OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 II 12-40mm f/2.8 compared to FUJI X-T1 16-55mm f/2.8 - Part 1

CAMERA SPECS.

  • 16 MP
  • Max. resolution - 4608 x 3456
  • Sensor size Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
  • CMOS
  • 100-25600 (RAW & JPEG)
  • Autofocus > Contrast Detect (sensor) -Multi-area - Center - Selective single-point - Tracking -Single - Continuous - Touch - Face Detection - Live View
  • Lens mount - Micro Four Thirds (m4/3)
  • Focal length multiplier - 2×
  • Fully Articulated LCD
  • Screen size3
  • 1,037,000 Dots
  • EVF - Viewfinder coverage 100% - 1.48× - Resolution 2,360,000
  • Minimum shutter speed 60 sec Maximum shutter speed 1/16000 sec
  • External Flash included
  • Video - 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 640 x 480 (30p) MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG

CAMERA SPECS.

  • 16 MP
  • Max. resolution - 4896 x 3264
  • Sensor size APS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm)
  • CMOS
  • 200-6400 (RAW) 100-51200 (JPEG)
  • Autofocus > Contrast Detect (sensor) - Phase Detect - Multi-area - Center - Selective single-point -Single - Continuous - Face Detection - Live View
  • Lens mount - Fujifilm X (Fujinon)
  • Focal length multiplier - 1.5×
  • Articulated LCD - Horizontal Tilting
  • Screen size 3
  • 1,040,000 Dots
  • EVF - Viewfinder coverage 100% - 0.77× - Resolution 2,360,000
  • Minimum shutter speed 30 sec Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
  • External Flash included
  • Video - 1920 x 1080 (30, 60p), 1280 x 720 (30p, 60p) H.264

 

 

SENSOR SIZE COMPARISON

Two cameras based on traditional film SLR designs from each companies past. Two 'standard' zoom lenses, both with fixed f/2.8 apertures throughout. The Fujinon 16-55mm is approximately 'equivalent' to a 24-83mm in 35mm terms, the Olympus 12-40mm is approximately 'equivalent' to a 24-80mm in 35mm terms. I've used both combinations over the last few months and what follows is an analysis of what each camera offers, how it handles in real world situations and how then two cameras compare in terms of usability and still and video results.

DESIGN AND HANDLING

  • Weight (inc. batteries) 469 g (1.03 lb / 16.54 oz)
  • Dimensions 124 x 85 x 45 mm (4.88 x 3.35 x 1.77)
  • Weight (inc. batteries) 440 g (0.97 lb / 15.52 oz)
  • Dimensions 129 x 90 x 47 mm (5.08 x 3.54 x 1.85)

As you can see above the Olympus is slightly heavier but the Fuji is slightly bigger. In their basic form, neither camera has a particularly prominent grip and if you look at the top of the page you will see that I have the unique two-part battery grip fitted to the Olympus and a PhotoMadd L-Plate grip fitted to the Fuji. For me both camera's handling is significantly improved by the addition of these grips. Fuji do offer their own battery grip and while it's useful for the extra battery, I never found it particularly comfortable in use. I sold mine and much prefer the PhotoMadd option.

With these grips attached, I have to say that these are two of the best handling cameras I've ever owned. Both systems now have some pretty large lenses to go with these camera, both now have their versions of the pro-spec. telephoto zooms with an f/2.8 aperture throughout and neither are small or light. Though adding to the weight, I would suggest handling is much better with a grip attached to prevent the camera / lens combinations feeling seriously unbalanced. However, I also like to keep the grips on when using smaller prime lenses as well. It's a personal choice, but these aren't compact cameras and I like the feel of both with the grips.

In terms of the layout of the controls on the camera, this is again a personal thing and to a large extent depends on what you are used to and feel comfortable with. Obviously if you have made a significant investment into either the Olympus or Fuji systems, you will be familiar with what you own. However having used both over a long period of time, I'm unable to come to any conclusion concerning which might be better. I'm happy with both and don't seem to have any problems getting a comfortable grip with both and working my way around the controls. Certainly there is nothing I have noticed that causes me problems, but again we all hold cameras in our own way, so if possible as ever I would recommend that you try them out.

MENU LAYOUT

It will come as no surprise to many that I'm not a fan of the way that Olympus lay out their menus. I find them confusing and non-intuitive despite having used them for many years. The same criticism could be levelled at Fuji when they first brought out the X-Series cameras, but things have been 'tidied up' somewhat. Again this is personal choice and those who have only owned Olympus will wonder what all the fuss is about, but I would point out to new users that Olympus functions can seem to have a life of their own and if you are not used to them it's a good idea to take things slowly. The Olympus, in particular, is a very complex camera offering a lot of options. It's a good idea I've found to make sure I save my settings as a set that I can call up if I get 'lost.'

FOR PART 2 AND CONCLUSION - CLICK HERE