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Olympus E-M1 vs Panasonic GH1

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2013 and March 2009. Both the E-M1 and the GH1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds 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
versus
Panasonic GH1
Olympus E-M1   Panasonic GH1
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP – Four Thirds sensor 12 MP – Four Thirds sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/24p Video
ISO 200-25,600 ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0" LCD – 1037k dots 3.0" LCD – 460k dots
Tilting touchscreen Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
350 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
130 x 94 x 63 mm, 497 g 124 x 90 x 45 mm, 385 g
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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-GH1? 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 GH1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the GH1 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, red).

Size Olympus E-M1 vs Panasonic GH1
Compare E-M1 versus GH1 top
Comparison E-M1 or GH1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH1 is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Olympus E-M1. Moreover, the GH1 is markedly lighter (23 percent) than the E-M1. It is worth mentioning in this context that the E-M1 is splash and dust resistant, while the GH1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the E-M1 gets 350 shots out of its BLN-1 battery, while the GH1 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-M1 130 mm 94 mm 63 mm 497 g 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899ebay.com
3.
 
Olympus E-M1 II 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus PEN-F 125 mm 72 mm 37 mm 427 g 330 n Jan 2016 1,199ebay.com
5.
 
Olympus E-M5 II 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099ebay.com
6.
 
Olympus E-PL7 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599ebay.com
7.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999ebay.com
8.
 
Olympus E-M5 122 mm 89 mm 43 mm 425 g 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus E-PL5 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus E-PM2 110 mm 64 mm 34 mm 269 g 360 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GH4 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic LX100 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic GH3 133 mm 93 mm 82 mm 550 g 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GH1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 percent) than the E-M1, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic GH1 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-M1 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the GH1. This megapixels advantage translates into a 15 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-M1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 4.33μm for the GH1). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the E-M1 is much more recent (by 4 years and 6 months) than the GH1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the E-M1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its 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 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GH1 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches 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 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

E-M1 versus GH1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the E-M1 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the GH1 (overall score 9 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 1.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and -0 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773
2.
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
3.
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
4.
 
Olympus PEN-F Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474
5.
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
6.
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
7.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
8.
 
Olympus E-M5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671
9.
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972
10.
 
Olympus E-PM2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272
11.
 
Panasonic GH4 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174
12.
 
Panasonic LX100 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
13.
 
Panasonic GH3 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271
14.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
15.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
16.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
17.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the E-M1 provides a higher frame rate than the GH1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range 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 GH1 (2360k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic GH1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus E-M12360 n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
2.
 
Panasonic GH11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0/s n Y
4.
 
Olympus PEN-F2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
5.
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
6.
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
7.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Olympus E-M51440 n3.0 / 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0/s n Y
9.
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n3.0 / 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
10.
 
Olympus E-PM2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
11.
 
Panasonic GH42359 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0/s Y n
12.
 
Panasonic LX1002764 n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s n Y
13.
 
Panasonic GH31746 n3.0 / 614 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic G11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One feature that differentiates the E-M1 and the GH1 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-M1 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the GH1 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.

The GH1 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 E-M1 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 has 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.

The E-M1 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the GH1 uses SDHC cards. The E-M1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the GH1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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-GH1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus E-M1Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo / -Y-mini2.0---
3.
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.0Y--
4.
 
Olympus PEN-FYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Olympus E-M5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-PM2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic GH4Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
12.
 
Panasonic LX100Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Panasonic GH3Ystereo / monoYYmini2.0Y--
14.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GH2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic G1Y- / ---mini2.0---

It is notable that the E-M1 offers wifi support, while the GH1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Olympus E-M1 (unlike the GH1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the E-M1 and the GH1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The GH1 was replaced by the Panasonic GH2, while the E-M1 was followed by the Olympus E-M1 II. Further information on the features and operation of the E-M1 and GH1 can be found, respectively, in the Olympus E-M1 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic GH1 Manual.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Olympus E-M1 better than the Panasonic GH1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
  • 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).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 460k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the GH1 launch.

ilogo

Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 112g or 23 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2009).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M1 is the clear winner of the match-up (22 : 7 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-M1 22:07 GH1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-M1 and the Panasonic GH1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-M1 or the GH1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-M15/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic GH1..+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899ebay.com
3.
 
Olympus E-M1 II5/5+ +5/585/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus PEN-F....4/582/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199ebay.com
5.
 
Olympus E-M5 II5/5+ +4.5/581/1005/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099ebay.com
6.
 
Olympus E-PL74/5+....5/54/5 Aug 2014 599ebay.com
7.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +..78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999ebay.com
8.
 
Olympus E-M54/5+ +..80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus E-PL53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus E-PM23/5....77/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GH45/5+ +..85/1005/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic LX1005/5+ +..85/1005/55/5 Sep 2014 899ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic GH35/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +..79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +..70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599ebay.com
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-M1 vs Panasonic GH1

    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 GH1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2013 March 2009
    Launch Price USD 1,399 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GH1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/24p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor TruePIC VII Venus HD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 73 64
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.0 21.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 11.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 757 772
    Screen Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GH1
    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 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GH1
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic ShutterYESno E-Shutter
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GH1
    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 no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus E-M1 Panasonic GH1
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BLN-1 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 94 x 63 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    124 x 90 x 45 mm
    (4.9 x 3.5 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 497 g (17.5 oz) 385 g (13.6 oz)
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