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Full Version: Fleeting impressions - Fujica X-Pro1 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5
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Yesterday, I went to a sales show organised by Henrys - the largest photo equipment chain in Canada. I had a chance handling both the Olympus and the Fujica. They are not quite intended for the same user and it is like comparing a work horse with a race horse. You may know the specs, so this is more how I felt handling them. Both look good and have the traditional look. Both have good access to the key features I would use (aperture, shutter speed, ISO). Fujica felt heavier, but it was not a dealbreaker. I am not used to rangefinder-style optical viewfinder and although Fujica combined it with an electronic overlay, it did not work for me. The lens partially obstructs the view and my normal hand holding blocks the view further, filling the view with my thumb. The lens did not have a lens hood on and it was a small lens. If Fujica creates a 200 mm equivalent, I think that the viewfinder would be almost entirely blocked by the lens (and hood). Fortunately, Fujica now sells only 3 lenses for the camera, all relatively short.

Olympus viewfinder is all electronic and although OK, I have seen better. The resolution just is not quite there. Also as set and in the well lit hall, the viewfinder felt a bit overexposed/washed out. This could be just a setting. However it should be plenty good enough to compose the photo. For critical focus, the camera can be rigged to produce a magnified view when you turn the focusing ring. Under those conditions, it is very easy to judge the precise focus. Overall, I found the Olympus viewfinder functional and adequate but not great. It is not a dealbreaker. All other features seemed logically placed and I did not find the controls too small (as DPReview says) despite having fat fingers. The camera feels substantially lighter than my Nikon and the lenses (primes, none of which exceeds 90 mm equivalent) are light and tiny in comparison to their Nikon-compatible relatives. The weight is about 1/2 to 1/3.

Overall, I came out convinced that a DSLR user can live with the Olympus. If I had my Nikon on the table and the Olympus next to it, I would grab Nikon every time, unless I had to carry several lenses over long distances. However as i grow older, i am noticing that the weight of equipment is more of an issue than a few years ago. Eventually there will be a tipping point. My wife has outgrown G11 for many uses (no longish telephoto, no shallow DOF, no real macro, almost useless optical viewfinder) but refuses to use DSLR (too heavy, even if I offer to carry the gear). We will go with the Olympus for her. One day I will join her and we will be able to share micro 4/3 lenses. By the way, the sales rep for Olympus assured me that Olympus camera will recognize Panasonic lenses and make in-camera corrections (chromatic aberrations, distortions) for them as it does for Olympus lenses. is that true?
Hey Pavel, thanks for your thoughts on this.

Interestingly, my brother has recently bought himself a Fuji X-Pro 1 with 35mm f1.4 lens, and also a OM-D for his wife. So I was fortunate enough to have a play with these two side by side for a short period of time.

I agree with you with regards to the EVF on the OM-D. It is still pixelly and reminds me of my old Fuji compact that also had an EVF. However, operationally, it handles really nicely and works almost like a DSLR should.

The Fuji X-Pro 1 is a strange beast. The photos it produces are exceptional but I find the AF speed a little slow. I think it's one of those cameras that delivers, once you learn the quirks. Pavel, with certain lenses (the 200mm will be one of them) I hear it will be EVF exclusively.