Fujifilm X-A1 vs Olympus E-PL7
The Fujifilm X-A1 and the Olympus PEN E-PL7 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2013 and August 2014. Both the X-A1 and the E-PL7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (X-A1) and a Four Thirds (E-PL7) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Olympus PEN E-PL7? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Olympus E-PL7 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, blue), while the E-PL7 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL7 is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A1. However, the E-PL7 is markedly heavier (8 percent) than the X-A1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A1 nor the E-PL7 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-A1) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-PL7). Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-PL7||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Aug 2014||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999||ebay.com|
|12.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-PL8||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Sep 2016||549||ebay.com|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649||ebay.com|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||n||Jan 2014||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus E-P5||122 mm||69 mm||37 mm||420 g||330||n||May 2013||999||ebay.com|
|17.||Olympus E-PL6||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||May 2013||599||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-A1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the E-PL7, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-A1 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-PL7 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PL7 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the X-A1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-PL7 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 16MP, the X-A1 offers a slightly higher resolution than the E-PL7 (15.9MP), but the X-A1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 3.76μm for the E-PL7) due to its larger sensor. However, the E-PL7 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the X-A1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Fujifilm X-A1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PL7 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Olympus E-PL7||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72|
|13.||Olympus E-PL8||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.6||1030||73|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72|
|16.||Olympus E-P5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.4||895||72|
|17.||Olympus E-PL6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.5||12.0||717||68|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X-A1 and the E-PL7 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the E-PL7 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-4. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-A1 and Olympus E-PL7 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|2.||Olympus E-PL7||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||Y|
|3.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E1||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||1440||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||n||n|
|13.||Olympus E-PL8||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||Y|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||1440||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Olympus E-P5||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/8000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Olympus E-PL6||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-A1 has one, while the E-PL7 does not. While the built-in flash of the X-A1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The Olympus E-PL7 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X-A1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the E-PL7 uses SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X-A1 and Olympus PEN E-PL7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-PL7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-PL8||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Olympus E-P5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Olympus E-PL6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the X-A1 and the E-PL7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The X-A1 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-A2, while the E-PL7 was followed by the Olympus E-PL8. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Olympus websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X-A1 better than the Olympus E-PL7 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Fujifilm X-A1:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-PL7:
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 920k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (7 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Olympus E-PL7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-A1 or the E-PL7. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-PL7||4/5||+||..||..||5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999||ebay.com|
|12.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-PL8||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||549||ebay.com|
|14.||Olympus E-M10 II||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||649||ebay.com|
|15.||Olympus E-M10||4/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus E-P5||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2013||999||ebay.com|
|17.||Olympus E-PL6||..||..||..||..||..||..||May 2013||599||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1Ds Mark II vs Fujifilm X-A1
- Canon S120 vs Olympus E-PL7
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X20
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica C-LUX
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica S2
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Nikon D5100
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Nikon P1000
- Nikon D610 vs Olympus E-PL7
- Nikon D810 vs Olympus E-PL7
- Olympus E-PL7 vs Panasonic G95
- Olympus E-PL7 vs Sony A58
- Olympus E-PL7 vs Sony NEX-5T
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Olympus E-PL7
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-A1||Olympus E-PL7|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2013||August 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Olympus E-PL7|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.33 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||TruePic VII|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||72|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||873|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Olympus E-PL7|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Olympus E-PL7|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.6 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Olympus E-PL7|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Olympus E-PL7|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
117 x 67 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
115 x 67 x 38 mm
(4.5 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||330 g (11.6 oz)||357 g (12.6 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.