I recently obtained a Panasonic 20 mm F1.7 lens so I put it on my Olympus E-M10 camera and made comparison images with it and the Fujifilm X-T1 and its 27 mm F2.8 lens. I wanted to see how they compared as walk-a-bout setups when traveling or photographing events.
The Olympus E-M10 camera plus the Panasonic 20 mm F1.7 lens weighs 495 grams, the X-T1 with the 27 mm F2.8 lens weighs 525 grams. The following is a picture of the two setups that I took with my Apple iPhone 6.
For the following images I set the aperture to F2.8 for both and then cropped them both to the same aspect ratio and approximately the same size in pixels. I also set the WB and the white and black settings on both using LR. I used the center point to focus on the center white structure.
The first image below was from the E-M10 and the second from the X-T1. You can click on either of them to view them in slideshow mode and then select an even larger size below each picture.
From looking at these images, at these settings, and at these conditions, I see no practical reason to choose one over the other in terms of image quality … even when pixel peeping at 100%.
The biggest differences are in the weight and handling and downloading of the pictures. The X-T1 has nice external controls and you can see at a glance what the settings are before you raise the camera to take a picture. Both cameras have EVFs and LCDs and these need to be viewed to see the settings after the shutter has been half pressed on the E-M10. Normally the differences in determining the settings isn’t significant. One big difference when downloading the images to a computer when using LR is the time it takes. The X files of the X-T1 take a lot longer than the Olympus files. For this round I am going to declare that the micro 4/3 setup has a slight advantage.
I bought the E-M10 to take longer focal length pictures with the Olympus 75 – 300 mm lens. I went this route since the long focal length micro 4/3 lenses are smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the Fujifilm lenses. I then bought the Panasonic 20 mm lens to carry in a pocket, just in case I needed a shorter focal length when I was out photographing with the 75 – 300 mm lens mounted on the E-M10.
I fully expected the Fujifilm images to be superior based on all the hype on the internet. Based on what I saw here, and in Round 1, I see no reason why I couldn’t use micro 4/3 for all of my photography. Now I have to decide whether I need to keep both systems. One reason for keeping both would be to keep a wider prime lens on the X-T1 all of the time and the 75 – 300 mm lens on the E-M10 all of the time so that I don’t have to change lenses as often. It hasn’t been easy for me to change lenses since I fell and injured my thumb in January. Another advantage for keeping the X-T1 and at least the 35 mm F2 lens is that they are weather resistant and the E-M10 setup isn’t.
The advantages for me to sell the Fujifilm gear would be to regain some of the money I spent on it and have the advantage of only needing to know one system. I find that switching back and forth tends to slow me down sometimes as I remember how to do things differently. Having the money from the sale would also enable me to flesh-out my E-M10 system with additional lenses, especially with small fast prime lenses. I could even obtain an additional E-M10 so that I would have a two-camera, but one-system setup.