GX7 /E-M1 or X-E2/X-E1

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

  1. rjbxa

    rjbxa New to Mu-43

    3
    Nov 12, 2013
    Looking to buy a new camera and struggling to split the E-M1 and the X-E2 - it's very hard now that the X-E2 has faster focusing, I know it isn't as fast as the E-M1 but it's more in line with the GX1 from what I can gather.

    I'll mostly be shooting family pics but would like the option of using it for more serious things and also a bit of flash-lit still life (small objects).

    I have no experience of the E-M1 output, is it still the case of Fujis having the edge on IQ? Does anyone happen to have both? I'd be particularly interested in seeing portraits / family photos taken with both systems.

    The DOF does attract me I have to be honest, as I do like to isolate subjects; but I also like to tinker with RAWs and I have heard Fujis are not so good for that. Video is also important and the 5 axis tempts me to the Olympus; though I do have a GX1 which the wife will have, not sure how that would compare.

    If I could take the RAW compatibility and 5 axis from the E-M1, with the video from the GX7 and the form and IQ from the Fuji I think I'd be happy and this post wouldn't exist.
     
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I don 't have an XE2. But I have an XE1 and an EM1. If the XE2 is as good as the GX1 it'll be smashed by the EM1. The EM1 is about as good as it gets in single AF, even compared to all but a few DSLRs. I really hope the XE2 is better than the GX1. That would be dissapointing.

    The real issue for me with the Fuji is not that it's slower. It's just that in low light it will often just refuse to lock on at all in places where the EM5 and EM1 have no problems. It's OKish with the fast primes but just awful with the zooms. You've got this great high ISO quality in a camera that can't focus in low light. Aarrgghh. The Fuji has an extremely limited external TTL flash selection and the flashes currently on offer are pretty poor (Sunpak rebadges). I have th EF42 and it's just plain average in both power and usage. Actually, average would be a step up. Fuji's implementation of focus peaking is terrible. Hopefully the split image is better.

    It sounds like I'm doing some Fuji bashing, and I am. But on the other hand I am keeping mine and I've bought a couple of extra lenses as well. The lenses are great. In decent light it locks on and the user controls are very well thought out. It's just a quirky camera. The 55-200 is awesome as are the primes. I also prefer the 3:2 ratio of the Fuji.

    The EM1 is a performance machine. Everything releted to uasbility is just plain fast. The EVF is the best available (including the Sony DSLR's I used to own). The only thing I can complain about is that you still can't play back through the viewfinder. This really needs to be addressed. Olympus also has a very robust flash system, which equals the Nikon CLS system in operation.

    Image quality does go to the Fuji at high ISO's. At base ISO's the difference is there but it's small. The choice of lens has a bigger impact. BUT, (and it's a big but), if you use Adobe products as your raw converter then the EM1 will have higher quality output. To get the most out of the Fuji you need a different converter, which for me, is a huge pain. For jpegs, the Fujis are just plain stunning. But you're looking at first and second place in jpeg output of pretty much any system so they're both better than the rest.

    I think you'll have to be pushing the systems pretty hard before you'll need the small differences in image quality between them. The choice is actually going to be more to do with handling and whether you can live with the strange stuff fuji does (no 100% playback view for raw only shooting, for example).

    What ever you choose, it'll make great images.

    Gordon
     
  3. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    If you are wanting to play back an image in the EVF, then you should know this is possible on the E-M5 & the E-M1...it took me over a year to find this out with my E-M5.
    Basically, hit the playback button...image displays on the LCD...now hit the viewfinder/lcd switch button (upper left back on E-M1...next to the EVF; on E-M5, it's on the right side of the EVF itself). PRESTO! now images play back through the viewfinder.

    It's kind strange seeing them in the vewfinder...they take on an almost 3D effect...like those old picture viewers with the rotary dual-images we all had as kids.

    Mike.
     
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Please don't take this the wrong way, but if your photo-taking needs are fairly modest then spending $1500 dollars or more is overkill. The E-M5, E-PL5, GX7 etc will all do what you need and more. Why not spend the money saved on some nice lenses and a couple of decent flash units. That'll do more for your results than going for a body that does more than you need.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    843
    May 13, 2011
    NYC
    Please try the EF-X20.
    You might (?) get better results.
     
  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I don't get that behaviour. On the EM1 I can get playback through the viewfinder IF I'm looking through the viewfinder when I hit the playback button. But that requires finger gymnastics and the setting isn't sticky. Move your eye a bit and the LCD switches on. Put you eye back and it goes to shooting mode. It sucks. I've tried your way with auto switch on an off an it didn't do it on the EM1.

    On both Fuji and Sony the playback stays on until you touch the shutter button so you can look at the LCD, then move to the EVF if the view is poor. Olympus is set to be a shooting priority system. And I just don't like it. Fujis implementation is excellent.

    Gordon

    *update* upon further investigation I can get your behaviour but only if the auto EVF/LCD switch is disabled. If it's enabled I get what I described above. Neither, for me, is as goos as the Fuji and Sony implementations.

     
  7. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    You might have different expectations from an external flash from me. The EF-X20 has pretty much everything I dislike in a flash. low power. Too close to the lens axis. No bounce or swivel. One stop of compensation is a joke. And it runs on a pair of triple A batteries. At least the EF42 has bounce and swivel and takes AA batteries. But it's cheap and nasty in build and has you trying to set compensation using the only two buttons on the flash with the in camera exposure compensation buried in a menu and not able to be assigned to a button?? Until the XE2 it was actually impossible to set the maximum flash sync speed in manual mode on an X series camera.

    Just like the Leicas they try to emulate, flash and video aren't a priority for Fujifilm. That's fine as long as you're aware of it when you make a purchase decision.

    Gordon
     
  8. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    So your original comment that Oly can't playback through the EVF was not correct. You just don't like having the press a button to move from LCD to EVF playback? Seems a bit petty to me.


     
  9. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Yes, it was incorrect. And I commented as such. I hadn't been able to get it to work until your post made me investigate it further. Learn something new every day, as they say. You, yourself stated it took you a year to find how to do it. Did you not think it conceivable that someone else may have not found it either, or did you expect we all discovered it the same day as you did? I NEVER use the camera with the auto EVF switch disabled and it did not occur to me that you would need to have the camera to your eye for it to be possible. It's a right royal PITA doing finger gymnastics while having to keep the VF glued to your face looking for the play button.

    As for the snarky "petty" comment. One mans petty is anothers major annoyance. I've used many cameras and the Sony and Fuji have a better implementation of the review in EVF. On my Fuji (which I actually own so I felt it possible to answer the OP's query with an opinion) I use that function all the time. Now I have discovered the way to play back on the Olympus (which, by the way, you did not state in your original answer) with the auto EVF on I will probably use it. But every time I do I'll wish Olympus had done it right.

    Since the OP was directly comparing the Fuji to the Olympus i thought it relevant. How do you know whether that comment may or may not be of use to him? That's right. You don't. Besides, compared to real problems in this world all the comparisons between two cameras are really not significant. And, the OP has not returned to comment on his original post.

    Gordon
     
  10. mw1

    mw1 Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Sep 4, 2012
    On the GX7 evf sensor autoswitch still applies during playback, and the manual lvf/screen button preference is maintained switching between playback and capture. Perhaps more usefully for me, anyway, the touch-screen autofocus also still works when looking through the EVF. You wanna talk about finger gymnastics - nothing compares to the pain of moving the autofocus point with the EM5 cursor buttons while looking through the EVF. Believe this is still the case on the EM1 too.
     
  11. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    Whoa there big fella...was trying to help you out with a suggestion...didn't expect a backlash. Your comment that you had tried with auto switching both on and off and still not working lead me to beleive you didn't like pressing a single button to switch modes...which, I'm sure you'll agree, would be petty.

    Peace..


     
  12. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    Have/had both XE-1 and E-M1. Was going to sell the XE-1 to get the XE-2. Here is why I went for the E-M1 instead.

    I haven't looked back.

    Image Quality:
    To my eyes, the image quality of the E-M1 is far more pleasing than that of the Fuji given the types of shooting I do. This is entirely subjective.
    But I've just found that I can recover more detail from the E-M1 than I can from the Xtrans files. The colour reproduction is much better out of camera and the noise that can occur at high ISO if you really REALLY want to do the DXOMark pixel peeping thing is far more film like and actually quite beautiful IMHO. Noise on the Xtrans is amazingly well controlled , but once it creeps in at stupidly high ISO's it does so in a kind of oil painting type of way that I don't like and cannot do much with in Lightroom. While there is more technical 'noise' on the OMD at say 6400 , it looks better than what I see on the Fuji XE1. I have not seen anything to say that Fuji have improved high ISO over existing XE1 so I have no reason to think that it will be any better on the XE2.... certainly hope so.
    Either way I have possibly 30 shots out of 20,000 taken with the Fuji that I needed to go above ISO3200 with (even late evening street shooting)... so really for practical sake... noise at high ISO wasn't a big deal for me..
    As to what output I prefer best. In outdoor well lit , it is a wash. Both are phenominal. Both produce significantly better images out of camera than an old Canon 1d mark iii that I sometimes shoot with. I prefer reds from the Fuji and the Greens from Olympus. Taking shots indoors, however I prefer the colour rendering of the Olympus to the Fuji... comparing the PL25mm with the Fuji XF35mm again I prefer the PL25mm by a mile. The Fuji I've found clips to the highlights, whereas the OM-D rolls into the highlights a little nicer, a little more film like. Makes for beautiful B & W conversions.
    Both cameras can potentially produce artwork significantly better than I or probably 99% of people can actually produce i.e. the limitation will be me (im still learning), and not the camera. But I've found in places where the Fuji is great, you would be splitting hairs to tell one camera from the other... possibly the dynamic range of the OMD is better in the ISO200-1600 range thanks to the excellent Sony sensor technology, but in the areas where I don't like the Fuji (indoor colour rendition) the OMD gives more consistent beautiful results. I just prefer the Olympus look.
    Keep in mind that the IBIS in the Olympus will help you get sharper, higher detailed shots in places where you would need to bump up the ISO on any other camera system. It really is phenomenal and allows you to continue working in the cameras optimal working ISO range. So short answer, I have yet to see any APS-C system deliver as good results as the E-M1. It really does stand toe to toe with the best.


    Lens:
    Body size/weight both will be in the same ball park.. possibly with the XE1 a little heavier. However lens size will be bigger given the same apperture/FOV on the fuji. The Fuji glass is beautifully well made. BUT.... for street shooting and somebody coming from a Leica M6 and a Summilux, why no scale on the lens.... the new 23mm has one and 14mm but the 35mm and 60mm do not. This is annoying.
    In the m43 camp , you have your choices of excellent Panasonic-Leica glass, Lumix glass, Olympus glass, Sigma... generally the Olympus glass is just first rate. They even include a DOF scale on the lens barrell! So if you want fast street shooting using zone focussing the Olympus glass tends to be great (12mm, 17mm). BTW I honestly believe that if you are buying into ANY system GLASS should be your biggest concern. Next to Leica, I think the primes coming from Olympus are just world class. DXOMark / Techradar/ DPReview cannot measure perceived image quality, the character of a lens, how a lens renders bokeh. Having two core manufacturers sharing a lens mount is great. If Panasonic come out with an even better body next year, you don't need to throw away your glass. Want to take that amazing glass and use it on an even smaller GM1 body... you can. Em-1 / GH3 are pretty much the biggest cameras the D4/ 1Dx of the m43 world. The bodies get much smaller if you require less functionality and more portability. This was a huge selling feature for me.


    Finally I would advise you to take my advice and most other advice you hear here or on other boards at face value. Many people on DPReview are more interested in technical specs. Technical specs do not equate to image quality. Like I said previously, DXOmark and others are chasing a sterile perfect score. I would hate to see how DXOMark would rate my rollieflex with Tri-X400..... if they did film!
    I was in a photo art gallery with a friend of mine over the Summer. We were chatting about camera gear, sensors etc.... this guy does this for a living. He had been pontificating the merits of medium format, how 35mm does not stand up when blown up to 30X40 sizes or above, never mind APS-C/m43 formats etc...
    Talking with him was like talking to a brick wall. So we went into the gallery and both were taken away by a beautiful B&W of a chair in an abandoned factory. It was just a stunning photo. My friend started trying to guess what medium format had taken this shot... 'clearly the dynamic range blah blah blah'... the type of thing you hear on DPReview. I got a great kick when the photographer introduced himself to us and showed us his OM-D E-M5 that he had used to take the shot with the 17mm 1.8 attached. My friends jaw dropped. Point made.

    We each, especially pros' tend to buy into a system and feel a need to justify our purchase decisions. I think in more recent years as the quality has filtered down to smaller and smaller cameras and smaller sensor sizes , there are more and more people trying to justify their decisions for going for a bigger camera. I sugggest you take a look at people such as Neil Buchanan Grant, Emily Dobson and a number of other professional photographers who chose to use the m43 format and produce stunning art work.

    At the end of the day buy what speaks to you most.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. ranxoren

    ranxoren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    631
    Apr 22, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    OT
    I personally have an X-E2 and can tell you that they drastically improved the low light focusing and EVF refresh rate. I had no problem shooting with it last night in the streets with very poor lighting conditions.
    LOVE IT :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. rjbxa

    rjbxa New to Mu-43

    3
    Nov 12, 2013
    That isa really good post - thanks! Totally agree with you about people getting obsessed with DXO and pixel peeping, especially at DPreview where people get crazy upset :)

    I think the m43 looks the best all round option.
     
  15. rjbxa

    rjbxa New to Mu-43

    3
    Nov 12, 2013
    Nice pics on flickr :) :) :)