I have to admit, I am really excited about the new Fujifilm X-T1. It looks like the most perfectly designed digital camera so far, but it is killing me to think that I’m considering getting rid of my Olympus OM-D E-M5 to make room for the new Fuji system.
The real issue, is that I still really love the way the Oly images look. I don’t like the menus, the controls and layout are OK, but after trying the Fuji X20 for a while, and more recently bonding with the Ricoh GR, I wish the OMD had a different control layout and a menu system that made more sense.
So, with that as a prelude, here is a small gallery of reasons I am finding to hold off looking at a new camera. These are from a set taken Sunday afternoon in foggy San Fransisco. The amazing color rendition and malleable RAW files from this camera give me a lot of room to work even in poor light.
Also, these were all shot with the nearly perfect M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 ED weather resistant macro lens. I loaned it to a friend for a while, and just got it back. So, I guess this is also a set of test shots with the lens, since I wasn’t sure I would keep it. Now, I’m pretty sure I will – at least as long as I have the E-M5.
I’m a regular reader of your Daily Inspiration posts, and I think it’s great that you started working on the website with your dad as a family endeavor.
Arėjukas at gerafotografija.wordpress.com
Im in the same boat except I trust and appreciate the Olympus system and approach. The reason is the pictures. In a pinch and when I’m moving quickly Im consistently delighted with whats on the SD card. From color, detail, focus and implementation of firmware -I’m satisfied. The two-dial control works great. The complaints I hear are to my ears nit-picking. Yet here I am -excited to be using an X100s and an X-M1 too. Simply put -great pictures and a great approach. Using different systems teaches me to be a better photographer. My rule is that if after two years the equipment sits in the bag it should be sold. I have some M-mount Voightlander lenses with adapters I thought I’d fall in love with but the native glass of the cameras I use are more than adequate. I use the EM-5 all the time but the X100s is always in my pocket. For tripod work I use the XM-1. But thats me and thats me winter 2014. Waiting on a full frame OM-D ah but then the lenses would be huge and would the focus snap in quick as it does now? The dance of the seven veils.
You’ve got skills, and you’ve got an excellent camera already.
Why exactly do you feel the compulsion to switch? Is there a capability crucial to your image capture that the Olympus lacks that the Fuji offers?
Or is it just GAS?
I know it’s cliched, but it bears repeating: you’re much better off taking the time and money you’d invest in a new system and investing it instead in continuing to develop your own visual eye. Especially when you’re comparing two cameras here with largely indistinguishable differences in terms of ultimate capability.
Nice pictures, keep the OLY. Once the novelty of the dials wears off, will the size disadvantage of the Fuji have you wishing you still had your M43 equipment?
The xt1 is nice; but it is significantly larger than the EM5. When you add lenses, it is amazing how much larger the XT1 and Fuji kit is. Size is a clear and significant distinction between the Fuji gear and the m4/3 gear. I owned both the XT1 and the EP3 for a period of time and found that, while the Fuji look is definitely different than the OLY look, I am not sure it is “better.” While I did not get a chance to see RAW files from the XT1, I did have some RAW files from an XE1 and, assuming there is no huge disparity between RAW files from the XE1 and the XT1, I couldn’t see any reason to prefer the Fuji RAW files over the OLY RAW files.
I found that, especially with recent deals, the real alternative to the XT1 is the Sony A7. In fact, the Sony A7 is smaller than the XT1, though not significantly. the FF advantage is pretty obvious at any level. Not to mention the superiority of the Sony EVF. Yes, the Fuji is big, bright, and fun when lighting conditions are good. But is low light, the Fuji XT1 viewfinder gets dark and really noisy. In fact, looking through the XT1 viewfinder in lower lighting, it is hard to believe that it is the same EVF.
The big advantage the XT1 has over the Sony is the shutter noise; but then, neither of them is completely silent, so I am not sure it is that big an issue.
The XT1 focusing system in low light is not as quick as the OM-D E-M1. High ISO performance is a tact better than OM-D
I never really understand why people need to dive into menus so regularly. You can assign functions to the spare buttons, including the video record one in my case (I dont do video), and there’s a quick control panel if you press OK. So after a long wine enabled first session to set up the admittedly fiddly menus, I hardly use them again. If you like the images you take, they look good to me, why change?
I agree with you Damoo, but with the Olympus I don’t dive into the menus specifically because it is a painfull process.
On the other hand, with the Fuji or Ricoh cams, if I do need to change something up, it is both fast and effective, I don’t even think twice about it.
I don’t know about that.. at least with the E-M1, ease and quickness of setting changes could not be any easier, imho.
With any camera system, if you’re not use to it, sure it can be intimidating and a pain, but if you learn it you get it and it’s not so much. But still…
Nearly all commonly accessed (and a lot of uncommonly accessed) settings can be changed with a quick dial or push of a button, there really isn’t any menu diving since the customized buttons (most by default) are already there and readily accessible to change settings nearly on the fly. With the touch screen, you can bring up a super control panel (or Q button in Fuji terms) and touch exactly the feature you want to change and quick turn of the dial to change it very quickly. You have to at least continue to push the direction buttons (and “currently” the really bad ones on the X-T1) at least a couple of pushes to highlight the feature you want to change and then change it.
If you look closely at the Fuji X cameras, not so much the case. Take face detection as an example. May not be one to use it, but if you did, it’s a general consensus that it’s not really a streamlined process (kind of a pain in the ass) to go from face detect to regular AF so you can select your focus point if the face detect isn’t working for you. Even AF selection requires at least 1 extra push of a button to access and not so direct as just pushing a direction to get the AF point moving already.
For bracketing and art filters (or advanced filters for Fuji), I believe you have to menu dive to preset exactly what type of bracketing (and it’s very limited, as well) or advanced filters you want to use. Simply turing the drive dial under the ISO dial will get you to that drive mode and you can use the 1 setup you have set, but I do not believe you can directly access and change any of the more specific settings under that drive mode.. you have to go back into menus for bracketing or advanced filters and go through a little process to change them and then they will be set again. If you find you want to try something else, you still have to go back in again and repeat the process.
However, if you’re buying the X-T1 or any Fuji, I believe these features would be hardly used as most Fuji owners seem to like just using the Fuji in relatively basic ways. My observation on Fuji owners and their usage.
Again, custom settings can be set to help get you to the specialized setting you may want to use, but I believe there are still problems with the custom setting holding after you’ve exited.. I believe it may reset?.. just what I’ve seen and been told by The Fuji Guys in one of their 3 X-T1 videos on youtube.
Even if you could set a specific look with a custom setting, there are a number of other settings which may require you to go back into some menu or make an extra button press or dial turns.. I don’t believe things such as ISO can be set, nor shutter speeds, so going from say a static photo situation to one where you need high speed or from bright light to dim conditions is more than just a custom menu swap. Regarding ISO & Shutter speed, yes, I get they are on physical dials and that is both a very cool feature, yet a slight handicap in some cases by example above.
Like any camera, not one is perfect, and they don’t necessarily have to be, it can’t cater to every one, but in terms of menu diving, ease of access, quickness to change settings.. I have to disagree, Fuji is a bit more cumbersome and offer less direct control compared to an OM-D, an E-M1 more specifically in my example. Yes, basic exposure controls, and maybe that’s all you need and want to use, it is pretty good with the dials, but almost everything else, not so much compared to Olympus.
What menus? Super control panel has all in one place in Olympus camerasssooriis.
Lovely images by the way, I was born & raised in ‘cisco, as well, and there are actually many great spots for photographic opportunities… oddly, the heavy fog can make for some nice atmospheric shots that are actually quite pleasant to photo and look at… though, the cold wetness in actuality may not be so pleasant to be out in, but it’s great to have weather proof OM-D’s to put up with it if you can.
I wish Olympus would make some more WR primes. I think this 60/2.8 is the only current option.
Yes, agreed, the only WR prime is the 60mm f2.8.
Most of the new lenses that will be WR are fast zooms. If they follow in the quality of the 12-40mm f2.8, then the 40-150mm f2.8, 7-14mm f2.8 & 300mm f4 should be pretty nice to add to the set. I suppose the only WR prime might be that 300mm super-tele.
I was not a huge fan of zooms, preferred primes myself, but once the 12-40mm came out, it is actually a really nice lens. I say it stays on my E-M1 at least 75% of the time, and I just switch to non-WR primes when I want to try something different. Other than that, the other M.Zuiko zooms that are available are actually not that bad IQ-wise, but they aren’t fast and best used in good lighting conditions to get the best IQ out of them.. and you can get some really nice images surprisingly from those zooms that aren’t quite as fast as the constant f2.8 such as in the 12-40mm pro.
A rumored 9mm f2.8 is suppose to come which would be nice if it is true.. if so, being it’s in the f2.8 category of lenses, it’ll probably be WR.. that seems to be the one constant feature that generally makes it a “pro” lens and WR.
I was also planning on trading up my E-M1 for an X-T1.. missed the Fuji rendition and image files as they do have a very nice look to them that isn’t the same as the OM-D E-M1, but it’s not to say the E-M1 is bad at all, in fact quite good… they’re just different and you can get slightly cleaner files, DR, especially at higher ISO’s. If you do a lot of low light, that’s great, but sadly in the opposite end in bright daylight, I don’t believe it can cope when high shutter speeds, especially with flash, is required, unlike the OM-D’s (and some other cameras).
The overall design and style is nicer, but to be honest, they’re superficial reasons to switch from my much better equipped & overall performing E-M1.. even the E-M5 is more than up to par, imho.
If you plan to use flash where you need high shutter speeds outdoor portraits where background & ambient light is bright and subjects most likely going to be really dark for example, you’re going to need high speed sync to be able to use a flash and balance out exposure.. especially if you plan to try and shoot wide open as well. Forgetaboutit on the X-T1 & other X cameras (except the X100/X100S) as that is pretty much impossible… unless you have the $$, time & effort to do a more extensive setup then maybe you can get it to work. Otherwise, even a simple setup such as camera and flash is impossible. The best you can hope to have from a Fuji X in such an example (or anything else where you need fast shutter speed with flash) is to have subjects too dark or backgrounds too washed out, either case will look amateurish and pretty crappy. Sure, a lot of DSLR’s have 1/250 max shutter speed so the 1/180 isn’t all that far off, but you have absolutely no possibility of high speed shutter sync which you can do on the OM-D and other camera models.
Keep the OM-D, it’s way more capable in this regards.. and in a number of other ways, as well.
But, if you don’t plan to battle sunlight, then it’s a very good camera otherwise… though, the bracketing options are pretty lame… 3 frames and only 1 EV?! For basic photography and exposure control manipulation for natural light or if you have a good studio setup, then I personally feel the X-T1 is really good. But, you may miss a lot of the better equipped options the OM-D’s can offer, even if you may not use them that much, it’s good that they’re there at your disposal.
If you decide on the X-T1, I’d try to wait till you be sure to get all the quality control and firmware issues resolved.. for example, the light leakage, they’re getting it fixed, but why send your brand new camera back in and wait like 2 weeks or so? The direction buttons on the back are notoriously horrible, but rumor and some personal experiences show Fuji is fixing those buttons as well and making them more “clicky” and better to use. Also, custom settings… if I’m not mistaken you can save them, but when you try to load a custom setting and exit to use the camera and then when you jump back into the menu system, maybe even with the “Q” button, the custom settings are not saved and is reverted back to the standard “basic” settings… not 100% sure, but something with the custom settings not holding and being set when they should be seems to be an issue.. could be old info, but I saw it on Youtube demonstrated by The Fuji Guys and they say there needs to be a firmware upgrade to fix this.
Good luck with whatever you decide, but I say keep the OM-D if it can do everything you want it to and you’re not really missing anything that the X-T1 can significantly do better.
I like all three images a lot. You have a “good eye”, as they say. Stick to that, stop worrying about the next best thing that some sites try to talk you in to, spend your money on something worthwhile. Travel, a book, a glass of good wine… 😉 . And keep looking!
Great advice Michiel!
I like your second shot. The Oly 60mm is a great lens. I’m finding that plus the EM5 pretty neat for practising my food photography. Previously used a FX Nikon and 50mm, but the Olympus combo beats it. 🙂
I’m in the same boat as you, Arėjukas. I have both the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and a Fuji X100. If both these cameras had a lovechild, it would be the XT1. Unfortunately, I have a vast collection of lenses for my Micro 4/3 kit and the Fuji weatherproof lenses are not yet available. Looks like I may have to wait one more season…
I don’t own either system but I have to agree with you – I really love the IQ of the Oly!
Do you like the look of Fuji X pictures as much or more than the Olympus? If not, then what are you actually concerned with- images or equipment?
The biggest difference to my eyes, is the perception of transparency of color and detail quality from the EM5 compared to the X20. Not sure about the XT1.
I can make my .ORF files look like .RAF file output with more solid colors and clean shadows, but I find it hard to get .RAF files to look like very lightly processed Olympus files. They tend to look like they have been put through more processing and don’t look as natural to me in either the overall tonal pallette or in the way processing artifacts start to affect the fine details.
These photos are some of the first ones that I thought looked like they took a bit of the best properties that I see from each style blended together a bit.
Thanks for the comment!