Fuji x100 or E-P3: for BEGINNERS?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Guanyou, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Guanyou

    Guanyou New to Mu-43

    4
    Aug 31, 2011
    Hi everyone, I'm looking to get a camera that can take quality photos for street photography and trips. I have zero experience in photography so did abit of research on the best cam to buy..think I did enuff research for a thesis paper!

    Anyway I have shortlisted Fuji x100 and Oly ep3. In summary, x100 is ex, focus slows but has superb IQ and that VF. ep3 is cheaper, interchangeable lens, lightning fast AF but poor in low light. To me, the most impt thing are the looks of the camera (haha I'm sorry) and the IQ. Both look great, but as for IQ, the x100, at least from various amateur/pro samples I see blows the ep3 away with superior quality (the bokeh in some are just breath-taking).

    I was prepared to get the x100 at a cheaper price 2nd hand but after more research, it seems most don't recommend this for someone jus getting into photography due to it's complicated controls.

    So what do u pros think? Does that leave me to ep3, or will I be able to grasp the x100?
     
  2. Guanyou

    Guanyou New to Mu-43

    4
    Aug 31, 2011
    Fuji x100 or ep3: for BEGINNER!

    Hi everyone, I'm looking to get a camera that can take quality photos for street photography and trips. I have zero experience in photography so did abit of research on the best cam to buy..think I did enuff research for a thesis paper!

    Anyway I have shortlisted Fuji x100 and Oly ep3. In summary, x100 is ex, focus slows but has superb IQ and that VF. ep3 is cheaper, interchangeable lens, lightning fast AF but poor in low light. To me, the most impt thing are the looks of the camera (haha I'm sorry) and the IQ. Both look great, but as for IQ, the x100, at least from various amateur/pro samples I see blows the ep3 away with superior quality (the bokeh in some are just breath-taking).

    I was prepared to get the x100 at a cheaper price 2nd hand but after more research, it seems most don't recommend this for someone jus getting into photography due to it's complicated controls.

    So what do u pros think? Does that leave me to ep3, or will I be able to grasp the x100?
     
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The X100 has a full auto mode, but there's nothing between that and the advanced mode to help teach you and bring you along (program mode, scene modes, live guide, etc)

    That said, either of these are a lot of money for a "first camera"
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have to agree that for a beginner they both seem to be a tad spendy. My advice is start on something a bit lower end and if you find you like it then by all means upgrade.

    You say that you are looking for a camera for street photography and trips...the X100 is pretty much WA only with no other options. That would be great for street photography but I find that when I am on a trip I often want some more options for focal lengths. For that reason alone I'd probably gravitate more toward the E-P3.
     
  5. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    EPL3 if you want to stick with Olympus.
    G3 for Panasonic.

    stick a 20/1.7 or 17/2.8 on either and call it a day, you'll get to learning and have a good fall back for when you're not in the mood, heh =)
     
  6. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I am not a pro, or even close, but I briefly owned a X100 and now have an E-P3. I would never point a beginner in the direction of an X100. It's a great camera, but slow and a bit quirky in operation.

    The E-P3, on the other hand, is super quick in overall operation. In regards to bokeh, there are some wonderful m4/3 lenses to choose from... check out images here on the forum with the 20mm/f1.7 and the upcoming 45mm f1.8. Good stuff!

    You may get the ultimate in IQ from the X100, but in my opinion, you will have a lot less frustration and lot more flexibility with the E-P3 (and the IQ is nothing to sneeze at).
     
  7. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I am not a pro, or even close, but I briefly owned a X100 and now have an E-P3. I would never point a beginner in the direction of an X100. It's a great camera, but slow and a bit quirky in operation.

    The E-P3, on the other hand, is super quick in overall operation. In regards to bokeh, there are some wonderful m4/3 lenses to choose from... check out images here on the forum with the 20mm/f1.7 and the upcoming 45mm f1.8. Good stuff!

    You may get the ultimate in IQ from the X100, but in my opinion, you will have a lot less frustration and lot more flexibility with the E-P3 (and the IQ is nothing to sneeze at).
     
  8. David Tait

    David Tait Mu-43 Regular

    73
    Apr 29, 2011
    It's been stated here already. You really need more than one lens. A zoom lens and an even wider angle than 20mm are what I would want for travel. Whilst the Fuji might tick a lot of boxes, the lack of any other lenses are a big restriction.

    In my opinion both the Fuji and the E-P3 are way overpriced anyway. For the same money you could buy a very good DSLR and a second lens. IQ on the DSLR would be just as good as the Fuji and E-P3 but you would lose the portability and almost anonymous look that you get with the smaller cameras.

    Possibly an E-P2 or an E-PL2 might be a cheaper alternative. Again, you could add more glass for the same bucks that you would spend on the Fuji or E-P3. The IQ on the Fuji is very good judging from images I saw in various forums, but that 20mm fixed lens is a handicap. There would be very people in M/43 who are restricting themselves to one camera and one lens.

    I think most regulars here would suggest a re-think. Certainly with regards to the bucks you are going to be spending. You might find that you are paying over the odds to learn.
     
  9. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    To be blunt, if you have zero experience I'd avoid both.

    - The X100 because it's a very challenging camera to use well.

    - The EP3 because it's an expensive piece of kit for someone at your level.

    Yes, the X100 will have better IQ, but for an absolute beginner you probably won't see it. For 90% of situations the EP3 is capable of outstanding image quality.

    If looks are important to you (and why not, photography is a visual medium after all...) then I'd look at the EPM1 or EPL3.
     
  10. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    If the look of the camera is the most important thing, go straight to the Leica M9. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    [This looks a lot like another post I just read]

    Leica M9. Skip the pretenders.
     
  12. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd get a NEX-7. :biggrin:
     
  13. Back in the good old days we used to start out with a cheaper compact camera to see if we enjoyed photography enough to want to invest more money into it. Times have changed...
     
  14. Yotsuba

    Yotsuba Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Feb 28, 2010
    Singapore
    I love the look of the X100 but when i handled it on 2 different occasions, I didn't like using it. I have no problem using the EP3 though.

    So, I guess it's up to individual's liking and you have try it out yourself.
     
  15. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    :biggrin: That's what I did.... You could of course also get a Nikon D3X if you want to be taken seriously as a photographer......

    But on a serious note. There's absolutely nothing wrong with baseing part of your decision on how a camera looks. If that's what it takes to get it into your hands, that's good enough for me. Fuji know that looks are important. That's why the X100 looks like it does. So does Olympus.

    The only concern with the Fuji is the fixed focal length lens. I know that lots of people love the 35mm (equiv) focal length. I don't and that's the only reason I don't have an x100. But if you're starting out you don't know, so it may make more sense to get something a bit more flexible. The EP3 may be more camera than you need right now, but it's a great choice. If you can get past the looks then be very tempted by the Panasonic G3. Or if you don't care about "learning" photography then maybe even a NEX. Great image quality (equal of the Fuji). Not so hot controls.

    Now for the bokeh thing... I'll just go put my flame suit on..... There. Done. There's a lot more to an image than bokeh. And if you are, as you say, starting out then you're not going to be worrying about bokeh for a while. You'll need to go through the "how come my photos are so dark" stage followed closely by the "all my photos are technically perfect but boring as all get out" stage. Then we get to bokeh and you too will be able to spend many internet hours arguing that the 1926 Sonnar 4.6cm f4 renders better than a Noctilux in backlit shots of animals with tails. There are plenty of m4/3 lenses with nice bokeh, like the 20mm 1.7, 25mm 1.4 and soon to arrive 45mm 1.8. If by that stage you haven't traded photography for needlework you'll be suffering from such a severe case of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) that you'll already have both an X100 AND an EP3 at which time you'll start new threads asking for help as to which camera is the best one to take on your next trip to the shops.

    Put simply. If you stick with the major players it's hard not to get a good camera capable of stunning images, in any category. The internet seems to make tiny differences between cameras seem loike huge issues when they just aren't. I'd probably err on the side of flexibility which means an EP3. Or you could just pick up an EPL2 cheap and get 95% of the EP3 for 30% of the price and go take some photos. Put the balance into starting your extensive collection of photographic books, the first of which will be "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson and "The Life Guide to Digital Photography", by Joe McNally.

    Welcome to the forum, by the way. Except for myself, were a friendly, helpful bunch. No question is too lame. Bring it on.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 6
  16. aria

    aria Mu-43 Regular

    50
    Oct 9, 2010
    Rome, Italy
  17. klrman

    klrman Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Aug 11, 2011
    Which is what I did as a beginner a few weeks ago. I'm ashamed to admit (not really :biggrin:) that I got the white E-PL2 partially for it's looks. I just liked the look and feel of it and read enough decent reviews to go for it. What really surprised me was the stunning images I was able to get with it. That was the big bonus for me. So much to learn, but having a camera that I like to look at often makes it all the more fun. It's like that special little toy I never had whilst growing up. I've even customized it a little with an optical glass LCD protector that looks trick and also got a lens hood. The lens hood looks way too small I would think to block out stray light, but I could only find one type that would fit the kit lens.
     
  18. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    532
    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Mark
    For a total beginner, this:

    DSC_5490-600.

    Seriously, though, I wouldn't suggest the X100 for a beginner. Its appeal is mainly for the old hand used to cameras with manual controls and an optical viewfinder. Using it on full auto would be missing the point imo.

    The E-P3 in iAuto or program is more sensible to start with and, fitted with the kit zoom will give you an idea of which focal lengths suit your eye best and what works in exposure terms. Later, as a system camera it can grow with you.
     
  19. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    685
    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    E-p3 is definitely not cheaper considering youre going need great lenses to justify such an expensive mft camera.

    Bad low light AF? Bokeh? This is assuming the ep-3 will be glued to just its kit lens?

    Welcome btw, was getting a little dpr there, but in the spirit of mu-43 we really want to help u out. :biggrin:
     
  20. Guanyou

    Guanyou New to Mu-43

    4
    Aug 31, 2011
    Wow thanks alot everyone! U guys are one of the most knowledgeable yet helpful bunch I met!

    Okay looks like I should not be considering such an expensive camera after all. Will look at the epl2 then!