I have just spent a couple of months in Europe and took along my D7000 with 16-85 lens, while a great combination the constant weight and inconvenience finally got to me. So for the next trip I am looking for something lighter, smaller but still giving me great IQ, of course I don't expect the same as the D7000 but something decent. I have a Leica D-Lux 5 with a Viewfinder which fits the bill nicely but not in IQ, lots of noise in poor light such as inside Cathedrals and while the 85-90mm top end range is not brilliant for telephoto the Leica cannot suffer much in the way of cropping as could the D7000. The two camera's that I am really interested in are the 4/3 Olympus Pen E-P5 + VF-4 Viewfinder +14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II Lens or the Fuji XE1 with 18-55mm lens. I have no experience with either the 4/3 format or Fuji's so I would really welcome and appreciate any thoughts or advice on the matter.
#1. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 0Covey22 Charter MemberFri 19-Jul-13 12:00 PM
I shot with older EPLs using 14 and 20mm primes and had some time behind my mentor's XE-1 with that kit lens. Especially in low light situations, you want the Fuji. That OLED viewfinder blows every other EVF I've used out of the water. Gorgeous.
#2. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 1Johnhw Registered since 09th Jun 2009Fri 19-Jul-13 03:36 PM
My vote goes for the Fuji. I have an x pro 1 and have had a OLY m4/3 being a EP-3 and almost a OM-D/EM-5 but went with the x pro. It just felt so darn good.
Here's my main reasons.
1. I currently use the 18-55 and it is a great lens...really. Stays on my camera 90% of the time.
2. Besides the Fuji low light capabilities, etc. the menus are simpler than the Oly's, although i know the Oly has the Super screen you can use. The Q button on the Fuji is quick and easy.
3. One aspect of Fuji I am enjoying more and more is their continual updates to the system. Even after the past year plus, they do new firmware updates continually making performance better on these cameras. I appreciate that. the next firmware is July 23rd and will allow focus peaking on the XE-1.
4. I just like the aspects of the larger sensor on the Fuji. DOF, however minute a change is something I think plays to the Fuji.
5. Oly has more lens choices but the Fuji roadmap is continuing. All the Fuji lenses are quite remarkable to me. the only one I would really by-pass is the 60. The IQ is great but focus was just to slow. I tend to use the 35 1.4/18-55/ and just picked up the 55-200. The 14 is excellent but I am waiting to see the wide angle zoom first coming out.
Best of luck. I traveled with the Oly and enjoyed the small size and kit if you go that direction. Really minimal.
One will speak to you...
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#3. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 2
#4. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 0
The E-P5/VF-4 combo is quite nice. I am not sure about using the 14-54, but you have a large selection of lenses to choose from if you so desire. There are M4/3rd's body choices to meet a variety of needs and shooting styles if you want something different from the P5.
#5. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 4Fri 19-Jul-13 10:36 PM
Thank you all for the feedback, great to hear from people with experience using the X-E1 and much appreciated, the reviews are all good with this camera and the 18-55 lens paired with the 10-20 due out later this year makes it an attractive proposition for an excellent travel kit. The only thing that still bothers me a little is Ken Rockwell's otherwise positive review where he cans the colour rendition: "Blah color rendition, much duller than Canon, Nikon or iPhone 5. It's optimized and great for people photos, but too dull for photos of things. The X-E1 excels in crappy light, but its colors don't look very good in good light. Even when set to HIGH color, it is subdued and doesn't respond well to adding saturation later". Although I haven't picked up on this very strong criticism in other reviews.
#7. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 5
#10. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 7Upstateaudio Nikonian since 04th Aug 2002Sun 21-Jul-13 01:31 AM
By the way I own the Fuji XE1 along with a 35 1.4 and 18 2.0 lens. I love it. Colors are good both for low and normal light, My only major gripe is there is no built in nd filter for bright sunlight so you can still have somevmore choices with the aperture used in bright light.
Appreciate and record the beauty of the natural world
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#11. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 10Sun 21-Jul-13 02:20 AM
Well, I have finally bit the bullet and ordered a Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55 lens. A very difficult choice as they are obviously both very good cameras and both would easily fulfill my needs. At the end of the day it came down to choosing (I think) between better ISO and Sharpness but more bulk, over compactness, faster focusing and a wider lens choice. If the forthcoming Fuji 10-20mm zoom gets the same reviews as the 18-55 those two lenses will give me all the range I need for travelling and hopefully firmware updates will improve focusing issues. Its great to be part of a forum like this and get such helpful and thoughtful feedback
#6. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 0
Since you're likely to shoot raw with an XE1, you can easily add a profile to Lightroom to change any color issues you might find. Frankly I've been looking at the X-series very closely and the colors don't look off to me. One thing that you need to be aware of is that the XE1 uses a viewfinder that is not entirely optical - I *think* it's fully electronic, in fact. It's one of the best EVF's that I've seen, but it isn't quite the same as the X-Pro's optical finder. Personally, I find the XE1 and especially X-Pro fairly large, although clearly not AS large as my Nikons (but I use the full-size D3 and D2x). The X-series are obviously also much lighter than Leica M's.
I personally use a Fuji x10 as my travel camera. I'd really prefer the current x20, which uses an X-series sensor although smaller. And its actual optical finder has at least minimal exposure and AF information, unlike my x10 that is JUST a finder with NO info. The great thing about the x10/x20 are that they are TINY. My x10 fits INSIDE the lens hood of my 24-70/f2.8! The x10/x20 have fixed 28-112mm equivalent lenses, but they're fast: f/2-f/2.8.
There's also a new XM1 that's about to hit the streets. It's essentially the same size as the x20, but it has X-mount interchangeable lenses and an APS-C sensor. It's not totally for me as it has no viewfinder of any sort, just an LCD.
Don't overlook the nice fast Fuji lenses: 35/f1.4, 18/f2, for example.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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#8. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 6sabbey51 Nikonian since 10th Jan 2010Sat 20-Jul-13 07:20 PM | edited Sat 20-Jul-13 07:24 PM by sabbey51
So, another voice in the wilderness. I have shot with the D7000 since the first day it shipped and have enjoyed it tremendously, but like you, I went looking for a smaller kit. I settled on the E-M5 a few months ago and have not regretted it (the E-P5 should be qualitatively similar). The EVF is actually slightly larger than the D7000's optical one, and I don't find the digital image bothersome at all. The lens selection for m43 is simply amazing, second only to full frame Canon or Nikon in breadth. Instead of the D7000+16-85, I often use the E-M5+Panasonic 12-35/2.8. Slightly shorter, but much faster. And I can add a few of the 4-6 oz. lenses on offer (and there are several: 17/1.8, 45/1.8, 9-18/4-5.6, 40-150/4-4.5, ... ) to that and still come in under the weight of just the D7000+16-85.
For most of my shooting (landscape, grand kids, family events) I don't feel I am missing much from the switch. Under most conditions the E-M5 blows away my Nikon 1 V1 in usability and output. I'm planning to take the Olympus kit on a vacation up the coast in New England this summer and don't expect to be disappointed.
Oh, and KR likes over-the-top color saturation. Just review some of his posted images.
#9. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 0
My travel set-up for years has been a D300 + 18-200, and I've been very satisfied with the photos I've brought back, but like you was looking at something smaller and lighter. In the past year I've bought two new cameras: a Fuji X10 and an Olympus EM-5.
I bought the Fuji to carry around with me all the time. It stays in my briefcase, so it is almost always with me. What drove me to buy it were a few events where I didn't want to take my D300 because of its size, but would have felt comfortable with the X10. It's a nice camera, and image quality is good, but I don't really consider it a good substitute for a DSLR, partly because it doesn't take interchangeable lenses, and the zoom range is good, but doesn't match my 18-200. Also, it is not as easy to control as a DSLR.
The EM-5 works like a DSLR and is a good substitute, with only minor compromises but also some advantages. There is a lot of information in the viewfinder and in some ways it is actually easier to control than a DSLR because of all that information. I've had the X10 about 10 months and the EM-5 about two, and have already taken about twice as many shots with the EM-5 as with the X10. That's because I will take my EM-5 in place of a DSLR, but use the X10 when for some reason a DSLR is inappropriate.
I have not really "tested" the EM-5, but just have used it. The image quality at ISO 200 is really excellent. I did have occasion to take some photos recently at ISO 3200 (at a basketball game where I didn't have the opportunity to get my DSLR, or a fast lens), and the noise is quite visible at 100%. By way of comparison, I took some photos in the same gym with my D50 at ISO 1600 (with a faster lens) and at 100% there was less visible noise in the D50 photos than those taken with the EM-5. That's not really a fair test, because the D50 is 6mp and the EM-5 is 16, so the photo's blown up much more at 100% on the EM-5. (Also, I was using ISO 1600 on the D50 and 3200 on the EM-5.) I'm not sure what it would look like if I made photos of the same dimension with each, but I'm tempted to take my EM-5 to a basketball game this week with a faster lens and shoot it at ISO 1600 just to make a comparison.
As a travel camera in good light the EM-5 is a really nice camera. I'm reserving judgment in poor light until I get more experience with it. But I already can say that you can see the quality degradation at ISO 3200.
The other camera I was considering when I bought the EM-5 was the Fuji X-E1. The reason I chose the Olympus was that the lenses are smaller, so the total package of camera + lenses is smaller. Of course, that's because the sensor is bigger on the Fuji, and I expect you'll get better high-ISO results on the Fuji for that reason, but I haven't actually used one, except to try it in a store, so I can't really make a comparison.
I was making the same decision you are. My choice was the Olympus OM-D E-M5, and I'm very happy with it. I don't know if I would have been more happy with the Fuji, but I do know I'd have a bigger kit, and one of my objectives was to go smaller and lighter. Also, the selection of lenses is pretty good for M4/3, though all that matters is that you can get the lenses you want, and Fuji seems to have a nice and growing selection.
Looks to me like a tough choice, because both alternatives look pretty good!
#13. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 0
I have a Fujifilm X100, which had been my alternative to my Nikon D600 gear, but very recently added a Sony Alpha NEX-7 with the kit 18-55mm lens. I would highly recommend you consider it, too -- it makes a great travel camera. I posted much more about it in a thread here on that specific camera (message #5 in the thread).
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#14. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 0
The OP posted a while ago but I'll chime in anyway.
"Quality" is a loaded term. I have just purchased a Sony RX100M2 and am really liking it. There are cameras that take better pictures but nothing I can find this size (it is pocket-able) that has better image quality (from reading reviews). Peter
#15. "RE: Quality Travel Camera??" | In response to Reply # 0
I picked up a Fujifilm X100S in a duty-free shop at Heathrow airport a few days ago. I was a bit miffed at doing a lot of travelling but not having the space for my DSLR, so the X100S gives me quality in a tiny form factor. Loving it so far!
Having something as small as this and, by virtue of the leaf shutter, silent, you can do some great people-watching. This was taken in Houston Bush Intl. Airport last night.
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