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Panasonic GX800 versus Olympus E-M10 III

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX800 (called Panasonic GX850 in some regions) and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2017 and August 2017. Both the GX800 and the E-M10 III 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 GX800 vs Olympus E-M10 III

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX800 and the Olympus E-M10 III are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the GX800 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic GX800 vs Olympus E-M10 III
Compare GX800 versus E-M10 III top
Compare GX800 and E-M10 III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M10 III is considerably larger (47 percent) than the Panasonic GX800. Moreover, the E-M10 III is substantially heavier (52 percent) than the GX800. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX800 nor the E-M10 III 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.

Concerning battery life, the GX800 gets 210 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the E-M10 III can take 330 images on a single charge of its BLS-50 power pack.

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
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic GX800» 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 269 g 210 n Jan 2017 549 i i
Olympus E-M10 III« 122 mm 84 mm 50 mm 410 g 330 n Aug 2017 649 i i
Olympus E-PL9« » 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Feb 2018 549 i i
Olympus E-PL8« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Sep 2016 549- i
Olympus E-M10 II« » 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 799- i
Olympus E-PL7« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599- i
Olympus E-M10« » 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699- i
Panasonic G7« » 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649- i
Panasonic GF7« » 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 266 g 230 n Jan 2015 499- i
Panasonic GF6« » 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499- i
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GF5« » 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499- i
Panasonic G5« » 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic GF3« » 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549- i
Panasonic G3« » 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GX1« » 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 949- i
Panasonic GF2« » 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549- i

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 GX800 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 15 percent) than the E-M10 III, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic GX800 vs Olympus E-M10 III

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 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.

Panasonic GX800 and Olympus E-M10 III sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-M10 III offers a slightly higher resolution of 15.9 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX800. This megapixel 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 GX800). However, it should be noted that the E-M10 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the GX800, 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.

GX800 versus E-M10 III MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic GX800» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673
Olympus E-M10 III« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----
Olympus E-PL9« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
Panasonic G5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
Panasonic GX1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
Panasonic GF2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic GX800 vs Olympus E-M10 III

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the E-M10 III has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GX800 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GX800, the Olympus E-M10 III, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic GX800»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 10.0 Y n
Olympus E-M10 III«2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y
Olympus E-PL9« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 5.8 Y n
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 4000 4.0 Y n
Panasonic G5« »1440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 3.2 Y n
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n
Panasonic GX1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Panasonic GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 2.6 Y n

Both the GX800 and the E-M10 III are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The GX800 replaced the earlier Panasonic GF7, while the E-M10 III followed on from the Olympus E-M10 II.

Review summary: Panasonic GX800 vs Olympus E-M10 III

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GX800 or the Olympus E-M10 III – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX800:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x65mm vs 122x84mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 141g or 34 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (15 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2017).

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (330 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (5 points each). 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.

GX800 05:05 E-M10 III

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 GX800 or the E-M10 III 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic GX800»Rec76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i i
Olympus E-M10 III«Rec80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i i
Olympus E-PL9« »--4.5/5-4/5 Feb 2018 549 i i
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i
Olympus E-M10 II« »HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i
Olympus E-PL7« »Rec-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i
Panasonic G7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i
Panasonic GF7« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i
Panasonic GF6« »HiRec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i
Panasonic G5« »HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GX1« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 949- i
Panasonic GF2« »82/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549- i

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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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