Olympus, Fuji, Pentax

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Zobeid Zuma, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Zobeid Zuma

    Zobeid Zuma Mu-43 Regular

    May 13, 2013
    So, here's my dilemma.

    My E-M5 is under the weather. It seems to read the battery capacity erratically, sometimes deciding the battery is nearly empty when it's not, and a few times even refusing to operate. Sometimes I can pop out the battery and pop it back in, and everything is OK. . . for a while. The problem is erratic. I know from past experience that sending it in for repair would take A While, and I worry about getting that dreaded "we can't duplicate the problem" response. Meanwhile the camera doesn't work dependably enough for me to rely on it, and it ends up sidelined.

    I've pondered a new E-M10 Mk2. It wouldn't cost too much, and it would actually upgrade one thing about the E-M5 that seems a bit weak, which is the EVF. However, M4/3 has somewhat lost its luster for me. The last couple of lenses I got were disappointing. The M4/3 lens catalog is large(ish) but disorderly, with both gaps and redundancies. And getting the E-M10 Mk2 would mean no escape from the awkward Olympus user interface and labyrinthine menu system.

    I've longed for the Fuji X-T1 ever since it came out. The look, the size, the control layout. . . all reminds me of the Ricoh XR7 film camera that I first learned on, and which I still find very pleasant to operate. It's as though Fuji somehow got into my head and pulled my dream camera out. It also has multiple aids for manual focusing, which is an area where I feel the E-M5 really falls down. There's no question I would have bought the X-T1 when it was released, if I hadn't already got the E-M5 and was in my honeymoon time with it!

    However... With the Fuji, I would be starting from zero. I have no lenses, nothing. And the lenses, they are pricey. This would be a costly commitment for a camera that would perform only slightly better by any objective standard.

    And now. . . Now Pentax are rolling out their long-fabled full frame camera, the K-1. It's an expensive camera body, by my standards, but I wouldn't have to buy any lenses up front. (I could even use some lenses from the old Ricoh XR7!) The Pentax lens catalog is an endless bounty. Vintage lenses are plentiful, new Samyangs are cheap (and actually work with full aperture control on the Pentax!), and any way I figure the math I would end up spending less total money on a considerably higher-specified camera with the K-1 as opposed to the Fuji.

    The K-1 would be the biggest and most cumbersome setup, but I wouldn't be getting rid of my Pentax Q7 system, which is about as compact and portable as any system camera ever gets. So I'd have both ends of the spectrum covered there.

    I've been back and forth over this, and I don't seem to be getting anywhere. And while I'm locked in indecision, window shopping, I continue using the Q7 and XR7 for nearly everything. . . Maybe I should just stick with them, I dunno. Kodak Ektar 100 does turn out some pretty colors. I could afford a lot of film and processing for what I'd spend on a "new hotness" camera.
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    You should figure out what you mostly shoot and choose a camera that suits the subjects you photograph. If you're a landscape guy, the K1 will be awesome. If you shoot people, the Fuji has pretty awesome colors. If you're a street shooter, the E-M10 II might be the best choice.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    I swore I'd never own a "FF" size body again, ever.
    I swore again when R.Pentax showed the feature set on the K-1. Most impressive.

    So I know how you feel. Once my budget is under control - that happens some times, right? :p - Pentax may get a piece of me again. In the meantime I've finally decoded enough Oly menus to get the ePM2 to behave as I like, so small (price and in³/cc) wins for the near term. You could grab the eP5 and reuse your batteries, as I recall.. :drinks:
  4. Krigskoen

    Krigskoen Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2015
    Of course the logical choice would be to stick to M43 since you already own some lenses etc, but if you don't feel excited using the system it would probably be best to sell it off to finance a switch to another system. Otherwise get some hands-on experience with the new models (E-M10 II and E-M5 II) first, since they've come a long way since the old E-M5.

    Have you considered Sony if you're looking for FF and small size? As for the Fuji X-T1, the successor should be out shortly so you might wanna wait for that.
  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Maybe your BLN-1 is just dying? LiOn batteries have a limited life after all.

    In general? I think there's a bit of grass is greener going on... If you're looking for features the E-M5 really is getting old, despite its still competitive sensor quality. A used E-M1 will be a huge upgrade in comparison.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Have you ever held a K1? It's huge and very heavy. Not my cup of tea at all.
  7. Clean the contacts on the battery and inside the camera. A little DeOxit on a cotton swab will reach inside. The contacts area is pretty small and it doesn't take much to mess it up. The contacts on the batteries are gold on fiberglass pc board I believe, and a pretty thin layer of gold at that.
  8. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I have to agree. I'm a long-time Pentaxian and I wasn't kidding when I said 10-plus years go that I was no longer interested in carrying around a big, heavy full-frame kit. More power to those drawn to the K1, though.

    As for the OP, I agree with those who advise to make sure first the problem isn't the battery or contacts. After that, I'd think long and hard about why I was no longer thrilled by micro four thirds. Is the system really failing you in any way? Are there any lenses you require that aren't available?

    With the exception of the newer, fast, pro-level zooms, I find the price of mu-43 glass to be quite reasonable, especially if you buy refurbished directly from Olympus. The same goes for refurbed camera bodies. I recently picked up an E-M1 for under $500.

    Bookmark the site below, check back often, sign up for alerts and wait for the periodic 20-25% off sales (on top of the lower refurb prices).

    Outlet Store | Olympus
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  9. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Were you happy with the E-M5 size/performance? Was it small enough to replace the Q7? Why did you originally went to m43?

    I fear that getting a "big" camera you may end up simply using the smaller cameras more. And if you are worried to remain without the E-M5 for a long time it means it is hitting a sweet spot that the other cameras you own do not.

    What about a Panasonic camera, GX80 or GX8 maybe? Or the super offers you can find now for an E-M1 (larger evf, better layout, etc.)? Selling all the lenses you do not love and starting fresh? Wait to see the E-M1 mk2/GH5?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Just yesterday I received a K-S2 + 18-135WR combo that I found for $600. I was expecting it to be chunky, but something about DSLR ergonomics make it feel even heavier than it is. The K-1 had been on my radar, but it's off now. Still looking forward to shooting it in earnest though, it's my first DSLR. Mostly I was curious.

    The K-S2 is going to be my wet weather / rugged kit. The E-M5 II + 14-150 II would be pretty analogous in most respects, but that combo would cost at least twice as much up here in Canada, and while the Pentax has limited IQ benefits over M4/3, the E-M5 II is directly equivalent image quality-wise to my GX7, so no benefit at all there.

    I also briefly considered and dismissed a Fuji X-T1, since I find the X-Trans IQ worse than AA-less Pentax (and mainly trades worse low-ISO sharpness for better high-ISO smoothness vs M4/3), it doesn't have the fully-articulated screen that I wanted, and when coupled with their WR lenses would be even more than twice as expensive compared to the Pentax. I also don't trust Fuji's weather sealing nearly as much as Oly or Pentax.
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Well buy a cheap battery replacement first, just to rule that out.

    If you wanted to stay in the system and are frustrated by Olympus, there is always Panasonic.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    List all of your system options in a spreadsheet and see what it totals up to be. Something about seeing reality in print helps think things through...and the total is rarely what we ballpark in our heads.

    If stay is likely then but a used e-m1. Great camera, cost is low, if you decide to liquidate one day you'll get most of that money back.

    FWIW the Pentax K-3ii looks like a great alternative.
  13. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    Have you taken a look at the Fuji X-T10? I sold one of my m43 bodies and decided it would be my E-m5. The X-T10 is virtually the same size.

    The difference is I find the IQ of the Fuji was noticeably better than my Em5 with Panny 12-35mm. The M43 combo was aprox $2000 CDN out of my wallet vs the $1100 for my Fuji w/ 18-55 kit lens. Looking at the fuji kit lens files I was in disbelief in how a kit lens can produce incredible digital files.

    The only issue I have with the Fuji is that the AF is not fast like an M43 system. This is totally upto the indivdual using the fuji system. However for my casual application it's sufficient. Battery life sucks just like the E-M5. Noise control is not blotchy like the M43 body in low light.

    I'd wait for the X-T2 before buying the X-T1. I'll eventually get an X-T2 simply for faster AF and the new 24mpx sensor. The speed of the xpro2 (assumption of the XT2)AF is what fuji should have been many years ago.

    I use my Canon gear when I need to assure clients clean files regardless of low light ambient at 12800 ISO or higher in any type of situation be it fast moving or slow. I use my GH3 for casual photography/ video. The Fuji is a recent system I've adopted and in due time my X-T10 will be replaced with a X-T2. For my casual shoots my fuji kit lens and 24mm f/1.4 equivalent prime is meeting a high percentage of my needs for casual family documentation stuff. Everyone has different needs in a system.

    If you buy another M43 body the IQ will be virtually the same as the aging E-M5. Nothing wrong with changing systems as we always seek new adventures in photography.

    If you get the Pentax I think it can deliver you pleasure and produce the full frame look. full frame has a different "feel" in the images.

    This is where the fun begins as you can try new things.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    To be fair, the 18-55 "kit" lens, is not a $100 plastic fantastic like everyone else uses. It is a high grade f2.8-4 lens with a $700 regular retail price. It's more in line with the 12-40 from Olympus, which was offered with the E-M1 in some countries as a "kit lens".

    I agree with what you are saying as it is a great lens, but I don't think it is fair to compare it to your standard 14-42 for example. It is a great value, though!
  15. dougpayne

    dougpayne Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2016
    C.D. Payne
    I dipped my toe into Fuji system briefly, but found the lenses big and heavy compared to M4/3 versions. Something to consider.
  16. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    One thing I am really impressed with is the build quality on the Pentax 18-135WR. Despite the weather-sealing it has a super smooth two-cam zoom and neatly damped MF ring with a nice throw. And at 400g with a 62mm filter is both smaller and lighter than the Fuji 18-135, not to mention half the price.

    Nicer to handle than my Panasonic 14-140. I was thinking the Pentax would let me get rid of that lens, but every time I use it in earnest I really appreciate what it offers. Really I just need to see if the Pentax can match it optically.
  17. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    The aprox price of the fuji 18-55 is about $300 when you buy the "kit". Lets compare "out of wallet" money to IQ ratio :)

    This is where a photographer's needed application comes into play. For family snapshots and daily use (not sports where fast AF is required) the $1100CDN fuji "kit" packs incredible IQ and noise control compared to an OMD E-m5mk2 with 12-40 for $2049(Em1 even more) similar IQ. This is where I bought the Fuji X-T10 with 18-55 and a $1000 16mm f/1.4 prime for about the same price of an Olympus with 12-40 "pro" lens. I do find for the same price the IQ of the Fuji for my casual photography has been a pleasant system to use. Analyzing folders of photos from my GH3 and Em5 the Fuji has not been a lateral move. I'll have to say I'm still surprised I own fuji gear and the IQ has shocked me.

    I think Fuji is smart in the pricing. Lens are not cheap but not insanely expensive. Not for everyone but it's definitely a nice system.
  18. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Personally I find the Fuji lenses insanely expensive. I could literally never justify spending $1000 on their primes, when M4/3 lenses that are a bit slower cost 1/3 to 1/2 as much. I know, I know "equivalence." But the M4/3 primes have more resolution wide-open, and compare well with the Fuji lenses stopped down 1 stop. M4/3 doesn't have enough f1.4 primes, but Fuji has no affordable offerings at all except for their $400 35/f2, if you can call $400 cheap. The two systems are kind of opposite extremes in that way.

    I think that Fuji vs. M4/3 (or other systems) really does just come down to image quality preferences. In general, M4/3 and comparable lenses show objectively better pixel level detail than the Fuji system, whereas Fuji's output is objectively smoother with more pleasant noise. I shoot mostly at low ISOs and stopped down, so Fuji has only negatives for me. For low light at matched exposures (not matched settings, since ISO values are not comparable between Fuji and other systems), a little noise reduction on M4/3 goes a long way to match the noise vs. detail balance that Fuji 16MP sensors have.

    The X-Pro2 is a bit of a different story, but that's a brand new generation of sensor, and that camera is priced like a full-frame body.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. MaK543

    MaK543 Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2012
    MD USA
    Make a list of your system requirement and shoot style, then go from there.

    One major disadvantage about APSC system is that lenses are almost as big and expensive as FF system. I've tried m43, Fuji X, and Nikon FF over the past few years, and found myself grabbing EM5 for family and casual photo, or Nikon FF when I need ultimate image quality.
  20. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    As a former Pentax shooter I will tell you that you will not get the image quality expected from the new full frame camera by using the old legacy or even some of the DSLR lenses. NOT going to happen!! If that’s what your thinking better stick with a K-5II or K-3. About three years ago I started my move away from Pentax because they have the worst marketing of any camera manufacture and even though I live near the fifth or sixth largest city in the US, depending on who’s numbers you want to believe, I could never get my hands on their products before purchase. I also did not like how BIG and heavy the cameras were getting. Size, weight and costs are approaching that of their famed 645. With the purchase of my K-5 and K-5IIs which was the last Pentax I purchased and still own, I also started to notice how quickly their products depreciated in value compared to other camera models.

    I went with Olympus E-M10 and E-M5 because I really liked the feel and operation of their bodies however I much preferred the Panasonic lenses because to me, across their entire range of lenses they just feel better built. However, in a period of six months I had three failures of Olympus E-M10 bodies. That led me to feel that every time I went out on a trip or shooting assignment I HAD to carry at least one or two backup bodies and especially on my motorcycle trips that is not always possible. That led me to investigate Fujifilm cameras.

    While I continue to shoot with my Oly E-M5 and Panny GM-5 which both churn out good results, for all of my business related work I have switched to Fuji. Personally for my type of shooting the IQ is better than the 4/3 format especially the JPEG’s. Yes, the Fuji cameras and lenses are more expensive initially but I think there are less issues with durability of these components especially the bodies and you should consider them as investments not money spent. The lenses do not depreciate quickly so in a few years you will be able to recover a good portion of your investment if you choose to do so and so far Fuji has done better than other manufactures at keeping older camera models up to date. They have committed verbally and through their actions by issuing firmware updates to keep the older models up to date with many of the features available in the newer models.

    While Gavin Hoey, who does a lot of great tutorial videos for Adorama has gone over to using an Olympus camera in his latest videos, professional photographer Daminen Lovegrove who also does tutorial videos has moved from Canon to Fuji. You can find both of these guys on Youtube.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
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