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GX85 compared to E-m1 ii


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I am considering rebuying the gx85 again. By roaming the second hand forums I discovered that the Em-1 II is to have, with a bit of luck, for almost the same price. I was wondering is it might be an even better choice.
My main use is as a film cam for documenting contemporary urban life from the center of it, which is to say, I shoot handheld most of the time and even walking. Additionally, I used the gx80 quite often as a B-Cam for studio projects. 

The reason why I would consider to give the other camera a try is that the ergonomics of the gx85 aren't stellar and it is not very comfortable to hold. While I rarely encountered problems with AF, an even more reliable gear would be great.
From what I've read about the Olympus, the DCI footage is good but limited to 24 fps, which means, I'd have to resort to uhd if I want to intercut it with 25 or 30fps projects. 
Does anyone have or had both cameras and can share their experience? How does the uhd output of the Olympus compare to the GX85's? How do they compare in terms of handling and haptics? How gradable is the footage in comparison? How is the low light performance - compared?

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I've owned both (and the E-M1 iii, G80 and G9).

1. E-M1 ii is larger & heavier but has (for me) superb ergonomics and build quality. It's just a really nice camera to use.

2. E-M1 ii sound via the internal mics is way better than the GX85. It also has a mic input and headphone jack.

3. E-M1 ii 4k UHD is full sensor width (no crop) whereas the GX85 is cropped.

4. E-M1 ii has great battery life.

5. E-M1 ii IBIS is better than the GX85.

If you are seriously considering the E-M1 ii and video C-AF and IBIS are important to you, think about the E-M1 iii instead if you can afford it - it has better video C-AF and a choice of IBIS settings (the +1 setting is almost tripod-level).

Another cheap (used) alternative to the GX85 worth considering is the G80/G85 - same sensor in a larger body with better IBIS, larger battery and a mic input.

Provided the size is OK for you, the G9 is superb value used, and easily beats any of the above cameras for video quality (it also supports 10-bit video and 4k 60p, which none of the others do). Here in the UK, the E-M1 ii and G9 cost about the same used.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I haven't used the G-series of cameras from panasonic, so I can't compare directly. But I do have an E-M1 MK II with a version 3.0 firmware on it (which allows for phase-detect AF in video mode).

It is pretty good. Handling is nice. IBIS is great and rather simple to use. 

I basically loan it to my son for his school video projects and he often has another student (who has never used a real camera before) use it to film him, and they are able to generate in-focus, steady footage (despite the fact that they have little to no technical training, nor any artistic training).

For being an 8-bit m43 camera in 2024, it is pretty good. I've used it as a C Camera with my Panasonic full frame S1 and S5 cameras, and while it is hard to match the Oly to the Panasonics, it is pretty easy to match the Panasnics to the Olyumpus (as long as you are shooting in 10-bit V-LOG on the Panasonic bodies).

Hope this helps.

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On 2/17/2024 at 7:16 PM, Mark Romero 2 said:

I would add that - and this is just personal - if you could live with the wonky autofocus, then I would probably go for an original G9 over the E-M1 II. I really like 10-bit video, and 4K 60p is nice. Also, I find the menus on the E-M1 MK II a bit baffling. But that's just me. 

The G9 not only supports 10-bit video, it also supports 4:2:2 - below are the extra video modes added in the major FW 2.0 upgrade (plus variable frame rate recording, HLG support and adjustable video levels). MF linear focus control (with lenses that support it), 'red frame' record indication and vertical video support were added in later FW updates.

Note it doesn't support DCI 4k or All-I compression (it's max 100Mbps for FHD, 150Mbps for 4k, long-GOP).

All of that puts the G9 way ahead of the E-M1 ii for video quality and flexibility (but the E-M1 ii/iii and OM-1 are a bit smaller and better ergonomically, IMHO).




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