Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay

Started May 3, 2012 | Discussions
breamer
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Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
May 3, 2012

I'm writing this as much to help clear my thoughts as to putting it out there for others in my situation. I'm in the market for a new small camera system. I currently have a 5DII and GF-1. When I first got the GF-1, I shot with it a lot. I carried it with me when I dropped the kids to school every day and on family outings. I got many photos I was happy with. But after a while, the GF-1 failed to inspire me to pick it up and shoot with it. I missed having a nice viewfinder and the dynamic range was limiting. Noise was not great after ISO800 and little things like the shutter sound began to put me off.

So I patiently waited for a suitable replacement to come along. And come along they did in the form of the X-Pro1 and OM-D. I've now spent hours reading forums and professional reviews of these cameras.

Every time I see images from the X-Pro1, taken by people who know how to use the camera, I feel like there is a bit of magic going on. I love how the subject of focus can appear so sharp and well defined against a nice fall off to out of focus areas. And I love the colours I'm seeing. I suspect this all has to do with the lack of AA filter, the nice lenses and the Fuji colour rendering. But I'm worried about AF and the potential impediment it creates to capturing fleeting moments.

On the other hand the OM-D has some features that are really compelling to me - a great lens range, a tilting LCD screen, touch screen focus. I know these things will help me make better pictures, more able to capture expressions on my kid's faces as they for example are walking to class and see their school friends. Plus they also have a beautiful Leica 25/1.4 (50mm eqv).

So I have a dilemma. My heart says X-pro1 and my head says OM-D. As an Engineer I'm used to following my head, analysing data, making rational decisions. As I experience life more I realise that following your heart will ultimately lead to a more fulfilled life.

If you made it this far, then thanks for listening! I'm going to sleep on it tonight but any comments are welcome!

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Fujifilm X-Pro1
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vloher
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

Hey Breamer,

You have defined my predicament exactly, and I expect the predicament of many others. If Fuji comes out with a firmware update to speed up the AF, I will be all over that camera. Otherwise, it will probably be the OMD for me.

Good luck with your decision.

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Good light and happy shooting!

Victor

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javaone360
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

It is logical for you to go to OM-D because it will take a hit to sell your mFT gears. I took the path to sell all of the mFT gears except the 25mm. It is not because the 25mm is exceptional, it is because I lose too much money for a four month old lens.

Fuji is not an all purposed camera. You have 5DII already, and you probably don't need another all purposed camera.

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Ricoh GR Nikon 1 V1 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon D800 Fujifilm X-T1 +26 more
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fluxism
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

I just got back from a trip to SF and took about a thousand photos in the streets, on trains, in restaurants, and only a few were out of focus. the camera was a joy to use.

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Alan Wolf
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

Yours is not a solitary confusion...You didn’t say how many lenses you have for the GF-1, or how often you use the Canon. (Or, how you feel about using the Canon, for that matter, which I think is an important factor.)

There’s no question that the OMD is more “practical” at least in terms of current lens selection and overall speed of focus, etc. But I think what attracted you to the GF1 is more apparent in the Fuji. Looking at images, I think the Fuji will be at least in the same IQ league as the 5DII, whereas the OMD will be a slight step down. Certainly the OMD would be more similar to shooting with the Canon. Kits for either will be much lighter than the Canon.

If you are keeping the Canon, I think the Fuji would make a better complimentary camera than the OMD. I’m not sure what your photographic background is, but there is something very special about shooting with fixed lenses (not that you couldn’t do that with the OMD—between the 12mm, 20 mm and 45mm there are some lovely primes).

If you are not keeping the Canon, and this will be your main camera, I think it gets more difficult. So much also depends on what your shooting style is—and what you take photos of. I’m REALLY tempted by the Fuji. I don’t know if you have been able to try one out (even at a store counter), but it is a bit quirky at first; but a common consensus among posters that have kept it is that they got to understand it pretty fast. And it’s hard to argue with the images I’ve been seeing.

I’ve reached a point in my life (early 60’s) where I’ve learned to trust my heart. My favorite cameras have almost all been ones that required a bit of work to get good images from. Thanks for posting your question—it’s helped me make up my mind!

 Alan Wolf's gear list:Alan Wolf's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 4/18 ZM Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/25 Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/50 Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/85 +18 more
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Jeff Seltzer
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Response from a 5DII owner...
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

My 5DII + L primes produce incredible images, but I wanted a camera I could also take with me (especially important for my kind of photography). In addition, I was suffering a bit of creative "writer's block." The X-Pro1 offers a great solution. First, it's small enough to throw into my work bag so I always have it. In addition, the shooting experience is so different vs. the 5DII that it makes photography fun again. It's a challenging camera that requires skill and thoughtfulness to produce the best images - and that's okay with me. The OVF is on par with the bright viewfinder of the 5DII, which is important to me. And, like when I shoot with the 5DII, I'm using my eye as the framing device - not some computer generated rending of the scene (i.e., EVF which is all you get with the Oly). I didn't want some computer attached to a lens (e.g., NEX7) I wanted something that feels more "real" if that makes any sense? And, it doesn't hurt the images are beautiful. Bottom line: it's the perfect augment to the 5DII for me.

breamer wrote:

I'm writing this as much to help clear my thoughts as to putting it out there for others in my situation. I'm in the market for a new small camera system. I currently have a 5DII and GF-1. When I first got the GF-1, I shot with it a lot. I carried it with me when I dropped the kids to school every day and on family outings. I got many photos I was happy with. But after a while, the GF-1 failed to inspire me to pick it up and shoot with it. I missed having a nice viewfinder and the dynamic range was limiting. Noise was not great after ISO800 and little things like the shutter sound began to put me off.

So I patiently waited for a suitable replacement to come along. And come along they did in the form of the X-Pro1 and OM-D. I've now spent hours reading forums and professional reviews of these cameras.

Every time I see images from the X-Pro1, taken by people who know how to use the camera, I feel like there is a bit of magic going on. I love how the subject of focus can appear so sharp and well defined against a nice fall off to out of focus areas. And I love the colours I'm seeing. I suspect this all has to do with the lack of AA filter, the nice lenses and the Fuji colour rendering. But I'm worried about AF and the potential impediment it creates to capturing fleeting moments.

On the other hand the OM-D has some features that are really compelling to me - a great lens range, a tilting LCD screen, touch screen focus. I know these things will help me make better pictures, more able to capture expressions on my kid's faces as they for example are walking to class and see their school friends. Plus they also have a beautiful Leica 25/1.4 (50mm eqv).

So I have a dilemma. My heart says X-pro1 and my head says OM-D. As an Engineer I'm used to following my head, analysing data, making rational decisions. As I experience life more I realise that following your heart will ultimately lead to a more fulfilled life.

If you made it this far, then thanks for listening! I'm going to sleep on it tonight but any comments are welcome!

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Ray Sachs
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Trust your heart...
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

Your brain will forgive your heart more easily than your heart will forgive your brain. Go with your heart. I have both, but my heart made me buy the X-Pro 1 first. And then my head made me buy the EM5. Now I'm just trying to sell everything else.

-Ray
-------------------------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

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Biriki
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

I recently went through the same dilemma. Although I have a PEN and several great mft lenses - X Pro 1 won me over last week and I haven't looked back. Like you I read tons of reviews and my decision came down to looking at how much I tend to use my PEN camera a a street photography camera (and buildings/landscapes) - I never used it for sports or action type photos. I really wanted the option of a permanent viewfinder so the x pro 1 is perfect for me given its hybrid setup. I never used an optical vf but having spent the last several days with it - It absolutely amazes me.

You'll have your own reasons for which camera you ultimately choose but your choosing between tow great cameras.

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xjuanx
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

I am so glad to hear there are people here with similar hurdles to get the right camera. I too own a 5D MK II and use to own an Olympus Pen 1, with the same Voigtlander MFT lens. However thinking ahead, I continued to buy prime lenses with a m bayonet so i would have options later on. I had the notion to spend money on lenses, not camera bodies. But I must say I fell in love with the Fuji myself. And since I've been use to manual lenses. The switch was a no brainier for the type of shooting I do, which is usually slow and taken with time. However im still undecided on the 25mm and what to do with it. I dont wanna sell it just because i love that lens. In any case everything else live, special events, I use the Canon. I've tried both cameras and always came to the conclusion the Fuji was more in the realm of rangefinder type cameras and what they attract. Street shooting, landscape, portraits and so on as well as a camera I can just take with me anywhere. I also felt the OM D was a camera that wants to take over the DSLR realm (my conclusions coming from the specs, super fast AF, weather proofing, style, zoom lens, video, and the continuous shooting mode) so it seems like a no brainier for you. Go with the OM-D. Anyone who shoots their kids knows, you need the fast auto focus. Not to mention the body is so small, you can put it in your front pocket without the lens. I can honestly say, the OMD is like a day to day 5DMK II. That's my 2cents anyways. Good luck. Whatever you decide, both are excellent cameras.

 xjuanx's gear list:xjuanx's gear list
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Strat
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

I was considering the same cameras and I would strongly suggest that you should really get both of the cameras into your hand and see how they feel - not just for shooting but also for using the controls and buttons etc.

My wife has an X100 that I used a lot when we were on holidays in addition to the E-PL2 that was hanging around my neck. I have the Oly m43 9-18, the Oly 12mm and the Oly 45mm so I really wanted to love the OMD.

But whilst I was away, I just loved the feel of the X100 and I really developed a strong connection with it - bringing it up to my eye - using the exposure comp dial - and then reviewing and even button pressing - it just felt great. I also appreciated the ability to look at the camera and tell the settings in an old school manual sort of way.

When I got back home, the photos I took with the X100 often had a special pop to them - you could scroll through my library and there was something just a bit special about a lot of them (including some that were focussed on the wall behind the person etc - so it aint perfect by any stretch). The wide angle lens on the EPL-2 was great in an old church but I still often prefered the picture taken with the X100.

Still, the OMD made more technical sense to me due to the smaller size, my investment in some good glass, the IS in the body etc BUT I am now the proud owner of a X-Pro 1 and have the 18mm and 35mm lenses. I handled both in a store and I had the same connection with the X-Pro 1 - it was not love at first hold as I initially actually prefered the hold of the X100 and was a bit hesitant but I bought the X-Pro 1 and have just returned from holidays and I fell in love with it. I will upload some shots soon so people can see but a few shots with the 35mm are the best I have ever taken. I kept the lens hood on with the lens cap in my pocket and it just hung over my shoulder all day and it was great.

I went back to the shop yesterday and grabbed the OMD again and it really just doesnt feel as good to ME, in MY hand and up to MY eye.

I am confident that both the X-Pro 1 and the OMD are better cameras than I am a photographer and I will be the limiting factor. I also think that use case is important and uber quick AF and in body IS are things to consider for people when they select a camera.

But for me, I know that I can work with and around the specific limits of the X-Pro 1, I love the fast 35, the colours straight out of the camera and the 3D look or "pop" you can get when you nail the shot and I know I will carry it more places and will therefore take more shots with it because of the way it feels in my hand.

Hope that helps and sorry for the length of the post.
--
David Stratford

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kuri
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

I ended up buying the Fuji myself and I love the camera. That being said, if you intend to use it to capture fleeting moments (or trying to AF kids running about), I don't think it's up to the task.

In good light, I'd say the Fuji focuses rather quickly, maybe good enough to give you some keepers of said fleeting moments. But once you go indoors or the light drops, then you'll find yourself missing shots.

I took my X-pro to a friend's wedding reception and it was pretty difficult to get the Fuji to focus in time when people were moving about.

Essentially, the Fuji is not a cam for fleeting moments, unless you use zone focusing, I guess. It's a cam for deliberate and purposeful picture taking, ideally with your subject being nice and pausing to pose or such

breamer wrote:

But I'm worried about AF and the potential impediment it creates to capturing fleeting > moments.

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Eijnaix
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

Hi , been through your stage between head and heart or rather more about usability/flexibility vs quality but lousy function

I've own 2 , but keep the pro1 ..... Coz at the end of the day. It's the picture on my computer worth keeping that matters.

breamer wrote:

I'm writing this as much to help clear my thoughts as to putting it out there for others in my situation. I'm in the market for a new small camera system. I currently have a 5DII and GF-1. When I first got the GF-1, I shot with it a lot. I carried it with me when I dropped the kids to school every day and on family outings. I got many photos I was happy with. But after a while, the GF-1 failed to inspire me to pick it up and shoot with it. I missed having a nice viewfinder and the dynamic range was limiting. Noise was not great after ISO800 and little things like the shutter sound began to put me off.

So I patiently waited for a suitable replacement to come along. And come along they did in the form of the X-Pro1 and OM-D. I've now spent hours reading forums and professional reviews of these cameras.

Every time I see images from the X-Pro1, taken by people who know how to use the camera, I feel like there is a bit of magic going on. I love how the subject of focus can appear so sharp and well defined against a nice fall off to out of focus areas. And I love the colours I'm seeing. I suspect this all has to do with the lack of AA filter, the nice lenses and the Fuji colour rendering. But I'm worried about AF and the potential impediment it creates to capturing fleeting moments.

On the other hand the OM-D has some features that are really compelling to me - a great lens range, a tilting LCD screen, touch screen focus. I know these things will help me make better pictures, more able to capture expressions on my kid's faces as they for example are walking to class and see their school friends. Plus they also have a beautiful Leica 25/1.4 (50mm eqv).

So I have a dilemma. My heart says X-pro1 and my head says OM-D. As an Engineer I'm used to following my head, analysing data, making rational decisions. As I experience life more I realise that following your heart will ultimately lead to a more fulfilled life.

If you made it this far, then thanks for listening! I'm going to sleep on it tonight but any comments are welcome!

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Antoine Palade
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

Some things in life we do with our head. Your engineering job - and a job in general - is one of those things.

Some other things in life we do guided by our hearts. Hobbies, such as photography, is one of those things, and should be one of thos things. I know what you mean by not being inspired (i.e. by the GF1 after a while). My suggestion:

Imagine yourself in a scenario, like being overseas, or having some time off. You have a camera with you. Which camera - OMD or X-Pro1? - feels better, and inspres you to explore small streets just to have an excuse to take a picture and see if some magic can come out? whicever camera materialises in this imaginary vision, is the camera you should get.

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breamer
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Wonderful responses so far
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

Thank you all for responding so thoughtfully. I really appreciate it!

As a bit of background, I have a lot of nice lenses for my Canon system - 17/4, 24/1.4, 50/1.2, couple of zooms etc etc. I mostly photograph landscapes, and my family. I have no problem taking the 5DII on outings - I pack it and a few lenses in a waist pack/shoulder bag and am comfortable enough with that.

Anyway, I've decided I'm going to give the X-Pro1 a go! When I think about it, images that I've seen from this camera are consistently evocative to me. And that compels me to try it. First big trial is going to be an overnight school field trip that I'm taking with my son next week. Trial by fire. Can't wait. I look forward to sharing experiences and images here.

Also, beautiful picture above Jeff. Thanks for sharing!

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Bigbig
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

I was in a similar situation. I had the GF1 and loved it. Then I started missing the viewfinder, depth of field, dynamic range. I didn't even know I also missed having aperture rings and a shutter dial like my old camera. The X-Pro has all of these.

If a laundry list of comparisons were made, however, OM-D would win. I would still pick the Fuji, though. This thing has soul, in my opinion.

You're right: the Olympus would appeal more to an engineer like yourself. I say go with the Fuji, if that's what your heart says. You get to be an engineer for your day job

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Menemsha Captain
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Re: Wonderful responses so far
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

breamer wrote:

Thank you all for responding so thoughtfully. I really appreciate it!

As a bit of background, I have a lot of nice lenses for my Canon system - 17/4, 24/1.4, 50/1.2, couple of zooms etc etc. I mostly photograph landscapes, and my family. I have no problem taking the 5DII on outings - I pack it and a few lenses in a waist pack/shoulder bag and am comfortable enough with that.

Anyway, I've decided I'm going to give the X-Pro1 a go! When I think about it, images that I've seen from this camera are consistently evocative to me. And that compels me to try it. First big trial is going to be an overnight school field trip that I'm taking with my son next week. Trial by fire. Can't wait. I look forward to sharing experiences and images here.

Also, beautiful picture above Jeff. Thanks for sharing!

I don't think this is quite as much of a "head versus heart issue" as it may seem. I have had my X Pro 1 from about five weeks now. If power save is disabled, the autofocus is pretty quick with the 35mm and 18mm lenses that I have. That's true indoors and in weak light situations. The only thing that outfoxes the AF is a very low contrast scene, which is to be expected given the technology of phase detect AF.

I just came back from a bicycle trip with my family in Italy. I took quite a few shots of moving subjects such as people cycling and in towns walking about and never felt that the speed of the AF was causing me to miss the shot I had composed in my head or delivering out of focus results. The overall image quality and fantastic rendition of colors -- in landscapes, towns, and of skin color -- have left me a very happy owner. The size and weight of the camera were never an issue to me, even packed into a bag on the back of a bicycle.

You did not mention which of the lens you plan to get. The truly startlingly good images I have taken come from the 35mm. I think most users would agree that is what to get if you only have one lens initially. The 18mm does a very good job too, however, but the images do not have quite the impact and "three dimensional" pop.

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Bashar AbdRabbou
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

Since you have a big SLR why not look at the X-100, it might be all what you need and more!

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gava
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Re: Response from a 5DII owner...
In reply to Jeff Seltzer, May 3, 2012

That's a really nice shot Jeff.

Cracking sensor/lens/jpg engine combination.

And of course a good photographer, and it doesn't hurt that the subject is lovely.

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Moti
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Use both...
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

Coming from the old school of photography, i consider a camera as a tool and the way I see it is very simple. I use my head to choose the camera, and my heart to make the photos.

So I think that the very basic question you have to ask yourself is how do you consider the camera, as a tool or as a toy. If its a tool, you should use your engineering experience to analyse your photography needs and base your decision on that. If you want a toy, just do whatever you desire and ignore all the rest, and there is nothing wrong with it because it is a hobby.

One thing is sure, both cameras are amazing and very capable and at the end of the day it all comes down to needs and personal preferences.

I have also seen many samples in these forums, for both cameras. some done by very good and talented photographers and they look great but you can't take any decision based on these, not because of the cameras but because a good photographer would do the same with almost any camera and at small web size, they all look the same anyway.

I guess that you already read enough reviews to make you even more confused. Some of them shouldn't even be considered but there are two interesting sites that I would suggest you to look at because they are great professional photographers who comment about their real world photography with these cameras and not only silly test shots.

Zack Arias for the XPRO 1 At -  http://zackarias.com/for-photographers/gear-gadgets/ummm-maybe-ummm-yes-fuji-x-pro-1-review/

Damian McGillycuddy with the OMD at http://www.damianmcgillicuddy.com/journal/

What I can see in these two examples is that super high specs on paper is maybe very nice to have but sometimes real world photography, tells us a completely different story and sadly, I find that more and more shooters put too much effort and money into the gear and not enough into their photography.

And last, the best advise I can give you is to test both of them yourself, not in the shop but in your own environment, with your own subjects and photography styles and then make the decision.

Good luck

Moti

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gava
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Re: Heart says X-Pro1, head says OM-D - small essay
In reply to breamer, May 3, 2012

I think you should start with the XPro1. It will give you everything you are looking for in the vast majority of situations.

My X100 is not a perfect camera, but it has replaced my 5D2 to the extent that I'm shooting 80-90% with the X100.

You will likely find something similar with the XPro1.

If you have the Panny 20mm then keep it. Maybe add the OMD later on if you find that there are situations where it just won't work for you.

From your list of current equipment it's likely that you can afford to indulge yourself a bit in your hobby without hurting too much financially.

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