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Olympus E-M10 III vs Panasonic GX85

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (labelled Panasonic GX80 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2017 and April 2016. Both the E-M10 III and the GX85 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 15.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-M10 III versus Panasonic GX85
Olympus E-M10 III Panasonic GX85
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 200-25,600 ISO 200-25,600
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2765k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
8.6 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
330 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
122 x 84 x 50 mm, 410 g 122 x 71 x 44 mm, 426 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85? 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 physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M10 III and the Panasonic GX85 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Olympus E-M10 III vs Panasonic GX85
Compare E-M10 III versus GX85 top
Comparison E-M10 III or GX85 rear

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 (15 percent) than the Olympus E-M10 III. However, the GX85 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the E-M10 III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-M10 III 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 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-M10 III gets 330 shots out of its BLS-50 battery, while the GX85 can take 290 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Olympus E-M10 III 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.0 in 14.5 oz 330 n Aug 2017 649i
 
Panasonic GX85 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i
 
Olympus E-M10 IV 4.8 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.5 oz 360 n Aug 2020 699 i
 
Olympus E-PL10 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 13.4 oz 350 n Oct 2019 599 i
 
Olympus E-PL9 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 13.4 oz 350 n Feb 2018 599 i
 
Olympus E-PL8 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Sep 2016 549i
 
Olympus PEN-F 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 n Jan 2016 1,199i
 
Olympus E-M10 II 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 n Aug 2015 649i
 
Olympus E-M10 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699i
 
Olympus E-PL7 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599i
 
Olympus E-PL6 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n May 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GX9 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.9 in 14.4 oz 260 n Feb 2018 849 i
 
Panasonic G85 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899i
 
Panasonic GX7 4.8 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 350 n Aug 2013 999i
 
Panasonic GH2 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 899i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The E-M10 III was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 19 percent) than the GX85, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Olympus E-M10 III and Panasonic GX85 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-M10 III offers a slightly higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX85. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-M10 III 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). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the E-M10 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the GX85, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

E-M10 III versus GX85 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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
 
Olympus E-M10 III Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Panasonic GX85 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271
 
Olympus E-M10 IV Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Olympus E-PL10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Olympus E-PL9 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Olympus E-PL8 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Olympus PEN-F Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
 
Olympus E-PL6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Panasonic GX9 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic G85 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671
 
Panasonic GX7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety 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 III (2765k vs 2360k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-M10 III and Panasonic GX85 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Olympus E-M10 III2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
 
Panasonic GX852765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-M10 IV2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 15.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-PL10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
 
Olympus E-PL9none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
 
Olympus E-PL8optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
 
Olympus PEN-F2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-M101440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-PL6optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
 
Panasonic GX92760 n 3.0 1240 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G852360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic GX72760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

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, both cameras under consideration feature an 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-M10 III and the Panasonic GX85 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-M10 III and the GX85 write their files to SDXC cards. The E-M10 III supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the GX85 can use UHS-I cards (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-M10 Mark III and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Olympus E-M10 IIIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic GX85Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-M10 IVYstereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Olympus E-PL10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Olympus E-PL9Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Olympus E-PL8Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus PEN-FYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-PL6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GX9Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic G85YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic GX7Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

The GX85 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the E-M10 III has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-M10 III was succeeded by the Olympus E-M10 IV. 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? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-M10 III or the Panasonic GX85 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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

  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (330 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (19 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the GX85).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2765k vs 2360k dots).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.62x).
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x71mm vs 122x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2016).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (4 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-M10 III 04:04 GX85

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-M10 III and the Panasonic GX85 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-M10 III or the GX85. 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 expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Olympus E-M10 III+80/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2017 649i
 
Panasonic GX85+ +82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i
 
Olympus E-M10 IV.......... Aug 2020 699 i
 
Olympus E-PL10..77/100....4/5 Oct 2019 599 i
 
Olympus E-PL9+..4.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2018 599 i
 
Olympus E-PL8....4.5/5..4/5 Sep 2016 549i
 
Olympus PEN-F..82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199i
 
Olympus E-M10 II+ +80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 649i
 
Olympus E-M10..80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699i
 
Olympus E-PL7+..5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599i
 
Olympus E-PL6.......... May 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GX9+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2018 849 i
 
Panasonic G85+ +84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899i
 
Panasonic GX7+79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999i
 
Panasonic GH2+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

Olympus E-M10 III:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GX85:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~

    Specifications: Olympus E-M10 III vs Panasonic GX85

    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-M10 III Panasonic GX85
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2017 April 2016
    Launch Price USD 649 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-M10 III Panasonic GX85
    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 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 25,600 ISO 200 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VIII Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 71
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 662
    Screen Specs Olympus E-M10 III Panasonic GX85
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.62x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots 2765k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-M10 III Panasonic GX85
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 8.6 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/16000sup to 1/16000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-M10 III Panasonic GX85
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Olympus E-M10 III Panasonic GX85
    Battery Type BLS-50 DMW-BLG10
    Battery Life (CIPA)330 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 84 x 50 mm
    (4.8 x 3.3 x 2.0 in)
    122 x 71 x 44 mm
    (4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 410 g (14.5 oz) 426 g (15.0 oz)

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