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A huge dilemma... OMD E-M5 vs Fuji X-T1 vs Pentax K3

Discussion in 'Back Room' started by mesmerized, Feb 20, 2014.

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  1. mesmerized

    mesmerized Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 18, 2012
    Dear Fellow Users!

    A few days ago I sold my E-PL1 along with the kit lens, 45-200mm Lumix zoom and a VF-2. I'd like to buy a new camera and enjoy myself/learn more about photography. Here are the candidates:

    OMD E-M5

    I was thinking of getting just a body and perhaps a lens like 12-40mm (I think it's better than the 12-50mm kit lens)

    + Still one hell of a camera in my humble opinion.
    + I'd say it's reasonably priced right now.
    + I still have my Olly 45mm (haven't sold this one yet)
    + I got a flash unit from my dad a couple of weeks ago. He used to use it ages ago when he owned one of the original OMDs. It's a solid piece of equipment and definitely an asset.
    + I've always had a sense of sentiment or nostalgia for Olympus.

    - Pricey with the 12-40mm.
    - Lots of people here say that VF-2 used in E-M5 can't compete against newer viewfinders.
    - Has a smaller sensor than those in both Fuji and Pentax. I'm fond of the shallowest DOF possible...

    To be honest... The only thing that stops me from getting an Olly is the size of the sensor.

    Fuji X-T1

    Don't know much about this one but as far as I know it delivers brilliant pics and the AF is much faster than in other mirror-less Fuji cameras. It's a new thing on the market and it's quite expensive I'd say. The kit lens is good from what I've heard... and the size of the sensor is an advantage too. This Fuji really appeals to me but... I'm hesitating whether it's worth spending heaps of money on.

    Pentax K3

    Well, I don't know what to say here ;)  Lots of favorable opinions. That's all I know about K-3. I've never had a DSLR and I'm not sure if it's a good choice for me.

    Any other possibilities? Perhaps something made by SONY? Something like a6000 model?

    I'm just an amateur who's trying to learn how to take better pictures. Still, I'd like to choose something that could accompany me for the next 3-5 years. I'm not really a follower of every single news that pops up every week.

    Thanks a million

    PS. I don't want to get E-P5 ;)  Mentioning it just in case.
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, they're all good cameras I'm sure. The big advantage of the EM-5 over the other two will be size and weight of the combined camera/lens combo. Sure you'll lose some DOF isolation capability, but with the 45/1.8, I find the DOF plenty thin enough for portraits. TBH, I used to have a Canon FF camera and with an 85mm lens, I was stopping down to f4 often to keep all facial features in focus.

    The E-M5 will also offer you weather sealing and IBIS. I don't think IQ differences between the three will amount to much, if anything.
  3. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    budget ?
    and what do you want to do with it ?

    a bit of everything or your kids or kids sports or nature ?

    might help others help ya out more :) 

    IMHO the M4/3 are great system lens that are awesome and reasonable price the fuji is nice thinking about getting one but I shoot for a living ? so the nice primes are about $700 on sale and about $900 or up when not on sale so glass won't be cheap unless you stick to basic zooms ?

    would be a great choice if you are going to be say hanging out shooting bands at bars and low light though since its awesome at high ISO but the lens you would want a fast lens ? so cost will go way up

    honestly a nice modern APS-C canon is still a solid choice for some things with price and lens options being reasonable

    IMHO for non pro the EM-10 is a killer setup and reasonable price that pancake kit lens would be killer for small setup get a prime or two like 17 and 45 and you would have a nice kit you want more reach dump a prime and pick up one of the reasonable longer zooms that M4/3 offers
  4. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I think the best thing you can do is to get either Fuji or Pentax as DOF and sensor size BUG is difficult to cure and it will bug you for the rest of your photographic journey. This APSC vs MFT vs FF topic has been discussed thousands times here and it's like flocking he dead horse . A skilled and talented artist will use his tools skillfully and can create stunning results with less capable tools . The sensor size or DOF shouldn't limit your photographic enjoy my friend .
    If you manage to get quick treatment for sensor bug and start considering EM5 , it will save u huge money and u can get Oly 12-40 mm and Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 or pick up Olympus 75 or new Panasonic Leica 42.5 or even Nokton .95 17 or 25 mm . Then there are plenty of old manual beauties which can give u more joy . Rest is upto you . I have currently pentax K7 sitting it my place and let me tell you it doesn't inspire me at all . It's a beautifully made camera , rock solid and I will take pentax Weather sealing over Oly anyway especially with EM5 .
    If I were you , I will skip all three and get Sony A7 instead . M
    • Like Like x 1
  5. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I second that... :evilsmile:
  6. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 3, 2011
    Southern California
    It really does boil down to what types of photography you like to pursue. Each format and brand has it's strengths and weaknesses. If you're after action/sports, the Pentax (or Canikon) DSLR will give you the highest hit rates. If you need low-light performance for indoor photography, the Fuji and Nikon seems to give the best high ISO performance. If you do mostly travel or family photography, you will really appreicate the size of cameras and lenses from the micro 43s family.

    If I didn't have money invested in a DSLR and M43 kit, I would seriously consider the Fuji XT1, as that system seems to offer the best compromise of high IQ, decent AF tracking, manageable size, excellent controls, and great haptics.
  7. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Dilemma? What dilemma? Only one of your options is µ4/3!
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    My thoughts:

    - The E-M1 is a better comparator for the Fuji in terms of EVF and such. Not that the E-M5 is bad, and I wouldn't really consider the upgrade from E-M5 to E-M1 super worthwhile if you already have the former, but buying new, I'd give the E-M1 a good, hard look. I still think MFT hits a sweet spot for portability vs. image quality and a varied lens ecosystem.

    - I understand the allure of the Fuji system, but 'fastest AF in the Fuji camp' isn't exactly a ringing endorsement as such. I haven't looked at reviews yet, but the OM-Ds are very, very tough to beat with native glass. In a lot of situations faster and more accurate than my DSLR was. Whether tracking is particularly good with any mirrorless system is still debatable; I only very rarely use tracking anyway, so it's not a real deciding factor for me.

    - I'm not particularly sold on APS-C as a significant improvement over MFT, and the TransX sensor sometimes does funny things in RAW/RAW converters don't play super nice with it. The fact my preferred processing tool - DxO Optics Pro - doesn't work with the RAW file format at all is also a downside. Personally, I chose to go with the A7R to complement the MFT setup, and it's a truly excellent image making device. As a camera and system (all-round) it has some flaws (slow start-up, only 'decent' autofocus that's pretty bad in low light, a very limited selection of native lenses, fairly poor battery life, no IS and resolution that means 1/focal length is optimistic at best) and strengths (image quality! Two excellent native primes, including my new favourite 'normal' lens ever, and almost identical size to the E-M1) that make for a great lightweight system for 'slow', shooting, DoF control, and my ideal landscape and people shooting lens (if I want that narrower DoF), though the E-M1's IBIS means really low light situations with static subjects are often better served by the much smaller sensored camera. If I had to choose just one all-rounder, it would be the MFT system. Luckily I don't have to.

    - If you shoot action/sports, as has been said, a DSLR is your best bet. But the system as a whole is bigger and heavier. No doubt about it.
  9. Lucky

    Lucky Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2014
    You will have to scratch that FF itch. Later you will probably be ready to go back to smaller sensor like so many others. Including me. :smile:
  10. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Here's my 2 cents..... *always* go with the system that suits you best in terms of glass (lenses). For me the size/weight, performance and price of the M43 lenses lineup is perfect (and getting better all the time). My issue with APS-C & FF camera's is not so much the camera's themselves are bad or incapable or anything like that, rather that the lenses are all heavy/big and performance comes at a really steep price (mostly).

    For what its worth choosing between your three options you listed (despite the Pentax being an awesome camera as well) I would be choosing between the X-T1 & E-M5. In comparing both of those again IMO (likely some bias here not going to lie) I would choose the E-M5 simply from a price/performance point of view at the moment (the E-M5 can be found much cheaper then the X-T1). Consider one thing though as a huge plus in the Olympus column that is hard to refute even at a factual level, IBIS.... its so awesome! Where else can you bolt on a F/1.8 lens on a camera body AND have one of the best image stabilization in the market.
    • Like Like x 3
  11. nardoleo

    nardoleo Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    I feel the EM1 is a better competitor to the Fuji. In terms of dept of field, how shallow do you want. I have never feel like the m43 format has difficulty getting that bokehlicious image. U can try getting the voigtlanders f0.95 primes, oly 75 and pana 25 for that bokehlicious shot.

    Of course, if u still feel that m43 cant get you that creamy swirly look, I doubt the fuji or pentax will do any much better. If thats the case, Full Frame will be your best choice.

    Sent from my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 2
    • Like Like x 1
  12. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    Not going to get into Fuji vs m43, or APSC vs m43, but just curious.

    Why don't you want an E-P5?
    • Like Like x 1
  13. If you're considering an X-T1 and a K3 then you should really also be considering an E-M1, but if your primary hesitation on Micro 4/3 is the sensor size then it might be best to limit your choice to between the Fuji and the Pentax. I'm sure they'd both serve you well, but if it were myself I think that I'd be leaning towards the Fuji.
  14. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    You have the Olympus 45mm, therefore an E-M5 is a wise choice, or a new E-M10.

    You like very shallow DOF : buy a Sony A7 and old manual 50mm lens, plus an old 135mmF2.8 or an 85mmF1.8

    I've never seen this ;
    Can you point out those lots of people and their comments?
    It's a very different kind of comment to saying, for example, the VF-4 is bigger and more detailed than the VF-2 ... which is definitely is.
  15. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    If total cost is an issue then I would suggest the following ( given you have the 45mm already):-

    Buy a second user EM-5 but skip the 12-40 zoom and buy a Pana 14mm and Oly 25mm/used Pana 25mm and try it out for a while.

    All of these lenses are faster/less DOF than the zoom which is one of your stated aims.

    If you then find it does not suit you if you sell the "set" you should get back nearly all of your money to put it towards another system. Cheaper than renting!!

    The sensor size difference is not that big between m4/3 and APS/C and the EM-5 is a stunningly good camera and unless you already have 4/3 lenses the EM1 is much higher cost and I'm in no hurry to upgrade.

    If the EM-5 with the 25, 45 ( 75 later perhaps?) does not meet your requirements I suspect you will need, as others have mentioned, to go to full frame.
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The K3 is bigger and nearly twice the weight of the Fuji. More lenses for the Pentax and a nicer set of cheaper options. The EM5 would be the smallest and cheapest kit since you can get one used and mu43 has a great collection of small fast primes. I'm not helping, am I?
  17. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    Buy a used Canon 5D classic and a couple of F1.8 primes and blur the ears off everyone.
    • Like Like x 3
  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Sort of hard to recommend without some indication as to budget, shooting interests, etc. All three have points in their favor, but they all have limitations too. It's a matter of figuring out which matches your needs most closely.

    I guess one way to go about it would be to figure out which have the lenses you want, and then double-check that there aren/t any deal-breakers (for example, I've not seen any indication that Fuji's S-AF performance is suitable for moving subjects).
  19. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I'd say if you shoot jpeg at all, the K3 should be completely out of the running. Pentax colors are terrible, both by taste and actual measurement. They do really strange hue shifts from red to magenta, and regularly blow out pinks. Blues are also way over saturated. I had a K-30 for a while and I just couldn't take it. Even with huelight profiles and shooting raw it was just always off. WB was the worst of any camera I've ever had. That said, I LOVED the camera otherwise, the UI and controls are perfect.

    So in my book that leaves the E-M5 vs X-T1, and that comes down to how much you love Fuji colors vs how small of a camera you need. DOF also plays into that as well.
  20. ballhog

    ballhog New to Mu-43

    Mar 29, 2012
    I have both an EM-5 and a K-3, which replaced my k30. There's just a usability difference between them. The em-5 is way more portable, but with the k-3, I can just get better pictures sometimes. This is not every shot, the majority of the time, the em-5 and pentax pictures are both excellent, but low light, fast movement, large landscapes, I use the pentax, the other times I use the em-5, because it just so portable. So now I have both. They are not equal, but both have use cases the other can't fill.

    If I was on an island and could only take one, I think it would be a em-5. If a UFO was landing in my front yard, I would reach for the K-3.
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