X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice

Started Feb 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
jeremyclarke Forum Member • Posts: 61
Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice

vargan8 wrote:

I heard on a youtube video that the histogram on fuji doesn't accurately display in manual. I have some trouble understanding this. When I set my p&s to manual and have an incorrect shutter, this is clear on the histogram, and each change in a stop will be reflected on it. Is this not how a Fuji works? (the video 22:40) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOaw-93F-wo . If the histogram in Fuji doesn't work right, it might not be the right one for an amateur anyway.

This was a super awkward issue in the original firmware of the X-Pro1 and X-E1 that has since been fixed for both cameras. What happened was the histogram reflected what was shown on screen, but in manual mode the screen was configured to show you a useful rather than accurate image by boosting the "gain" when your settings were too dark for framing/composition. This meant that the histogram was useless and misleading in manual because it would always seem good since the system was auto-configuring it. Now there is a setting to enable/disable the auto-gain feature, it's called "PREVIEW EXP IN MANUAL". If it's on then manual mode will show you what you'll get in the final image even if it's blackness and the histogram will match.

FWIW in all cases even before the fix the histogram in review mode worked, so you could check your photo after taking it and see accurate details.

I doubt the X-M1 is affected by this bug, but I'm not sure about that. A quick search implies it might not have the same fix as the X-E1 now does.

I've read somewhere that to get the most out of the dynamic range processing (something about color?), you need to use 200 iso+. Is this the case? How does this effect trying to shoot wide aperture in bright light?

The base ISO on these cameras is 200. That's how they were built to be used. There's almost no noise at 200 so 100 is pretty unnecessary and the whole exposure system assumes that 100 will be used for DR management rather than as a user-selectable option. If you absolutely need 100 you forfeit some esoteric amount of DR correction you would normally get, and I think you are also forced to shoot JPG (not sure about that one).

Either way it probably won't have a significant effect on your photos, you should focus on other concerns and only optimize such issues after you've chosen a camera.

Are there any type of lens it would be worth giving up the X mount support for? Would a macro be good, as you don't the AF, but the IS might be useful. Macro is probably the last lens I would get though.

Again not sure what you mean. Maybe you mean lenses not available for X mount currently? If so the main missing pieces are super-long telephoto lenses (max 200mm in XF and 220mm in the cheaper XC) and long macros (the only one being the famously awkward 60mm macro).

I'm basically leaning towards Fuji because it should be able to get shallower depth of field, and low light performance. The company is also better regarded in build quality than almost any other out there. However these factors may mean very little in practice. Are there any Fuji owners who also have a M4/3? How do they compare in the high iso/depth of field departments?

I don't own an mft camera but I almost bought one before coming back to fuji for the DoF control. The reality is that the depth of field difference is significant between the two sensor sizes, and if you crave bokeh you'll end up spending a lot on very fast lenses for mft when you could have used more average ones on Fuji/Sony/APS-C.

This article explains it fairly well:


Their examples are kind of crazy because they end up implying f stops that just aren't practical in AF lenses, but you get the idea. You'll lose about a full stop of dof control on the shallow end with mft, and if anything you'll find less fast lenses than for Fuji (who's default normal prime is f/1.4 and who's kit is a full stop faster than Olympus').

Noise is potentially more subjective but ultimately there's no real contest. Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic all have excellent sensor designs that make the most of the hardware and all have good noise performance, but Fuji's is way bigger, so they have the edge. You can read fights all day between people who think the Fuji sensors are magically better and those who think Fuji users are delusional, but in the end you can probably just take for granted that with a Fuji sensor you get less noise than MFT, and if you decided to go for full frame Canon/Nikon you'd get to the next level (though of course trading a million other things that mft/Fuji have in common).

I find that even at ISO 6400 my X-E1 makes images where the noise isn't the first thing you notice and that makes me very satisfied with my purchase. I don't hear mft people saying the equivalent, though most of them feel that noise performance is great on their camera either way.

I'm just trying to consider all the angles before buying a camera.

Don't forget autofocus. If there's one thing I find the X-E1 still sucks at it's AF, where it regularly refuses to lock on to subjects unless they have just the right kind of contrast. I end up using manual focus a lot, and actually prefer my legacy MF lenses a bit because at least they're optimized for it (though they are very annoying in other ways of course).

I'm not sure if the X-M1 is better in this regard or not (i think it's a bit better), but I'm 90% sure a new Olympus or Panasonic would win at AF almost every time.

Good luck!

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