Panasonic GX85 Vs Olympus EM5 Mark II

Having a dedicated camera is fun because you can play with creativity and improve your skills. The camera doesn’t have to be expensive either because Panasonic GX85 Vs Olympus EM5 Mark II is affordable and reliable for casual and enthusiasts. These cameras are capable of taking beautiful pictures and more. If you wonder which to invest in, let’s see what they can offer here.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What to Consider in a Camera
  • What are Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II
  • How are the Designs of Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II
  • How are the Specs of Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II
  • How is the Image Quality of Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II
  • How is the AF Systems in Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II
  • How are the Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II for Video Recording
  • Panasonic GX85 Vs Olympus EM5 Mark II

Buying a Camera 

If you decide to spend on a dedicated camera, you are not satisfied with the smartphone’s quality. The camera is still very popular amidst a massive leap in smartphone camera technology because it can take better pictures in the right hand. What we mean by the right hand is people who can adjust the camera settings according to the shooting situation and optimize their gear ability to achieve the best results. If you are interested in photography, having a dedicated camera is necessary.

When it comes to buying a new camera, there are several factors you have to consider, but the most important is what you will be using the camera for. The most versatile option will be either a DSLR or a mirrorless. Both cameras will be ideal for various applications from photographing nature like flowers, landscapes, and wildlife. The smaller version is perfect for travelers as well, and you can use them for other purposes like street photography, weddings or events, and portraits. 

While versatile, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras vary in capabilities. For example, suppose you will use the camera to shoot sports and wild animals. In that case, there are some crucial factors to notice in the option, such as phase detection or a hybrid AF system to help the camera focus on your chosen subject. The AF speed and reliability are also crucial. Because they have an interchangeable lens system, we must consider the budget to buy their compatible glass as brands and quality will vary.

Panasonic GX85Olympus EM5 Mark II
Product Dimensions1.73 x 4.8 x 2.78 inches
1.75 x 4.87 x 3.35 inches
Shipping Weight1.09 pounds
14.7 ounces
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About Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II

Finding the best camera for your application may take time, and it is wise to consider every factor that may affect the application. There are so many good cameras, and they come from lots of different brands. You can also adjust the option based on the budget so we can narrow down the alternatives. We can choose the popular models or those preferred by similar users because you will also like them. Don’t forget to take the lenses’ compatibility and prices into account.

We recommend getting something in the mid-range if you plan to spend quite a few because they are more capable than the older models or typical budget-level options. The Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II are some of the best options in the mid-range that can take beautiful pictures, are versatile, and are reliable. The two are mostly similar, and for the price range, they are using a micro four-thirds sensor, which should be enough for beginners or enthusiasts, yet they offer more when you dig in deeper.

The GX85 is like a little brother of the GX8 as they share so many similarities. While the core is different, this camera carries some of the most praised features from the older brother, such as the 4K photo mode and an excellent AF system. On the other hand, the EM Mark II is a refinement over its predecessor; not a big leap but noticeable enough to call it an upgrade. One of its most exciting features is the 40MP multi-exposure mode which is interesting because its native pixel is 16MP, the same as GX85.

As an overall camera, the Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II are suitable for most enthusiasts who want a better shooting ability and take better pictures or learn photography skills. Their autofocus systems are also reliable and work effectively, including tracking. There may be differences in speed, but it may not be as important for some people. Read also: Panasonic GX85 Vs Sony a6300 here.

Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II Design

Before checking on what the Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II can offer, let’s look at the unit first. The cameras’ bodies are very similar in size, and they are perfect for traveling because the dimension and weight are pretty compact. The GX85 is slightly more compact or a few millimeters narrower than EM5 Mark II. Unlike most mirrorless in this price range, the EM5 Mark II doesn’t have a built-in flash, but an external flash is available with the purchase. 

On the port options, both Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II provide USB and HDMI connectors, but the EM5 Mark II also has an external microphone plug. We appreciate the build quality in EM Mark II because it is already environmentally sealed while the GX85 is not. In addition, the rear screen of this Olympus camera is fully articulated, and the GX85 only tilts. However, they are the same size and have the exact resolution.

Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II Specs

Now let’s see what the Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II can offer, starting with basic specs. As mentioned above, the two are using the same sensor, and it is a tiny micro four third with an effective pixel of 16MP. It is a very common formulation for cameras in this price range, and by adding more you may get similar sensors with higher pixels or bigger sensors. Both cameras also lack a low pass filter for improved results on lower ISO.

But, mind about the object you are photographing as it may increase the risk of moire and other aliasing artifacts. These cameras are also coming with image stabilization based on the moveable sensor. Combining it with a compatible lens, the GX85 can use dual IS, and the EM5 Mark II uses a 5-axis image stabilization, the same as the GX85. You can shoot in RAW or JPEG, and in addition, the EM Mark II offers both Superfine and basic in addition to standard and fine. 

Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II Image Quality

As for the shots taken with Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II, they look identical. We want to see the details their sensor can pick up, and it looks very similar with naked eyes. The color is slightly different because the GX85 seems a bit more saturated, or the color will look darker in comparison. The pictures also look sharp, which is very common, but the GX85 is also slightly more forward detail-wise.

The ISO performance is still useful even at the highest stops. The comparison when using the camera at ISO 6400 shows similar details. However, the GX85 still offers a little more detail as the object’s outline is visible, while the same shot taken with EM5 Mark II blurred the object’s shape with a dark background. Overall, we think the GX85’s color is more saturated while the EM5 Mark II is more natural and lighter.

Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II AF System

Next, we want to talk about the autofocus system in Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II. First, the GX85 has a contrast-detect or sensor-based AF with 49 focus points. This camera has the same feature as GX8 or the Depth from Defocus when paired with Panasonic lenses. This technology works together with the lens to figure out how to focus objects presented in front of or behind their focus plane. This technology helps the camera know whether to drive the focus element forward or backward.

This combination works well in practice because it performs like the older brother GX8 which is more expensive. It can land a successful hit rate with a burst shot at 6fps for a moving subject. Not so surprisingly, the subject tracking is not usable in B&W modes. On the other hand, EM5 Mark II’s 81 point focus is excellent to let you decide the focus point selection; we can choose over 800 points on the screen to specify the target. 

The AF tracking is also satisfying as the camera can confidently track the subject’s movement. It sometimes strays but is very quick in catching up. It is very consistent, but we need to use the Continuous L mode to get the most out of its continuous AF. Overall usually, you will get a reasonable hit rate with a speed of around 4fps. 

Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II for Video Recording

Lastly, we want to touch on the video recording ability of these cameras. The most noticeable difference between Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II is the recording resolution because GX85 already lets you record at 4K at 100Mbps bit rate while the EM5 Mark II is topping at a topping 1080p. However, recording with EM5 is more fun because of its rotating screen. As for the best feature, we think the image stabilization helps a lot if you don’t currently mount the camera on a tripod. 

Panasonic GX85 Vs Olympus EM5 Mark II

Both Panasonic GX85 and Olympus EM5 Mark II are good mid-range cameras that are affordable but work well. Their AF systems are reliable, and you can use them for varying shooting applications. The GX85’s picture is more saturated, so the JPEG may not look as natural out of the camera. But, the GX85 has a built-in flash, shoots faster with continuous AF, and can record in 4K 100 Mbps. 

- New 5-axis in-body sensor stabilizer works with LUMIX 2-axis optically stabilized lenses in video and still capture modes using class-leading Dual Image Stabilization
- Eliminates the need for low-pass sensor filters while boosting fine detail resolving power by nearly 10% over existing 16-Megapixel MFT sensors
- Shoot lighter and faster with the modern hybrid photography performance of a Mirrorless camera and nearly half the bulk of most DSLRs
- Thumbwheel controls, integrated viewfinder and touch control enabled tilting LCD maximize control of the photographic experience
- The E-M5 Mark II sits squarely in the sweet spot for the creative shooter who needs a portable system with all the power to realize their creative pursuits.
- Large interactive EVF. Touch and Swivel LCD monitor with convenient variable angle positioning.
- The high-speed 16 Megapixel Live MOS sensor/TruePic VII™ image processor combo is at the heart of the E-M5 Mark II’s imaging performance.
- Sealed for protection against moisture and dust


Price-wise these cameras are very similar. We recommend the Panasonic GX85 because it offers more for the budget. The AF system is also very well implemented, especially when combined with Panasonic lenses. It is overall a versatile camera with plenty of abilities. 

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