Go with Olympus E-M1MK III or Panasonic G9?

Dinobe

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Why not grab an E-M1 Mkii? Yes, it's a bit older, lacks some features from the em1 mkiii, but there are some really good deals around right now. For example a deal from a Olympus Europe: the E-M1 mkii with the 12-40 f2.8 and the 30mm macro for free for about €1100
 

John King

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For your pro work, I would NOT mix Olympus and Panasonic zooms.
The reason is the zoom rings turn in opposite directions.
That is not an issue for casual use. But for pro work, when time is critical, if you turn the zoom ring the wrong way, you could miss a shot. Been there, done that. :mad:
The lenses that I use for sports, are all Olympus for that reason. Muscle memory to turn the zoom ring.

re: batteries.
The battery run time depends on which lens I use. The 12-100 is a GREAT lens, but it just sucks battery power.
On my older EM1-mk1, with a non-pro Panasonic 12-60 on my EM1-mk1, I was getting about 4 hours run time.
But when I used the 12-100, I only got about 2-1/2 hours. That short run time was an unpleasant kick in the pants.
The EM1-mk2/mk3 has a 40% larger capacity battery and lasts about 40% longer.
So when I use the 12-100, it is with the mk2, not the mk1.

re the EM1-mk2 vs mk3.
At this point in time, I would go with the later mk3.

Warning. I have read posts reporting that Panasonic will NOT repair some of the P-Leica lenses. I do not know if they do a swap, and give you another serviced lens, or if they just don't support the lenses after purchase.

If you have a weight issue, you may hit a point where you can't carry the stuff.
I switched from Nikon dSLR to Olympus to cut the weight of my kit.
But on some of my long shoots, the Olympus pro lenses feel HEAVY, and start to wear me out. So I can see myself using the pro lenses less, and switching to the lighter non-pro lenses.
Quite agree.

It's why I have three different kits, these are based on three different bodies:

Big: E-M1 MkII (or MkIII)

Medium: E-M1 MkI

Tiny: E-PM2

I play mix and match with my various lenses.
 
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Sep 10, 2019
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If you have arthritis and are downsizing I'd say the first order of business is getting both cameras in hand and which ever fits you the best is the one you should get. I wish I would've listened to my gut instinct when I held the G9 in the store- it just didn't feel right to me. I couldn't shoot for very long, even with smaller zooms, without getting hand and wrist fatigue. And I’m able bodied. I rented an EM1iii and poof!, it is a lot more comfortable even with my PL100-400 for extended periods. I currently own both but as you can probably guess I will be selling the G9. I am not knocking the G9- it's a great camera especially for the money, it just simply didn't fit me.

I do think I am in the minority with my experience because plenty of people rave about G9's ergonomics. But I will say they are both distinctly different in terms of size & weight, ergonomics- how they feel in hand, and styling- I think on paper or internet comparison it's impossible to see any of these differences.

In terms of AF I will give the edge to Oly for action/wildlife shooting using the traditional method of using the smallest cluster of AF points you can get away with. It also does face and eye tracking quite well. One major difference was how composed the em1iii feels when shooting bursts + C-AF. That Panasonic DFD flutter kind of feels like a war movie- though it has improved with 2.4 FW. Where I think the G9 excels in AF is how it triages from animal to human eye to face to body (and is intuitive to switch between different people to focus on) to all points AF. For a lot of my shooting (people doing stuff in landscapes, not necessarily portraits) I do miss Panny's implementation. I think it could work quite well for event shooters. I haven't tested the new 2.4 FW that much but it has improved which is crazy because I thought it worked quite well to begin with.

My experience exactly!

Switching between human faces works quite well on the EM1.3 too. I have the front buttons set up to switch face/eye detection on/off and switch faces, respectively. (Main problem is that I can never remember which button has witch functionality 🤣.)
 

archaeopteryx

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I have read posts reporting that Panasonic will NOT repair some of the P-Leica lenses. I do not know if they do a swap, and give you another serviced lens, or if they just don't support the lenses after purchase.
Panasonic doesn't seem to repair any of its photography equipment (not sure about video). Replace if it's in warranty, probably a bit of a price break on a new one if it's not. The discounted new prices I've seen mentioned in posts have always been higher than used pricing. From what I've been able to piece together, it looks like Fuji's policy is about the same. From some of the changes Nikon's announced it seems like they might be converging to a comparable model, though it's too early to tell. And, if you don't have a higher end gear list like the OP does, it's not too hard for repair costs to be comparable to or exceed replacement costs when repair is an option.

If OMD has made any sort of statement about whether it'll be continuing Olympus' approach to repair I haven't been able to find it within the bit of looking I've done. If anyone does know what they're thinking that'd be interesting.

People here have had luck with getting certain repairs on Panasonic independently. Pretty much all indications seem to be Panasonic won't provide parts to the independents so, from the various posts about it on mu-43 over the past few years, it looks like repair availability can be hit and miss even if you have someone wanting to do the work.
 

Aviator

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Arturo
I was originally in the same dilemma between the G9 and the EM-1 III… This dilemma was mainly because aside 1 exception, currently all of my lenses are Olympus.

The first dilemma was solved due to the camera prices. Aside a couple exceptions, I mainly buy used gear, the EM-1 III in ebay is currently around 1300-1400 USD the G9 cost me 770 USD on an auction. In a few years the EM-1 III will be around 700-800 USD and that’s when I’ll get it. If I’m going to spend +1000 USD on camera gear, I prefer to spend that kind of money on a nice lens that is going to hold its value much better than any camera. It is amazing how you can find older cameras for 1/3 or less of its original price after a few years.

The second dilemma was between the G9 vs the EM-1 II / EM-5 III.
Both Olympus cameras can be purchased on ebay for around 700-800 USD in great condition. Being an EM-5 II owner I decided NOT to go in that way this time because I wanted a camera with a better grip specially when used with PRO lenses. The dilemma was mainly between the EM-1 II and the G9, after much deliberation little things that made me go for the G9 were: the joystick, the higher res EVF with different size settings for those of us that wear glasses, the dedicated 3 buttons on the top for WB, ISO and Exp. Compensation plus the screen on top where I can see all my settings, also as a bonus, I can update the firmware of any of my Olympus lenses in an easier and friendlier way than via the Olympus software.

Things that I wanted to have, but that I lost when I decided to get the G9 and that I care for with respect the Olympus cameras:
1. The live composite mode.
2. The Olympus color science, with Olympus even if I only shoot raw, it is easier to develop my pictures because I rarely need to tweak colors, with the G9 I feel that I always have to play with the colors in one way or another, specifically skin tones, to get the result that I want. Olympus colors are cooler, Panasonic colors tend to be warmer.
3. Phase detect AF with cross type points along the sensor area. (I wanted to have this, however I don’t really need it)

Let me talk a little bit more about AF, because this is strictly very user specific: I’m not a sports or wildlife photographer, I don’t shoot fast moving subjects (cats may be an exception) and I never use complex tracking AF modes or even C-AF. I’m a simpler user: Single AF with single area point, I like to shoot and recompose most of the time, however with the joystick now I’m moving more frequently the AF point to avoid recomposing.

That being said, Panasonic contrast detect AF work flawlessly with any of my Olympus lenses, it is super fast and accurate. No problems to report here. A few days after I got the camera, Panasonic released firmware 2.4, I have been testing Human/Animal detect AF, so far so good, I’ll probably start using it more frequently.

I don’t shoot video so I can’t provide feedback on that area.

Many users avoid to mix brands due to incompatibilities between Panasonic and Olympus like aperture rings or bad results when you start to add teleconverters. Since I don’t use TC or have lenses with aperture rings, in my experience this has not been a problem. At the end of the day one of the many beauties of Micro Four Thirds is to be able to use multiple brands in a same format with great results.

Greetings.
 
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So Thankful

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Well I have decided to go with the Olympus equipment.
I will be ordering the following this week.
E-M1 MK III
E-M1 MK II
7-14 2.8 Pro
12-40 2.8 Pro
40-150 2.8 Pro
60 mm Macro
14-150 4-5.6 II

The 1.2 Pro primes will come but later.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Well I have decided to go with the Olympus equipment.
I will be ordering the following this week.
E-M1 MK III
E-M1 MK II
7-14 2.8 Pro
12-40 2.8 Pro
40-150 2.8 Pro
60 mm Macro
14-150 4-5.6 II

The 1.2 Pro primes will come but later.
Can't go wrong with that setup. I haven't owned most of that, but the 40-150 pro is the bee's knees.
 

SpecFoto

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Well I have decided to go with the Olympus equipment.
I will be ordering the following this week.
E-M1 MK III
E-M1 MK II
7-14 2.8 Pro
12-40 2.8 Pro
40-150 2.8 Pro
60 mm Macro
14-150 4-5.6 II

The 1.2 Pro primes will come but later.
As both a long time EM5/EM1 user since 2012, now with a EM1 MkIII, and having a G9 since Jan 2018 I feel you made the right choice going with Olympus. Below is a chart comparing the 2 cameras with my feelings of 9 items are better with Olympus and only 3 are better with the G9. I had bad front/back AF focusing with the G9 from the get go and while they keep adding FW to correct the issues, it's still is not as good as the EM1 MkIII in Eye detect AF, CA-F where the DFD AF wobbles, or IBIS. And to the poster who brought up micro adjustment and being an issue, it has never been an issue with my 5 Olympus bodies and the 12 Olympus or 5 Panasonic lenses I have owned. But despite all the FW upgrades my G9 still refuses to work with my Oly MC-14 1.4x TC and the Oly 40-150 f2.8 Pro, my keeper ratio is less than 10%. With the Oly 40-150 only the G9 is fine and the TC and 40-150 combo works just fine on all of my EM5/EM1 cameras without issue.

Here is a link to a Dallas wedding photographer who uses Olympus, he has some very good videos on his YT channel. The latest one is on using the EM1 for video. He also has one for setting up his EM1 MkIII for weddings.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHg1eHVqxh0mY7iApQfGDGA


Good luck with your new gear!
EM1 MKIII vs. G9-My Take.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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dbateman

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Messages
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I am coming from Canon R6 and the fast glass. The body itself was not the main issue. The huge fast glass was.
i do shoot weddings so having fast glass is a need. The fast micro 4/3 glass is much smaller and lighter than it’s full frame equivalents.
I do enjoy shooting birds on occasion but it is just for fun.
Has anyone been able to try BIF with the G9 and new firmware?
You asked about birds.
I am surprised no one mentioned the mirrorless comparison website.
Have a look here for most recent settings and tests.
https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/best/mirrorless-cameras-for-birds-in-flight/
 
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Solna, Sweden
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Well I have decided to go with the Olympus equipment.
I will be ordering the following this week.
E-M1 MK III
E-M1 MK II
7-14 2.8 Pro
12-40 2.8 Pro
40-150 2.8 Pro
60 mm Macro
14-150 4-5.6 II

The 1.2 Pro primes will come but later.
Can we get an update on how things are going? :)
 

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