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Is there any reason to stick with the EM1 when the GH4 seems to blow it out of the water?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by 43degrees, May 11, 2014.

  1. 43degrees

    43degrees New to Mu-43

    May 11, 2014
    Hi guys,

    I currently have an EM5 with a PanaLeica 25 1.4 and 45/75 1.8 M.Zuikos. I've been putting some money aside the past four months to eventually buy the EM1 and 12-40 bundle for my Eurotrip next year :) 

    However, after seeing all the rave reviews on the GH4, I guess I am a bit hesitant in parting with my cash for an EM1. I've been more and more attracted with the hybrid system of the GH4 over the stills capabilities of the EM1. The way I see it, I'd be fine if the GH4 gets me within 95% of the EM1 IQ, although it seems to have no problem doing this, since I get some great video options.

    Either way I will be getting each camera with their accompanying 24-70 equivalent 2.8s. I think I will miss the IBIS of the OMD system the most when dealing just with the OIS. Also I won't be able to use my 75 1.8 without a tripod anymore :( 

    Any input appreciated since I can't be the only one in the same boat. It isn't as cut and dry as switching from Nikon to Canon or FF to APSC I feel.
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    If you believe that the GH4 blows the E-M1 out of the water, I don't understand the hesitation.
  3. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    That's a choice only you can make. It seems to me that either choice is a good use of your savings. Hard to argue with either.
  4. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    The GH4 is the current hot-shot darling of the M 4/3 format and is deservedly receiving a lot of ink. It is NOT however a game changer nor does it blow [the E-M1] out of the water. I own both cameras and while I'm still getting acquainted with the GH4 (and still am not able to process its RAW file output), what I've learned about both the E-M1 & GH4 is that each offers distinctive features unique to each but not necessarily shared by both.

    The EM-1 is a stunning LITTLE pro-quality stills camera with better than average video capabilities (trust me, my editor actually LOVES the E-M1s video output and prefers it to my D800s) and its IBIS truly puts it in a league of its own. To me, it is among the most important photographic advances EVER and gives the E-M1 a SUBSTANTIAL advantage over the GH4 in this area alone. There is more I can rant and rave about here but suffice as to say, the E-M1 can easily stand its own...

    Turning to the GH4 -- yes, it is undoubtedly the "best" video / hybrid (as in "DSLR" style still / motion) currently available. It's ability to capture and output 4k video without the use of an external recorder and at its price point is truly unparalleled. The improvements claimed to have been made to the sensor have yet to manifest themselves in any empirical manner that distinguishes itself from the E-M1, although the still files I've seen are excellent. Furthermore, although a lot has been written about the GH4's professional build quality, it still feels kind of cheap and [yes] plasticky, not to mention somewhat bulbous and large given its diminutive format.

    All of that said, I bought each for the merits in which they excel at -- the GH4 for video / motion and the E-M1 for its still IQ. That's my current take on on this "debate". They're both outstanding photographic tools that will yield results commensurate with the skills of the photographer operating it.

    Good luck with your search. Hope you're able to fill us in as to which direction you took once you've made your decision...


    • Like Like x 14
  5. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    This thread title will not push anybody's buttons...

    If you have 43 glass its a no brainer
    If you want high end video its a no brainer
    If neither apply its a brainer

    People are reporting the GH4 sensor has a 1/2 stop more latitude. Just sayin...
    • Like Like x 1
  6. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    Ibis on all your lenses + legacy adapted lenses is a consideration. Since I shoot both stills and video (probably 70/30, plus I have some stabilized lenses), my choice would be GH4, but if my budget at some point affords it, I would love to have a Em1 as well.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    That expression implies an order of magnitude difference, or at least a doubling (performance, quality, etc) How does it do this?
  8. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    Honestly it comes down to whether you want IBIS or the extra video features.

    stills IQ should be the same, as stated above there might be a bit more latitude in the GH4.

    I spent most of my photographic life without IBIS so I'm fine with lens stabilization and/or the GX7 IBIS although I don but I've met some photographers who swear by it. either way both are very good cameras and have different fields that they specialize in.

    GH4 doesn't blow the E-M1 out of the water, it's just a different flavour
  9. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    As I alluded to in another post, people seem to want better and better all the time. I really don't think there are many cameras out nowadays that fall short of the skill level of the user, rather than the other way around.
    • Like Like x 7
  10. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Do you think it will be hard to keep the shutter speed above 1/150 on a GH4?

    I fail to see the confusion. Your M5 is still an awesome piece of kit. Do you really feel that you are being limited creatively using an M5?
    • Like Like x 1
  11. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I see stuff like this sometimes. It seems like there is a common misconception about IQ. Maybe because of the video on the GH series, people seem to forget about its stills capability.

    When the EM5 and GH3 were top of the heap, they had identical IQ. They had the same Sony sensor. One had 5 axis IBIS, one had high end video, but the IQ was exactly the same. Now the EM1 and GH4 both have a Panasonic sensors (although likely different ones). While early reports say the GH4 sensor has a bit more latitude, for real world application they will have the same IQ. One has 5 axis IBIS, one has DFD focusing and 4k video, but neither camera has a benefit in IQ for stills.
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    A lot depends on what you are expecting to do video wise. If you are just looking to make family type videos or a video diary of your trip then the E-M1 will probably more than satisfy you , in fact the IBIS will help you.

    If you are taking a more 'professional' approach to film making, or have some existing knowledge of the craft then maybe the GH4 might work out better for you, assuming you can budget for all the rigs, tripods, faster computer, editing software, better microphones, ND filters etc that are part and parcel of the process you will need to follow in order to get full advantage of the GH4.

    Film making is much much more than the camera... just look at the list of credits at the end of a movie and you will realise how complex the process can be.

    I wouldn't recommend a GH4 as a first step into video shooting

    Just my opinion and as worth as much as what you paid for it :) 

    • Like Like x 5
  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    +1. Perhaps you can think about the ways in which the M5 is not meeting your needs, and get the camera that best covers those areas?

    Regarding size and weight, the link below shows that the Panasonic with 12-35 lens is marginally (insignificantly) shorter and lighter than the Olympus with 12-40 lens.

    http://j.mp/1gcDHm6 (yes it shows GH3 but GH4 is the same near enough)
  14. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    I doubt the GH4 is any harder than the EM-1 for simple video. If you plan handheld, I'd have to recommend a stabilized lens of course, if using the GH4. Other than that, after a one time setup (perhaps set up two different profiles), you can easily shoot video in "full auto" if that is what you desire. It will likely track better than the EM-1 can, it has the framerates from 24-96fps in 1080p (you can stick to one or two if you like), and 4K is just there as an option. This is also designed to NOT OVERHEAT - an important consideration for video!! The files for 1080p should not be harder to work with than EM-1 files, though the higher bitrates allowed, means you COULD use a lot more space, but it is not necessarily so, depending on your settings. Then if you want to go more advanced, it has support for a whole slew of other things, like video output to external recorder in 10 bit, great audio input/monitoring possibilities etc, better color profiles for grading, and of course, 4K + high speed capture (96fps@1080p). It really cannot be beat in the video department, and I think again, provided you have a good stabilized lens, even for simple video, it will work better than the EM-1.

    ..too bad they didn't manage to squeeze in ibis too :) 
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    If video is a serious requirement, then you don't even need to ask which way to go.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I totally agree with Kevin here. I'm no videographer, but know someone who is (ex BBC Trained) and the camera is but one small piece of gear that together fills the trunk of his car. If video is that important to you, then the GH4 makes a lot of sense, but for stills, I'd be surprised if there much in it - and IBIS is a really important feature.
  17. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    I throw away maybe 1/200 shots due to shake/blur. That's a huge improvement in keepability of photos.

    Since I don't shoot videos, GH4 holds no interest for me
  18. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I guess the EM1 holds no interest for you either: it shoots video too. :rolleyes:  Get a Nikon Df?

    It makes little sense to me to refuse to consider a modern camera that has a feature you won't use. They all do.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. ippikiokami

    ippikiokami Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    GH4 if you REALLY are thinking about doing video. Not like a lot of photographers (like me) that always think they will get into and buy equipment for it only to not.
    IQ effectively the same like most people here said. I do like the IBIS on the EM1 a lot though.
  20. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    Exception it doesn't have a feature I consider essential: the IBIS of EM1 that is a game changer for stills.

    That's an explanation of my personal working/shooting style, and rationale for decision making. You're free to build your own.
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