Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus E-PL5
The Fujifilm FinePix X100 and the Olympus PEN E-PL5 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and September 2012. The X100 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-PL5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X100) and a Four Thirds (E-PL5) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12.2 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 FinePix X100 and the Olympus PEN E-PL5? 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 X100 and the Olympus E-PL5 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The E-PL5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the X100 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL5 is notably smaller (25 percent) than the Fujifilm X100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X100 nor the E-PL5 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-PL5 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-PL5 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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 X100||126 mm||75 mm||54 mm||445 g||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199|
|2.||Olympus E-PL5||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||Sep 2012||599|
|3.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|4.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|5.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|6.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|8.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||118 mm||66 mm||55 mm||405 g||300||n||Sep 2014||1,195|
|9.||Nikon D3100||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599|
|10.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|11.||Olympus E-M10 II||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649|
|12.||Olympus E-M10||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||n||Jan 2014||699|
|13.||Olympus E-PL6||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||May 2013||599|
|14.||Olympus E-PM2||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||269 g||360||n||Sep 2012||499|
|15.||Olympus E-PL3||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|16.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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. 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 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-PL5 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PL5 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-PL5 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-PL5 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the X100. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 5.53μm for the X100). However, it should be noted that the E-PL5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the X100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.
The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-PL5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-PL5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X100 are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.5 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.2 x 11.4 inches or 43.6 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.3 x 9.5 inches or 36.3 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
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-PL5 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|2.||Olympus E-PL5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72|
|3.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|8.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Olympus E-M10 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|12.||Olympus E-M10||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72|
|13.||Olympus E-PL6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Olympus E-PM2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72|
|15.||Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|16.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the E-PL5 provides a better video resolution than the X100. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 720/30p.
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-PL5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-PL5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-3. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X100, the Olympus E-PL5, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm X100||1440||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|2.||Olympus E-PL5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||Y|
|3.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X100F||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X30||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X100T||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|8.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||2764||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|9.||Nikon D3100||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon D3000||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|11.||Olympus E-M10 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Olympus E-M10||1440||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Olympus E-PL6||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||Y|
|14.||Olympus E-PM2||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||Y|
|15.||Olympus E-PL3||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||Y|
|16.||Panasonic LX100||2764||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||2359||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-PL5 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 E-PL5 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the X100 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X100 and the E-PL5 write their files to SDXC cards. The E-PL5 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the X100 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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-PL5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X100||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-PL5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Fujifilm X100F||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X100T||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Nikon D3100||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Nikon D3000||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus E-M10 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Olympus E-M10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-PL6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-PM2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-PL3||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic LX100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the X100 and the E-PL5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X100 was replaced by the Fujifilm X100S, while the E-PL5 was followed by the Olympus E-PL6. 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X100 and the Olympus E-PL5? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm FinePix X100:
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the E-PL5 requires a separate lens.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).
Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-PL5:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x64mm vs 126x75mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (360 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-PL5 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 X100 and the Olympus E-PL5 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 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 X100 or the E-PL5. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 X100||3/5||..||..||75/100||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199|
|2.||Olympus E-PL5||3/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|3.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|4.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||3.9/5||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|5.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|6.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|8.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,195|
|9.||Nikon D3100||5/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599|
|10.||Nikon D3000||..||+||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|11.||Olympus E-M10 II||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||649|
|12.||Olympus E-M10||4/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699|
|13.||Olympus E-PL6||..||..||..||..||..||..||May 2013||599|
|14.||Olympus E-PM2||3/5||..||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|15.||Olympus E-PL3||3/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|16.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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.
- Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus E-M1
- Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus E-PL8
- Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus Stylus 1s
- Fujifilm X100 vs Panasonic GF1
- Fujifilm X100 vs Panasonic LF1
- Fujifilm X100 vs Panasonic LX7
- Nikon D1H vs Olympus E-PL5
- Nikon D3500 vs Olympus E-PL5
- Olympus E-PL5 vs Sony A7
- Olympus E-PL5 vs Sony RX10 IV
- Olympus E-PL5 vs Sony RX1R
- Olympus E-PL5 vs Zeiss ZX1
Specifications: Fujifilm X100 vs Olympus E-PL5
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 X100||Olympus E-PL5|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||35mm f/2.0||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2010||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,199||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X100||Olympus E-PL5|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4288 x 2848 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.53 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor||TruePic VI|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||73||72|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.9||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1001||889|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X100||Olympus E-PL5|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X100||Olympus E-PL5|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||no shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X100||Olympus E-PL5|
|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-PL5|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||360 shots per charge|
126 x 75 x 54 mm
(5.0 x 3.0 x 2.1 in)
111 x 64 x 38 mm
(4.4 x 2.5 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||445 g (15.7 oz)||325 g (11.5 oz)|
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