Panasonic G9 vs Olympus E-M1 II
The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in November 2017 and September 2016. Both the G9 and the E-M1 II are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20.2 megapixels. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Panasonic G9||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|4K/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 200-25600||ISO 200-25600|
|Electronic viewfinder (3680k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Swivel touchscreen|
|20 shutter flaps per second||18 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|400 shots per battery charge||440 shots per battery charge|
|137 x 97 x 92 mm, 658 g||134 x 91 x 67 mm, 574 g|
Body comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Olympus E-M1 II
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G9 and the Olympus E-M1 II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 G9 – represents 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 Olympus E-M1 II is notably smaller (8 percent) than the Panasonic G9. Moreover, the E-M1 II is markedly lighter (13 percent) than the G9. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
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.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Panasonic G9»||137 mm||97 mm||92 mm||658 g||400||Y||Nov 2017||1,699||Panasonic G9|
|Olympus E-M1 II«||134 mm||91 mm||67 mm||574 g||440||Y||Sep 2016||1,999||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||140 mm||97 mm||86 mm||673 g||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M1« »||130 mm||94 mm||63 mm||497 g||350||Y||Sep 2013||1,399||-||Olympus E-M1|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||660 g||440||Y||Jan 2018||2,499||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||128 mm||89 mm||74 mm||505 g||330||Y||Sep 2016||899||Panasonic G80|
|Panasonic GX8« »||133 mm||78 mm||63 mm||487 g||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||132 mm||101 mm||76 mm||703 g||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||126 mm||93 mm||74 mm||688 g||410||Y||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G9 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 15 percent) than the E-M1 II, 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: Panasonic G9 vs Olympus E-M1 II
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20.2 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G9 and the E-M1 II have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the G9 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the E-M1 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 E-M1 II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
Both cameras have the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting the sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 0-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 64-25600..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Panasonic G9»||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic G9|
|Olympus E-M1 II«||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.7||12.8||1312||80||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M1« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||757||73||Olympus E-M1|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||Four Thirds||9.9||3680||2700||4K/60p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71||Panasonic G80|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G9 provides a higher frame rate than the E-M1 II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 4K/30p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Olympus E-M1 II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the G9 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the E-M1 II (3680k vs 2360k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic G9 and Olympus E-M1 II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Panasonic G9»||3680||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y||Panasonic G9|
|Olympus E-M1 II«||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||18.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||3690||Y||3.0||1040||full-flex||Y||8000||14.0||n||Y||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||8000||12.0||n||Y||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M1« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M1|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||n||n||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||n||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||9.0||Y||Y||Panasonic G80|
|Panasonic GX8« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||optical||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||6000||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||6000||6.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
One feature that is present on the G9, but is missing on the E-M1 II is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras 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).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G9 and the E-M1 II write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.
Connectivity comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Olympus E-M1 II
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 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Panasonic G9»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic G9|
|Olympus E-M1 II«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M1|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic G80|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
Both the G9 and the E-M1 II are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The E-M1 II replaced the earlier Olympus E-M1, while the G9 followed on from the Panasonic G85.
Review summary: Panasonic G9 vs Olympus E-M1 II
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G9 and the Olympus E-M1 II? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3680k vs 2360k dots).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (15 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the E-M1 II).
Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II:
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 84g or 13 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G9 is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G9 or the E-M1 II 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.
Expert reviews: Panasonic G9 vs Olympus E-M1 II
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Panasonic G9»||HiRec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2017||1,699||Panasonic G9|
|Olympus E-M1 II«||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||1,999||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||Rec||86/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,899||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||5/5||Aug 2018||1,999||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||HiRec||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M1« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||1,399||-||Olympus E-M1|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2018||2,499||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||HiRec||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899||Panasonic G80|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Pentax KP« »||-||82/100||5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 300D vs Nikon D70s
- Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 760D
- Canon SX70 vs Canon 200D
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Canon M6
- Nikon D800E vs Nikon D4S
- Panasonic FZ1000 vs Fujifilm X70
- Panasonic GM5 vs Panasonic GF7
- Panasonic GX9 vs Panasonic GM1
- Pentax K-1 II vs Fujifilm X-T1
- Pentax K-1 vs Canon 200D
- Sony A5100 vs Sony WX800
- Sony A7 III vs Canon R
Specifications: Panasonic G9 vs Olympus E-M1 II
|Camera Model||Panasonic G9||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||November 2017||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1699||USD 1999|
|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||20.2 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.34 μm||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||8.96 MP/cm2||8.96 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-25600 ISO||200-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus 10||TruePic VIII|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3680k dots||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||20 shutter flaps/s||18 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||full HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||DMW-BLF19 power pack||BLH-1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
137 x 97 x 92 mm
(5.4 x 3.8 x 3.6 in)
134 x 91 x 67 mm
(5.3 x 3.6 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||658 g (23.2 oz)||574 g (20.2 oz)|
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