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.
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.
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).
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 power pack in the GX85 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Olympus E-M10 III||122 mm||84 mm||50 mm||410 g||330||n||Aug 2017||649||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GX85||122 mm||71 mm||44 mm||426 g||290||n||Apr 2016||799||amazon.com|
|3.||Olympus E-M10 IV||122 mm||84 mm||49 mm||383 g||360||n||Aug 2020||699||amazon.com|
|4.||Olympus E-PL10||117 mm||68 mm||39 mm||380 g||350||n||Oct 2019||599||amazon.com|
|5.||Olympus E-PL9||117 mm||68 mm||39 mm||380 g||350||n||Feb 2018||599||ebay.com|
|6.||Olympus E-PL8||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Sep 2016||549||ebay.com|
|7.||Olympus PEN-F||125 mm||72 mm||37 mm||427 g||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199||ebay.com|
|8.||Olympus E-M10 II||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649||ebay.com|
|9.||Olympus E-M10||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||n||Jan 2014||699||ebay.com|
|10.||Olympus E-PL7||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Aug 2014||599||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus E-PL6||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||May 2013||599||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic GX9||124 mm||72 mm||47 mm||407 g||260||n||Feb 2018||849||amazon.com|
|13.||Panasonic G85||128 mm||89 mm||74 mm||505 g||330||Y||Sep 2016||899||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic GX7||123 mm||71 mm||55 mm||402 g||350||n||Aug 2013||999||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||n||Sep 2010||899||ebay.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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Olympus E-M10 III||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.1||12.8||1120||74|
|2.||Panasonic GX85||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71|
|3.||Olympus E-M10 IV||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.3||13.2||1402||76|
|4.||Olympus E-PL10||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.3||13.1||1324||76|
|5.||Olympus E-PL9||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.1||12.8||1162||74|
|6.||Olympus E-PL8||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.6||1030||73|
|7.||Olympus PEN-F||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74|
|8.||Olympus E-M10 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|9.||Olympus E-M10||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72|
|10.||Olympus E-PL7||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72|
|11.||Olympus E-PL6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.5||12.0||717||68|
|12.||Panasonic GX9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.1||12.8||1163||74|
|13.||Panasonic G85||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71|
|14.||Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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).
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.
|1.||Olympus E-M10 III||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.6/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Panasonic GX85||2765||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Olympus E-M10 IV||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||15.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-PL10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.6/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Olympus E-PL9||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.6/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Olympus E-PL8||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||Y|
|7.||Olympus PEN-F||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|8.||Olympus E-M10 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Olympus E-M10||1440||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Olympus E-PL7||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||Y|
|11.||Olympus E-PL6||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||Y|
|12.||Panasonic GX9||2760||n||3.0 / 1240||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Panasonic G85||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Panasonic GX7||2760||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||1534||n||3.0 / 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.|
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).
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.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Olympus E-M10 III||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic GX85||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Olympus E-M10 IV||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-PL10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Olympus E-PL9||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Olympus E-PL8||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Olympus PEN-F||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Olympus E-M10 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Olympus E-M10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-PL7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Olympus E-PL6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic GX9||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Panasonic G85||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic GX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
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 features and operation of the E-M10 III and GX85 can be found, respectively, in the Olympus E-M10 III Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic GX85 Manual.
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.
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).
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.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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 GX85 comes out slightly ahead of the E-M10 III (5 : 4 points). 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.
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.
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 (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.
|1.||Olympus E-M10 III||..||+||5/5||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2017||649||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GX85||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799||amazon.com|
|3.||Olympus E-M10 IV||4.5/5||..||5/5||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2020||699||amazon.com|
|4.||Olympus E-PL10||..||..||4/5||77/100||..||4/5||Oct 2019||599||amazon.com|
|5.||Olympus E-PL9||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2018||599||ebay.com|
|6.||Olympus E-PL8||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||549||ebay.com|
|7.||Olympus PEN-F||..||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199||ebay.com|
|8.||Olympus E-M10 II||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||649||ebay.com|
|9.||Olympus E-M10||4/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||ebay.com|
|10.||Olympus E-PL7||4/5||+||..||..||5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus E-PL6||..||..||..||..||..||..||May 2013||599||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic GX9||4/5||+||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||849||amazon.com|
|13.||Panasonic G85||..||+ +||..||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic GX7||4/5||+||..||79/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GH2||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899||ebay.com|
|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.
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.
- Canon G3 X vs Panasonic GX85
- Canon M6 Mark II vs Olympus E-M10 III
- Canon SX410 vs Panasonic GX85
- Canon SX510 vs Olympus E-M10 III
- Fujifilm X-T200 vs Panasonic GX85
- Fujifilm X10 vs Olympus E-M10 III
- Leica CL vs Olympus E-M10 III
- Nikon Z fc vs Panasonic GX85
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Panasonic S1R
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Sony HX90V
- Olympus E-M10 IV vs Panasonic GX85
- Panasonic GX85 vs Sony A7S II
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 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 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|
|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 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|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-M10 III||Panasonic GX85|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8.6 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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|
|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 Life (CIPA)||330 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
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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