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Olympus E-M10 II versus Panasonic FZ1000

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2015 and June 2014. The E-M10 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the FZ1000 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-M10 II) and an one-inch (FZ1000) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Olympus E-M10 II vs Panasonic FZ1000

The physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M10 II and the Panasonic FZ1000 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the E-M10 II – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Olympus E-M10 II vs Panasonic FZ1000
Compare E-M10 II versus FZ1000 top
Compare E-M10 II and FZ1000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ1000 is notably larger (36 percent) than the Olympus E-M10 II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-M10 II nor the FZ1000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ1000 has a lens build in, whereas the E-M10 II is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the E-M10 II and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the E-M10 II gets 320 shots out of its BLS-50 battery, while the FZ1000 can take 360 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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)
Olympus E-M10 II» 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 n Aug 2015 799- i
Panasonic FZ1000« 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Olympus E-M10 III« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.0 in 14.5 oz 330 n Aug 2017 649 i i
Olympus PEN-F« » 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 n Jan 2016 1,199 i i
Olympus E-PL8« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Sep 2016 549- i
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-PL7« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599- i
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i
Olympus E-P5« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999- i
Olympus E-PL5« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 599- i
Panasonic FZ2500« » 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Panasonic G85« » 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic GX85« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Olympus E-M10 II vs Panasonic FZ1000

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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-M10 II features a Four Thirds sensor and the Panasonic FZ1000 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ1000 is 48 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 2.7. The sensor in the E-M10 II has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ1000 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Olympus E-M10 II and Panasonic FZ1000 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the FZ1000 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 15.9 MP of the E-M10 II. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M10 II). Moreover, it should be noted that the E-M10 II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the FZ1000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the E-M10 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

E-M10 II versus FZ1000 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-M10 II has a notably higher overall DXO score than the FZ1000 (overall score 9 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Olympus E-M10 II» Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
Panasonic FZ1000« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Olympus E-M10 III« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----
Olympus PEN-F« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
Olympus E-P5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
Olympus E-PL5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972
Panasonic FZ2500« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic G85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671
Panasonic GX85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the FZ1000 provides a better video resolution than the E-M10 II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Olympus E-M10 II vs Panasonic FZ1000

Beyond 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-M10 II offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the FZ1000 (2360k vs 2359k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-M10 II and Panasonic FZ1000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Olympus E-M10 II»2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ1000«2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Olympus E-M10 III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y
Olympus PEN-F« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Olympus E-P5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 8000 9.0 Y Y
Olympus E-PL5« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Panasonic FZ2500« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic G85« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 9.0 Y Y
Panasonic GX85« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the E-M10 II and the FZ1000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ1000 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ2500, while the E-M10 II was followed by the Olympus E-M10 III.

Review summary: Olympus E-M10 II vs Panasonic FZ1000

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-M10 II and the Panasonic FZ1000? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II:

  • 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.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x83mm vs 137x99mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 2 months after the FZ1000).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the E-M10 II necessitates an extra lens.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (360 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-M10 II comes out slightly ahead of the FZ1000 (9 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

E-M10 II 09:08 FZ1000

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the E-M10 II and the FZ1000 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Olympus E-M10 II»HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i
Panasonic FZ1000«HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Olympus E-M10 III« »Rec80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i i
Olympus PEN-F« »-82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199 i i
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i
Olympus E-M5 II« »HiRec81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i
Olympus E-PL7« »Rec-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i
Olympus E-P5« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999- i
Olympus E-PL5« »HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i
Panasonic FZ2500« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Panasonic G85« »HiRec84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic GX85« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i

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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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