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

Started Mar 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
photo chris Regular Member • Posts: 281
Had the EM5, now have the XP1

The EM5 is a fantastic camera, fast focusing, IBIS is better than any lens based system IMHO and IQ is really good and its weather sealed with certain lenses. But its a small camera and even with the grip, the buttons are still very small - something I didn't like. The Fuji is much cleaner at high ISO's. If you do long exposures the "live bulb" mode on the EM5 is awesome - you can see the images as they're exposed on the LCD and stop the exposure when its properly exposed. A lot of the EM5's functions are buried in some very poorly organized menus and for me the buttons were just too small. If Olympus brings some of its faster 43 lenses to M43 and the rumored "pro" OMD I may reconsider, but for now its a great camera with cumbersome controls and menu's. Video on the EM5 is really, really good.  I tested it against the Sony a99 and the Nex5n and the EM5 was far better than the a99 - the Nex5n was the best of the 3.  You are limited to 30p, but its very, very good.

The Fuji has all the major controls right on the camera and pretty much everything needed while shooting can be accessed through the Q menu. Aperture is a snap to adjust as you hold the camera by the lens anyway, so your left hand is always on aperture controls. Shutter and exposure compensation cal easily be adjusted without moving the camera from your eye. AF point is so easy to move, you can quickly place it on your subject and skip focus/recompose. I read a lot of gripes about Fuji's AF speed and that made me nervous before the switch, but I haven't seen a dramatic difference in AF speed with the 18, 35 and 18-55mm lenses and the legendary Olympus 45/1.8. I use the 'mash the shutter' technique that's been discussed and it works really well. Video on the Fuji's is terrible since you can't adjust exposure, so its constantly changing from light to dark depending on whatever the meter focuses on.  I'll never fully commit to X mount until Fuji gives its cameras the simple capability to lock shutter speed, aperture and ISO while shooting video since I shoot a lot of video.

The larger sensor gets you one stop better DOF for equivalent apertures and there are very few large aperture AF lenses in M43 world. The 25/1.4 is awesome, but its FOV/DOF is only 50/2.8 in FF terms. The M43 zooms are good, but no great. The Panny 12-35/2.8 has the DOF of a 5.6 lens on FF, not exactly great for $1300 if bokeh and shallow DOF is your thing. The X 35/1.4 is a stunner and the upcoming 23/1.4 and 56/1.4 will have no equal in M43 land.

For me the controls on the EM5 were just too small and the menus are just bang your head against the wall stupid. The Fuji is definitely a better shooting experience IMHO and IQ is better as well. ISO 3200 is just so clean, far more so than the EM5 and LR 4.4 really does a nice job with the raw conversion. Of course the Fuji jpeg's are fantastic, I've used it for portrait shoots along side my 5d3 and delivered jpeg's to paying customers. With the improvements made to the X100s and the new Zeiss lenses, the future looks bright for the X system, just add manual controls to video to the Xpro2/1s or whatever its going to be called and I'll sell my 5d3 and carry two of the new X bodies.

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