Travel camera--E-M5, X100 or XZ-1?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by mbbinvt, May 9, 2013.

  1. mbbinvt

    mbbinvt Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2012
    I'm heading to Europe (Switzerland, France and England) and want to take along a lightweight, capable camera. I own the E-M5, with the following light-ish lenses: Oly 14-42, Oly 12-50, PL 14, PL 20, Oly 45.

    I also own an XZ-1 with VF-2 viewfinder.

    I'm looking for a lightweight way to have fun taking photos and get good shots that will end up in a photo album, a photobook and maybe a large-scale family calendar.

    I'm leaning toward taking the E-M5 with the 12-50 for daytime walking around and the 20 for low-light situations.

    Part of me is tempted to get an X100 or X100s before the trip. That would be smaller than the E-M5, but maybe not that much smaller and not as surefire. I might be just as well served to take the E-M5 with either the 14 or 20 as my walkaround lens, and maybe an extra lens or two that I could take with me or leave at the apartment, depending on the itinerary. One advantage to this approach is that I already own this gear!

    I'm going to be hiking, taking trains, walking around cities--the usual European stuff.

    What do you all think I would be best off taking? Pretend for a moment that money isn't too much of an object, since I figure I could always sell the X100(S?) when I got home.

    Thanks in advance for any opinions!
  2. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Real Name:
    The X100S is not tiny. If it were me, I'd take the E-M5, 12-50 and 20. I have the XZ-1 and find I rarely use it, although I thnk the EVF might make a difference.
  3. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Take them all except the 14-42. The three primes are tiny, the 12 on the 12-50 might be useful. You could leave the 14 but why? I'd get a shoulder strap for the camera and a small fanny pack for the primes.
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  4. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    I cannot see what extra the X100 would give you that you haven't already got and with just a fixed focal length it would be less versatile than your E-M5 options. Of course, limiting yourself to just one lens can often be a spur to true creativity, but if you are going to do that you already have the E-M5 with either the 14 or 20.

    The real choice is whether to go super light and really compact with just the XZ-1 or take the E-M5 with 12-50mm (easily your most versatile lens) and maybe the 20mm.
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  5. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Real Name:
    Here's one other option to consider. Instead of spending the money on the X100, put it towards the 12-35 zoom, sell the 12-50, and call it a day. You just might find you don't need to put the 20 on all that often. Depending on how and where you're traveling, the simplicity of a single lens setup may be a godsend.
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  6. Darthpnoy88

    Darthpnoy88 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2012
    I'd say bring the E-M5 with the 20 and have the 45 in your coat pocket for serious street shooting.
  7. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Why not take the xz1 + x100? Can primarily use the x100 but you have a zoom when you need wide angle or tele options. Still a small combo and it means you got a backup cam.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  8. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Unless you REALLY don't want to be carrying around the not terribly heavy m43 kit you have, I don't see why you wouldn't take it.
    You will miss a lot of the wide angle shots with the X100.
    Sure you'll do fine with the XZ1, but the quality will not be the same, especially for low light photos. If however, you really really want to pack light and just have a camera to stuff in your pocket, I would take the XZ1. X100 is still something you need to carry in a bag or around your neck.
    Is taking both OMD and X100 out of the question? I am guessing that X100 might be more fun to use most of the time with that optical viewfinder. You can use the OMD when you need more wideangle or more reach/zoom.

    I would add a telephoto and a super wide angle lens to your kit for the trip btw. Unless you plan to be doing portraits, I'd leave Olympus 45mm.
  9. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    My motto for travelling is "Keep it simple." If you have a good copy of the 12-50, then I say bring that, the 20 and the E-M5. You should be covered for most needs in daylight and still have a fast prime for indoor work without flash. I really don't think you'll need much more than that. If you insist on bringing the 14 as well, fine. But I really think the 12mm wide end of the zoom will be more useful. And I agree with those who advise leaving the 45 home unless you know you'll be doing a good amount of portraits. On my most recent trips to Paris, Rome and London, I never found myself looking for a longer lens, only wider.
  10. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Real Name:
    I live in Germany and used my X100 for the better part of a year as my only camera, in DE, NL, CH, A, I, B, GB. Many good photos. Although I still use it when I want a minimalist set-up, I now mostly take my E-M5. I would recommend wide (9-18 or 12-50) and something for indoors (14, 17, 19 or 20). My telezoom (40-150) is cheap and light, more useful than you might think.
  11. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    If money is burning a hole in your pocket, use it to buy the Oly 9-18 wide angle zoom instead of the x100. The 9-18 is tiny and would allow you to take the 14-42 instead of the larger 12-50, basically cancelling the weight and size penalty of the wide angle. Toss in the tiny 20mm f/1.7 for low light and you've got a system that is not much bigger or heavier than the x100 but gives you tons more options.
  12. Azure Chicken

    Azure Chicken New to Mu-43

    Apr 22, 2013
    If you're thinking of buying an X100 to bring in lieu of the OMD, I'd say forget it--there's nothing to be gained in weight or space savings.

    However, while I agree with the general sentiment of keeping it simple, I don't think it's a terrible idea to travel with both the OMD and X100, especially since their advantages don't overlap.

    The X100, for instance, has a built-in 3 stop ND filter (I use this one quite a bit). It also has an amazing and virtually seamless fill-flash, for another. Both are incredibly useful for photos of people in daylight.

    Since the X100 has a nice normal-ish perspective, you can keep a 9-18mm or 45mm on the OMD and be covered for a variety of shooting situations.

    I like to travel with both, and haven't wished for much more. I also bring along an RX100 as a backup/sport coat pocket cam for dinners out--that's another option you may want to consider.
  13. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord

    Nov 4, 2010
    Real Name:
    I'll throw in another option!

    Instead of getting an x100, Get a 7-14 bring it with the 12-50 and om-d and thank me later! :wink: :cool:

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Take the gear you've got, and spend the extra camera budget on a longer holiday or an extra activity. The way to ensure you get better photos is to make sure you go somewhere interesting, and as far as I am concerned you already have THE ultimate travel camera.
  15. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi mate ..
    This holiday seems to be interesting and u will have plenty of photo opportunities . Dont spoil them with X100s or XZ 1, take OMD with 14mm , 20 mm and 45 mm . U can choose the lens u want on OMD and rest of it can rest in ur bag. Its not that heavy . If u still think its heavy then just use ur phone camera :wink::wink:. Get a OlyPM2 body if u think OMD is heavy .. slam Panny 20 mm and forget it . OMD with primes is much more versatile and u can tailor it as per ur shooting needs. Fuji X100 and FujiX100s are very good but on a holiday like this, I think u would need much more than that .
  16. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Whatever you decide... after you get back, let us know what you took and how it worked out.
  17. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Real Name:
    Though the X100S isn't that small it is extremely light and jacket pocketable. I used to have the X100 but sold it when I got a Sony RX1 but it too is quite a bit heavier then the X100S.

    When I want to go light (I often carry D800/D600) I go with the RX1 for wide and the OMD with a 45 or 75 for when I need a longer lens. But if you want something very light that will give you great images even at higher ISO than the OMD do look into the Fujifilm X100S.
  18. dwrk

    dwrk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2012
    well...if the omd and 2 lens is bigger and heavier to pack and move around...and you want to spend some money...

    then perhaps for a smaller lighter system is a nikon v1, 6.7-13 and 30-100 or for an even smaller but non-system camera the sony rx100

    what every you choose...just don't forget to bring extra batteries :smile:
  19. Optical1

    Optical1 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 17, 2013
    I would take the E-M5 with the 12-50 and 20mm as you state for general purpose and low light respectively. But I would also take the XZ-1 for 'non camera bag' moments. I always take a compact for dinner shots, etc. when I want something without the annoyance of a camera bag.
  20. Optical1

    Optical1 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 17, 2013
    Also, the x100 is a very different animal. I bought one, got annoyed with it and sold it. Then missed it, bought one again, and recently upgraded to an x100s. Great camera, but very different than my m43 kit. For me, not something I would vacation with.