Oly EM1 Mk III vs Lumix G9

JohnF

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My main cameras are the EM1 Mk1 and a Lumix GX7 (I don't update bodies that often and usually buy towards the end of the cycle. Main lenses for traveling are the Oly 12-100, the PannyLeica 100-400, the Laowa 7.5mm and the Oly 25mm f1.8. I have a slew of legacy lenses for specialized use (Leica R 60 f2.8 for macro, Vivitar Series 1 600mm f8 SolidCAT for realllly long shots, Nikkor 85mm f2 for 'small' gigapans, Leica APO 180 f3.2 for 'large' gigapans).

Seeing the fairly incredible advances in the last several years, I'm contemplating upgrading one body (and one body only): either the Oly EM1 MKIII or the Lumix G9. They would be largely used for travel photography, especially for hiking and road trips.

Obviously any upgrade would result in having to schlepp yet another charger and batteries, that's a given (and annoying), but I'm organized enough to have multiples charged at any given time and hence battery life isn't so much a problem (I have the battery grip for the EM1 and have learned to manage the weak GX7 battery life without serious problems.

I use the above combo because it gives me really broad options: for strenuous hikes I can grab the GX7, add the 7.5 and 50, maybe the 100-400 if I have a large pocket available. For less strenous I can grab the EM1 with 12-100 and 100-400. For road trips it all fits into a moderately sized backpack.

So, the only two rational choices I can see are the EM1 MKIII or the Lumix G9. With the EM1 MKIII I get the additonal IBIS with the 12-100; the EM1 MKIII doesn't play well, however, with the 100-400 (no recognition of the optical stabilisation). The G9 plays very well with the 100-400, but not so much with the 12-100.

There is a price difference: the EM1 MKIII is new with few discounts and would set me back EUR 1700 (I live in Germany); the G9 can be had, body only, for not quite half of that. That means I could add the Oly 65 macro and perhaps the 75mm f2 if I were to pick up the G9 and still be ahead; however, I lose full support with the 12-100, which is by far my main lens when travelling (duh).

Any other issues/aspects I'm missing between these two that makes one or ther other a no-go? I've handled both and like both, but the usual WAF limits me at best to one new body (at a time)...
 

D7k1

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The type II highres in the G9 is very amazing. If you every want to take videos, the G9 is really PRO level video camera in a stills camera clothing. Plus the PL100-400 can be handheld at very low shutter speeds due to the DualIS II being very good with long lenses.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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The G9 is a great camera, and has been improved with the recent 2.0 firmware as well. With the savings you realized, you could always get another lens to go with it. :) The PL12-60 is a nice all-rounder. And yes, Dual-IS is more valuable with the longer lenses—especially all the way out at 400mm.
 

SpecFoto

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Have the EM1 and the G9 and I decided to order the EM1 MKIII to replace them both. Here are my reasons:

1. The OIS on the Oly 12-100 will not work on the G9, nor will the OIS on the 100-400 work on the Olympus body as you mentioned, but this is a fact for all Oly/Pany lenses on the others body, not just these 2. Which lens is most important to you? With the MkIII new 7 stops of IBIS, better that the G9, the loss of 1/2 stop without OIS on the 100-400 is no big deal. My feeling is that without the DualIS II, the G9 is about a 3 or 3-1/2 stop IBIS camera. But beyond OIS, my G9 refused to work with my 40-150 f2.8 Pro lens once the Oly MC-14 teleconvertor was attached. The 40-150 and MC combo works great on my EM1's (have 2 of them) and I tested the MC-14 on other cameras, so it is a specific issue with my G9.

2. I do a lot of outdoor portraits and despite the FW#2 upgrade the G9 received, its Eye detect is still not that good, way too may front or back focused shots. I thought the G9 would be better and as I wanted this feature, I bought a Sony A73 and it puts the G9 Eye detect to shame. From the very few videos I have seen on the new MkIII, this feature has improved quite a bit and is very close to the Sony, but I will only know for sure once the MkIII is in hand and I run it through a portrait session.

3. The G9 was too video centric for me, I shoot photos, not video. All the special features worked only with the electronic shutter, and therefore no flash was allowed. Because of shooting a lot of outdoor portraits, this was in issue.

4. The G9 in CA-F has only 3 FPS speeds; 2-low, 7-medium and 9-fast. There is no 3, 4, 5 or 6 FPS speeds which is exactly the speeds I want to use for some of my portrait work, airshows and action events.

The G9 is a pretty good stills camera, with great ergonomics and better video features, but the MkIII will work out much better for me now that it has a joystick and ISO/EC dedicated buttons. Plus the hand held Hi Res shot is something I really plan to use.

And with either the G9 or Mk III you don't need to carry a battery charger, just use any USB phone charger and it works just fine with the USB standard cords. Unlike the EM1, Olympus finally went with standard USB cords for connecting the camera.
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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Thank you everyone! Looks like the G9 is probably my best solution...what an age we live in when we have such choices! :)
The key is to make your move and not look back. One other suggestion would be to handle both if you can. Personally, the G9 is a very comfortable camera for my hands, and I like the 3 dials for the exposure triangle. It just seems very eager to take photos. :)
 

CyVan

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Thank you everyone! Looks like the G9 is probably my best solution...what an age we live in when we have such choices! :)
I have a G9 and I disagree. I mirror the conclusions SpecFoto made above. The E-M1 III is the better choice.

1) Your main lens for travel is the 12-100. That combo is amazing. They're specifically designed together for travel and together they fully exploit all the high-end features of the E-M1 III. (Focus Stacking, Pro-Capture, Handheld HiRes, SyncIS).
2) E-M1 IBIS can compensate for the 100-400 and lack of DualIS on a Panasonic Body to an extent
3) On paper the G9 seems to have similar features to the E-M1 III but in reality Olympus's implementations are generally better and useful.I actually made a post about this in another thread but I'll just paste them here:
  • They both have HighRes and, esp since the update, mode 2 is definitely more usable now on the G9, but its not at the ease of use of HandHeld HiRes that the EM1.3 and EM1X have yet.
  • The G9 has something similar to Pro Capture but for RAW output it only saves about half a second before full shutter press. To get a full second u'd need to use 6K Photo to get 18MP jpegs. On the Olympus the buffer is larger so u get a full second in RAW.
  • With the in-camera focus stacking for macro .. yeah Panasonic has it, and it works with any lens , but it doesn't deal with focus breathing well so the results tend to be full of artifacts. Oly limits the feature to specific lenses. I theorize it's so they can take the focus breathing characteristics of the lens into account and from there they get better results so its actually usable.
  • We all know they've now refined AF with their last patch to give smoother focus transitions and lock on capability than the G9 now; so much so that even Vloggers are saying its a great vlogging camera now.
  • They've increased live bulb limits whereas the G9 has a maximum of 60 secs I believe?
  • Look how practically useful Live Composite is.
  • They both have joysticks but G9's 4-way the EM 1.3 is 8 way
  • Sure they're both somewhat weather resistant but Panasonic's manual makes sure to put up disclaimers. The E-M1 III is now IPX1 certified.
  • The body packs in so much and yet its same size as the relatively diminutive G85 which is smaller than the G9 and therefore more portable.
This is not to say the G9 isn't a fantastic camera. I love mine but I have no qualms giving Olympus credit where credit is due.

So I think u should go with the E-M1 III esp if you don't need the advanced video capabilities of the G9. The actually useful photo features of the E-M1 are definitely the way to go.
 
Last edited:

JohnF

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I have a G9 and I disagree. I mirror the conclusions SpecFoto made above. The E-M1 III is the better choice.

1) Your main lens for travel is the 12-100. That combo is amazing. They're specifically designed together for travel and together they fully exploit all the high-end features of the E-M1 III. (Focus Stacking, Pro-Capture, Handheld HiRes, SyncIS).
2) E-M1 IBIS can compensate for the 100-400 and lack of DualIS on a Panasonic Body to an extent
3) On paper the G9 seems to have similar features to the E-M1 III but in reality Olympus's implementations are generally better and useful.I actually made a post about this in another thread but I'll just paste them here:
  • They both have HighRes and, esp since the update, mode 2 is definitely more usable now on the G9, but its not at the ease of use of HandHeld HiRes that the EM1.3 and EM1X have yet.
  • The G9 has something similar to Pro Capture but for RAW output it only saves about half a second before full shutter press. To get a full second u'd need to use 6K Photo to get 18MP jpegs. On the Olympus the buffer is larger so u get a full second in RAW.
  • With the in-camera focus stacking for macro .. yeah Panasonic has it, and it works with any lens , but it doesn't deal with focus breathing well so the results tend to be full of artifacts. Oly limits the feature to specific lenses. I theorize it's so they can take the focus breathing characteristics of the lens into account and from there they get better results so its actually usable.
  • We all know they've now refined AF with their last patch to give smoother focus transitions and lock on capability than the G9 now; so much so that even Vloggers are saying its a great vlogging camera now.
  • They've increased live bulb limits whereas the G9 has a maximum of 60 secs I believe?
  • Look how practically useful Live Composite is.
  • They both have joysticks but G9's 4-way the EM 1.3 is 8 way
  • Sure they're both somewhat weather resistant but Panasonic's manual makes sure to put up disclaimers. The E-M1 III is now IPX1 certified.
  • The body packs in so much and yet its same size as the relatively diminutive G85 which is smaller than the G9 and therefore more portable.
This is not to say the G9 is a fantastic camera. I love mine but I have no qualms giving Olympus credit where credit is due.

So I think u should go with the E-M1 III esp if you don't need the advanced video capabilities of the G9. The actually useful photo features of the E-M1 are definitely the way to go.

Wow. Excellent points and you've got me rethinking...the portability is a good point, as I then have the same metrics basically as the EM1 MK I...the G9 might require a new camera bag otherwise...and I can probably live with the lack of DualIS with the 100-400... Thanks for the thoughtful reply!
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I would hope the EM1.3 is the superior camera—it is both newer and more expensive. I would be disappointed if it didn’t come out ahead convincingly. The question becomes, do you believe what it offers over the G9 is enough to justify the additional cost?
 

bassman

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With the E-M1.2 and the 100-400, I used OIS for excellent handheld(*) animal shots while on safari in South Africa and Botswana. I really had no problem with shots not being stabilized. In my testing, OIS worked better with these long lenses than IBIS (with the 35-100/2.8, I saw no difference between the two). I also had great results from the non-stabilized 40-150/2.8 and the E-M1.1, using IBIS, of course.

(*) handheld, but often braced on railings or a beanbag. But no tripod or monopod.
 
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