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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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A5 and the Olympus E-PL9 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side 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 side – the X-A5 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Fujifilm X-A5 vs Olympus E-PL9
Compare X-A5 versus E-PL9 top
Compare X-A5 and E-PL9 rear

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.

Concerning battery life, the X-A5 gets 450 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the E-PL9 can take 350 images on a single charge of its BLS-50 power pack.

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
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X-A5» 117 mm 68 mm 40 mm 361 g 450 n Jan 2018 399 i i Fujifilm X-A5
Olympus E-PL9« 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Feb 2018 549 i i Olympus E-PL9
Canon SX740« » 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
Canon SX730« » 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Fujifilm X-T100« » 121 mm 83 mm 47 mm 448 g 430 n May 2018 599 i i Fujifilm X-T100
Fujifilm X-E3« » 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
Fujifilm X-T20« » 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-A3« » 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 339 g 410 n Aug 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X-A10« » 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 331 g 410 n Dec 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A10
Fujifilm X-A2« » 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 n Jan 2015 399- i Fujifilm X-A2
Fujifilm X-A1« » 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Sep 2013 399- i Fujifilm X-A1
Olympus E-M10 III« » 122 mm 84 mm 50 mm 410 g 330 n Aug 2017 649 i i Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-PL7« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-PL6« » 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n May 2013 599- i Olympus E-PL6
Olympus E-PL5« » 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic TZ90« » 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic TZ90

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

 

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. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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-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.

Fujifilm X-A5 and Olympus E-PL9 sensor measures

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.

X-A5 versus E-PL9 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X-A5» APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----Fujifilm X-A5
Olympus E-PL9« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Olympus E-PL9
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
Fujifilm X-T100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----Fujifilm X-T100
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-E3
Fujifilm X-T20« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X-A10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----Fujifilm X-A10
Fujifilm X-A2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----Fujifilm X-A2
Fujifilm X-A1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----Fujifilm X-A1
Olympus E-M10 III« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-PL6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL6
Olympus E-PL5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic TZ90« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic TZ90

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. 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

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range 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.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X-A5»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A5
Olympus E-PL9«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y Olympus E-PL9
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
Fujifilm X-T100« »2360 n 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T100
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-E3
Fujifilm X-T20« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X-A10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A10
Fujifilm X-A2« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n Fujifilm X-A2
Fujifilm X-A1« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n Fujifilm X-A1
Olympus E-M10 III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-PL6« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL6
Olympus E-PL5« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic TZ90« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ90

One feature that differentiates the E-PL9 and the X-A5 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-PL9 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the X-A5 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the E-PL9 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the X-A5 and the E-PL9 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X-A5»YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-YFujifilm X-A5
Olympus E-PL9«Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YOlympus E-PL9
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
Fujifilm X-T100« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm X-T100
Fujifilm X-E3« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm X-E3
Fujifilm X-T20« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-A3« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X-A10« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A10
Fujifilm X-A2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A2
Fujifilm X-A1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A1
Olympus E-M10 III« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-PL7« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-PL6« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL6
Olympus E-PL5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic TZ90« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ90

Both the X-A5 and the E-PL9 are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. 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 how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-A5 or the Olympus E-PL9 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Fujifilm X-A5:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • 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).

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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.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • 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 is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 4 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.

X-A5 08:04 E-PL9

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the X-A5 and the E-PL9 in practical situations. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Fujifilm X-A5»Rec-4/54/53.5/5 Jan 2018 399 i i Fujifilm X-A5
Olympus E-PL9«Rec-4.5/5-4/5 Feb 2018 549 i i Olympus E-PL9
Canon SX740« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
Canon SX730« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Fujifilm X-T100« »Rec79/1004/5-4.5/5 May 2018 599 i i Fujifilm X-T100
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
Fujifilm X-T20« »HiRec82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A10
Fujifilm X-A2« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399- i Fujifilm X-A2
Fujifilm X-A1« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2013 399- i Fujifilm X-A1
Olympus E-M10 III« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i i Olympus E-M10 III
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-PL7« »Rec-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-PL6« »----- May 2013 599- i Olympus E-PL6
Olympus E-PL5« »HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic TZ90« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic TZ90

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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