Look at the camera and lens I used to get the images in my previous post (lower right in slideshow mode). I have decided to use micro 4/3 sensor cameras due to a combination of size, ergonomics, image quality, and cost. In order to keep the cost down and quality up, I purchased a used Olympus Pen E-P5 since it has the same sensor and uses the same battery as my Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. I plan to use a few prime lenses with the E-P5 and use the E-M5 II for my longer focal length work, primarily at 300 mm focal length. This will enable me to stop frequently changing lenses and grab and go quickly.
The E-P5 doesn’t have a EVF but I don’t need one for inside or low light work. The lack of the EVF hump also makes it easier to carry in a vest or jacket pocket. It is a little on the heavy side but is built like a tank and should withstand being thrown into various small bags, etc. I need the EVF on the E-M5 II for use with long focal length lenses since it makes it easier to hold the camera-lens steady to compose in bright sunlight. A big plus for both of the cameras is the 5-axis image stabilization system. It is quite good, but I still need to hold the camera steady with long focal lengths to focus on the area I want.
I decided to sell all of my Fujifilm gear and go with Olympus due to the size and cost of the lenses. I used my Fujifilm X-T1 and 35 mm lens for the last time to make the above picture. Using the Olympus smaller sensor cameras keeps the weight and cost of the long lenses lower. I decided that I couldn’t afford or carry the long focal length Fujifilm lenses. Using the E-P5 with prime lenses rather than the X-T1 enables me to have and use one system.
There are three earlier posts which discuss differences in image quality as well as some of the reasons for ending up with these cameras: Round 1, Round 2, and Changes. Click on each to read each of them if you haven’t already read them. When I earlier decided to go with the Fujifilm system, I planned to only use shorter focal length prime lenses and give up images of wildlife and distant compressed landscape details, but I found that limited my photography and therefore I went back to some longer focal length photography.
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.
I have been trying an Olympus E-M10 with the Olympus 75 – 300 mm lens to see if it would enable me to get longer focal length images with reasonable image quality than I can get with my Fujifilm long focal length setup. Since I have the Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fuji 50 – 230 mm lens, I decided that I would compare similar images taken with both cameras in the same manner that I tend to take pictures. I chose to do this comparison at an ISO of 6400 in lower light since I was concerned about noise using the E-M10 with the smaller micro 4/3 sensor. I also chose the longest focal length that I could get with my Fuji lens (230 mm). The focal length for the E-M10 was 171 mm, which gave me a close comparison. Both raw images are shown below as processed in LR using the Adobe standard settings for each system.
The first image is from the E-M10, second (your right) is from the X-T1. As you will note there are slight differences in exposure and color balance. Both images were taken in program mode. The X-T1 chose ISO 6400, f/6.7, and 1/20 sec. The E-M10 chose ISO 6400, f/5.9, and 1/25 sec. Both images were taken handheld.
The following set are the same two images with the color balance chosen for each using the LR eyedropper and with the exposure of the X-T1 image (on your right) increased by +.75
The following set are crops from the last two images. The first is from the E-M10 and the second from the X-T1. The images have different aspect ratios so they aren’t quite the same but are close enough to see any differences. Please note that no noise reduction was applied to either image!
I will continue with my evaluation of the Olympus E-M10, but so far I am quite pleased with it. Considering that the E-M10 and lens weighs 100 g less than the X-T1 and lens, and that the Olympus lens focal length was 171 mm but that it goes on out to 300 mm, in my opinion the Olympus micro 4/3 setup is better than the Fuji setup for my long focal length use.
While evaluating my Olympus micro 4/3 camera, I decided to take similar pictures, one right after the other with three different camera-lens combinations. I did not attempt to do anymore that take pictures as I would with any of the cameras. I didn’t take multiple pictures. I used my Fuji X-T1 with the Fuji 18 mm lens, my iPhone 6, and my Olympus E-PL7 with the Olympus 14 – 42 mm EZ lens (at the 14 mm focal length). The subjects are sitting on a white board in front of a south-facing window. No flashes were used, all were handheld, and were taken in program mode for the Fuji and Olympus, and in auto for iPhone 6. I wanted to see how each camera handled the situation without my intervention.
To eliminate any confusion, or errors, in which camera was used for each picture, I included the cameras in the image. The camera used to make the picture is the one you don’t see. For the first set of pictures I’m showing, I made no changes to the images. The pictures taken with the Olympus and the Fuji were raw files and are as processed using the standard Adobe settings in LR6 … just like I always do. The iPhone 6 is a jpeg straight out of the device. The pictures were then cropped to 1:2 ratios, resized to my blog standard of 2100 pixels on the long side and saved as jpegs.
The first picture below was taken with the Fuji X-T1 which chose ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/140 sec.
The next picture below was taken with the iPhone 6 at ISO 32, f/2.2, 1/120 sec.
The following picture was taken with the Olympus E-PL7 which chose ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/125 sec.
You should have noticed that the exposures and white balances and colors were different. I am at a loss to explain the exposure differences. My first thoughts were that the iPhone 6 was the most realistic and most pleasing, and the Fuji was the worst. This was not what I expected.
The following images have been tweaked.
I then used the LR6 eyedropper to set the WB by selecting a point on the white board below the magazine in each picture. I then increased the exposure taken by the X-T1 by +1, and auto set the white and black points on each image using LR6. The results are as shown below and are not in the same order as above.
I was reluctant to do anymore adjusting of the images for this quick comparison. I am sure that with careful comparisons I could adjust the raw images made with Fuji and Olympus cameras by tweaking colors, clarity, exposures, etc. and make them more similar, but I’m not sure that it would prove anything for this initial quick comparison.
At this moment, I’m not sure about what to do next. I may take an outdoor set of comparisons to get a better handle on sharpness, dynamic range, etc. and I might do another set of comparisons at longer focal lengths and/or with subjects at a greater distance.
Four years ago when I moved here they were plowing snow from our roads in October. This year it was 55 degrees and foggy when I took a walk this morning at 7 am in December to make these pictures. They are predicting that this December will be the hottest on record. From the way the birds were singing this morning I think they believe spring has arrived.
In addition to the changing global climate with the wild swings in our weather, our politicians are equally wild and the outcomes could be worse than the climate ones, at least in the short-term, with global debt on the increase.
Since I moved here, I have tried close to a dozen different cameras. Now I am only using one main camera plus a small pocket WP one and I’m not interested in another camera until the image quality of a smaller and lighter camera improves. In this last year I bought more photography books than cameras.
I moved here with a desktop computer with a 22-inch monitor. I then replaced it with a 17-inch laptop, and now I have replaced that PC with a MacBook Pro with only a 13-inch monitor. I am still feeling my way through the changes in processing my pictures on such a small screen, but I think it is going to work just fine. If not, I can add a larger monitor later.
As I get older and the future becomes less certain, I am changing and trying to minimize my actions as well as my stuff.
And now there is one. I now only have one camera. I found new homes for all but my Fujifilm X-T1 camera and three prime lenses, the 18 mm, 27 mm, and the 60 mm lenses. I hope to enjoy my path to a more simple existence. I have been shedding not only cameras and lenses, but also camera bags and other camera related stuff, and I hope to continue reducing other things from clothes to tools, etc. if I’m not using them.
I am now approaching photography a little differently and I’m enjoying the freedom from carrying a heavy camera bag and looking for a wide variety of subjects both near and far. I hope to spend more time photographing details, and life experiences up close with a wider prime lens. I will have to shorten my vision and not look for small images in the distance. It sort-of goes with the image of me walking slower with a cane and looking down rather than far. My 27 mm lens will be my standard walk-about lens for now. I’ll use the 18 mm lens for inside buildings when I need something wider and my 60 mm lens when I’m photographing details and/or need a little greater reach. The only change or addition that I’m still considering is getting the new 35 mm WR lens when it comes out and making it my standard walk-about lens.
I plan to continue my photography and make images of ordinary things around me with my single, lighter, smaller, higher quality camera. I hope to photograph the mundane, but with an ever-changing perception of how I see and think; but it will have to be up close since I no longer have a long focal length zoom lens. I like to go out with just one lens at a time … just one focal length at a time. I usually just select from one of my three prime lenses before I go out and then just photograph what works with that lens. I rarely change lenses out in the field but I do change them when photographing an event or project here at Homewood when I don’t have to walk far with a bag of lenses, etc.
I got rid of my Leica X2, Canon 70D, Ricoh GR, Olympus TG 820, and Nikon 1 J5 cameras along with all the gear that goes with them. I am shrinking and simplifying my photography gear and making some other adjustments. I have gone lighter and simpler. I kept my Fujifilm X-T1 and prime lenses to photograph events, etc. at Homewood as well as for my personal photography. I also plan to get rid of lots of straps, camera bags, etc. In addition to the X-T1, I have kept my Lumix LF1. I am keeping it temporarily for a pocket camera, to make close-ups, visual notes, etc. I am the closest I have ever been to using only one camera and one lens at a time and simplifying my photography to match.
An even bigger change might be in what and how I photograph and blog about, but those changes are still in an incubation phase and, at the moment, only limited by my gear and subject availability. Not having longer focal length zoom lenses will necessitate some changes. While I am working this out and no longer trying new or different cameras and lenses, I will be photographing and blogging less.
One thing that has happened in the last month is that I have taken a larger percentage of pictures for Homewood and a smaller percentage for myself. This shift might continue with my current lenses since I am in a better position for documentary or street photography. Whether or not I will make that my primary personal style will depend upon my travel opportunities and how much variety in locations and subjects I can find; but, more Homewood photography and less personal photography usually means fewer pictures for my blog.
I have been working with the model railroaders as we get the various layouts ready for the holidays. I have started thinking about lighting, camera and lens settings, etc. and after the layouts are completed I hope to spend some time making pictures of some of the details.
At the same time I have been reducing my cameras and lenses, and before I take the next step I wanted to see how well the Fujifilm X-T1 and the 27 mm lens worked for the layouts. I had not used this camera and lens before in this manner so I wanted to try it before I made anymore reduction decisions. It worked just fine. I am one more step closer to using only one camera.
I am going to try a 60 mm macro lens for my Fujifilm X-T1 camera to see if I can get up closer and make detail images. While I am waiting to get it and try it, I decided to see how well I could resize my X-file raw images. Since I had the following picture of the wild flower taken at f/2.8 with the 27 mm lens, I used it for an experiment.
The image is a 4896 x 3264 pixel raw file that has been processed in LR6. I cropped the above image to capture a small image of the flower in the middle. The resulting crop was only 1005 x 670 pixels. I then resized it up with Perfect Resize 8 plugin to my standard blog image size which is 2000 pixels on the longest edge. I am impressed with the quality of the resized image.
I can hardly wait until I get some images with the 60 mm macro. My desire is to make abstract images from sections of flowers, etc. as well as use it for photographing events when I need a slightly longer focal length. My current plan is to have this as my longest focal length lens.
Here is another resized image.