Olympus Recommendation

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by BMarkwardt, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. BMarkwardt

    BMarkwardt New to Mu-43

    Aug 25, 2014
    I am a newbie here, so be gentle!

    I am a long time owner of the GF-1 with the viewfinder, kit lens and the 20mm 1.7. I am looking to buy another camera and lens, this time an Olympus. I have pretty much decided on the 12-40mm Pro zoom. I just got back from vacation where I took only the 20mm and while it was great carrying around just one lens, I felt a bit limited. The GF-1's low resolution viewfinder continually left me disappointed and I missed having a zoom. From everything I have read, the 12-40mm will pretty much satisfy all of my short term needs.

    So that brings up the question of the camera. I love the "rangefinder" form factor, so the E-P5 has been calling my name. But then I wonder if the E-M10 with the grip is a better (and less expensive) choice. I have seen the pictures of both cameras with the 12-40mm and maybe both are overwhelmed by the size of the lens?

    I find myself using a viewfinder pretty much 100% of the time, so the quality of the viewfinder is important to me. I know the E-P5 viewfinder has the better quality, but is the E-M10's good enough?

    Any other thoughts? Maybe I should bite the bullet and buy an E-M1?

    Despite living on the outskirts of a major metropolitan area, there is no camera shop within an hour's drive. (Personally, I find this appalling!) So I am looking for some guidance from the forum. Thanks!
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    Remember that the viewfinder for the EP5 is an add on and sticks up significantly on the top, kind of taking away the "rangefinder" look of that camera.

    The EM10 or EM5 while more SLR looking, have integrated viewfinders and honestly are pretty good and don't add too much more height to the camera. Either of the EM's will benefit from an added grip with a larger lens, there are aftermarket grips for the EP5 as well.

    If you were not using the viewfinder a lot, the EP5 is a great choice, however, if the viewfinder is your thing, having it integrated will be less hassle.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Real Name:
    Bruce Foreman
    Give the Panasonic Lumix GX7 a good thorough consideration. Built in EVF, mine seems pretty good, will take your current lenses, kind of has the rangefinder form factor, and has some of the video functionality and quality of the GH3.

    It is rapidly gaining a rep as the near perfect travel camera. I have an OMD E-M5, GH3's, and a GH4. The GX7 is the most "carried around" camera I have.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I had an E-P5 and decided to sell it due to the lack of an in-built EVF.

    In your position, I'd go with the E-M10. IMHO, it's probably Oly's best all-round u43 camera at the moment. It's beautifully built, has great feel and handling and delivers on the IQ front. The EVF is the same resolution and quality as the E-M5 and that's a pretty good recommendation. It's not as good as the VF-4 or E-M1, but it's more than acceptable. I wouldn't let that get in the way of going with the E-M10 (and I have an E-M1 and E-M5 at present).

    My only reservation with the E-M10 is the size imbalance between it and the 12-40. I'd recommend that you take a look at the Panasonic 12-35 as an alternative. Its IQ is on a par with the 12-40 but it's somewhat smaller.
  5. LPST

    LPST U.S. Navy Vet.

    Aug 14, 2014
    Real Name:
    I love my E-P3 but I plan to upgrade to the E-M because I miss my viewfinder! I say get one with the integrated VF although a bit more $$$ Its worth it, just my .02
  6. BMarkwardt

    BMarkwardt New to Mu-43

    Aug 25, 2014
    I attribute my love of viewfinders to growing up with my old Minolta film cameras. There's something about standing with my arms extended struggling to see an image on the back of my camera that just feels wrong.

    I appreciate all the feedback! The good news is that I'm not in a big hurry, so whatever I decide I have time to look for a deal!
    • Like Like x 2
  7. BMarkwardt

    BMarkwardt New to Mu-43

    Aug 25, 2014
    Thanks. I'll look again at the GX-7.
  8. NoTan2

    NoTan2 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2014
    Newcastle NSW Australia
    Real Name:
    Particularly with a 12-40 attached to the camera.
    I'm (reluctantly) prepared to do that with the E-P5 and a small prime when I'm too lazy to attach the VF-4 but there's no way I'd try to hold my E-M5 with the 12-40 at arms' length. (Maybe I need to visit the gym more often. :redface:)
  9. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    There's another thread on here somewhere right now discussing alternatives to the 12-40/2.8. Assuming $900 for that lens, you could consider the four-thirds 14-54 mark ii which goes from less than $200 used to $550 new. That'd give you an extra $350-700 to put toward the camera while also giving you some extra reach on the lens. If you went for the E-M1, you could get the 14-54 mark i version of that lens which is readily available on eBay for $120ish, giving you $780 toward the E-M1. If you're married to the 12-40 then this isn't an option; however, to my mind with the 14-54 (i or ii) you get a superior and more versatile lens along with enough money to upgrade to the best camera.
  10. BMarkwardt

    BMarkwardt New to Mu-43

    Aug 25, 2014
    Thanks! Another option. I will look for the thread you reference.
  11. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    GX7 sure seems to make sense given desire for RF body with VF. Some good deals on it lately as well.
  12. lurker

    lurker New to Mu-43

    Aug 27, 2014
    I read a lot of reviews online, went to the shop with the plan to buy a GX7 - then left with the E-M10. It just felt much better to me.
  13. BMarkwardt

    BMarkwardt New to Mu-43

    Aug 25, 2014
    For better or worse, I decided to buy an E-M1. Not sure whether I will buy a lens or fool with it with my 20mm for a while.
  14. Trankster

    Trankster Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 19, 2013
    Irvine, CA
    Real Name:
    For better, for sure... the EM1 is a great camera. I am also a big fan of the 12-40 which has become my all purpose everyday lens. Plus, the combo is weather proof. I have been selling off my prime lenses due to lack of use since getting the Pro zoom.

    Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
  15. BMarkwardt

    BMarkwardt New to Mu-43

    Aug 25, 2014
    I'd still like the 12-40. I need to figure out how to pay for it!
  16. hemuni

    hemuni Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2014
    Another vote for the GX7.
    I have both ep5 and gx7 and except for the ep5 black magic ibis and less confusing menus the gx7 is the clear winner. Yes the gx7 viewfinder seems puny when coming from the vf4, but your eyes adjusts and the convenience of having a viewfinder always available, just beats the the ugly lump by a mile.
    If video is at all important to you choose the gx7 and if not the em10 is also very interesting, though I'd still choose the gx7 for:
    - electronic shutter (read no shuttershock) and silent operation
    - 1/8000.
    - small and light
    - nfc
    - better autofocus (in my experience)
  17. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    That may be true, but the integrated viewfinders are less functional. Specifically, with the external EVF, I can tilt it up 90 degrees and shoot from the waist, as with a TLR. For me, this adds a lot to the usability.

    The second advantage is that the EVF can be upgraded when new models come out, which I did not so long ago, with the model 4.

    Thirdly, one EVF does for several cameras, which actually cuts down on total mass and bulk if you travel with a dual camera rig... as I do for any pro work.

    Besides all this, the PEN range simply work better in my hands than the rather fiddly and ill-positioned controls on the OMD cameras I have tried. (I have not tried the E-M1 since it is out of my budget range and is too big.)

    For me, the E-P5 has the best combination of functionality and usability.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    The E-P5 also has no shutter shock, especially with current firmware -- though I never had a problem beforehand. It also has 1/8000 shutter. And it is lighter than the GX7. Other reviewers did not find the AF advantages. This likely depends on your lenses more than anything. So you need to remove those factors from your advantages list. I have no real experience with the GX7, but I can aggregate reviews. A fairer comparison might look like this...

    Panasonic GX7 advantages:
    * video is 1080p60 versus 1080p30 (and better bit rate, I presume)
    * silent shutter mode (though no-one hears my E-P5)
    * built in EVF (convenience factor)

    Olympus E-P5 advantages:
    * slightly smaller and lighter (but only if excluding EVF)
    * external EVF (flexibility)
    * better quality EVF (most important)
    * better build
    * better look (by far, IMO... but other shooters may not care)
    * better ergonomics: dial position (make or break for me - main reason I don't like OMD)
    * better ergonomics: 1/2 switch (brilliant idea once I got used to it)
    * higher degree of control customisation (though still not everything I would like)
    * auto ISO in manual mode (functionality missing on the GX7)
    * magical IBIS!
    * IBIS works for video (not so on GX7... crazy!)
    * IBIS works for all lenses (not so on GX7)
    * in-camera file conversion and processing (I got a newspaper front page because of this!)

    Both are obviously highly capable cameras. It should be obvious which I prefer. I welcome additions/corrections.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. emmef2

    emmef2 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 1, 2012
    I bought the E-P5 about one year ago and I can say it is a little jewel, Olympus solved the shutter shock issue with a firmware upgrade and with the VF-4 it is a very versatile camera
    if you can you should try the E-M10 and the E-P5 for a weekend (or also the GX7 as well if you like) and decide by yourself
    • Like Like x 1
  20. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    great decision, especially with the upcoming software update. the EVF should be even better now!
    If you're basically looking for a body to mount the 12-40PRO onto, the EM1 would be the best choice with the grip size.

    if I'm planning to carry my EM5+12-40 I usually always use the landscape grip too. You will love the ergonomics with the EM1.

    If you were dead set on a RF, then GX7+Panasonic 12-35/f2.8 would be my recommendation. Or you could wait for the upcoming Panasonic LX100 which will be everything you're looking for in one package.