On his new mirrorless camera blog sansmirror.com, Thom Hogan posted an extended series of camera faceoffs this week between close competitors in the mirrorless realm. Many of the conclusions are obvious but one that might take a few people by surprise is Hogan's preliminary preference for the Olympus E-M5 over the Fuji X-Pro1. Hogan writes:
"Still a little early to call, but initial impressions say E-M5 hands down. The X-Pro1 is a big camera, as big as a Leica M9. It has a limited (and expensive) lens set. It has poor autofocus performance. It has a large, eccentric sensor (APS, non-Bayer). It has a retro design with a hybrid optical/EVF viewfinder. The E-M5 is a smaller camera than it looks in photos. It has an extensive lens set. It has faster focus performance. It has the best of the m4/3 sensors so far. It has a very usable EVF. The problem I have with the Fujifilm is that it is really only great for one (slow) style of shooting, and it's doesn't take advantage of the size benefit that removing the mirror gives you. The hybrid viewfinder is fine, but it's a bit of a gimmick. A good EVF is enough, which is exactly what the E-M5 has."
Personally, I tend to agree with him. While the new Fuji mirrorless cameras look really nice, they fail in two crucial categories: I) Price ($1,200 for the X100 and now $1,700 for the X-Pro1) and II) Focus. It's this latter category that's much more troublesome to me. What is the use of a camera that has all the stylings of a retro body without the manual focus capability of one? To make matters worse, Fuji is not reknowned for its autofocus, either.
What Fuji cameras do have is very nice image quality and colors- worthwhile, to be sure, but image quality and colors alone are not something I'm going to invest thousands of dollars into for a new system when I can get pretty nice colors out of my Canon 5D Mark II.
Like Hogan, I am willing to trade the Fuji's superior image quality for the E-M5's smaller size, electronic viewfinder, superior autofocus, weather sealing, wider range of lenses, and much cheaper price. I realize that's not a tradeoff for everyone but it is for me in this case.
I like full frame for image quality, something like the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as a handy street camera.