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Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus E-P1

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 and the Olympus PEN E-P1 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and June 2009. The X100 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-P1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X100) and a Four Thirds (E-P1) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12.2 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Fujifilm X100 versus Olympus E-P1
Fujifilm X100 Olympus E-P1
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
35mm f/2.0 Micro Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
720/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.8 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
no shake reductionIn-body stabilization
300 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
126 x 75 x 54 mm, 445 g 121 x 70 x 36 mm, 355 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm FinePix X100 and the Olympus PEN E-P1? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X100 and the Olympus E-P1 are illustrated 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.

The E-P1 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the X100 is only available in black.

Size Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus E-P1
Compare X100 versus E-P1 top
Comparison X100 or E-P1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-P1 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Fujifilm X100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X100 nor the E-P1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X100 has a lens built in, whereas the E-P1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-P1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Fujifilm X100 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199i
 
Olympus E-P1 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Jun 2009 799i
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Fujifilm X100F 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.0 in 16.5 oz 390 n Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X30 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
 
Fujifilm X100T 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.0 in 15.5 oz 330 n Sep 2014 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X100S 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299i
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 4.6 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 14.3 oz 300 n Sep 2014 1,195i
 
Nikon D3100 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599i
 
Nikon D3000 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599i
 
Olympus E-P3 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.0 oz 330 n Jun 2011 799i
 
Olympus E-PL2 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 12.8 oz 280 n Jan 2011 599i
 
Olympus E-PL3 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jun 2011 599i
 
Olympus E-P2 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Nov 2009 799i
 
Panasonic LX100 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i
 
Panasonic GH1 4.9 in 3.5 in 1.8 in 13.6 oz 300 n Mar 2009 899i
 
Sony NEX-7 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X100 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-P1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-P1 is 40 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 X100 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-P1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Fujifilm X100 and Olympus E-P1 sensor measures

Even though the X100 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12.2 megapixels. This implies that the X100 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.53μm versus 4.29μm for the E-P1), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the X100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the E-P1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-P1 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

X100 versus E-P1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the X100 provides substantially higher image quality than the E-P1, with an overall score that is 18 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Fujifilm X100 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
 
Olympus E-P1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X100T APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X100S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p........
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
 
Olympus E-P3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.810.153651
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952
 
Olympus E-P2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556
 
Panasonic LX100 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
 
Sony NEX-7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (720/30p).

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X100 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-P1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X100 and Olympus E-P1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Fujifilm X1001440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-P1none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X100T2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X100S2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 1092764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-P3optional n 3.0 614 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
 
Olympus E-P2optional n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
 
Panasonic LX1002764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony NEX-72359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X100 has one, while the E-P1 does not. While the built-in flash of the X100 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The X100 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-P1 uses SDHC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

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 FinePix X100 and Olympus PEN E-P1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Fujifilm X100Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-P1Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X100TYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X100SYstereomono--micro2.0---
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-P3Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-P2Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX100Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Sony NEX-7YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the X100 and the E-P1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-P1 was replaced by the Olympus E-P2, while the X100 was followed by the Fujifilm X100S. 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X100 and the Olympus E-P1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm FinePix X100:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (18 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the E-P1 requires a separate lens.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 3 months after the E-P1).

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Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-P1:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2009).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X100 is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 4 points). 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.

X100 10:04 E-P1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X100 and the Olympus E-P1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X100 and the E-P1 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Fujifilm X100..75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199i
 
Olympus E-P1+66/1004/54/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Fujifilm X100F+83/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X30..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
 
Fujifilm X100T+81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X100S+ +81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299i
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109....4.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195i
 
Nikon D3100+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599i
 
Nikon D3000+72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
 
Olympus E-P383/10074/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 799i
 
Olympus E-PL283/10071/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599i
 
Olympus E-PL3+ +72/1004.5/5..4/5 Jun 2011 599i
 
Olympus E-P2+69/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799i
 
Panasonic LX100+ +85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i
 
Panasonic GH1+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899i
 
Sony NEX-7+ +81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Fujifilm X100:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-P1:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus E-P1

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Fujifilm X100 Olympus E-P1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 35mm f/2.0 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2010 June 2009
    Launch Price USD 1,199 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Fujifilm X100 Olympus E-P1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4288 x 2848 pixels 4032 x 3024 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.53 μm 4.29 μm
    Pixel Density 3.28 MP/cm2 5.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXR Processor TruePic V
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 73 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.9 21.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.4 10.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1001 536
    Screen Specs Fujifilm X100 Olympus E-P1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Fujifilm X100 Olympus E-P1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Image Stabilizationno shake reductionIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Fujifilm X100 Olympus E-P1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Fujifilm X100 Olympus E-P1
    Battery Type NP-95 BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)300 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 75 x 54 mm
    (5.0 x 3.0 x 2.1 in)
    121 x 70 x 36 mm
    (4.8 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 445 g (15.7 oz) 355 g (12.5 oz)

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