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Andrew Reid

First look - Olympus OM-D E-M1 vs Panasonic GH3

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The results may surprise you.

 

Cool.  Glad you like the Olympus.  It's intriguing and thanks for the breakdown.  I'll probably wait until it offers 24p/60p, but I see it's value and covet it's capabilities...just need a few more tweaks.

 

However, I can consider shooting 30p and conforming to 24 for one of my current projects.  The rock solid handheld is tempting.

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Your test is a bit unfair. 

I got the EM1 for 3 weeks and the GH3. 

 

First of all we clearly see on your images that the GH3 is way more sharp, and I saw this in all my footages. The post sharpening is not cool, and alter the quality. On the portrait image you have done, sorry but the image quality on the guy face almost looks like on my iPhone. I get better result with the GH3. 

 

Secondly, you forgot that the GH3 has 60fps which is as important as stabilisation for me. 

 

Thirdly the cost, I bought my GH3 new, at 806USD including taxes 1 month ago. 

 

Finally, you say ergonomic is better on the EM1. Sorry but I was before a canon user, I got the EM1 and was lost, and then the GH3 everything was amazing and better than canon and olympus. I way prefer the ergonomic on the GH3, so this is something personal, but they are on the same level anyway. Except something you forgot again to mention, is that the GH3 has a screen that can turn in every way and this is absolutely fantastic and changed my life when shooting !

 

So on my side I wait for the new alpha sony cameras (which will probably get good video and 5 axis stab but unfortunately big DSLR body) or that finaly a brand can gives us GH3 video quality (with .mov for friendly editing + 60fps) + sony A7 still quality + EM1 stabilisation in a compact body and at a decent price (1500 usd max). If this comes out one day ..... my dream will become true. 

 

 

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Panasonic definitely made the wrong call when they decided to put the stabilization into the lenses instead of the body. it makes more sense to pay more for the camera body ONCE than paying it every time you get a stabilized lens. plus, the in IBIS from olympus seems much better than the OIS from panasonic. now its just too late. panasonic decided to take a different route and they have to stick to it. and i think olympus also has a patent on the IBIS, right?

 

one technological question i have to ask. the EM1/5 come with 5-axis stabilization, whereas the GX7 comes with 2-axis stabilization. from the numbers and tests its easy to say which one is better, but i just cant imagine what 5 axis stabilization is? in a 3 dimensional world shouldnt be a 3-axis stabilization the highest possible? i would love to have this explained if anybody knows something about it or can link me to an article.

 

Thanks!

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GH3 does not line skip either. They all do a pixel mixture on the sensor. Better than the A7R and non-5D3 Canons.

 

The GM1 has the edge on the E-M1 in terms of resolution and a bit more dynamic range. None of the other features that make the E-M1 such a creative tool though.

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The GM1 has the edge on the E-M1 in terms of resolution and a bit more dynamic range. None of the other features that make the E-M1 such a creative tool though.

 

are you just talking video here? or stills as well?

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Another thing that Olympus could address in a firmware update, besides 24p/25p: enabling focus peaking during the video recording (if I'm not wrong, the peaking dissapears when the record button is pressed).

 

And as I said in a previous post, could be useful a test that stress the codec, like tree leaves in a windy day. Some footage that I've saw from the E-M1 have the same muddy problem that happened in the E-M5, albeit much less pronounced.

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I think focus peaking for Oly is not possible at this stage as it seems u need specific hardware overlay to make it work in video, the Olympus implantation is like tweaked art filter that requires more hardware resource , and that is also why GH3 will never get it. (that is a huge oversight by Panasonic)

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I don't own the Olympus but after seeing some footage, it looks like the stabilization gets lost sometimes and has to readjust itself, which would make that part of footage unusable.  But when it's working well, which is most of the times, it looks amazing

 

Handheld video while walking is a challenge on the GH3.  

 

I've been playing with [email protected] 72Mbit/sec, so warp stabilizer (on Premiere Pro CC) has crisper edges to work with, then converting that to 24p (frame blend in export only) with some descent results if you don't mind mixing 720p footage into your 1080p footage.

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I still like my GH3 in many ways, but that 5 axis stabilisation is a real killer feature, be it for stills or videos.

 

A missed opportunity for me is the lack of PDAF during video. Maybe in the next version?

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http://www.bestmirrorlesscamerareviews.com/2013/09/18/the-om-d-e-m1-new-pro-lenses-and-2014-an-interview-with-olympus-europe/

 

"We are concentrating on priority matters, specifically establishing nice still image quality. This is our priority as a camera manufacturer and our reputation on the market is for still. So, that’s one of the reasons. But there is another matter because even if we go in the direction of video, Panasonic already has really nice MFT cameras for video. We like to show the total possibility of the entire MFT line-up, and if we start to focus on video capabilities, it may be misleading to the market. They may think that MFT is only suitable for video and we don’t want to give that impression."

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It's funny. Pentax used to have in body video stabilization since the K-7 (their first video DSLR, if I'm not mistaken). But their newer cameras, although all the hardware is still there, use some useless electronic video stabilization. The latest that still has it is the K-5 series... but that has other problems when shooting video. Problems that were fixed with the K-3... but the K-3 loses 80 Mbps MJPEG and in body stabilization. (Stabilization does work in liveview... go figure).

 

To be fair the Olympus seems to be able to compensate more, making it much more useful (especially the rotation correction is way too weak in Pentax cameras).

 

It seems like the next generation of Sony cameras may get the 5 axis stabilization too, though no one knows if they will activate it for video. But if it happens they could create some pretty awesome cameras (XAVC with 10 bit video and very high bitrates, 5 axis stabilization, perhaps PDAF, ...).

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Having the gh3, I dont really see this as a replacement. I miss Ibis but have stabilized lenses, and i miss focus peaking but it is not implemented well on the em-1 either. The gh3 on the other hand has clean hdmi for raw, better bitrates out of the box, 24p and 60p, better crop, audio features etc. If Olympus keeps improving, Im not ruling out switching later, but kind of expect Pana to add focus peaking and ibis on their upcoming 4k camera. (big mistake if they don't...)

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