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Olympus vs Fujifilm or the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Someone said to me “you dropped Pentax for Fujifilm, then why buy another Olympus mirrorless camera ?”

It’s only been a year since I wrote an article about the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I, My Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I, with Olympus OM F-Zuiko Auto-T 300mm f4.5 , and now that I’ve switched all the way from Pentax to Fujifilm, I bought a second Olympus mirrorless camera anyway, but why ?

Well, the reason I switched from Pentax to Fujifilm was mainly for two reasons:

  • Dedicated Dials like in the old days (shutter speed – iso)
  • Fujifilm simulations

What I missed in Fujifilm and had with Pentax was image stabilization.

Meanwhile, I found image stabilization in the Fujifilm X-H1, of which I now have two.
But I also have the much smaller X-T1 that I mainly use for manual lenses and because it is smaller also as a backup/second camera on the road, a great camera the X-T1, but again no image stabilization.

I was super enthusiastic with the Olympus E-M10 Mark I, but the camera had its drawbacks.

  • not weather sealed
  • 1440k dot evf vs 2360k dot evf in the X-T1
  • narrower viewfinder : 0.58 vs 0.77

Well, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II has all this and more :

  • Weather Sealed Body
  • 5 axis Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • Large 0.74 2360k dot viewfinder

On top of that :

  • Better manual focus vs X-T1
  • A faster mechanical shutter – 1/8000 vs 1/4000
  • Live Composite Mode
  • Focus Bracketing and Focus Stacking
  • Pixel Shift High-Res Mode – 40MP
  • Faster Continuous Shooting 10fps vs 8fps
  • Selfie & Vlogger Friendly LCD
  • Crop factor 2 – what is an advantage and disadvantage at the same time *

And all that in a package that weighs just 29g more, but still smaller in size than the Fujifilm X-T1 – Price-wise, you’ll find the E-M5 Mark II second-hand around the same price as the X-T1.
The ultimate benefit ?
It’s like having an X-H1 and a set of lenses that have been washed too hot – extremely compact and light, but also extremely powerful and sturdy.

What I also love is the LCD screen,
great when you can’t reach something,
when filming, you can just turn it almost in any direction.
And really great : you can close it upside down on the camera !
no more damage to your LCD, and it stays clean because you no longer rub against it with your face (see second picture below)

* The Crop factor advantage/disadvantage.
Unlike APS-C cameras, MFT or 4/3 cameras have a crop factor of 2 instead of 1.5
The advantage:
Bird and animal photographers can use smaller and lighter lenses and still have a wider range – for example: a 300mm lens on an APS-C camera becomes 450mm, on an MFT or 4/3 camera that same lens is equal to 600mm.
The disadvantage:
This enlargement can also be a disadvantage at the same time, for example; a 35mm lens on APS-C corresponds to 52.5mm – a standard lens actually. On MFT – 4/3, that same lens becomes a 70mm, which is actually more of a portrait lens.
Conclusion: it all depends on the subject you like to photograph.

Conclusion and recommendations :

So the answer to “why an Olympus camera” when you’re already shooting with another brand ?
Simple : Image Stabilization and to a greater or lesser extent the crop factor.
Fujifilm is really missing an opportunity here, it’s not that there wasn’t room in the X-T1, because it’s bigger than the Olympus.
But you won’t find it in the X-T2 or X-T3 either.
Many photographers will say they don’t miss it or really need it,
I understand that, but once you’ve used it and got used to it, you don’t want anything else.

Shall I switch to Olympus ?
No, Fujifilm’s image quality is still better – to a greater or lesser extent due to the larger sensor.

For whom can I recommend this camera:

  • Street photographers
  • Bird & Animal photographers
  • Sports photographers
  • Traveling Light & Backpackers
  • Backup camera

I myself tick 4 out of 5 categories, which is why this camera is also a good choice for me.

Published by Marc R.

Belgium Based and Retired Photographer, IT specialist, Technician and Bushcrafter - not necessarily in that order. A few years back I got a message on my PC : "The box said 'Required Windows 11 or better'. So, I installed Linux Kubuntu" :-) My Photography software : Linux Kubuntu 22.04 LTS, RawTherapee, Darktable, Digikam, Luminance HDR, Hugin, Gimp and many other. My camera Gear in 2023: Olympus E-M1 Mark III & II with Olympus 300mm Pro and Leica 100-400mm. Olympus E-M5 MK III with Olympus 12-200mm. Olympus 40-150mm Pro, 12-40mm Pro and many other lenses. Development on Dell Inspiron 15-3520 - 12 gen. i7 - 16gb -512gb

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