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Olympus OM-D E-M5 + zuiko 17mm 1.8 vs Fuji X-E1 + 18-55 + 50-230 (for the same $)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Reesebass, May 13, 2014.

  1. Reesebass

    Reesebass Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 5, 2013
    I have a close friend, who whishes to upgrade from point and shoot and get serious with photography.
    She has used her boyfriend Nikon dslr but would prefer smaller cameras. For 700€ budget i recommended her an E-M5, but
    then i saw how cheap the Fuji X-E1 sells. Now i don't know anymore.

    For the same amount of money 699€ which one would you pick?:

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 with HDL-6 battery grip and Zuiko 17mm F1.8 (camera is slightly used, but with 2 year warranty)


    Fujifilm X-E1 with Fujinon 18-55 F2.8-4 OIS and 50-230 F4.5-6.7 OIS
  2. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    If she is just starying, I would recommend zooms over a single prime. What about an EM5, 12-50, and 45-150? One 35mm lens means she will either click with it, or hate it and abandon forever. Zooms give you some freedom when learning.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
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  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    +1 what Sean said on the zoom being a good place to start with the E-M5. She could always add a 25/1.8 or 45/1.8 later. I am guessing this is all coming as a kit, but also would wonder whether she would want/need the grip.

    With the X-E1, could you get the 35/1.8 and 18-55 instead? It seems like that would cover a lot of uses.
  4. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    The other thing I didn't cover is if she was wanting to "get serious" aka. is enrolling in photography classes. In that case, forcing composition by using a prime is the right way to go. Overall, I think the Fuji's having the dedicated dials will help her realize what controls which aspect easier than a wheel controlling multiple options, but not sure the x-e1 vs em5 is the best comparison.
  5. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    An easier to use camera can help her really enjoy using the camera and "get serious" about photography too.

    Is the E-M10 with the kit zoom not an option for her?
  6. Reesebass

    Reesebass Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 5, 2013
    Yeah, that's the plan. Her budget is only 700 euros. I searched for deals that will give the most bang for a buck. Olympus and the 17 mm are sold used but will come with warranty. She probably won't need the grip, but it just comes with the deal. I thought that 35mm equivalent prime is a good starting point, the most versatile focal length. I remember that the 12-50mm was nice to use but the iq and slow aperture was not very inspiring. She wanted a zoom, but i told her the same thing when it comes to learning composition, it is better to limit yourself to a single focal length. So that you wouldn't mindlessly zoom back and forth etc. But maybe zoom will be better for her.
    The Fuji 2 lens kit is sold in our local store, the primes are currenly out of budget. I hear that the 18-55 is really good for a kit lens and is quite bright starting from F2.8. The price for the lens itself is over 500, so basically the deal gives a camera + a tele lens for free.
    She has a good eye for macro and definitely wants to get a macro lens in the future. That made me think about E-PM2 kit + Zuiko 60 F2.8. But it's a hundred euros over budget and maybe a camera with no viewfinder and limited controls is not the best for learning photography. She could add a cheap legacy macro fot the E-M5 and X-E1.
  7. Reesebass

    Reesebass Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 5, 2013
    I thought about E-M10 too, but i find the kit lens rather unexciting. She wouldn't have any cash to spear for a proper prime in the near future.
  8. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    While you might not find it exciting, she might appreciate twisting the lens to zoom, unlike normal p&s cameras?

    When I first got my E-PL2, I remember the joy of zooming in & out with my left hand while holding the camera with my right hand. It made me feel really professional :tongue:
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    She should really try both cameras. The controls are completely different. Some people love the retro-style controls on the X-E1. Some find the E-M5's responsiveness (AF, EVF updates) very important for their uses. As to lenses, I would never recommend a first-time DSLR or ILC user to start with a prime lens as their only lens. The loss of flexibility will be extremely frustrating compared to a P&S and frustration will not encourage anybody toward more serious photography.
  10. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Possibly look into legacy glass to extend the budget? With the Fugi, a 35mm becomes "standard", and will force composition more than AF anyways.
  11. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I agree that there is more than one way to "get serious". I was mostly putting it in quotes as I know several photography schools over here highly suggest a prime to start with. My original post is my personal recommendation, this was just a thought I had, as I wasn't sure how he meant it.
  12. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    I'd get the X-E1
  13. Reesebass

    Reesebass Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 5, 2013
    Leaning towards X-E1 at the moment. But one thing that about the Fuji worries a bit, lag of the evf and screen in low light. I remember that i didn't like the X-M1 much because the frame rate dropped in lower light, something i never experienced with any m43 cameras. Also the build quality felt hollow, i guess X-E1 is better in that regard. Anybody knows if the viewfinder on the Fuji is any good for manual focusing?

    I will surely recommend her getting in to legacy glass asap. A nice nifty fifty + stanard adapter or a speedbooster clone would be a nice addition to the two Fuji zooms or the Zuiko 17mm 1.8. With either of these kits, she would be set for this summer. I just sent her links for the Fuji and Oly and told her to decide which on she likes better, i think she can't go wrong with either of these.
  14. benti77

    benti77 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 16, 2014
    I find the fuji really a nice camera and it's known for the IQ, for that price with 2 lenses it would be really a good buy. But I would raccomend to check with your hands the em10. The zoom isn't as fast as the one on the ex1, but the body and the grip of the camera is lovely, and anyway the 12-40ez isn't so bad as all purpose compact lens.
    Finally check the af speed of the ex1, many preferred the em5 in the last year (I read that on dpreview).

    Inviato dal mio SGH-T989 utilizzando Tapatalk
  15. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Given the choice between the two I think she will get more enjoyment from the EM5 than the XE1.
    In terms of IQ at normal ISO's the EM5 will have more dynamic range, much quicker focus speeds and IBIS which will be more forgiving for camera shake - i.e. she will potentially get a LOT more keepers and I personally prefer the look for most lighting conditions.
    Getting keepers plays a large part in fueling the addiction.
    At higher ISO's (3200 and above) the XE1 will produce noticeably cleaner files, below that differences are not as pronounced in terms of noise and in terms of dynamic range, the EM5 has one of the best sensors in the business for dynamic range competitive with some of the best 35mm Full frame systems.
    IBIS will also be very helpful with static low light shooting.
    I also feel that most photography courses tend to steer people towards lightroom and a lightroom based workflow.

    Is she does want to go for a Fuji, I would steer her to spend a bit more and go towards an XE2 - it has a significantly better autofocus system which she will get more enjoyment from. It's a different camera altogether.
    However all of a sudden we are encouraging you to get her to spend more and more and she is heading towards XT1's and EM1's price territory ;) 
    Keep in mind that she will need to learn a workflow as well.

    I would try and pick up an EM5 as cheap as possible second hand (they are still used by pro's on professional assignment so there is plenty for her to grow into). Pick up a half decent second hand zoom and spend the money saved on photography courses. Biggest improvement to IQ will come from skill behind the camera not the actual camera in her hand.

    Just my 0.02 :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  16. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Interesting observation... most people are seemingly leaning towards the Fuji. Would the recommendation be the same if the E-M5 could be had with an equivalent lens combo at a similar price?

    If so, this speaks volumes for the difficulties of MFT penetrating the wider mass consumer market.
  17. bluzcity

    bluzcity Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    I have both cameras and for someone just beginning to get 'serious' about photography I would recommend the EM5. The XE 1 requires a managed pace and a good bit of concentration.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think the EM5 is probably the better bet.. The touch screen & flip out screen is a huge plus in my book. I'd recommend looking at refurbished units from Olympus and see if it meets her budget. One nice thing about the m43 system is most lenses are very inexpensive, and for someone on a budget it would be more bang for your buck. Sigma primes can be had for next to nothing and so can the Oly Zooms! Also look in the marketplace here on the forums maybe something in your area that is reasonable..

  19. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    + 1 on the Sigma primes!
    • Like Like x 1
  20. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I owned an XE1 for over a year. It was a great camera, but it lacked a lot in AF speed and quick handling. As stated previously, it is a very deliberate pace of handling. If there is any need whatsoever to get something quickly, then a Fuji camera may not be your best bet. I wanted it to be a great street camera, but found I was missing shots waiting for the thing to wake up or start up, then hunt for focus. When it did get to where I wanted it to be, it produced super output with lots of info for working in post.

    I traded it all in for a Nikon Df, which is now my all time favorite camera. If I could have it and my 50/1.8 on my hands at all times I would.

    I still wanted something smaller, so after songs time I want back to looking. Considered (and still am) a Fuji X100s, the XT1 and the Olympus EM5. Walked out of the site with an EM5 much to my surprise. Even after all the Fuji firmware updates, the Olympus stock firmware focused faster in poor light, handle better and just had overall faster operation. Not to mention that the fast primes are smaller and less expensive. It made a lot more sense to me.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk
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