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Vote the Panasonic/Olympus camera of the year!


Early 2013 sounds quite promising for us. The first half of the year we expect the release of the new GF5 and G5 successor along a new kind of PEN made by Olympus and maybe a new OMD too. I am still not sure if the GX1 successor is coming In February or in late 2013. So before to get into the next rumor storm we may decide what MFT camera was the most exciting event release of the year 2012.

Take time to think and pick up the one camera that is the most important addition to the system.

The camera of the year 2012 is the...

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Feel free to comment this post to explain the reason for your vote!

  • Duarte Bruno

    Voted the OM-D, but if I had to choose the most important and system defining addition ever, I would have to pick the GH2.

  • There was only one revolutionary entry for m4/3 this year and it wasn’t the GF5. I doubt if the next couple of years will see another product with such impact.

  • Mymaco on Instagram

    Honestly I don’t care about a “winning” camera of the year: can you tell us some rumors instead? ;) (btw I’m a happy owner of an OMD and actually only something like a Sony rx1 but made by Olympus, rangefinder style, can be interesting to me)

  • Photog

    Can we even consider the GH3 as 2012 since it really hasn’t had much time to reach all it’s consumers. There’s such a high demand for them ATM as it just got released.

    • Anonymous

      That was my thought as well. Apparently with the GH3 not even shipping until December 29th, there’s not a lot of time in the year to consider it the camera of the year. Perhaps 2013 will be the GH3’s year.

  • I would say the E-M5 and the the GH3 are the best camera’s of 2012

    and the E-PL5 as 3rd best….

  • For 2012, it has to be the e-m5. A product that was built up over a long period from the start of the year. A product that when it arrived, it did not disappoint. Far from it it excelled. Even confused DxO.
    The GH3 has arrived but I don’t think it has the impact of the E-M5 at present. If they had been released round the other way I am sure that the GH3 would have been the pick.
    No matter, the great winners here are those that want smaller lighter cameras with superb lenses and quality to match almost everything in still and video alike. Both Olympus and Panasonic have excelled in the year 2012 and there is the promise of more to come. Well done both companies.

    • ColinH

      Well said!

    • +1

  • E-PL5. The best price/performance ratio to date.

    Close runner-up: G5 for swivel LCD and the EVF.

    GH3 – best for video.

    E-M5 – best premium camera.

    GF5 … it was announced too early but actually released much later – and everybody’s forgotten about it. I wanted to give it a shot this year, but couldn’t find any review with in-depth IQ analysis versus GF3/etc (DPR ignored the camera) or at least indicative image sample gallery.

    • Miroslav

      “E-PL5. The best price/performance ratio to date.”


      • +2 for E-PL5! Got one for $480 and I hope not to upgrade it for next 2-3 years.

  • MikeS

    E-M5, no question.

    It’s been a great year for cameras, and a terrible year for my bank account.

    • Bobafett

      +1 LOL

      I think that my bank account won’t even be able to recover in 2013 with all the new cams and lenses coming up :)

  • Very difficult choose. especially, GH3 isn’t yet released in Japan.
    but I voted E-M5, because, E-M5 shows the new “IS” standard and how in-body IS is effective, Sony sensor’s potential and its decision to change the sensor make.

    E-PM2 may be a small “pearl” of MFT, GH3 is a kind of perfect “UI” machine (I tried at pre-release hand-on event in Tokyo), etc…

    but I must choose one, then I decided E-M5, that I bought and ha been using now.

  • zelko

    I’ve voted for the E-M5, although the new Olympus additions made me think about the vote twice. My reasons for giving my vote were:

    .) Both new cameras E-PL5 and E-M2 are so much based on the E-M5 that it would be unfair not to vote for the ancestor.
    .) The E-M5 makes the greatest leap forward. While the other cameras are very good, the E-M5 is the tiny bit better. Splash and dust proof, built-in EVF,…
    .) The underwater housing for the E-M5 is also a little bit more professional (e.g. easier to change ports) than for the Lite/Mini.
    .) The E-M5 made probably more people change from dSLR to m4/3 than the other ones. The change is not as big on the E-M5 as on the two others.

    BUT: I don’t want to belittle the success of the other ones, they built really wonderful, great cameras. It’s just the last bits :-)

  • I voted for the GH3… I’m more of a video guy, but this camera (got mine from Samys yesterday!) has brought the m4/3 into the “Pro” camera realm. The larger body is a welcome thing for me.. it’s VERY comfortable, the wifi is amazing, the buttons are well laid out, it has nearly all the features we wanted after the GH2 was released. Huge home run for Panasonic. The Oled and EVF are amazing… I could go on and on… Love this camera.

    • Anonymous

      I voted the GH3, simply because it’s the camera that will do the most for the M43 system in the long run. The EM5 is an outstanding camera, obviously, but it doesn’t have the sort of appeal to the right sorts of people to make for some serious attention.

      GH3 will bring in more high-end glass, broaden the base of the M43 community, and start the processes of both killing off APS-C, and converting full frame professional users into mirrorless hybrid photography. Lots of pros are looking at M43 now, simply because of the GH3, and to a lesser extent the GH2. The GH line has also brought in lots of filmmakers. In a few years, when the EM-whatever is out, nobody’s really going to remember the EM5, but the GH3 will still be looked back at as where M43 really took off. I’m not saying the GH3 is the best camera, and neither is this poll. It’s about the most important camera. The GH3 brings more people to the system, which is better for all of us. The EM5 simply makes happy those of us already here.

      • Don Pope

        “The EM5 simply makes happy those of us already here.”

        I have to disagree. The EM-5 has brought a lot of people to the system who wouldn’t have considered m4/3 before.
        The GH3 is just another step in that direction.

        • Partyender

          I agree. OM-D is THE Camera for m43 that brings new users to the system. I am one of them. At first I considered APS-C mirrorless but after some studying I realised that OM-D is a nobrainer

        • Esa Tuunanen

          > The EM-5 has brought
          More like the SENSOR and new image stabilization.
          Retro unergonomics won’t bring DSLRs users onboard mirrorless future.

          • MAFAv8r

            Although the sensor and the IBIS is very important it is not just that, it is the whole package. If it was just the Sensor and IBIS why would they shift?

      • frankv

        +1 great reasoning!

        • frankv

          for the GH3 I meant…

      • zozio32

        well, I moved from DSLR to m4/3 this year thanks to the em-5. I will have never done it for the GH3…
        and I read many comments of people doing the same.
        The Em-5 is the start of a new line, the GH3 the development of an existing one. I, for myself, believe that the Em-5 will stand much more than the GH3 in the dev of the m4/3, at least for the photographers (people more interested in videos might have a different point of view).

        • MikeH

          The GH3 is no less of a camera for still shooters than the EM5. That is dead and well beaten horse line that should die itself. Both the EM5 and the GH3 are great mirrorless cameras that bring many new people into the m43 fold. The smaller Olympus and Panasonic m43 cameras bring the masses, however, as sales show and offer a lot of image quality in small packages.

          • Esa Tuunanen

            > The smaller Olympus and Panasonic m43 cameras bring the masses
            Unfortunately consumer masses still buy Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
            Probably 6 per every m4/3 body considering CIPA statistics.
            Winning more than marginal share from that group needs more complete mirrorless system with bigger visibility.

            • MAFAv8r

              Sadly you are right, looking at Flickr ~3600 Em5 versus 20,000 Canon 5D Mk II&III.
              However a huge reason for this is the lack of penetration into camera shops, and ignorance on behalf of salesmen.
              I would also say that the figures above are alot higher market share than I expected.

            • Anonymous

              In order for sale to increase for m43, it is also important with a long term of good management and innovation — this way, Oly and Pana will gain the confidence of camera dealers. Both Canon and Nikon scores high in this respect. Olympus and Panasonic are improving, but they cannot afford serious mistakes.

              • Bollox

                Give me some more marketing and I am going to sell my Canon 5Ds and their lenses and buy a M43 toy. Not.

      • Being as large as it is, the GH3 does not represent the gestalt of m4/3. It happens to belong to the system, but is really an outlier. Still a brilliant camera though.

        • The GH3 seems to fit an adult human hand well. Maybe humans will evolve smaller hands over time. :-P

          • asian hands already are.

            • That’s why I chose an Asian dentist. She can get both her hands in my mouth. :-P

        • its great that the GH3 offers itself as an alternative sizewise for people who are interested in the system but feel restricted by its compactness.

          • Compactness and size are two different parameters. A ball is compact, whatever its size may be.

  • JF

    easy !! it EM-5 !!

    • I agree…. but compared to full size pro DSLRs it’s still small. It’s the mini-DSLR which is exactly what the market needs. Why tote a huge 70-200 zoom and a big bulky 5DMKIII around when you can get similar results from a much smaller GH3 and the 35-100? Not a point and shoot/hybrid replacement, but a DSLR replacement.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Yep, GH3 is first mirrorless body whose ergonomics can actually challenge enthusiast/higher end DSLRs in ergonomics so for mirrorless to actually replace DSLRs that’s important steps.
        Both as utilitarian tool whose lack of ergonomics doesn’t get in the way of photography and even more as high end product building system image in the eyes of consumer masses.

        It’s been ridiculously disappointing how best fixed lens prosumers from time before cheap DSLRs (2004) have lot better ergonomics than hyped mirrorless bodies.

  • Steve

    I own the GH3 but I voted for the E-M5 (never owned it) as it was the first big jump in IQ for m43.

  • Yun

    What ? Successor of GF5 & G5 in 2013 ?
    No this again ! Pana is crazy ? Every year we have new GF & G series ?
    The GX is not sure , & the L style camera ??
    If this is Pana’s plan for 2013 , very likely it will lose up it’s support to Olympus &
    Fuji@Sony .

    • safaridon

      I would predict the Pany GX2 will come first before either the G6 or GF6 with the long awaited GXL with EVF in the fall. Think Pany delayed GX2 till Feb as did not want to detract from GH3 sales as both likely to use same new sensor or didn’t have enough sensors available to use?

      Admin – Why no news at all regarding the specs for the GX2?

      • joe

        Maybe i disgree,
        Panny will sent G6/GF6 into maga-pixel war.
        i mean about 20-24mpx but GX2 same sensor as GH3.

  • わからない

    Easy, OM-D EM-5. I don’t think any m4/3 camera made anywhere close to the impact and attention that it did in 2012. (GH3 would be a close second, except that as of now it still hasn’t shipped, at least in the US!!!!!!~)

  • Anonymous

    I think the electronic shutter is the greatest thing this year and maybe wifi. Getting a Sony sensor really doesn’t qualify for something break through, nor does in body IS, or weather sealing, but I guess if you need to brag about your camera, any old thing will do.

    • Steve

      I agree about the electronic shutter. It has changed how I shoot and should be standard on all new m43 bodies in 2013.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, looking at the results, I just have to say, no wonder things are like they are.

  • The E-M5 is a taut, tight ship, like one of O’Brian’s frigates, packing the most punch by sq. cm.

    I am now waiting for the Leica lookalike equivalent, that will steal the thunder from the Fuji X-E1

    Let us know soon if we had guessed right the next model!

    Incidentally I couldn’t care less for the retro aspect. Just do the next rational, minimalistic, and still pocketable, and it will be the one for me.

    • The E-M5 is the first mirrorless camera to successfully compete with DSLR functionality (except for one or two glaring aspects). Fuji’s system is the first successful attempt to shake the hegemony of the “full frame” sensor, but the cameras operate more like rangefinders than DSLRs.
      It is unlikely a new PEN with EVF will combine the strengths of both. In fact I expect it to offer little more than an appealing retro design. We must wait for the announcement of the “OM-D Pro” to see some true innovation.

      • Probably because of financial pressure Oly’s recent policy has been not to lose a moment.

        I would enjoy Panny as well if it decided a rebirth of its 4/3 RF-like L1. The secret if of course in the word ‘like’.

        We need the size the responsiveness, all else be damned. It is no accident that enthusiasts are waiting for news of a Sony or Fuji mirrorless FF.

        Therefore m4/3 can save its skin only by being as small as possible without forsaking photographic efficiency.

        This IMHO defines the new model – no dSLR imitation, all the innards of the E-M5, except perhaps the cumbersome 5 axis IBIS. Good 2 axis works well enough for stills and the Leica range of lenses.

        M4/3 with its pretty set of primes needs to fill that slot too. Basically a journalist’s camera.

  • Bob B.

    Color me FANBOY (stolen from Roger@ LensRental)…but the OM-D is a shoe-in.
    I have a Canon 5DIII and a OMD. What perfect compliments.
    I have photos shot by the 5DIII that cannot be beat by the OMD for DR and File Size or Low DOF.
    At the same time I have hand-held shots that were taken with the OMD in near darkness that the 5D could
    NEVER get near in image quality (because of the IS and the lens quality).
    A couple of years ago…I cannot imagine saying what I just wrote above. The camera world is unbelievable these days.

    • BobIsAMarketingTroll

      Give us some more rubbish, I particularly enjoyed the bit on quality.

  • Newbie Here

    Poll seems invalid with the GH3 included. The GH3 isn’t even here yet (except for a select few).

    I’m sure the EM-5 wins, of course. I don’t own one, but it’s a great camera, specs wise.

    IMO, 2013 is a better year for cameras, though. :)

  • safaridon

    It is very ironic how this voting preference by readers of this forum compares to camera sales to the general public in the real world. If you check on DSLRphoto you will find that at present the GF5 is the #1 best selling mirrorless camera in Japan and has been for months, ranking #9 (and has been as high as #3) compared to #77 for EM5 among all DSLRs and mirrorless.

    Similarily the G5 is currently the #1 seller among mirrorless cameras in the US. Go figure. Yes the G5 currently very popular because of its very attractive current price and value but the GF5 continues to sell very well in Japan inspite of much higher price than in the US.

    • That’s because we are photography enthusiasts. The general public always go for the cheaper cameras. Are we to infer from sales that all the Canon Rebels are better than The 1Dx evacuee they sell a lot more?

    • street

      Excuse me for my english. The real winer is the photography. M43 bring to us a motivation for pictures again. Both olympus and panasonic with a broad of quality cameras and lenses have done a very good job. There are, almost, a m43 camera for every need and style (and budget), we are the winers!!!

    • Anonymous

      Of course! This is a Olympus fanboy Blog! -Over 2500 votes, yet only 30+ comments? The EM-5 and the GH3 could’ve switched release dates and the EM5 would still beat the GH3!

      • Let me chance a wild guess: you own a Panasonic camera.

        The poll did not ask which camera has the best sales figures. It asked which camera is the most ‘important’ in your view, i.e. the most influential to the future of m4/3, mirrorless technology and photography gear in general. If you think it’s the GF5 then go ahead and vote for it. The bitterness of some of the brand loyalists here is hard to understand. It’s the same bloody system!

        • Sorry, the above comment was directed at @safaridon.

        • Anonymous

          You can’t be new here..

          Otherwise you wouldn’t have made said comment.

          “Let me chance a wild guess: you own a Panasonic camera.”

          Typical response from a Olympus fanboy. -Not saying you are one, are you?

          “The bitterness of some of the brand loyalists here is hard to understand. It’s the same bloody system!”

          That’s what some of us BEEN saying. That’s not gonna stop the “Sony Sensor/IOlympus/BIS or lack thereof” Rants every time there is a mention of a Panasonic Camera.

          Bloody Hell.

          • Reality Check

            You are all seriously damaged in the head. Why would any of you care what anyone else decides to use for their photography? Grow up, you sound like you’re 5 years old.

          • bartb

            How about the never ending comments regarding OIS whenever there is talk about a new Olympus lens? Or the never ending trashing of ‘ergonomics’ whenever someone mentions the e-m5?

            Easy to make the complaint you did, but it ignores much of the story really.

        • safaridon

          Yes not hard to guess I do own Panasonic cameras several TZs and a GF1 as well as Nikons & Pentaxes. For the record I voted the EM5 as the best technological achievement in this case. I would get the EM5 but for the fact I use a small Kx for much of my photography now and am waiting for a rangefinder style camera with EVF from either Pany or Oly as GF1 screen is difficult to use in bright light.

          The GF5 is important for its smallest size with inbody flash and also one of the fastest AF performance in the market and good LCD touch screen but now the latest PENs have superior new sensor.

          The G5 has option for quiet electronic shutter to use and comes with swivel screen and better HD video options than EM5 yet now half the price of EM5.

          The GH3 comes in a close choice to EM5 because of its HD video options and reversible swivel screen and with very good high ISO with similar sensor, lack of IBIS becomes less of an issue. Just my opinions.

      • Anonymous

        >> Of course! This is a Olympus fanboy Blog! -Over 2500 votes, yet only 30+ comments? The EM-5 and the GH3 could’ve switched release dates and the EM5 would still beat the GH3!

        How convincing an argument!

    • MikeS

      Not a surprise. This is site for enthusiasts, so naturally we would gravitate towards enthusiast cameras like the E-M5 and GH3.

      In Amazon’s top sellers list, there are 6 point-and-shoots and 4 different Canon Rebel models filling out the top 10.

  • Mike

    OM-D without a doubt!

  • Uncle_Pix

    Voted for EM-5. I don’t own this cam (I own a GH2). But for me it’s a new milestone. GH3 and other Olys for me are “only” further developments of existing cams.

  • Dan

    E-m5. Since I got it I just shoot more.

  • Bite Me

    The clear winner is Sony. Makes a lot of sensor…

    • Anonymous



      I rest my case.

  • Three weeks ago I got a black E-M5. I was shooting an Oly E5 and an E3, and for everyday use an E-P3. After just a few days with the E-M5 I know that I´m not going back to the large cameras. Image from the E-M5 camera is so good, that I don´t even care for the E-P3. Probably the GH3 is a superb camera to, but I never liked cameras whose body shells look like melted plastic, including my E5 and E3. It gives me the impression that these bodies are made from recycled paintbrush handles.

    • This is big poetry ;-)i see you say “It gives me the impression that bodies are made from recycled paintbrush handles” i think you not mean IQ but finish on camera body.

  • mimstyle

    OMD is really the best !

  • Anonymous

    OM-D also got Gizmodo Australia’s reader’s camera of the year as well…

  • spam

    GH3 has better viewfinder, better screen, it’s generally faster, af is more predictable (not necessarily faster or more accurate), video is much better, battery life is better, ergonomics is much better, buttons are more precise. Still, my vote goes to E-M5 as it really builds on mFT strength – the size factor while GH3 unfortunately is dSLR-size, exactly what I don’t want in a mFT-camera.

  • The Real Stig

    The E-M5 in nothing less than a milestone. The GH3 is an APS-C camera with too small a sensor. There’s nothing ‘micro’ about it. It’s a great video camera though, by all accounts.

  • NerdBuster

    They are all toys so they make no sense until they come down to 300$, which they usually do pretty soon.

  • The E-M5 for me as it closed the gap for all intents and purposes on APS-C with added features like next generation IBIS, significantly improved dynamic range and ISO performance and a reasonably mature range of high quality fast glass which all but smashed the previous performance gap vs APS-C.

    Of course, the combination of small size, weather sealing, really fast auto focus, customization and style doesn’t hurt either.

    The camera which let me get rid of clunky DSLR’s for good.

  • Ash

    Voted for the EM5.

    It is the most popular camera on the list and will sell the most lenses, bringing the m43 format to a wider audience than ever before. It is the camera for me!

    That said, I wish that I could also vote for the GH3.

    This camera is an important step forward for the format, feature-packed and amazing in ways that truly offer more than the DSLR world can offer outside of the Sony A99.

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