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XT-1 vs. OM-D E-M1 - Any thoughts?


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Has anyone had any experience with the Olly OM-D EM-1 comparing it to the XT-1? m4/3 vs APS-C so IQ on the XT-1 "should" be better, but the ergonmics/handling of the E-M1 seems as if it might be more friendly - button location/feel/size etc., with which I have been struggling.

Chris

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A mate who is a fantastic photographer owns an EM1 and swears by it.. His Nikon collection is now a D800e and three primes that are used for special occasions. The results he gets are spectacular. I have been tempted to go that route as well as the overall range of lenses available for m4/3 is massive (and cheap) compared to Fuji X plus the are many excellent optics.

Ergonomically the EM1 seems to work okay except the silly left side on/off. The in body stabilization is fantastic and the focus locks instantly every time. The touch screen focusing is very handy of waist level or tripod use. The m4/3 cameras do suffer a little at higher iso compared to Fuji.

The XT1 to me feels a little nicer to hold especially with the grip and then there is the EVF - look through the EVF on a XT1 and the decision is made.

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gryphon1911

I was just running a head to head with 4 cameras this weekend - The Fuji X100s, the Fuji X-T1 and the Olympus OMD EM5 and EM1.

Without getting into a lot of detail here and now(I'm working on a blog post about it) - the Olympus stuff just blew me away in the performance department from function speed to AF performance.

The Fuji, while nice and have the sensor size advantage, and the X-T1 had the better feel in my hand - the AF and overall performance just seemed really lacking in comparison.

If you do not need hi ISO performance - and by that I mean over ISO 6400, then I'd lean toward the OMD cameras.

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I would say that the X-T1 appears to be a very deliberate competitor for the OM-D models that Olympus started to release at the same time that Fuji made the X Pro 1. K1W1 is right that lens range has become quite impressive - some good small fast primes, and the constant aperture zooms such as the Olympus 24-80 f2.8 and Panasonic 24-70 and 70-200 look excellent. Having looked at both cameras myself, the X-T1 viewfinder is huge but I would want to check the refresh rate in a number of situations, since the previous Fuji models have been very smeary in lower light (my friend has an X-E1 and says he cannot photograph his nieces when they run around indoors as the viewfinder just blurs their movement). The image stabilisation of the Olympus is a major plus in it's favour, and by all accounts very good. My opinion is that the Olympus auto focus is faster, when I've handled them. The latest m43rds sensors compare favourably to Canon APS-C sensors, but are not quite as good as the best APS-C sensors from Sony found in most other cameras (including Fuji) - the dynamic range is a little lower, and the high ISO performance is probably about a third of a stop worse than most APS-C cameras, and maybe two thirds to a stop worse than Fuji's X Trans sensor. That needs to be balanced against the image stabilisation with every lens, and the lens apertures available (you don't need to stop down as much). SO if you want to shoot moving things, the image quality won't be quite as good - if you shoot static things, it will probably be about the same. I would say that I think the Olympus / Panasonic system is a little more mature (wireless flash for example), but the Fuji lens range is getting better, though having seen the 16-55mm f2.8 it was HUGE - much bigger than most other APS-C lenses of it's specification. I have been constantly tempted to try the Olympus system out, but it's only my need for good (full frame like) high ISO performance that makes me hesitant. Other people's needs will vary.

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the Fuji lens range is getting better, though having seen the 16-55mm f2.8 it was HUGE - much bigger than most other APS-C lenses of it's specification.

Now you are concerning me.

The 10-24 and 16-55 are my two intended zooms if I get a X-T1 but from what you say about the 16-55 maybe I will reconsider. The 10-24 is hardly a small lens either.

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the Fuji lens range is getting better, though having seen the 16-55mm f2.8 it was HUGE - much bigger than most other APS-C lenses of it's specification.

Now you are concerning me.

The 10-24 and 16-55 are my two intended zooms if I get a X-T1 but from what you say about the 16-55 maybe I will reconsider. The 10-24 is hardly a small lens either.

Just to be clear it was a prototype in a case - I didn't know what it was as it was large, sitting next to the w8-135, and was a little shorter than that, but fatter. They were both much larger than the 18-55mm, and the impression in the cabinet was that it was larger than a Tampon 16-50 F2.8 for example, it appeared by some margin - the impression was of a very large lens (though it may have been exaggerated by the relatively modest size of the early primes). I didn't see the 10-24 so can't compare - its still not available in the UK or Asia as far as I can tell.

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You could put the Sony RX10 in the mix. 90% of the lens most of us will ever need and great IQ.

True - for much "general" photography it appears a good camera - only action, high ISO work, and someone wanting shallow depth of field would be disappointed. In lots of other ways it looks like a good camera.

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Artuk, i have no knowledge other then fuji for mirrorless. The xe1 in good light and lower light has a slower refresh rate than the x100s and the x-e2. The x-t1 is faster in low light and good light than the x-e2. But thr X-e2 will be matching that refresh rate in the next firmware update. Hope that helps.

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The main thing that has made me hesitate about m4/3 over the years is the 2x crop factor. Effectively most lenses start at about 24mm equiv (12mm nominal) which on a APS-C camera is a nominal 16mm lens. My favorite DSLR DX lens is the 10-24 f4 and that's what I'm hanging out for with the X-T1. To get the same range in a m4/3 I would need an 8-18 nominal zoom. I'm not sure what you get down in single digit zoom lengths.

Obviously the 2x crop does play will with sports but until recently the continuous focus has not been up to scratch imo. That appears to be being fixed quickly.

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Very informative discussion - thanks. I had a short hands-on with the E-M1 and the controls seemed to fit my hands better - apart from, as has been mentioned, the crazy location of the on/off all the way to the left - no muscle memory for that one!

I am torn by what appears to be the almost infinite customization/configuration options on the Olly and 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens that was on the camera was superb (huge and quite affordable lens catalogue too) - I found at higher ISO's (3,200+) the "noise" was actually quite pleasant, sort of film grainy. Could probably improve that in post in DxO. My Df is stellar in low light which would probably be my first option.

The viewfinder is not quite up to the X-T1 I think, but it's still pretty darned good and the refresh rate seems a tad better, and the image a little less grainy.

I think I can work with the DOF issue with m4/3 - it's a question of the camera to subject to background distance and aperture - different way to work than with FX telephotos etc, but achievable.

I wasn't able to try tracking with AF-C, but the XT-1 was very good at this.

I'm tempted.

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gryphon1911

The main thing that has made me hesitate about m4/3 over the years is the 2x crop factor. Effectively most lenses start at about 24mm equiv (12mm nominal) which on a APS-C camera is a nominal 16mm lens. My favorite DSLR DX lens is the 10-24 f4 and that's what I'm hanging out for with the X-T1. To get the same range in a m4/3 I would need an 8-18 nominal zoom. I'm not sure what you get down in single digit zoom lengths.

Obviously the 2x crop does play will with sports but until recently the continuous focus has not been up to scratch imo. That appears to be being fixed quickly.

There are quite a few very wide for m43.

Check this out:

http://m43photo.blogspot.com/2010/01/micro-four-thirds-lens-lineup.html

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EternalHope

m4/3 offerings are quite good from what I have seen. I haven't actually spent much time shooting with them, but if I was looking to invest in a complete system, I'd take a good long look at the OMD EM1. If you need top notch AF speed, and lightness, and good video then the GH4 or the OMD EM1 should be seriously considered. I love my X-T1, and it is perfectly adequate for both my personal and professional photography. However, for some the X-Pro1 was more than adequate, and for others it is not. So, just depends. You need/want top notch speed with some trade offs, then go with the EM-1.

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pominpocket

A mate who is a fantastic photographer owns an EM1 and swears by it.. His Nikon collection is now a D800e and three primes that are used for special occasions. The results he gets are spectacular. I have been tempted to go that route as well as the overall range of lenses available for m4/3 is massive (and cheap) compared to Fuji X plus the are many excellent optics.

Ergonomically the EM1 seems to work okay except the silly left side on/off. The in body stabilization is fantastic and the focus locks instantly every time. The touch screen focusing is very handy of waist level or tripod use. The m4/3 cameras do suffer a little at higher iso compared to Fuji.

The XT1 to me feels a little nicer to hold especially with the grip and then there is the EVF - look through the EVF on a XT1 and the decision is made.

But this would mean you would be using 3 different systems as I assume you are still using Nikon. Something you have pointed out to me, and I only use 2 (Nikon and Fuji.)

Is you desire for the XT1 and another two lenses gas ? These devices are only tools you know and will not make you a better photographer.

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If I go m4/3 or X-T1 my Nikon gear will be gone. If I go m4/3 the X100s and X10 may go as well. Stop trying to be deliberately argumentative this thread was being carried on in a civil and constructive manner until your post.

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I think there is more to it than AF speed, ergonomics and available optics when you compare the two systems. To me image quality always comes first. Not that the Oly images are bad, but I like the Fuji images more. Yes the Oly images are very sharp, but there's more in IQ than sharpness alone. Sharpness only is for pixel-peepers, overall image quality is determined by colour, micro-contrast, 3D, bokeh, the complete rendition of an image, the look and feel.

And after seen a lot of comparisons between the OM5 and the Fuji-X i'm way more charmed about Fuji than the Olympus. The 4/3 images look too flat and that's all adressed to the smaller sensor which isn't capable of rendering that special 3D look.

Another "problem" with the 4/3 sensor is that you have to multiply the f-stop by 2 in terms of DOF. Therefore it's harder to isolate your subject or even get great bokeh with an f/2.8 lens. It becomes a f/5.6 lens in depth of field.

What I don't like also is the 4x3 ratio, I prefer 3:2 as a standard.

Very personal, but i realy don't like the Oly design. It looks like there have been three different designers working on it and put all the ideas together in one body. There's no unity, different material, bulky, protruding parts etc. It's too tiny for my hands and the knobs are more hard to find and too tiny than all the complaints about the X-T1 knobs.

To my taste and application the Fuji fits more, but for others the Oly does.

It all depends on the way you are going to use a system. I don't need blazing fast AF speed since i'm a landscape photographer in the first place. What I do need is the best image quality and a couple of great performing lenses in a compact but not too tiny system. Why should I choose from 20+ lenses when I only need the best? Fuji delivers nothing but great lenses. With the upcomming 10-24 my whishes all have come true, having 3 amazing zooms and 3 fantastic fast primes there's nothing to complain about.

Just my thoughts....

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The main thing that has made me hesitate about m4/3 over the years is the 2x crop factor. Effectively most lenses start at about 24mm equiv (12mm nominal) which on a APS-C camera is a nominal 16mm lens. My favorite DSLR DX lens is the 10-24 f4 and that's what I'm hanging out for with the X-T1. To get the same range in a m4/3 I would need an 8-18 nominal zoom. I'm not sure what you get down in single digit zoom lengths.

Obviously the 2x crop does play will with sports but until recently the continuous focus has not been up to scratch imo. That appears to be being fixed quickly.

Panasonic make an excellent 14-28mm equivalent f4 OIS which is very good across the frame from full aperture. Olympus have promised a similar angle of coverage in a f2.8 pro model in the same range as the excellent 12-40mm.

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I have one friend with the Olympus and I have to admit it really is a very nice camera. He also knows what my Fuji cameras can do and cannot. - Olympus beats Fuji on focus related matters but Fuji's output is superior (RAF). Conclusion - If Olympus had the Fuji-ized Sony censor it would be overall the best of the cameras of its kind. For me, I'm happy in the Fuji family as much as my friend is with the Olympus.

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I have one friend with the Olympus and I have to admit it really is a very nice camera. He also knows what my Fuji cameras can do and cannot. - Olympus beats Fuji on focus related matters but Fuji's output is superior (RAF). Conclusion - If Olympus had the Fuji-ized Sony censor it would be overall the best of the cameras of its kind. For me, I'm happy in the Fuji family as much as my friend is with the Olympus.

I think a comparison between Fuji's X Pro 1 and Olympus' OM-D EM-5 which were released at the same time is interesting - the Fuji has the larger sensor and therefore benefits in image quality, and is preferred by some for it's aperture ring and shutter speed controls. In comparison, the EM-5 is smaller and lighter, has a better EVF, faster AF, anti-shake, and is generally a more mature product (coming several generations down the line in the m43rds history). Although Fuji have closed the gap with the X-T1, I think the Olympus EM-1 has also moved forward - though in both cases the image quality is broadly the same as the earlier products in their respective lines. It comes down to a trade off - can the Fuji do the things you want, or are you willing to trade a little image quality for improvements in other areas?

Don't forget, in spite of Fuji's larger sensor, none of the primes are stabilised, so for non moving subjects, a Fuji shot at 1/50s (50mm) could be a 1/20s shot on Olympus - a whole stop lower ISO. The same applies where DOF is required - you don't need to stop down (as much) on a smaller format, therefore can shoot at lower ISO. It really depends what you want to do with the camera.

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My brother owns a OM-D EM-5 and it is very fast indeed and the EVF is much better than the X-E1 I started with, but now that i'm comparing the Oly to the X-T1 I have my thoughts.

A couple of months ago we went to a ZOO in Germany, I still had my Canon set then. With good light and lower iso's the EM-5 performed great, but beyond iso800 I found the Oly performing a lot worse. I wish I had the Fuji then to compare, but from my own experience right now, iso 3200 is still very usable in difficult light conditions.

The OMDs AF and 10fps are absolutely super fast, but when you need it to freeze the action you also need very fast shutters speeds. That means cranking up the iso in most situations. I've no trouble doing so with Fuji until 3200, knowing that sensor noise is second to none, but with the Oly my personal limit would end at iso800 maybe 1200.

But like artuk said, it depends on what you shoot most. My brother is using his EM-5 in his studio with professional and fast studio lights (Lencarta) and shoots great portraits with it. Just sold his 5D2 because the Oly performed better. Snappier and more precise AF and outstanding quality at iso100. Warning nude: Joy

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pominpocket

If I go m4/3 or X-T1 my Nikon gear will be gone. If I go m4/3 the X100s and X10 may go as well. Stop trying to be deliberately argumentative this thread was being carried on in a civil and constructive manner until your post.

Far from it I am just recycling your exact words to me when I think about buying a new camera. By all means buy olympus with a small sensor and fast speed but I think it would be a mistake . If you buy into Olympus will that mean you will no longer comment on this forum ?

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I've no trouble doing so with Fuji until 3200, knowing that sensor noise is second to none, but with the Oly my personal limit would end at iso800 maybe 1200.

In danger of starting some kind of enormous argument, or being accused of being excessively negative...

My experience with XF cameras (X Pro and friends X-M) is that they appear to meter at about +1EV above other cameras I own, for the same scene. However, the resulting jpegs are not (significantly) brighter. If you take successive shots at increasing ISO, there also appears to be some darkening of shadow areas in the cameras jpeg engine. The net result is camera jpegs that show very low noise. However, I have never got to the bottom of exactly why an exposure on one camera when compared to my X Pro appears to be about 2/3-1EV less exposure (e.g. ISO 800, f2 1/50s on camera A compared to ISO 800, f2 1/25s on X Pro). Since this occurs when comparing to more than 1 different camera maker (Nikon and Sony in my case), the conclusion is either:

- all other makes are under-stating their ISO

or

- my X Pro is over-stating the ISO used

(this is on the assumption that the resulting jpeg has more or less the same histogram).

The X Trans raw files definately show less colour noise (which in fairness is often quite easy to remove from other cameras files, depending on the nature - i.e. tight colour speckling vs. broader coloured bruising), and luminance noise is also lower. However, if you compare an ISO 3200 X Trans file to an equivalent exposure at ISO 1600 on another camera, the difference is less marked.

I think it is important to consider the actual exposure a camera will use when comparing sensor performance - since if one camera routinely uses longer shutter speeds all other things being equal, if shutter speed is important to the exposure (e.g. camera shake), this may end up requiring a higher ISO to compensate. I am just commenting on this as it appears to be how my X Pro behaves, compared to other cameras I own.

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I've considered this a lot lately. I am a fuji user and my daughter is an entry level Canon user. She is strongly considering going to photography school when she graduates HS in two years (please no comments about that being a waste of money...). I have been thinking a lot lately about which system she should invest in; Fuji, Olympus or Sony. I really don't want to see her invest in Canon or Nikon becuase I just don't see the advantages. Any comments from income earning photographers out there regarding what they are using? She plans on focusing on portraits, weddings and maybe some commercial work as well.

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OK, i've heard about the Fuji iso trick, lets say they cheat and the iso in real measurments is about one stop lower (eg 3200 = 1600), then compare these RAW images from the Fuji @ iso3200 against the OM-D-E-M1 @ iso1600. There's at least one stop advantage for the Fuji (if not two).

http://cameralabs.com/reviews/Fujifilm_X-T1/RAW_noise.shtml

I can't look at those samples from where I am at the moment.

DX0 Mark tests the m43rds sensors as being "good" (by their measure) up to ISO 800-900. The original X100 tested as "good" at about ISO1000. Most APS-C cameras using the base Sony 16Mp sensor used by Fuji test as "good" at about ISO 800-1100 across a number of generations of the sensor. I believe if you remove the +2/3-1EV exposure difference in the X cameras, the results are broadly similar to other cameras using the Sony sensor, though with lower colour noise. There may be no more than half a stop of ISO noise performance difference.

So yes, the Fuji may have some benefit over the Olympus ISO rating - but you need to consider the range of lens apertures in their respective ranges, and the benefit of full time image stabilisation in the Olympus, which potentially allows the photographer to use lower shutter speeds and therefore lower ISOs for static subjects.

So yes there is still a difference between m43rds, in the same way there is between most APS-C sensor cameras (but not Canon) - so if you are happy with a Canon APS-C SLR, you will be happy with m43rds, according to the test data. Less than 1EV of noise benefit can be compensated in post production, and may be offset by other benefits or disadvantages of different camera systems.

I am not saying Fuji's image quality or noise performance is bad.

edit: for clarity, I tend to compare sensor performance either using DX0 Mark, as it is an empirical test, or the camera raw comparison tool at DPReview. When I look at the low light studio test with an X Pro 1 file and an OM-D EM-5 file, plus a Sony 16Mp camera as a benchmark (NEX 16mp model or Pentax 16Mp model), if you set the X Pro ISO to 1 EV more, there is much less difference. This of course would only appear valid if you accept that the Fuji exposure program appears to give more generous exposures without a brighter result - which I am sure some people will not agree with. Again, I can only state I am only saying this as this has been my experience. I think the Fuji meter is a little generous, but the program has been tweaked over firmware versions, and it seems the camera jpegs are probable within less than 1/3EV in some cases, whereas the exposures seem more like 2/3-1EV more in some cases. It's just an observation as part of a discussion about image quality comparisons, and should not be interpreted as "anti-Fuji".

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