Pany GX-85 or Oly E-M10 II (or III)?

SMDBill

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I'm switching from FF to M43 due to size and I rarely have my camera with me because it is large, expensive (fearing theft from car), and difficult to use discreetly. I shoot random things, street, landscape and the occasional portraits. I want small, so not interested in the G9 or E-M1 series cameras. Great price now on the GX85 everywhere and I can get quite a deal on the E-M10 refurb from Oly (mark II or III), both systems with dual kit lenses. Intent is to buy primes to primarily use but keep kit lenses as backup or when situation requires flexibility.

What I've gathered is differences are:
Oly - better IBIS, better EVF, more challenging menu system, great controls, better out of box JPG colors
GX85 - possibly slightly better AF (still contrast), slightly smaller, easy menus, solid build, worse EVF and 16:9 view leaves unused area in EVF

Since both have tilt screens, and my goal is to stay relatively cheap ($400-500USD for body and kit lenses), both systems fit my needs. Does one excel in an area to make it more desirable for the shooting I do, for ergonomics, or another factor that would help settle my debate between them? I currently shoot a Nikon D750 and the bulk is the issue, not really the weight. With lens it is quite large for wanting to have it with me all the time and be easy to just tuck away in a pocket or glove box.

Any help appreciated. I do realize the cameras mentioned are aging models from 2016, but so too is my Nikon from 2014 and it still amazes with great images so I'm not really bothered by that. I know the IQ may not be what FF is, but I've owned FF, APS-C and had an E-M10 Mark I that I returned before I learned to use it and only had for a couple weeks.
 

SMDBill

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Rather than the excellent GX85, look for a 9+ GX9. Had both at the same time and the GX9 is the winner on all counts. First lens for it ...... the awesome 12-32 pancake :thumbsup:
Thanks Andy. From the specs, looks like the only significant differences are EVF and sensor? Only hesitation is the extra few hundred in cost that I was going to instead use on a couple/few primes depending on the deals I could get on the used market. Used GX9 right now (without lens) is same as GX85 with both 12-32 pancake and 45-150mm. Hmmm...
 

pdk42

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The E-M10 mark ii is IMHO a better buy than the mark iii. Mark iii has a dumbed-down UI and a cheaper feel to its build. It adds 4k video if that's of interest, but I don't think it does anything more for stills shooters. The EM10 ii is probably the best value Oly camera they ever made. It does most of what the E-M5ii does at a fraction of the price (the biggest loss is weather sealing).
 

SMDBill

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The E-M10 mark ii is IMHO a better buy than the mark iii. Mark iii has a dumbed-down UI and a cheaper feel to its build. It adds 4k video if that's of interest, but I don't think it does anything more for stills shooters. The EM10 ii is probably the best value Oly camera they ever made. It does most of what the E-M5ii does at a fraction of the price (the biggest loss is weather sealing).
Thank you. Right now it's down to a $30 difference for either with both kit lenses. One is open box and the other is refurb. I have read from several places where people often recommend the mark II over the mark III Oly, so appreciate the insight. I don't mind menus...own a Sony a6000 so I understand the frustration. My Nikon doesn't seem worlds better because menus are pretty deep. I do not, though, want one that is dumbed down. Prefer they give me the features and let me figure it out.
 

StanS

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Two years ago I was having the same dilemma. In the end I went for the GX80 since it had useable C-AF with Panasonic lenses (and dual-is as well, which is useful with longer focal lengths). The 4k photo modes also looked interesting. I also wanted to try out the range finder body style.

What I lost out on not going for the E-M10 mkii:
- A better viewfinder
- Better noise performance at long exposures and high ISO
- Live Time and Live Composite modes.

In the end I think you can't go wrong with either camera
 

ac12

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I think you get used to the menu of whatever camera you get.
I have friends who own Sonys, and they say great camera, but the UI and menu stinks.

I have the EM10-mk2.
I recommend you get the 3rd party grip. Makes for a better hold on the camera. And if you want small, you can always remove the grip. My grip has not come off the camera.

I have the 14-42EZ lens, for compactness, and it is small.
But I never got used to the power zoom, never got used it it on a P&S either. My fingers are too used to working manual zooms. YMMV.

My personal favorite GP lens is the Panasonic-Lumix 12-60.
More reach than the Olympus 14-42 kit lens. But the 12-60 is longer.

If you want primes, do you want a 2 or 3 lens kit?
The old 35mm film PJ 2-lens kit was 35 + 85/105 = m4/3 17 + 45
A 3-lens kit would add a 25, so 17+25+45. Or 15+20+45

If you want to do video, I think the mk3 is better for video than the mk2.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Is price much of a limiting factor? The E-M5 III is a pretty nice little camera. If not that, then the GX9 for sure. It comes with a 12-60 kit that’s actually a pretty good lens, but it might be a little big for you if you want small primes.
 

SMDBill

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Is price much of a limiting factor? The E-M5 III is a pretty nice little camera. If not that, then the GX9 for sure. It comes with a 12-60 kit that’s actually a pretty good lens, but it might be a little big for you if you want small primes.
Yes, price is a limiting factor. Selling some Canon and Sony gear to pay for it. Don't want to invest other funds into the system until convinced to stay. If convinced, I'll also sell my Nikon D750, but that requires the M43 to do portraits at least close to as well. Buying a Nikon G to M43 adapter to use my 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 Nikon lenses on the camera as a test.
 

RS86

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I'm switching from FF to M43 due to size and I rarely have my camera with me because it is large, expensive (fearing theft from car), and difficult to use discreetly. I shoot random things, street, landscape and the occasional portraits. I want small, so not interested in the G9 or E-M1 series cameras. Great price now on the GX85 everywhere and I can get quite a deal on the E-M10 refurb from Oly (mark II or III), both systems with dual kit lenses. Intent is to buy primes to primarily use but keep kit lenses as backup or when situation requires flexibility.

What I've gathered is differences are:
Oly - better IBIS, better EVF, more challenging menu system, great controls, better out of box JPG colors
GX85 - possibly slightly better AF (still contrast), slightly smaller, easy menus, solid build, worse EVF and 16:9 view leaves unused area in EVF

Since both have tilt screens, and my goal is to stay relatively cheap ($400-500USD for body and kit lenses), both systems fit my needs. Does one excel in an area to make it more desirable for the shooting I do, for ergonomics, or another factor that would help settle my debate between them? I currently shoot a Nikon D750 and the bulk is the issue, not really the weight. With lens it is quite large for wanting to have it with me all the time and be easy to just tuck away in a pocket or glove box.

Any help appreciated. I do realize the cameras mentioned are aging models from 2016, but so too is my Nikon from 2014 and it still amazes with great images so I'm not really bothered by that. I know the IQ may not be what FF is, but I've owned FF, APS-C and had an E-M10 Mark I that I returned before I learned to use it and only had for a couple weeks.

I would go for E-M10 II. I had GX85 and switched to GX9 later. Somehow the GX85 never felt as well made as these two other cameras, but it might be just my own issue. Hard to say what it is.

The autofocus especially in low-light is better with Panasonics. In my opinion E-M10 II feels smaller than the Panasonics. GX9 is pretty similar in size to PEN-F. Maybe the E-M10 II is more "round" and not as wide, but there is the bump of course.

With GX9 you would get Manual Mode with Auto-ISO & Exposure Compensation. I find it useful in some situations with GX9 & PEN-F.

Definitely don't buy E-M10 III unless you want 4K video. I think they took the configurable mode dial (MySets) out of the version III among other important things. Not sure if it even has Custom Modes like PEN-F, E-M5 iii etc., very likely not.

For E-M10 II I think you can still buy aluminium L-Bracket grip for about 20 euros from ebay, from China. For GX85 there is the 3D printed one for the same price, but not L-Bracket. That is much lighter.

My first E-M10 II had it's LCD going "black" in many positions after 4 years of heavy use (I mostly use the LCD). I still bought a new one for 300 € a while ago, I love the camera. GX85 has known issues with the back dial not working anymore, so either one has some risks involved. Not sure how usual these issues are.
 
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I like my GX80/GX85. It feels well made to me. I got one used in excellent condition for € 190 (€ 250 with the kit lens, which I sold), and I don't see why I should upgrade.
 

RS86

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I like my GX80/GX85. It feels well made to me. I got one used in excellent condition for € 190, and I don't see why I should upgrade.

It is very solid. I think the GX85 has plastic dials compared to GX9 and E-M10 II which must have been part of how it compares to me. (Does it, can't remember for sure?) Although with GX9 the back dial is plastic and similar to GX85.

Also the ergonomics of GX85 are not as good as GX9. The grip and thumb grip are too small in my opinion and are better in the GX9.

E-M10 II thumb grip is very good, front grip might be a bit better on the III version, but haven't tested.
 
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pdk42

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Thank you. Right now it's down to a $30 difference for either with both kit lenses. One is open box and the other is refurb. I have read from several places where people often recommend the mark II over the mark III Oly, so appreciate the insight. I don't mind menus...own a Sony a6000 so I understand the frustration. My Nikon doesn't seem worlds better because menus are pretty deep. I do not, though, want one that is dumbed down. Prefer they give me the features and let me figure it out.
I don't get all the moaning about Olympus menus. I've recently played with Fuji, Nikon, and Sony and they're all messy and incomprehensible at first use. One you get some time under your belt the Oly menus are perfectly logical and easy to use.
 

RAH

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I agree with those saying that the E-M10II would be the best choice. I went this route a few years ago when they first brought out the E-M10III. I was waiting, wanting to upgrade from my E-M10I. Well, I took one look at the E-M10III and ordered the E-M10II refurbished from the Oly Outlet store (http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/outlet) for only $300 (with kit lens). Best thing I ever did! I see that that the E-M10II is still available as a refurb on the Oly outlet store for just $350 (with lens). Yes! Get this!! :)
 

Mike Wingate

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I have been using my GX80 for about 3 years. It is great. If I was starting now, I would get the GX9 as it is a bit better. Or wait for the mythical GX10.
 

SMDBill

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Thanks everyone. So I made the leap. Ordered an open box GX85 for $429USD with both kit lenses. Deciding factor was the slight size difference, praise of the 12-32mm lens, width of that lens at the wide end, and 3 year warranty Panasonic is offering labor/parts for a camera bought now through sometime in 2021. Couldn't pass that up. The E-M10 II deal was a refurb with a 90 day warranty I believe. Now I'm searching for a 20mm 1.7 and will get a Nikon G to MFT adapter to use my G and AI lenses on it for portraits. I have a 24-120mm f4, 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8 and old MF 70-200 4.5 that has beautiful bokeh. Not sure that long lens will get much use being both MF and unstabilized, but will see how well the IBIS helps that for stationary wildlife or distant subjects.
 

ac12

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Thanks everyone. So I made the leap. Ordered an open box GX85 for $429USD with both kit lenses. Deciding factor was the slight size difference, praise of the 12-32mm lens, width of that lens at the wide end, and 3 year warranty Panasonic is offering labor/parts for a camera bought now through sometime in 2021. Couldn't pass that up. The E-M10 II deal was a refurb with a 90 day warranty I believe. Now I'm searching for a 20mm 1.7 and will get a Nikon G to MFT adapter to use my G and AI lenses on it for portraits. I have a 24-120mm f4, 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8 and old MF 70-200 4.5 that has beautiful bokeh. Not sure that long lens will get much use being both MF and unstabilized, but will see how well the IBIS helps that for stationary wildlife or distant subjects.

Caution
The last time I looked, there were NO adapters that would let the m4/3 camera and Nikon lens communicate.
So your G lenses will be FULLY MANUAL.
NO autofocus, NO camera control of the aperture, NO focus by wire, NO VR.

There is one adapter with an aperture control ring, but the numbers on that ring is relative, and has no relation to the real aperture number.
That adapter only works with lenses that have a mechanical aperture lever, not lenses with electronic aperture.

BTW, this situation bummed me out as I also have Nikon gear.
The only Nikon lens that I use on my m4/3 are the old manual AI and pre-AI lenses.
 
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SMDBill

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Caution
The last time I looked, there were NO adapters that would let the m4/3 camera and Nikon lens communicate.
So your G lenses will be FULLY MANUAL.
NO autofocus, NO camera control of the aperture, NO focus by wire, NO VR.

There is one adapter with an aperture control ring, but the numbers on that ring is relative, and has no relation to the real aperture number.
That adapter only works with lenses that have a mechanical aperture lever, not lenses with electronic aperture.
The one I ordered is as you described, with aperture adjustment but it also controls aperture on the G lenses and allows for full manual function of the lens, along with use of older AI (or AI-S) lenses or D lenses. I'm ok with full manual. Same experience as on the older AI I have, but not as easy since G lenses give up the aperture manual adjustment and have a narrower focus adjustment dial. For now I want to see if it's workable, then try a 42.5 or 45 M43 lens. I'm no expert at MF, so I'll work at it and decide if it's worth pursuing. I do have a couple portrait sessions lined up and they are for family, so I may use my Nikon for those and test out the MF lenses on the M43 at the end to see if I can get comparable results. Hoping to make the shift over to M43 for everything, but need time to assess my skills with it and adjust to using it.
 

ac12

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The one I ordered is as you described, with aperture adjustment but it also controls aperture on the G lenses and allows for full manual function of the lens, along with use of older AI (or AI-S) lenses or D lenses. I'm ok with full manual. Same experience as on the older AI I have, but not as easy since G lenses give up the aperture manual adjustment and have a narrower focus adjustment dial. For now I want to see if it's workable, then try a 42.5 or 45 M43 lens. I'm no expert at MF, so I'll work at it and decide if it's worth pursuing. I do have a couple portrait sessions lined up and they are for family, so I may use my Nikon for those and test out the MF lenses on the M43 at the end to see if I can get comparable results. Hoping to make the shift over to M43 for everything, but need time to assess my skills with it and adjust to using it.

Should work. Use the magnify function in the viewfinder, to make it easier to see if it is in focus.
 
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