Please note that the camera comparisons are only based on image quality, based on RAW files. Also note that all images are provided at the pixel-level, with no resizing / down-sampling steps involved. The X-E1 has the same resolution as the X-E2, while the OM-D E-M1 is only a tad lower in comparison.
Fuji X-E2 vs X-E1
I cannot see any differences at ISO 200 between the two.
ISO 400 is the same, with practically no difference.
Interestingly, at ISO 800 we start seeing some differences in noise performance between the two. The X-E2 seems to be a tad cleaner.
And at ISO 1600, the ISO performance differences grew even more – the X-E2 definitely looks cleaner (look at the area around the word “LEGACY” on the bottom disc).
The same for ISO 3200 – the X-E2 looks a tad cleaner.
If you compare the shadow details at ISO 6400, it is pretty clear that the X-E2 seems to maintain a slight advantage in comparison. Grain size is definitely smaller on the X-E2.
Fuji X-E2 vs X-E1 Summary
When the X-E2 was launched, I thought that the ISO performance of the sensor would remain the same. Seems like I was wrong – the X-E2 demonstrates a slight improvement in noise performance over the X-E1. I saw some differences when comparing the X100S to the X-E1, but since the differences were very minor, I thought that perhaps it had something to do with sample variation. The X-E2 sensor confirms that the X-Trans II sensor is a tad better than the original version.
Fuji X-E2 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1
Let’s now take a look at how the X-E2 when compared to the high-end Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds camera:
Right off the bat, the advantage of a larger sensor is pretty clear at ISO 200. The X-E2 has no noise in the image, while the OM-D E-M1 has a little bit of it in the image, especially in the colored regions.
ISO 400 maintains the same difference, with the X-E2 leading the game.
And at ISO 800, we can clearly see that Micro Four Thirds struggles in comparison. The X-E2 image looks much cleaner in comparison.
Jumping to high ISO levels, the performance gap is getting even bigger. The OM-D E-M1 is already losing details at ISO 1600, while the X-E2 maintains them pretty well.
The same is true for ISO 1600.
And at ISO 6400, both look pretty noisy, but the OM-D E-M1 looks much worse in comparison.
Fuji X-E2 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Summary
As I have stated before, smaller sensors simply cannot compete with larger ones when it comes to handling noise at high ISO levels, as can be evidenced from the above comparison. The high-end OM-D E-M1 is a very impressive and highly capable camera (review coming up soon), but with a sensor size significantly smaller than APS-C (225 mm² vs 370 mm²), Micro Four Thirds just cannot compete on the pixel level. Both the X-E2 and the E-M1 have very similar resolution (16 MP), but the ability to handle noise is quite different between the two, with the X-E2 obviously leading the game.
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