Fuji X-E3 vs Oly Pen F

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
104
Boston Burbs
David
I've had my X-E3 about 10 months now and I'm still just not sure. Since I've had it I've shot a bit under 600 images with it, in that time I've shoot about the same number with my E-M1.2 and about 400 with my X70. The number on the X70 is due to my using it for the SiJy. Between the E-X3 and E-M1.2 I think I actually enjoy using the E-M1.2 more. But it's bigger than I want to carry every day and I want more flexibility than the X70 gives me.

So I'm considering options. The image quality seems pretty close between my E-M1.2 and the X-E3. Yes higher ISO is a little better on the Fuji, but the f/1.4 vs f/2 primes help equal things out for the most part.

I know there are a few here that have gone between m4/3 and Fuji and I believe a few that have gone between the X-E series and Pen F. Other than phase AF vs IBIS and articulated screen (wish it was just a tilt) are there other things that made you pick one over the other?

I ruled out the GX9, I owned the GX85 and since I've gone back to an Oly body I found I do prefer the Oly over Panasonic (images and interface). I really would prefer a rangefinder, but I haven't completely ruled out the new E-M5.3 or even the E-M10.3.
 
Feb 6, 2015
124
Central Ohio, USA
Andrew
I really loved the PEN-F when I had it. I switched to Fuji because having the phase detection AF in a smaller body was more important to me than IBIS.

I also really like the exposure control dials on the Fuji better.

Once I got back into Fuji, I also started to really appreciate the film simulation modes and how easy it was too customize to different film looks. Way easier than the ART dial on the Olympus.

Fuji had a lot of great f/2 progress that are all weather sealed and less expensive than the Oly 1.2 lenses. Oly has Sigma 1.4 lenses though, which are a nice, less expensive alternative.

I do not regret my switch, I just had hoped that Fuji AF / system features would have matured quicker than it did. I would but have switched away from the X-E1, to m43 and now back again.
 
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drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
124
Lexington, Virginia
Steve
I had both of these cameras. The Pen is better constructed and has more external controls. The high iso goodness of the XE3 is somewhat compensated for by the IBIS of the Pen for stationary targets. The lens systems are kind of a wash. The sensors are very different and give a different look to the jpegs. The XE3 has the challenge of working with the Xtrans raw files. In the end, I prefered the images of the XE3.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
104
Boston Burbs
David
Thanks @gryphon1911 and @drd1135, I figured I'd here from at least you two.

I really loved the PEN-F when I had it. I switched to Fuji because having the phase detection AF in a smaller body was more important to me than IBIS.

I also really like the exposure control dials on the Fuji better.

Once I got back into Fuji, I also started to really appreciate the film simulation modes and how easy it was too customize to different film looks. Way easier than the ART dial on the Olympus.

Fuji had a lot of great f/2 progress that are all weather sealed and less expensive than the Oly 1.2 lenses. Oly has Sigma 1.4 lenses though, which are a nice, less expensive alternative.

I do not regret my switch, I just had hoped that Fuji AF / system features would have matured quicker than it did. I would but have switched away from the X-E1, to m43 and now back again.
I enjoy the controls at times as well. But my collection of lenses and my years shooting Nikon are still playing tricks on my muscle memory (and memory in general :oops:). With the 18 / 18-55 / 15-45 / 27 half my lenses are aperture on the lens and half with a dial on the body. I wind up pushing the front dial button a few times before remembering to check the lens.

I also keep forgetting that metering mode gets locked with face detect (or am I missing a setting?).

I have the Sigma 56 and the PL25, so those are covered with f/1.4 options.

I had both of these cameras. The Pen is better constructed and has more external controls. The high iso goodness of the XE3 is somewhat compensated for by the IBIS of the Pen for stationary targets. The lens systems are kind of a wash. The sensors are very different and give a different look to the jpegs. The XE3 has the challenge of working with the Xtrans raw files. In the end, I prefered the images of the XE3.
Both Fuji and m4/3 have holes in the lineup. As I look through more images it looks like IBIS is becoming more important in the stuff (and angles) I'm shooting. Which is also where a tilt or articulated screen also seems to be an issue. I had forgotten one of the reasons I sold off my last LX100 and GM5 in favor of my GX85 was the tilt screen.

Anyway still considering, but I'll probably be posting it, hopefully for trade.

I mainly shoot RAW+ and when I process the files I'm not seeing too much differences:
 

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ggweci

Veteran
Feb 2, 2013
104
Toronto, Canada
Craig
I had the Pen-F and similar spec’d cameras to the X-E3 (XPRO2 and XT2) previously and they are all great cameras with pros and cons as previously mentioned.

They were complements to my Sony FF, but in the end, I didn’t love having two systems. Found I had to have duplicate lenses for both (ie 2x35mm eq, 2 x wide angle, etc). So, I sold them off to keep the Sony (for now) and made the decision to only have one lens mount at a time.

It appears you enjoy and plan on keeping your EM1.2? In that case, it would make more sense to go with the Pen-F, allowing you to sell off your Fuji lenses. The E-M5iii is interesting since it has PDAF - might be a perfect compromise between all 3 of of your mentioned cameras.

Another option, if you really enjoy the Fuji experience, is to grab an X100 series camera. But, you do have that X70 which may fill that void.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
104
Boston Burbs
David
.......They were complements to my Sony FF, but in the end, I didn’t love having two systems. Found I had to have duplicate lenses for both (ie 2x35mm eq, 2 x wide angle, etc). So, I sold them off to keep the Sony (for now) and made the decision to only have one lens mount at a time.

It appears you enjoy and plan on keeping your EM1.2? In that case, it would make more sense to go with the Pen-F, allowing you to sell off your Fuji lenses. The E-M5iii is interesting since it has PDAF - might be a perfect compromise between all 3 of of your mentioned cameras.

Another option, if you really enjoy the Fuji experience, is to grab an X100 series camera. But, you do have that X70 which may fill that void.
  • Yes, system consolidation would be a plus.
  • Yes I'm keeping the E-M1.2.
  • While I may miss PDAF, there are actually very few situations where I don't KNOW I could use it ahead of time. And I'm pretty sure I want to stay with a rangefinder body for my smaller body.
  • Yes I prefer the X70. I prefer 28mm over 35mm and want the tilt screen.
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Generally speaking:

Olympus definitely has the wider shooting envelope with the top-tier IBIS. Top-tier. Certain lenses and focal lengths you can get in very small and lightweight forms which is a big bonus. If we're being frank, the Bayer vs X-trans thing brings the pixel-level details to about equal. Forgetting about pixel-peeping, Fuji's one-stop advantage may or may not be enough

Fuji and the Fujicrons are basically equivalent to good/compact M4/3 gear in rendering/perfection(clinicality). If you want a film look to your pics you have to lug the bigger gear (23/1.4 or 35/1.4). Well, 35/1.4 is not big per se.

But yeah, I like Fuji's designs and dislike Olympus menus and lack of certain streetshooter-friendly features but Olympus definitely helps you in other regards. I never shot nicer landscapes with a more convenience setup than a Pen-F and the compact Panasonic 35-100. There's no equivalent in Fujiland, a 70-200 that would fit in your fist and weighs nothing. Just ideal for a shooter who might enjoy tele range but not enough to haul serious glass casually with him.

And now that I have digested some of the existing thread:

You the OP already have a very great and capable system in E-M1.2, you probably don't mind the limitations firmware/features and you have an existing collection of lenses for it. I can vouch for PEN-F as a compacter choice. But what do you really want/need -- a lightweight body? When I got the PEN-F I actually started thinking if the older E-P5 would have been a cooler solution actually. There's the optional EVF for it.

Fuji isn't for everybody and Olympus isn't for everybody, and the lenses are more even than I previously thought so maybe Olympus and M4/3 is the right system for you. :)
 
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davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
104
Boston Burbs
David
.....But yeah, I like Fuji's designs and dislike Olympus menus and lack of certain streetshooter-friendly features but Olympus definitely helps you in other regards. I never shot nicer landscapes with a more convenience setup than a Pen-F and the compact Panasonic 35-100. There's no equivalent in Fujiland, a 70-200 that would fit in your fist and weighs nothing. Just ideal for a shooter who might enjoy tele range but not enough to haul serious glass casually with him.

And now that I have digested some of the existing thread:

You the OP already have a very great and capable system in E-M1.2, you probably don't mind the limitations firmware/features and you have an existing collection of lenses for it. I can vouch for PEN-F as a compacter choice. But what do you really want/need -- a lightweight body? When I got the PEN-F I actually started thinking if the older E-P5 would have been a cooler solution actually. There's the optional EVF for it.

Fuji isn't for everybody and Olympus isn't for everybody, and the lenses are more even than I previously thought so maybe Olympus and M4/3 is the right system for you. :)
I've owned the 35-100 (actually both the f/2.8 and f/4.0-5.6 :oops:) and the E-P5. I briefly thought about the E-P5, but there are just enough things I'd miss to rule it out. I'd probably look at a E-M5.2 first.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
104
Boston Burbs
David
I think I'll add my current lens list for reference.

Fuji:
15-45
18-55
18 f/2
27 f/2.8

m4/3:
O12-100 Pro f/4
PL8-18 f/2.8-4.0
P100-300
PL25 f/1.4
S56 f/1.4

So if I make the swap I'll probably have 4 lenses on my radar: PL15 f/1.7, O17 f/1.8, O12 f/2.0, & P20 f/1.7
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
How I see it, you have a killer M43 setup and not-so-killer Fuji gearup. Things might turn Fuji's favor if you decide to see Fuji 35/1.4 in action and are big on 50. Then again, I suppose the PanaLeica 25 isn't too shabby. I don't know. I'm not the best person to talk about these systems as I never explored the lenscapes much on either platform.

If you do go M43 "balls-in", treat yourself and get the PanaLeica 15/1.7 😎 I haven't shot it but it really renders well in review pictures.

IMO O17/1.8 is only good if you need the manual focus clutch (you shoot prefocused streets in any capacity) otherwise it's not good at all for the money... aesthetically rendering-wise.

Similarly people voice concerns about O12, especially the money involved. At least they're well built and have those manual focus clutches for street action. Something the Olympus bodies don't do very well with lenses.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
104
Boston Burbs
David
All the options listed are things I've actually already owned at one time or another (with the exception of the Pen F).

I'm not really a prime shooter, I like to have a one or two for some general street/travel stuff and a couple as faster options when the zooms are too slow. So just 3-4 nice options. I'd probably never be in the market for f/1.2 Oly Pros or Fuji f/1.2-1.4s.
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
I hear you :)

But mind you, the Fuji 35/1.4 is not a large lens by any means. It's cute and just right for the things it has to do, by the laws of physics.

But in any event I would perhaps put all my eggs in M43 basket if in particular MF is not /that/ important. And PEN-F would be a beautiful companion to the EM1.2 because of the shared sensor tech, same megapixels and I believe pretty much the same IBIS.

The PEN-F's EVF is pretty nice. I haven't used the X-E3 but making a rough assumption based on X-T3 I'd say PEN-F might even win in the EVF battle.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
104
Boston Burbs
David
I hear you :)

But mind you, the Fuji 35/1.4 is not a large lens by any means. It's cute and just right for the things it has to do, by the laws of physics.

But in any event I would perhaps put all my eggs in M43 basket if in particular MF is not /that/ important. And PEN-F would be a beautiful companion to the EM1.2 because of the shared sensor tech, same megapixels and I believe pretty much the same IBIS.

The PEN-F's EVF is pretty nice. I haven't used the X-E3 but making a rough assumption based on X-T3 I'd say PEN-F might even win in the EVF battle.
No, it's not big, but most of the faster primes are more $$$ than I tend to spend on primes. I have in the past, but not for a number of years.
 

marlof

Trying to focus
Dec 25, 2010
124
The Netherlands
Marlof
I really enjoy using the Pen-F. I use it with the screen turned inwards, only using it when the shot requires it (low angle for instance). My Pen-F set exists of O12, O17, O45 and O75. All in a small bag. Shooting with the Pen for me is about fun, and the combo of these lenses on that body just feels right. I do have the Olympus grip on the camera. That helps with carrying the camera in one hand without losing the rubber on the thumb rest. And with bigger lenses. And with the built in tripod plate.

I also have the PL15, P20, PL25 and P42.5, but use these on a GX9. That one I bought for the 20, which I love but just didn’t work for me on a Olympus body. The 15 would be fine, but a Panasonic body lets you take advantage of the aperture ring.

I use my EM1.1 with the zooms (12-40/40-150), but also with a 25 1.2. The last one is more of an homage to the years I shot with only a 50mm. I just wanted the best 50 I could get in this system.

Shooting with the EM1 to me is about getting the picture. The Pen-F is about having fun with a camera. I do like that I can exchange lenses between the two, but don’t do that much. Only on occasion, when the 40-150 goes on the EM1 and the 12-40 on the Pen.

I never shot the a Fuji, but a good friend has a XT20 and her files look great. She enjoys using it a lot.
 

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