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Fujifilm X-T2 versus Olympus E-M5 II

The Fujifilm X-T2 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2016 and February 2015. Both the X-T2 and the E-M5 II are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (X-T2) and a Four Thirds (E-M5 II) 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-T2 vs Olympus E-M5 II

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Olympus E-M5 II. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the X-T2 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X-T2 vs Olympus E-M5 II
Compare X-T2 versus E-M5 II top
Compare X-T2 and E-M5 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M5 II is notably smaller (14 percent) than the Fujifilm X-T2. Moreover, the E-M5 II is markedly lighter (7 percent) than the X-T2. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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-T2) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M5 II). 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-T2 gets 340 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the E-M5 II can take 310 images on a single charge of its BLN-1 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)
Fujifilm X-T2» 133 mm 92 mm 49 mm 507 g 340 Y Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Olympus E-M5 II« 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i
Fujifilm X100F« » 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« » 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« » 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« » 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 339 g 410 n Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » 141 mm 83 mm 46 mm 495 g 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Fujifilm X-T1« » 129 mm 90 mm 47 mm 440 g 350 Y Jan 2014 1,699- i
Olympus E-M1 II« » 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i
Olympus E-M10 II« » 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 799- i
Olympus E-M10« » 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699- i
Olympus E-M1« » 130 mm 94 mm 63 mm 497 g 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i
Olympus E-M5« » 122 mm 89 mm 43 mm 425 g 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299- i
Sony RX10 IV« » 133 mm 94 mm 145 mm 1095 g 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i
Sony A6500« » 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Sony RX10 III« » 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i
Sony A7« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i

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 E-M5 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the X-T2, 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-T2 vs Olympus E-M5 II

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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-T2 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-M5 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M5 II 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-T2 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M5 II offers a 4:3 aspect.

Fujifilm X-T2 and Olympus E-M5 II sensor measures

With 24MP, the X-T2 offers a higher resolution than the E-M5 II (15.9MP), but the X-T2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M5 II) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X-T2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the E-M5 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-T2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

Unlike the X-T2, the E-M5 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (40MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

X-T2 versus E-M5 II MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X-T2» APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Olympus E-M5 II« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-T20« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-T1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
Olympus E-M1« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773
Olympus E-M5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890

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 X-T2 provides a higher video resolution than the E-M5 II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X-T2 vs Olympus E-M5 II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X-T2 and the E-M5 II are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2360k dots. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-T2, the Olympus E-M5 II, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Fujifilm X-T2»2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 8000 14.0 n n
Olympus E-M5 II«2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T20« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »2360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 8000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T1« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 4000 8.0 n n
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 18.0 n Y
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Olympus E-M1« »2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Olympus E-M5« »1440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 4000 9.0 n Y
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony A6500« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n

Both the X-T2 and the E-M5 II are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The E-M5 II replaced the earlier Olympus E-M5, while the X-T2 followed on from the Fujifilm X-T1.

Review summary: Fujifilm X-T2 vs Olympus E-M5 II

So how do things add up? Is the Fujifilm X-T2 better than the Olympus E-M5 II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-T2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 5 months after the E-M5 II).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x85mm vs 133x92mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M5 II emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

X-T2 06:08 E-M5 II

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-T2 or the E-M5 II handle or perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-T2»HiRec86/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Olympus E-M5 II«HiRec81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« »HiRec82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »Rec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Fujifilm X-T1« »HiRec84/1005/54/55/5 Jan 2014 1,699- i
Olympus E-M1 II« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i
Olympus E-M10 II« »HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i
Olympus E-M1« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i
Olympus E-M5« »HiRec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299- i
Sony RX10 IV« »Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i
Sony A6500« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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