GH3 vs EM1 - build quality

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by jonlong, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Oct 25, 2013
    I'm looking at upgrading from my G6 to the GH4 when it becomes available, but I'm also interested in the EM1. I rarely shoot video, so my preference for the GH4 only arises out of my preference for the flip out LCD and comfort with Panasonic menus and control.

    My question is, how does the build quality compare between em1 and gh3? There are no places around me that carry either camera to test out. I'd rather not rent both, given that I already know I'm leaning toward the panasonic. Has anyone used both who can weigh in with an opinion? Thanks!


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  2. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    The only way to know which has the better build quality would be to look for reports of faults. Unfortunately, when you ask about build quality, many people give you their opinion of how they like the feel of the materials (which is a different thing entirely).
     
  3. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    I've held an EM1 and own a GH3. I liked the grip and the flip-out screen on the GH3 better. The EVF on the EM1 was bigger (at least in 4:3 mode, the GH3 EVF is 16:9 and pillarboxes for 4:3 photos). That's about it for differences outside of button layouts, which is so subjective I wouldn't even bother advocating one over the other.

    Anyone who tells you that one is built markedly better than the other is either lying or subconsciously projecting their brand preferences. They're both solid. Don't drop either onto concrete though.
     
  4. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Oct 25, 2013
    In terms of fit and finish, feel of the buttons and knobs, are they the same? I don't mind subjective answers,
     
  5. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Oct 25, 2013
    Has nobody used both a gh3 and em1?


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  6. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    They're both fine. The GH3 DISP button is mushy, but it works. You're grasping for a distinction that doesn't exist. One is not superior to the other.
     
  7. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Oct 25, 2013
    Not hoping for a distinction, just wondering if any exists. I always hear the quality and weather sealing of the em1 touted, but not so much with the gh3. Thanks for the info!


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  8. armoredpig

    armoredpig Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Mar 28, 2013
    Well, I can't speak for the EM1 but my GH3 feels solid. The DISP button is recessed into the grip to avoid accidental presses and has less tactile feedback than the others, but it doesn't rattle my confidence in the build quality at all. I've used it in heavy snow and the weather sealing on it and the 12-35 held up fine after the snow melted onto it.

    I have little doubt that the EM1 is just as well built, although the cracked bezels issue on the EM5 would make me go over the camera with a magnifying glass.
     
  9. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    Can't compare because I don't have an EM1. But so far the GH3 has not failed any of my expectations in terms of build quality.
     
  10. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Heres a question - given the rapid turn-over of technology in the m43 space (almost a new model in the range every year per manufacturer) - how long would people expect their camera to last under normal use ?

    Or are the build and materials sufficient to last within an operational window defined by technological improvements. Eg a camera doesn't need to last more than 5 years because by then you can pick up a better one for less anyway - its build is 'just good enough'.

    My E-P1 feels great, my E-PM1 is not too bad but a little cheaper in terms of feel and my G3 feels kinda like a toy. Image quality from the newer cameras is still great though.
     
  11. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Oct 25, 2013
    I would hope that any camera would outlast my interest in it. I'm not one to necessarily want each new model as it comes out. But micro four thirds is taking big steps right now and is just shy of the level that I will be totally happy with. I recently bought a g6 to dip my feet into m43, knowing that I'd want to upgrade to a weather sealed body as soon as one justified the price over the G6. I've got my eye on the gh4. If I end up getting that, I could see keeping it at least 5-7 years and would hope that it's still in great condition at that point. I take excellent care of my equipment and have always been able to resell it in like-new condition.


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  12. EileenSeattle

    EileenSeattle New to Mu-43

    8
    Feb 14, 2014

    I think if a flip out screen is important to you then the GH3/4 is the best option. It rotates 360 and is gorgeous. I maybe wrong but the EM1 has limited flexibility, like you cannot twist it to have it face you for a "selfie".
     
  13. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Oct 25, 2013
    Yeah, the GH3/4 would be the ticket. My G6 is great, and has the same flip out screen, but is not weather sealed and just doesn't feel built for the outdoors.