OMD-EM5 or GX7

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by snkenai, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I understand that opinions are like belly buttons. Everyone has one. But, they are all different.

    The question, I am posing is NOT:
    Which is better built?
    Which has better IQ?
    Which has better color?
    Which is faster?

    Let me set forth a few stats, to couch the question.
    I am 68 years old with bad heart, left eye going blind, Slight cataract in right eye. But, very active.:smile:
    Must have the VF in bright light.
    I do use a light tripod quite a lot.

    My photography, is almost totally outdoor, nature, and some close up. On rare occasion, I will do a family event, wedding etc. My current lens used, is the Olympus 14-42ii. And, it suits my needs quite well. But, I do look over the fence toward a nice prime or 2 eventually.

    My current body is the Panasonic G1. I have had some very nice later bodies over the last few years, but the kids have from time to time needed a nice camera, so dad to the rescue. And so I have owned this G1 3 times! :smile: It has a slight crack in the LCD, but still works great. I am going to retire it to legacy 135mm duty.

    So, after all that drivel, if you are still here, which would you prefer, for actual ease and convenience of use and transport. (No camera bags used) I do favor the idea of the EVF being on the left, rather than the center. But, it is not the main criteria.

    I will buy used, as money is tight.

    Thanks, for your thoughtful consideration.
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    There's no right answer here Steve. I'd say the primary benefit of the EM5 is that the stabilization is that much better. So if you do much lower light shooting with subjects that aren't moving much, that can really be helpful. That said, the GX7 actually HAS stabilization that isn't bad and if you're using Panasonic's stabilized lenses, it's not strictly necessary. I'd say the buttons are probably better/easier to use on the GX7 than the EM5 (though not the EM1 or EM10) and it's definitely smaller and more rangefinder like. But both are fine cameras, both are more than small and light enough. I'd say the GX7 menus will take less getting used to if you're used to a G1 - I'm sure they've advanced some but Olympus menus are famously convoluted, which gives you a LOT of power but also confuses the dickens out of a lot of folks. Some people didn't love the EVF in the GX7 but it seemed to be a pretty personal thing - some hated it and some couldn't even see what they were complaining about. Some sort of rainbow effect when panning or moving your eye around. I can't describe it because I never personally even noticed it, let alone be bothered by it. I never heard any complaints about the EM5 EVF.

    I'm guessing you'd be happier with the GX7 just because it's probably a bit closer to what you're used to in terms of the user experience. Either one of them will give you IQ that's notably better than the G1, so if you were happy with that, you'll probably be that much happier with either of these...

    Good luck!

    • Like Like x 1
  3. serhan

    serhan All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    As Ray said the differences are small. I like the gx7 evf location and less hump to carry. Also I don't need filter to shoot with faster glass eg f1.4/1.8. I think gx7 has faster af in the dark. MF is also better with gx7 since it has peaking and picture in picture mf mode, etc but the evf is 16:9 so you are not utilizing fully. GX7 has e-shutter which is silent and used it a lot, no shutter shock but auto iso is limited at ISO 3200 and some banding with fluorescent light. Oly has a weather proof body, so the buttons are harder to push. The frame around the evf came out so many times that I finally lost it though I wasn't even using it...
  4. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I should have stated, that my long term history in film and digital has been mostly Olympus. More recently, I and the extended family has had many Panasonic. So the menu systems are not a factor. And by the way, neither is high ISO.
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Well then pick whichever you find the better deal on when you're ready. Or flip a coin. Really, they're different styles but in terms of quality, there's nothing between 'em...

    • Like Like x 1
  6. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    I have both. Both are excellent bodies. If money is tight, you can get a used or refurbished EM5 cheaper.
  7. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    Dec 15, 2011
    No doubt. There was an E-M5 + 12-50 + 15mm bodycap lens selling for $495 on FM a week ago. Might still be for sale for all I know. I've seen a few bodies only under $400. I don't recall many screaming bargains on the GX7 as of yet.
  8. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Top Veteran

    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    I'd get the EM5.

    The IBIS is better than the GX7, I like the viewfinder layout better on the EM5 as well. it is a fast, capable camera for S-AF use.