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Olympus E-M1 vs Panasonic FZ300

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (labelled Panasonic FZ330 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2013 and July 2015. The E-M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the FZ300 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-M1) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-M1   Panasonic FZ300
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic FZ300
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses 25-600mm f/2.8
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25600 ISO 100-6400
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1037k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens-based stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
350 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
130 x 94 x 63 mm, 497 g 132 x 92 x 117 mm, 691 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M1 and the Panasonic FZ300. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the FZ300 is only available in black.

Size Olympus E-M1 vs Panasonic FZ300
Compare E-M1 versus FZ300 top
Comparison E-M1 or FZ300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M1 and the Panasonic FZ300 are of equal size. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ300 has a lens built in, whereas the E-M1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-M1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the E-M1 gets 350 shots out of its BLN-1 battery, while the FZ300 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M1» 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic FZ300« 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i i Panasonic FZ300
 
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« » 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 n Jan 2016 1,199 i i Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
 
Olympus E-PL5« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GH4« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.3 in 19.8 oz 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic GH3« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.2 in 19.4 oz 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The FZ300 was launched at a lower price than the E-M1, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-M1 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Panasonic FZ300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ300 is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic FZ300 sensor measures

With 15.9MP, the E-M1 offers a higher resolution than the FZ300 (12MP), but the E-M1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ300) due to its larger sensor. However, the FZ300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the E-M1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-M1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-M1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ300 are 20 x 15 inch or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inch or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inch or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The E-M1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

E-M1 versus FZ300 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the E-M1 provides substantially higher image quality than the FZ300, with an overall score that is 35 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.7 bits higher color depth, 1.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M1» Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic FZ300« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738Panasonic FZ300
 
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671Olympus E-M5
 
Olympus E-PL5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GH4« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic GH3« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271Panasonic GH3
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the FZ300 provides a better video resolution than the E-M1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the E-M1 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FZ300 (2360k vs 1440k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic FZ300 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M1»2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic FZ300«1440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ300
 
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »1440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y Olympus E-M5
 
Olympus E-PL5« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic FZ200« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic GH3« »1746 n 3.0 614 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Panasonic GH3
 
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The FZ300 has one, while the E-M1 does not. While the built-in flash of the FZ300 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The FZ300 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the E-M1 does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the FZ300 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Olympus E-M1 and the Panasonic FZ300 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the E-M1 and the FZ300 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M1»YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic FZ300«YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Panasonic FZ300
 
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-M5
 
Olympus E-PL5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GH4« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic GH3« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Panasonic GH3
 
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Olympus E-M1 (unlike the FZ300) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The FZ300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the E-M1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-M1 was succeeded by the Olympus E-M1 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Panasonic websites.


Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-M1 and the Panasonic FZ300? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus OM-D E-M1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (35 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.7 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2360k vs 1440k dots).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.70x).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2013).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the E-M1 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M1 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-M1 12:09 FZ300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-M1 and the Panasonic FZ300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the E-M1 and the FZ300 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus E-M1»+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Panasonic FZ300«+ +-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i i Panasonic FZ300
 
Canon SX60« »+ +75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« »-82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199 i i Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-PL7« »+-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
 
Olympus E-P5« »+ +78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »+ +80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
 
Olympus E-PL5« »+ +-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »-77/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
Panasonic GH4« »+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic FZ200« »+ +80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic GH3« »+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
 
Panasonic FZ150« »+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« »+-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX400V« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Olympus E-M1:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic FZ300:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-M1 vs Panasonic FZ300

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Olympus E-M1 Panasonic FZ300
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses 25-600mm f/2.8
    Launch Date September 2013 July 2015
    Launch Price USD 1399 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic FZ300
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    Image Processor TruePIC VII Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 73 38
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.0 19.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 757 97
    Screen Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic FZ300
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.74x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic FZ300
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 12 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/16000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens-based stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic FZ300
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic FZ300
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BLN-1 DMW-BLC12
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 94 x 63 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    132 x 92 x 117 mm
    (5.2 x 3.6 x 4.6 in)
    Camera Weight 497 g (17.5 oz) 691 g (24.4 oz)

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