Olympus E-M10 II versus Panasonic GX85
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (labelled Panasonic GX80 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2015 and April 2016. Both the E-M10 II and the GX85 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 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 GX85
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M10 II and the Panasonic GX85. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions 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).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX85 is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Olympus E-M10 II. However, the GX85 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the E-M10 II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-M10 II nor the GX85 are weather-sealed.
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 find an overview of suitable optics 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.
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|
|Olympus E-M10 II»||4.7 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.8 oz||320||n||Aug 2015||799||-|
|Panasonic GX85«||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||15.0 oz||290||n||Apr 2016||799|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.0 in||14.5 oz||330||n||Aug 2017||649|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||4.9 in||2.8 in||1.5 in||15.1 oz||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Sep 2016||549||-|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||16.5 oz||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Aug 2014||599||-|
|Olympus E-M10« »||4.7 in||3.2 in||1.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jan 2014||699||-|
|Olympus E-P5« »||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||14.8 oz||330||n||May 2013||999||-|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic GX9« »||4.9 in||2.8 in||1.9 in||14.4 oz||260||n||Feb 2018||849|
|Panasonic G85« »||5.0 in||3.5 in||2.9 in||17.8 oz||330||Y||Sep 2016||899|
|Panasonic ZS100« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jan 2016||699||-|
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. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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. 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 GX85
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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-M10 II offers a slightly higher resolution of 15.9 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX85. This megapixel advantage translates into a 0.3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-M10 II has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 3.77μm for the GX85). Moreover, it should be noted that the GX85 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the E-M10 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual 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.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Olympus E-M10 II»||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|Panasonic GX85«||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72|
|Olympus E-P5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.4||895||72|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72|
|Panasonic GX9« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic G85« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71|
|Panasonic ZS100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||559||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the GX85 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 GX85
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the GX85 offers a higher resolution than the one in the E-M10 II (2765k vs 2360k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-M10 II and Panasonic GX85 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Olympus E-M10 II»||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||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 GX9« »||2760||n||3.0||1240||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic G85« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||9.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic ZS100« »||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
The GX85 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the E-M10 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-M10 II was succeeded by the Olympus E-M10 III.
Review summary: Olympus E-M10 II vs Panasonic GX85
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-M10 II and the Panasonic GX85? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (320 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2015).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2765k vs 2360k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (122x71mm vs 120x83mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GX85 comes out slightly ahead of the E-M10 II (4 : 3 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the E-M10 II or the GX85 handle or perform in practice. 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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Olympus E-M10 II»||HiRec||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||799||-|
|Panasonic GX85«||HiRec||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2017||649|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2016||549||-|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||HiRec||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||-|
|Olympus E-M10« »||-||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||-|
|Olympus E-P5« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2013||999||-|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599||-|
|Panasonic GX9« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||849|
|Panasonic G85« »||HiRec||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899|
|Panasonic ZS100« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||-|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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