. But be prepared to wait. A long time - especially if you're in the USA.
  8. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I find myself in a similar situation. I was totally going to go for a GH2 or maybe the GX with the viewfinder but now I am really liking the new Oly. You can preorder now but they will not be available until April. In the mean time my plan is to watch every test video I can find and read every review. The reviews so far are not much more than press kit info so too early to tell.
  9. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    If you really plan on buying in the next few days, the GH2 is your only choice. I prefer the image stabilization of the E-M5, but coming from an E420 you might not miss it. I still wouldn't pre-order until some real world testing happens.

    Here's what I would do. Buy a used GH2 with the 14-42 or 14-45. If when it's available, the E-M5 meets expectations I'd be able to sell the GH2 without taking a big hit.

    For the lens my preference would be the 45/1.8, but it sounds like the 20 or 25 would suit you better. I'd want the 25 for bragging rights (and I think it's a little better), but would probably pick the 20 for financial reasons.

  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    FWIW, the E-M5 is not expected to ship outside Asia until at least early April. So something to keep in mind.

    Then decide if you like shooting 4:3 primarily, or 3:2 or 16:9. If the latter, the GH2 has the edge (native multi-format support). If the former, the E-M5 looks to be nicer, albeit at substantially higher price.

  11. chip

    chip Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 7, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    I'm considering this logic in making my GX1 or E-M5 decision: Buy both!

    1) The GX1 is available now, so I can purchase it now;
    2) If I'm very happy with the GX1 when the E-M5 becomes available in April, then getting the E-M5 either won't be a priority or it will no be longer a consideration;
    3) If I still desire the E-M5 when it arrives, I can purchase it since enough time will have passed to have "recovered" from the GX1 purchase. If need be, I could also sell my GF1 or GX1 to help finance the purchase.
  12. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    Cheaper body = More Lenses!

    If video is a casual affair for you, then get the G3 + 25/1.4 + 45/1.8

    2 primes are better than 1!
  13. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    The real answer: WAIT

    Unless you absolutely need a camera now (in which case the GH2 is your only available option), wait until test reports and user reports come in. Right now no one knows how good the performance will really be. AF? Oly's claims are suspect. DR? Who knows. High ISO performance? Probably at least as good as the G3, but we don't really know. Is the IBIS really as good as claimed, especially for video?

    How well does the camera really handle? How often do you need to use the touchscreen to perform common functions? How good is the EVF compared to the one in the GH2?

    No one can answer these questions yet.
  14. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The GH2 also has a weak AA filter. All of the Panasonic bodies do, from the G1 onward. Olympus has been marketing their weak AA filter with every body since the E-PL1, none of which have varied from the Panasonics in this regard. The only MFT bodies without a weak AA filter are the E-P1 and E-P2, which not surprisingly also happen to be the two bodies which best suppress aliasing :smile:.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Well, to be picky about it... Olympus never actually marketed the weak AA filter in the E-PL1. They never got around to publicly mentioning it until the E-5 DSLR which came out after the E-PL1. So the E-PL1 was like the Panasonics... a silent giant. It was the user base on forums such as this one which effectively marketed the E-PL1 as a sharp camera. ;) 
    • Like Like x 2
  16. agkelly73

    agkelly73 New to Mu-43

    Feb 7, 2012
    Thanks for all the great opinions everyone. I think for what I'm looking for I'm going to stick with my original plan and go with the GH2 and get the Panny 25mm. Now only question is do I go with the 14-42mm lens or the 140mm?
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you have a 25mm/1.4 prime, there is no need for the 14-42mm/3.5-5.6. Get the 40-150mm or 14-150mm instead to broaden your range.
  18. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    That 14-140mm is a sweet walkabout lens and carries nicely on the GH2.
  19. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    With the GH2 + PL25 combo, at least you won't have to worry about the rattle-snaking of the PL25 + Oly cameras.

    I hope the OMD + PL25 combo doesn't rattlesnake ... keeping fingers crossed.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Yep. And it's remarkably sharp. Not just for a 10x zoom, but compared to shorter zooms, too. I can't really tell any differences between images shot with the 14-45 and 14-140.
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