GX7 versus OMD M5

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by docfox, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    I came across this interesting 3-part comparison: http://tysonrobichaudphotography.wo...ttle-for-my-affection-round-1-ibis-evfs-lcds/ (I don't know if that link is "clickable" - if not copy and paste to your Internet browser.) The author concludes he favors the Panasonic, but his comparison is detailed and even-handed - a good read!

    I'm getting ready to update my gear and both of these cameras appeal strongly to me. As a jpeg shooter who has no interest in video (I really don't see the point of spending minutes or hours editing something captured in a few milliseconds and I don't make movies), I lean strongly to the Olympus offering. I now use an Olympus e-520 and a Panasonic G1. I love both and like the union of features from them both of these new cameras offer. I do a lot of shooting with legacy lenses, mostly of static objects or a cat in motion - IBIS and an electronic viewfinder have both proved really advantageous to me. I'm still torn and confused!
  2. BeyondTheLines

    BeyondTheLines Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2012
  3. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    Judging from your post I would say the E-M5 is the one for you hands down but please try it out in store if you can.
  4. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    After buying a GX7 I had a chance to play around with it and a friend's E-M5 recently. There's something about the feel of the E-M5 I preferred, but for focus peaking and form factor I'd still take the GX7. Also the GX7 EVF works better for me, but that's a very personal thing I understand.
  5. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The comparison article is interesting. The GX7 ibis is clearly beating the EM5 version, especially with the 75. I wonder if the FL was somehow set wrong for the EM5. It's not surprising that the GX7 does well but rather that the EM5 seems to do so badly.
  6. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I have the GX7 as well as the EM5. Both are great cameras but quite different in their own way. Contrary to the article cited above, in my personal experience so far the Olympus EM5 IBIS is much better than the Panasonic GX7. With the Panasonic Lenses that have the MEGA OIS, the GX7 does pretty well. But there is no comparison. Of course this is my subjective experience. You must make your own determination.

    As for the focus peaking, it is definitely superior in the GX7. I also find it easier to use legacy glass with the GX7 because the images appear readily in the screen and view finder and it seems to be easier to focus. Other than that, they feel quite differently in my hands. The GX7 is more compact and easy to carry and handle. The EM5 with the grip/battery holder is bigger, heavier and takes up more room in your bag.

    IQ is more difficult to judge for me. However, the GX7 seems to produce better images at higher ISO. Still, it's hard to decide which is better as they have their own pros and cons.
  7. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    I guess if I could get either again, I would stay with my GX7 since I prefer it's rangefinder design, menu and layout design and feel not to mention I also do a lot of video.

    I can clearly see that the GX7 2 axis IBIS isn't as good as the 5 axis IBIS in the E-M5 but I can live with that especially when the lens has OIS

    I stand with what I said before and either way, you are getting some good gear mate.
  8. kittymama3

    kittymama3 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 20, 2014
    I have both and while I prefer the em5 Sooc color rendition, I like the gx7 features better. The ibis doesn't bother me as I shoot at faster shutter speeds. I prefer the AF on the gx7 but wish it was weather sealed.
  9. kadamnation

    kadamnation Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2013
    Boston, MA
    I gave my E-M5 to my friend and picked up a GX7 the first day it was available—and haven't regretted it one bit. I shoot with a lot of adapted glass, so focus peaking was key in my pre-order decision, and despite a couple areas where the GX7 just doesn't provide the level of button customization that the Oly does I've found that it suited my hands better from the start.

    The E-M5's a stupendous camera, and often the right choice. It may be the best option for you! For me it never felt right. I wish I could articulate what it was that was "off" for me, but it may just be that I came to the E-M5 when my GX1 broke and I never fully adapted to the different body shape and Olympus menus.

    The important thing is to find a way to try both, and see what feels best for you. I know people that have picked one camera over another just because they liked the shutter clunk better; everybody's going to have their own criteria, mine will almost certainly not match yours! :)
  10. vm666

    vm666 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    Rigorous testing of a stabilization system is difficult, maybe impossible. However, I have the impression that the EM-5 (or even E-PL5) IBIS is really superior to the GX7.
  11. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    HANDLING and MENUS made the difference for me

    Firstly, let me thank everyone for their kind and informed feedback!

    I'm lucky enough to have a real brick-and-mortar camera store about 2 miles from my PA home. I called to inquire if they had the OMD M5 and the GX7 in stock. Neither was in that shop, but they have 11 other stores - two days later I got a call - both cameras were in stock and awaiting my inspection. I packed up three lenses (a Panasonic 14-45 mm, an Olympus 12-50 mm and an ancient OM Zuiko 50 mm f/1.4 on a Fotodiox adapter) and headed to Cardinal Camera. They gave me a seat and a table and a memory card and left me alone to examine the two cameras. There is a lot to be said for having an old-fashioned local camera shop (particularly when they routinely match prices with B&H and other big-name dealers)!

    Both of these cameras are diminutive! Each has an excellent electronic viewfinder and pivoted LCD screen. These components make my G1 look pretty dated (but I prefer its pivoted screen design for use on a tripod). Neither camera offered me a cable release socket or an external flash connector. (These are old concepts that really should be offered in any but the most rudimentary cameras.)

    I spent about two hours looking at menus, trying stuff and just handling the two bodies with my various lenses. When I had a problem, one of their sales guys came over and helped. I expected I would favor the Olympus - I have been an Olyphile (actually an Olypig) for over 40 years. But somehow I couldn't get a comfortable grip on that tiny machine and the controls seemed to fight me. The menus seemed unnecessarily complex and disorganized. I found myself setting things I didn't intend to while digging around for things I wanted to set. When I finally managed to set four grid-lines on the screen, I was disappointed they did not reflect the rule-of-thirds.

    The GX7 is slightly smaller, but it just seemed to fit my (small to medium) hands far better. I found myself successfully using the menus very quickly without setting anything by accident. The only "stumble" for me was not immediately finding the diopter adjustment for the eye-level finder. (You must tilt the finder up to expose this.) I really liked the "focus peaking" feature - I'll use this a lot with my accumulated legacy lenses. The Panasonic grids seemed more rational to me. I also like having a built-in flash and think the ability to flex it up for a bounce is pretty neat.

    The long and the short is that I left with the little Panasonic under my arm (and kind of regretted leaving its tiny and light 14-42 kit lens behind). Yeah, I suspect I will miss the Olympus JPEG engine! Will the GX7's IBIS be right for me? I'll let you know! I think I'm going to love that pivoting finder, but I'm not sure about its off-center location. Yeah, I know I'll keep my nose off of the touch screen, but my paws will probably still leave smudges.

    Thanks again, guys and gals!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Congrats! That article was instrumental in my choosing the GX7, after initially favoring the Oly (loved and miss my analog OM-1). After getting my hands on the Oly, I, too, was surprised at how it didn't fit my hands. A friend settled on the Oly and is super happy with it, so, to each their own!