Olympus E-M10 III vs Panasonic GX9
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III and the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2017 and February 2018. Both the E-M10 III and the GX9 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 20.2 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 DC-GX9? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M10 III and the Panasonic GX9. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures 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 GX9 is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Olympus E-M10 III. Moreover, the GX9 is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the E-M10 III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-M10 III nor the GX9 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 GX9 can take 260 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack. The power pack in the GX9 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Olympus E-M10 III||122 mm||84 mm||50 mm||410 g||330||n||Aug 2017||649|
|2.||Panasonic GX9||124 mm||72 mm||47 mm||407 g||260||n||Feb 2018||849|
|3.||Olympus E-M10 IV||122 mm||84 mm||49 mm||383 g||360||n||Aug 2020||699|
|4.||Olympus E-PL10||117 mm||68 mm||39 mm||380 g||350||n||Oct 2019||599|
|5.||Olympus E-PL9||117 mm||68 mm||39 mm||380 g||350||n||Feb 2018||599|
|6.||Olympus E-PL8||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Sep 2016||549|
|7.||Olympus PEN-F||125 mm||72 mm||37 mm||427 g||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199|
|8.||Olympus E-M10 II||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649|
|9.||Olympus E-M10||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||n||Jan 2014||699|
|10.||Olympus E-PL7||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Aug 2014||599|
|11.||Olympus E-PL6||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||May 2013||599|
|12.||Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|13.||Panasonic ZS200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|14.||Panasonic GX85||122 mm||71 mm||44 mm||426 g||290||n||Apr 2016||799|
|15.||Panasonic GX8||133 mm||78 mm||63 mm||487 g||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199|
|16.||Panasonic GX7||123 mm||71 mm||55 mm||402 g||350||n||Aug 2013||999|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 E-M10 III was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 24 percent) than the GX9, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the GX9 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the E-M10 III. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the GX9 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M10 III). However, it should be noted that the GX9 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the E-M10 III, 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 resolution advantage of the Panasonic GX9 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GX9 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-M10 III are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
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 DC-GX9 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Olympus E-M10 III||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.1||12.8||1120||74|
|2.||Panasonic GX9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.1||12.8||1163||74|
|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 LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||22.8||12.7||979||72|
|14.||Panasonic GX85||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71|
|15.||Panasonic GX8||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75|
|16.||Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|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 GX9 offers a higher resolution than the one in the E-M10 III (2760k vs 2360k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-M10 III and Panasonic GX9 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 GX9||2760||n||3.0 / 1240||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/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 LX100 II||2764||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||n||Y|
|13.||Panasonic ZS200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Panasonic GX85||2765||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic GX8||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|16.||Panasonic GX7||2760||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|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 GX9 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 GX9 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 GX9 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 DC-GX9 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 GX9||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||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 LX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Panasonic ZS200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Panasonic GX85||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic GX8||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Panasonic GX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
The GX9 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Olympus E-M10 III better than the Panasonic GX9 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III:
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (330 versus 260) 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 (24 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2017).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2760k vs 2360k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.62x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1240k vs 1040k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (124x72mm vs 122x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GX9 is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 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. 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 GX9 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the E-M10 III and the GX9 in practical situations. 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|
|2.||Panasonic GX9||4/5||+||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||849|
|3.||Olympus E-M10 IV||4.5/5||..||5/5||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2020||699|
|4.||Olympus E-PL10||..||..||4/5||77/100||..||4/5||Oct 2019||599|
|5.||Olympus E-PL9||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2018||599|
|6.||Olympus E-PL8||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||549|
|7.||Olympus PEN-F||..||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199|
|8.||Olympus E-M10 II||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||649|
|9.||Olympus E-M10||4/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699|
|10.||Olympus E-PL7||4/5||+||..||..||5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599|
|11.||Olympus E-PL6||..||..||..||..||..||..||May 2013||599|
|12.||Panasonic LX100 II||4.5/5||+||4.2/5||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|13.||Panasonic ZS200||..||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|14.||Panasonic GX85||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799|
|15.||Panasonic GX8||5/5||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199|
|16.||Panasonic GX7||4/5||+||..||79/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 M50 vs Panasonic GX9
- Canon R6 vs Olympus E-M10 III
- Leica Q Typ 116 vs Panasonic GX9
- Nikon D3400 vs Panasonic GX9
- Olympus E-M1 III vs Panasonic GX9
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Olympus E-PL5
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Pentax MX-1
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Sony A7
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Sony A7R IV
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Sony A7S II
- Panasonic GX9 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Panasonic GX9 vs Sony RX100 VI
Specifications: Olympus E-M10 III vs Panasonic GX9
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 GX9|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2017||February 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 649||USD 849|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus E-M10 III||Panasonic GX9|
|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||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||8.96 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|
|Screen Specs||Olympus E-M10 III||Panasonic GX9|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||2760k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1240k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-M10 III||Panasonic GX9|
|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||9 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 GX9|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Olympus E-M10 III||Panasonic GX9|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||330 shots per charge||260 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)
124 x 72 x 47 mm
(4.9 x 2.8 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||410 g (14.5 oz)||407 g (14.4 oz)|
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