Fuji Thinking about leaving m4/3

imahawki

New Member
Mar 14, 2017
I've been thinking about leaving m4/3 for a little while. I originally was seriously considering moving to an A7II or wait for the potential A7III but I think overall cost and lack of affordable lens selection plus lens sizes may be scaring me off. I posted a similar thread to this over on the E Mount forum. Everyone was very helpful but honestly not too compelling and didn't assuage many of my fears.

A little history, I currently shoot an E-M5 II. Prior to that I always shot Canon. I started with a Rebel, then a 50D, then a 5D II, then for some reason I ended up regretting, I moved to a 7D. Then I sold all the Canon gear and bought into Olympus. I've really enjoyed the Olympus system. I've never owned a Pany lens or body.

The switch to Olympus was primarily due to kit size so that still is a concern. But as higher end m4/3 bodies and "PRO" lenses get larger, the difference between m4/3 and other mirroless systems starts to shrink, but you're still stuck with the smaller sensor.

My negatives on MFT are really low light performance and DOF. Neither of which can really be fixed. I can get DOF going with long lenses, but I still have to deal with low light issues in a lot of cases and you can end up with some awkward working distances e.g. 75mm f/1.8 is like shooting a full frame 150mm f/3.5.

The downside of going to another system would be I have a TON of Oly lenses that I'd take a loss on. 17/45/75 f/1.8, 12-40 PRO, 40-150 and 14-150, kit lens and the powered 14-42 EZ lens.

Also it appears no one has in body stabilization as good as Olympus. Fuji doesn't have any at all, correct?

So if I put together a Fuji kit what would I get?
  1. X-T20 or X-T2 - I'm not that familiar with Fuji's lineup... are these sort of the equivalent of an E-M5 vs. E-M1? Similar but more pro features on the higher end body? I could probably get by with the X-T20 without losing any significant features from my E-M5II other than IBIS. The focusing system has phase detection in the center, something my E-M5II lacks entirely, correct?
  2. XF18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 - I usually like a good variable aperture standard zoom assuming they're small and light enough to be a walk around lens. Its nice that this lens is better than the standard "kit" f/3.5-5.6.
  3. XF35mm f/2 or f/1.4 - I was happier at FF equivalent 50mm than 35 so I'd probably get one of these lenses for an APSC camera.
  4. XF56mm f/1.2 - This would probably be my portrait lens. As mentioned, I owned the Oly 45 and 75 f/1.8. I was happier at 45mm but liked the extra background blur of the 75mm. Also it is just one of the best lenses I've ever used. I could see buying the XF90 one day as well but it wouldn't have to be part of my initial kit.
  5. Later I'd probably want a longer zoom for both portrait and the limited wildlife shooting I do, but it wouldn't be a huge priority and wouldn't need to be part of the initial kit. It is nice knowing that the ~70-200 f/2.8 equivalent lens is $1500 instead of $2500+ like some brands.
So all in if I started with an X-T20 + 18-55mm lens I could get in a bundle for $1200. Add $600 assuming I got the f/1.4, and the XF56 f/1.2 for $1000 I'd be in for $2800 up front.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to post a similar thread but I wanted to give my own story. Sorry if it is redundant. Has anyone made the switch and regretted it due to lens selection or system size? Who has made the switch and never looked back?
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
I actually at one time sold all of my Fuji cameras and lenses, and invested in MFT. I prefer smaller gear, but I also prefer controlling my exposure settings through direct controls, rather than electronic wheels like the E-M(x) cameras. I also found the original E-M5 to be a bit too small. I've long since sold all of my MFT gear and returned to using Fuji. I'm currently using only manual focus lenses with my X-T1, which is actually slightly smaller than an E-M1, but with the APS-C sensor. I've had 6 different Fuji cameras and 3 Olympus MFT cameras, and I much prefer the Fuji UI to the Olympus menu structure. IQ on both is very good, although the low light capability of the X-T1 is better. My next lens is likely to be the XF 23mm f/2 WR. There are several people on this board who are heavily invested in Fuji gear; hopefully they will chime in.

Here's a simulation showing a Fuji X-T1 compared to an E-M5 and E-M1, all with lenses that give an approximate 35mm FOV, which is my favorite:

Compact Camera Meter
 
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drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
I just sold my Pen F and 12 mm lens along with my XT10 body and bought an XT20, 27, 35 1.5 and 50 mm lenses. I still have an EM5 II, EPL7 and a bunch of mu43 lenses. I'll work with both for a while. I experimented with a used XT10 and decided I missed the Fuji output.
 

imahawki

New Member
Mar 14, 2017
I actually at one time sold all of my Fuji cameras and lenses, and invested in MFT. I prefer smaller gear, but I also prefer controlling my exposure settings through direct controls, rather than electronic wheels like the E-M(x) cameras. I also found the original E-M5 to be a bit too small. I've long since sold all of my MFT gear and returned to using Fuji. I'm currently using only manual focus lenses with my X-T1, which is actually slightly smaller than an E-M1, but with the APS-C sensor. I've had 6 different Fuji cameras and 3 Olympus MFT cameras, and I much prefer the Fuji UI to the Olympus menu structure. IQ on both is very good, although the low light capability of the X-T1 is better. My next lens is likely to be the XF 23mm f/2 WR. There are several people on this board who are heavily invested in Fuji gear; hopefully they will chime in.

Here's a simulation showing a Fuji X-T1 compared to an E-M5 and E-M1, all with lenses that give an approximate 35mm FOV, which is my favorite:

Compact Camera Meter
Thanks, camera comparer is very useful. Looks like an XT20 with a 35mm f/2 is basically the same size as an E-M5II with the 25mm f/1.8.

I just sold my Pen F and 12 mm lens along with my XT10 body and bought an XT20, 27, 35 1.5 and 50 mm lenses. I still have an EM5 II, EPL7 and a bunch of mu43 lenses. I'll work with both for a while. I experimented with a used XT10 and decided I missed the Fuji output.
IF I make a change, I'll probably buy the Fuji before selling all my Olympus gear but I won't be keeping both. I'd struggle to keep both controls and menus straight and despite the fact I'd take a hit on the sales, ultimately I'd need the funds to build out a new kit.

What can I realistically expect from a noise perspective? I went over to the Imaging Resource "Comparometer" and did some comparisons. The type of MFT sensor in my camera starts to lose detail quickly above ISO 800. 1600 is useable but you start to get clay face type of noise suppression above that. Conversely, looking at the XT2 (does the XT20 have the same sensor?) there is digital grain at ISO 6400 but you still have detail, not that clay / putty smearing. The Fuji even seems to stack up well against the Sony FF sensor.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
Regarding m43 and Fuji, there's so much to consider. Fuji's 24mm equiv, the 16mm f1.4 blows the m43 equiv, the Oly 12 out of the water and yet nothing compares to the Oly 75 and the ability to immediately focus by tapping the rear screen which I don't think you can do with a Fuji, well not with the same ease anyway (btw, as a D800E owner with a 135mm lens, I can tell you the 75 is not like a f3.5). But virtually all Fuji lenses are great. Then again, fisheye options on m43 are quite wonderful in use and resulting images. I used to think this thing about Fuji images was marketing speak, but I was wrong, the images coming out of my X-T1 are quite wonderful and just different. Then again, that Lumix 20 f1.7 is a classic. But manual focusing with native and legacy lenses is a better experience with Fuji - when I first got the X-T1, the Takumar 50mm F1.4 lived on it before any native lenses. I could easily go on. What I'm trying to say is that both systems are great but different, to the point where if you choose one over the other, you're going to lose in one way or another. So why not do what I did and have a bit of both. Not a comprehensive lens collection, but just the best focal lengths you need popped on the relevant camera, whichever lens is best. I'm finding it a win win to be honest.
 

imahawki

New Member
Mar 14, 2017
I wonder what the practical trade off would be with IBIS. Every doubling of ISO is a stop, right? So 1600 to 6400 is 2 full stops. IBIS claims something like 5 stops but of course there's an element of technique at play. But even so, in theory I could shoot at lower ISO on my E-M5II and get the same shot by lowering the shutter speed. Meaning if I need to be f/1.8, 1/100, ISO6400 on a Fuji, why not just shoot at f/1.8, 1/25, ISO1600 on the Olympus. Of course this all falls apart with moving subjects.

So I don't want to get too hung up just on the ISO / noise bit. It is ONE factor. The other is obviously depth of field control which I mentioned earlier. Another would be going from 16-24MP which would be nice. I do sometimes find some resolution limitations in processing. I'm of the opinion that storage and CPU are cheap and I have time to wait for images to render because I'm not a working pro.

Finally I need to understand if the reported differences in sharpness and dynamic range in the Fuji sensors is real and in fact worth it.

Although that brings up another point / question. I use Lightroom as my primary editing tool. I understand the Fuji files are a bit different and can even slow Lightroom down. Is there a real-world impact there or is that a theoretical situation more than reality?
 

Mike G

All-Pro
Oct 7, 2016
West London
Mike Gorman
I have used an X-T1/X-T2 and Lightroom for approx. 14 months and I don't think you will see a Lightroom speed reduction at all, also the files will be different from those of a different camera, but I don't think they are worse at least in my eyes, always subjective!
 
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Iansky

All-Pro
Dec 8, 2011
Cotswolds, UK
I did trade in kit years ago and ran with the EM5 and later the EM1, great cameras that delivered superb image quality with limitations and the stabilisation was superb however, I was not ever really completely happy so went back to full frame and ran this alongside a Fuji X100 (original) that I loved for general street and easy carry work - After using the X100 and loving the results I eventually picked up an XP1 kit when they were selling them off cheap ( camera body plus 18 & 27mm lens for £550.00) a real bargain and a camera that reminds me of my days shooting Leica M's.
The quality of Fuji lenses is stunning and to my mind does exceed those on many other systems without being huge and ridiculously expensive.
I am now totally Fuji and from trading in other equipment now run XP2 plus primes for street documentary and XT2 plus good and fast zooms for sport etc, there is obviously crossover for all but absolutely no regret in going totally Fuji and my shoulders appreciate it.
 

Piano

Regular
Nov 28, 2016
Nigel
I use both Panasonic GX8 and Fuji XT-2 (I sold all my Canon gear to fund the Fuji system). I like the portability of the GX8, especially with the 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 when I'm on holiday, but for main shooting, I find that the Fuji has better high ISO noise control and also I prefer the range of lenses. I was thinking of selling the GX8 and getting another XT-2 body but I'd find that the extra weight of the 50-140 f2.8 Fuji lens on holiday would be a burden. It could be argued that the 55-200 would be a good alternative but I haven't tried one as yet.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
I did trade in kit years ago and ran with the EM5 and later the EM1, great cameras that delivered superb image quality with limitations and the stabilisation was superb however, I was not ever really completely happy so went back to full frame and ran this alongside a Fuji X100 (original) that I loved for general street and easy carry work - After using the X100 and loving the results I eventually picked up an XP1 kit when they were selling them off cheap ( camera body plus 18 & 27mm lens for £550.00) a real bargain and a camera that reminds me of my days shooting Leica M's.
The quality of Fuji lenses is stunning and to my mind does exceed those on many other systems without being huge and ridiculously expensive.
I am now totally Fuji and from trading in other equipment now run XP2 plus primes for street documentary and XT2 plus good and fast zooms for sport etc, there is obviously crossover for all but absolutely no regret in going totally Fuji and my shoulders appreciate it.
Was that film or digital Leica Ian?
 

Iansky

All-Pro
Dec 8, 2011
Cotswolds, UK
They were film Leica's we used in conjunction with Nikon F4's, used the Leica's when we had to shoot political meetings with quiet cameras.
Loved them (M4-P's and M6 TTL's).
 

mma2

Rookie
Feb 27, 2017
Roseville, CA
Although that brings up another point / question. I use Lightroom as my primary editing tool. I understand the Fuji files are a bit different and can even slow Lightroom down. Is there a real-world impact there or is that a theoretical situation more than reality?

I am an OMD-EM1 owner (previously owned an EM5 for several years) and a Nikon FX owner (D810) who has recently purchased a used XT10 with 18-55/2.8-4 OIS. Lightroom is my only PP app. LR has greatly improved its performance with Fuji X-trans RAW files in the most current v6 and CC updates. I currently do not notice any significant differences in LR speed when importing or processing Fuji vs. OMD vs. Nikon RAW files beyond the actual file sizes (D810 RAW files are huge and take longer to import, OMD RAWs are about half the size of XT10 RAWs).

While the latest versions of LR do a fine job with Fuji RAWs, you might wish to try Iridient X Transformer's free demo to first convert your Fuji RAWs to DNGs before importing them into LR (IXT settings, Detailed, I have Sharpening and NR turned off). To my eye, the fine details are often slightly better rendered by IXT, but the difference is subtle. IMO, LR does a better job of NR, which I apply as-needed to the imported IXT DNGs.

Hope that this helps.
 

gravija_flare

Regular
May 23, 2016
A planet called Gaia
i started with mft, from the e-m5 I to the e-m5 II and gm5. within a span of 4 years, have tried various zoom and prime lenses, all the while waiting for weathersealed primes (35mm and 85mm equivalents) from either olympus or panasonic.

but then fuji came out with the 35mm f2, then the 23mm f2, now the 50mm f2, and hopefully a 18mm f2 wr! they also greatly improved their autofocus system so it was a no-brainer for me to switch. while i do wish that fuji will at least put O.I.S. in their prime lenses, the system has been great for me. ;)
 
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mesmerized

Regular
Mar 26, 2014
Looks like we're in the same boat except that I don't have that many lenses in m4/3, so I'm not so deeply invested in it. I am considering getting the 75mm Oly, though.

I'd go for a Fuji X-T20, but I keep hearing from people that Fuji cameras are optimized for portraits (skin tones!) and not so much for landscapes... My colleague had an X-T1 and I have to admit that some of the shots he took indeed looked quite bland, but perhaps it was just him.
Also, I don't know if the difference in sensor size between m4/3 and APS-C will bring noticeable DOF difference... In that case Sony seems to be the right path to take, but their cameras don't have that feel that both Olympus and Fuji deliver. Plus, A7 cameras still feel a bit... crude. Oly E-M5mk2 seems to be a very refined camera... same goes for Fuji's X-T2... :|
 
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mma2

Rookie
Feb 27, 2017
Roseville, CA
I'd go for a Fuji X-T20, but I keep hearing from people that Fuji cameras are optimized for portraits (skin tones!) and not so much for landscapes... My colleague had an X-T1 and I have to admit that some of the shots he took indeed looked quite bland, but perhaps it was just him.
Also, I don't know if the difference in sensor size between m4/3 and APS-C will bring noticeable DOF difference... In that case Sony seems to be the right path to take, but their cameras don't have that feel that both Olympus and Fuji deliver. Plus, A7 cameras still feel a bit... crude. Oly E-M5mk2 seems to be a very refined camera... same goes for Fuji's X-T2... :|

Mesmerized,

Absolutely no criticism of your post intended, just posting my own experience as a long-term Olympus MFT owner and as a recent X-T10 owner.

To my eyes, the Fuji landscapes are superb with beautiful color and detail (i.e. shot as RAW, PP'd with Iridient X-Transformer & imported into Lightroom 6). Skin tones are indeed excellent. If your friend's X-T1 images were shot as JPEGs, it might be good to see which Fuji film simulation was chosen (e.g. Astia, Provia, Velvia, etc.) as well as his NR settings. It could have been a combination of the more "soft" options.

Yes, there is a noticeable DOF difference. To match MFT DOF, I usually need to choose approximately one f-stop smaller aperture. But this APS-C DOF difference also allows for better shallow DOF images when desired.

I'll go on record as saying that my OMD-EM1 has better "feel" than the X-T10. Better built, better grip, more solid, the X-T10 exposure compensation dial has much too much resistance. No fun in changing the SD card in a X-T10 either. The Fuji is a great camera, though.

YMMV!
 
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
The main reasons I haven't switched:
  1. Waiting for the X-E3 though the X-T20 looks very good.
  2. Similar issues with m4/3 - reasonable 400mm - 500mm equivalent.
  3. reasonable wide zoom - have considered the Rokinon stuff (like the 7.5mm m4/3 fish) but I think I would prefer AF. Currently debating of the adapter for my X70 is wide enough. An XC wide zoom would be enough for my needs.
 

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