Ongoing Journal; X100S vs OMD

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Chrisnmn, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Ok guys before i say a word or two, this ís not a scientific test, nor is applicable to all models, as we all know, mirrorless cameras are still 'maturing' and theres is difference in each body/lens copy. Take this more like a 'thinking out loud' long post

    So, i pulled the trigger on a new x100s to go with my main camera system, my OMD with bunch of lenses.

    So first thing first.


    Here in New Zealand, at the time of writing this (april 2013), a brand new OMD Body(NZD$1500 ~) + 17mm f1,8 (NZD$699 ~) combo goes for $2200 while the Fuji X100S got it for NZD$1880 plus a $100 cashback offer so i bought it for NZD$1780

    So for me the Fuji X100S was way cheaper. For more than a $400~ difference, i honestly dont mind carrying two different batteries and chargers. And I pretend to update this with different findings as i get to know the camera.

    Now, straight onto the camera,

    For some reason NZ was one of the first countries in the world to retail x100s's, and i mention this cause eventhough ive had the camera for barely 24hours (at this point) mine came with FIRMWARE v1.00 which apparently is the FW which most reviewers such as Zach Arias and other used in their 'over the top' reviews and currently the camera ships with FW v1.01 which makes it as slow as the previous model? (Or so they say some Fujinians).

    My story with Fuji is sweet n sour. I jumped when they first announced the X100 wanted to love the thing, but it was crap, that thing didnt focus on a snail in the grass. Loved the IQ but i sold it after a month of use.

    I decided that i would comeback when fuji matured its system, so after several FW updates and XP1-XE1 cameras i jumped again on what i think 'they finally made it work' x100s niche camera.

    I consider myself a 'Travel photographer' (which i think is an easy way to say i love shooting people and streets but tons of landscape as well) so cameras like the Fuji X's and Olympus OMD's fit my style completely.

    Ok too much bla bla.

    Is the AF speed on the X100S honestly faster than the world-reknown-speed-demon OMD? In one word. NO. Is not! (And i say that even considering i own a version of the camera with its currently fastest FW)

    Is it slow then? NO, at all!

    Then like what fast? Well i feel like the fuji is more like 'im trying realllllly hard to run as fast as this other dude...and sometimes im almost there but i get tired and walk' fast. Does it make any sense? The fuji in daylight is 'as fast' as the OMD but inmediately when you put it down in the shade or low light, hunts a bit, anyway for me this is blazing fast compared to the previous model and also the OMD while being a reference for the word 'speed' is also not the norm. So the fuji clearly made it faster.

    Now the size,
    The x100s feels as pocketable as the omd paired with a P14. Perfect size, perfect weight. So its perfect companion to my OMD paired with the O75 beast.

    The X100s doesnt feel as good as the OMD (without the added grip), there i said it, i just miss a thumb rest in the back of the fuji, thing that i love on the omd. And paying an extra $100 bucks for a third party thumb for the fuji is not in my budget at this moment.

    Different. But good or bad different you may ask? Neither, is just different. Of course the OMD works more like DSLR (yeah yeah whatever man!) while the X100S totally appeals to and old rangefinder/film camera (I know is not, may i continue?). Even though both camera have different controls both feel really good to me for what i consider 'shoot dont think' moments where its all about the frame and not scrolling through endless menus. So main aperture, speed and iso are at fingers reach not menus.

    They are both terrible, you HAVE to go the first couple of days to set the camera as you please before shooting. Im also one of those rare species that do read the instruction manual, both camera have so many options, yet ive noticed than the omd looks like it has more 'bells n whistles' than the fuji, yet the fuji has an option to actually design, and prepare for print, photobooks, yes you read it right, i dont know who on earth under whatever circumstances could design a photobook IN CAMERA! Jeez you really asked fuji for that option?

    sorry no images yet! Will follow, i promise. But this is Fuji's almost undebatable strengh. The IQ is better than in the OMD. How better? Pixel peeper better? Or normal human being bare sight better? The latter. You can tell the difference already in the LCD. ISO 800 looks like olympus ISO200, yup THAT CLEAN.
    Dont freak out guys I AM NOT a "ISO 25600 is the new ISO100" guy. I never go beyond iso 1600 and one or two ill jump to 3200. And i do shoot a lot of concerts in low light. But IQ in the fuji looks like a 5dmk whatever while the omd is more like a 7d and that makes sense just because of their sensor size difference.

    Overall i feel the X100S is a great second body option for a system. I love my OMD and i wont sell it at all, but im also loving this new fuji to go with my omd. Iq is impressive and the camera is definitely more responsive than before and while not in the league of the omd, for me is just a fw away of being as equal or even better.

    Why the comparison if these are not the same type of cameras? Well, because i can, because i have them both and because im on my first day of my holidays i got time to write it with it .

    Now i gotta go back to the store to check on some weird glitch this x100s is doing but wont say more until we compare against other copies to officially say its glitch and not a faulty camera....

    April 4th Update ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    So when i finished this first commentary full of typos (sorry, written on an ipad mini is the one to blame), I said there was a glitch in the camera and i was going to the store...

    ...went to the store, and the guys there, had received 3 or 4 new fujis yesterday in the afternoon, and kindly enough allowed me to compare it to one of those. I had to see if it was a FW problem or actually i got a faulty camera. Short question, we never knew. But!, found OTHER interesting stuff...

    My camera had a serial number with final numbers 00702 and had FW v1.00, and compared it with a "new"one, that had a serial number 01989 running on FW v1.01 and we found out more than we suspected.

    First, I showed the guy what my problem was, he clearly saw it, and took their DEMO version camera to compare it, the demo didnt do that glitch. Might be FW and not the camera?, he gave me this weird look. Checked the FW on both cameras, and as I said, this new one was running on v1.01.
    Inmediately he offered me to download the new FW and upgrade mine, and i said no, because i read in bunch of places (Internet) about the AF really not working as FW v1.00. And he found out this thread in Flickr (Flickr: Discussing X100S - Firmware 1.00 vs 1.01 and AF Speed in Fuji X100) and then wondered about what to do.

    He goes "why dont you try this new camera, and see for yourself if the AF is THAT much worse, or, you will have to live with the glitch until Fuji updates to FW v1.02 because i cannot find the official download for v1.01 also, so there's something wrong.". Well, i grabbed the new camera, and I didnt noticed ANY change in the AF speed of the camera, was as fast as it was mine, and a bit hunting in low light as mine as well. BUT the EVF on the new one, was working better than on mine?. Weird, went back and forth switching cameras till we tested both at the same time, and panned, from left to right, up and down, slow and fast, and YES, FW v1.00 had this weird flickr that the v1.01 didnt, in FACT, v1.01 has a better working EVF as good as the OMD!. v1.00 was like the XE1 where you have that little flickr when you pan the camera?.

    I picked FW v1.01 (new camera). And now im testing it again. EVF works wonder, i dont have the X100 to compare the AF speed but this one that ive got, works as fast as v1.00 plus a better and smooth EVF.


    Now to keep going with my findings in the camera.

    Oh God!, Olympus REALLY nailed that one, huh?. Now every time that I grab a camera, which doesnt have some sort of a IS system it feels weird. on the X100s You can't shoot under 1/60-1/30s. Period. Well, then it depends how steady you are, i can't. But then, the X100s has so nice High ISO that you might compensate by shooting at 1600 without getting much noise!.

    Not much to say, this camera doesnt have that, even-though it screams "street photography" - "travel" - "HCB-would-have-loved-shooting-with-me" which means a camera that is going to spend most of its time outside rather than inside. but oh well, i can live with that. Before my OMD i never had a camera with WS before. And i know i wont shoot under the rain, but I will take this camera down to patagonia next week!

    Q menu vs SCP menu,
    Brilliant, both brilliant. Though Fuji is more of a "serious" one in terms that you cant go into the "creative art filters" that it also has. This is more straight to the point, custom settings, iso, sharpness, film simulation, raw or jpeg, etc. I love both equal.

    Here some shots of both of my cameras, pardon the iphone photos, this two are the only cameras i´ve got.



    If there is something stupid about this Fuji camera, both X100 and S. Is the filter size and thread. You need to buy an special adapter to put normal filters plus the size of the filter is 49 (Yeah I know Leica uses though, but how many actually use a Leica in this planet) so i found this JJC / KiwiFoto 49 to 58mm adapter which is the size of cokin P filters, CPL and UV protector. works nice. :th_salute:

    Some random test shots i took around the neighborhood, not much "action" in here yet, but a beautiful Autumn sunset nonetheless.









    April 5 Update ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    First thing i dont like about the X100s. I cannot use the compensation after I lock AE.

    When shooting on my OMD i usually use the Fn2 to lock exposure then use the compensation dial to fine tune if needed, in the Fuji X100s after you lock the exposure the camera completely locks and wont accept any compensation. In fact not sure whats that compensation doing if it doesnt allow any changes after you lock exposure.
  2. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I am by no means a manual reading kind of guy, but I've found the Fuji X menus may more intuitive than Olympus'.
  3. Steph

    Steph Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 18, 2011
    Thanks for posting. The Fuji x100s is really a sexy camera.
    What do you think about the new viewfinder ? Do you see a difference with the OMD one ? The LCD looks weak with only 480k dots IMO...
    The big problem (for me) is the poor RAW conversion with Lightroom( looks very soft). I'm a RAW shooter so it's a deal breaker for me.
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Same here, I think it's just a combination of slightly less options, and a more logical menu layout (to me at least). But of course it's all personal opinion and debatable there. I've yet to find a camera I couldn't figure out, it's really just a question of how 'fiddly' it is.

    Chris, I think your experiences are mostly matching mine, particularly with regard to AF. The X100S AF is better than the X100 with latest firmware but it's evolutionary, not revolutionary. In my limited experience so far the GH3 and OM-D are both still faster than the X100S especially in low light.

    Personally I find the X100S more comfortable than the OM-D but only because it's larger and doesn't feel as cramped, so that's very much personal taste. That, and I'll take the mechanical clicky controls on the X100S over the OM-D's plastic dials any day. :thumbup:
  5. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    The only reason it might be considered a sexy camera is because it looks so much like a Leica, right? I think it looks pretty cool too, however the fact that you can't change lenses and it costs $1300 is a no-brainer for me. It doesn't look THAT sexy! :smile:
  6. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Doesn't todays release of LR 4.4 have fuji raw conversion? BTW, I find my wife to be very sexy and she looks nothing like a Leica!
  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Yes. I installed the 4.4 RC build like 2 days ago, and they released the final version today... go figure. :)

    Earlier versions of LR supported X100 and X-E1/X-Pro1 RAW files, just not the X100S. Now it should support all four cameras, *and* it includes much improved RAW file handling for X-trans files to address the "smearing" / watercolor effect that some people are seeing.
  8. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for the review, and saw some great photos in your site.
  9. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    Thanks Chris, please continue when you have time to write further. From everything I read via reviews the X100/S built in flash is superb and nails it 99% of the time. I would be interested in any tests you can do on how fast the leaf shutter can work effectively in conjunction with the fill flash.

    Enjoy your holiday.
  10. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Yes, you're right, Fuji menus, seems to be "better" or "more organized" anyways, still have like 8 tabs and 3 "wrench" menus.

    Hey Steph,

    the EVF on the new camera (read update i just did) FW v1.01 is as smooth and fast as the OMD dont see much difference if any at this moment. Is quick, no lag so far. :thumbup:

    As for the LCD, looks fine to me, of course, no touch screen or tilt screen on the Fuji, but images look awesome. the OMD one has a hell of a LCD though. so not much difference that i could tell right now.

    I'm also a RAW shooter, thats why i havent posted any images yet, i will go shoot some now to test the camera.
  11. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I don't remember the x100s being advertised as faster than the OM-D...
  12. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Agreed Jay, more logical menus. but not much either. Q menu is brilliant, but i wont lie, i had to go figuring what the heck each little icon meant and what does.

    You said it right, the AF is EVOLUTIONARY not REVOLUTIONARY. but thats fine. this camera is what it was supposed to be in the first place 2 years ago. better late than never, right?.

    Yes it feels larger and the buttons feel better organized, but im not liking much the compensation DIAL on the fuji. quite stiff to pull on the go. need to use it a lot to get em smoother! ha!

    True, I wanted/needed a second body. Plus not having a "normal prime" on my OMD made me consider this camera. plus, i picked it up, cause ive been quite serious about one body-one-lens for my photo, specially on my everyday stuff. for everything else, ive got an stunning OMD with a P12-35 which fills the gap.

    And of course, i looooove the looks of both the OMD and X100s.

    Yes, it was released, going to download it now and will see how it goes!. :thumbup:
  13. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Thanks man! hope this helps anyone wondering about this two awesome cameras.

    Thanks man!, I will as i now have bit more time to. Will try the flash as well. the leaf shutter promise good stuff!

    True, but Ive seen quite a lot people in flickr and around other forums comparing the speed of the AF not just with the previous model but with the OMD. so thats why i brought up the comparison. Cant complain though, Fuji did their homework for sure... :drinks:
  14. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    XE-1 vs OMD low light

    Here's 2 shot @ the same focal length and ISO with the OMD and 14-54 MKII and the XE-1 and 18-55 handheld @ ISO 3200. The 14-54 @ 2.8 and the 18-55 @ 3.2 ( sorry). The renowned ISO Fuji and the EM5. 1st one OLY and 2nd Fuji! Better WB on the fuji, didn't change a thing. OMD was switched to tungsten. Both are raw originally.

    Attached Files:

  15. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Thanks for the comments: I don't think I will upgrade my X100, I've become used to its faults, or rather weaknesses, and it makes a wonderful companion to the EM5.

    When I was a mainframe systems programmer, I tended to skip every other release, too :)
  16. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    images added.
  17. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    What? Does she look more like a Nikon? :smile:
  18. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    First thing i dont like about the X100s. I cannot use the compensation dial after I lock AE.
  19. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Thanks for the review. Looks sooooo cool :2thumbs:
    How is the video with it? How is the sound?
  20. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    No but, I like saying " like a leica"!