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Author Topic: Which to buy - an OMD or X-E1  (Read 6646 times)
MartinSpence
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« on: November 16, 2012, 09:19:17 AM »
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Which is the better day to day carry around camera?

Any opinions?
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 10:10:55 AM »
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if you are working with raw then certainly anything but not Fuji, unless you print everything and/or resize pictures down - that is the only way to hide defects of the current (regardless of the software - OEM, ACR/LR, other 3rd parties) demosaicking (because of the Fuji's choice for CFA pattern)... OMD shall have an edge in AF speed and lens-wise m43 (so far) have more variety and not lesser quality...
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BJL
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 01:48:13 PM »
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The very different lens selections are to me the biggest factor in such a decision, far more than looking for small differences in IQ between two very good sensors. For me, the OM-D E-M5 wins easily for its wide choice of zoom lenses along with a reasonable number of primes, including some very nice macro lenses --- but the suite of nice prime lenses for the X-E1 has a strong appeal to some other photographers.

By the way, I applaud Fijifilm for choosing the aperture range f/2.8-4 for its first X system zoom lens. This makes more sense than the anachronism of a constant f/4 lens (which will usually have no size advantage over f/2.8-4) while offering an obvious speed advantage over f/3.5-5.6 without the design getting too difficult or bulky. And constant f/2.8 or faster makes little sense to me in a compact system: if you need that high speed, low DOF combination, the kit with lens ceases to be compact and lightweight, and you are probably better off using a larger format --- where a f/2.8-4 or f/4 gets the job done.

I hope that Olympus returns to designs like the f/2.8-3.5 and f/2.8-4 of its mid-level 4/3 SLR lenses as it adds higher level zoom lens offerings for m4/3.
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AFairley
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 01:56:51 PM »
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I think the OM-D will be smaller, especially with a prime on it, if size and form factor is a consideration.  Some people find the OMD too small (cramped buttons) -- that might or might not be a concern for you.
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 03:45:38 PM »
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along with a reasonable number of primes

native mount AF = P8/3.5 fisheye, O12/2, P12.5/12 3d, P14/2.5, O17/1.8, O17/2.8, S19/2.8, P20/1.7, PL25/1.4, S30/2.8, O45/1.8, PL45/2.8 macro, O60/2.8 macro, O75/1.8

among mirrorless it is not just reasonable but the most.
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rasterdogs
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 10:41:24 PM »
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if you are working with raw then certainly anything but not Fuji, unless you print everything and/or resize pictures down - that is the only way to hide defects of the current (regardless of the software - OEM, ACR/LR, other 3rd parties) demosaicking (because of the Fuji's choice for CFA pattern)... OMD shall have an edge in AF speed and lens-wise m43 (so far) have more variety and not lesser quality...

I have an X-pro1 (same sensor as X-e1) I'm getting good results using LR4.2 on 90% of my raw files. The RAW conversion could and should be improved but for my criteria I (and others) find the results to be just fine. Everyone has their own criteria but many Fuji users are pleased with the image quality.
-rasterdogs
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AlexRobinson
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2012, 09:55:21 PM »
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I'd go OMD, while Fuji's raw files are mediocre (at least for landscape work, anything organic turns to weird gouachey mess) if you're using ACR or Lightroom. Fuji has nice lenses, but sadly the new zoom and the 14mm are still a no-show. Olympus has a decent sensor and nice lenses and it works well with Adobe products. As much as I like the Fuji, the Olympus still feels like a more complete package and it's a nice small size.

I was skeptical about Micro 4/3 until now, I thought it would die like 4/3 did but Olympus has proven you can put a top class sensor in and of course they have the best CSC lens selection right now.
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250swb
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 02:47:13 AM »
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The OMD.

Top quality lenses are the first criteria, better than any other company not begining with 'L'. And when you have all your lenses (Olympus or Panasonic) you get to choose a large variety of bodies to use them on. Currently it is the OMD, but you may like the next Panasonic body for movies, a smaller Olympus, etc.

I think that the underlying consideration is that the OMD has shown what Olympus are capable of the very first time they use the Sony sensor, and they are no longer limited by trickle down sensors from Panasonic. Both Fuji and Olympus have staken the world by storm with the form factor of both cameras. Both are desirable and sexy. But I think it is only the Olympus that has fully delivered on function, and for me that is far more important.

Steve
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AlfSollund
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 04:26:53 AM »
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Clearly the Fuji X-E1 is a much better camera in terms of handling. It scores 40 of 100 in AHS, see below (Alfs Handling Score  Grin), and the Oly OMD only a poor 10 of 100. The Fuji seems designed for photographers although with severe flaws, and the Oly designed by designers in a retro look without even considering to be used for photographing. Not an good heritage of the old fantastic OMs.

------- Warning, personal objective judgment following  Cheesy Grin -----------

AHS: How to judge the camera handling?

Easy, just give the camera a score on these points. But please note that these are only a part of the camerae handling, not IQ nor
other.

1. Hard* on/off .
2. Hard* ISO.
3. Hard* exposure time .
4. Stop/start point on exposure time switch (possible to set blindfolded).
5. Hard* aperture.
6. Stop/start point on aperture switch (possible to set blindfolded).
7. Hard* "A" compensate.
8. Hard* manual focus.
9. Stop/start point on manual focus (possible to set blindfolded).
10. Hard* self-timer .

Score: 0 = totally missing ... 10 = excellent
* Hard means a dedicated (mechanical) switch designed so that the settings can be seen while camera is turned off and set without using any menus.


Fuji XE-1
----------------
Total: 40 of 100
10
0
10
10
0
0
10
0
0
0

Olympus OMD E-M5
----------------
Total: 10 of 100
10
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
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- If your're not telling a story with photo you're only adding noise -
http://alfsollund.com/
250swb
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 04:59:21 AM »
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A great comparison and a sensible, thoughtful, and well reasoned vote in favour of all 'hard' switches on the X-E1!!!

Just a shame they all leak like a sieve on the X-E1 when it drizzles, how easy are they to access in a waterproof housing?  Grin


Steve
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OldRoy
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 05:21:54 AM »
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Interesting that it's always possible to select a set of data which will confirm an existing, er, opinion.

I have little or no basis for comparison having only tried and rejected an X-Pro 1 before buying an OMD. The latter has proved to be a joy to own even though it's not without annoyances. I've seen very few severely critical reports of this camera whereas satisfied (and frequently very demanding) users are in the vast majority. Of course this might also be a case of buyers' self-justification.

Roy
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AlfSollund
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 05:35:37 AM »
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Interesting that it's always possible to select a set of data which will confirm an existing, er, opinion.
So right you are  Roll Eyes. Or one could choose based on a opinion after evaluating the most important set of data  Huh. So its up to all to choose what data are important, and how to evaluate these. Some people do this in a intuitive manner, others are more analytic. Others are more open to marketing and brand.

I have little or no basis for comparison having only tried and rejected an X-Pro 1 before buying an OMD. The latter has proved to be a joy to own even though it's not without annoyances. I've seen very few severely critical reports of this camera whereas satisfied (and frequently very demanding) users are in the vast majority. Of course this might also be a case of buyers' self-justification.

Roy
I must admit that I have neither of these. So its up to all to decide if I'm a old fart or OMD owners lack judgment, or other possibilities. Hmmmm, a difficult one that  Grin 

Btw: what would you say is the worst annoyances to overcome? I think there are many strengths such as style (yes), IQ, stabilization, etc that are quite well known, but we hear less about shortcomings.
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- If your're not telling a story with photo you're only adding noise -
http://alfsollund.com/
OldRoy
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 01:09:10 PM »
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I don't feel very qualified to give anything resembling an objective judgement about the OMD in comparison to anything unless I own or have owned it, and even then objectivity's not my strong suit. In my case the most relevant comparison would be to a D700 with a decent set of Nikon lenses (3 x 2.8 zooms, a few modest primes and elderly mf's). The OMD's a lot easier to carry. I'd have to say that this offsets any comparative deficiencies in "IQ" as I almost always have the OMD and a couple of lenses with me. The "camera...with you" is a cliché, but true nonetheless. The struggle for me is more about finding a Quality Image to apply the camera's IQ to.
 
The OMD is a bit noisy although I don't print much and when I do it's seldom bigger than A4; if know I'm going to be shooting something in extremely poor light I'll normally use the D700 although I can definitely get acceptable (to me) results up to ISO 3200 out of the OMD with appropriate pp . All the M4/3 lenses I have tend to exhibit vastly more ca than I've been used to but LR4 eliminates most of it effortlessly. The UI of the OMD is dense and no fun to familiarise yourself with - it could be described as over-customisable. There are some annoying implementations, like the bracketing, which is buried. In practise this doesn't bother me as the only thing I use bracketing for systematically is shooting HDR sets for interior VR panoramas, which I can sometimes get people to pay me for. So I use the D700 even though I have the (really excellent) Samyang 7.5mm FE. The OMD is the first camera I've owned which has a live histogram and I must say that it's hard to imagine doing without it again - it more than compensates for the slight discomfort of using an EVF and the clumsy bracketing.

The Super Control Panel is extremely useful, grouping as it does so many of the essential controls which are not externalised. Unfortunately this is compromised a bit by the fact that it's very easy to accidentally activate it and reset whatever the last selected function was. This criticism applies to the camera in general. It's very easy to accidentally change or activate something whilst handling the camera - typically whilst getting it out of a bag (if it's powered up: you should switch it off - it eats batteries). I frequently carry this camera on a Capture Clip (brilliant accessory) attached to a backpack shoulder strap and whilst removing or fitting the powered-up camera it's inevitable that you activate something. On one occasion consecutive accidental presses activated the top menu function and erased the previous set of shots. I wouldn't have thought this very likely but there's no doubt about it.

The buttons are very small and close together. I don't have large hands but one real annoyance is that the cursor group is tiny. When trying to move the (grossly oversized default) focus box around with your eye to the VF it's extremely hard to control and highly likely that you will push the OK or Info buttons. There are some other conflicting control/info functions too. For example if you set a Fn button to downsize the focus box (about which a couple of pages could be written) it switches off the histogram: to get it back you have to revert to the oversize focus box. The Fn buttons also function differently depending on the length of press (it took me ages, driving me nuts, until someone alerted me to this).

The VF eyepiece comes adrift very easily. Mine detached itself almost every time i took it out of the bag. Eventually I lost it, inevitably. Olympus UK got a replacement to me FOC within 24 hours: rispeck! The suppliers of the camera, with whom I have spent a lot of money in recent years, failed to respond to my emailed plea for a replacement (I wear glasses) for several days. No points scored by, lets diss their name, Park Cameras. The two nasty plastic doodads that cover the flash shoe will surely go the same way if I ever decide to start using the microscopic flash. Once again, a new camera that requires the addition of tape.

I believe that the addition of the optional grip/battery pack helps with some of the handling deficiencies which people report. As for the lenses, well there are lots available and some cost as much as those for FF DSLRs. Mine didn't. I have the 12-50 kit lens (weatherproofed; not too bad and a useful fl range) the Panasonic 14 and 20mm lenses (slow focus, a bit noisy, inexpensive, small) the Olympus 45mm 1.8 (excellent by my modest standards) the Samyang FE (better than a 16mm Nikon 2.8 AIS, not quite as good - flare - as the Nikon 10.5mm DX 2.8 ) and the Panasonic 100-300. The latter means that I can "bag" wildlife without lugging around a huge cannon although it ain't great at the long end where it also tends to defeat the IBIS - or does with me as the operator.

Anyway, lots of minor demerits. I'm sure they keep building them in to keep the punters avid for the next model. I'm learning to live with what I've got, as far as possible. Overall I'm really happy with this camera in comparison to what I'm used to and the biggest factor is size and weight. Obviously the AF is grossly inferior to a PD system like that on the current Nikons. But in most respects this camera has been a delight to own and its performance and IQ are simply "good enough". Which is more than I can say about my own photographic abilities, most of the time.

Roy



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Eric Brody
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 06:02:26 PM »
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I have and love the OM-D. I recently compared it with the XE-1 at my local emporium. The Fuji is more substantial, feels really nice in the hand, but is a good bit larger. It also has a set of lovely but limited lenses at present. I have and use a wide variety on my OM-D, from a vintage 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit, a 1975 55mm f/3.5 micro-Nikkor, as well as the truly tiny Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and the diminutive Olympus 45mm f/1.8. My "real" camera is a D800E but I have been quite impressed with the quality from the OM-D in prints to 9x13. Fuji may (or may not) significantly expand the lens selection in the future but for the here and now the OM-D has a nice combination of size, quality, and lens selection.
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BJL
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 09:25:29 PM »
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OldRoy has done a great job of describing the potentially dissatisfactions that one might have with the E-M5. I do not agree with every single one but will just say:
- I have had no problems with the eye-piece cover coming loose or spurious button pushes, so maybe Roy is more "vigorous" in his handling than me, or maybe his particular camera had "issues".
- I wish there were a way to view the framing while manual focusing, instead of seeing only an enlarged view of the part of the image around the chosen focus point. My preference would be "screen-within-screen", with the enlarged view occupying only about half of the total screen area.
- I have had reasonable success using my Four Thirds (SLR) lenses via adaptors; some AF adequately though of course not quickly, while others are MF only.
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kencameron
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2012, 09:41:06 PM »
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...and the clumsy bracketing...

Interesting. I would classify bracketing as one of the camera's strengths. Your point of comparison must be different. I have it set to the FN1 button which falls easily under my thumb so I can decide to bracket while looking through the EVF. Changing the bracketing settings would be a bit fiddly, but I just leave it on 7-shot 1 EV which covers most situations and the burst mode seems to me exceptionally fast so alignment is not a problem.
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kencameron
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2012, 09:54:09 PM »
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...So its up to all to choose what data are important, and how to evaluate these...
Absolutely. My problem with your approach is the same as I have with a lot of other evaluations that produce a score or a rating - that it gives equal weight to factors that aren't of equal importance to me, and, I suggest, aren't likely to be of equal importance to a lot of other people. Are they even of equal importance to you, I wonder? Arithmetic gives a largely spurious impression of objectivity.

On the other hand, what I like about your approach is that everything is out in the open - the assumptions set out - so that one can decide to take it - or, in my case, leave it   Wink - without delay and it provides a great starting point for thinking about what is important to me.
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DaveL
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2012, 01:39:38 PM »
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Isn't it wonderful that we have more than one choice?

I'm looking forward to even-more-choices!

(I am an Oly M5 owner; I failed at Sony NEX ownership with a NEX5 and lenses. I have to laugh at myself for taking the m43rd route.... Once I bought the Oly with kit zoom lens, I quickly added a grip/battery. And a moderate zoom lens. Now the camera is a delight to hold, but approaching the size of a small dslr...)
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Pelao
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2012, 01:34:30 PM »
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I have an X-pro1 (same sensor as X-e1) I'm getting good results using LR4.2 on 90% of my raw files. The RAW conversion could and should be improved but for my criteria I (and others) find the results to be just fine. Everyone has their own criteria but many Fuji users are pleased with the image quality.
-rasterdogs

I'm in the same boat. It's interesting how something that is sometimes an issue becomes an all out fact. There are plenty of people (including me) who have seen some of the issues with RAW in ACR/LR, but they are a tiny portion of shots, and only with some subject matter.

Overall, I find the output outstanding.

Another oft-quoted mark against the Fujis is the 'limited' lens selection. For some people it may be limited. There is currently only one zoom. What I find though is that this is a limitation for only a small number of people. It's one of those largely theoretical limitations. It's certainly nice to buy in to a system with a vast lens array, but how many serious photographers buy a vast array, and how many of those actually use them.

If the current or planned Fuji lineup suits your style and subject matter, then compare on that basis. if it doesn't, then don't consider Fuji at all. But if you are in the former camp, the Fuji is, for me, a superior camera. I assume the Fuji lens lineup must be nearly appropriate, because otherwise why would you raise the XE-1 as an option?

I love the OMD on paper. What a versatile camera! But I don't need most of the lenses on offer. More importantly, I don't like the camera 'in person'. The Fujis (X-Pro 1 or XE-1) are well made and have superb control and ergonomics. Output is superb, limited only by the photographer. I don't need the tilting screen of the OMD. The EVF is good, but in my experience no better than the XE-1, which I consider (for my needs) to be superior. The OMD has faster autofocus, but that is of no advantage to my landscape and documentary work.

I suppose I could wander through the advantages and disadvantages of each camera. But I think it's more important to start with what you shoot, and how you shoot. if you want the best possible files in a camera that's easy to control, and you don't need any of the features the OMD boasts, then the Fuji is worth a serious try.

The personal bond you have with a camera is important. I'll repeat: I admire the OMD on paper, but in person it's cramped, has an overly complex UI, boasts features I don't need, and just isn't fun. I find the Fujis' addictive.

As others have noted, it's great to have the choice. I would simply caution against buying on feature list alone. Love your camera and you'll use it a lot more.
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BJL
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2012, 08:55:18 AM »
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Another oft-quoted mark against the Fujis is the 'limited' lens selection. For some people it may be limited. There is currently only one zoom. What I find though is that this is a limitation for only a small number of people. It's one of those largely theoretical limitations. It's certainly nice to buy in to a system with a vast lens array, but how many serious photographers buy a vast array, and how many of those actually use them.

If the current or planned Fuji lineup suits your style and subject matter, then compare on that basis. ...
I mostly agree, but not entirely.  I certainly agree that for the actual needs of most photographers choosing a camera system, it is sufficient for the system to have about two to four lenses that are wanted now or have much likelihood of being wanted later. And if your lens needs later expand in an unanticipated way, selling one system and moving to another is easier than ever these days, so it makes little sense to pass on the system that works best for you now just for fear of some slight possibility that it might cramp you in the unforseen future.

So instead of counting total lens options, one should probably look at the actual list and compare to actual needs and concrete plans.

The point I disagree on is the claim that having only one zoom lens "is a limitation for only a small number of people." The evidence instead suggests that the short list of lenses that most camera system users buy and use includes several zoom lenses. The core list is rather short though; above all:
1. A standard moderate wide to moderate telephoto, 4x better than 3x if this is the only zoom lens
2. A telephoto starting roughly where the #1 zoom leaves off
and then maybe one or both of
3. A wide-angle zoom.
4. An all-in-one wide ranging zoom covering a zoom range of about 8x, 10x or more.

Since the Fujifim X system already has a fine #1 zoom, and has a #2 and #3 in its roadmap for next year at
http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n120626.html
the system does seem well on the way to serving the actual lens needs of all but "a small number of people."

[Edited to add the official source of that lens roadmap.]
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 09:01:03 AM by BJL » Logged
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