Panasonic vs. Olympus

RichardC

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I tried selling one of my cameras via ebay/PayPal; all I got were people trying to scam me! I tried listing on Facebook Marketplace, but that's where I got thw super lowball offers. I even wrote in the description "Firm price, no trades", but there were plenty folks who contacted me to trade. I really don't need more equipment!

That is really disappointing. I have had varying results selling on platforms other than ebay, but have not had your poor ebay experiences.

I can see scenarios where new accounts could be the target of chancers though.

Anyway, speculation on my part, my apologies for diverting this thread totally O/T.
 

Machi

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...

My question is what is the difference between Panasonic and Olympus sensors? Does one system have more dynamic range than the other? Does one system perform better than the other in low light?
...

Sensors used by both companies have generally similar performances with one interesting difference.
Olympus cameras (except E-M1 Mark I) are generally better with long exposures (>10's of seconds) with lower thermal (dark) noise levels.
That's even true for the new 20Mp sensors which are made for both companies by Sony.
For example according to optyczne.pl G9 has 3 to 6 times more noise at 3 minutes exposure than E-M1II.
 

snegron

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What about the GX9?

Thanks! I just checked out the specs and review of the GX9, and does seem to fit the bill quite nicely! I like the added feature of a tilting viewfinder. According to the review it has better jpeg output than the GX85 as well. I'm looking to see if it uses the same battery as the GX85. If so, that would be great, especially because I purchased the optional external battery charger for it!
 

snegron

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That is really disappointing. I have had varying results selling on platforms other than ebay, but have not had your poor ebay experiences.

I can see scenarios where new accounts could be the target of chancers though.

Anyway, speculation on my part, my apologies for diverting this thread totally O/T.

No apologies needed! I think it was very relevant info and would definitely benefit some folks (luckier than me I hope) in selling off their old gear to pay for their new gear. Thanks!
 

snegron

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Sensors used by both companies have generally similar performances with one interesting difference.
Olympus cameras (except E-M1 Mark I) are generally better with long exposures (>10's of seconds) with lower thermal (dark) noise levels.
That's even true for the new 20Mp sensors which are made for both companies by Sony.
For example according to optyczne.pl G9 has 3 to 6 times more noise at 3 minutes exposure than E-M1II.

It makes sense to me now why I am always seeing so many awesome astrophotography images taken with Olympus cameras! I wonder though if the noise on longer exposures is affected by heat generated in the camera vs the actual sensor though? I read somewhere that heat does affect noise levels on long exposures.
 

WT21

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There is little appreciable difference. You can get a slight bump in resolution, DR and noise if you move to the GX9 or Pen-F. They feel very different, so which one is a personal choice. They will both be slightly better than your GX85, slightly behind APS-C offerings and more behind full frame. But they will be the most compact and have the best compact lens options. So, as with everything in life, there are trade offs.
 
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Machi

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...I wonder though if the noise on longer exposures is affected by heat generated in the camera vs the actual sensor though? I read somewhere that heat does affect noise levels on long exposures.
Yes, heat significantly affects noise levels at long exposures. For example according to my tests with E-M1II, ~10°C (=18°F) higher temperature means 2× more noise for 4min exposure. This can be slightly different for different cameras but trend is the same for every one of them.
It looks that noise is primarily caused by heat generated in sensor itself as external sources of heat (other camera electronics) cause so called heat spots around edges of images and those are minimal in case of G9 and almost invisible in case of E-M1II.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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There is little appreciable difference. You can get a slight bump in resolution, DR and noise if you move to the GX9 or Pen-F. They feel very different, so which one is a personal choice. They will both be slightly better than your GX85, slightly behind APS-C offerings and more behind full frame. But the will be the most compact and have the best small lens options. So, as with everything in life, there are trade offs.
With the GX9, you will also get quite a few more dials and buttons, including the AF switch--something I always appreciated on Panasonic cameras. Still, I remember when I went from a 16MP to 20MP sensor, I really appreciated the extra crop-factor it offered. I don't think it offered much improvement over the GX85 in terms of DR, like you said.

The GX9 has always been a bit of a marketing head-scratcher. It's a compact body, but you can only buy it with the P12-60 (at least here in the US). The P12-60 is by no means a bad lens, but it's not exactly as compact as the 12-32 pancake. Even then, there should be a "body only" option for upgraders. As fickle as I am, I might have tried one if I could have bought one without a lens.
 

Replytoken

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I also have a few more miscellaneous cameras (Lumix LX3, waterproof point and shoots, a ton of film cameras, etc.)
I have no complaints of any of the above cameras or lenses as I learned to work around their limitations. I never expected an m4/3 to have equal IQ as a FF, etc. As for my comment about the lack of a major improvement between my D200's and my D750, I still stand by it. Before FF was as commonly available as it is today, I shot a ton of weddings and sporting events with my D200's. Never had any issues with dynamic range; noise was dealt with mostly in Photoshop, but I knew how far to push those D200's to their limits.

I ended up purchasing the 6dmk2 and D750 roughly around the same time (a few months apart). I took them both out on shooting experiments using equal lenses and found that the D750 produced better images under most circumstances. I was a bit disappointed because the difference in IQ wasn't that much better than my old D200's. My results weren't bad overall, it's just that I was expecting a major difference like when I went from 35mm to 120mm film.

I guess I am a bit confused. You are trying to determine which modern m4/3rd's sensor would best for your needs, which I can completely understand, when they are all within spitting distance of each other in terms of performance and IQ, but you did not see much difference between the D200 and the D750, which are about 3 stops apart in DR, just to name one difference. I am glad to hear that you were able to extract what you could from the D200, as it was a body that I specifically avoided because of its sensor (and ended up with a D300 which I used for years). But what confuses me is that what many perceive to be a big difference is not making itself known (D200 vs D750), but what many find to be small differences are of concern (e.g. GX9 vs. Pen-F) are giving you pause? I do not raise this because I want a response, but more to help you in furthering/refining your decision making process.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

demiro

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There is little appreciable difference. You can get a slight bump in resolution, DR and noise if you move to the GX9 or Pen-F. They feel very different, so which one is a personal choice. They will both be slightly better than your GX85, slightly behind APS-C offerings and more behind full frame. But they will be the most compact and have the best compact lens options. So, as with everything in life, there are trade offs.
This is really "it". These are the best RF style cameras in m4/3s. Big difference vs your GX85? Probably not, but there are few giant gains to be had anywhere these days.

@snegron You're clearly not averse to buying gear, so pick one, or both, and check them out. If you buy used you won't take a huge hit when you resell.
 

snegron

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I guess I am a bit confused. You are trying to determine which modern m4/3rd's sensor would best for your needs, which I can completely understand, when they are all within spitting distance of each other in terms of performance and IQ, but you did not see much difference between the D200 and the D750, which are about 3 stops apart in DR, just to name one difference. I am glad to hear that you were able to extract what you could from the D200, as it was a body that I specifically avoided because of its sensor (and ended up with a D300 which I used for years). But what confuses me is that what many perceive to be a big difference is not making itself known (D200 vs D750), but what many find to be small differences are of concern (e.g. GX9 vs. Pen-F) are giving you pause? I do not raise this because I want a response, but more to help you in furthering/refining your decision making process.

Good luck,

--Ken



I'm looking for the best possible IQ from the smaller, lighter m4/3 cameras that Panasonic and Olympus offer.

When I take my kids to Disney theme parks, camera weight makes a difference. Same for travel that requires me to fly to my destination.

I already have m4/3 lenses, so why not find a small body that can yield better results than my current GX85? Technology, especially in the world of photography, advances quite rapidly. I'm sure there are newer models that can yield better IQ.

I don't plan on taking my heavy dslr's with me on any travel vacation unless I'm driving, so I will continue to use my m4/3 outfit.

And yes, even 1 dslr with just 1 prime is heavier than my GX85.

As for my FF vs APS-C observations, as I stated previously; it's not as noticeable a jump in terms of IQ from APS-C to FF as it was from 35mm film to 120mm film.
 

Replytoken

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I'm looking for the best possible IQ from the smaller, lighter m4/3 cameras that Panasonic and Olympus offer.

When I take my kids to Disney theme parks, camera weight makes a difference. Same for travel that requires me to fly to my destination.

I already have m4/3 lenses, so why not find a small body that can yield better results than my current GX85? Technology, especially in the world of photography, advances quite rapidly. I'm sure there are newer models that can yield better IQ.

I don't plan on taking my heavy dslr's with me on any travel vacation unless I'm driving, so I will continue to use my m4/3 outfit.

And yes, even 1 dslr with just 1 prime is heavier than my GX85.

As for my FF vs APS-C observations, as I stated previously; it's not as noticeable a jump in terms of IQ from APS-C to FF as it was from 35mm film to 120mm film.
I totally get wanting the best IQ that we can get, and I absolutely agree that weight/size is often a non-negotiable. When I travel by plane, only m4/3rd's gear comes along unless a bigger body is specifically called for. I would never suggest taking something that does not meet your needs. But, I find more issues in IQ from bad lighting or bad technique than I do from the differences in m4/3rd's sensors. I currently have five different different Oly/Pany bodies with different sensors, and while there may be a bit of difference between them, with my E-M1 MKII being at the top of the heap, a wrong lens choice or bad technique quickly swamps often out the differences. If I was in your shoes, I would listen to the voice that is saying that you want a compact body and find the one that is most comfortable to use. I have a GX80/85 which is quite compact, but it almost never gets used, even when I want a small body, because it has never felt quite right in my hands. My E-M1 bodies, on the other hand, are usually the first that I want to pick up. Their feature sets are far more important to me than which sensor is stuffed in the body as they allow me to shoot better and easier with less friction, and that is important to me. I even grab my MkI sometimes before my MkII just because I am more used to shooting with it. In the end, it is all a matter of compromises, so you will have to give some one way or another.

--Ken
 

snegron

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I totally get wanting the best IQ that we can get, and I absolutely agree that weight/size is often a non-negotiable. When I travel by plane, only m4/3rd's gear comes along unless a bigger body is specifically called for. I would never suggest taking something that does not meet your needs. But, I find more issues in IQ from bad lighting or bad technique than I do from the differences in m4/3rd's sensors. I currently have five different different Oly/Pany bodies with different sensors, and while there may be a bit of difference between them, with my E-M1 MKII being at the top of the heap, a wrong lens choice or bad technique quickly swamps often out the differences. If I was in your shoes, I would listen to the voice that is saying that you want a compact body and find the one that is most comfortable to use. I have a GX80/85 which is quite compact, but it almost never gets used, even when I want a small body, because it has never felt quite right in my hands. My E-M1 bodies, on the other hand, are usually the first that I want to pick up. Their feature sets are far more important to me than which sensor is stuffed in the body as they allow me to shoot better and easier with less friction, and that is important to me. I even grab my MkI sometimes before my MkII just because I am more used to shooting with it. In the end, it is all a matter of compromises, so you will have to give some one way or another.

--Ken


I added the extended/optional grip to my GX85; it feels much better than without the grip.

100% agreed regarding right lens and proper technique!
 

Replytoken

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I added the extended/optional grip to my GX85; it feels much better than without the grip.

100% agreed regarding right lens and proper technique!
I added the grip as well and it did improve the hold on the body, but there are still some issues that I've never liked. It is a great camera, but not necessarily for me. Nonetheless, I wanted an RF body, and this was what I chose. It now has limited resale value, so I continue to give it a spin, hoping to make peace with it.

--Ken
 
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The 20MP sensor IS better than the 16MP. There is a bit more dynamic range - not a ton, but a bit. And the ability to crop in a little is good too. Also, I felt like the GX9 had a slight edge in colors and detail in its JPEG files compared to the GX85, but only a little. All that adds up to say, you can get better than the GX85, but it becomes a value to cost ratio. It's not enough for me personally to make it worth spending a lot more. Fortunately the GX9 is pretty inexpensive sometimes. If you find a deal.

Alternatively, the G100 is a pretty nice value proposition: 20MP, updated JPEGs, better EVF (it feels big and crisp after handling one at a shop for a bit). You lose IBIS, however, and the 1/500 max mechanical shutter means you might need to rely on electronic shutter more often. But it's there, and it's often pretty cheap - it'll get cheaper with time.
 

Replytoken

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Alternatively, the G100 is a pretty nice value proposition: 20MP, updated JPEGs, better EVF (it feels big and crisp after handling one at a shop for a bit). You lose IBIS, however, and the 1/500 max mechanical shutter means you might need to rely on electronic shutter more often. But it's there, and it's often pretty cheap - it'll get cheaper with time.
That's interesting as it was my understanding that this was the exact same EVF that has been used in the GX7 and GX80/85.

--Ken
 
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No, it's still the same type (not OLED) but it went from .7x and 2.74 million dots to .73x and 3.68 million dots. It's significantly better and has a better eye point as well. I consider it excellent in the small amount of time I had with it.
 

snegron

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I added the grip as well and it did improve the hold on the body, but there are still some issues that I've never liked. It is a great camera, but not necessarily for me. Nonetheless, I wanted an RF body, and this was what I chose. It now has limited resale value, so I continue to give it a spin, hoping to make peace with it.

--Ken

The only two things I actually dislike about the GX85 are:

1. The the exposure compensation feature is activated by pressing the rear function wheel. This, to me, is frustrating especially when shooting in aperture priority mode; if you press the wheel with any bit of pressure, you will inadvertently change the exposure to either lighter or darker depending on what direction you turn the wheel. I wish there was a way to disable the exposure compensation function.

2. The buttons are super tiny. I need reading glasses in order to see the rear buttons! I wish they would at least light up to make them easier to see.
 

snegron

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Bellow are 3 examples of shots I took with the 6dmk2, D750 and GX85. They were shot on different occasions, however, it gives an idea of how they are really not that much different. In the near future I'll do a more detailed, side by side comparison using the D200, D750, 6dmk2 and GX85. The first image was taken with the 6dmk2 and 50mm at f5.6, ISO 100. The second picture was taken with the D750, 50mm at f5.6, ISO 100. The 3rd picture was taken today with the GX85, 12-32mm f2.8 set at 30mm, f4.0 ( FF equivalent), ISO 400.
 

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Replytoken

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Bellow are 3 examples of shots I took with the 6dmk2, D750 and GX85. They were shot on different occasions, however, it gives an idea of how they are really not that much different. In the near future I'll do a more detailed, side by side comparison using the D200, D750, 6dmk2 and GX85. The first image was taken with the 6dmk2 and 50mm at f5.6, ISO 100. The second picture was taken with the D750, 50mm at f5.6, ISO 100. The 3rd picture was taken today with the GX85, 12-32mm f2.8 set at 30mm, f4.0 ( FF equivalent), ISO 400.
Its a bit of an apples to oranges comparison due to the outside lighting, but the first thing I noticed was that the D750 images was a bit brighter. If you have the raw file, it would be interesting to see if the detail that is not present in the jpeg is there. I suspect so unless the highlights were blown out. What makes me tend to like or hate a sensor more is how well I can recover detail from and ETTR image and how well I can recover any details from an underexposed image without too much grain and muddiness. Newer and larger sensors often tend to be more forgiving in these areas and in high ISO images.

--Ken
 

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