• 35mm 861.6mm2
  • 24.6 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 16.0 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 25,600

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Differences

Sony A850 advantages over Panasonic GM5

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.94 vs 3.77 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.50 vs 1.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,415 vs 721 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 880 vs 220 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/250 vs 1/50 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.74x vs 0.46x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    24.6 vs 16.0 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility

Panasonic GM5 advantages over Sony A850

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Less expensive
    $899 vs $2000 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Thinner
    36 mm vs 81 mm
    Thinner
  • Newer
    4 years vs 9 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    5.7 fps vs 3.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    56 vs 23 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/16000 vs 1/8000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Internal flash
    Neither provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Great image quality for a tiny camera; Excellent high ISO for its class; Built-in EVF; Built-in hot-shoe; Improved ergonomics; Improved image quality for long exposures; Improved burst rate with hybrid shutter; 1080/60p video.

  • Slightly bigger than GM1 (but not by much); No built-in flash; Shallow buffers with RAW files; Dynamic range not quite as good as some competing models; Below average battery life.

The Competition

Compared to Sony A900

Sony A850
Sony A900
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Faster JPEG shooting
Panasonic GM5
Sony A900
  • $898
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Canon 5D Mark III

Sony A850
Canon 5D Mark III
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $2499
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
Panasonic GM5
Canon 5D Mark III
  • $898
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
  • $2499
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony A99

Sony A850
Sony A99
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Focus peaking
Panasonic GM5
Sony A99
  • $898
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Panasonic GM1

Sony A850
Panasonic GM1
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $479
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GM1
  • $898
  • 4/3
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $479
  • 4/3
  • Internal flash
  • Faster JPEG shooting

Compared to Panasonic GF7

Sony A850
Panasonic GF7
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $590
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GF7
  • $898
  • 4/3
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • Hot shoe
  • $590
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen
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