M4/3 to Fuji and back?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by ajamils, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    Few months back there was an active thread about people jumping ship from m4/3 and moving to Fuji. I'm wondering how many of you came back to m4/3 and what were the reason for the return. On the other hand, anybody planning to jump ship and get X-E2?
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I never jumped ship, per se but I did buy an X-E1, 18-55, 35mm, 55-200 and the EF42 flash. Currently they're all on eBay.

    Mine is only one opinion, of course but for me, there were just too many compromises. On the plus side the high ISO is great and the lenses, especially the primes are fabulous. The layout of the XE is excellent. And I prefer the 3:2 ratio.

    But... I never bonded with the camera. Which surprised me because I'm a Leica user and this style of camera should be perfect for my shooting. When I got my E-M1 it was all over for the Fujifilm. Everything about the Olympus is better than the Fuji as far as operation goes. The EVF is stunning and it's like handling lightning. And it feels great in the hand.

    Things that just bugged me:
    - The thing lags. Start up. playback. You're waiting for the camera, too often.
    - The low light AF is abysmal with anything except the fast primes.
    - portrait images don't fill the screen when zoomed in.
    - TTL flash is terrible. The EF42 is junk. FEC is a joke.
    - No tilty LCD. Don't care on my Leica. Did on the Fuji. No idea why.
    - focus peaking is effectively useless through the EVF without magnification.

    Things I really liked:
    - playback behaviour if you want to review in the EVF.
    - all the primes I tried.
    - size, weight and handling.
    - EVF placement.

    I considered the X-E2 but the body only price is AUD1399.00. Ridiculous. And still not as responsive as m4/3.

    Finally, I'm a Lightroom user. I just don't like some of the files the Fuji gives me in Lightroom. I bought Irident and the files are great but I'm not going to compromise my workflow for a camera. I get the green folage issue as well as occasional strange skin textures. A lot of the time the EM1 gives me better files than the XE1. I know it's a Lightroom issue and not a camera problem. That's the way it is, for me.

    In the end, with the great system around m4/3 and the limited difference in image quality (lightroom user) m4/3 made more sense for me. I already have some of the best m4/3 lenses. I think after extended use the 12-35 Panny is a better lens than the touted 18-55. And the 45mm 1.8, 60 macro and 75mm have no equal in Fuji land. The 4/3 50-200 should give the 55-200 a run for its money. With my kit I see no advantage to keeping the Fuji.

    If I didn't already have a pair of M9's and some rather spectacular fast glass I'd probably feel differently. But I do, so I don't. Great camera. Great system. Just not for me.

    So I'm putting the funds from the Fuji gear into an A7.

    • Like Like x 9
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I started with m43 and never left it, but I did get heavily into Fuji for a while, just recently selling it. I actually prefer Fuji and the 3:2 aspect ratio for a lot of my mid-wide prime shooting (which I do a LOT of), but the Sony RX1 and Nikon A pretty took over the bulk of that almost a year ago. At that point both Fuji and m43 were sort of marginalized to the ultra wide and portrait length and longer lenses. I slightly preferred Fuji for wide angle (at least in anticipation of their 10-24 lens) but vastly prefer m43 for portrait and longer lenses. I decided to consolidate to one system since I wasn't really using the system gear enough to justify both. And m43 won out. But Fuji really lost out to the RX1 and Nikon A more than to m43. Nonetheless, I'm out of Fuji now and still have a good bit if m43 gear.

  4. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I am somewhat tempted sometimes by the Fuji system. Image quality seems better and you get more camera for the money. However, the total package is significantly larger and that's where m43 wins it for me.
  5. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    Thanks for the reply. Apart from general usage how much difference did you find between the systems in term of IQ?

    Scribbled on Galaxy Note 3.
  6. JasonA

    JasonA Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 26, 2013
    I had the X-E1 side by side with my Olympus cameras, but I sold it. The focus was slow (especially compared to the E-M1), the 18-55 zoom, though excellent quality for a kit lens, always seemed kind of long and awkward. Also, I didn't have any Fuji primes unfortunately, and quality-wise the zoom could not stack up to my olympus primes (duh). I love some of the shots people get with the Fuji, but it just didn't click for me.

    I'm honestly more of a gadget guy than a "real" photographer, so I'll be tempted again in the future I'm sure to try out whatever is new. The X-E2 would be interesting to try for the improved focus, but I think I'll wait at least another generation before considering going back. :smile:
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Not sure if this was directed at anyone in particular, but I'd say they're different but it's hard to call one significantly better or worse than the other. Fuji does have a sort of creamy wonderfulness to it's images that I don't get naturally with m43 gear. Some would call that creaminess disturbing lack of detail, but I never saw it that way. I like both a lot, to be honest. I guess the Fuji may be very very slightly ahead on high ISO shooting (although I continue to believe that there's some ISO inflation going on in their cameras) and DR, but its not enough to worry about. Basically I find m43 and APS very very close in all of these regards. Full frame is another story, but not what we're discussing here.

  8. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas

    Thank you for the reply. I know that you have played with a lot more cameras than me and definitely have more experience but looking back at the pictures that I took with GH3/OM-D, E-PM2 and other m4/3 over the years compared to X-E1/2, it seems like most m4/3 pictures lack sharpness that Fuji produces and there is a distinct digital noise in the out of focus area. This is very evident in pictures with clear sky. With that said, there are couple of things that bother me a lot about Fuji and that's why I'm looking at going back to m4/3 and that is the lack of tilting screen in X-E1/2 (X-M1/A1 has it but no EVF) and secondly the lack of telephoto options.
  9. pix530

    pix530 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 2, 2013
    After careful consideration due to high demand for the best camera for my travel I bought X-E1 with 18-55 and 35.
    I did some intensive tests, shoots, outdoor shoots. 18-55 is ok lens (probably best kit zoom for small cameras), but not amazing at all.
    35mm is super nice lens.
    So after my trip was over I decided that Fuji is too slow for my needs (read flash post please, I join). So I sold it.

    Came back to FF shoots, and again started to look at something small with good IQ.
    Took E-M5 and did some shootings with 12-42 and Pana 25. Kit zoom was not good at all. Again, I was just impressed by 25mm.
    Camera was ok, but again I compare to FF and L glasses so I sold it, it was not as easy as I was thinking to keep it because of Pana 25.

    Recently using this forum hehe I bought new E-P5 which I like better than E-M5. Just ergonomics. Camera does same job. I have 35-100 and 45mm.
    First glass is good enough for street and some portrait work. I do video shooting with it. 45mm again was just as nice as prime can be. Love it.

    Now I prepare my photo gear for the upcoming long trip and guess I will take also 75mm with me too.

    However, after reviewing my work I found that Fuji colors are much better. It does just better job. So I miss Fuji hehe, in spite it was just slow.
    Do not think I will go back to Fuji for the following reasons: no lenses I need and no native remote lights.

    I would consider Fuji if I would have same setup as I described - 45.75 and 35-100 (i need zoom anyway)
  10. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Well I never "left" but I am waffling back and forth in between both camps continuously, if that counts... I sold a bunch of m4/3 kit, bought a bunch of Fuji, selling some of both of them now and buying more back into m4/3. :tongue:

    I prefer the Fuji IQ (for me, it's a more significant difference than Ray seemed to find based on his earlier comment). I like the mechanical interface style with hard switches and aperture rings etc. I like the output, I love the Fujinon glass, and it's an enjoyable camera style for me.

    Having said all that, I've been shooting m4/3 more again for a couple simple reasons. First, I now do sermon photos weekly for our church's online message series, and the combo of silent shutter + fast tele glass (75mm f/1.8 and 35-100 f/2.8) is extremely helpful. Second, I'm starting to shoot more events and portrait stuff and the current m4/3 lineup is very comprehensive as a system. Quality fast lenses, weather sealing, a battery grip, longer battery life, good flash support, extensive featuresets, etc. It basically reminds me a miniaturized version of DSLR systems.

    Ergonomically and functionally speaking I'm more comfortable working my GH3 into that workflow as of right now. It's a 'sum of the parts' thing... I want to know I can quickly nail focus, work with TTL flash, have weather sealing, good battery life, excellent controls and ergonomics, and so on. If nothing else, shooting a DSLR back to back with a Fuji would feel awkward and cumbersome to me simply because they're such different styles of camera.

    So... neither system is fully replacing the other for me right now. It's more like selecting the kit for each system that allows me to use each to work to its strengths.
  11. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Like Ray, Jay, Jason, and Gordon, I never left MFTs, but I did buy some Fuji gear: specifically X-E1, 35/1.4, 18-55/2.8-4, and X100S.

    For a period of time, I went very small with my MFTs gear - E-PM2, Pana 14, Oly 45 - while replacing my larger MFT gear with Fuji equivalents. For example, I replaced my E-M5 and Pana Leica 25/1.4 with Fuji X-E1 and Fuji 35/1.4, so that MFTs was my very compact kit and Fuji was my medium sized kit. The exception was my Oly 75/1.8 that cannot be replaced with anything Fuji has to offer at present.

    However, for a variety of operational reasons elaborated by Gordon above: slower performance in many domains (most importantly AF), lack of image stabilization, etc, I sold all my Fuji gear for now and re-expanded my MFTs gear.

    I didn't find the Fuji image quality to be on balance any better than MFTs. Slightly less noise and slightly more detail in some situations but this was counterbalanced by lack of body image stabilization and suboptimal Lightroom compatibility, even with the latest Lightroom improvements. Like Gordon, I'm unwilling to change my workflow for a camera.

    The Fuji 18-55 is a terrific performer for the money, and the Fuji 35/1.4 is a special lens that I miss. Both great systems, but MFTs is a better fit for me at the present time.
    • Like Like x 4
  12. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas

    All the AF issues that you and other have mentioned about Fuji were related to X-E1 and apparently Fuji has addressed them with Fui X-E2 so it would be an interesting to compare how it stacks up with the current crop of m4/3 cameras like GX7 and E-M1. As much as I want to try out E-M1, I think it is ridiculously overpriced for what it offers. It should be no more than $1K body only.
  13. mievil

    mievil Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2013
    San Diego
    I still would really like to give the x100s or even the x100 a shot.
  14. luguidomanski

    luguidomanski Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 11, 2010
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Although I agre that the E-M1 is expensive, I don't think it is too overpriced. Despite the smaller sensor, the build quality, write speed, buffer size, autofocus performance and ergonomics put it on par with other cameras, like Pentax K-3, that costs just $100 less.
  15. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Been there, done that!

    I traded an E-P1 outfit for an X100, loved the X100's output but got frustrated with the operation so I sold it and bought another E-P1. Now, with an E-M5 I have iq comparable to the Fuji and all those lovely :43: lenses :thumb up:

    I won't mention the 5D interval :rolleyes:
  16. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    For me, what makes the price of E-M1 difficult to sallow is that that it costs almost $500 more than GX7 and other than IBIS, I haven't read anything that it does significantly better than GX7 to justify that difference in price. Maybe if it had hybrid mount for 4/3 lenses (as originally rumored) that would have been different.

    Don't get me wrong, if I get a good deal on E-M1, I will definitely give it a try but at this point, I'm just trying to get some idea from people who have owned both systems as how they compared (specially the latest cameras from both systems).
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I look forward to trying the X-E2, but they weren't limited to the X-E1. There were claims of snappy AF and overall performance with the X100S, and that camera isn't remotely up to the MFT standard in operational performance. As you know, lot of AF performance comes down to lenses. It will be interesting to see how key lenses like the Fuji 35/1.4 and 23/1.4 focus with the X-E2 and X-Pro 2. I'm also interested to see if Fuji has improved their face detection performance. To some, face detection is a gimmick. To me, excellent face detection is essential.
  18. MichaelShea

    MichaelShea Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    Algarve, Portugal
    I haven't jumped ship either, but have instead accumulated far too many cameras and lenses by Panasonic, Olympus, Pentax and Fuji (in that order) since 2009. Whereas MFT is the most convenient system to use without a doubt, I really don't think it qualifies as providing the best image quality or is ever likely to. My X-Pro1 is only a few weeks old, but it has already become my personal favourite camera ever, because in conjunction with a couple of truly excellent prime lenses, in my case the 18mm f2 and 14mm f2.8, it has provided me with far and away the best pictures straight out of the camera that I've ever produced. The 14mm lens incidentally is the best wide-angle I've ever handled. It is superb. But does it really matter if there's better stuff out there somewhere? If the equipment serves my needs, or yours, who cares about the alternatives?

    The key to getting the best out of Fuji is to wait at least twelve months after a camera release before buying one. That way you get the benefits of greatly reduced prices and firmware updates, which invariably improve the operations and add to the functions of the camera significantly. So despite all the dire warnings about slow and inaccurate focus on the X100, for example, I haven't had a single shot that has turned out to be out of focus, or particularly slow either. And it now has focus peaking, which it didn't as a brand new model. So why doesn't my Panasonic G5 now come equipped with focus peaking as well? Because Panasonic would rather I bought another new camera instead.

    It baffles me when experienced and knowledgeable photographers buy a Fuji camera and then complain about a comparative lack of speed in its operations. If you see a whole set of manual knobs and controls on the body and lens of a camera, it's telling you that you are supposed to take control of them yourself. Both the X100 and X-Pro1 were chiefly aimed at stills photographers who take their time. For me, anything that forces me to think carefully about what I'm doing improves the result. But I'm not a sports shooter or videographer and if I were, I'd buy into a different system.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    its not about the dials its about the AF and the shutter lag and viewfinder lag in some models that are getting people not the dials ? :)
  20. homerusan

    homerusan Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2012
    izmir, TURKEY
    i elaborate to x100 when it came out. Yesterday i had a chance to try out x100s which was introduced as insane fast and accurate AF. i just try to make a quick test about AF by direct the camera to different points. in every 1 of 2 af, i got AF error on the screen /VF that cant AF...
    then i put the camera down and canoodle my handsome em5... maybe next time fuji...