om-d (+zoom) vs X-E1+18-55

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by shawngibson, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. shawngibson

    shawngibson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2010
    Hi guys, been a long time:) 

    I've owned a LOT of cameras, from MF film to FF Canon to teeny-weeny PS cameras. I also do a LOT of Photoshop work, and can fix many things, if the image is good. If there are too many bad variables, I can not fix it.

    I have changed focus lately, and need a camera that allows me to create images for painting, and I do not like DSLRs. I've recently owned (and sold unfortunately) both the E-P2 and D7000. They both performed admirably, IQ wise.

    The EP-2 reminded me of my Contax S2 and Oly 35 SP. The D7000 reminded me of all the bad Canons I bought once the world went digital. Gimme a Nikon F4s with a D800 sensor, for $2000, please. But I digress.

    As a photographer, I've always owned primes. I've only ever had 2 zooms, and one was the bundled kit lens, which I gave to the cats to play with:) 

    But things are different now. I paint people, usually one person in the composition. But in order to get the detail, I need to make my composition, and then ZOOM into specific areas, ie hands, face, hair, etc. I do anatomically-correct work, so when I don't have detail, I don't have a painting. But having said that, I use a Manfrotto 303SPH, full 360 VR head, so I can make as many images as needed, long as my subject can hold her breath lol. I can stitch from there.

    Sorry for the long preamble. My question is:

    I've a limited budget. Can't afford both the OM-D and the Pany 14-50/2.8-3.5. I can afford the X-E1 and the 18-55, or the OM-d and the kit zoom. It will be a 1-lens system, and I'll be carrying it everywhere. When I have someone to paint, I'll use the head, and stitch.

    I'm a bit lost as to what would be better. I always shoot in manual, but with AF since the F4s, and with human subjects I don't care if AF is slow, but I DO shoot in low natural light with a cable/electronic release.

    On the assumption of a single standard low light zoom, and image IQ, and portability, and a budget of under $2K, and a salesperson who will buy me a slice of pizza, which would you choose? OK forget the pizza.

    I prefer the OM-D, but I prefer the Fujifilm lens (because I can't afford the Pany), so this does not compute...

    I've narrowed it down to these two cameras, but the lenses are driving me wonky.

    I'm leaning towards the X-E1 because it is better than the kit lens with the Oly, but that Oly/Pany combo is beautiful, the OM-D is beautiful, and while the Fuji performs admirably, it doesn't shine like the Pany lens to me, but I can't afford that. Sucks lol!

  2. Is the Panasonic lens you're referring to is the 4/3 Panasonic Leica D Vario Elmarit 14-50mm f2.8-3.5? Optically this is a fantastic lens but it is quite unbalanced on any Micro 4/3 camera and the autofocus speed and sound is awful. In terms of cost I've seen them around $400 (used, of course) which would put it well within your budget even including an adapter. I wouldn't recommend it as a walkaround lens, however.
  3. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    if you get used/refurbished stuff, you could swing the Olympus plus the Panasonic fast zoom. Otherwise, I don't know if I would get the Olympus over Fuji if you only limit yourself to that slow kit zoom.
  4. G5 + 12-35 f/2.8 is within your budget.

    But if you want detail in what is essentially a portrait session, then you are far better off focusing on lighting rather than blow your entire budget just on a camera + lens.
  5. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    X-E1's weakness in AF shouldn't be a concern when you're using it essentially for portraits. You are right about the X-E1's kit lens too - it is fantastic.

    However, I think (having never owned the OM-D yet, only up to the previous generation Pen) the OM-D is the more versatile of the two. If you are going to use it exclusively for the use you mentioned, personally I would go with the X-E1.

    But IMO you can't go wrong with either.
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    If you need the utmost detail, your subjects are static, and you want to stitch together multiple images, why do you need a zoom? Wouldn't a prime work?
  7. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    OMD with Oly 14-54 mark II = affordable high end kit without breaking ur bank . You can even pick up EPL5 and use this lens . Or get EPM2 body and get PL 25 and Oly 46 mm 1.8 n live happily thereafter
  8. shawngibson

    shawngibson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2010
    Thanks everyone. I thought I'd set up for auto-responses, but haven't received any notifications. Weird.

    Luckypenguin, this is the lens I mean:


    Steven - I buy used all the time, I just haven't seen much of this gear yet, on kijiji. I should check the classifieds here, may get lucky:)  My bonus doesn't arrive til May 1, so hopefully I don't miss any deals before then:) 

    Usayit - Having owned the E-P2, I would much rather stick to Oly, if I go 4/3s. Nothing against anyone else, I just really like Olympus cameras. Also, I have 3x750W continuous heads with grids and umbrellas. Nothing fancy, but enough to get f/8 on a tripod with a cable release:)  I prefer available light, though.

    Hyubie - Yes, I'm impressed with the kit lens for the X-E1. It is afterall, not really a 'kit' lens per se. But when I look at the Pany lens linked above, examples on this board for example, it seems to have character, as opposed to just being 'really good'. Now I don't think I'll find a lens that is magic like my old 85/1.2 Mark II, but then, that is not expected given my budget. Nor would I expect that from a zoom lol.

    The reason I want a single zoom as opposed to say a 20/50 combo like I had with the E-P2, is that in the old days, I used to take photos from a zoom point and shoot solely for the purpose of painting, and it worked very well. Compose wide, then quickly zoom in for details, ie before the model fatigued or moved. It worked very well:)  As I became more of a photographer than painter over the years, I switched to primes and found myself making very tight compositions, with no environment, and that does NOT work for painting, not my type of painting anyways lol. So I want to get back into my old philosophy. Of course, I want equipment that is good enough to give my models photos, and to of course make prints, but that is secondary.

    WT21 - yes, for sure, but I would lose the ability to take a photo which is meant to be the composition, if that makes sense. A composition at say 35mm...and details zoomed into 70mm for reference.

    Bhupinder - I had the 14-54. It took decent images but I really disliked the build quality, and I wouldn't think it is in the same class as the two zooms I've mentioned. Am I wrong?

    I'm a bit out of the loop. The two other Oly's available now, are they the same sensor and IBIS as the OM-D? If so, I could go for the less expensive body, and the awesome Pany 2.8 zoom. That might be within reach, especially if I get lucky and find them used.

    I think I will try to go the Oly/Pany zoom route. If I don't get lucky enough to find used, I can confidently change my plan and go for the Fuji. I'm quite sure I'd be happy either way.

    Thanks guys, and I am of course still open to other opinions:) 

  9. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I think u are totally confusing Olympus 14-54 mm II with some other lens . This is the best built four third lens and none of current generation of MFT lens are near its built quality .
  10. fluberman

    fluberman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 19, 2012
    Are you sure it was the 14-54, and not the 14-45? Being a HG lens, the build quality of 14-54 is excellent. IQ-wise it's also excellent, comparable to the Pana 12-35 or maybe even better. However, I choose the 12-35 for its more compact size and faster autofocus (I have the mark I of this lens, I'm sure Bhupinder has mark II which support CDAF).
  11. shawngibson

    shawngibson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yes, my bad, I thought you were referring to the kit lens for the E-P2:( 

    I don't really want 4/3s converted lenses, as I truly want to be able to keep the kit in my knapsack 24-7:) 

    I also want to be as inconspicuous as possible while working with sitters, or photographing something I come across in my travels, if that makes sense:) 
  12. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Sounds like if you may be using it on a tripod if you need to stitch then an EPL5 or G5 with the Pana F2.8 zoom might be the way to go as the IBIS of the OMD won't be of benefit.
  13. shawngibson

    shawngibson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2010
    For sure, IBIS+tripod=nono:) 

    I guess my needs are probably a bit more complicated than I thought they were in my head lol.

    Primary function: zoom lens on a tripod, not stitched, just multiple shots for reference for painting. The 'real' composition image must be good enough for 13x19 and hopefully 17x21" prints. I don't see either of the options I've noted as having any difficulty there, as I am pretty good in Photoshop.

    Secondary functions: 1) big stitched images (panohead) and 2) hand-held normal photography shots.

    Stitched images, I have no idea how to find the nodal point on a zoom. Does it change when zooming?
  14. ptolemyx

    ptolemyx Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    There's been some noise recently about the 12-35 f2.8 lens providing "jittery" images while on a tripod, presumably because its OIS never truly disengages (only tries to remain still). Worth looking into.
  15. shawngibson

    shawngibson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2010
    That would lead to a no-sale for me, for sure. I'll have to look into it, thanks for the heads-up.
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Odd. All indications I've seen are that the Fuji and the Panasonic lenses are pretty comparable.

    You mention not wanting adapted lenses, you don't care for primes, and the only m4/3 lenses you can afford are the kit lenses. Seems like that decides your decision right there.
  17. shawngibson

    shawngibson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2010
    Not necessarily...given the used market, even today there is a listing here for an OM-D/Pany 2.8 combo that I could afford. So it really depends what happens when I have cash in hand. OM-D, or E-PL5, plus Pany 2.8 would work; and again, fall back, worst case, the Fuji. So, I'm not committing to anything until I have the money ready to transfer/give to someone:) 
  18. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    As an EM5 and 12-35 owner, I would definitely get the Fuji. The Fuji lens has IS, although you don't need it on a tripod. It's nearly 800.00 cheaper and the 18-55 is optically better in the corners and slightly better in the centre. The Fuji has less noise, even at base ISO and a lot less noise at higher ISO's. If you don't have both it's a no brainer.

    Although I can't give up my EM5 (I need the focus speed and IBIS) I am very tempted to get an XE-1 kit for landscapes just because of how good the "kit" lens is in the corners.

  19. shawngibson

    shawngibson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2010
    Very interesting and honest response. Thanks Gordon. I certainly find the Fuji very attractive. Maybe I'm just letting my previous, very good, experience with Oly blind me lol.
  20. shawngibson

    shawngibson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2010
    Well I've had a lot of time to think, and had to expand my budget. Here are my conclusions.

    X-e1 has slightly better image quality according to reports. But after going to dXo and comparing the OM-D with my previous fave, the canon 5d mark 1, it seems things have advanced a lot.

    The fuji has no IBIS. the fuji is not good for af.

    The Olympus line has IBIS, two axis with everything but the OM which has 5 axis. After the E-P2 I am ok with two axis.

    So I've finalized. I'm adding a few hundred, spending my whole bonus really and some out of my pocket, and getting the epl5 with the primes: 17, 45 and 75.

    I already have a gig lined up that will recuperate $800 of that. If I get another gig, I can add an OM-D with funds generated from photography. A friend is lending his Nikon gear as backup so I'm confident to do the gig.

    Yep I went 360...back to photography. Painting is too slow and apparently not my real passion.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.