Where I’m at with my decision regarding a new compact system.

I’m still very much undecided between the Fujifilm X System and the Micro Four-Thirds (M4/3) system.

The M4/3 system is very compelling to me with the very compact cameras and lenses, a huge array of high-quality affordable lenses and high-tech features like in-body image stabilization, live-composite, live-time and 4K photo.

On the other hand, while the Fuji system is a bit larger and more expensive, it provides superb image quality and great handling. Fuji designs it’s cameras for photographers and they offer great support and frequent firmware updates that bring meaningful improvements and new features.

So the M4/3 system is more inline with my desire for a very compact and somewhat affordable system and image quality that is certainly good enough. But the Fuji, at the cost of somewhat larger size, weight and cost, offers better handling and image quality. So it’s a tough call.

Fujifilm XPro1Now both systems are about to release new DSLR-styled high-end cameras, Fuji with the X-T2 and Olympus with the OM-D EM-1 Mark ii. Meanwhile, I’m interested in having both a compact rangefinder-style camera for street shooting and travel photography, and a more advanced DSLR-style camera for wildlife, macro, landscape and studio/product photography. So this means that it would be perfectly fine for me to buy a compact rangefinder now and add a DSLR-style camera in 6 months to a year, after I’ve sold all my Nikon gear.

On the Fuji side, I’m looking at either the X-E2s with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 kit lens or a discontinued X-Pro1 with a 35mm f/2.0, both kits are available for around $1000.

Pen_F1_67On the M4/3 side, I have several options. The new Panasonic Lumix GX85 ($799 w. kit lens), the Olympus PEN EP-5 ($1100 with 17mm f/1.8 and viewfinder) or the PEN-F with 17mm f/1.8 ($1500, somewhat pricey!)

All 5 cameras have some pluses and minuses but all 5 would be quite satisfactory as a second compact body and street shooter. The GX85 has the best video capability and 4K photo, 4K post-focus. The EP-5 is very compact yet quite advanced. The PEN-F features all of Olympus latest technology in a gorgeous rangefinder body. The X-E2S has Fuji’s excellent image quality and great handling in a good-looking compact body. The X-Pro1 is older and a bit larger but is currently a heck of a bargain at $500.

What do you think?