How does a Fuji X10 (and X20) REALLY compare with a m43 camera?

Discussion in 'Fuji X10, X20, X30, XF1, and X-S1' started by iammine, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. iammine

    iammine FujiXspot Regular

    26
    Feb 4, 2013
    Hi guys!
    I'm really trying to understand how much the smaller sensor in the little X cameras is , in real world, different in results from a m43 camera...for example the epm1 i own.
    The fujis got a brilliant 2-2.8 zoom lens that is fine for almost every situation, does have a OVF (useful to my street shooting style) so it will be perfect to me, but all the photos i have seen until now...are worst than the epm1 and other m43 cameras, even with basic 14-42 lens.
    I would like to know if any of you switched between those systems and what are their impression!
    It would be nice to see some samples from both the cameras!
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    The X10 holds up quite well against the epm1 and the other m43 cms with the older 12mp sensors. Assuming you stick with a kit zoom lens, you're better off with the X10. But if you take advantage of the interchangeable lens system and add some fast prime lenses to the kit, you'll see a pretty notable difference. And if you get one of the newer m43 bodies with the much better 16mp sensors and combine those with some of the system's great lenses, then you're into very different territory.

    That said, compacts are getting really really good. The X20 should be better yet than the X10 - the RX100 is already notably better in terms of the sensor. So if a standard zoom is all you want and low light shooting isn't a huge priority, a good compact is a great way to go. I have a really nice m43 setup and a Fuji X-Pro with a couple of lenses, yet in decent light my LX7 is as much fun to shoot with as anything I've ever used and the image quality is great.

    -Ray
     
  3. demiro

    demiro FujiXspot Regular

    92
    Jan 31, 2013
    PA-USA
    Dean
    I don't have samples that are easy to find and share, but I can tell you my experience. I've owned the E-PM1 (and a bunch of other m4/3s cams with earlier sensors). I would take the X10 over any of them if I was only going to use the kit lens. Other people will tell you that the larger sensor + kit lens can deliver better results in some conditions. They may be right, but even if they are I don't think the difference is very significant.

    The story changes some if you add a fast prime to the older m4/3s body. Then the difference becomes more apparent.
     
  4. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    38
    Feb 2, 2013
    As others have said, there is less ISO noise from the newer 16mp sensors inside the OM-D E-M5 and the new E-PL5 and E-PM2 ... but the ISO noise from the 12mp m43 cameras is very similar to the ISO noise from the X10. I will say the m43 cameras with a good prime will give you better shallow DOF and better image sharpness, but if you look at the zoom lenses on the m43 cameras the X10 is pretty darn impressive. I can post a wide variety of samples, but here are two somewhat similar portraits from a 12mp Olympus camera and the X10. I usually don't spend time doing side-by-side comparisons so I don't have side-by-side shots for you.

    Olympus E-PL1s with Olympus 45mm @ f2.8:
    P4190744-XL.

    X10 zoomed out @ f/2.8:
    DSCF0848-XL.
     
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  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Here's an example from the X10. I think the sharpness is pretty good. I would say that it compares quite well to a 12mp m43 camera with a kit lens. I would have liked a shallower DOF but I'm still pretty pleased with it. Of course the value of the X10 os more than things like sharpness, noise and DOF. It's real;y quite a convenient camera that does a lot of things well often making it my first choice when I grab for a camera to take along.

    8443403586_fbe4957dea_b.
    Abuela by dixeyk, on Flickr
     
  6. kwaphoto

    kwaphoto FujiXspot Rookie

    19
    Feb 3, 2013
    I love my X10 and can't wait to try the X20 :) I'll take it any day over the GF-1 + any lens available. I even prefer it over the OM-D for sheer convenience.
     
  7. wixn14

    wixn14 New to FujiXspot

    1
    Feb 4, 2013
    At times, I thought I wasn't using my X10 "right", because I preferred the pictures taken with the m4/3 PL 25mm lens.

    However, when I switch to b+w mode on the X10, I started liking the pictures more and more.
     
  8. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FujiXspot Veteran

    409
    Jan 31, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    I looked at a couple of shots from the E-P2 with the old, original PEN kit lens and the X10 side by side -- not the same shot, so this is in "impression" more than a test, though I'll try to go out later with the E-PM1 and the X10 and do a more controlled comparison.

    First impressions from the archive, though, with the EP2 at iso 160 and the X10 at iso 100 LF: If you are shooting jpeg, there is not much to choose from. Even at 100%, I'd call it a wash. Things change a bit with the files developed from raw to tiff -- both 16 bit. At 100% there, the m4/3 has a clear advantage, with much less noise obvious after sharpening (in Lightroom with only color noise reduction applied and then a very slight high pass sharpening in Photoshop). At 50%, though, already bigger than most of us are going to display our prints, while I would not yet call it a wash, the E-P2 file still holding a small advantage, the X10 has, for most intents and purposes, caught up. Under 50% (All this is on screen, of course), it just doesn't matter which camera you use.

    The E-PM1 should provide a better file than the E-P2 (though I still like that camera a lot), so I think a side by side of the same subject would be an interesting exercise, and I'll try to do it. That said, I should admit that I bought the E-PM1 as a backup camera for a trip on which I did not want to rely on a smaller sensor compact, the quite capable XZ-1. I'd have no problem taking the X10 on the same trip today (and will if anyone wants to give me airfare to Bangkok!) as my digital backup, which gives some idea of the confidence I have it in.
     
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  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    Same sensor, so more or less the same files. The EPM1 is a lot faster in operation, but not IQ.

    -Ray
     
  10. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FujiXspot Veteran

    409
    Jan 31, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    But I have the later kit lens with E-PM1, and thought shots of the same subject, taken at the same time might be revealing. Or not.
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I never found significant differences between any of the m43 bodies that share that same 12mp sensor (and I had a number of them). There were differences between the way Panasonic and Olympus JPEGs looked because Olympus has a better JPEG engine (not to mention better AWB) but I think the X10 is really on par with the 12mp m43 bodies on a practical level. All can produce very nice results and the zoom on the X10 is faster and I would say a bit sharper/better than any of the kit lenses I had. As to what you would choose...that really becomes a matter of preference. For some folks the combination of size, flexibility and fun make the X10 (and I assume the X20/X100/X100s etc.) a very appealing option. Others will prefer a DSLR or a mirror less like the E-M5, E-PL5, GX1 or G5 (you get the idea).

    FWIW I love my NEX and legacy glass but I have to admit I find myself grabbing for the X10 more than the NEX sometimes because the advantages of AF, flexibility and size outweigh the IQ benefits I get from the NEX for certain situations. For instance because I like to move fast and explore when I travel I would choose the X10 over the NEX for that. It is well suited to what I want when I travel. Now, if I had to choose ONE camera...I think I'd probably be inclined to look at an X100s as I think I could be pretty happy with that focal length, the images are gorgeous and it has much of what I like about the X10 with better images and a better viewfinder. That said, the X10 is definitely one of my all time favorite cameras.
     
  12. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    38
    Feb 2, 2013
    The main reason I use my X10 as an "everyday camera" more than my Olympus Pen with a pancake lens is the simple fact that the X10 with its zoom lens is the size of an Olympus Pen camera with a prime lens. While I admit my m43 cameras (12mp and 16mp) have the edge in image quality the difference is not as big as the "convenience factor" of the f/2.0-f2.8 zoom lens on the X10.

    In short, I'm keeping my m43 gear and my X10.

    That said, my DSLR kit is getting smaller all the time. I suspect that by the end of this year the only DSLR gear I'll have is the stuff I decided to keep because the resale value is less than the value I place on occasionally using the camera/lens (my old Olympus E-1 and my Canon T1i fall into that category).
     
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  13. iammine

    iammine FujiXspot Regular

    26
    Feb 4, 2013
    Thanks for all the replies.
    I was searching a small camera with great IQ...and to my eyes any pen, even with kit lens, is better than a x10.
    There is more dinamic range and everything is more natural.
    One thing didn't convince me about the little black fuji: looking on the internet, there was samples that were amazing and other that looked worse than my 40€ canon compact.
    Looks to me like there are some difference in production? Or is it a camera difficult to master?
     
  14. Snix

    Snix FujiXspot Rookie

    16
    Feb 1, 2013
    Australia
    As some have mentioned, the main difference for me is the ability to put on whatever lens I like on the u4/3 I have. But I don't take them with me all the time, so then the X10 comes with me!
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Here are a couple of X10 shots

    http://xtogs.com/showthread.php?118-X10-Xplorations

    I think the X10 requires some attention to get the best out if it. If you are willing to put in the time it can be very rewarding. I've had a LOT of m43 bodies (E-PL1, E-P1, E-PL2, E-PM1, GF2, G2, E-P3, GH2 and GX1) and I would say that the X10 is pretty close IQ wise to any of the 12mp m43 bodies with the kit lens. That said, if you prefer m43 and the kit that's your choice. That's also a very nice option.
     
  16. Archiver

    Archiver FujiXspot Rookie

    19
    Feb 5, 2013
    The only m43 camera I have used is the Oly OM-D EM-5, and to compare it with the X10 is like night and day. When processed with Lightroom 4, the X10's raws have a very 'granular' appearance at 100% which I don't find very attractive.

    Having said that, the colour rendition of the X10, and the way it accurately handles mixed lighting conditions, is quite stunning. Some like the way Olympus handles colour and elevate it to near religious importance. For me, Oly is a bit too warm, even with the WB in the OM-D set to 'warm tone off'. I prefer the Fuji look with all the cool blues, greens and yellows that they seem to emphasize in their images. And Fuji skin tones are lush and creamy, too, same with my X100.

    I've sort of rediscovered my X10 as I had laid it aside in recent months due to the OM-D. It's just so good with speed, autofocus, general image quality and movie mode that it took over as my every day camera, so my X10 has sat on the shelf for some time. But a good friend gave me a leather strap and soft release button for my birthday, and the X10 was the perfect camera for it, so I'm rockin' the X10 at the moment. I'm having another go at working out the best settings for this camera, as when it gets things right it is very nice, but that annoying granular stuff has to go! I suspect it has something to do with EXR mode and extended dynamic range. In the fullsize 12mp mode it seems to be better, we shall see!
     
  17. snkenai

    snkenai FujiXspot Regular

    57
    Jan 31, 2013
    Campbellsville, KY
    Put one more element into the comparisons. When up close, the small sensors hold up very well. But the farther away, as in landscape, etc., there are so much more, and smaller detail, to be resolved, that the smaller sensor starts to show its limitations. Good processing can give the impression of detail, that just isn't there, but is still very pleasing visually. All that being said, I have seen here and other places, some very impressive landscape photographs, that are more than just "snapshots", from X-10 and other small sensor cameras.
     
  18. iammine

    iammine FujiXspot Regular

    26
    Feb 4, 2013
    Those are really nice considerations.
    I think the X10 LOOKS sharper...but lacks of 3dimensionality, and DR look compressed compared to a m43...!
     
  19. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    38
    Feb 2, 2013
    More Dynamic range isn't "always" the best when you look at the final image. Although I like to start with a RAW image or JPEG with lots of dynamic range I will often adjust the contrast and curves during the editing process to reduce the effective dynamic range in the image because I often think we interpret "dimensionality" and "pop" in a 2D image from contrast (blacks that are black and whites that are white).
     
  20. Oahu Kamaaina

    Oahu Kamaaina New to FujiXspot

    8
    Feb 2, 2013
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Wonderful image. Congratulations. I'm sure there are m43 lenses this good, but they'd probably cost as much as an X10.