Olympus E-M10 IV or Panasonic G85

Deneb

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
12
Hello everyone,

This is my first time buying an interchangeable lens camera. I think I have narrowed down my selection to either the Olympus OMD EM10 IV or the Panasonic Lumix G85 but I need help with the final decision.

My goals: I just want nice family photos for an upcoming trip to Yellowstone. Landscape, wildlife, portrait, selfies, etc. I'm not planning to make any prints, probably, and I'll mostly just view them on my desktop screen.

What I like about the OMD EM10 IV and the G85: They have enough manual dials for an amateur like me to experiment and have fun. Both cameras have IBIS. I have never owned an image-stabilized camera and I'm eager to try it. In the past I've been frustrated at how hard it is for me to keep the camera steady.

What I don't care about: Video, Mic, Bluetooth --- I just want photos.

So I am left with a choice between a latest-model entry-level camera (OMD EM10 IV) or a mid-range camera of from 5 years ago (G85). I quite like the DSLR-style of the G85; it's a nice look and a better grip. I like the G85's fully articulated LCD screen. In the G85 the dials look less crammed and it even has one more dial than the EM10 IV. Conversely, I see that the EM10 IV weighs less (383 g vs 505 g) and has a 20 MP sensor (vs 16 MP for G85) though I'm not sure what I can do with 20MP that I can't get with 16MP. The EM10 IV is also $100+ cheaper.

I would appreciate any help that could nudge me in one direction or the other. I've read more about the two cameras but I don't know what to do with that information. I saw a couple of people say that Olympus menus are complicated. I've read that Olympus is closing down its camera business and I don't know if that should factor into my decision. I've read that the Olympus autofocus isn't great but I don't know if the Panasonic one is any better. I'm wondering if the fact that the Olympus is newer gives it some advantage that I've just failed to understand. The Olympus EM10 IV has "Live Composite Mode" and it has more focus points (121 vs 49). Are those things important? I don't know. The G85 is environmentally sealed; that sounds pretty nice. Though I've never lost a camera because it got wet.

Anyway, I would welcome any help you can offer.
 

kahren

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
240
What lens/es are you planning on using with it? What have you been using before this.

There is also g100 which is smaller than g85, has a larger evf, newer sensor, but no Ibis. There is isn't that much
diffrence between the 20 and 16 mp sensors but its there. Ibis is much more useful during video, and
a lot of lenses have OIS so this might not be something as dramatic as you think.
The panasonic AF is more surefooted and probably a bit faster in the single focus point, in continuous
they are both a wash, the em5III has pdaf sensor and should be much better then both if you are planing
on using that.
 

Deneb

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
12
What lens/es are you planning on using with it? What have you been using before this.
For the time being I plan to use the kit lenses. As a baseline, we can assume I'll use the 14-42mm or 12-60mm kit lenses (for EM10 IV and G85 respectively) that are shown on the B&H website:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1576158-REG/olympus_v207132su000_om_d_e_m10_mark_iv.html
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...mc_gm85mk_lumix_dmc_g85_mirrorless_micro.html

Eventually I will add a zoom and maybe a prime lens, but they will be at the budget end of the price range.

My previous camera (that recently got damaged) was a bridge camera: a Nikon Coolpix P600. I mainly used it on holidays, and otherwise I just use my phone.
 

LV426

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
978
Location
Sacramento, California
Real Name
Dan
A couple side notes: the G85 has a separate memory slot – not nested with the battery. If you add a grip to the EM10 it adds to the hassle. If 20mp is a concern then compare the Panasonic Lumix GX9, the kit is the same price as G85. Also, the GX9 is more similar in size and handling to EM10. NOW, if the viewfinder is important then the G85 wins, it has nice magnification and eye relief. I agree with @kahren that the Panasonic AF has an edge – mostly in low contrast scenes. Another plus for Panasonic is that most of the Panasonic lenses have stabilization and many would give DUAL IS with the G85 and GX9. If you go with a kit the Panasonic 12-60mm lens is a nice range with great Image Quality. Hope it helps
 

Deneb

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
12
If 20mp is a concern then compare the Panasonic Lumix GX9, the kit is the same price as G85.
Am I right to think that 20MP should not be a concern? I don't know a lot about photography, but I can't imagine me ever wanting to print anything larger than an 8in x 10in photo (honestly, I may never print a photo at all). I read that 300 ppi is a "good quality" photo. So....

8in x 10in x 300^2 = 7.2 MP

So it looks to me like even a 16 MP camera is excessive. I could crop half of it in each direction and still print a postcard (which I've never done).

Also, the GX9 is more similar in size and handling to EM10. NOW, if the viewfinder is important then the G85 wins, it has nice magnification and eye relief.
Yeah. I'd like to have a viewfinder. I don't always use it, but I like to have it.

I agree with @kahren that the Panasonic AF has an edge – mostly in low contrast scenes. Another plus for Panasonic is that most of the Panasonic lenses have stabilization and many would give DUAL IS with the G85 and GX9. If you go with a kit the Panasonic 12-60mm lens is a nice range with great Image Quality. Hope it helps

Thanks!
 

ac12

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
3,509
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I "think" you can put a grip on the EM10-mk4.
I have a screw-on grip on my EM10-mk2. The grip makes a BIG difference in ease of handling, to me. And if I want compact, I can unscrew the grip and remove it.

IMHO, 16 vs 20MP does not make a difference for the average user.
I have a 16MP EM1, and I use it interchangeably with my EM1-mk2, where I do not needs the specific functions of the mk2.

re image stabilization (IS).
IS is NOT a magic bullet. It does not magically sharpen your images.
If you wobble, it will help. But if you wobble a lot, it cannot compensate enough to eliminate the wobble. Even worse when you use a LONG lens.
And if it is windy, the wind will likely move you more than the IS can compensate for. So you need to find something to brace yourself against.

I split the difference.
Olympus camera (EM1-mk1) and Panasonic lens (Lumix 12-60).

The Panasonic-Lumix 12-60 is a GREAT general purpose lens.
I have one and LOVE it.

For travel, my kit is the P-Lumix 12-60 + Olympus 17/1.8 for indoor low light photography.

The other option for travel is the Olympus 14-150 or the Panasonic 14-140. More reach than the 12-60, in a single lens.
Especially since you also want to capture wildlife. Wildlife tends to be smaller and/or farther away than you may think. When I've gone on walks around the block, the 12-60 is way too short for small birds, at less than 50 feet distance.
Although if you see a bison or a bear, I would rather use a 75-300, and stay FAR away.

Something else that you have to consider, BATTERIES.
When I went on vacation with my EM1-mk1 and the Panasonic 12-60, I had the camera ON, continuously a LOT. The battery life that I got was approximately 4 hours. I regularly changed batteries at about 11am and 4pm. I had three batteries, and that barely got me through the day. At the end of the day, battery #3 was almost "empty." When I got home, I ordered a 4th battery, to give me a buffer.
The lens you use will affect battery life. When I use my Olympus 12-100/4, the battery run time drops down to 2-1/2 hours.
If you use the flash on the EM10, it will drain the battery more.
Whichever camera and lens you get, you need to figure out YOUR worse case battery run time. Then get enough spare batteries to take you through a whole day, with enough buffer for dinner and after dinner.

THEN, you need to consider how you will charge all those batteries.
I used two chargers, and charged the batteries in two shifts.
#1 As soon as I got to the hotel, I put two batteries on the chargers. These finished charging before I went to sleep, and I would put in the 2nd shift of batteries.
#2 Overnight, for the remaining one (or two) batteries.
I had to do both charging shifts everyday, or I would not have enough charged batteries for the next day.
If I had five batteries I would need three chargers, to do the two shift charging.
 

Michael Meissner

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
786
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
One advantage of the G85 for a vacation camera is the camera is splash proof as is the kit lens for it. Now, you may not plan to be shooting out in the rain, but rain does happen, and having splash proof gear is one less thing to worry about. At least when I do vacations, I start out from the hotel in the morning and take whatever gear I'm going to need for the day (it is simpler if you don't have a lot of gear), and then rain/shine I'm out until we check in. And sometimes rain happens during the day, and we can't always find shelter.

Now, I tend to think Olympus splash proof cameras and lenses are more effective than Panasonic, but I have been shooting with my G85 in some wet situations. I would caution you against salt water, as it is can wreck havoc, but ordinary rain it should handle.

Note, I am an Olympus user with multiple cameras, and I keep the Panasonic G85 specifically for video (the G85 does not have a limit on video). I typically prefer the Olympus method of doing things over Panasonic.
 

bargainguy

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
167
Location
Milwaukee, WI
Real Name
Don
10.4 with a grip? You sure can. Here's my 10.4 on a Fittest grip with a 25 PL.

Now a few thoughts on the 10.4. All subjective, of course.

1. I hate the on/off switch compared to other D bodies. Flexier than I'd like. Not a solid feel at all.

2. The grip improves handling, but it makes the card & battery door very difficult to access. On top of that, the battery door doesn't click home like it does on my E-P5 bodies (similar design) - I have to persuade it. I suppose maybe it's due to the camera being new, but if it doesn't wear in, I'm wondering if the door will eventually just kick the bucket.

3. It's the same sensor and engine as my 5.3, so that's a plus.

4. Super light, like the 5.3 also.

5. Flip up/down screen as opposed to flip-out screen on the 5.3. I prefer the flip-out screen so I can cover the LCD by folding it back in.

6. You can tell this camera was made to a price point. I bought it as a backup to my 5.3, and I still prefer my 5.3, if for no other reason than I keep grips on all my D bodies, and the card door access is much easier on the 5.3.
 

Attachments

  • fittest.jpg
    fittest.jpg
    202.8 KB · Views: 25
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
150
Location
Northwest Arkansas, USA
Real Name
Mike
If you want a chance at wildlife, I'd recommend buying used and getting an older body and combining with a superzoom (Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 or Olympus 14-150mm f/4-5.6), or getting two lenses, to stay in budget. A longer reach can also be useful for landscape shots of specific features.
 

LV426

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
978
Location
Sacramento, California
Real Name
Dan
Am I right to think that 20MP should not be a concern? I don't know a lot about photography, but I can't imagine me ever wanting to print anything larger than an 8in x 10in photo (honestly, I may never print a photo at all). I read that 300 ppi is a "good quality" photo. So....

8in x 10in x 300^2 = 7.2 MP

So it looks to me like even a 16 MP camera is excessive. I could crop half of it in each direction and still print a postcard (which I've never done).


Yeah. I'd like to have a viewfinder. I don't always use it, but I like to have it.



Thanks!
The GX9 has a viewfinder – and it tilts upwards. 20mp is helpful when you can't move in as close as you would like too – crop in without major sacrifice to image quality.
 

Deneb

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
12
I split the difference.
Olympus camera (EM1-mk1) and Panasonic lens (Lumix 12-60).
I have a follow-up question. The Panasonic lens is image stabilized. Can the Olympus camera "talk" to the Panasonic lens? I thought it was a bad idea to mix an Olympus IBIS camera with a Panasonic IS lens because then they both try to stabilize they image and end up over-compensating.
 

Brownie

Thread Killer Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
3,977
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
I have a follow-up question. The Panasonic lens is image stabilized. Can the Olympus camera "talk" to the Panasonic lens? I thought it was a bad idea to mix an Olympus IBIS camera with a Panasonic IS lens because then they both try to stabilize they image and end up over-compensating.
No. It's been a complaint of M-4/3 users for a long time. The two brands do not work together on IS.
 

retiredfromlife

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
4,854
Location
Sydney, Australia
I would go with the G85 or G95 if you can stretch that far and pare it with the Panasonic 14-140. You would then get dual IS with one of the best all round lenses in the system. The Oly 12-100 is better but a lot more expensive.

Battery life is also very good with the Panasonic combination. Far better then say the Oly EM1.3 with the 12-100

I would start out with lower end gear and progress to a higher pro gear later.

I have both the G85 plus Panasonic 14-140 & 100-300 makes a really nice travel set
Plus recently
The Olympus EM1.3 and 12-100. But if new to the system and on a budget the above would be a better staring point. but I am biased a bit as that is what I did.
 

ac12

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
3,509
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I have a follow-up question. The Panasonic lens is image stabilized. Can the Olympus camera "talk" to the Panasonic lens? I thought it was a bad idea to mix an Olympus IBIS camera with a Panasonic IS lens because then they both try to stabilize they image and end up over-compensating.

re Panasonic lens on an Olympus.
They mount, autofocus and you can control the aperture.
But, IS is either lens/or IBIS, not both, as on a Panasonic camera.

It is too bad that the dual/sync S is not compatible between brands.
I think the dual/sync stabilization logic/programming is very different, because the IS systems are different.

My P-Lumix 12-60 works just fine on my EM1-mk1, with IBIS. I never tried the lens IS.
But, the 12-60 is misbehaving on my EM1-mk2.
 

Michael Meissner

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
786
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
In terms of stabilization, the E-m5 and E-m1 line of cameras give you an option to prefer using the sensor-shift stabilization and turn off the lens' stabilization or use the lens' stabilization and turn off the sensor shift stabilization. The E-m10 mark II similarly has this feature. Note, if you favor lens stabilization, and you use a lens without stabilization, then the camera will use sensor-shift stabilization.

In the E-m10 mark III/IV, it appears the option to set the default was removed, and if you put a Panasonic lens with stabilization on the camera, the camera will turn off sensor-shift stabilization, and let the lens do the stabilization.

In the case of dual stabilization where the camera and lens work together to increase the stabilization, this only works if the same manufacturer made the camera body and the lens. I.e. the G85 will work with most Panasonic stabilized lenses to do dual stabilization. Similarly, at least the newer high end bodies (E-m1 and E-m5) will do dual stabilization with the few Olympus lenses that offer stabilization (12-100mm and 300mm).
 

RAH

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
1,896
Location
New Hampshire
Real Name
Rich
YouTuber Peter Forsgard picked the Olympus E-M10 Mark IV over the more expensive E-M5 Mark III (which I have) because of the GRIP. So the grip on the E-M10.4 is considered pretty good for a small m43 camera. I used to use an added Fittest grip on my E-M10.2, but with the E-M5.3 I don't really feel the need and according to Forsgard the E-M10.4 is even better.

The review is here:


DPReview has a review of the E-M10.4 here:


If you look on YouTube, there are others.

I do agree with people who say that the P12-60 lens is a more desirable lens than the Olympus 14-42 kit lens. (If you look at reviews of the P12-60, make sure you are looking at the Panasonic Lumix F3.5-5.6 lens, not the MUCH more expensive Panasonic Leica f2.8-4 lens.) But otherwise, I'd go for the Olympus camera (i.e. even with the somewhat worse lens, I'd still advise going with the Olympus).
 

Deneb

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
12
Thanks everyone for all the responses. You've really given me a lot to think about. I haven't decided what camera I'll buy next but I feel like I'm better informed. Thanks!
 

davidzvi

Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 12, 2012
Messages
4,282
Location
Outside Boston MA
Real Name
David
A couple side notes: the G85 has a separate memory slot – not nested with the battery. If you add a grip to the EM10 it adds to the hassle. If 20mp is a concern then compare the Panasonic Lumix GX9, the kit is the same price as G85. Also, the GX9 is more similar in size and handling to EM10. NOW, if the viewfinder is important then the G85 wins, it has nice magnification and eye relief. I agree with @kahren that the Panasonic AF has an edge – mostly in low contrast scenes. Another plus for Panasonic is that most of the Panasonic lenses have stabilization and many would give DUAL IS with the G85 and GX9. If you go with a kit the Panasonic 12-60mm lens is a nice range with great Image Quality. Hope it helps
The E-M10.4 has a better grip than prior E-M10s so Olympus did not make an OEM add-on. That doesn't mean there aren't options out there just that Olympus doesn't make one and you may not really need one..

BUT..... The Olympus add on for older models had a very easy clip on/off, it really wasn't that much of a hassle.

I'm not one to typically add options to someone looking at specific options, but a GX85 or GX9 are options I might consider, but I tend to like ranger finders for travel.

Olympus IBIS vs Panasonic Dual IS? The Panasonic versions and generation of Dual IS in these models are actually pretty comparable with Olympus IBIS, but when it's just Panasonic IBIS without the lens OIS? Olympus is better, but most are really pretty good.

What lens/es are you planning on using with it? What have you been using before this.
.......
The panasonic AF is more surefooted and probably a bit faster in the single focus point, in continuous
they are both a wash, the em5III has pdaf sensor and should be much better then both if you are planing
on using that.
Glass matters.

AF in single point is really the same, it's continuous that Panasonic might have an advantage with a Panasonic lens only. Panasonic has their DFD system while the E-M10.4 is just contrast. You have to move up in the Olympus line to get Phase AF and Panasonic only offers DFD which is an advanced contrast system.

But it's REALLY important to note that DFD is Panasonic body AND Panasonic lens only. IS and some of the advanced AF options are the main limitations when you mix and match bodies and lenses.

One advantage of the G85 for a vacation camera is the camera is splash proof as is the kit lens for it. Now, you may not plan to be shooting out in the rain, but rain does happen, and having splash proof gear is one less thing to worry about. At least when I do vacations, I start out from the hotel in the morning and take whatever gear I'm going to need for the day (it is simpler if you don't have a lot of gear), and then rain/shine I'm out until we check in. And sometimes rain happens during the day, and we can't always find shelter.

Now, I tend to think Olympus splash proof cameras and lenses are more effective than Panasonic, but I have been shooting with my G85 in some wet situations. I would caution you against salt water, as it is can wreck havoc, but ordinary rain it should handle.

Note, I am an Olympus user with multiple cameras, and I keep the Panasonic G85 specifically for video (the G85 does not have a limit on video). I typically prefer the Olympus method of doing things over Panasonic.
Olympus sealing is better, as good as pretty much and other system. But you have to spend more on the Olympus side to get it.

The G85 and 12-60 plus maybe the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 wouldn't be a bad starting point. But the splash proof nature of that combo is really the only reason I would buy it. No there is nothing wrong with it. There are things I like better about Panasonic and things I like better about Olympus. But most of what I like about Panasonic is centered around their small rangefinders like the GX85 and GX9.


What would I get between the E-M10.4 and G85? If I wanted video or I really wanted splash proof? I'd get what I mentioned above. But it wouldn't be my pick.

I'd get the E-M10.4, BUT not the 14-42EZ, so body only. I HATE power zooms and I don't think it's a good fit for your trip. I'd get the Olympus 9-18, 40-150, and 25mm f/1.8.

The Olympus 9-18 is the cheapest wide zoom in a systems that actually has 5 options with another on the way. And it's not a bad lens just because it's the cheapest zoom, but it might stretch the budget. It would be great for landscapes and those selfies with backgrounds. The 40-150 is often referred to as the plastic fantastic. It has a plastic lens mount, but is pretty good and REALLY reasonable, under $100 used. Lastly the Olympus 25mm f/1.8. It's great fast normal for the evenings and also a great family/group portrait option.
 

Deneb

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
12
3. It's the same sensor and engine as my 5.3, so that's a plus.

4. Super light, like the 5.3 also.

5. Flip up/down screen as opposed to flip-out screen on the 5.3. I prefer the flip-out screen so I can cover the LCD by folding it back in.

6. You can tell this camera was made to a price point. I bought it as a backup to my 5.3, and I still prefer my 5.3, if for no other reason than I keep grips on all my D bodies, and the card door access is much easier on the 5.3.

I'm seriously considering getting a "used / great condition" 5.3 from eBay. I keep the lower weight of the 10.4 while also getting the weather seal, better AF, and flip-out LCD that I liked about the G85, and I almost stay within my budget. The 5.3 would be paired with an Olympus 14-150mm lens.

In your opinion as someone who actually owns a 5.3 and knows infinitely more than I do, does a used 5.3 from eBay sound like a good "best of both worlds" option?
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom