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Panasonic G5, Olympus OM-D EM-5, or Sony Nex 5N?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by MyCrow43, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. MyCrow43

    MyCrow43 New to Mu-43

    Oct 23, 2012

    I've been searching around for a fairly small camera that has decent image quality and seem to keep going back and forth between these 3. First off, I am not a pro and never intend to be.

    Features I would like:
    - Fast autofocus. The faster, the better.
    - Quiet
    - Somewhat small
    - Good image quality of course
    - Built in HDR mode (not a deal breaker)
    - Built in panorama mode (not a deal breaker)

    So far,

    Olympus OM-D EM-5
    - Fast autofocus
    - IBIS
    - Weatherproof
    - I was able to play with it in person and the shutter seemed pretty quiet to me.
    - EVF
    - Most expensive
    - No built-in flash
    - I would have to buy another lens for it to be more compact (the panny 20mm 1.7 seems like a popular option), so this option would end up being MUCH more expensive. I'm also not sure what affect this lens would have on autofocus speed. Of course I realize this lens is not weatherproof.
    - I've read this camera may have some problems with CA and banding. Is this really a big deal?
    - No built in HDR (?) or panorama.

    Panasonic G5
    - Kit lens is fairly compact so I would not need to buy another lens immediately.
    - Zoom lever for power zoom lens
    - 1080p 60fps video
    - Articulating Screen
    - Built in flash
    - Silent shutter option (I've read that this can introduce problems when taking pictures of moving subjects or if you move the camera while the shot is being taken. I think it's referred to as rolling shutter or some sort?)
    - EVF
    - Built in HDR
    - Reviews state autofocus is pretty quick
    - Cost
    - Possibly the worst image quality of the three, but not bad by any means from what I've seen.
    - It seems to be the bulkiest of the bunch.
    - No local stores stock this camera so I would have to go by size comparisons online. I also cannot test the shutter sound with the electronic shutter off.
    - No built in panorama (?)

    Sony Nex-5N
    - Image quality
    - 1080p 60fps video
    - Built in HDR and panorama
    - Cost. There are deals to be had since there is a newer model.
    - Loudest of the bunch, even with EVF first turned on.
    - Lenses are big.
    - The only currently available pancake lens supposedly isn't that great and there is no OIS (!) for the 16mm. The power zoom won't be coming out until early next year??
    - No built in flash
    - Slowest autofocus of the bunch

    Anywho, that is my current take on the cameras I've been looking into, and may sort of give a better idea of what I'm looking for. If any of the information I've found is wrong, please correct me. So now that you know what I'm looking for in a camera, perhaps you (yes, you!) can give me a bit of insight into which of these would be the better option, or at least clear up some of my uncertainties/concerns. Also, if you have another camera to suggest, I'm all ears.


    Oh yeah, I'm a pixel-peeper.
  2. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    I'd seriously consider the GX1. I have an E-M5 and a GX1.i have never used the nex or the G5.
    Considering your requests, I think it's the right one for you.
    Price - I thinks it's the best price of all mentioned
    HDR - G5 has as well
    Flash - built in
    Compact - EVF is removable (if you buy one)
    Image quality is damn close to E-M5 and should be on par w/G5
    Collapsible, power zoom if you choose(there are some issues at certain shutter speeds on some copies)
    I think it checks more boxes than any of the others. Get the body only and strap on the 20 for a killer combo for less than $700 - 750 all in. Less if you go used.
  3. To the NEX-5N con list I would add limited external controls, and the only real image quality advantage it has over the E-M5 is about half a stop better noise at higher ISOs. Any perceived difference beyond that is a matter of taste. I think that the most directly competitive camera bodies will be the E-M5 vs NEX 7, G5 vs NEX 6, and GX1 vs NEX 5N/R vs E-PL5
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I vote G5, it does everything you want at a reasonable price. If you can wait a bit longer, the GX2 should be out with a smaller body.
  5. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I'd recommend the g5 as a vlue choice. Omd has ibis and slightly better IQ but you pay a large premium for it imho.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  6. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Crow the bad news is they all fit your main criteria ;
    Now ask yourself how you use your current cameras and do you want or need a viewfinder? For me that's the first thing.
    Fast AF : only the NEX with certain lenses in certain conditions fails this one.
    The G5 is the only one that can take a picture silently.
    They are all small but the grip and hump of the G5 is the least small.
    Good image quality : tick.
  7. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    I went from NEX-5N to OM-D and am completely loving it. The IBIS has been marvelous, weathersealed body+lens was a blessing on my trip to UK last month (was raining 90% of the time!) and the lens selection and quality blew me away.

    I've tried HDR modes (on NEX) in the past to 'correct' tricky lighting condition, but I've found OM-D's dynamic range and superior jpg engine to be more than adequate most of the time to pull details from the dark areas of the pictures.

    Also, I've found Nex's panorama mode to be quite useless in a dynamic environment (crowd) and certain repeating patterns (waves, cross hatches) that they come out with buggy stitched pictures. I bought an ultra wide lens instead (Panasonic 7-14mm) and am really really happy with the wide pictures from it. Oh yeah, the NEX was also loud and kinda annoying when it takes panorama pictures. I've gotten quite a few funny looks and 'machine gun' jokes when I took panorama pics with it because it went like 'ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta!' :D  (I wonder if it counts as shutter actuations? You'd 'waste' probably 20+ or so of those per panorama).

    OM-D's shutter sound (love it) is not silent, but it's 'tone' is slightly on the low side, so it's not too audible unless you're in silent places.
  8. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    ' body+lens was a blessing on my trip to UK last month (was raining 90% of the time!) and the lens selection and quality blew me away.'

    Tell me about it (the weather here) - its been one of the wettest summer periods on record - feels like we went straight from spring into autumn (fall) and very short of nice days to get out and about !
  9. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    I have owned a NEX-C3, and NEX-5N, the OMD E-M5 is twice the camera with even more letters!

    The image quality on the NEX cameras is fantastic, no issues there. But the level of manual control, customization, efv, lens support, IBIS, and sealed body make the OMD much more of a camera than the 5N and C3.

    I cant speak about the NEX-6 or NEX 7. I would imagine the only one that compares well is the NEX-7 when it comes to usability.

    No issues with CA or banding here.

    Ill put it this way,

    With the NEX-5N I felt i had a fun little camera that was less obtrusive and fun to take to the zoo. After I sold that and got the OMD, a month later My Nikon gear is up for sale and i had a pretty solid nikon system. D7000, nikkor 24-70 2.8, 10.5mm fisheye, Nikon 5-300, tokina 12-24 and tokina 35mm 1:1 macro, SB900 and SB600 + more.
  10. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    It sounds like you are quietly using a 3 hole punch. :biggrin:
  11. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    :bravo-009: Man, you are right on there... it does sound like a three hole punch (maybe with a lot of paper to dull the sound a bit).
  12. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    Yes Nex 7 (or 6) would be a more logical comparison (in the UK at least they are both cheaper than the OMD). But from what I have read, even the improved AF on the Nex 6 is not yet up to OMD speeds. The OMD ticks all your other boxes as well, apart from the 'not a deal breaker ones'. Plus the OMD (or G5) offers a better selection of lenses.

    The main complaint regarding the OMD (from some) seems to be the ergonomics, which is a more personal thing. The G5 and Nex 6/7 may be better in this regard?

    There is a good debate on the Nex 7 vs the OMD here: Photoclubalpha • View topic - Nex-7 vs OM-D. A personal take

    The third post by 'bakubo' echoes my own view that the ideal camera would have the OMD IBIS as well as the micro four thirds lens selection (and AF speed) but in a Nex body with an APS-C sensor. But as this camera does not exist one has to compromise and choose what is most important to you.
  13. MyCrow43

    MyCrow43 New to Mu-43

    Oct 23, 2012

    Thanks for all of the feedback so far.

    I forgot to add to my list that shot-to-shot time is also quite important to me. Is there any appreciable difference between these cameras in regards to this matter?

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