Fujifilm X-A5 versus Olympus E-PL9
The Fujifilm X-A5 and the Olympus PEN E-PL9 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2018 and February 2018. Both the X-A5 and the E-PL9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (X-A5) and a Four Thirds (E-PL9) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Fujifilm X-A5 vs Olympus E-PL9
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A5 and the Olympus E-PL9 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the X-A5 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
In this particular case, the Fujifilm X-A5 and the Olympus E-PL9 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the Olympus is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the Fujifilm. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A5 nor the E-PL9 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 find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-A5) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-PL9). 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 table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Fujifilm X-A5 (⇒ rgt)||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||no||2018||399||latest||check|
|Olympus E-PL9 (⇒ lft)||117 mm||68 mm||39 mm||380 g||350||no||2018||549||latest||check|
|Canon SX730 (⇒ lft | rgt)||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||no||2017||399||latest||check|
|Canon M100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||no||2017||499||latest||check|
|Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||no||2017||779||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-E3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||no||2017||899||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-T20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||no||2017||899||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||no||2016||399||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||no||2016||399||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||no||2015||399||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||no||2013||399||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ lft | rgt)||122 mm||84 mm||50 mm||410 g||330||no||2017||649||latest||check|
|Olympus E-PL8 (⇒ lft | rgt)||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||no||2016||549||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||no||2014||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||no||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||no||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic TZ90 (⇒ lft | rgt)||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||no||2017||449||latest||check|
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-A5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the E-PL9, 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.
Sensor comparison: Fujifilm X-A5 vs Olympus E-PL9
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-A5 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-PL9 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PL9 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-A5 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-PL9 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 24MP, the X-A5 offers a higher resolution than the E-PL9 (15.9MP), but the X-A5 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 3.76μm for the E-PL9) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Fujifilm X-A5 (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-PL9 (⇒ lft)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon SX730 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon M100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78|
|Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Fujifilm X-E3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-T20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-A3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-A10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-PL8 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72|
|Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72|
|Panasonic TZ90 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the E-PL9 provides a faster frame rate than the X-A5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 4K/15p.
Feature comparison: Fujifilm X-A5 vs Olympus E-PL9
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The X-A5 and the E-PL9 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. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-A5 and Olympus E-PL9 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Fujifilm X-A5 (⇒ rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||6.0||5.7||no|
|Olympus E-PL9 (⇒ lft)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||8.6||7.6||YES|
|Canon SX730 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||922||tilting||no||3200||5.9||4||YES|
|Canon M100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||6.1||5||no|
|Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||9.0||5||no|
|Fujifilm X-E3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||fixed||YES||4000||8.0||no||no|
|Fujifilm X-T20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||8.0||5||no|
|Fujifilm X-A3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||6.0||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-A10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||no||4000||6.0||5||no|
|Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||5.6||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||5.6||7||no|
|Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||8.6||5.8||YES|
|Olympus E-PL8 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1037||tilting||YES||4000||8.0||no||YES|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1037||tilting||YES||4000||8.0||no||YES|
|Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||460||tilting||YES||4000||8.0||no||YES|
|Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||460||tilting||YES||4000||8.0||no||YES|
|Panasonic TZ90 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1166||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||2000||10.0||5.6||YES|
Both the X-A5 and the E-PL9 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The X-A5 replaced the earlier Fujifilm X-A3, while the E-PL9 followed on from the Olympus E-PL8.
Review summary: Fujifilm X-A5 vs Olympus E-PL9
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X-A5 better than the Olympus E-PL9 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Fujifilm X-A5:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
- Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-PL9:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/30p versus 4K/15p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.6 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-A5 comes out slightly ahead of the E-PL9 (4 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the X-A5 and the E-PL9 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Fujifilm X-A5 (⇒ rgt)||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||2018||399||latest||check|
|Olympus E-PL9 (⇒ lft)||..||..||..||..||4/5||2018||549||latest||check|
|Canon SX730 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||4/5||-||4/5||2017||399||latest||check|
|Canon M100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||..||4/5||..||3.5/5||2017||499||latest||check|
|Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||80/100 Silver||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||2017||779||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-E3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||84/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2017||899||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-T20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||82/100 Silver||5/5||..||4.5/5||2017||899||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||74/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||2016||399||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||2016||399||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2015||399||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||399||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||2017||649||latest||check|
|Olympus E-PL8 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||2016||549||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||2014||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||-||-||-||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Panasonic TZ90 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||4/5||-||4/5||2017||449||latest||check|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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