Please be objective: Is a GX85 worth $100 more than an E-P5?

TetonTom

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I need a new m43 body. I have a limited budget; I’d really like to stay under $400, and any amount I can stay below this will go into a macro lens fund. I’d prefer to buy a new camera, even if it’s a bit outdated or even discontinued, as I haven’t had the best luck lately with used or refurbs. I’m not interested in anything that comes with kit lenses; I’m happy with my glass and don’t have the time/energy to sell off un-needed gear.
My last body was an E-M5 classic, and I was pleased enough with the feature set and image quality. I’d definitely like to stay with a twin dial setup. I’d kind like to try a rangefinder style body. An integrated EVF isn’t all that important to me; I could easily get used to living without.
So all that being said, the 2 best deals I’m looking at right now are:
1- I’ve found a seller with new black EP5 bodies for $279. I know it’s a bit dated, but still pretty solid specs.
2- The best deal for new GX85 bodies seem to be right around $380. I know it’s newer, and has an EVF, but realistically is still going to give me the same IQ as the Pen.
My question is, do you think the GX85 is for any objective reason worth $100 more than the EP5.
I should also say that video capabilities are of zero importance to me.
Also, if there’s a model that you think carries similar specs and is available new in my price range, I’d like to hear about it.
Thanks!
 

StanS

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You should bear in mind that the GX85 will perform better at continuous AF when using Panasonic lenses. The S-AF speed and accuracy might also be a bit better (with any lens) if the focusing system of the E-P5 is anything like the one of the E-PM2 (which I've actually used).

If you are not concerned with either of these things, you can easily save yourself the $100.
 

djtaylor7

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I don't think you have told us what the "glass" which you are happy with is, but worth taking that into account in your decision process.
I do like my E-P5, but find on bright sunny days I do need the add on VF.
 

bargainguy

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^^ I run into the same problem with the E-P5 that I do with my Sony RX1R - namely, the LCD can't be seen in bright sunlight. Accessory viewfinder a must for these situations.

One other thing to consider: Grip. The E-M5 works much better with an accessory grip, as does the E-P5. Don't know about the grip on the GX85, although I suspect it would be better than E-P5 without. If you can go handle a GX85 in person, it'll give you a better idea of which one fits your hands better.
 

pdk42

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The E-P5 is basically an E-M5 in a rangefiinder design. I had one a few years ago and loved it except for the fact that I really do think an EVF is essential and I eventually got fed up with the somewhat cumbersome VF4 external finder. However, if EVF isn't important to you and you were happy with the E-M5 then it's a sensible choice. It takes the same batteries too. Make sure you have latest firmware though to ensure no shutter shock issues.

The only downside of the E-P5 is that it had known problems with dial failure - usually the rear. If you get a warranty with it, then it mitigates the risk somewhat.
 

TetonTom

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I don't think you have told us what the "glass" which you are happy with is, but worth taking that into account in your decision process.
I do like my E-P5, but find on bright sunny days I do need the add on VF.
I’ve shot about 80% with the 12-40 in recent years. Most of the rest are with Oly 45 1.8. I plan on getting a 30 macro for food photography and slide digitizing. Also would like to add a Laowa 7.5.
 
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I’ve shot about 80% with the 12-40 in recent years. Most of the rest are with Oly 45 1.8. I plan on getting a 30 macro for food photography and slide digitizing. Also would like to add a Laowa 7.5.
Have you considered the em10ii? They sell refurbished from Olympus for 299 when in stock. I would go with it, or the gx85.
 

tkbslc

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It's really hard to define "worth it" for someone else. How much is 4K worth? How much is less shutter shock worry? How about arguably better stablization (with dual IS). What about a built in viewfinder? You start adding a few of these up and for me, the GX85 is a better buy. But the E-P5 is fantastic, too.

Were it me, if I was looking for an older bang-for-the-buck camera, I would go with another E-M5. It's got all the features and sensor of the E-P5, plus it adds a great viewfinder and weather sealing. Used prices are often cheaper than the E-P5, too, because there are more on the market.

Also, the GX7 is often overlooked, but it is a VERY nice camera. About the only downsides compared to more modern bodies are no 4k and no IBIS during video. But you said you don't care about video...
 

djtaylor7

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I’ve shot about 80% with the 12-40 in recent years. Most of the rest are with Oly 45 1.8. I plan on getting a 30 macro for food photography and slide digitizing. Also would like to add a Laowa 7.5.
If it helps, here are a couple of shots of the E-P5 with the 12-40mm. I normally use a Panasonic 12-32mm on the P5, as a lightweight travel kit. Personally I prefer the 12-40mm on the E-M5 MkII body, with the landscape grip.
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

davidzvi

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An E-M10 mkII is definitely something I would look into. Olympus seems to be out of body only refurbished units right now but there are probably other places to find some.

Between the E-P5 and GX85? The GX85 would be my pick with one consideration; the E-P5 probably still has better IBIS. The Olympus interface, love it or hate it, is much different than the Panasonic interface. In general I much prefer the Olympus interface, but Panasonic's does have some better points; I prefer the Panasonic level guide for one. The GX85 has no AA filter and focus bracketing, both would be a plus for macro. Not really caring about an EVF is different than understanding it can be handy at times. You said you're not interested in video, but the 4k photo modes can be handy, I've used them for sports.
 
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saladin

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Imo, the $100 price difference for the Gx85 is absolutely worth it. No need to worry about accessory Evf, excellent ergo's, excellent IBIS, 4k vid and 4k photo modes, good menu layout. There's enough there for the money with how I like to shoot.
 

mnhoj

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I recently returned to M43 with a GX85.
I wanted to cut back on my photo budget for 2019 and the GX85 seemed like a great start.
I'm glad I didn't find a cheap used VF-4 because I probably would've went with the E-P5.
Not that it would've been a bad thing. I'm a sucker for Oly bodies and hindsight is saying to me that I got more bang with the GX85.
 
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agentlossing

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Is recommend the GX85. Just in terms of operability I think the newer camera will function faster, and the sensor is a bit sharper. EVF is better than no EVF. Everything else about the GX85 is pretty excellent for the price.
 

Saledolce

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I have an em10ii, and love it. I would suggest exploring this deviation from the two original candidates. Between the two in the opening post, I'd definitely get the one with EVF.
 
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