Fuji x100F vs Olympus PenF for a Walk Around Camera

by Reba Baskett

I’ve been using the Olympus PenF with the Olympus 17mm 1.8 for my street photography for about a year but recently, I picked up the Fuji X100F. I keep reading about it being a great street shooter so I was curious. I decided to do a comparison to see which one I ultimately ended up liking more for a walk around camera and ultimately, street photography.

Fuji X100F vs Olympus Penf

Form Function
PenF – I found it faster and easier to switch between color profiles and the super control panel is so much more intuitive than the Fuji menu.

Feel in Hand
x100F – I think the Fuji feels a little better in my hands in its natural state. I have a grip on my PenF because it naturally has no grip which makes it hard to hold after awhile.

Camera Appearance
PenF – This is a tough call and I almost called it a tie but I really like the looks of the PenF. It’s a beautiful camera. Every dial was though out and it just oozes beauty.

Out of Camera JPG
x100F – I have to give this one to the Fuji. One of the things that made me really want to try the Fuji was the thought of shooting just jpg. The film simulations are just beautiful. I love ACROS and Classic Chrome both provide a most please image straight out of the camera. The PenF is no slouch in this area but I find I want to touch up the jpg just a touch more out of the PenF.

PenF – The Fuji viewfinder took some getting used to and even after I got used to it, I still liked the Olympus more. I know the Fuji has all kinds of options and maybe if I had played with it maybe I could have found something I liked more but natively the Olympus viewfinder is more pleasing.

PenF – This one is a no brainer. With the swivel and touch, it beats the Fuji hands down.

Ease of Use
PenF – Both of these cameras have all the dials right on the camera body so there is not much need to go menu diving. I like the Olympus dials more. It’s easier to adjust your settings on the fly. No need to lift anything up and turn – you just turn.

x100F – The Fuji wins only because it has a mic jack (even if you do need an adapter for it). The major downfall of the PenF is no mic jack. It’s one of the main features from keeping the PenF from being my only camera.

PenF – I ended up getting a lot of blurry shots from the Fuji because I have gotten so used to have stabilization that allows me to handhold my camera for several seconds and still get a sharp shot.

PenF – The Fuji is what it is. There are a few adapters to get a wide and a telephoto but as far as being able to “upgrade” your camera with different lenses the PenF is the clear winner. Olympus has some of the best PRO glass on the market.

All-Around Winner

Maybe, it’s because I know the Olympus system better but I also feel the sharpness is better on the Olympus. But I just feel the Olympus PenF is a more thought out camera which is easier to use. If the PenF was weather-resistant and had a mic jack I think it would be the perfect camera. The PenF is a beautiful all-around camera and I look forward to seeing what Olympus does with this line in the future.

Update Since writing this article I sold the Fuji x100f . I just love my Olympus PenF too much.

Example Photos

Photos from an afternoon at Antique Archeology in Nashville, TN. These are straight out of camera jpg and have only been resized and exported for the screen.  I did use different film simulations and color profiles on each camera to get the different looks. The Olympus photos were shot with the 17mm 1.8 though, I wish I had tested the 17mm 1.2 version


Fuji Examples

Fuji xf100Fuji xf100Fuji xf100Fuji xf100Fuji xf100Fuji xf100Fuji xf100Fuji xf100

Olympus Examples

Olympus PenfOlympus PenfOlympus PenfOlympus PenfOlympus PenfOlympus PenfOlympus PenfOlympus PenfOlympus PenfOlympus Penf

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Pam February 15, 2019 - 12:08 pm

Great shots! Love these! And thanks for sharing your opinions on both cameras.. Somehow I knew Olympus would win

Reba Baskett February 15, 2019 - 12:22 pm

Thanks…It’s those darn film simulations on Fuji. I love the color profiles on the PenF but those Fuji colors. Everything else Olympus wins!

Jay February 15, 2019 - 9:48 pm

Wow, this makes me feel good that I have the Pen-F although the Fuji lineup is awesome too. In your examples here the Pen- F images look more vibrant and pop more. Did you have the same settings? Thanks for sharing.

Reba Baskett February 18, 2019 - 10:22 am

The settings were as close as I could get. Yes, the Olympus has more pop in the colors. Fuji renders more like film which is not as vibrant. I also found the Olympus to be sharper.

Jay February 28, 2019 - 8:26 pm

Reba, awesome site and images. Maybe a future comparison between the Fuji X-T20 and Olympus Pen-F or Em-5/10 in the future? The IBIS on Olympus is wonderful, I’m surprised Fuji doesnt have it. Hopefully Olympus will work on a Pen-F II ?

Reba Baskett March 3, 2019 - 9:47 am

I think any comparison between the Fuji and comparable Olympus would be the same. Both systems are great and have their strong points and I think it depends on what you need out of a system.
I’m waiting on the EM5mkiii. That is the camera I would love to see Olympus update soon. I’m starting to think the PenF will not be updated.

MichailK April 13, 2019 - 5:07 pm

Thanks for the comparison!
May I ask if you can tweak the ooc jpegs in the Pen to be more mundane and with less pop? Or the X100 gets the more “natural” film looks whatever the settings?
I think I see the Oly IBIS helping a lot with sharpness on the darker shots that are clearly a bit blurry on the X100 – or is it the X100 lens too soft at too close range?
Having sold the X100F, what do you miss in comparison?
Thanks again!

Reba Baskett April 13, 2019 - 8:46 pm

You could desaturate the Olympus JPGs in camera. Each profile is customizable. You can make a profile you like and save it as a myset so it’s easy to access when you want it. I do think the X100 is a softer lens but yes, the IBIS helps tremendiously in low light.

The only thing I really miss about the X100F is just having a grab and go camera. I think with the PenF I’m too tempted to throw another lens or two in my bag because I can. I like the simplicity of the x100F.

Thanks for reading.

MichailK April 15, 2019 - 5:39 am

Thanks for the reply!
Did you find the lack of a leaf shutter along its higher flash synch speed made any difference for you?
How much louder is the Pen shutter?

Joseph May 5, 2019 - 4:46 pm

Nice photos. Nice review. I’m looking at both these cameras for a possible purchase at the end of the year.

Reba Baskett May 10, 2019 - 5:15 pm

Both are great cameras. You will love either one.


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