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E-M5 or X-E1

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by demiro, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Can't help myself on this one. Love my E-M5, but I really like what Fuji does. And I really like their OOC JPEGs, even more than what Olympus can deliver.

    So, I thought I'd start a peaceful thread to get some opinions flowing on these two cameras as choices. We all know about the E-M5, ad nauseam I'm afraid. For the sake of discussion, and the lack of cameras actually being available, let's assume that the X-E1 will in fact deliver the same IQ as the X-Pro1 and will have greatly improved AF capabilities.

    My basic question is which system do you go with and why?

    Consider the following purchase options:

    E-M5 + 12-50 + 25/1.4 + 45/1.8 + 100-300 -- ~$2700 at B&H (or you can lose the 100-300, save $500, and make the comparison even)
    X-E1 + 18-55 + 35/1.4 + 60/2.8 -- ~$2600 at B&H

    Size of the cameras are very similar. E-M5 is 15mm higher and 4mm deeper, and weighs 50 grams more. X-E1 is 8mm wider. Interesting thing on height is that it's all in the pyramid topper for the E-M5. The X-E1 body is actually taller, which might make gripping it a bit easier.

    The lenses compare as follows:

    18-55 is 13mm shorter and 120 grams heavier than the 12-50.
    35/1.4 is same length as the 25/1.4 and weighs 13 grams less.
    60/2.8 is 15mm longer than the 45/1.8 and weighs 99 grams more.

    Other than the 60 vs the 45 it is more or less a wash IMO. From a performance standpoint the primes are all excellent, but it sure seems reasonable to think that the Fuji 18-55 will outclass the 12-50 (except for macro and weather sealing).

    One clear strength with :43: is the diverse lens options available. The kits I'm comparing include a 100-300 zoom with the E-M5. No such option, or anything close, is available for the Fuji. Same on the wide side. 9-18 and 7-14 zooms are options in :43:; nothing compares on the Fuji side. You also have the crazy value lenses (ie 14/2.5; 40-150) with :43: that Fuji is not going to match up with.

    I'm not going to list every difference in spec or feature, but some clearly exist. IBIS; built in flash; RAW support; touch screen; etc.

    So, what do you go with? Pure RF styling or vintage OM appeal? Max IQ or more diverse lens options? X or OMD?

    If I were starting fresh right now I'd be very tempted to go Fuji. But given the inertia that must be overcome to switch systems I'm thinking I will stick with Olympus.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    For me its just a matter of AF. I love what fuji has done with its cameras the last couple of years. but they cannot make em focus and manual focus on an x100 is literally non existent. I think ill jump on the "new fuji" when they manage to put a FF sensor in them and their AF is as fast as the OMD. then my OMD will be the backup, meanwhile, im more than happy with my OMD as my main camera!.

    Now in terms of camera design, i just love both, Olympus OMD and Fuji X whatever. great design. all of the other brands should learn from this two in terms of aesthetics of a camera IMO.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I can't deny the XE1 isn't attractive to me, but here's why I'm not pre-ordering.

    1) I've read the RAW decoding is finicky. I know you said jpg shooting, but it's so nice to have RAW if you need it. OMD has a simple and known RAW workflow.
    2) I like the two wheels that aren't dedicated, so I can have them do different things. Shot control and playback are both super customizable and comfortable.
    3) Breadth of lens selection, as you mentioned. Also, possibility for small back up bodies like the Pens.
    4) FL-600R flash. Nice, fast, versatile. Also, FL-300R nice and compact. Though likely my ignorance for Fuji flash is the real issue here.
    5) AF speed and shot-to-shot speed. I just saw a video on Youtube of the XPro 1 w/FW 2. The AF seems better, but still not up to OMD standards. That one, though, will have to be tested. See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ca0YWDgE9wA It's interesting, but still inconclusive, IMO.
    6) The grip
    7) For me, I prefer to carry my larger camera (i.e. non pocket cams) on a Blackrapids sling strap. The OMD fits this set-up nicely. Not convinced the Fuji bricks will do that. They seem to want a 1/2 leather case and neck strap which, while sexy, is not comfortable to me.
    8) OMD has a side SD card slot, which is niggling, but I like.

    Reasons to look at the XE-1:
    1) Super cool, chic and sexy
    2) The lenses they do have look stellar. The 35/1.4 seems wonderful. I'm not a kit lens shooter, so the 18-55 isn't that interesting to me, but I like that it's fast.
    3) jpg output might be better, from what I've read. RAW, too, if you don't mind the non-LR workflow.
    4) Did I mention it's super cool and sexy?

    I'm guessing that, for me, most of the appeal for the XE1 is sex appeal, more than what I need (of course, that's why I got an EP1 more than 3 years ago). Would love to hear other's thoughts.

    Two other reasons NOT to switch from m43 to Fuji at this time: Nikon D600 and FF NEX. If I'm going to move, I really want to wait and look at a move to FF (or add in FF to my m43 kit). But that's just me.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. dannat

    dannat Mu-43 Regular

    May 2, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    i loved my X100 - i didnt find MF that bad - no worse than oly fly by wire (except the 12/2)
    i waiting for the tele f4 constant zoom - be it 70-200 or 55-200,
    one thing i need the X100 didnt have is the remote, which x-e1 has, the kit lens also seems attractive, much more than the 12-50

    You aren't going o be any lens bargains with the fuji, which is a consideration also - if i had the cash i'd go Fuji, the sensor & img processing is superb.
    .but ill sit on the fence a bit longer - ill keep my gx1 for now -
    if i had bought om-d id prob have to stick with it, but the gx1 keeps my options open - & the fact i bought my 12/2 & 45/1.8 s/hand so i will barely lose anything on them

    one last thing , screw FF - who wants the bulk-the aa filter on fuji's is top class
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    With Fuji you're probably going to see better (but fewer) lenses, better images, and way worse speed/performance. That's always been the problem with Fuji. Usability is probably a toss up. Beyond that, there's really not a lot to split the cameras. Either way, I think it's worth holding out for early XE1 reviews. The 18-55 f/2.8-4 is the sort of lens that SHOULD have shipped with the EM5, still bitter about the 12-50 junker we got.
  6. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I wouldn't preorder the Fuji right now. But if the reviews indicate that auto-focus is solid, then I'd go for it. That is, as long as you're fine with Fuji's lens selection, which can't compete with the more-mature micro four thirds system yet. But that may change.
  7. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    I'd go with the Fuji because of the sensor. It really is that good!

    I'm also not sure why RAW decoding would be "finicky". I only shoot RAW, and shooting with my Fuji and then converting the RAWs is no more finicky than with any other camera that shoots RAW. In fact, it's not finicky at all - Lightroom takes are of everything, including keeping my archive organized.
  8. The E-M5 has too many useful features for me to give it up in a one-or-the-other decision between it or the X-E1, and I don't really have any great affection towards the old school looks and controls of the Fuji. The basic hardware of the Fuji looks fantastic, however. It remains to be seen of course, but I have a feeling that the Fuji zoom lens will be a good bit better than the Olympus zoom. Scary thought: the X-E1 would probably make a nice companion to the E-M5.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I was waiting for this thread to pop up but I didn't want to make it!

    Anyhow, for now I'm going to sit on my E-M5. I love the IBIS, quick operation, and small size with the 20/1.7. However, I'd love a brick shaped body with RF controls.

    We can talk about the trade offs until we die but it'll really be a balance on what matters most to oneself.

    Talking about camera bodies reminds me of guy ramblings about deciding which woman is better - anyone recall the crazy/hot scale?

    To me, it feels like the X-E1 is the hotter one with a crazier personality. Can you live with it? ;) 

    • Like Like x 4
  10. The non-standard colour matrix of the X-Pro1 (different to that in the X100) still apparently causes problems for third-party raw convertors.
  11. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I haven't done XP1 RAW myself, but I've read on DPR and a lot of other places about color smearing and other issues with the funky sensor that LR doesn't seem to handle too well (e.g. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1020&message=41675660&changemode=1). Is this not your experience?
  12. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Overall, it's not like when I had an EPM1 and I needed to move to the OMD for controls and sensor. The OMD EM5 is a very capable camera, and I can sit on it for some time, and wait for Fuji prices to drop, or for the FF options in smaller bodies to come available.
  13. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Another thought -- the OMD came along just in time. If it wasn't out until Photokina, I think Oly would have been in trouble getting people to use it (if the EX1, NEX6 and RX100 were out against just the old Pens)
  14. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    OM-D E-M5. No contest for me. :2thumbs:

    - size
    - ease and speed of operation (AF, IBIS, etc)
    - lens choices / opportunities

    Ya, the OM-D has its quirky issues, but for the most part it is a dream machine for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong

    The E-M5 has everything that I want from a compact system camera (well, almost), except for more reliable tracking AF. Besides, in addition to all the nice prime lenses, I already own a 4/3 14-54 MkII f/2.8-3.5 which works fairly well with my E-M5, so most of the appeal of the XE1 for me is also in its super cool, retro design at this stage.
  16. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    the Fuji lenses are a dream. The sensor is amazing (except for RAW lovers...but when the JPEGS are so good, why bother).

    The Oly sensor is darn good. Not best in class, but knocking on the door...and more than good enough. The lens selection is great......some good, some mediocre and some truly great.

    It will come down to handling. Much has been made of Fuji's being slow to focus or that they can't AF. I think that either people parroting what they hear on the internet, or people using with default firmware or more likely people who don't take the time to fully understand how the camera works.

    Having said that, the Fuji is not a "well balanced" camera that does everything well. It richly rewards the relaxed photographer. There are ZERO tele options....and ZERO stabilization options. For people who shoot wide to normal and nothing else and never shoot action and never need weather sealing, I could possibly recommend the Fuji.

    The pure IQ is addictive. I shoot stuff just to see what it looks like. But eventually, it becomes about the shots. Experienced shooters and people willing to put in the time to fully understand the ENTIRE system (camera, sensor, and lenses) will be more richly rewarded by the Fujis.

    But those same people will be equally rewarded by learning how best to use the Oly and the MASSIVE array of associated gear. All camera systems in this modern era are more than good enough. Ergonomy and total system support are much more important than test patterns.

    And as a side note, if I hear one more person complain about he AF of the Fujis, I'll invite you over to shoot mine. THEY ARE NOT SLOW. A touch slower than the E-P3 and E-M5, but WAY faster than the E-P1 and gf1 and G1 that I have compared them to.

    Do everyone a favor and don't mention issues if you haven't experienced them first hand.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I could see picking up a Fuji X something down the road. I like the idea of having one larger sensor camera with a small prime, say a 50mm equiv. I am not buying until they figure out the raw conversion, though. Maybe I will be holding out long enough for something like a Sony NEX FF to appear.

    And it even causes problems with the Fuji JPEGs and provided RAW converter, though from what I understand, to a lesser extent. For people/street, maybe it would never crop up, but for a landscape/scenic shooter, it sounds like you will run into the color smearing, even in JPEGs.
  18. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Ah, that would not be me, then. Relaxed I am not!

    I have not shot a Fuji, but I've watched the videos. The AF lock in the FW before 2.0 seems to freeze the image for a second. Is that not the case? That would drive me crazy, and a big reason I never even tried the XPro 1. But the video I posted earlier of the FW2 seems to have solved that.
  19. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    How does the Fuji compare to the E-P1/E-P2(if you've had a chance to use them)?

    Oops, sorry I reread your post where I notice you mention it being faster.
  20. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    They should rename this as FUJI SXE1 then ..
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