We spent the last couple of days gathering opinions about the camera on the left, the Olympus OM-D E-M1. Now how about the one on the right? Do you have one of those? (Not necessarily with the pictured lens.) Seems like it's been out long enough for owners to have formed opinions. If you are (or were) an owner, what do you think?
(I have one*, so I'm not looking for advice, but I'm interested to hear other owners' feelings and reactions—anything, really: what lenses you're liking with it; problems or annoyances; how you like using it; what RAW developer you use with it; how you like the files; etc. You don't have to address all those issues. Just whatever you'd like to say.)
*Had to buy the loaner because I didn't get enough time in with it during the loan period. I'll have to sell one or the other soon, though, because I can't afford to keep both and never intended to own both.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Jerry Thirsty: "I have it, with the 23mm. I can't really put my finger on why, but I'm just not that into it. Partially I think it's just insecurity knowing that my Sigma DP2M is sharper, even though I rarely print at sizes where you'd be able to see the difference. I tend to take photos that contain a lot of leaves and grass, so the mushiness of the greens is a bit annoying. The high ISO is only a slight improvement over my Pentax K5, and I trust the K5 AF more, so that's what I take for dim light. It's mostly a chicken/egg thing: I don't like it enough to use it a lot, and I don't use it enough to build up the experience and confidence needed to like it."
Robin Campbell: "As a matter of fact, I got an X-T1 with the 18–55mm lens yesterday. Love it! Couldn't be happier! Perfect size and weight. Makes me wanna shoot. Beautiful images too. And the viewfinder...Oh my! Simply gorgeous to look through. Camera itself is just cool looking. It's 'goodbye' to my (much bulkier in comparison) Nikon D7000. 'Hello' mirrorless!"
Nir Alon (partial comment): "Hi Mike! I'm a photojournalist based in Jerusalem. I do mostly news reporting. For years I had used Canons professionally but always went through the dilemma of which small camera to take with me when just going out for a beer. I've used an assortment of bridge cameras and rangefinder-like cameras...until Fuji came out with the X100. That was a turning point—it was fun to use, small and delivered extraordinary image quality, and, it became my main camera for 85% of the work.
"But, and with cameras there is always a 'but', the fixed 35mm-equivalent lens limited what I could do. About that time I also had a motorbike crash that left might right forearm and wrist, my dominant arm, somewhat disabled and I can no longer work long hours with a heavy camera/lens combo. So I bought an Olympus E-M5 with a 14–150mm and tried to convince myself I was happy with the image quality. Often it performed well but not when challenged with the lighting conditions that in news reporting always works against you.
"Then came the X-T1 and it has become my main camera with the X100 often tagging along, almost unnoticed, as a backup. X-T1 performance is fantastic and image quality superb."
gene lowinger (partial comment): "Some months ago I had the M Monochrome itch. I borrowed the camera from a store in NYC to take out on the street for a couple of hours. Used my own 35mm Summicron and my own SD card. At the same time I put the Fuji 23mm on the X-T1 and shot with them side by side. Same pics, same settings. When I got home and loaded the two sets of images into LR to compare them without any processing, I was totally and completely underwhelmed by the Leica. A case of the Emperor's new clothes. Saved me eight grand. Das it!"
Michael Tapes: "No manual focus when the shutter is half-depressed and no blinkies during image review were two of a few showstoppers for me. Files are amazing, but I did not enjoy shooting with the camera. YMMV."
Bob Hansen (partial comment): "I own the X-T1 and one word often comes to mind when I select which of my cameras to use—trust. It works like I think and I consistently capture the image I am after—even the most difficult ones...Keep the X-T1 you will never be sorry."
Mike replies: I think that "trust" is the one thing we're all after in a camera. It's different for everyone and depends on a number of factors, but whether we trust the equipment we use is the bottom line for whether we think it's good or not.
Adam Lanigan (partial comment): "I was deep in a non-creative funk with photography and finally realised the issue while packing for a vacation...I just didn't want to take my big bulky DSLR with me anymore. It was too intrusive and a pain to carry with a few lenses on longer days. I was always looking for something else to shoot with (which led to a nice diversion through some wonderful film gear, though). And along came the hype for the X-T1....
"I did my research into the camera and the Fuji system and was sold. I picked up my X-T1 and 23mm on the day it was released and it's been a joy ever since. I have since relieved myself of all of my DSLR gear, which offset the cost of switching quite nicely, and am not looking back. My output and the quality of that output have increased dramatically in the intervening three-four months. We'll have to see if this is just a honeymoon period, but it honestly feels very strange to leave the house without the X-T1 these days. Something that I haven't said about a camera...maybe ever."
sneye: "Are you really asking us to comment on cameras we own? Cognitive dissonance will net you 95% positive feedback regardless of the truth. As an owner of both systems you are better positioned to judge than most of us. Just saying."
Mike replies: I think we get a lot of very objective comments from owners. Most TOP readers are pretty mature. But if a camera can inspire a "honeymoon period," as Adam put it, what's wrong with that? It too is data.
Barry Reid: "The X-T1 with the 23mm I have to say is the only digital camera I've ever picked up and immediately liked the feel of in hand. I still bought an A7r because it seamlessly integrates with my Canon lens system and TS-E lenses."
pierre: "Interesting thread. Many commentors mention the save in weight compared to standard DSLRs. After 10 years of using Canon 1Ds cameras, I do sympathize.
"But are we talking only about conveniance here? It would be great to know more about a (possible?) loss in the quality of files, resolution wise, noise from a professional/advertising/corporate experience. For some reasons, I still wonder how a smaller sensor can do as well than a bigger one.
"But hey, I am not dogmatic here, would be very happy to use anything lighter."
Tech. Ed. Ctein replies to pierre: The best way to answer your questions, for what matters to you, is to rent some cameras and try them out, if that option is available to you. It seems from your message that you're trying to work mostly from theory and supposition. Even with other people telling you their experiences, that's not really going to help you decide if a given format camera is good enough for you.
But staying with the abstract for a while, your question about how a smaller sensor can do as well as the larger one would be much like someone saying they can't see how a 4x5 negative could hold up against an 8x10 one. Well, if the 4x5 negative were made on T-MAX 100 and the 8x10 negative on Royal-X Pan or even Tri-X….
That's the thing about real digital cameras: it only makes sense to look at sensor size when you know that the sensor and the driver and support electronics are all using the same technology. That rarely happens. When it doesn't, you can see markedly different levels of performance per square millimeter of sensor from two different cameras.
Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that you are comparing apples and apples, that doesn't mean it matters. Everything else being equal, 8x10 is better than 4x5. Okay, so how many professional photographers opted for an 8x10 view camera over a 4x5? For that matter, how many opted for a 4x5 camera over 35mm camera? A very small percentage—you can tell that just from the sales numbers for cameras. It's not that bigger wasn't better, it's that better didn't matter for their needs. Which takes me back to paragraph 1.
My mileage will not be the same as yours. Neither will anyone else's. I can tell you that this former 6x7 cm film photographer finds that his current Micro 4/3 camera results in superior prints in every respect.
One thing I can tell you for certain is that small differences in sensor size just don't matter—folks who assert that, for example, APS-C is meaningfully superior to Micro 4/3 are just plain wrong. In the apples vs. apples case, there just isn't a big enough difference in sensor size there to matter. And, rarely is it apples vs. apples.
One other thing: the folks who say it's a “simple matter of physics?” It's very unlikely any of them are physicists.