OMD-EM5 or GX7

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by snkenai, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    I understand that opinions are like belly buttons. Everyone has one. But, they are all different.

    The question, I am posing is NOT:
    Which is better built?
    Which has better IQ?
    Which has better color?
    Which is faster?

    Let me set forth a few stats, to couch the question.
    I am 68 years old with bad heart, left eye going blind, Slight cataract in right eye. But, very active. :smile:
    Must have the VF in bright light.
    I do use a light tripod quite a lot.

    My photography, is almost totally outdoor, nature, and some close up. On rare occasion, I will do a family event, wedding etc. My current lens used, is the Olympus 14-42ii. And, it suits my needs quite well. But, I do look over the fence toward a nice prime or 2 eventually.

    My current body is the Panasonic G1. I have had some very nice later bodies over the last few years, but the kids have from time to time needed a nice camera, so dad to the rescue. And so I have owned this G1 3 times! :smile: It has a slight crack in the LCD, but still works great. I am going to retire it to legacy 135mm duty.

    So, after all that drivel, if you are still here, which would you prefer, for actual ease and convenience of use and transport. (No camera bags used) I do favor the idea of the EVF being on the left, rather than the center. But, it is not the main criteria.

    I will buy used, as money is tight.

    Thanks, for your thoughtful consideration.
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Hi Steve. The GX7 will be easier to use since you are used to the G1 menus and since you prefer left sided EVF. They are equally easy to transport. I think you'll find the E-M5 less expensive used, though, and it isn't hard to use either.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Real Name:
    As Amin says, I'm sure you'll find the GX7 menus easier to navigate. I have both GX7 and OM-D and I do as well. The Olympus EVF is slightly easier to see thru, but I find the articulating GX7 finder very useful. I also find the GX7 ergonomics better than the E-M5.

    But both are great cameras.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    Hi Steve,
    not to confuse the matter, but since your eye sight is poor I would think that you should look into the EP-5 plus VF-4. The viewfinder is really quite nice and it is articulated like the one on the GX7, but easier on the eyes.
    The EP-5 seems to be a bit unloved in the second hand market so you could get a deal. Of course if money is tight then you could use the VF-4 with an EPM-2 which has the same sensor and is really cheap now.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    I should have stated, that my long term history in film and digital has been mostly Olympus. More recently, I and the extended family have had many Panasonics. So, the menu systems are not a factor. And, by the way, neither is high ISO.
    I had the Ep 1, 2 and 3. Nice, but want to move up to the later sensors. And don't want to deal with the external VF. But, not out of the question.
  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    I agree with Amin and others that coming from one Panasonic to the other is probably going to be an easier transition.

    I was never a fan of the way that the GX7 felt in my hand and much preferred the Olympus OMD cameras in that regard. Either one will be a great image taker for you, but it sounds like the GX7 might be a better match for you.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Ropes4u

    Ropes4u Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    I love my E-M5 and the viewfinder has proven to be excellent for me, I also have failing eyesight. The menu system isn't great but if I remember what to do the camera takes great photos.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Real Name:
    I have the E-m5, and use it a lot in all kinds of conditions ie(-25C, to in the bush with lots of rain). I have a bad back and neck, so size and weight were a big issue, along with EVF. I use voightllander lenses the most which are completely manual focus and aperture - which is somewhat of a weakness with the E-M5 since it doesn't have focus peaking. Panasonic has focus peaking, so if you have legacy lens, you should check out panasonics implementation of focus peaking. Engineers obviously designed olympus's menu system, and not photographers that use it lots, but you get used to it. I use a sling (Black Rapid I think) and can carry large lens like Voightlander's 17.5 without problem. If I broke the camera (highly likely since I'm rough on equipment), I'd seriously consider buying another E-M5 used.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    I had an E-M5 and loved it, but don't miss it now that I shoot witha GX7. Either will be quite an upgrade for you, personally think you'll enjoy the GX7 more as your right eye dominant, and is an easier carry around cam.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    A couple of differences that are relevant to me:

    - wifi image transfer, remote control with a smartphone
    - focus peaking
    - no IBIS for video
    - 1/8000 max shutter speed, you know, good to shoot wide open
    - silent shutter
    - flash

    - weather-sealing

    Ehm...I mean... :)
  11. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    I prefer shooting with the GX7 and sold off my E-M5. I keep an E-P5 with VF4 around for times when I want that big, beautiful EVF and better IBIS. But I mostly shoot with the GX7. It just feels so great in the hand!
  12. GeBathan

    GeBathan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    Los Angeles CA
    Real Name:
    I used to have the EM5 and love it so much that I went to get another one lol. I had both the silver and black,great cameras,jpg OOC is wonderful. I just couldn't get use to the menu settings. I previously had a G5. So after selling both the em5's I went to get the gx7+20mm and really loving this setup. For backup, I acquired a gh3.
  13. m4/3boy

    m4/3boy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2013
    Just to be clear I currently own Olympus and Panasonic M43 cameras.

    Based on your post I would definitely give the nod to the GX7 even though I use my E-M1 most of the time these days. I don't own the GX7 but it's the next body on my list.

    If you can afford it, purchase both and sell the one you don't want. LensRental has sort of a rent to buy plan these days so you may wish to check with them.
  14. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010

    I'm stretching to buy just one. And, my Podunk town is grateful, to just have a tool rental place.

    And, to everyone that chimed in. For several reasons, not the least of which, is cost, I am leaning toward the Olympus. But, the die is not fully cast yet. Hopefully, I will make the plunge in the next few days. I've been looking toward this decision for many months, so I've not been hiding in the woods, as to research. Just didn't have the spare cash to work with. And, likely this may be my last major camera purchase, considering my health status. So, taking a hard look at the pros and cons.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. m4/3boy

    m4/3boy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2013
    There have been a lot of good prices for GX7s over the past few weeks for new bodies with and without lens kits. Some of the sale prices rival the cost of E-M5s in EX+ condition. The Panasonic menuing system is less gnarly than the OMDS so that could be a big plus. Also visit located in Memphis, TN. You may wish to call them as they could have inventory of lightly used bodies for sale. They have always been super friendly to me.

    B&H, Adorama, & occasionally Amazon have good specials. Adorama may have refurbs at very attractive prices not to mention the FS section here. Patience can be your ally for bargain prices.

    Good luck.
    • Like Like x 1