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Olympus OM-D E-M5 vs. Fuji x 100

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by mbbinvt, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. mbbinvt

    mbbinvt Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2012
    I need a little help debating my next purchase. I made the mistake of looking at a classified ad on this site yesterday for a rather tasty-looking Fuji x100 for $850 and was distracted for the rest of the day, thinking of pulling the trigger on that item.

    Fortunately, the camera sold and I can focus a bit more on work today!

    At some point during my internal debate, I thought "I really should put that $850 toward an OM-D E-M5." My thinking was that I've started to assemble a nice collection of m4/3 lenses and I should put them to use someday on the top-of-the-line E-M5, rather than branch out into yet another type of camera. That makes sense, right?

    I love the X100's IQ and low-light abilities, but the E-M5 can basically match it, can't it?

    I'm actually hoping I can resist the urge to buy an E-M5 for the next 6-12 months and then pick one up cheaper used. Wish me luck with that resolution!
  2. Shade

    Shade Mu-43 Regular

    May 30, 2012
    Honestly, I have tried both and despite loving all the Fuji colours and picture quality, the OM-D delivers it all! With an almost same set up with panny 20/1.7, you have a lowlight pocket camera with you with built in 5 axis IS.

    I may sound very marketing, but believe me, the x100 is way behind this time. Loved the Fuji, but I love the OM-D even more..
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  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I wouldn't think of it that way. The X100 is a fixed-lens camera, with rangefinder-like styling and controls. The E-M5 is an interchangeable-lens camera with DSLR-like styling and controls. Which of the two fit your photography style and habits?

    The IQ on the E-M5 seems to be better in low light, but that's to be expected as it's a significantly newer camera. The other difference in low light is AF - the E-M5 is certainly the faster of the two there.

  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    That was my X-100, not that its relevant to the discussion. I'd say the OMD is about as good in low light shooting raw as the X100 jpegs are. I never plumbed the depths of the X100 raw files because the jpegs were so good. Jpeg to jpeg I'd say the X100 is better but just because the OMD sticks some pretty nasty NR artifacts in its high ISO files that the Fuji doesn't. Bottom line is they're both very capable low light cameras, second but not by all that much to the Fuji X-Pro, which I now own and that's the only reason I sold the X100.

    But as DH said, its less to do than any sort of measurable IQ differences than the VERY different shooting experience and the qualitative part of IQ, which is different. I've had at least one m43 body for better than two years now and I have all of the m43 glass I could want - in fact I've sold a couple of lenses recently because I had too many and a couple weren't getting any use. I wouldn't want to be without an m43 setup - its sooo versatile and has gotten sooo good at doing everything it does that its sort of the heart of my system.

    But I got that X100 as soon as it became available over a year ago and also got the X-Pro and a couple of lenses as soon as it became available a couple of months ago and I wouldn't want to be without that Fuji type of camera either, via either of those two cameras. They shoot VERY differently. They require a more deliberate way of shooting, you have to think about what you're doing a bit differently (and arguably more, but not necessarily), the OVF is a pretty much singular experience of its own. Its just a totally different camera. And the jpegs are so damn good I never found any advantage to shooting raw with those cameras and they come with all of the Fuji "film" types which I also find really nice and highly useful. There's something about the look of a Fuji that's just different, to some better, to some probably not. But the X100 and X-Pro turn out really really nice files.

    So its not one VERSUS the other. If you only want one, I'd generally recommend the OMD because it just does a lot more, unless you're a zen master of simplicity who wants the imposed discipline of shooting with a fixed focal length ALL the time. There are people who have ONLY an X100 and love them and I'm not here to criticize them, but I'm not one to join them either.

    Its more about variety, which I personally love. Some people find it confusing to have more than one camera interface to have to deal with and figure out (and the X100 can take a bit of figuring for a lot of folks) - to me its the spice of life - I LOVE the variety. If you do too, you should seriously consider the X100 or X-Pro because it'll make you look at your shooting in a different way, something that just adding a lens or three to your m43 setup won't do. If its just about the quantitative exercise of what's "better", neither is really much better but the m43 gear is obviously more versatile and you should probably stick with that. But the fact that you're asking the question suggests you've got the wandering eye and you'll never satisfy it if you don't let it wander! To which I can relate. Unless I'm badly mis-reading you.

    I just sold an X-100 but I'd highly recommend that anyone who's interested in one and can afford it, get it. You may have to relearn some old habits, and if you never had them you may have to learn some new ones. You might find it really frustrating - some people HATE them because they don't act like you'd expect a modern camera to act, but that's part of the point. So if that sounds appealing to you, its worth a shot... And if not, it probably isn't.

    • Like Like x 5
  5. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    The E-M5 is much more responsive, but I'd sell my E-M5 before my X100 any day of the week. I prefer the look of the files from the X100 and for me the focal length is perfect. If I didn't enjoy shooting with a tele lens and doing macro photography, I'd ditch the mu-43 altogther and just stick with the Fuji.

    Mind you the camera's personality isn't for everyone.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I think that statement says it all. The Fuji X100 is not a system camera, and it is not expandable and will not grow with you. The E-M5 is an accessory for all of your interchangeable lenses, and part of a full system. The X100 is just a standalone product with one focal length and one lens. There really is no comparison.
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  7. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I almost started this exact same thread yesterday, as I too was very close to buying Ray's camera. In the end though it would have been and either/or for me; not both the E-M5 and X100. Practicality won out in my head, as the X100 is not a fit for what I mostly shoot.

    I may have to pick up another X10 to satisfy some of my Fuji lust...
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    I've been enjoying my OMD, but there's no doubt in my mind that I'd sell the OMD before I'd sell the X100. Like Luke, to my eyes, the X100 produces the images with the "look" that I like. To my eyes, the X100 produces images that jump out at me, even when I'm just shooting JPG. The OMD is the best high ISO m4/3 camera so far, and closes the gap to the APS-C sensor cameras.

    Like the others also said though, it comes to which camera fits your style of photography better. For example, the OMD allows me to capture some photos that the X100 can't, because of the OMD's versatility (interchangeable lenses) and responsiveness (fast AF and touch screen shutter).

    Luckily, I don't have to choose between the two right now.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Ray and Armanius have it 100% correct. I have both, shot for a year exclusively with the X100, but it really depends on whether the 35mm-e (17 m43) is for you or not. I find the combination wonderful, and I have the good fortune to have been able to afford it by selling my Nikon APS stuff.

    If I had neither, I would probably start with the EM5 ...

    Using Mu-43 for Android App
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I think it's impossible to have a definitive answer these kinds of questions. It really does boil down to personal preferences. Each camera has its strengths and weaknesses and in turn each of us has our particular likes and dislikes. Folks that have both can give you their perspective but even that varies depending on what each person puts value in. You even see it when comparing different models within the m43 universe.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012

    Just be aware that the x100's are having sticky shutter issues at the moment. I dont know how warranty goes with buying a used fuji unit with a shutter problem.

    The fuji does seem to have a cool factor look. Preference wise cosmetically I think the fuji looks a tad better than the OM-D. However looks is one thing and versatility is another. The x100 was the coolest thing at the time but personally I didn't want to spend the 1300 dollar introduction price for a fixed lens camera.

    The capabilities of the OMD for interchangeable lenses is the deal maker for me. For my intended use of the m43 I am just barely getting by with a PL25mm and 14mm f/2.5. For personal street photog/family use lugging $8000 of canon gear (5dmk2, 24Lmk2, 85Lmk2 or lighter 85 f/1.8) I can now have a ultra light system that weighs next to nothing. I'm
    pleased knowing I can swap lenses with the OMD.
  12. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012

    If you like white blown out ORBs in your photographythe X10 is an orb/ufo maker. I'd avoid the x10 like a plague after doing my litte research on that camera.

    If you do research on the x10 there are plenty of angry x10 owners with no "fix" from fuji. The new firmware does NOT fix the problem. And just think fuji is still selling new units to the consumers knowing its a defective product!!!!
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    The sticky aperture blade problem seems to have been solved for some time now. It was really bad through last summer and fall, but by last winter they had developed a new lens assembly and people started getting new and repaired units that were NOT failing again. I haven't heard of a new case of that popping up on one of the newer cameras since probably October or November.

    Nobody would argue that the X100 is anything other than a great fixed lens camera with some decidedly non-modern features. Which is a big part of the appeal. Whether that's right for you is totally a different question.

  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    This is about the X100 not the X10. No orbs in the X100. And, no, the firmware for the X10 didn't fix the orbs, but according to the prototype DPR had, the new sensor did fix them. When the repairs will start happening and when the new sensor will start showing up in new cameras is another question - I don't believe anyone out in the wild has a "fixed" one yet.

  15. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    yes correct I'm talking "orbs" with the X10 not x100.
  16. captevo

    captevo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    I absolutely LOVE the IQ coming from the X100. But I couldn't live with the squirky AF.
    So I sold the X100.
    Now I'm using the OM-D with 14mm, 25mm and 45mm. I'm extremely happy with my current lineup.
    But, i must say, I really miss the X100... I'll save up and get a used one someday.
  17. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2012
    The Fuji x100 is not a good choice if you are used to a DSLR or a responsive camera. It's focusing is slow, and it has a lot of bugs when it comes to smooth operation. Wait for the next generation if you want the Fuji.
  18. fooddude

    fooddude Mu-43 Regular

    May 22, 2012
    Ive noticed many blogs prefer and/or replace their X-Pro for the OMD..which is a big jump in price difference. Maybe the X-Pro is a better comparison, since everyone is mentioning the X100 is fixed-FL and the XPro has interchangeability like the OMD
  19. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The Fuji X-10 is the best enthusiast point-and-shoot I've ever had; absolutely no regrets in buying it. The orbs problem is real, although limited to certain shooting situations that I rarely encounter. AND...a sensor replacement is on the way.

    So I wouldn't say "avoid it like the plague", but I might say, "Wait until it's over its current night cough"....
  20. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    OK....there's enough common misinformation in this thread that I HAVE to step in.

    The AF of the Fuji X100 is not slow. Period. It is not DSLR fast, but in practice it is faster than most of the m43 cameras.

    I just threw this video together. It is not meant to be scientific in any way. I have focus lock assigned to a half button press with both cameras. I move the camera towards the ceiling and then to a point not on the same focal plane. I do it with both cameras. The E-M5 is a little faster, but I certainly wouldn't call the X100 slow. So please, if you don't own one of the cameras being discussed, please don't just parrot some things you've read on the internet as fact. The fact remains that the X100 is NOT slow at auto-focusing. It may not be a class-leader, but it is faster than both of my Panasonics and WAY faster than my old E-P1 (and I managed to get a few good shots with those cameras as well).
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zE30sk9LRAk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    • Like Like x 2
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