23rd March 2021, Singapore – This is probably the hardest review to write. Brand rivalry has always been an entertainment to many photographers from all over the world. In the past, most of us will laugh it off as most of the camera brands from Japan – they are all in the same association.
(I am not going to touch on brands from Germany or China here.) So somewhere in December 2020, we received a few requests for an updated review for the above 4 cameras – which we had previously reviewed all 4, but we had only published the review for 2 out of the 4. And do not ask why.
I am putting the Sony a6000 into this comparison as
they are on the same camera class or should I say these are the current Entry Level Mirrorless cameras from the various brands. After like 5 drafts, I decided to do this in a different way. By using scores. So I won’t sound biased in any way or getting accused for siding any brand. While most of you knew that I had been a Olympus Visionary (ambassador) for a few years and I parted ways with Olympus Singapore after the brand’s digital imaging operation pulls out from Singapore and appointed a distributor instead. So I am sharing that to assure you that I have nothing to do with Olympus while this article was being prepared.
Entry level mirrorless cameras are indeed the door to the world of mirrorless photography. Many who bought their first mirrorless camera were already DSLR users who took a leap of faith and try out something lighter
and some claimed even more capable. Apart from those who bought it for their girlfriends and ended up on eBay, who are smartphone users who wanted more for their photography needs & progress.
At the moment, many of these entry level cameras had a Mark II or an updated version – but the fun part is to put all 4 that were launched closest to each other in this article. While we all knew that the Canon M50 & Olympus Em10 Mark III are the newer cameras among the 4, Sony a6000 being the oldest followed by the Fujifilm X-T100, their specs are seemingly close.
In fact we imagined all 4 cameras came from the same factory in a country that makes OEM for the world.
For this article, I am just going to pick the key specifications that are worthy to be compared, because the rest of the specs are closely similar
so I shall not waste your time.
**I would like to add and disclaim – all comments and comparisons here are my personal views through the hands-on, observation and from feedbacks from users.
So don’t send me any love letters.
1. Sensor Size
Canon EOS M50 – APSC 1.6X Crop Factor
Fujifilm X-T100 – APSC 1.5X Crop Factor
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – Micro Four Third 2X Crop Factor
Sony a6000 – APSC 1.5X Crop Factor
Personally I prefers the Fujifm/ Sony’s 1.5X Crop factor for general use and easier to manage on focal length. The added crop factor for Canon & Olympus may be useful for closeups or macro, then again sensor size does matters. Olympus may have the smallest sensor here but the little capable sensor have more Photodiodes than the bigger sensors
in case you wanna start anything to laugh at Olympus. so size is not a factor here. So between Fujifilm and Sony, I will pick Fujifilm’s X-T100 & Sony’s a6000 here as the winners for this section.
Canon EOS M50 – 25.8 MP
Fujifilm X-T100 – 24.2 MP
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – 17.2 MP
Sony a6000 – 24.7 MP
While many of you may argue with me that megapixels are not everything, but personally it is important. Just imagine you are shooting birds or macro, the insane amount or cropping will be highly dependent on the megapixel as that determines the amount of usable details capture within the image and how much you can crop before your image becomes a sandpaper art. I came from the era that has 2mp or 4mp cameras and I truly appreciate megapixels of today’s cameras. Maybe its just me.
You can argue, but I will ignore you. So it is clear that Canon, Fuji & Sony all 3 wins in this section, but Sony gets the biased vote with the slightly higher megapixel.
3. In-Body Image Stabilization
Canon EOS M50 – Digital, 3-Axis (Video Only)
Fujifilm X-T100 – None
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis
Sony a6000 – None
I know this section is unfair but it has become a real need in today’s photography. Do not forget these 4 cameras are entry level cameras. While Olympus had prided itself for having in-camera image stabilizer since the Four Third era, I am surprised that Sony had
forgotten not included their proven SteadyShot – Sony’s version of in-body image stabilizer. Canon stay true to their DSLR roots by selling you overpriced lens with stabilizer while offering mostly a parallel version without the IS for a cheaper price. offering lens that has image stabilizers. Fujifilm probably forgot that beginners may have shaky hands too. strangely did not try to include this as well. Beginners will appreciate image stabilizers more than you can imagine. This round, Olympus wins.
Canon EOS M50 – Up t0 51200
Fujifilm X-T100 – Up t0 51200
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – Up t0 25600
Sony a6000 – Up t0 25600
OK, we are not going to talk about which camera can make the best sandpaper art here. Usable ISO without noise usually ranges between 800 to 1600 for these entry level cameras. Canon & Fujifilm
understands that most beginners who sucks at photography will push ISO to the max so they allow ISO expansion to a range-topping level of 51200 which in my view is added value for money – although for the Canon EOS-M has slightly cleaner images over the Fujifilm X-T100 at around 3200 ISO. I reckon Olympus & Sony knows how bad it is to put 51200 on their cameras of this price range so they decided to max up at 25600. On the flipside, at 3200, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III is the cleanest among all 4 cameras here. But based on the numbers and the level of ISO noise, Canon & Fuji wins this round.
5. Shutter Speed
Canon EOS M50
– 1/4000 to 30 Seconds / Bulb Mode
1/4000 to 4 Seconds in Program Mode, 1/4000 to 30 Seconds, 0 to 60 Minutes in Bulb Mode
– Electronic Shutter
1/32000 to 4 Seconds in Program Mode, 1/32000 to 30 Seconds, 1 Second in Bulb Mode,
– Electronic Front Curtain Shutter
1/32000 to 4 Seconds in Program Mode, 1/32000 to 30 Seconds, 0 to 60 Minutes in Bulb Mode
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III
– Mechanical Shutter
1/4000 to 60 Seconds, 0.5 to 60 Minutes in Bulb Mode
– Electronic Front Curtain Shutter
1/320 to 60 Seconds
– Electronic Shutter
1/16000 to 30 Seconds
– Electronic Front Curtain Shutter
1/4000 to 30 Seconds, 1/4000 to 1/4 Second in Movie Mode,
Before I proceed, I have to remind everyone that these 4 are entry level cameras
before you starting jumping on me. And if you do not know the difference between mechanical shutter & an electronic shutter, you shouldn’t even be shooting you should google a bit how both works. The added advantage of having both allows more options and variations when shutter speed is the priority during use. From the list above, you can see that Canon & Sony gave the same “entry level DSLR” kind of specs while Olympus gave more but not too much else the E-M5 will have problem in moving off the shelves but the range-topper here is Fujifilm’s X-T100. Take a second look again at X-T100’s shutter speed. OK You get it now.
6. Exposure Compensation
Canon EOS M50 – -3 to +3 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
Fujifilm X-T100 – -5 to +5 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – -5 to +5 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
Sony a6000 – -5 to +5 EV (1/3, 1/2 EV Steps)
Again, haters are gonna argue most beginners will not really bother about EV, but do not forget those who are already DSLR users and they are trying out a mirrorless and maybe as their first mirrorless camera, this function now plays a part, a deciding factor. While Fujifilm, Olympus & Sony probably had a secret meeting decides that giving users a wider range from negative 5 to plus 5 is standard, Canon who was not invited to the meeting gave a pretty basic negative 3 to plus 3. But the winner here is definitely Sony – as it is the only camera that offers 1/2 steps and 1/3 steps adjustments as an option.
7. Continuous Shooting (on jpg)
Canon EOS M50 – 10 fps
Fujifilm X-T100 – 06 fps
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – 8.6 fps
Sony a6000 – 11 fps
Today’s camera specs are really something – just imagine 10 years ago, any camera that can do 8fps & above are mostly Semi-Pro or Pro DSLRs. Today, such features has made their way to entry level cameras and as such, it became the new benchmark for entry level specifications. Fuji failed in this section with
the laughable 6 fps while Olympus did a reasonable 8.6 fps while Canon and Sony topped the range with 10fps & 11fps. Clearly Sony won for this section.
8. Autofocus Points
Canon EOS M50 – Contrast Detection: 143 / Phase Detection: 99
Fujifilm X-T100 – Phase Detection: 91
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – Contrast Detection: 121
Sony a6000 – Contrast Detection: 25 / Phase Detection: 179
As a person who uses only 01 center focusing point for the last 18 years, the number of focus points does not matters to me. But for photographers who relies heavily on zone focusing or focus detect, this means a lot to them. Canon, Olympus & Sony all offers Contrast Detection while Fujifilm only offers Phase Detection with 91 points. Sony offers both Contrast Detection 25 points and Phase Detection with 179 points. So Olympus is out. Canon offers both Detections which topples Sony on Contrast but lose out on Phase. But Canon won Fujifilm slightly on Phase. Given the above ratio, the number of points and the type of detection, Canon is clearly taking the lead here.
9. Maximum Flash Sync Speed
Canon EOS M50 – 1/200 Second
Fujifilm X-T100 – 1/180 Second
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – 1/250 Second
Sony a6000 – 1/160 Second
I do not know what Sony was thinking when they set the speed for Flash Sync for the a6000.
Maybe they thought that a6000 users are likely not going to use fast speed flash. Then again, Olympus & Canon gave users flash sync speed of 1/250 & 1/200 respectively which is a marvel for entry level cameras. My vote goes to Olympus & Canon for being thoughtful on this.
10 . Battery
Canon EOS M50 – LP-E12 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 875 mAh
Fujifilm X-T100 – NP-W126S Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 8.4 VDC, 1260 mAh
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III – BLS-50 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 1175 mAh
Sony a6000 – NP-FW50 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 1080 mAh
Lastly, the next thing that matter to me is the battery life. Large capacity battery will ensure more shots to be taken while smaller capacity batteries means frequent change of battery while shooting and incurring more costs to purchase more spare batteries. From the stock batteries for the above cameras, Canon’s battery has the smallest capacity (875 mAh) while Fujifilm top the range with 1260 mAh. A quick research on internet, I saw claims that some Canon users swore by the battery and claim Canon camera consumes lesser power as compared to the rest so the stock battery is smaller capacity.
What a load of bullshit. For me, I still feel that it all depends on the user and how the user uses the camera matters more. But for comparative reasons, Fujifilm has the most power here.
The above 10 items that I had chosen to compare are mostly for the reason that there are some noticeable differences in a way or another – the regular specs of other features are vastly similar so I did not use those as a comparative items.
The Total Score.
Canon: 4 out of 10
Fujifilm: 5 out of 10
Olympus: 2 out of 10
Sony: 4 out of 10
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III – The latest camera to be released on this list and the one with the most expensive RRP, I am kinda disappointed that the EM10-3 is inferior on specifications – even losing out to the Sony a6000 which was launch 11 months ahead of the E-M10-3. I enjoyed using it as it is light and compact then again the Fujifilm X-T100 has about the same weight and size and far more superior in many ways. The little OM-D is well built and it has the design cue from the 35mm OM which many will appreciate.
I hope the EM10 Mark IV will be able to catch up and outclass the rest one day.
Canon EOS M50 – Clearly made and designed to the likes of Canon’s basic EOS DSLR range. Everything about the EOS M50 is Basic, functional and Easy to use. Slightly plasticky and does not feel as solid as the Olympus or Fujifilm, the M50 made up for the lack of features by compensating with the price point and with the backup & interchangeability of all the EOS EF lenses via adaptors, the Canon EOS M50 will be the best-seller among the 4. Still it loses out to Sony on an overall despite getting the same score as Sony due to the total customisation capability and specs.
Sony a6000 – Its like wine that had aged well. The oldest camera on this list managed to be on the 2nd place of this list. Sony had always used specs to win customers since the Alpha days – think a230, a700, a900 – those DSLRs back then are already ahead of the game but the public are so into Canon & Nikon so Sony indeed lost out back then. Sony’s E mount and subsequent FE mount became the real game changer. After the early E series mirrorless cameras were launched,
indeed it had caused a storm and Sony finally showhand with the release of the Full Frame a7 series cameras capturing the hearts of many photographers and capturing a huge market from rivals like Canon & Nikon.
Fujifilm X-T100 – The X Series are the Fuji cameras that managed to put Fujifilm back in the race. When people say Fujifilm gives a lot of value for the money you paid, that is true. Banking on the long legacy of Fujinon lenses, the X Series (rangefinder style) cameras are built like a tank, offers many interesting functions – my personal favorite are the digital filter-rendition of films in the digital form. Fujifilm cameras have never been fancy like Olympus, or overly marketed like Canon, or opt for new age design like Sony. Fujifilm had took on the digital face with a classic feel and everything remains Fujifilm – as it is.
I am not forcing you to agree with me or with this list, as mentioned, I did this list based on facts and specs and through usage experience. If you disagree, I can always give you a kite. I am surprised too with the result when I was tallying up the scores. So if you are in the market looking for a used entry-level camera – do go for the Fujifilm X-T100. It’s worth your every dollar.
– AL Lee
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Reviewer: AL Lee