X-E1 and OMD

Started Jan 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
TThorne
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Re: X-E1 and OMD
In reply to JimLong, Jan 17, 2013

JimLong wrote:

For the past year or so, I have been using a Panasonic GH-2 and the Panasonic 12-35 lens. I moved to this from a Canon 5D and the 24-105L lens. The only reason for making this move was that I was tired of carrying around that heavy camera and lens (look, I'm 72, I have a right).

I had been planning to get either the GH3 or the OMD and have sort of been waiting for more reviews and more availability of the GH3 to make a decision. Then I learned about the X-E1 and started reading about it and thinking more and more that it was a better way to go. Shortly after Christmas, I order the X-E1, knowing that it had various issues that I might be concerned about. After using it for a while, I learned that yes, it is sometimes slow to focus. I also learned that it is not real speedy between snaps. Much slower than my GH2. These are not things that I couldn't live with, but I began to wonder if I had made the right decision. I had heard so much about the outstanding IQ of the OMD and the GH3. Anyway, a couple of days ago, I ordered an OMD just so I could try them both side by side, which I have now done.

Here's what I concluded (YMMV).

The OMD does focus much faster

The OMD does respond much faster - not only a faster burst rate, but the shutter button will respond much quicker between shots.

The IBIS is very good. I only did a few short tests, but I found it to be better than the lens stabilization in either the Panasonic 12-35 or the Fuji 18-55.

I personally like the viewfinder on the OMD better than the X-E1 - at least outside in bright light.

The XE-1 kills the OMD on high ISO shots.

The XE-1 seems to do a much better job of auto white balance under bad lighting conditions.

The XE-1 seems to me to be easier to use (in all fairness, I have used the X-E1 quite a bit more than the OMD, so I could probably get used to either one).

So at this point, the OMD seems to have more advantages for me than the XE-1. The only thing to do is to actually use them to take pictures and see how they compare, and this is what I spent the day doing. I walked around for an hour or so taking the same shot with each camera and then I processed them both through photoshop as closely as possible the same way.

What I saw was, typically, the Fuji images had smoother transistions through its dynamic range - sometimes the OMD look a little harsh by comparison. The Fuji also seemed to have more dynamic range. If I applied sharpening in ACR, the OMD would start to exhibit sharpening artifacts much sooner than the Fuji - particularly in the sky areas. I would notice that the sky was starting to look grainy. BTW, I was using iso200 for all the shots. Sometimes, not always I found better detail with the Fuji. Sometimes I saw things in the OMD shots that looked like sort of bad bokeh. The panasonic lens is supposed to be good in that respect, so I'm not quite sure what I was seeing - in any case, I didn't like it.

So, the bottom line is that the OMD goes back tomorrow. None of the differences I saw were night and day; I'm not sure how much, if any, impact they would have on a normal size print. But they were there (yes, I was pixel-peeping) and I would always know they were there.

It was a long slog, but now I will sleep better, convinced I chose the right camera.

If you like that Panasonic 12-35, then go with the GH3 over the OMD. The OMD will not handle the sftware corrections that a Panasonic will on a Panasonic lens. That lens is better on a Panny body.

Between the OMD and the XE1? I can't help you on that. They are both great. I would go with the XE1, but my needs and likes will differ. What did I end up with? X Pro 1.

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A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. - Sir Winston Churchill

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