Panasonic GX1 versus Olympus E-P5
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 and the Olympus PEN E-P5 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in November 2011 and May 2013. Both the GX1 and the E-P5 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Panasonic GX1 vs Olympus E-P5
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX1 and the Olympus E-P5. 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. You can also use the toggle button 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 GX1 – 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-P5 is notably larger (7 percent) than the Panasonic GX1. Moreover, the E-P5 is markedly heavier (32 percent) than the GX1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX1 nor the E-P5 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 find an overview of suitable optics 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 want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Panasonic GX1 (⇒ rgt)||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||no||2011||949||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-P5 (⇒ lft)||122 mm||69 mm||37 mm||420 g||330||no||2013||999||discont.||check|
|Olympus PEN-F (⇒ lft | rgt)||125 mm||72 mm||37 mm||427 g||330||no||2016||1,199||latest||check|
|Olympus E-M10 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||no||2015||799||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||no||2014||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||no||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||130 mm||94 mm||63 mm||497 g||350||YES||2013||1,399||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||no||2013||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||no||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GM1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||no||2013||749||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GX7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||123 mm||71 mm||55 mm||402 g||350||no||2013||999||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||no||2012||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||no||2011||549||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||no||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||no||2010||549||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GH2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||no||2010||1,499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||no||2010||499||discont.||check|
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 GX1 was somewhat cheaper (by 5 percent) than the E-P5 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.
Sensor comparison: Panasonic GX1 vs Olympus E-P5
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. 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-P5 offers a slightly higher resolution of 15.9 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX1. This megapixel 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 GX1). However, it should be noted that the E-P5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the GX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the E-P5 offers substantially better image quality than the GX1 (overall score 17 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 1.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Panasonic GX1 (⇒ rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|Olympus E-P5 (⇒ lft)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.4||895||72|
|Olympus PEN-F (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74|
|Olympus E-M10 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72|
|Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72|
|Olympus E-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||757||73|
|Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic GM1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|Panasonic GX7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|Panasonic GF5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|Panasonic GF3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10||458||49|
|Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|Panasonic GH2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|Panasonic G10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the GX1 provides a higher frame rate than the E-P5. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic GX1 vs Olympus E-P5
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The GX1 and the E-P5 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P5 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Panasonic GX1 (⇒ rgt)||no||no||3.0||460||fixed||YES||4000||4.2||7.6||no|
|Olympus E-P5 (⇒ lft)||no||no||3.0||1037||tilting||YES||8000||9.0||7||YES|
|Olympus PEN-F (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1037||swivel||YES||8000||10.0||no||YES|
|Olympus E-M10 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||8.0||5.8||YES|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1037||tilting||YES||4000||8.0||no||YES|
|Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||1037||tilting||YES||4000||8.0||5.8||YES|
|Olympus E-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1037||tilting||YES||8000||10.0||no||YES|
|Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||4.2||6.3||no|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||1036||swivel||YES||4000||7.0||10.5||no|
|Panasonic GM1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1036||fixed||YES||500||5.0||4||no|
|Panasonic GX7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2760||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||8000||5.0||7||YES|
|Panasonic GF5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||fixed||YES||4000||4.0||6.3||no|
|Panasonic GF3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||460||fixed||YES||4000||3.2||6.3||no|
|Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||460||swivel||YES||4000||4.0||11||no|
|Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||460||fixed||YES||4000||2.6||6.0||no|
|Panasonic GH2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1534||no||3.0||460||swivel||no||4000||3.0||15.6||no|
|Panasonic G10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||202||no||3.0||460||fixed||no||4000||2.6||11||no|
Both the GX1 and the E-P5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GX1 was replaced by the Panasonic GX7, while the E-P5 was followed by the ...
Review summary: Panasonic GX1 vs Olympus E-P5
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic GX1 better than the Olympus E-P5 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 102g or 24 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2011).
Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-P5:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (17 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 6 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-P5 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 3 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.
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 GX1 or the E-P5 handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Panasonic GX1 (⇒ rgt)||85/100 Rec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2011||949||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-P5 (⇒ lft)||HiRec||78/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2013||999||discont.||check|
|Olympus PEN-F (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||82/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2016||1,199||latest||check|
|Olympus E-M10 II (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||80/100 Silver||5/5||5/5||5/5||2015||799||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||2014||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||80/100 Gold||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||84/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||1,399||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GM1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||78/100 Gold||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||749||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GX7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||79/100 Silver||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2013||999||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||2011||549||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||75/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GF2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2010||549||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GH2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||86/100 HiRec||79/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2010||1,499||discont.||check|
|Panasonic G10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||70/100||4/5||-||4/5||2010||499||discont.||check|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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