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Oly menus vs Panasonic

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by pdk42, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I’ve had Oly cameras for the last two years and have read many posts on here (and elsewhere) from people complaining of the UI/menu structure. There are lots of others who say that the Panasonic menus are better and easier to use. So, having just acquired a GX7 and spent some time getting into the menu structure and setup, I thought I’d throw my 2c worth into the ring.

    - Whilst the Oly menus are deep, there are just as many options on the Pany menus – but there’s less depth. I guess this makes finding stuff easier, but the overall complexity of the controls available and the configuration possible is just as complex with both cameras. I think most Oly users get a reasonable feel for where things are pretty quickly and from my experience so far I don’t think the Pany is significantly better. I still find myself scrolling through menus to find a setting that I know exists – “now here was it?...”.

    - The approach to quick config differs significantly. Oly have the SCP and Pany the quick menu. Actually, I think I prefer the quick menu since it allows access to more features (if you use a custom Q.menu) more quickly. However, the Oly SCP has a simplicity and directness to it that is appealing. The Pany Q.menu also requires more button pressing to change things.

    - The Custom settings on Pany (C1-3) are much simpler than Oly’s Mysets. Please Oly, get rid of that Scene, Art and three-pictures in one nonsense and give us proper Custom settings!!

    - The Pany AF UI is quite superb. I love the ability to move the focus point using the touch screen on the rear whilst viewing through the EVF. Fantastic. The Pinpoint AF feature and the Picture-in-picture feature is great too. Big plus there to Pany.

    - I hate the level gauge on the Pany cameras. It’s really intrusive and annoys me in general! The Oly approach is nicer on the eye.

    Overall, aside from AF which is a big win for the Pany, I don’t really see that the Pany system is particularly better – just different!
    • Like Like x 6
  2. Carrera_C

    Carrera_C Mu-43 Rookie

    May 8, 2011
    I've never really taken much notice of how easy/difficult a camera's UI is to use being being able to change the key settings, which just about every camera will have available in one or two button clicks. I remember when I was looking at the E-M5 in the shop and the sales guy mentioned how Olympus menus are notoriously difficult to navigate and others are easier but I never had an issue. Sure there was the odd thing that I had to hunt for or once I think I googled where to find the setting but these were things that you setup when you get the camera and never touch again. Overall I'd say all the major brands UI's are perfectly adequate,

    CPTKILLER Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2014
    Austin, Texas USA
    Jim Phipps
    I can't speak to Panasonic but Oly is definitely better than Sony!
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I find that the Olympus UI is a bit more unique than most, which can make it tougher to get used to at first glance, and increases the chances that some folks just won't like it. I think what Panasonic provides is more easily digestible when coming from a different experience. I like them both; but prefer Olympus. I say that as someone with two Panasonic cameras and zero from Oly. :smile:

    I find Canon and Nikon and Fuji to be perfectly fine as well. Sony is my outlier. For me the interface is somehow anti-intuitive. I can deal with it, but it remains annoying as long as I own the camera.
  5. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    And this is where we're all different, because I much prefer the Panasonic gauge (at least on the GH4) to the Oly (EM1) because I can level the picture without taking my eye off the subject, whereas the Oly I have to specifically look in two different places (bottom and side) which means taking my eye off the subject. Sure it's there in your peripheral vision, but it's not as easy to use IMO.

    As for menus, a lot of people complain about Oly menus, but I can use either Oly or Panny menus without problems, in fact sometimes it's easier to find stuff in the Oly - and I had the Panasonic first!
  6. Agreed on most points. I just got a GM1 and while the UI in most ways is preferable to the E-M5 (especially the C1/C2 and AF/MF/magnify implementation), I have to say that I prefer the Olympus menu for the detailed stuff. I kind of prefer the Q-Menu with touch screen to the SCP though, especially given how customisable it is. I don't use the SCP on the E-M5 as I actually use the screen frequently for hip shooting, etc. What would have been nice is to have some of the more frequency accessed stuff able to be customised to be on something like the Q-Menu (e.g. live view boost, dark frame subtraction) so I didn't have to go menu diving.
  7. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    My thoughts after recently switching from Olympus to Panasonic:

    I like the Olympus SCP better, it is a simpler, more standard layout. For some reason, some of the menu settings that I would expect are just not available to be added to the Q.Menu. At least this is the case for the LX100, I haven't had time to set up the Q.Menu for my GX7.

    I don't like how many of the panasonic menu options get greyed out. For example, on my GX7 I can't now figure out why I can't adjust the electronic shutter option, but it must have to do with another of my settings. I also don't like that there are menu items (such as picture profile) in movie menu parameters, but it isn't unique for movie mode. Changes there also apply to the standard camera menu picture profile settings.

    I like thequick-access to custom settings on the mode dial (C1, C2, C3) on the Panasonic GX7, but I'm not sure how they work with the parameters in the standard P/S/A/M and movie mode settings on the control dial. The LX100 is simpler as there is no control dial (not needed) and you can assign C1/C2/C3 selection to a Fn button.

    The Panasonic pinpoint feature and moving the AF point with touchscreen when using the EVF is great. I don't like how the Panasonic falls back to standard focusing (multiple-areas) when it doesn't find a face using face-detection rather than the small point as Olympus does. I also don't like how the Panasonic uses a much larger focus area when using MF+AF (AF back button). For face detection functionality, I think LX100 > Olympus > GX7. I use this a lot with my kids. No time for focus-recompose or moving the focus points.

    The Olympus level gauge is cleaner and their live histogram is better and shows you a histogram overlay of what is just in the focus box as well as the entire image.

    Panasonic focus peaking is awesome, especially when switching the LX100 EVF/LCD to monochrome. The Olympus focus peaking is not much use except for static shots in my opinion - too slow and too few colours to be selected.
  8. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    My TLDR version:

    The Panasonic menus are much more user-friendly (though still not IMO "intuitive"), but they don't let me customize the camera anywhere near as much as the Olympus menus.

    The Olympus menus require some time to study and for trial and error experimentation, but after you get up the learning curve the camera is set up very much the way YOU want it to function.

    I'd take the Oly menus any day; YMMV.
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Legend

    Mar 21, 2014
    Having not yet fully been able to explore the menus on the GX7, I will say that they are definitely more complicated than my GX1. There are a lot more useful features though, so I can't really blame that.

    For those comparing the Q Menu to the SCP, they really are different things. If you are predominantly using the EVF and want the touchscreen for instant access to nearly all the functions like the SCP, you can press the "DISP" button a few times and the GX7 will give you a display very similar to that. No LiveView, just big touch targets for the different settings. Then you can go back to the EVF for composition/shooting.
  10. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Legend

    Mar 21, 2014
    What do you find limiting about what the Panasonic menus let you control?

    The only thing that I wish I could do but can't is to map the "press-click" secondary function of the rear dial on the GX7 to ISO when in M mode. But that's not something that I could do with an Olympus anyway, aside from the 2x2 dial, so it's kind of a moot point.
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    (Using the menus) I can get my Olympus cameras to behave in more finicky exact ways than my Panasonics... but only because I have spent a lot of time learning what menu items do what stuff : it is still unclear and the menu item titles/descriptions are a bit rubbish.

    Having said all that I've never used a more confusing camera then this Panasonic G3 ...
  12. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    Super Control Panel. 'Nuff said.
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