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Olympus E-P5 vs Panasonic GX7

The Olympus PEN E-P5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2013 and August 2013. Both the E-P5 and the GX7 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-P5
versus
Panasonic GX7
Olympus E-P5   Panasonic GX7
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
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 200-25,600 ISO 125-25,600
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (2760k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
9 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
330 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
122 x 69 x 37 mm, 420 g 123 x 71 x 55 mm, 402 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus PEN E-P5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-P5 and the Panasonic GX7 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-P5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the GX7 is available in two color-versions (black, silver).

Size Olympus E-P5 vs Panasonic GX7
Compare E-P5 versus GX7 top
Comparison E-P5 or GX7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX7 is somewhat larger (4 percent) than the Olympus E-P5. However, the GX7 is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the E-P5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-P5 nor the GX7 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-P5 gets 330 shots out of its BLN-1 battery, while the GX7 can take 350 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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999i
2.
 
Panasonic GX7 123 mm 71 mm 55 mm 402 g 350 n Aug 2013 999i
3.
 
Olympus PEN-F 125 mm 72 mm 37 mm 427 g 330 n Jan 2016 1,199i
4.
 
Olympus E-M5 II 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099i
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 II 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 649i
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699i
7.
 
Olympus E-PL7 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599i
8.
 
Olympus E-M1 130 mm 94 mm 63 mm 497 g 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399i
9.
 
Olympus E-M5 122 mm 89 mm 43 mm 425 g 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL5 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599i
11.
 
Olympus E-PM2 110 mm 64 mm 34 mm 269 g 360 n Sep 2012 499i
12.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
13.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
14.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 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.

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 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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.

Olympus E-P5 and Panasonic GX7 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-P5 offers a slightly higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX7. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-P5 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 GX7). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

The Olympus PEN E-P5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 are ISO 125 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

E-P5 versus GX7 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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
1.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
2.
 
Panasonic GX7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870
3.
 
Olympus PEN-F Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474
4.
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
7.
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
8.
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773
9.
 
Olympus E-M5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671
10.
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972
11.
 
Olympus E-PM2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272
12.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
13.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
14.
 
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. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GX7 provides a faster frame rate than the E-P5. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GX7 has an electronic viewfinder (2760k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-P5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-P5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-4. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-P5 and Panasonic GX7 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic GX72760 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
3.
 
Olympus PEN-F2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
6.
 
Olympus E-M101440 n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
7.
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
8.
 
Olympus E-M12360 n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
9.
 
Olympus E-M51440 n3.0 / 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y
10.
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n3.0 / 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
11.
 
Olympus E-PM2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
12.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n3.0 / 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, the GX7 is one of those camera that have an additional 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-P5 and the Panasonic GX7 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-P5 and the GX7 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of 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 PEN E-P5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Panasonic GX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Olympus PEN-FYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
4.
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Olympus E-M1Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Olympus E-M5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-PM2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic GH2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the E-P5 and the GX7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-P5 was replaced by the Olympus E-P7, while the GX7 was followed by the Panasonic GX85. 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-P5 and the Panasonic GX7? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-P5:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GX7 emerges as the winner of the match-up (4 : 1 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-P5 01:04 GX7

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-P5 and the Panasonic GX7 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the E-P5 or the GX7 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +..78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999i
2.
 
Panasonic GX74/5+..79/1005/55/5 Aug 2013 999i
3.
 
Olympus PEN-F....4/582/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199i
4.
 
Olympus E-M5 II5/5+ +4.5/581/1005/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099i
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 II4.5/5+ +..80/1005/55/5 Aug 2015 649i
6.
 
Olympus E-M104/5....80/1005/55/5 Jan 2014 699i
7.
 
Olympus E-PL74/5+....5/54/5 Aug 2014 599i
8.
 
Olympus E-M15/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399i
9.
 
Olympus E-M54/5+ +..80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
11.
 
Olympus E-PM23/5....77/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
12.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
13.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
14.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +..79/1004.5/55/5 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-P5:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GX7:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-P5 vs Panasonic GX7

    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-P5 Panasonic GX7
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date May 2013 August 2013
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-P5 Panasonic GX7
    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 Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 25,600 ISO 125 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor TruePic VI Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 72 70
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.8 22.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.4 12.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 895 718
    Screen Specs Olympus E-P5 Panasonic GX7
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2760k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-P5 Panasonic GX7
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/8000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-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-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-P5 Panasonic GX7
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Olympus E-P5 Panasonic GX7
    Battery Type BLN-1 DMW-BLG10
    Battery Life (CIPA)330 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 69 x 37 mm
    (4.8 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    123 x 71 x 55 mm
    (4.8 x 2.8 x 2.2 in)
    Camera Weight 420 g (14.8 oz) 402 g (14.2 oz)

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