An E-M5 and X PRO 1 hands-on comparison (and E-M5 portrait-nude photography)

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A size comparison

We already had many hot new camera announcements this year. Not only the Olympus E-M5 but also the Nikon D800, Canon 5DmarkIII and the Fuji X PRO 1 and the new iPad (joke!). This isn’t bad for a year were most of us expect the hottest machines to be announced in September at the Photokina event. But the two cameras we care of are the E-M5 and the X PRO 1 because the Fuji is very likely the mirrorless camera wiht the highest image quality. Three people visted the Focus on Imaging show in Birmingham and reported this about the two cameras:

1) Adam:I have had a play with an Oly E-M5 at focus on imaging in the UK. My feelings, as well as a number of the punters there were that the camera is tiny, I would go as far as much too small and that the EVF suffers from much too much blackout. OLY had a catwalk stand and after taking several shots of the models that were playing with ballons, (I know), it was almost impossible to get that decisive moment. Overall nice camera but a flawed execution, pity. The X-Pro 1 feels quite cheap in the hand and has the same awful focusing issues as the X100.

2) David from Soundimagesplus:like the feel of a camera with a grip, and feel the handling is often much improved. The advantage with the OM-D is that its still pretty light with it attached. The two grip sections are actually quite small and adds little weight. There is some extra weight obviously from the battery. The whole thing in the hand is not unlike cameras like the Nikon FM2 (here on eBay) and Pentax MZ-5 (here on eBay), which is no higher complement in my book.” About the X PRO 1 he writes: “Like the X100, I’m disappointed with the finish. This is a £1400 body only camera after all. I have to say it, and I’m sure I’ll get lots of reaction to this, but I thought it looked and felt cheap. Somewhat like a compact camera on steroids. The one I was given to try looked like some of the finish on the top plate was peeling off.

3) Rob (Click here to read his full comment): Firstly the thumb grip is nice, but I felt it was awkward to reach the shutter button, because the neck strap holder poked out exactly in line with where your finger needs to go over to reach it. I don’t know if this is a design flaw, my finger being flawed or Olympus owners holding their cameras different to how I naturally do it. I did try it with the battery grip and that problem doesn’t count there though. Although I would have preferred a higher quality finish on the battery grip, especially as its a £230ish accessory. It just felt a bit plastic fantastic. That said the ergonomics of it with the portrait grip in place was much better than I was expecting. The Fuji I didn’t like at all. It certainly felt quality, but the focusing really is unimpressive (slower than the NEX, especially now that’s had a firmware tweek). But I felt it was pushing the retro thing too far, there was no need for it to be designed the way i was. EVF was not impressive, don’t think I would use it much with optical available on it. I also felt it was heavier than it needed to be /should have been.

Summary: I am surprised to hear that apparently the feeling on the X PRO 1 is “cheap”. I really have to test this for myself as I really expected the Fuji to be of high quality! Thanks to both Adam and David!

An E-M5 news: Damian McGillicuddy (Click here) is testing the E-M5 and shooting some interesting studio portraits: “It does amaze me what the diminutive sensor is capable of but even more so the blinkered bigotry of some larger size sensor owners!  These are tools to do a job and surely as long as its capable of what its asked to do, which it is, then that’s all that matters…

More X PRO 1 news: Check out my latest news roundup on MirrorlessRumors (Click here).

Both camera price, specs and preorder check:
E-M5 at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Redcoon Deutschland, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.
Fuji X PRO 1 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto, Epxansys US, Expansys Canada, Jessops UK, eBay Italy, Expansys UK, Amazon Japan and eBay Japan.

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  • Gunt

    The EVF blackout bits are annoying. Will have to test it myself at the camera store…

    • Gianluca

      …more from David/Soundimageplus:”….Taking pictures with it you become aware af several things. The rear screen and viewfinder are really good, sharp and clear. The AF is just lightning and THERE IS NO SHUTTER LAG!!! I pressed the shutter down and it felt that by the time I’d got the shutter down all the way it had already taken 4 pictures! Absolutely astonishing and completely different from any other m4/3 cameras. It doesn’t seem to struggle in low light with low contrast and was one of the fastest cameras I’ve ever handled…..”

      • zf

        Shutter lag is the time between pressing the shutter button and the actual shutter on the camera is released.

        Blackout is most likely happened after the shutter is released.

        I’ve played with OM-D prototype once before, and I don’t remember any annoying blackout ever happened. When in burst mode, the EVF will display in successive shots that are currently happening. No real blackout whatsoever.

    • Agent00soul

      That Adam guy must be a troll. How could he be bothered by blackout when he is waiting for the decisive moment? If he’s not shooting, there can be no blackout, can it?

      • Maybe he was in C-AF and didn’t know that you can switch the EVF to the 240 ps read-out mode. The same obviously happened to several photographers at the launch event in Amsterdam.

      • OlyFan

        That Adam guy to me sounds like a Oly-hater too. This is first time I’m hearing about the blackout. Not saying that the EM-5 has no faults but to me, it sounds like he is trying hard to find a fault with it.

        OTOH, I’m more concerned with Robin’s observation about EVF fogging. I hope its a pre-production camera problem because if its not, then that’s an embarrassing fault to find in a weather-sealed camera!

  • Bob B.

    Wow…surprising comments…ok..I have to go cuddle me GX1 now………..

  • Keith

    What do they mean by evf blackout?
    It turns off between shooting frames?

    • spam

      I haven’t used these cameras, but all EVILs I’ve tried so far has an “interruption” of the video stream to the LCD/EVF when you take a picture. On G1 it was a real blackout similar to mirror up on a SLR. Newer models have improved considerably, most display the last shot and kind of freeze the viewfinder for a moment. It’s not a problem in single shot mode, but it prevents easy tracking of moving subjects with continous shooting. Some models show a brief update of the viewfinder between shots with slow frame rates, but not in the fastest mode(s).

  • Boooo!

    McGillycuddy has an E-7 prototype, I think:

    http://www.damianmcgillicuddy.com/journal/2012/2/27/olympus-micro-four-thirds-45mm-f18.html

    “Now please understand some I still cant talk about and I really can’t mention the E7 (if it exists) ;0)”

    • yes, spotted that before the E-7 proabably has the new overlay viewfinder

      Damian McGillicuddy does shot some very very interesting studio portraits 😉

      • Gabriel

        Yes, but image size is too small, you can’t see the full glory of the models..er..i mean the E-M5 and the 45mm lenses. 😉

    • Riley

      oh you saw that too…

  • @Adam
    tiny compared to elephant sized DSLRs maybe…

    too much black out …get your eyes tested!

    “playing with ballons, (I know), it was almost impossible to get that decisive moment” that says more about you and your lack of timing!!! Those shooting with their Canon/Nikon/Sony etc couldn’t capture the descive moment either http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1041&thread=40837870

    • girl playing with balloon decisive moment http://www.flickr.com/photos/youdidntdidyou/5850784194/in/photostream taken with a “slow” Panasonic L10 not on burst/continuous either!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Gabriel

      For capture decisive moment, you must be a Jedi and anticipate the movement 🙂
      Compare to small dslr, the E-M5 is not that tiny, it’s only thinner an lighter. I check the size against my K7 on camera size. If you check againt the hummer size D4, even my k7 look like a p&s camera 😉

  • adriaantie

    Helloooooooooo NEX-7

  • Ralentizeur

    the X1 pro i tested recently, was underwhelming built quality wise, i really expected more, lenses are mainly plastic (not too heavy either), no way i m buying this camera (at that price)

    curious to have a E-m5 hands on… should be neat with those metal voigtlanders

  • Yun

    2 different class of cameras , shouldn’t put to compare . EM5 might be Olympus latest flagship but nothing is interesting in the announcement , in contrast , the X Pro is more excited , compare it’s picture quality with best ff cameras . 2 different class of level !
    That’s why Olympus immediate declare EM5 is not a Pro camera .
    Overall I’m impressed with EM5 but expect something more like X Pro . Hopefully it ( M4/3 ) can deliver within 2012 .

    • E-1

      You will not get (state-of-the-art) APS-C performance with (state-of-the-art) m43 sensors. Never. If you need APS-C sensor performance, you need to buy an APS-C camera. If you need FF performance, you need to buy a FF camera.

      Waiting for new Olympus bodies will not solve this.

      • Will

        You will of course have the APS-C performance from a m43 sensor, both will advance as each company puts in R&D in different (and same) areas, what everyone is hoping, is to find an overlap where m43 has caught up to APS-C and then hope even more that it’s due to something Olympus/Panasonic has developed that will take a while for others to catch up.

        Anyway it’s not happening, m43 hasn’t quite caught up though no amateur could really tell the difference, but there’s hope in the long run if the planets align.

      • Boooo!

        “You will not get (state-of-the-art) APS-C performance with (state-of-the-art) m43 sensors.”

        Why not?

        Take the Sony 24 Mpx sensor. Crop it down to 4/3 size for lower resolution. DR and noise performance remain the same.

        • spam

          If you crop it down to mFT size then you throw away the part of the sensor that makes it better. On pixel level they’ll be the same, but if you look at the whole image then a larger sensor will always have an advantage (given the same technology level).

          • DR

            “If you crop it down to mFT size then you throw away the part of the sensor that makes it better. ”

            Not at the technical sensor level. At the lens/sensor/image level, yes. It is a different format after all.

            If m43 had the technical sensor performance of the sony, then the only issue would be the relative sensor sizes. That would be a great position for m43 to be in.

            • Vlad

              +1

          • JF

            Yeah that’s true. if you take the 24 Mpix of Nex 7 and you sowftware downsample the picture to 15 Mpix (m43 size with same pixels size) then you will have better SNR due to “averaging” of pixels IMO.

            • Boooo!

              I think we’re past the point where noise matters. What matters now is DR, and the Sony sensors have loads of it.

    • krugorg

      You are saying that pro = sensor size?

      If there is one feature that I hear most talked about when “pro” is mentioned, it is weather-proofing.

  • Rob

    I had a play at focus. Apparently the silver one there was early production so felt a bit loose and the black one was more new and tight (especially with things like buttons). I only got hands on with the silver.

    I must say I was expecting it to blow me away but it didn’t. I’m an NEX-5n owner myself but looking to move into 4/3 and the E-M5 looked like the best bet. The main reason for moving is I don’t really ‘love’ the 5n probably because I got it as a bonus at work rather than made the decision to buy it myself.

    However I felt the E-M5 had a similar build quality to the 5n (which is good), but I also handled a NEX-7 which seems a significant step up from both (its larger, fits my hands better and the rubberised grip is lovely).

    The Fuji I didn’t like at all. It certainly felt quality, but the focusing really is unimpressive (slower than the NEX, especially now that’s had a firmware tweek). But I felt it was pushing the retro thing too far, there was no need for it to be designed the way i was. EVF was not impressive, don’t think I would use it much with optical available on it. I also felt it was heavier than it needed to be /should have been.

    Back to the E-M5. Firstly the thumb grip is nice, but I felt it was awkward to reach the shutter button, because the neck strap holder poked out exactly in line with where your finger needs to go over to reach it. I don’t know if this is a design flaw, my finger being flawed or Olympus owners holding their cameras different to how I naturally do it.

    I did try it with the battery grip and that problem doesn’t count there though. Although I would have preferred a higher quality finish on the battery grip, especially as its a £230ish accessory. It just felt a bit plastic fantastic. That said the ergonomics of it with the portrait grip in place was much better than I was expecting.

    The camera is indeed tiny in the hand. That ‘ugly’ hump people have been slating really isn’t a big deal when you see how small it is in life.

    The viewfinder I thought was lovely. I thought it was nicer than the NEX-7 because its a 4:3 format and I think the NEX-7 is 3:2. Either way this is one point where I thought the NEX would definitely win (it’s genuinely lovely on the a65 and a77) but not so the case. I didn’t try moving it around fast to see if there was tearing though. But it definitely has an electronic feel about it. After taking a shot it showed it in the EVF and that looked utterly terrible though. I had to check the back LCD to make sure it was actually taking photos as I saw them (it was), but anyway I’d recommend turning off the picture preview after taking a shot.

    Although I didn’t see them side by side, I think the black looked nicer in the flesh.

    Touch screen was disabled so didn’t try that, but tilted out nicely.

    Buttons felt alright to me (although I know a lot of people complained about them on the silver model).

    12-50mm lens is novel to use in power zoom, I guess it would be useful for video, but manual for normal photography. Hopefully the upcoming olympus underwater mount will make use of its power zoom.

    I managed to get a blurry photo without trying. So I don’t know exactly how great that 5-axis mechanism actually is. Some of the pictures turned out OK though.

    I must say the Olympus stand was a bit pants though. They should have had a much nicer TV setup as it just reflected all the indoor lights and was quite desaturated. The Nikon stand next to Olympus put it to shame. I would have also preferred to see a lot more there (it was literally just a catwalk and some reps showing the E-M5). Would have been nice to pick up a E-P3 with different lenses attached for example).

    Anyway, I didn’t pre-order one there and then like I thought I might. (They offered free batt grip as usual, plus free battery, free hand strap and free oly case for the E-M5). I might wait for reviews to come out and play with it for longer in a shop with a production model though as I really do want to like it.

    • admin

      Thanks Rob! I included your article within the post 😉

      • Charlie

        That neck strap ring getting in the way of the shudder release could be a HUGE screw up if true… 😐

        • I suspect that if you hold the camera by the lens that the strap ring placement will become a non-issue.

    • Antoine

      “I felt it was pushing the retro thing too far, there was no need for it to be designed the way i was.”

      I can’t believe what I’m reading. A company is making efforts to bring back some elegance into the business of cameras and people are complaining it doesn’t look bad enough…

      • DR

        Its hilarious actually,

        Its too heavy, Its too light, Its too big, Its too small, Its too Retro, It’s too expensive, etc etc.

        Now, “there is no need for it to be designed the way it was”

        Good Grief.

        Then when they see the output. Silence.

        • E-1

          Unfocused shots because the AF was too slow? I would be out of words too.

          • DR

            Where, at fn?

            How about these, they seem sharp enough: http://zackarias.com/blog/

            It depends on what photography you do, and how well you manage your camera. Don’t forget that there are plenty of stunning images taken on old and clumsy pre-slr film cameras, so we know there is more to it than the capabilities of the machine.

            There is a lot of posts here of people worried about what the camera ‘looks’ like. Who the heck cares? It’s for taking photos, it’s not jewelry.

        • Vlad

          “there is no need for it to be designed the way it was”
          Well, there actually isn’t, technically speaking.

        • brudy

          When everybody complains about something at opposite ends of the spectrum, that probably means it was designed correctly.

      • Vlad

        What elegance? In terms of design, both the NEX-7 and the OM-D look much more elegant to me than the Fuji.

  • Steve

    I agree about the X Pro-1. I was VERY unimpressed with the feel of the camera. Disappointing, especially as I always liked their medium format cameras…

  • The X-Pro and the OM-D are very different designs tailored towards different needs. The X-Pro is all about limitations while the OM-D is all about potency. There is hardly any common ground for comparison. To be honest, I find the Fuji more compelling for what I do. However, if I end up buying one of them it will be the Oly (already have some lenses for it).

  • I spoke to Gabrielle Motola who played with the OMD and X1-Pro back to back. I’ve known her a long time and I would have guessed she would have loved the Fuji because of the viewfinder whereas in fact she has ordered an OMD. Apparently after the OMD the Fuji seemed very slow.

  • > These are tools to do a job and surely as long as its capable of what its asked to do, which it is, then that’s all that matters…

    Many professionals are very superstitious.

    If they manage to get it right with a particular tool, they would swear by it, praise it, sing odes to it and otherwise ascribe to it pretty magical properties.

    (While other tools haven’t worked for them probably because they simply forgot to turn them on. Yeah, I have seen real-life instances of that.)

  • > and that the EVF suffers from much too much blackout.

    I wonder what can be done about that?

    I hear the blackout complain quite often about the mirrorless cameras (and the Sony SLTs).

    It would be a funny twist of tech development if only solution were to go back to TLR-like design (e.g. dedicated sensor for EVF/live view). What’s more, E-330 already did that.

  • Being very interested in The Fuji, I still understand the inimpressed first impressions above. Had the same feeling when i first handled a Fuji X100: So light in relation to size… The xpro 1 is in size like an Leica M9 and that is a very solid brick for sure.
    Some compered it with old fim MF RF from Fuji and Mamiya. The are lighter tha a Leica, but bigger. This is contradicted by Steve above.
    An Olympus with grip will be like the Fuji in size and weight! Some, like Pekka P says the grip is essential for usability. Small can be too small. At Fotomagasinet test they said Fuji claimed the size was deliberate for usability for people with big hands. (Maybe also wearing gloves during winter?)
    EM5, Nex-7 or X pro1 (silly name!)? – difficult choice among excellent cameras that each also have their downsides. As I also need a macro and a long tele(zoom) of HQ, staying in m43 will cost almost as much as switching to a new system. Provided I sell my m43 gear.

    • Gianluca

      from Davd/soundimageplus:”..Like the X100, I’m disappointed with the finish. This is a £1400 body only camera after all. I have to say it, and I’m sure I’ll get lots of reaction to this, but I thought it looked and felt cheap. Somewhat like a compact camera on steroids. The one I was given to try looked like some of the finish on the top plate was peeling off. As I indicated this may have been at lots of shows and have become somewhat battered, but even so. OK this is really a personal thing and its just my reaction to it.

      What really concerned me was the AF performance. The camera I used was VERY slow to lock focus. In fact on several occasions it failed to achieve focus lock at all. I was using it on targets that were similar to those I had used the OM-D for and it was chalk and cheese. In desperation and to check if it was faulty, I aimed it at a very bright screen with black and white writing and it finally locked on. I was incidentally using the 35mm lens. I then tried various other high contrast targets and while it successfully achieved focus every time there was a significant delay. I actually thought this was worse than the X100. I talked to the rep. and he assured me that the AF was faster than the X100, however I have no evidence for that.

      I tried the optical vewfinder and the EVF, which is nothing remarkable and looked like the one thats in the X100. Regarding the optical viewfinder, I’m not quite sure why people get so excited about it. Yes Leicas have something similar, but as far as I was concerned the framelines was the thing I liked least about my Leicas. They weren’t accurate was my primary criticism. Neither was the one on my X100. The argument for this optical viewfinder with a frame line is that you can see beyond the frame, which can be useful for anticipating and composition. OK I’m no street photographer, but is this any advantage with such sluggish AF? This slow focusing would also I imagine affect the cameras great virtue”…too many downsides for me…so for me is OM-D…

  • I haven’t tried the OM-D, but I did play around w/ the Fuji X-Pro1 at WPPI Las Vegas last month. I can definitely concur that the focusing is very slow. Not sure if it’s also a pre-production firmware, but there was a pause, almost a stutter or a freeze in the EVF or the LCD as it tries to lock. I find that if this were to be used in street photographer, where you have to be quick to get that decisive moment, this freeze can hinder your timing.

    Now that I think about it also, the build wasn’t that memorable. A bit better than the GH2, but not by much. The NEX7 was more of a pleasure to hold. The Fuji lenses do feel pretty good, though.

    I really want to like the X-Pro1, I really do. That sensor sounds amazing. But the wrapping around the sensor makes me hesitate to put down my money on it. I’d probably get the OM-D and the NEX7 over the X-Pro1. What good is a high-performance V8 engine if the car has poor suspension and handling, right?

  • MP Burke

    I had a look at the E-M5 at the same show and I felt that, once it is in shops, I would try it a few more times, to see if I could feel happy with it, as the combination of IBIS and weather-sealing is looking attractive. The EVF was okay, but seems smaller than that on the Panasonic G cameras, if I’m not sure about the EVF after further trials I may wait for the Panasonic GH3 instead.
    I also tried a Fuji X Pro-1 and I tend to agree with the negative comments made. The camera I used had the 18mm lens attached and the OVF view had the lens protruding into the bottom right corner of the frame. There was no bright line visible, which suggests to me that it would be difficult to frame with any confidence using the 18mm lens and OVF. Having used a modern range-finder camera (Bronica RF645) where you get bright line frame, rangefinder patch and exposure information in the viewfinder, the OVF on the Fuji looked, by comparison, somewhat superfluous. I wasn’t much impressed by the X-Pro 1 EVF either: it seems to need an add on lens to give dioptric correction, which I would regard as an annoying, albeit fairly small, additional expense.

    • DR

      @MP Burke

      “There was no bright line visible”

      That’s strange. Could have been a pre production fault or something, but brightline is a feature of the OVF.

      http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/x/fujifilm_x_pro1/features/page_03.html

      Pretty useless without them really, there are 2 zoom levels and 3 lenses, more to come…

      • MP Burke

        It looks like you need to select the reduced viewfinder magnification so as to view a bright line when using the 18mm lens.
        Overall though I wasn’t that impressed by either the OVF or EVF or the build of the camera, but then again I would prefer a more modern layout. I almost always use cameras in A mode, so the dedicated shutter speed dial seems a waste to me.

        • DR

          Look at the link I posted. OVF goes past 18mm, probably to 14-15mm. Perhaps it was zoomed when you saw it? Normally it would not be zoomed with the 18 attached, but you can manually zoom it.

          I agree about A Mode. we have become used to setting the Aperture and not the speed, but with great sensor performance, we can always choose both and let the camera decide ISO using Auto-ISO.

      • Probably because the 18mm was used. It is also the FOV of the viewfinder, so no bright line.

  • Vivek

    So, http://www.damianmcgillicuddy.com/journal/ is a safe bet to ignore when it comes to getting reliable information on Olympus performance.

  • Antoine

    “I’ve seen people bitching and moaning and complaining about the Fuji X-Pro1 on photography forums. They have no idea what they are talking about.”

    http://zackarias.com/blog/

    • DR

      Oh come on Antoine.

      Without bitching and moaning, there would be no reason for photo forums! 😀

      Zack is pulling some nice images out of that camera…

      • Of course, that’s because he’s Zack Arias, and knows how to use a camera, any camera, better than most of us combined.

        I assure you, that if I used an X-Pro 1 (or anything else for that matter!) my images wouldn’t be half as good ;-).

  • Pixnat

    2012 cameras that looks like 1960 cameras… welcome back to the past!
    Not too fond of that “retro thing”, showing the lack of imagination of todays designers…
    Where is creativity nowadays?

    • Antoine

      Problem is when designers are being really creative these days we get that:

      http://www.pampuri.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/pentax_k01_face3_510-e6c4d.jpg

      It’s actually a great design in terms of concept and innovation and will possibly feature some day in books like “21st century design”, but it’s just not what I personally like and I’m not alone.

      • Pedro del Río

        I actually do not dislike that Pentax k-1 design, except perhaps for the colour. Yellow as it is, it looks like an underwater camera. Were it black, I probably would like it. I surely like it better than the Lumix GH DSLR-like design. I am obviously talking aesthetics, I have no idea about the camera’s ergonomy.

        • Antoine

          I agree with all that. Even in yellow I prefer this Pentax to any DSLR elephant excrement. But give me the Fuji X please.

      • JF

        Yeah, this is the most ugly camera I’ve ever seen, amazing…The shape is bad but the color !! it makes me sick 😀

        • flash

          They come in a variety of colors. The Black and Silver looks “nicer”. If I had some y Pentax lens for one, I would get the Yellow one, just for the fun of it.

      • Geoff

        There is one big advantage to the Pentax, very big, who is going to steal it; but then, don’t put it down at a kids party, it might end up in the Leggo box.

    • Gabriel

      The new pentax mirrorless camera is creative. It’s not a 1960 design, for sure 😉

      • It does, however, completely miss the point of EVIL.

  • Craig

    David and Adam, I’m going to totally ignore all of what you just wrote. You most likely are NOT real photographers, have never shot a roll of film, and are whiney, modern Facebook and Twitter users who are spoiled little children and just totally write off brilliant design and engineering. I’ll get the REAL story from Steve Huff!

    • Adam

      Info from Steve Huff! Irony is not dead!

      • Rob

        Craig, as I guess that was aimed at me, I guess I should just reply ‘LOL’ and not give you the satisfaction of an answer as I’m doubting you have the capacity to listen but I still will go moxie here and try to keep some gravitas.

        Not a real photographer because I’ve not used film? Well, I don’t know how you figured that out, because I have. I actually work in a camera shop for a start. Secondly a couple of clicks would have taken you to my website featuring my photography.

        Saying that though, I don’t believe you need to shoot film to be a real photographer. Digital is perfectly fine. If you love film so much, why are you looking at digital cameras like the X Pro 1?

        Facebook and twitter user – that’s right! I’m modern and use these websites to connect with thousands of people. To advertise my photography sometimes you know. Oh that Steve Huff? He uses them too! Amazing eh?

        Steve Huff is just one guy, you can take his opinion if you want (I too value it), but I prefer a collection of opinions and then ultimately to make my own mind up. I don’t care what people say is best, I still want to make sure its the best for me. Likewise when people come in my camera shop I sell them the best camera for them, not what is the best camera for me.

        Brilliant design and engineering is subjective. I don’t like the Fuji X Pro 1 design. That’s opinion not fact. You clearly do, and I’m not going to argue with you here. I’m sure it’s engineered OK, but the returned X100 and X10 cameras I see with firmware problems make me ominous about Fuji somewhat.

  • Craig

    Correction: Adam and Rob — apologies to David

  • Charlie

    I’ve read the X Pro1 is too light & cheap feeling, and now it’s too heavy…

    Little Red Riding Hood is alive and well. 😉

    • You’re thinking of Goldilocks.

      • Charlie

        Yeah, her too. 😀

  • bitmatt

    “My feelings, as well as a number of the punters there were that the camera is tiny, I would go as far as much too small …”

    I’m buying the EM-5 BECAUSE it is small. That’s the whole point. Otherwise it’s just a middle-of-the-pack DSLR with better than average stabilization. For me, smaller is MUCH better in this case. I have a 5Dmkll, but that thing is a brick to carry around. Unusable on my bike if I don’t want to lug a heavy pack. Tough to navigate through crowds with my kids when the Canon is slung over my shoulder. It’s a bitch to pack to take anywhere. Unless I have it in my hands at all times (impossible with twin 7 year old boys), I am always too slow with it to get the shot. I feel the EM-5 will solve all of these problems for me, and be much more fun to use in the process. Plus, I miss my old Olympus gear. I can’t argue with the Canon results, but the Oly cameras were always nicer to use in my opinion.

    • Agent00soul

      Same here. I never felt my E-P1 was too small. Actually, I think it’s the ideal camera size. It just needs a slightly better shaped grip.

    • Nic

      Indeed, indeed. I have an OM2 and OM3, and a two or three motor-drives, which mirror the new OM-D grip. The new grip is nice idea but I think it obfuscates the point of the OM-D, ie to keep it small.

  • Lots interesting views from you all above that had a chance to handle EM5 and XPro1, thx! Will take good time when I can try them out myself.

  • spanky

    I had a chance to handle the Fuji at CES a few months ago. I was excited about the camera because it promised to be everything I had been waiting for in a mirrorless. I have to say I got the same impression once I actually held it in my hands – didn’t exude the kind of quality and finish I was expecting. It certainly felt cheaper than the suggested MSRP would lead me to believe it was. No doubt the IQ seems to be there.

    Then the OM-D came out a few weeks later. I pre-ordered one. In black. With the grip (yes, I think the camera by itself is likely too small for me).

  • Mike

    just a few minutes with a camera is not enough with today’s digitals with so many settings, buttons, and a thick manual. so easy to have something misconfigured that can give a bad impression.
    A few minutes can give a touch feel for a camera, such as are the buttons within reach for the size of my hands, is the zoom ring on the tele smooth or sloppy, and so on.
    Real issue with MegaPixels and size is pixel density. m43 will always be at a disadvantage to the larger sensors. Higher density will require more technical inovation to have noise, DNR, etc to compete with larger sensors
    As long as m43 has low noise, picture quality, and so on competitive to other sensors, I will go with the smaller camera size that m43 is capable of.

  • st3v4nt

    After reading more and more review about OM-D I come to conclusion that :
    1. Most people (even photographer) still don’t know how to handle m4/3, that’s way we keep read or hear the weird statement such as blackout, out of focus, horrible noise, DR, shutter lag, etc.
    2. Most people pretend know about said problem yet their report say the opposite (or perhaps just mistranslation).
    3. Olympus should put big sticker or label or change the selector mode from PSAM iAuto to Beginner and Expert only…and rather then giving out manual book and Olympus software perhaps it is better if Olympus give Digital Photography for dummies book as a bonus.
    4. Now I Know why Olympus insist to buried their SCP mode really deep inside the settings….obviously the world is not ready….;-)

  • mat

    “The X-Pro 1 feels quite cheap in the hand and has the same awful focusing issues as the X100.”

    i fucking new it… perhaps at least for the fuji lenses it´ll work, but why will there be a leica adapter? no focus peaking, shitty manual focus (again) … this time people, who bought the x100 will think twice, the x100 is a nice one for sure. I had one, too. But just as a secondary camera, however to use this as my main camera system won´t work for me… no way fuji ….

    • flash

      Why would anyone worry about using focus peaking with a Lecia M lens? Focus peaking only gives you images sharp enough for video or the web. Using a Lecia lens is just a waste of a good lens when using peak focusing IMHO. It is easy to use but the results are not that sharp.

  • Tim

    Ultimately, it comes down to the lenses, and while Fuji’s are fast, they just aren’t that sharp.

    A pity, because I really like the design of the X-pro 1.

    • Antoine

      ?????

      I think I’ll stop reading comments here. Useless.

      • Tim

        Don’t be a fanboy.

        If you think the Fuji lenses look sharp, show me the samples. The ones I’ve seen, including the ones on the Fuji site, all look unacceptably soft.

        • DR

          Ok Tim, have a look here then:

          http://zackarias.com/blog/

          There are lots of other examples about, and I can absolutely confirm Fuji knows about sharp, even if they seem to have trouble posting it on their own website.

          • Anonymous

            Hard to judge sharpness on small, scaled down images.

            That said, they don’t strike me as particularly sharp. Really, I hope I’m wrong, as I’d like to add the Fuji back to my list.

  • JonS

    Also took a good look at the EM-5 at Focus. I have the GH-2 and was semi-wondering whether to make the change because I prefer the idea of IBIS, Olympus JPEGs, and weather resistance (for which I still have the E-1). I came away being marginally underwhelmed.

    The rear screen is lovely on the EM-5, but I like the way the GH-2’s is articulated. And I think a downside of that very large rear LCD is that you pay for it with very small buttons – some of them were postively fiddly (and as others have commented, spongey) compared to the Panasonic but it may be that I’m used to what I’ve got.

    The EM-5 viewfinder was fine (no better than the GH-2 but I don’t think anyone has claimed it is) but the eye sensor was slow to react: the viewfinder was often not switched on by the time I lifted the camera to my face – the GH-2 is much better in this regard.

    Which brings me on to ergonomics generally…. the GH-2, with its built in grip, works pretty well for me (and I’m 6’4″ with hands to scale…). The EM-5 was verging on too small and the shutter and front control dial placement didn’t work well for me. However, all this changed when the optional horizontal grip was added – after that, key controls were in the right place and the camera was much more pleasant to use. However, unless you go the whole hog with the portrait grip, that means you need to take the grip off every time you change batteries…. not a winning design in my book.

    So I had some niggles, but there were areas where I was very impressed by the EM-5. Build quality definitely feels a notch up from the Panasonic, although I suspect the GH-3 might address that – Panasonic know how to make great feeling kit: the Olympus didn’t feel any better built than my GF-1.

    And the biggest surprise was focusing with a four thirds lens. I gave the camera a whirl with the ZD 14-54ii and focus speed was excellent, even indoors in the NEC. Not good enough for rapidly moving subjects, but more than good enough for anything else – it was a step change even from the GH-2 and really rather impressive. It balanced OK on the camera too.

    Bottom line: if I didn’t have my GH-2 I suspect I would buy the EM-5 – but I do have the GH-2 and didn’t feel the EM-5 brings enough to the party to persuade me make the move, at least not yet. However, given this camera is likely to be the first of a new line and I bet the next one will be better, I wouldn’t say never….

    Finally – some of you may have seen some image samples at the Four Thirds User site. I saw some printed off copies of those – A4 size photographs taken at ISO1600 with no post processing. I have to say they were astonishingly good – it may be that I’ll have to eat my words above once I’ve read some proper comparison reviews… my suspicion is that this new Olympus may have the edge on the GH-2 as you go up the ISO scale.

    • Tim

      Wrong reply…

  • Doug

    The x Pro 1 felt solid to me, not cheap, when I handled it at CES…..

    • DR

      Oh, come on Doug!

      The whole internet is saying it is too big, too cheap feeling and too expensive.

      🙂

      • spam

        It doesn’t sound like you’ve cheked the whole internet (or was it intended as a joke?)

        • DR

          @spam

          You thought I was being serious? LMFAO

          Check for these next time –> 🙂

          Oh, and get a new name! 🙂

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