Some of you might remember that I had a dally with the A7R and then the A7Rii recently. Whilst both delivered excellent IQ, neither convinced me overall that they could replace my E-M1 system. The main reasons were lenses (size, range & cost) and the relative lack of features of the Sony bodies (e.g. no live composite, no focus stacking, IBIS lagging a long way behind, generally slower and more clunky operation, very poor battery life, ...). I'm not rubbishing the Sony system though - just that its improved IQ isn't enough to offset the many other downsides as I see it. To satisfy my curiosity for the other obvious u43 rival I recently picked up a used Fuji X-E1 and a 35mm f1.4 at a good price. Now, I realise that the X-E1 is a pretty old body and the 35/1.4 is one of the early Fuji X lenses with a reputation for slow AF but I thought I'd go for it anyhow since it's the noise that I really wanted to evaluate (I see noise at higher ISO as the only serious challenge with u43). Whilst it's certainly true that images at ISO 3200 on the Fuji do seem smoother than E-M1 images, adding some NR to latter's files gets them pretty close without losing out on sharpness and detail. As with the Sony comparison, I'm seeing slightly better IQ but it's not night and day and I doubt either the Sony or the Fuji would make a shot that the E-M1 wouldn't. As a system though the Fuji does have some downsides. The lens range is certainly better than the Sony but most of the lenses are pretty expensive and they are slightly larger than u43 equivalents. Except for a few zooms, the lenses don't have IS and the lack of IBIS can't be underestimated in dealing with lower light. Then there's the slow AF and clunky handling (although I'm sure the Xt1 etc are much better). Anyhow - net, net... as nice as the Fuji is, it doesn't offer enough in improved IQ to beat the Oly u43 system. As an overall package it's very hard to beat u43 - great bodies, stunning IBIS, amazing lens range, more than enough IQ for most. What's not to like. Its one remaining achilles heel (at least for me) is noise at higher ISO. I'm optimistic that this will be fixed in time - maybe even with the E-M1ii and its hand-holdable Hi Res.