It's boiled down to two choices. The Panasonic G7 or the Olympus E-M5ii

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Dave Reynell, May 17, 2016.

  1. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    My G1 has served me well, and still does but seven years have passed since I purchased it (new) and I feel that the time is ripe for an "upgrade". I admire Fujifilm cameras but am not prepared to change tack as I have three wonderful primes (Oly 12/2.0, Panasonic 20/1.7 and the Sigma 60/2..8) and am perfectly happy with the performance of my gear.

    Having done hours of research my choice of a new body has boiled down to either an E-M5ii or the G7. Both have fully articulated rear screens (a must) but there the similarity ends.

    The choice is either a G7 with 4k video and superb ergonomics but a lower build quality OR the E-M5ii with useful in body image stabilisation, a far better build quality but poor ergonomics.

    For me it's a tough choice. Having lugged steel-bodied, brick-like Pentax SLRs about for decades, ergonomics should not even be on the list, but seven years of handling the G1 have spoilt me.

    I'm hoping that there are a few of you out there that have had (used) both G-series and OMD-series bodies and I'd appreciate your comments (opinions).

  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Is there a particular reason the GX8 isn't on your list? Just a budget thing (there are some good promotions on that camera these days).

    It seems like that would allow you to have your cake and eat it too. 4K, fully articulated screen, great build quality with weather-sealing, useful IBIS, and better ergonomics than the E-M5 II.

    (If you don't enjoy the form factor that's a perfectly legitimate reason, just wanted to make sure the camera was on your radar).
  3. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Wait for the EM1mk2 then decide.
  4. DWS

    DWS Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2014
  5. alex g

    alex g Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Mar 30, 2016
    New York / Bath
    Without wishing to start a ruckus, I have to say that as a committed E-M5 mk II user (I have two) I'm surprised to hear that it has a reputation for poor ergonomics. Naively, I really like its ergonomics - there are a couple of minor things I might change, given the opportunity, but on the whole I think it has a beautifully designed body. The menu system can be a bit of a challenge to begin with, but I'm not sure that I would consider it as an aspect of the camera's ergonomics. As someone who rarely uses the touchscreen, I find the buttons and dials easy to find and identify by feel, even when supporting long lenses with my left hand.

    I can't speak for anyone else, of course - ergonomics are in the hand of the beholder, after all! :)

    I should also add that I've had no experience of the G7, so my opinion of the E-M5 mk II isn't by way of a comparison with the G7.
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  6. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    May 25, 2010
    Why on earth do you think the G7 has lower build quality? I've not seen any reports of G7s breaking or going wrong - have you? Panasonic cameras generally have superb build quality, and I'd be more confident buying Panasonic than Olympus on that score.
    Another factor you haven't mentioned is the DFD focusing in the G7 which works very well for moving subjects.
    On the ergonomics, it's such a personal thing that you can only judge that yourself rather than by trusting reviews.
  7. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 26, 2013
    It may depend on whether you are thinking of getting any more lenses than the three you list. While the G7 has DFD, I don't think any of your current lenses can use it (maybe the P20?). And while the EM5ii has weather sealing, I don't think any of your current lenses do. One clear advantage of the EM5ii is the sensor stabilisation, as none of your lenses are stabilised.

    Can you get to try them both somewhere?
  8. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    I hadn't actually given it (the GX8) much thought. Will take a look at the Imaging Resource write-up.
  9. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    I've had a look (and held one) and it most certainly doesn't have the build standard of the old G1. Living in South Africa, one hardly sees Panasonic cameras, I purchased mine in the U.K. so I cannot comment on your second question.
  10. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    May 25, 2010
    Again, how can you criticise the build standard if there's no evidence of problems? I suspect you're actually talking about your own personal dislike of light cameras made from polycarbonate. I own a G7 (I've also owned a G1) and am impressed with the quality - everything appears very well put together and the buttons, switches and dials feel as good as, or better than, any camera I've owned. I've not heard of any problems yet on the forums, but that's normal for Panasonic bodies. The old Olympus E-PL5 I used to own certainly felt inferior in terms of the quality of buttons/switches although, to be fair, it never went wrong :)
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  11. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    I owned a Lumix G5 for a year, sold and bought a EM5.
    Both the G7 and EM5 II are far more technicly (is that a word?) advanced cameras.
    I never noticed a difference in build quality between the 2 I owned.
    The G5 was a bit dull-looking, more function than looks, the EM5 is a bit of attention-seeker, more the looker of the two.
    As for ergonomics. I had no trouble in the transition. Both make me crazy sometimes.
    I hold my left hand under the lens, buttons I move and push and turn with my right hand and my eye supports the EVF. Both in the case of the G5 and the EM5 I used and use to mistake the wheel for shutterspeed and diafragma. I will always keep on making that mistake, I guess.
    Everyone is yelling at the menu structure of Olympus. But in my experience its not so much worse than that of the Lumix. I think that I would have the same hassle getting used to the Lumix-menu again, as I did getting used to the Oly menu.
    I dont understand anything about optical qualities of a camera, like CA, moire, sharpness, noise. I never notice these things, nor am I interested in that. So I cannot comment on that.
    For a while I missed the articulated screen of the G5, but it doesnt hurt me anymore.
    The only thing I still miss sometimes is the silent shutter.
    If you are not into video, than I would recommend buying any Olympus, because of the IBIS.
    Anyway, that was my decision and I still dont regret that.
  12. JNB

    JNB Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2014
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Former G1 owner. Former G3 owner. The G3 was a step up in sensor, and a step back in ergonomics, as some external controls disappeared, and the grip got smaller.

    Now I'm an E-M5 mkii owner. Another step up in sensor (dynamic range being of primary importance to me). I love the IBIS (I shoot primes a lot). I've added the ECG-2 grip which has made the camera very comfortable for my hands. The two most-used control dials fall right to hand (e.g. aperture and exposure compensation when in A mode).

    Although the Olympus is very customizable, I much prefer Panasonic's menus and dedicated buttons. I don't care about video. I like a fully articulated screen only because it allows me to turn it back in against the body, unused.

    If the G7 had the Olympus's guts (especially IBIS) it would be a winner (with me, anyway). OTOH, if Olympus gave me an intelligible computer program to do all the control customization (including customization of the SCP), it would be close to perfect.
  13. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    I'm pleased for your sake !
  14. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Both are good cameras, and image quality should not be in the equation.

    G7 is a joy to hold in the hand, there is no question, the ergonomics are simply superb. Build material is plastic, but build quality is good (often people equate build material to build quality, I find this misguided). It shoots fast, great EVF, generally does what you want without much fuss. G7 is also $400 less right now.

    E-M5 mII has IBIS, weather sealing, metal build. More stylish for sure although I find the G7 quite handsome. $400 more than G7.

    So it comes down to what's important to you. I was considering the E-M5 mkII myself, but I value handling more than anything in a camera. That means I would have to also buy the grip, bringing the total to nearly double that of the G7! So now, instead of having one E-M5 mkII, I have two G7s. :)

    Ready to rock
    by Vincent Tsai, on Flickr
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  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Disclaimer: I have an EM5 II.

    DPR has complained that the G7 has shutter shock issues are certain speeds:
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Review

    I know this drives some folks crazy but I thought I would mention it and let the OP make his own decisions.
  16. MaK543

    MaK543 Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2012
    MD USA
    I would recommend buying something with IBIS. If you shoot video, stay with Panasonic.
  17. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2016
    Oh God yes. I have a GX8 now that I love but I had a G7 before and that thing just melted into my hand. LOVED the form factor. It just felt natural.
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  18. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    While I have not owned a G7, I did own a G5 and G6 (as well as a GX7) before purchasing an EM5II. I definitely found the ergonomics of the G5/6 and menu system to be better than EM5II, but but can live with them in consideration of the EM5II's IBIS for stills/video, as well as the larger EVF which also gives a stabilized view through the viewfinder. Seeing as none of your lenses are stabilized, that is something you may want to consider, but you seemed to have done fine without it for this long. As I understand, the EM5II's sensor still shows banding at higher ISOs with the 20mm f1.7 which is something else to consider if you really love that lens for low light work.
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  19. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2016
    Honestly, nowadays I think the G7 is becoming a much harder sell. The GX85 is a very compelling camera and only $200 more.
  20. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    The GX85 is almost perfect except the small grip and inferior EVF, the two main points of contact when you are shooting. To me those are HUGE issues. If they put the guts of the GX85 into the body of G7/G8, then that would be amazing!
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