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Previously we compared a pre-production Panasonic Lumix GH3 vs the Olympus OM-D E-M5, with video comparisons, then we compared a final image quality version of the Panasonic Lumix GH3 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5, with low light sample video.
Now we are comparing the two cameras with new photos with the same lens and settings on each. In the first photo we have set the aperture and ISO to match, to see how the camera exposure differs on each. Click on the thumbnail to view full size images.
For these test shots we used the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH Lens, the Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH OIS Lens, and the Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH Lens.
By default, and auto exposure settings, the Panasonic Lumix GH3 would expose -1/3 in comparison to the OM-D E-M5, or the other way of looking at it, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 would expose +1/3 in comparison to the GH3. So to match the exposure of the GH3 you can set the E-M5 to -1/3 or set the GH3 to +1/3 to match the E-M5, assuming you weren't manually setting the exposure to match. Apart from these differences when leaving the cameras on auto-exposure, there was no real difference in exposure, the ISO settings matched each other.
From the images you can see that the Panasonic Lumix GH3 produces warmer images indoors when left on Auto White Balance. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 has an option to "Keep Warm Colour" when shooting with Auto White Balance, and this has resulted in a warmer shot than the GH3 for one of the images. Outdoors in the "Wide" shot, the Olympus shows warmer images, with the GH3 image looking cooler in comparison. In the "Street" image there is stronger colour saturation and contrast in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 image. In the final image of the kiwi fruit, the Olympus provides a sharper final image. However these are the JPEG images straight from camera, and it's likely that by processing the RAW images you will be able to produce identical results from each.
Read our full Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review
Read our full Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Review