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Olympus E-PL5 or Panasonic G5?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by wlewisiii, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    I have a E-PL1 with a busted back screen. Since I have a VF3, I've been able to keep using it but it's going to need repairing or replacement soon.

    My plan is to take my tax refund and get a different used body and I've pretty much got it down to these two contenders based on KEH prices.

    Both are solid 16 mp models from a couple years back and both hover in the $250 region used.

    My initial questions are:

    Are the menus like on the E-PL1?
    Does it still have the SCP?
    Does the screen shut off when an external VF like my VF3 is used?

    Panasonic G5:
    Can it be set to monochrome like the E-PL1 to use in P/A/S/M modes or is it only from the "creative mode"? One of my favorite things with the E-PL1 is to set it to 1:1 aspect ratio & monochrome with a yellow filter effect turned on.
    How does the monochrome images compare to those of Olympus?
    How much will I miss IBIS? I have either Oly lenses or legacy glass, mostly a landscape (rural & urban) shooter with the usual family photos.
    I know that the EVF is better than my VF3 but is that enough to outweigh any possible issues from the above questions?

    My lens kit is the kit O14-42/3.5-5.6, O17/2.8, Cosina FD mount 28/2.8, Canon FD 50/1.8, Nikon F 50/1.4, Industar M39 50/2.8. I'm considering the O25/1.8 & O45/1.8 as I can find them used at reasonable (for my wallet) prices.

    Thanks for any thoughts.
  2. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Being an owner an E-PL1 and G5 I would say that the biggest difference in moving to the G5 you will notice is the size and the menus. If you like your current camera and are comfortable operating it, I'd stick with the E-PL5. Especially since it uses the same batteries and can use your viewfinder. I don't have the camera but I believe the answer to all your questions is 'yes'
    • Like Like x 1
  3. If I were you I would stick with epl5. I like the oly jpgs better and ibis.

    I have the G6 and was never really blown away by the jpgs.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    Thank you, that kind of personal comment is very helpful. I find it difficult to make better jpegs from RAW than my E-PL1 does for me so to hear that a user prefers the later Olympus jpeg's helps my decision making process.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    The G5 allows you to make many adjustments to how the JPGs are handled. There are also presets such as Vivid and natural to choose from. I found that vivid was about my favorite. But I did find that I like the RAW files even converted at all standard settings in LR. I do think that Oly does a better job with JPGs than Panasonic, but I like the handling of the G5 better. But I haven't used an E-M1/5/10. I'd like to give them a try one day.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    Thank you, I appreciate that as well.
  7. dermaus

    dermaus Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    I think the one advantage the E-PL5 has over the G5 is slightly cleaner files at higher ISO. I would rate the G5 higher in every other aspect that matters to me.

    I had the E-PL5 and promptly sold it when the extreme sensitivity of the rear control dial would change my settings the majority of the time I would get ready to shoot. I own/have owned many current and prior generation cameras and the E-PL5 was by far the only one I've come close to chucking against a wall.

    I picked up a G5 during a flash sale at a great price and immediately loved the handling and the images it produced. It was actually a much more versatile camera than my E-M5 at the time as the tilt/swivel screen allowed me to get some great shots of my new son that wouldn't have been possible with the Olympus. It's extremely customizable, has an excellent, built-in viewfinder, the aforementioned tilt/swivel screen, on board flash, wonderful video, vastly better handling, is only larger in the areas that matter, can survive a terrible fall from a bumper at speed, and will make you salted caramel ice cream if you treat it nicely.

    The Oly vs Panny jpeg debate has never been an issue for me, but maybe that's because I usually shoot RAW. I would think that the customization of jpeg output, though, dampens any argument for/against any one brand's claimed jpeg superiority.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    There is good deal for EPL7+kit lens for $499 currently at major stores (Amazon, Adorama, etc.)
    Olympus put control dial from back to top, so this oversensitivity issue (I had it too) is gone, hopefully. Plus some more changes that makes EPL7 more refined than EPL5.
    If you offload kit lens for at least $100 then difference with used EPL5 becomes worth a look on EPL7 (imo).
    • Like Like x 1
  9. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    I also made the switch from the e-pl1 to the G5 and agree with the consensus that you should probably go with an Olympus. I now love my G5, but based on your description, an Olympus will do better, due to your happiness with the Olympus jpeg rendering and the image stabilization for legacy lenses.

    That said, I quoted the above comment because I did disagree with one thing: I think the G5 may actually be closer in size to the E-PL1 than the E-PL5 is. The lower-end Olympus cameras have really shrunk and the G5, once you figure that it actually has the viewfinder built-in, is not really much bigger than the E-PL1. There are many other nice things about the G5, but again, doesn't sound like it matches your needs.
    • Like Like x 1
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