The much anticipated Fujifilm X-E1 arrived in Canada early last week and I’ve had mine for about 5 days not. I was hoping for some better weather on the west coast to take some better test shots, but it hasn’t stopped raining. A few days isn’t enough time with the X-E1 to warrant a complete review, but it’s about perfect to know if you’ll love or hate a camera. So there are some quick pros and cons.
- The X-E1 is smaller, and lighter I thought. When the specs were first published I thought the size would about the same as my Konica Hexar rangefinder. The Hexar has been my travel camera for years and I’ve been actively looking for a digital equivalent to replace it; I was ok having a camera of that size. Opening the box I found a camera much closer in size to my Canon Canonet. The X-E1 holds well, with buttons that don’t get in the way of shooting.
- Autofocus is faster than anticipated. After reading all of the pre-production previews I came to think that the AF was going to be terribly slow. It’s not. In good light AF is quite snappy. In low light the lens will hunt a bit if the contrast is too low, and can take a bit longer to lock on. Now it may not be as fast as the Olympus E-M5, but for a mirrorless camera the speed is quit good.
- AF accuracy. When the X-E1 AF locks on it’s dead on, even at f/1.4. I can’t even say that about my Nikon system shooting at f/1.4. This is where Fuji trumps Olympus in AF. As much as Olympus has super fast AF it’s not always accurate; Fuji’s may be slower but it’s dead on.
- Manual dials. I do like the manual dials on the camera. It brings me back to shooting old film bodies. The dials are firm and shouldn’t move when in a bag.
- Amazing image quality. This is the kicker, the X-E1′s images quality is the best in the mirrorless camera category. And I’d even go as far as it rivals some of the best SLRs on the market. The images are sharp and contrasty with very good colour rendition.
- Very good high-ISO performance . High-ISO noise is virtually non-existant in the native 200-6400 range.
- Sans AA filter. Lack of an anti-aliasing filter results in much sharper images.
- Good EVF. The EVF is good. Super high resolution, high contrast, and good color rendition. The only small drawback is it’s slightly slower refresh rate. You’ll notice it if you’re looking for it. If you press the shutter release half way, the refresh rate become much much better. Not sure why that is, or if it was intentional by Fuji.
- It’s a sexy camera. Let’s be honest, the X-E1 is a good looking camera. There are some rumours floating around the web talking about how the name suggests SeXy-One. Either way, it definitely works well as an accessory to a blazer and a good pair of shoes. Now if I can only find a simple brown leather strap for mine.
The Bad ....
Via Thomas Menk