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ZaminOz

Olympus or Panasonic?

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Mrs ZaminOz is considering getting a new camera to replace her aging Pentax Kx DSLR... she has not a shred of brand loyalty and is therefore currently looking at either:

 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II (with 14-150mm V2 Lens):

https://www.leedervillecameras.com.au/products/cameras/mirrorless-cameras/olympus-mirrorless/olympus-om-d-e-m5-mark-ii-with-14-150mm-v2-lens-silver-adventure-kit

 

or

 

Panasonic DMC-FZ1000:

https://www.leedervillecameras.com.au/products/cameras/digital/panasonic---/panasonic-dmc-fz1000-digital-camera

 

She likes the look, feel, weight and size of the Olympus, but also the price and more user friendliness of the Panasonic...

 

Does anyone have any experience with either or both of the above, and have any recommendations. Please also note that she is not looking at this from only the perspective of African safaris but more as a general travel camera. She does not want to lug big lenses around any more.

 

My main concern with both (as opposed to a DSLR) is (a) night drive (low light) photography; and (b) short battery life.

 

Cheers

ZiO

 

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I am in the market too & hope to learn from your questions, ZO. Haha, she is a traitor to the Pentax cause, is she :D

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@ZaminOz I've used a Panasonic FZ1000 since our trip 2014 to Uganda. I'm happy with this as long as the photographer behind (that's me) is patient enough to do the job. I'm not a Photographer.   

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Thanks @Botswanadreams ... how do you find the battery life? How many pics are you able to get in a safari day before you need to change or recharge the battery?

Also what I can't work out from stat sheets is: at what focal length does the lens switch from f2.8 to f4?

 

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Surely the battery life is not really an issue , you can carry spares. I know nothing about the cameras you mention but I believe Fuji are producing an excellent one too. Decisions,decisions!! Good luck.

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@ZaminOz The battery life is fine. Normally one is fine for two days but never counted the amount of pics. 

 

I looked into focal length:

25mm 2.8

30mm 3.0

55mm 3.4

75mm 3.7

200 to 400mm 4.0

 

I hope this helps.  

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Two very different beasts here I would say.  The EM5 is in interchangeable mirrorless micro four thirds (i.e a sort of mini dslr but far more high tech).   The FZ1000 is a fixed lens 1" sensor bridge camera.  So while it is a great lens and very versatile (by all accounts) you are stuck with it.  

 

I have become a bit of a M4/3 fan, the em5 is a great camera.  If Mrs ZaminOz  sees herself using different lenses and building a bit of a 'system' then it is the way to go.  If she is looking for a one-does-it all then the FZ1000 is probably the way to go.  If she is into video at all then the FZ specs (being 4K) are way better.  

 

The em5 is basically the same as my em10 (but with a weatherproof body and a few other minor body related differences).  What it will not do is C-AF well.  So say birds in flight are at best a challenge.  I cannot speak for the FZ1000 but I would imagine (being contrast detect AF) that it is the same. 

As for batteries, its just not an issue.  You can get 2 or three aftermarket ones on ebay with a dual USB charger for very, very little and go for days...  

 

As for low light, well to my unschooled eyes I really cannot see much difference between my em10 and older APSC Canons (e.g. 7D) as far as low light performance goes.  Especially slow moving/stationary stuff on a night drive where Oly's amazing in body stabilisation allows you to slow the shutter speed and drop the ISO a lot.  Moving low light stuff is a different kettle of fish, but to be honest whether it is mirrorless fuji, micro four thirds or whatever none are going to be able to touch a DSLR with fast glass.  

 

I would vote em5 but ONLY if she sees herself getting more lenses.  Even then, she might want to look at an em10 (original, II or III) as it will basically do everything the em5 does for less.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @Botswanadreams and @KaingU Lodge

In the FZ1000 I was hoping that it held the f2.8 longer (maybe in that regard the FZ300 with its constant f2.8 is a better choice?).

With the Oly EM5 option - yes it is the one she prefers out of the two. Her primary concern in moving from a DSLR was reducing weight of lenses. She has no objection to changing lenses... as long as she doesn't have to lug them around... 

She never previously had to concern herself with adding lenses to her collection as we both have Pentax DSLRs and she just uses my lenses as needed.

 

Her only concern with the Oly was that when she tried it and the FZ300 (not the FZ1000) in a shop the FZ was by far the most intuitive and user friendly of the two.

 

@KaingU Lodge - I have looked at the micro four thirds 35-100 f2.8 lens (can't recall if it was Oly or Pan) but obviously not cheap. I use a 70-200 f2.8 on my DSLR for night drives (and Mrs ZaminOz currently uses my Sigma 50-150 f2.8 on night drives). Do you think that the Oly could get away with not having an f2.8 lens for night drives? 

 

The em10 (iii) could also be an option, but I thought that it was inferior to the em5 ii? Not that I can now recall what the differences (apart from weather sealing) were...

Edited by ZaminOz

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@ZaminOz

 

I have just purchased the Panasonic FZ330 (UK version of the FZ300) to upgrade from my current FZ200.

I had the usual debate with myself between buying another bridge camera or an entry level DSLR and as usual the bridge camera won.

I don't want the expense or weight of buying/carrying extra lenses and I find the Panasonic FZ cameras very intuitive to use.

I think given my basic photography knowledge, I have got pretty good results from the FZ200 and was very happy to upgrade to the FZ330.  It doesn't have the 1" sensor like the FZ1000 but it has the extra zoom to 600mm that I need for wildlife photos and also the constant F2.8 throughout.

 

The FZ330 is now supposed to be better weather proofed (always a bonus over here!) and there are other minor differences and improvements that I still need to work through.  It got good reviews when the model was first released so I am looking forward to using it.

 

 

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My personal feeling is that the FZ1000 is much better in lower light than my old FZ200 I used before. I think it is the sensor and for the missing zoom a crop does it for me.    

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12 hours ago, ZaminOz said:

 

@KaingU Lodge - I have looked at the micro four thirds 35-100 f2.8 lens (can't recall if it was Oly or Pan) but obviously not cheap. I use a 70-200 f2.8 on my DSLR for night drives (and Mrs ZaminOz currently uses my Sigma 50-150 f2.8 on night drives). Do you think that the Oly could get away with not having an f2.8 lens for night drives? 

 

The em10 (iii) could also be an option, but I thought that it was inferior to the em5 ii? Not that I can now recall what the differences (apart from weather sealing) were...

 

To be a bit unhelpful - I dunno!!!  

What you could do though is buy a simple mechanical adapter for about $20 to use your pentax mount 50-150 on the EM5.  You obviously loose AF, but with one touch of a button you can zoom in and manually focus surprisingly easy.  You will be amazed how easy this is with the electronic viewfinder.  The lens also will then be equivilent to a 100-300 f2.8 once adapted.  And of course with IBIS the lens is stabilised.  

 

The em10III has the same sensor, same stabilisation, just about same everything.  It shoots 4K video (the em5 deoesn't).  Of the top of my head the only advantages of the em5 over the 10III are: microphone input, articulating (rather than tilting) screen and weather proofing.  The em5 is expected to be updated sometime this year.  

 

I should point out that Panasonic's G80 or (known as G85 in some markets) is arguably a better bet than the Em5.  Not as pretty though:).  better AF for things that move, 4K video and a few other things.  

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Thanks everyone!

 

If anyone is interested in a side by side features comparison, see the DP Review one below:
 

https://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=oly_em5ii&products=oly_em10iii&products=panasonic_dmcfz300&products=panasonic_dmcfz1000&products=panasonic_dmcg85

 

With the Olys: the lack of weather sealing and lack of a fully articulating screen may be the death blow for the EM10.

 

With the FZs: the size, wight and lack of weather sealing on the FZ 1000, and the constant 2.8 lens on the FZ300 may swing Mrs ZaminOz thataway... but who knows she changes her mind constantly!

Anyway, i will try to give some feedback on whichever one she ends up getting.

 

We will also have to have a look at the G85 in a shop... 

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If it helps, I moved from a panasonic FZ through 4/3 olympus and now use m. 4/3 olympus  (omd EM1 mk 2 & mk 1). The 75-300 lens would give your wife 600mm equivalent and is pretty lightweight.  If she is  keen on night photography then you could consider an external flash like to FL50R. If low light is a big consideration  then I would think going micro 4/3 would be better. But to get the best out of it for wildlife I would recommend the Panasonic 100-400 but that is quite heavy. 

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Just a thought that crossed my mind although I am sure you have thought of it:  Don't forget that the weathersealed body is only worth something if the lens is too.  And if going the flash route then take a look at Godox before pulling any triggers on Olympus' own stuff...  

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I traveled a fair bit (Laos, Oman, Russia, Galapagos) with an Olympus Pen EP-2 & the 14-150mm V1 (plus 9-18mm & 20mm f1.7 prime).  Quite a nice combo for general travel photography, light and unobtrusive, but not really suited for wildlife, anything that moves or low light).  The OM-D is a far better option than the older pen series and both the EM-5 & 14-150mm V2 are weather sealed and I think Olympus weather sealing is in a world of it's own and the only brand I trust (I used to run my old E-3 & 50-200mm under a tap to clean it!) for a UK summer.  I currently have an EM-1 with a bag load of lenses.

 

Another positive for the mirror less system over the bridge camera is it's an interchangeable lens system.  For discreet city (street) work you could add a 17mm or 25mm F1.8 prime lens to your bag they only weigh around 100g a pop.  For night drives I'd recommend the 40-150mm F2.8 but then you start to head into heavy, expensive-ish lenses.  

 

If I was looking for a bridge camera I'd consider the Sony RX 10 (III or IV).  

 

 

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Thanks @IamFisheye ... but the Sony RX10 iii or iv are way above our budget.

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Well... Mrs ZaminOz ended up getting the Panasonic Lumix FZ300... now all she has to do is figure out how to work it :)

 

Thanks for all the advice folks!

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