The lovely Fuji X-T1 with Fuji 35 f1.4 and 27 f2.8 - Shot with OMD EM1 with Panasonic 25mm f1.4

The lovely Fuji X-T1 with Fuji 35 f1.4 and 27 f2.8 - Shot with OMD EM1 with Panasonic 25mm f1.4

I have now spent quite a bit of time shooting the X-T1 and thought I would share some more thoughts. Coincidentally it turns out that the number one search query that sends people to this blog is Fuji XT1 vs OMD EM1 so this post should appeal to many readers.

Having options like the Fuji XT1 and Olympus OMD EM1 to take to an event isn't as great as it might first appear. I could not decide which system to take. I wanted the comfort and confidence I have gained with the EM1 but also wanted to take the Fuji as it is new and I am still trying to figure out this new piece of kit. I went to bed at Midnight for a red eye flight. I placed both sets of gear and lenses out on my work bench and decided I would pick in the morning. Minutes before heading to the airport I chose the new Fuji with the following kit.

Fuji X-T1 body with battery grip. I don't require the extra grip but wanted the second battery

  • Fuji 14mm f2.8
  • Fuji 23mm f1.4
  • Fuji 56mm f1.2
  • Fuji flash
  • Extra batteries
  • Mini tripod
  • Extra SD Cards
  • Cleaning kit/blower

I must admit this is an absolutely stunning kit. The big hang up for me is that Fuji doesn't have a long, high quality prime like Olympus' 75mm f1.8. I use that lens often and this was the number one drawback for me leaving home with the Fuji kit. 

Now that I have shot several thousand images with the Fuji I can follow up on my original quick first thought EM1 comparison post (Read that one here)

I could summarize it all in one sentence saying that "In short, I prefer shooting the Olympus EM1 but can't ignore the incredible quality of the images of the Fuji X-T1". That is how I feel and looking back at this event I believe I would have preferred the overall feel, performance, speed, and autofocus capability of the EM1. 

That said, given how different these cameras are in output, look and feel of the images I don't plan on getting rid of either. They are both incredible tools and I will use both for different uses. Also, the Fuji system is incomplete in the lens option area so I really can't imagine letting go of the Olympus system. I already mentioned the longish prime shortcoming but when you factor in the legacy Olympus 4/3 glass the Oly options are just so much better. If you question the value of these old lenses I suggest you find a way to shoot the Oly EM1 with any of the Oly SHG lenses and you will know what I mean, the output is jaw dropping gorgeous. 

So if the Oly is a better overall system, why would I keep the Fuji.  Great question. First let me share a few images with you. 


I certainly could have captured similar images with the Olympus, but these images highlight 3 of the reasons I like to use the X-T1 over the EM1; additional depth control due to larger sensor, easier manual focus with legacy lenses and cleaner high ISO output.  Others also report focus tracking is better but I have not tried it yet so I can't comment on that. I will say I hope the reports are true and if they are it could push the Fuji up a notch in my book. 

There are things I would like Fuji to update through firmware or fix in future offerings. 

  • the 4 way controller buttons just suck as does the rear adjustment wheel.  Seriously this will be a deal breaker for some. I set all four of the buttons for focus point adjustment so I can just hit the area from memory and then eventually find my home base with my thumb to move the focus area around. The EM1 simply blows this camera away in how easy and quick it is to move focus points
  • clipping info in full screen LCD playback
  • less shutter lag
  • 1/8000 th of a second shutter speed. The ND filters for the much larger Fuji lenses are expensive and heavier. I also don't own them so I have also lost some of the depth control advantage as I need to stop down
  • control dials on the extra battery grip. Again Olympus has spoiled me
  • faster flash sync
  • quicker turn on times and lag in waking up/turning back on
  • better wifi programming. Look at the Olympus software and functionality and basically copy it. 

Here are the things I wish Olympus would learn from Fuji

  • ongoing firmware updates to build loyalty and value into expensive products. 
  • color choice for focus peaking
  • dual screen for magnified view manual focusing
  • improved focus tracking in firmware update instead of making folks buy a new camera for the next generation focus ability
  • cleaner output at lower ISO. I know how to deal with it but the clean Fuji files stand out to me

Those are my quick thoughts.  Here are some of the images from the event. I certainly am happy with the images I captured but I will say that my next event I will likely carry the Olympus for the overall performance and system options. 

That's it for now. One of these days I will get out and do some back to back shooting. Until then, I hope you all get out there and take some pictures. Also hope you enjoy my pics from Charlotte.  For additional pictures taken with the Fuji X-T1 while I was at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, please check out my coverage here at at my photography site. Thank you.  https://gnat.exposure.so/nahbs-2014

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