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Why did you choose the EM1 over the GH4?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by DaveEP, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    I'm getting very close to walking in to my local store and buying an EM1 (if they'll match the internet prices - which they've done before).

    I already have a GH4 that honestly I bought for 4K video, and love it for both 4K video AND photos, in fact it's been so good I've invested a lot more in M43 glass than I though I ever would, but I'm thinking that IBIS is something I could use a lot of with fast primes in low light (weddings etc) and I do like the EVF.

    I'm quite happy with the feel of the GH4, but I need to pick up another photo body, either as primary or backup, since lugging around the 5D3+ff lenses is getting old really fast, plus I miss the EVF every time I pick the Canon up.

    So, why did you buy an EM1 over the GH4?

    Custom Buttons?

    Sorry, I'm not interested in the EM5 or EM10, just the EM1.... so it's either an EM1 or another GH4.
  2. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Hi, I chose my E-M1 as it supports my 4/3 glass, and for the IBIS and customization options.

    I have not tried the GH4.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    for 1, when i ordered EM1, the GH4 wasnt released :D 

    if i had to do it again, i wouldnt hesitate to get EM1. i personally dont shoot video. and the IBIS is honestly priceless

    library from H2 2014

    if it wasnt for IBIS...these shots simply wouldnt exist

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 4
  4. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    IBIS, IBIS and more IBIS - did I mention the IBIS?

    Vis-a-vis the GH4, you lose the superb video specs and you gain . . .
    (wait for it) . . .

    Other than that -
    they are both excellent cameras,
    good ergonomics, well-built, very nice EVFs, good LCDs, excellent still IQ, etc.

    I think owning both is a great strategy - best of both worlds.
    Your lenses fit on both, so no problem there.
    The only downside is the mental strain of switching back and forth
    between the two menu systems and body layouts, buttons, etc.

    But that will pass as you learn the E-M1
    and you will have two excellent cameras at the height of current m4/3 technology.
    Can't lose. :2thumbs:
  5. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    Well if you want to shoot native lenses with ibis, and you are a bit patient, the new em-5 *might* have 4k video, which i suppose could be a plus.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    I don't have an EM1, but want one as an EM5 user. I'd chose over any panasonic (Save for the GX7) because of IBIS..and the other reasons all together.
    Custom Buttons
    and cheaper, weatherproof.
    Nice controls.
  7. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    Ok - well, suppose the EM1 didn't have IBIS, what then?
  8. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    This thread could be pivotal for me in deciding which to get. Does anyone have experience with the weather sealing of both cameras and their weather sealed lenses? How weather sealed are they?
  9. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Don't need 4k...who wants to see someone's blackheads clearer on video? :16suspect1:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Well it does, as do all the OMD cameras.
  11. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    OP was mentioning getting the GH4 because of 4k, so there seems to be a market for that ;) 

    Seriously speaking though, there are many uses for 4K when outputting 1080p video;
    -Simple down-sampling produces better 1080p picture than almost all dslr's that output any kind of 1080p.
    -Reframing of shots, I.e crop in post to get closer shots
    -Panning in post
    -Zoom effect in post
    -Jump effect in post (say 1 second closeup, then suddenly zoom out 20% for 1 second, then suddenly zoom out another 20% for 1 second and so on)
    -4K Photo mode (maybe not for weddings, though if 8MP output is ok, you could take a groupshot of 50 people and perhaps find a photo where everyone smiles and nobody blinks in a "4k photovideo" that takes say 5 seconds.)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    • Like Like x 5
  13. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    GH4 wasn't even a consideration for me. I've never been sufficiently motivated to understand Panasonic's naming system. G? GH? GX? GM? GQ? GI? Maybe there is some easy method for understanding where each fits. Dunno. In any case, when a new GP or GT body is announced the name means nothing to me and I don't get excited. I know some Panasonic bodies are quite tasty - I quite like one I see in one of the local camera shops, but can't remember its model number - but life is too short to sort out whether a GA or a GZ better meets my needs.

    I don't shoot video, so the lack of 4K on the E-M1 is a non-issue.

    In addition, I already had a E-M5. The operation and handling of the E-M1 is similar, but improved, so the transition to the new body was painless.

    IBIS is good too :smile:

    So far my trust in Olympus weather sealing hasn't bitten me, but I don't live in the wettest part of the world.
  14. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    EM-1 is a fantastic stills cam. The only issue is mentioned earlier. If you plan on shooting two bodies it might be easier to go with similar setups, as you will have to go from one layout to another.
  15. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    Sony A7

    • Like Like x 1
  16. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    honestly, its a nice idea, but not the key factor

    i think any camera, long as you arent a clown with it, can take a bit of moisture

    any condition rougher than that - torrential rain, saudi force dust storms - well i wouldnt be out shooting anyway
  17. Geoff3DMN

    Geoff3DMN Mu-43 Veteran

    I bought the EM-1 because I'm not in any way or form a person who shoots video with a 'serious' camera and IBIS was a requirement because I already owned lenses without inbuilt stabilization which I'd bought while using my EM-5.
  18. Huff

    Huff Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 30, 2014
    Why the E-M1? Well, all of the reason your mentioned. Customization, IBIS, weather sealing, ergonomics. The build quality is very solid. It actually has a heft that feels comfortable to me as a 1Dxxx series user. I'm firmly in the camp that more weight also helps stabilize things.

    What else; WiFi is big plus. Integrated RF flash control (which I have not really tried yet but like having) (I also don't care much about ETTL/TTL/whatever. Manual 99% of the time when off camera). I don't care about video and have always felt the GH line to be more video camera than still. I know that's not completely accurate, but I've had a few conversations with Panasonic reps and ALL they ever highlight is the video capability.

    IBIS, ergonomics, build quality, weather resistance.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  19. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    For me it was NEVER about IS. In fact the first time I tried a camera with it my normal speed pictures were blurred because the IS tried to compensate when there wasn't any motion, like having the camera on a tripod, I was too steady.

    And before the OM-D came onto the scene I never considered ANY Micro Four Thirds camera. It's the camera ergonomics and style, not just the features.
  20. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    Thanks for all the feedback. Much appreciated.

    It does seem to me that if something is the best at any one particular feature it seems to get pigeon holed as only being good for that one thing - the GH4 is awesome for video, so it must only be good for those wanting video - right? While it's also happens to be a very good stills camera, most people seem to skip over that since they aren't interested in video. It's like seeing a review for a new cooker that says the grill is awesome for toast, then immediately dismissing it for all the rest of your cooking needs because you never make toast.

    I don't want all the art filters, so by the same thinking I shouldn't want an EM1 because it has art filters. Crazy? I think so.

    If you don't like 4K video then don't use it, walk on by, nothing to worry about, but for those who shoot video for living (as I do) then 4K is a very welcome step up. It's not however a reason not to buy a camera with 4K video, otherwise in a couple of years you may never be able to bring yourself to buy another camera ever again.

    It seems the main reason most people bought the EM1 was IBIS, which to be fair is also in the EM5, so it must also be a handling issue too. I'm looking a little deeper than that, specifically the custom buttons should make quick changes of mode much easier in fast moving situations. I don't like flat cameras, so the grip on the EM1 (vs EM5) and GH4 are important. I'll often walk about holding the camera by that grip in my right fingers and just a wrist strap. I haven't used a regular camera strap for years.

    Live bulb mode 'seems' like it would be good for evening / night photos (long exposure) but I can really find any decent reviews on that feature.

    I'll keep reading...
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