Trade E-M5 II for a GX9 a good idea?

Sr. Cordeiro

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Hello everyone, this is my first post here.

I've been in and out of mFT since it's started. Most recently I was about to sell it all (again) to dedicate all my focus on Fujifilm gear.

My Olympus E-M5 MkII was for sale for months, no one seemed to want it so I decided to keep it. I love the small size of the cameras and lenses, unbeatable for travel, and super-effective IBIS. Once again started shopping for lenses, wanted a super small kit: got the Panasonic 12-32mm, 14mm f/2.5, 20mm f/1.7 and was searching for a used superzoom like Panasonic 14-140mm or Olympus 14-140mm.

While searching for the superzoom, I came acorss a local second-hand gear shop where a mint Panasonic GX9 is selling for a good price, so my gearhead started to wonder if it wouldn't be better to trade in the E-M5 MkII for a Panasonic GX9 and maybe a Panasonic 35-100mm II they also have for sale.

I love the E-M5 MkII. Love how it looks, handles and specially the IBIS. The only 2 things that bother me are the slow startup speed and the sub-par video quality (I learned to deal with the menu system).

I know the GX9 will be a faster camera overall, but how about IBIS? Will I be able to get the same sharp results at 1/8 sec as I get with the Olympus? How about the viewfinder?

Anyone who used both could give some feedback?

Thanks in advance!
 

JensM

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I am very pleased with my GX9, to the tune of selling off my GX8 after running both in parallel for a while. That is something I didnt think I would do.

The LVF is not particulary good coming down from the GX8 and the G9 both which have exceptional LVFs, but it does what it is supposed to. It will also bring Dual IS compatability to your Panasonic lenses which have OIS built in, so I wouldnt worry much about that, the IBIS is rated at 4 stops on itself.

I like the form factor of it, both with and without the handgrip, the tilting LVF and the overall user experience. The OEM handgrip is what pushed me over the edge, as it offers flexibility as to sizing. I am not particulary fond of it not being weather sealed, but hey-ho, some sacrifices have been made.
 

MarcioK

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I had the E-M5 II and still have the GX9. The E-M5 IBIS is more effective, specially in video, but the one in the GX9 is good too. EVF, it is noticeably smaller and since it is a field sequential panel, some people have a lot of trouble with color tearing when panning or lokking around the edges of the EVF (never was a problem for me, in the GX7, GX85 and the GX9).

3rd party grip is a good idea, I have the Panasonic and the JJC. The Panasonic is larger and have a better grip, but the JJC have a metal base with integrated arca clamp, do not have to be removed to change batteries and is (way) cheaper, I prefer the second.

Biggest difference is the "feeling" (a constant theme between Oly and Panny). The Olympus dials are unmatched, best ones that I know. The tactile experience is better, is a more "fun" camera to use. The GX9 have better video (albeit the last firmware update of the E-M5 diminished the gap), general better operation, better Eye AF, much better to use with adapted lenses (you activate peaking AND focus assist enlarged image with one press in the back dial - was one thing that I hate in the Olys, have to assign two buttons to do the same), have proper spot metering (following the AF point, the E-M5 is always centered spot metering). The tilting EVF is VERY underrated feature, missed it since my GX7.

My advice: go to the store and play with the camera a bit. See the feeling, the EVF, if you like having it. The camera is really, really good.

But...I'm in the same process, selling to move to Fuji, the GX9 and the E-M10 MK III will go and most of the lenses, will keep only my E-P1 and the GH2 (sentimental and financial reasons - their value is very low), one zoom, the Oly 45mm 1.8 and maybe the Panny 20mm 1.7. If you really want to focus on Fujis, keep the E-M5 MK II - it is still a good camera.
 
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I owned the GX9 and got rid of it; now I have the EM5ii. For me, it's the experience of using the camera that sold me on the EM5ii, I made a conscious decision toward "worse" files, since the 20MP sensor is objectively better than the 16MP one. Plus, I like the better EVF and its center position on the EM5ii compared to the GX9, and the way I can flip the LCD closed.

Points in favor of the GX9:
- Lovely files and JPEGs. L. Monochrome D is amazing, I most enjoyed turning the contrast down a couple pegs, adding some grain and making very film-like B&W files.
- Fast performance. The GX9 is faster to do most things than the EM5ii, both in UI/design and performance. DfD AF will provide a noticeable boost to the Panasonic lenses you're using.
- Small, capable body. Much easier to stash the GX9 in a coat pocket or similar with the small pancake lens, and pull out of a bag, the EM5ii is too angular and EVF hump is a bit tricky.

If you use M4/3 as a main system, the GX9 will be more flexible and provide you better files to work with for cropping, etc. For me, I use M4/3 part-time and wanted an experience that is "fun" and I find the closed LCD screen and SLR-type EVF is more to my taste.
 

spdavies

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I have both and prefer the user experience of the EM5.II.
I think the EM5.II is one of the M4/3 gems, a brilliant camera.
Advantages over the GX9 -
Weather-proof, great IBIS, better EVF, better handling.
GX9 advantages -
newer and larger sensor, flip-up EVF ( I’ve never needed).

The EM5 LCD is twist-out, the GX9 LCD is flip-up - just a matter of preference.
Both are great cameras.
 

saladin

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Imo, It all hinges on two things : do you need weathersealing? And can you live with the smaller field sequential EVF on the Gx9 ? There's no doubt that the G9/Gx9 sensor creates lovely files, especially L.monoD imo. It can be quite beautiful. I trialed a Gx9 but didn't love the EVF , particularly after being spoiled by the brilliant ones in the Gx8 / G9 . I was also looking for weathersealing. So I ended up with a 5iii as my small travel body. I do keep considering a 2nd hand Gx9 though, as a small tiny access point to a more or less dedicated monochrome camera. With the 15PL and tilt screen, it'd probably be a great camera for street work.
 

beameup

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Retired in Philippines
Hello everyone, this is my first post here.

I've been in and out of mFT since it's started. Most recently I was about to sell it all (again) to dedicate all my focus on Fujifilm gear.

My Olympus E-M5 MkII was for sale for months, no one seemed to want it so I decided to keep it. I love the small size of the cameras and lenses, unbeatable for travel, and super-effective IBIS. Once again started shopping for lenses, wanted a super small kit: got the Panasonic 12-32mm, 14mm f/2.5, 20mm f/1.7 and was searching for a used superzoom like Panasonic 14-140mm or Olympus 14-140mm.
I got the E-M5 ii last year and was hardly using it. I couldn't get used to the shutter location. Then on a whim I got the Olympus grip and that made all the difference. It is a bit inconvenient to change the battery, but the improved ergonomics is unbelievable. Now it is my go-to digital camera.
Just a suggestion...
 
Last edited:

Little Fish

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Mar 9, 2021
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IME the only way to really know if the camera will be worth the change is to touch and handle the GX9. Depending on how important the size of the EVF, and the speed of operation are, and the application you'll be using it will also be up to your personal preferences.
 
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