EM5 vs XE1 IQ Test (NON SCIENTIFIC)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Chrisnmn, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Ok guys, i know some of you might be fed up with the "this vs that" thing. BUT since i couldnt find any real world comparison, i took my OMD and extra memory card and went to the store to play with the Fuji XE1.

    this was just a random, absolutely non scientific test. I was looking to test the extra XE1 IQ and resolution everyone talks about, and how much different if anything to the OMD so i would make the switch.

    If you dont want to continue reading this and you wonder if i bought the XE1 after checking the images the short answer is NO. but...

    here we go.


    First things. Im looking to replace the OMD + P12-35mm f2.8 (24-70mm equiv) for the XE1 + 18-55mm f2.8-4.0. (28-85mm equiv)

    Built quality

    The XE1 felt a little bit "cheap" compared to the OMD. They say is magensium alloy bla bla, but to be honest, to me it felt more plastic and not that "metal".

    The viewfinder definitely lags a little bit, and is not as bright as the one on the OMD, and it also flickers when panning, while the OMD is nice and smooth.

    The AF. OK this was a surprise. we all know this is Fuji's weakest point, right. WELL!. to me, and i test it on a table, both cameras aperture priority, facing the same wall, etc. same everything. the AF speed on the XE1 is as fast as the OMD, if there is ANY difference is absolutely nothing i would notice on a daily basis.

    The grip and size. I felt the XE1 has better grip and fits my hand better than the OMD, also the OMD with the lens felt heavier than the XE1. In terms of size, they are about the same size, both with lenses attached and everything.

    now the IQ test:

    Ive read a lot the lack of RAW support for the fuji, with lightroom and adobe in general, so I wanted to see how terrible that is.

    I did a quick shot inside the store, both cameras having the almost exact settings.

    Both shot, Aperture priority, wide open (both at f2.8), AWB, ISO 200, on their widest (but apparently i made a mistake and shot one at 32mm and the other at 28.2mm equiv, IS on in the Lens for the fuji and in the body for the OMD.

    this is what i got.

    FUJI:

    first thing i noticed, RAW images with the FUJI XE1 in Lightroom 4.3 open up in a 16:9 aspect, rather than a 3:2. weird. easy fix though.

    So this is the RAW with default options, and everything is 0. no adjustments.
    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/Screen%20shot%202013-01-12%20at%204.32.58%20PM.png" HEIGHT="443" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.

    Exported JPEG out of a default RAW in LR4.3

    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/DSCF4006-2.jpg" HEIGHT="583" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.

    Exported JPEG with my regular quick custom preset in LR4.3

    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/DSCF4006-3.jpg" HEIGHT="583" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.

    Views at 100% from the edited crop.

    Center

    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/Screen%20shot%202013-01-12%20at%205.48.03%20PM.png" HEIGHT="500" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.

    Low left corner

    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/Screen%20shot%202013-01-12%20at%205.48.36%20PM.png" HEIGHT="500" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.



    OMD

    So this is the RAW with default options, and everything is 0. no adjustments.
    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/untitled%20folder/Screen%20shot%202013-01-12%20at%205.49.34%20PM.png" HEIGHT="443" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.

    Exported JPEG out of a default RAW in LR4.3

    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/untitled%20folder/_CLP0971-2.jpg" HEIGHT="656" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.

    Exported JPEG with my regular quick custom preset in LR4.3

    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/untitled%20folder/_CLP0971.jpg" HEIGHT="656" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.

    Views at 100% from the edited crop.

    Center

    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/untitled%20folder/Screen%20shot%202013-01-12%20at%205.54.29%20PM.png" HEIGHT="500" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.

    Low left corner

    <IMG SRC="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1030775/Fuji%20Vs%20OMD/untitled%20folder/Screen%20shot%202013-01-12%20at%205.55.30%20PM.png" HEIGHT="500" WIDTH="875" BORDER="0">
    right click and open in new tab to see it bigger.


    -----


    what do you guys think?. I dont see that EXTRA IQ resolution from the XE1?. maybe my XE1 shot is a bit blurred because it was shot at 1/20s? i do see some better resolution compared to the OMD but not a significant one?.

    I should also say that the Fuji XE1 + 18-55mm is a NZD$2.000ish (USD$1.400) setup while the OMD + P12-35mm is a NZD$3.000+ish (USD$2.500).

    other than that i didnt see much difference.

    what i was expecting to see?. better IQ than the OMD and eventhough i see some, is not enough to assure people "yes the XE1 has BETTER IQ than the OMD" or not that ive seen it yet.

    thoughts?.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    I did the same thing, only using the PL25 and Oly 45 on the OMD. The X-E1 had the 18-55. I shot indoors and outdoors with same settings, but only JPEG, and compared. The wife and I both liked the OMD better. Outside mountain shots were better contrasted and indoor colors(WB) were truer. But the differences were small and I'm no expert! I seriously considered keeping the X-E1 w/kit and sending everything else back or selling what I couldn't, just for simplicity's sake.
     
  3. TDP

    TDP Guest

    I have had the XE1 since October and the EM5 since April, I shoot a lot with both of them and they both have their place.

    I prefer the XE1.

    That being said, the EM5 focuses better in real world shooting.
     
  4. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    good to know that.

    Would you mind adding some IQ shot comparison as well from different "outside" situation? of course i couldnt do it as the XE1 in the store barely had some battery power and 2nd because i couldnt take it out of the store!.
     
  5. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    Thanks for the comparison Chris. :bravo-009:

    It is said that Capture One handles Fuji X-Trans RAW files better than any other RAW converter; this is to say that possibly the Fuji had a bit of a disadvantage in this comparison.

    This was more of a "real world" scenario and glad you made it obvious. Comparing camera IQ by shooting both from a tripod, for instance, tells nothing for the person in need of handheld IS.

    All that said, I do believe that we're probably nitpicking in trying to discern any considerable IQ difference between those two cameras. It may go one way or the other. From what I've seen so far, it is always inside the limits of what one can manage by using a bit of post production to "fix".

    Although I admire the Fuji X-series I'd personally still pick up the OM-D today, both as a matter of taste and for more rational reasons (lens selection and system support in general). But I'd like to see Fuji improving on their system because it will definitely bring more people into the mirrorless domain.
     
  6. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    what i like about the Fuji

    To some extent this comparison illustrates what I like most about the Fuji offering - namely the 18-55 2.8-4.0 lens.

    The Fuji set up is NZ $2,000 to the OMD NZ $3,000 (due to the purchase of the 12-35 2.8.

    I think the 2.8-4.0 kit lens is very attractive relative to the 3.5-6.3 12-60 on the OMD and if 'I was budget constrained the extra NZ $1000 would happily buy me another Fuji lens or forthcoming new offering.

    I hope that M43 offers a reasonably priced 2.8-4.0 kit lens fairly soon.
     
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    I have both and the OMD focuses faster and more accurately even when I'm using the 18-55 in the XE1.
     
  8. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Oly has the excellent 14-54/2.8-3.5 for 4/3. I don't see why Oly could not make a m4/3 version of it, and easily keep it under $700 USD. That would really awesome.
     
  9. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Chris its a shame you didn't also include an out-of-camera Jpeg for each shot.
    Not everyone processes RAWs in general use and the way a camera handles Jpegs is enormously important.
     
  10. TDP

    TDP Guest

  11. TDP

    TDP Guest

    If you want to see Fuji RAF files processed in various forms (SOOC JPG, Capture One 7.0.2 beta, Lightroom 4.2 and Silkpix that camera with the camera) here is a set from some test I did:

    X-Trans CO/LR test - a set on Flickr
     
  12. Al.

    Al. Mu-43 Veteran

    372
    Jul 3, 2010
    Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
    Alan
    Theres one big difference between the shots.. the exported jpgs, the omd one is very grainy, maybe just the way lightroom deals with it in the preset. but otherwise a very informative tets
     
  13. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    thank you guys for all the references and adding your opinions to this (sort of) test. I just made up my mind, and to be honest, im definitely going to stay and keep shooting with my OMD as it has a lot more to offer than the XE1 to me. And IQ differences to my eyes, purposes, and printing, are not enough to decide in one or the other.

    So instead of keeping lurking around for better options to the OMD (which there is only a few) i decided to step up into Medium Format. Thats is were i would REALLY SEE an IQ difference into my landscape and long exposure photography. for all my other travel, street, etc the OMD and EPM2 will suffice.

    hope this thread works for others trying to decide in between the OMD and XE1 which for me, are the best overall cameras under FF gear.
     
  14. tol1l1yboy

    tol1l1yboy Mu-43 Veteran

    290
    Jan 12, 2013
    Chicago
    im seriously considering picking up the xe-1. Ive heard so many good things and there are some crazy deals right now. the one thing I keep seeing is how much better the xe1 images are when it comes to noise. Even at 200 iso I have to quite often apply some noise reduction to get clean images shooting raw. It is the one real downfall. If the xe-1 focused faster I would have already jumped.
     
  15. TDP

    TDP Guest

    With all that M43 gear you have why not wait and see what is next from Olympus to replace the EM5? "Better high ISO/less noise" seems to be a common trend with each new sensor that comes out.

    Or get the X-E1.

    Or get both :)
     
  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    An older thread but I just had the same discussion with another member over PM and ultimately, my response was much the same as Chris's. There is an IQ difference that's visible pixel peeping (I compared the PL 25 on the OM-D and 35mm on the X-E1), but it's a small margin and I'd even say not likely to be visible on the web. The noise performance and extra latitude in PP from the larger sensor is probably more visible than any resolving power difference.

    That said, IQ compared to m4/3 is not why I'd recommend the X-E1 to someone. Rather, I'd recommend it if the rangefinder format appeals and you really connect with it and/or the Fuji lens+sensor rendering characteristics.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Hey Jay would you mind sharing your comparison i believe it works to see any possible difference i didnt saw and what not?
     
  18. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I did a really quick and dirty test of them side by side here (nevermind the horrendous subject, I just picked the closest thing :biggrin:):

    OM-D and X-E1 - a set on Flickr

    Thats with both cameras at the same exposure settings or as near as I could make it, shot braced on a table and exported from Lightroom 4.3 with no processing.

    Obviously, WB is pretty different - again, auto WB defaults here (I've since tweaked WB on both cameras). Other than that they're really very close, with a little more detail in the text on the trash can label for example on the X-E1 shots, looking at them in LR. I highly doubt you'd see a difference in resolution without pixel peeping these, and I've not done any print comparisons yet to see if it would even be noticeable there.

    Honestly any edge I see with the larger X-Trans sensor has more to do with the noise performance, and perhaps the ability to get another stop or so more shallow DoF, IF that's even a plus for your style. I like at least the flexibility & option of extra subject isolation, even if I don't always need to use it :smile:

    Like I said, there are other concerns I would place well ahead of IQ in comparing the two, and doing even this quick comparison just reinforced my gut instinct after having shot both in the real world. Personally, my continuing interest in the Fuji X line is 75% the rangefinder style/controls and 25% about the unique look many Fuji images have (when you're not shooting images of poorly lit trash bins, at any rate). Nitpicking over the IQ gap is barely on the radar at this point.
     
  19. Spotfromoz

    Spotfromoz New to Mu-43

    6
    Feb 10, 2013
    Australia
    I dont own either but have been comparing and i agree there is not much difference in the IQ. I have a D90 Nikon and epm-1 that i will continue to use till the next models mid year to Sept and decide which way to go then. The Fuji to me has a lot to offer in the way it feels in the hand and if focus improves may be enough to push me that way. I feel the biggest difference is the depth in shots. Fuji shots look deeper than mu43 probably due to sensor size in the same way aps-c look flat compared to ff
     
  20. JasonA

    JasonA Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Mar 26, 2013
    I've just been going through this dilemma. For my needs, the biggest argument for the X-E1 is the 18-55 lens. It looks head and shoulders above any of the 14-4x options available for m43. With the extra speed, sharpness and the slight sensor advantage, I could conceivably get by with just the 18-55 for most things.

    I decided today to go with the E-M5 instead, but I still don't know if I went the best way. Maybe I should order an X-E1 too. :biggrin: