Olympus OMD-EM1 vs. EM5 vs. panasonic GH3

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by zilberdi, May 17, 2014.

  1. zilberdi

    zilberdi Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 20, 2012
    I have a general questions for the board. Want to update my camera (already have oly EPL3 + prime lenses that I use most the the time oly 17, 45 mm, pan 25 mm and occasional oly zoom 45-150). I mostly shoot stills of family/kids with occasional nature. Video on EPL3 very poor only occasionally looks ok . I want to update my camera for better sensor and want to do move video.

    Wanted to get opinion of the board regarding OMD-EM1 or OMD-EM5 + 12-40 F2.8 (micro 4/3) lens vs. 12-60 (four thirds lens) as far as image quality and video quality, auto focus speed, accurate focusing compared to GH3 + 12-35 f2.8 lens. I shoot mostly in at least decent light. Most the time shoot with 25 mm or 45 mm primes. I only shoot in raw with postprocessing in lightroom. Do not like flashes, prefer mostly natural light. Would like to shoot 60% stills and 40% video. Would like to hear your opinion. Thanks
  2. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    The image quality of the E-M1 is the best of the lot. Obviously the GH3 wins in the video / film department. That said, I'm shooting a lot of "film" footage for a documentary project using the E-M1 and frankly it looks very decent. In fact, as I've mentioned here in the past, the editor prefers the E-M1 footage to the Nikon D800 (which is easily on par with the Canon 5Dm3 in terms of actual video IQ). Furthermore, the E-M1 is a nice size -- a bit bigger than the E-M5 & a bit smaller then the GH3. The BIGGEST reason however for me is that the OLY IBIS simply changes the game and raises the versatility of the O bodies radically! Just my two sense!
  3. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    I'd consider the GH3. The IQ of all three is close enough to be a wash for most folks but the GH3 has much better video, which you did specifically mention. No IBIS of course so you'll need Panasonic lenses with OIS or do without. If your 25 and 45 are the Oly versions, those are fast enough and short enough to go without IS. You might want an OIS zoom for video, however, so get one with the body. JMHO.
  4. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    I would not consider the GH3 unless you are comfortable with the idea of using a tripod/monopod + fluid head all the time and/or can afford to purchase the expensive power stabilized Panasonic lenses (e.g. 12-35) that will enable you to shoot reasonably stabilized hand held video. The EM5 & EM1 offer decent 30 frames per second video if you do not need to pan fast. Fast panning, especially of a complex scene like dense vegetation will introduce moire which looks terrible. GH3 offers the options of 60 frames per second recording if you need that and slow motion recording.
  5. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The GH3 has the Sony sensor, so since you shoot RAW you will have the same IQ as the EM5 for stills (which is equivalent to the EM1). The EM1 has a Panasonic sensor which will give equivalent RAW IQ, I'm not sure about JPEGs (Its probably better with JPEGs since it has a newer processor). The GH3 has video miles and miles ahead of the Olympus cameras. Significant since you are shooting 40% video. Also, you can use LR presets to color grade your video (I've been using VSCO for that. Love it!). Also, since you say you shoot mostly in decent light, the benefits of the Olympus IBIS are minimized. The 12-35 has OIS anyways, so unless you shoot a lot in low light or with legacy lenses, I don't know how much you will miss it.

    The EM1 does have a better EVF than the GH3, and has fairly equivalent ergonomics (I prefer the GH3, but that is subjective). Both have good grips, feel good in the hand, and have a good button layout. For me, the EM5 has poor ergonomics. Many say its better with the accessory grip, but I haven't used one with the grip. I don't know about 43 lenses, but the 12-40 is very slightly better in the corners than the 12-35, has a closer focus distance, but is significantly bigger and heavier (from a percentage perspective, neither are huge lenses). The 12-35 is stabilized, so you can use it on your EPL3 if you choose and get the OIS benefits, but from what I have read, they perform about the same aside from where I've pointed out. Overall, you will be fine using the lens of whatever camera brand you buy.

    Honestly though, if you are shooting 40% video, the GH3 is the only real option if you are even slightly worried about video quality, or if you want to work with the files in post. GH3 will give you miles more latitude in post without degrading, and will be much less likely to fall apart with challenging shooting (movement, low light etc.). And with the better quality of the GH3 you can easily shoot wide and stabilize in post. If you just want to record what happens, any of these cameras will do, but if you want anything beyond rudimentary recording, the GH3 is the only real option.
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  6. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    Here is a representative sample of Olympus E-M1 /EM5 video. It's not quite as sharp as GH3 /G6/ GX7 video, but still plenty detailed and better than your E-PL3 . And Olympus's famous jpeg colors are carried over into Olympus video. I have a GH4 I bought online coming in the mail next week, but after owning an E-M5 for two years, I dread the chore I'll face with the GH4 in achieving steady hand held footage. And dread the chore of color correcting every clip of GH4 video in an attempt to approximate Olympus colors. But I wanted a 4K capable m4/3 camera and the GH4 is the only affordable one the currently on market, hence I had no choice but to order one.
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  7. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Grats on the GH4. If you shoot 4K you can just shoot wide and stabilize in post. It shouldn't be a chore at all. and from what I have seen, the GH4 files take very well to color grading so you can grade them however you want. If you want to shoot for Olympus colors you can, but your palette will really open up.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. Search

    Search Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 23, 2014
    The Panasonic 12-35 cost is about the same as the Olympus 12-40 ($1000 USA version & $850 Japan version).

    PS The Olympus warrantee is worldwide. However, the Panasonic is generally by country. If you buy the Japanese Panasonic lens, it would have to be sent to Japan for warrantee work.
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Zuiko 12-60mm will work best on the OM-D E-M1. It won't autofocus as well on the E-M5 or the GH3, as the E-M1 is the only one which has a PDAF system which the older DSLR lenses are made for. On the other hand, the Lumix 12-35mm will work just as well on any of the 3 bodies, as all the bodies have CDAF. Bodies are merely accessories for your glass, while the heart of the system lies in your lens selection. If you want to open your lens options to an already-completed lineup of pro (Zuiko 'High Grade") and top-pro (Zuiko "Super High Grade") lenses, which include fast super-teles which do not yet exist in the Micro Four-Thirds lineup (ie, like the 50-200mm/2.8-3.5, 90-250mm/2.8, 150mm/2, 300mm/2.8, etc., or exotically fast zooms like the 35-100mm/2 or 14-35mm/2), then your best choice is the E-M1. This can also save you money on glass (with a trade-off in size/weight) as many 4/3 lenses are sold for significantly cheaper than their equivalent m4/3 counterparts... when there is an m4/3 counterpart.

    So for versatility of your system, the E-M1 can't be beat... Not only does it have PDAF, but it also has 5-axis IBIS which works on all your glass. It also works with all the same accessory port accessories (ie like the 3.5mm stereo mic jack) so you can share these accessories with your E-PL3 or any other Pen or OM-D bodies (having both lines allows you to make both larger and smaller kits depending on your need).