The mirrorless market is heating up, and these are two of the heavy hitters on the block as of late. Of course, Sony and Samsung are also in the mix, and Canon (sorta), but these two are spefically targeting serious photographers who like their manual controls, and indeed might snare some of the pro market.
First, a run-down of the basic features of each camera:
Olympus OM-D E-M5
- SLR-style mirrorless
- 16 megapixel 4/3rds CMOS sensor
- Tilting LCD with 610,000 dots
- 1080p @ 60fps video
- Weather sealed
- 200-25600 ISO range
- Image Stabilization
- 26 lenses available
- 9fps continuous shooting
- up to 60s exposure
- $999 for body only
- 16 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor
- 15.3MP DX-mode & 25MP 1.2x crop mode
- 1080p @24fps video
- 200-25600 ISO range
- Only 3 lenses available
- 6 fps continuous shooting
- 1,230,000 dot fixed LCD
- up to 30s exposure
- $1699 for body only
Body & Ergonomics: The Oly has an SLR-style design whereas the Fuji has a rangefinder design. Despite this, the Oly is still a bit smaller, and lighter. The Oly features an articulating LCD, but boasts half the number of pixels. Both have plenty of external controls, but the Fuji wins here with dials for both shutter speed and aperture. Not all is lost, as the Oly has plenty of custom buttons and twin control dials. While both are tough, only the Oly has weather sealing.
Image Quality: With it’s larger C-MOS sensor, the Fuji takes the cake here. Results can be seen clearly in this ISO performance comparison. If you want shallower depth of field and lower noise levels at high ISOs, there’s no question that the Fuji is for you. However, you’ll have to make due with only 3 lenses (for now…)
Features: Olympus shoots video at an impressive 1080p @ 60fps, which even top full-frame cameras such as the 5D3 and D800 can’t do. This is great for high rez slow-motion captures. On the other hand, the Fuji features and impressive hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. The Olympus comes back with a 60s maximum exposure vs the Fuji’s 30s – always good for long exposure night photography. Other fun features include the ability to create panoramic photos in-camera, take 3D shots, and shoot at 9fps (vs the Fuji’s 6fps). Not to mention, the Oly claims to have the fastest AF of any digital camera to date (at least with static subjects).
Conclusion: The Olympus, while still being a serious tool, takes aim at a larger audience with its many scene modes. The Fuji goes straight after the enthusiasts and working professionals. It also sells for a lot more ($1699 vs $999 for the Oly). If you’re a traditional photographer who likes analog controls, fast primes, and aren’t short on cash, the Fuji is probably for you. If you’re looking to save a few pennies, have a few more features, and a larger lens selection, go for the Olympus.