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

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.