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Need your help... A7 vs X-T1 vs E-M5/E-M1

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by mesmerized, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. mesmerized

    mesmerized New to TalkEmount

    7
    Mar 26, 2014
    Howdy,

    I don't want to beat around the bush, so I'll just say that several people have been trying to help me answer this question on the micro 4/3 forum. I'd like to hear what Sony users have to say...

    Here's the thing.

    I have been saving money to get a decent camera that's going to serve me for a couple of years. I used to have an E-PL1 and it was my first step into photography. Now I'm considering the following choices:

    1) E-M5/E-M1 with a f/2.8 12-40mm lens (plus the 45mm lens I still owe)
    2) Fuji X-T1
    3) Sony A7

    Now, I know I'm a bastard, but I'm simply going to copy some of the question from the other forum.

    Oly:

    1) Is OM-D E-M1 a much better choice than E-M5? I can get an E-M1 with the 12-40mm lens for 1600USD whereas E-M5 with the same lens would cost me about 150USD less.
    2) If I you already had a 45mm f/1.8 lens, would you go for the 12-40mm? Or perhaps something else and cheaper?


    Fuji X-T1:

    1) Is the kit lens really as good as they say? The camera with the kit lens would cost me about 250USD less than the E-M1, plus I could sell my like-new 45mm Oly. (I don't need a super fast AF, I'm not into sports pics)
    2) I don't know what kind of colors X-T1 delivers and I don't know if the AF fails or not.
    3) Does the X-T1 have a touchscreen? I think it doesn't but some websites are not clear on that.
    4) Is the bigger sensor in Fuji a real killer? I know that a lot of APS-C users say that m4/3 sensors are simply worse because of the size.

    Sony A7:

    1) If I'm into portaits... Is this the best way to go? (When it comes to price, same situation here, a bit cheaper than E-M1, plus the 45mm gets sold)
    2) Is A7 superior in most ways to E-M1/E-M5 and Fuji X-T1? If so, what would you say is its biggest advantage and biggest shortcoming?

    Thanks a million for any insights!

    PS I have to add that I'm not a pro. In fact I'm but a photography learner.
     
  2. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    As I don't know your particular needs and wants beyond what you say here I will just offer my thoughts on these options. Some comments in line below.

    Quote:

    "1) E-M5/E-M1 with a f/2.8 12-40mm lens (plus the 45mm lens I still owe)
    2) Fuji X-T1
    3) Sony A7"

    >>In my opinion these are all great options. Much would be down to personal preference.

    "Oly:

    1) Is OM-D E-M1 a much better choice than E-M5? I can get an E-M1 with the 12-40mm lens for 1600USD whereas E-M5 with the same lens would cost me about 150USD less. "

    >> The OM-D EM10 could also be considered. I am close to getting one myself.

    "2) If I you already had a 45mm f/1.8 lens, would you go for the 12-40mm? Or perhaps something else and cheaper?"

    >> This will depend on your style of photography really.

    "
    Fuji X-T1:

    1) Is the kit lens really as good as they say? The camera with the kit lens would cost me about 250USD less than the E-M1, plus I could sell my like-new 45mm Oly. (I don't need a super fast AF, I'm not into sports pics)
    2) I don't know what kind of colors X-T1 delivers and I don't know if the AF fails or not.
    3) Does the X-T1 have a touchscreen? I think it doesn't but some websites are not clear on that.
    4) Is the bigger sensor in Fuji a real killer? I know that a lot of APS-C users say that m4/3 sensors are simply worse because of the size."

    >> I don't know enough about this one to respond beyond saying it sounds like it is an excellent system.
    "
    Sony A7:

    1) If I'm into portaits... Is this the best way to go? (When it comes to price, same situation here, a bit cheaper than E-M1, plus the 45mm gets sold)
    2) Is A7 superior in most ways to E-M1/E-M5 and Fuji X-T1? If so, what would you say is its biggest advantage and biggest shortcoming?"

    >> I have and really enjoy my A7, 28-70 kit lens and dozen legacy Rokkors. The only limitation with the A7 in my opinion is in the long telephoto area, at the current time at least. I am after long reach but not large and heavy lenses. The OM-D and a 75-300 MFT would suppliment my A7 quite well I think.


    Best wishes
    Snowy
     
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  3. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    I've replied extensively on Mu-43, but the short version is we need a little more info on your budget (body + lenses) and photographic needs/expectations.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    If you're a zoom user, go with the smaller sensor (OMD). If you're a prime user, go with the bigger sensor (A7). If you're 50/50 go with Fuji. Ta-da!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    EM1 vs EM5 same camera, change is pdaf which is not required unless you are shooting active kids/sports, etc.

    XT1 has best colors/camera jpgs but it has some editing issues w/ some programs like lightroom. You can save money by going to XE2 (like the difference btw EM1 & EM5).

    A7 vs others is the available lenses and louder shutter. Some like the kit lens, some don't, eg some say better then XT1 kit lens.

    Also are you shooting manual focus lenses? You're budget is important too esp Sony FE prime lenses are more expensive.

    I think every forum have these questions. You can read this to confuse yourself:)
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1262551
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1281715
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/sony/50275-decisions-decisions.html
    http://www.slack.co.uk/slack/gas.html
     
  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I've stepped through 3 different sensor sizes in mirrorless: µ4/3 -> APS-C -> FF. Each step up in sensor size was significant. It seems you're happy with µ4/3 Olympus gear, you're obviously happy with its sensor size (I don't see you complain on that) and thus there would be no reason to change systems because µ4/3 offers cameras with superb AF performance and a broad program of excellent lenses, cameras and accessories.

    In my photographic "career" (roughly 50 years of being an amateur) I've experienced that choosing a system based on 1 camera model is not very wise. Cameras come and go. Maybe more importantly, you have to be happy with what lenses can be had, how broad the camera program is (at one time you may want a second camera for different purposes) and if you can live with the sensor size(s) and the associated performance.

    These days, Sony is the only manufacturer offering two different sensor sizes in four systems that have a degree of cross-compatibility (E/FE/A APS-C/A FF lenses and cameras). Their sensors are top-notch, their lens program is a bit limited and quality control is even worse than that of the other manufacturers. With the introduction of the A7(R) Sony now has to develop and maintain four lens line-ups: E, FE, A APS-C and A FF and spread their investments across these.

    Fuji seems committed to one sensor size, so no dilution of efforts between different lens programs. Their lens line-up is fairly large already and quickly augmented, all their lenses seem to be quite good. It's the system I'd seriously consider if I'd go back to APS-C; that said, I'm not partial to what I see in image samples, I just don't like the colors and detail rendition and I'm not sure that raw processing is already dealing alright with their non-bayer sensors.

    Mind you, going up in sensor size comes at a price. Literally in terms of money, but also in terms of size (lenses especially), and, today, AF performance. There's also loss of depth-of-field. Some find it an advantage to get less depth-of-field with larger sensors, but it's kind of a fad, getting only the eye-lashes sharp and the rest of the face covered in blur (OK, I'm ranting a bit here). I know I really had to adjust when I moved to larger sensors. In landscapes, everything is sharp with a µ4/3 camera almost always; not so much with larger sensors, necessitating stopping down further and thus negating the advantages. This article on Luminous Landscape says it all.

    I think I could go on, but OTOH it may be even less useful than what I wrote already and my wife called me to have lunch :).
     
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  7. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    I'd say that since you already have the 45mm, an E-M5 with the 12-40mm is easily the best price:quality ratio. And if you find you need more grip, used HDL-6's are now going for only $150 if you're patient on Ebay.

    They're all good systems. The A7 is going to cost you though if you want auto-focus. There are no low cost primes here like the Olympus 45mm f/1.8.

    As for portraits...the A7 doesn't currently have a short telephoto that you could use for portraits. I know the inclination is that narrower DOF is going to give you better portraits, but it isn't that easy. A fast 85mm on a FF sensor will certainly give you more blur in your backgrounds than the Olympus 45mm f/1.8. However, the quality of a portrait is far more about:

    (1) looking for good backgrounds for your subject.
    (2) choosing the right framing of the subject.
    (3) playing with the physical distance between the background and the subject.

    Working with these three elements will take you much farther in portraiture than simply moving to a full frame system. The purpose of using narrow DOF is to isolate your subject, but if you can learn to isolate your subject simply by how they're positioned in their surroundings, narrow DOF will matter less and less. And you'll have far superior images, too. A well framed portrait with lots in focus is always going to be superior to a portrait where the background is so blurred that there's no longer anything to frame.
     
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  8. DigitalD

    DigitalD TalkEmount Veteran

    352
    Mar 2, 2014
    Miami
    David K Fonseca
    Ad and Mike helped me when deciding on my Sony A7 and everything they have offered here is absolutely true and very good advice.

    I feel your dilemma. ;) I was there a few months ago. I always like having 2 systems at my disposal so after much debate and discussion I now have both the E-M1 and quite a few native MFT lenses and the Sony A7 in which I have dug out and added to my vintage manual focus lenses as well as having the kit 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 lens. I also just recently rented the FE 55mm 1.8 because I wanted to see if using a fully AF lens for the Sony A7 would kill my need for having the MFT system at all.

    Here is what I can add.

    First the Sony A7. The native lens offering for this camera is pretty non-existent and unless you are absolutely comfortable shooting Manual Focus your options for lenses for this camera will be BIG and Expensive. The camera itself produces amazing pictures and lives up to its hype and even its critics in my opinion but in the end it will not be replacing my E-M1 anytime soon. The Kit lens is blah at best. The 2 primes available are amazing but there is only 2 of them. And adapting the A mount lenses to me was counter productive because they are pretty big and expensive and they defeat the compact mirrorless concept that I so love about the A7. So I only shoot legacy lenses with the A7 and I love it for that!! Its my 'slow down' camera and I use it like I would my mamiya RB65 or my Canon AE-1. Nice and slow and deliberate and its wonderful.

    Now the E-M1 is an amazing camera top to bottom. I have connected to this camera pretty profoundly and it is an absolute joy to use. The choices for native lenses are not only superb in quality but are extremely AFFORDABLE compared to any other system I have used to date. I like to use the phrase cost vs. quality as there is always expensive lens alternatives but having lenses that are within a reasonable budget that perform practically equal or better than more expensive heavier alternatives is a nice thing to have in a system.

    I do not own the Fuji (thankfully so) but it is exactly what an APS-C sensor camera would be in this situation. Right in the middle! But in more ways then just sensor size. The Fuji has a slight advantage in native lenses compared to the Sony A7 but still falls short compared to the MFT lineup of lenses. Personally I really don't like the 'smudging' it does to JPEGs so it wasn't a fit for me at the core of its IQ.

    So my conclusion for you is if I had only one system to buy with limited funds and just starting out? While the E-M1 was my first choice, I would recommend buying a USED EM-5 (or EM-10), keep your 45 1.8 (an absolutely wonderful lens) and add your zoom if a zoom is what you want. You can even find the 12-40mm used for about $750 these days. Use the extra cash from buying used to eventually add the 75mm and the 40-150 or 75-300 and you got yourself a system that will be WAY more then enough to produce the high quality images you could ever possibly want. The 12-40mm f2.8 is one of the sharpest short-tele lenses I have ever used and its quite versatile. I think if you don't have to sell the 45mm, keeping it for portraits is just fine because the shallow DOF, bokeh, size, everything is really nice on that lens (i.e. cost vs quality). And the Oly 40-150mm has performed outstanding for me. Thats a 80-300mm equivalent lens for about $125! What more could you ask for ;)
     
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  9. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    So I will throw in my 2 cents which probably isn't very helpful!!! I went through a similar decision back in October, but for me it was the NEX 6 or 7 versus the Fuji X-men (which was not quite out at the time).

    I was moving from a Sony DSLR and so had a bit of a history and investment in Sony A Mount (Minolta before that). I also had fallen in love with my Fuji X20 that I had bought last March.

    Taking all of those things into consideration, I ended up with the NEX 6, an LA-EA2, and flash adapters.

    Fast forward a few months, and I wish I could go back and change my mind... With all of the add ons to use my old gear, I probably could have changed systems without much additional cost.

    I don't envy the decision making process you are in ;-)

    Everything I have seen and heard about the XT-1 leads me to believe that it is a wonderful camera and really hits that price v performance mark nicely.

    All of that rambling and I don't have any of the cameras you are looking at!!! Sorry, in a rambling mode I guess...

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     
  10. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    Any response from the OP to the advice offered so far?
     
  11. Fundadores

    Fundadores TalkEmount Regular

    41
    Oct 14, 2013
    Looks like you are asking two different questions at the same time.

    1. Should you go for micro 4/3, APSC of FF.

    2. Which brand should you choose.

    I think if you start of by thinking about the system, then you can start to explore which brand. For all I know the A6000 might be the best camera for you.
     
  12. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    Roughly 70 messages over om mu-43.com ;)
     
  13. nstelemark

    nstelemark TalkEmount Regular

    26
    Oct 19, 2013
    I think Nyartboy sums this up pretty well.

    If you want to use manual lenses, the A7 is a good choice and will create some nice files.

    In real use I think the E-M1 is a significant improvement over the E-M5. Under identical conditions the E-M1 and E-M5 will produce pretty much the same file, but there are a lot of situations where you won't get the image with the E-M5. Of course from a cost perspective the E-M5, especially a used one, is a very good value.
     
  14. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    That would be the "OMD E-M5 vs Fuji X-T1 vs Pentax K3" thread I guess. Then he has already ordered an E-M5 by the look of it.
     
  15. krugorg

    krugorg TalkEmount Regular

    34
    Aug 17, 2012
    ...and then changed his mind and bought an X-T1. I need to stop reading these "vs" threads. :D
     
  16. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Me too, much less responding to them. :( Yesterday I responded 3 times to someone with a question on dpreview, with a meaningful answer (at least that's what I like to think) and no response from the OP. Last time I did that. As this OP is also non-responsive I don't feel guilty about changing the topic :).

    To me at least it's sort of a forum etiquette that if an OP poses a question, the OP reacts at some point in time to report back, even if only to tell he couldn't do anything with the answers.
     
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  17. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I agree, Ad. And this is one of the few places on the Internet where people treat each other the way they would if they were speaking face to face. All too rare.
     
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  18. mesmerized

    mesmerized New to TalkEmount

    7
    Mar 26, 2014
    I'd like to apologize for lack of any reply on my side. No disrespect intended. I got far too involved in the m4/3 forum and for some reason completely forgot about this thread. Thank you for all advice and your time. Hats off to you!
     
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  19. sdsyver

    sdsyver Here to Learn and Enjoy!

    61
    Apr 22, 2014
    Northern Alberta
    Shawn
    I'll start by saying they are all nice cameras.

    I own the E-M1 the 12-40 and the 45. The 45 never gets used mainly because it is not weather sealed or as versatile. My m4/3 travel kit consists of the E-M1, 12-40, 35-100, 25 f1.4 and the 75 f1.8. That covers almost every possible weather and lighting condition I may find myself in.

    I also own the Sony A7. I bought the 55 f1.8 with it (a wonderful lens) and have a large collection of Classic Olympus primes that I am using with it. I find that I am using the A7 more right now. The image quality is amazing especially if you do any cropping.

    With out a doubt the Olympus wins for quality lens selection and lens size. The A7 wins in image quality in my opinion any how.

    It is a hard decision but if the A7 had been out when I had gotten into m4/3 I would have the Sony now and not the Olympus. That being said I'm not selling my Olympus any time soon.