Leaving DSLR - pros and cons of X-E1 vs OM-D EM-5

Started Mar 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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pavinder
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Leaving DSLR - pros and cons of X-E1 vs OM-D EM-5
Mar 17, 2013

Would really appreciate some advice on what is becoming an incredibly frustrating decision.
I currently have an EOS 20D and a ton of lenses, but have hardly used it in years - due mainly to
a) the weight and bulk, and
b) the crop factor.
I considered a 5D or 6D for a long time because of the full frame sensor, but realized that it would make issue b) even worse.  I'm therefore absolutely convinced I should sell my Canon gear and am now looking at these mirrorless systems.
I've been deliberating over the choice of the OM-D E-M5 vs. X-E1 for ages.  I see strong arguments for and against both cameras/systems on these forums.
Here are what I'm coming up against as my main pros and cons of each:
X-E1 Pros:
.  Great image quality, large sensor, the "creamy film-like feel" of the images.
.  Low light performance (but given the low-light focussing issues, does this detract?)
X-E1 Cons:
.  No environmental sealing,
.  The fully "old school" controls (having to manually turn the aperture ring on the lens barrel and the click dial for shutter speed).  I find it a little cumbersome.
.  No in-body IS, only in some lenses
.  Very limited video options (no shutter speed setting etc)
.  Lack of filters and effects (this is less important)

OM-D E-M5 Pros:
.  Environmental sealing,
.  In-body IS,
.  Easy access to dials and other adjustments with one finger while using viewfinder (i.e. good ergonomics)
.  Highly customizable including menus/dials,
.  Wider range of lenses (although many aren't of high quality)
.  Slightly more video options (over the X-E1, although still not really great)
.  "Live Time" function (I do a lot of low light photography and long exposures)
OM-D E-M5 Cons:
.  Lower IQ and smaller sensor than X-E1
.  More noise in low-light shots
.  Video limitations (no 24fps option for example)
With regard to my shooting preferences, I have 2 main areas:
1. A lot of low-light and night photography using long exposures.

As well as urban street scenes (dark alleyways etc.) I often shoot bulb exposures of a few minutes or more in forests or mountains at night, using ambient light only.
The X-E1 seems to have less noise and better low light performance, but I wonder if the IS of the OM-D can balance the equation.
To be honest I rarely shoot above 400 ISO anyway - I don't need to get sharper shots at 12,800 to freeze motion for example. I'd rather use a longer exposure at lower ISO.
In this regard, the OM-D's Live Time function looks quite brilliant.
2. Shallow DOF shots with soft bokeh.  Including night shots.
The X-E1seems far better based on samples I've seen.  I've not seen a single sample from the OM-D with very narrow DOF and beautiful bokeh.  
But perhaps this could be compensated by the choice of lens on the OM-D?
Any comments from photographers on the above points would be gratefully appreciated.

Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 6D Fujifilm X-E1 Olympus OM-D E-M5
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