GX7 or EM5?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by MadProphet, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. MadProphet

    MadProphet Mu-43 Regular

    Anyone used/using both? Contrasts? I have the Panny, as shown in my signature, but I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on the ergonomics. I've been offered a EM5 in a trade. Since I can't use the Oly first, I'm wondering if anyone has some comments around this idea.
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Any chance you can go try one at a store?

    As an E-M5 user, I'd say the ergonomics would be different, but not necessarily better. The E-M5 has a great thumb grip, but not much of a front grip (unless you use an accessory grip). The buttons are pretty small, but I have small hands so it's fine for me. Also, my nose ends up on the LCD quite often when using the EVF - the tilting offset EVF of the GX7 would be quite different I imagine. You'd also be losing WiFi remote shooting capability with the E-M5, so I'm not sure the difference would warrant switching.
     
  3. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    680
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    I also have both. I find the GX7 easier to use from a UI perspective than the EM5, despite having the Olympus for much longer. With very little customization I can do everything I want on the Panasonic, while I'm always tweaking the Olympus. On the other hand, I keep the RRS L-plate with grip on the Olympus, which makes holding, handling and tripoding it a whole different thing. I find the EVFs pretty equivalent, although the tilting one on the GX7 is sweet. The LCDs are pretty equivalent as well. The Olympus has 5 axis IBIs, while the Panasonic's is simpler; honestly I haven't seen much impact yet although I'm conscious of which lenses I mount on the GX7 for this reason. The Olympus seems more rugged, although neither has crumbled in my hands yet.

    I like them both.
     
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  4. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    776
    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    The E-M5 buttons are fiddly, but I got (somewhat) used to them. Still need to try out the RRS grip for it. If the GX7 had come out first I might have gotten it instead, as I like the rangefinder type layout. But I love the Olympus jpegs and the IBIS.
     
  5. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    701
    Feb 2, 2012
    They are pretty darn close to equal. I don't have any issues with grip as I use several types of Popsicle rigs such a a sawed of tripod top or the legs of folded mini tripod. Usually I support the camera with the lens. The EM-5 grip is more thumb oriented while the fingers wrap around the front of the GX-7. The buttons operate quit a bit different,so there is a learning curve. There is more lateral clearance over the buttons with the GX-7

    I am a lefty and shoot with the left eye,plus wear glasses. I still like the lateral viewfinder even though my nose is in the way. And it is nice to elevate the angle so your screen doesn't blank out when you approach the touch screen from above. I like having a built in flash. I have had some problem shooting past my subject ,because the focal point drifts around on "center focus" This is a problem with all M-43 cameras I
    have used. The center focus on other types of cameras stay put.but you still get back focusing at times. I haven't found focus peaking to be helpful. Instead I use manual fine focus ,which works well. Wi-Fi is a gimmick to me,so far. You still have to point he camera ,so who cares if you can change the white balance. It could be good for bird photograph using a tripod. Now that I have both of them I will transition over to Panny. I don't see any downside.
     
  6. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    I have both and they both have pluses and minuses. The GX7 is more compact, has the electronic shutter option, a better UI (more configurable buttons, a much better touch screen implementation), better control over AF box size, very useful wifi control app, 1/8000 SS, better low light AF & higher resolution EVF. It also works better with the P7-14 (no purple blobs) and has the pop-up flash.

    The E-M5 has a larger EVF with a bit better eye relief (but lower resolution), better IBIS, a little better profile in LR/ACR as far as color goes, is weather sealed (somewhat), has L-plates available and add-on grips.

    IQ is very, very close between them - not really a concern on choosing one or the other. I tend to take the GX7 if I'm taking just one camera due to it being more compact and, probably, newer :redface:

    When you get down to functional differences that can potentially affect an image (rather than preferences, ease of use) it is E-shutter and 1/8000 on the GX7 side vs 5-axis IBIS on the E-M5. While the GX7 AF faster in low light, I personally doubt it would keep me from taking a photograph. Everything else is not a show-stopper technically.
     
  7. MadProphet

    MadProphet Mu-43 Regular

    I've been kinda agonizing over this the past few days. I had a chance to take my GX7 out for a decent shoot and I can't really fault it. It's a nice body. I certainly like the m43 weight and size.

    But I'm really torn about things like the EVF. I'm having trouble getting comfortable with the smaller view and the whole 'experience' of using it. I've used slr's, both film and digital, for 35 years or so and change is...difficult. My eyes aren't what they used to be and I love the fact that the EVF will magnify the focus point to let me see if it is indeed in focus. But man, I sure would like a bigger viewfinder. Like say, five times the size!
    Switching to the Oly won't change that.
    The IS, whether IBIS or OIS, seems to work well for me, so the 5 axis probably won't be a big deal for me.
    The grip, however, that might be a real advantage. I have huge hands and I do like the idea of an add-on grip.
    I think I'm keeping the Panasonic and I'm going to watch EM5 prices and grab one when they bounce a little lower. I'm still trying to talk the wife into moving to m43, so that might be how I get one.
    Time now to spend a lot more effort learning the new system and less time trying to 'fix' the differences between m43 and apc dslr's.
    I've always been much more of a gear head than a good photographer, so perhaps I should work on that.
     
  8. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    813
    Jan 9, 2011
    Canada
    Sounds like you should only trade for an E-M1 as it gives you the largest, and most precise viewfinder.

    I have GX7 and E-M5 also, and both bodies have there advantages. I bought the GX7 as I need stabilization, and wanted a body that wouldn't cause purple blobs with the 7-14. Also the GX7 is a better body for street shooting in my opinion as it's less obvious and a smaller package when paired with the new twenty. I'm in Canada and was able to get the all black kit, hence why I think it is less obtrusive for street shooting.
     
  9. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I don't have the GX7, but did have an EM-5. Things like control layout, menu structure, and the like are very personal, but I have to say that for me the EM-5 has the worst User Interface of any serious camera I've ever owned. From the cramped controls, through the inscrutable menu layout, to the rediculously complex series of steps needed to do some basic function (turning exposure bracketing on / off, for example), I just couldn't deal with it. The grip helps, but doesn't really do anything about the cramped control layout, nor the menu system (obviously).

    When I got my first EVF body (a used Panasonic), I wasn't completely sold on the EVF, but over time I've gotten used to it and don't really notice any more. There are trade-offs compared with a good OVF, but I don't find either to be completely superior. The light-amplifying capability of an EVF can be a godsend in low light, for example.
     
  10. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    At this point of time I would wait for Fuji X-E2. With the same price as G7/E-M5 this camera should be on pair with E-M1 while being Fuji. I am excited.
     
  11. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Uh wrong system.
     
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  12. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    I think this is the only downside of the Fuji (perhaps the major one) - there is no developed ecosystem, though they cover a lot of focal distances with their lenses. But if you don't plan to build a large kit but only want to have two/three lenses, then why not? I think the very process of taking pictures should bring you joy and satisfaction in order for photography to be your hobby. I like my E-M5. But every time I pick up a Fuji body with all those analog dials, great EVF and new manual focus assist system - it is a joy to use. When I was taking pictures with my rangefinder FED in the earlier 90s the very process was very fun. I think digital world lost that "fun". And Fuji is going right way as they try to bring that "joy" of photography back to us.
     
  13. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    The X-E2 is basically an interchangeable lens X100S. I owned one for about 72 hours before returning it. While the lenses are great, the AF system is terrible compared to recent m43 bodies and it is missing a lot of the features we take for granted with m43.

    I didn't find the IQ to be all that special either regardless of what raw converter I tried.
     
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  14. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    Fuji declares it is going to be the fastest phase detect autofocus camera (while indeed x100s, x-e1 and x-pro were very slow in autofocus). Some think it is going to be at least as fast as E-M1. Then you get 1080 video with 60 fps rate at 36mb and hdmi out for real-life preview (finally Fuji realised people need good video in their cameras; Olympus, where are you?). But personally I like Fuji jpeg colors. They are very filmish. Also all those manual controls, the same EVF as E-M1 has, the same rear screen, wi-fi ... I don't know, it all looks like E-M1 but cheaper.
     
  15. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    The AF system is the same as the X100S which is better than the X-Pro or X-E1. I think the EVF is the same as the current model. You're drinking the Fuji koolaid.
     
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  16. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Any chance we can avoid a Fuji battle in a thread about GX7 and E-M5?
     
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  17. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    701
    Feb 2, 2012
    I put a ruler to the EVF of the GX-7 and the view finder of the Canon 5D MKlll. The diagonal of each is five eighths inch for both of them! The eye cup of the Mk III is two inch vs one inch for the GX-7 So the eye cup is 4 times as big. Darn, I wear glasses so for me view finders are more like gun sights than any thing else.
     
  18. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    The optics of the viewfinder have a lot to do with what you see. It's not just about the size of the opening.
     
  19. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    My "workaround" for similar complaint on the GH3 was to set the diopter adjust for my right eye without eyeglasses. This let me get my eye closer to the eyepiece and in much easier alignment with the "channel". It worked very well until I had cataract surgery with astigmatism correcting lens implants about six weeks ago.

    So the problem with small EVF's for me is solved. I can see great through the EVF but of course wind up needing "readers" to see the LCD on the back of the camera.

    I'm eyeing the GX7 closely, there's much to like about it from reviews I read.

    What kills the OMD E-M5 for me is Olympus's decision that the only frame rate for video we need is 30fps. I may pick one up used when prices drop some more just for the 5 axis IBIS. The IBIS in the Lumix GX7 is not functional in video mode from the reviews I've read.
     
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  20. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Veteran

    406
    Aug 31, 2013
    Go hold both in your hands and play with the switches and menus until one of them feels right to you. They will practically have the same sensor in terms of performance. The only real thing you gain from the E-M5 is a floating sensor which I find useful for my half second hand held exposures on very fast glass. I doubt most people will have this as a "massive bonus" that influences their buying decisions. If anything, the way the camera handles for you will matter much more than the specifications, which is why the Big Red Dot (No offense intended for said people) people can have great photographers in the masses of the "I need to yell loudly to justify myself" types that post on forums frequently about a certain kind of look or such.