Fujifilm X-E2: A Real World Review In The Philippines

title-X-E1

 

Just days before leaving for Christmas in the Philippines with my in-laws I traded my Canon EOS 5D Mark III for a Fujifilm X-E2, a Fujinon 23 mm f/1.4 and the Fujinon 55-200 f/ 3.5 – 4. If you recall from a previous post I had a few fears about selling my full frame gear and jumping headlong into the X-System cameras. I had heard so much about the X-E2 and how fast the AF was that I decided to risk one 5d MKIII body. I have not been disappointed. In fact, the the contrary, I have been amazed.

f/6.4, 1/140 sec, at 14mm, 400 ISO, on a X-E2

f/6.4, 1/140 sec, at 14mm, 400 ISO, on a X-E2

 

f/2.8, 1/7 sec, at 14mm, 1250 ISO, on a X-E2

f/2.8, 1/7 sec, at 14mm, 1250 ISO, on a X-E2

 

With only a little over a week or so of use the camera has proven to be quick on the focus and accurate. Is every shot in focus? Nope, but a lot of that has to do with operator error and the lens choice. Using the X-E2 with the 14 mm f/2.8 and the new 23 mm f/1.4 the camera reacts quickly and accurately in most environments. Using the 55-200 mm, well that is another story completely. That lens is razor sharp but incredibly slow to focus. Even in broad daylight it seems to hunt for it’s mark. It reminds me a lot of the Canon 85 mm f/1.2 and the troubles that lens had finding its focus.

Several of my biggest beefs with the X-Pro1 have been addressed in this camera release. Admittedly, this is a little unfair as this is an apple to oranges comparison. A more appropriate comparison would be the the X-E2 to the X-E1, but I never owned the X-E1 so I can’t make those comparisons.

 

f/5, 1/125 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-E2

f/5, 1/125 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-E2

 

Here is what frustrated me with the X-Pro1 and held me back from switching completely to the X-System cameras.

  1. Slow Auto Focus: Fujifilm used the same sensor they put in the X100/s and thus you’d think they would get the same focus speed, but it is faster. According to Warwick Williams, Fujifilm’s Digital Camera Specialist they didn’t stop with just using the same sensor as the X100/s they also did other modifications to make this camera even faster at focusing. I don’t own the X100/s so I can’t compare, but I can say the X-E2′s auto focus is crazy fast. Still not as fast as a DSLR, but getting dang close. Certainly fast enough for most of what I shoot. The X-Pro1′s focus has improved with firmware upgrades but it still lags way behind the X-E2. Mainly because the X-E2, like the X100/s is using both phase detection and contrast for focusing and the X-Pro1 only uses contrast. It is worth noting that to take advantage of the phase detection you need to focus using the nine AF frames in the center as all the phase detection pixels are located in these frames.
  2. Focus Area: On the X-Pro1 Fuji placed the button for the focus area (the focus point) adjustment on the lower left side of the camera. This meant that to change your focus point you needed to move the camera from your face and use the rear display to change it. Completely unacceptable. You should never need to pull a camera away from your eye to make an adjustment while shooting. But recently Fujifilm made a firmware update that allowed users to choose the Fn button located near the shutter button the focus area control button and this solved this issue. The X-E2 came places it natively on the back selector wheel.
  3. The Q button:  The placement of this button on the X-Pro1 kept getting in the way. I was always pushing it by unintentionally. With the X-E2 they moved it to the top and middle of the back of the camera. Perfect.
  4. AF-C: The AF-C (Auto Focus Continuous) was limited to just one focus point. This was really frustrating and I never understood why they did this. With the X-E2 Fuji added the same 49 changeable focus points to the AF-C continuous focus mode as they have in the Single Focus mode.
  5. X-Pro1 add-on diopter: You might think this is minor, but for those of us who wear glasses this is major irritation. It is true the X-E1 but has a built in diopter over the viewfinder but it was missing on the X-Pro1. On the X-Pro1 you have to buy an additional screw on diopter. Not only was it a pain to find the right magnification, it came off easy. In fact I have lost both a diopter and the rubber ring that goes over the diopter mount. If a camera can have a built-in diopter then why use screw on lenses for diopter adjustments? Make no sense. Speaking of viewfinders, there is no Optical Viewfinder (OVF) like on the X-Pro1. But that is ok, because the Electronic Viewfinder is bright and pretty darn fast.  As of yet I haven’t missed any shots as a result of lag.

 

f/1.4, 1/640 sec, at 23mm, 800 ISO, on a X-E2

AF-C (Auto Focus Continuous) @ f/1.4
f/1.4, 1/640 sec, at 23mm, 800 ISO, on a X-E2

 

AF-C (Auto Focus Continuous) @ f/5.6 <br />f/5.6, 1/400 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-E2

AF-C (Auto Focus Continuous) @ f/5.6
f/5.6, 1/400 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-E2

 

What makes the X-E2 Sand Out in the Crowd?

In two words: almost everything.  As I stated above, almost every issue I had with the X-Pro1 was addressed in the X-E2 (some of them earlier in the X-E1) so now I am really a happy camper. Here are a few stand out features

AF-C: The AF-C is crazy accurate and with the advent of the 49 changeable focus points it is also now usable. On the X-Pro1 it is slow and stuck in the focus point is stuck in the middle of the frame. You can now track objects that move towards and away from the camera. While here in the Philippines I wanted to test this out, so I simply went to the road side and shot 11 quick frames of a jeepney coming down the road, passing me by and then continuing on away from me. The camera nailed the focus in every frame over and over again . You can see two series of  shots in this Flickr gallery here that show of the AF-C tracking. No processing on this set other than changing the dpi to 72.

Manual Focus Assist: I am digging the manual focus assist. Split screen isn’t so hot as I had hoped. But the focus peaking is amazing and really aids in manual focus.

LMO: The Lens Modulation Optimizer feature similar to the X100/S is a nice addition to the X-E2. This allows the camera to correct diffraction and some loss of corner focus in Fuji lenses. You would think that a say f/22 everything would be in focus, but the fact is because of diffraction small line in the distance can become blurred or even disappear. LMO is Fuji’s Magic that make this no longer happen. Here is a short and very helpful video on the subject on LMO by photographer Warwick Williams and the designer of the LOM Fujifilm Optical Device Engineer Ken Hayashi.

Auto ISO: One of the changes to the X-E2 was the ability to specify a minimum shutter speed for your choice of a maximum ISO. This is really handy. If this wasn’t cool enough, the minimum shutter speed can now over 1/125s and can be set as fast as 1/500s.

WiFi: I actually saw the WiFi option on this camera as more of a marketing feature rather than a serious function. I can transfer jpgs to my phone or iPad really quickly. By having family and friends download Fujifilm’s free smartphone or iPad app I can share y photos with them in the field.  Once I downloaded the images to my camera roll they then synced with my Facebook account and I was able to post the images on my timeline. This is a perfect workflow for personal times like vacations, family events and parties. I wouldn’t use this for client work.

The WiFi also enabled me to use the Fujifilm’s camera app on my iPhone to geotag my photos. Not perfect but a really good attempt. Here is why it is not perfect. You enable the WiFi on your camera. The phone connects and then you open the Fuji camera app and select “Geotagging”. The camera then pulls the current coordinates from the phone’s gps and sets the current location. The key word here is “current”. It does not keep updating the location coordinates. If you change locations you must reconnect and send new coordinate to the camera. So it is useful, but limited.

Bright Big LCD Display: The X-E2 has a new 1,040k dot, 3″, display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. This is a big improvement over the X-Pro1′s display and the X-E1′s 420k dot, 2.8″ 4.2 display.

Exposure Compensation:  The X-E2 sports an extended stop on each end of it’s range. The dial covers a range of ± 3 EV. The X-E2′s flash output compensation now covers a range of ± 2 EV, a big improvement over the X-E1. But I wish users could access the flash compensation directly through one of the configurable Fn buttons, instead you have to dig through the menu to reach it. This makes it all but unusable in the field.

Video: There has been a lot of talk about the X-E2′s ability to record Full HD 1080p (1920×1080) at frame rates of 60fps or 30fps.  I am not a video guy, but I can say when I saw the quality of the short clip of video I shot below I was impressed. Fuji has seen fit to allow users to add their film presets to the video as well as add the capability of exposure compensation of ±2 EV.

Test video of the Fujifilm E-X2 video capabilities. from Matt Brandon on Vimeo.

 

f/2.8, 1/110 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-E2

f/2.8, 1/110 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-E2

 

Dislikes

I am so very impressed with this camera that it is an effort to find things I don’t like. But to be fair there are a few things. One real limitation it is the shutter speed. For whatever reason Fujifilm has limited the top shutter speed to 1/4000s. I would say this was to keep it in the prosumer marker, but the X-Pro1 is also limited to the same top shutter speed. Topping out at 1/4000s makes it almost impossible to shoot in bright light with a fast lens wide open. At this point, if I am going to shoot in broad daylight with the 35 mm at f/1.4 or with the yet to be announced 56 mm at f/1.2, I’ll need the addition of an ND filter and that’s is a royal pain. It would have been nice if Fuji had built in an ND filter as they did on the X100/S.

Here is a real beef that seems like a actual step backwards. The X-E2′s double exposure function no longer saves a RAW file of the composite image, you only get a JPEG. That is nuts. I have come to love this on the X-Pro1. In fact they did this to all the “Advanced Filters.” Now you have to add these Advanced Filters to your RAW file after you shoot in-camera. Make no sense to me. I have to ask, is this a firmware limitation that they did to keep this camera from surpassing the X-Pro1?

The body is a little small for me. Of course it is the same size as the X-E1 but I never owned an X-E1. If I had, I would have said the same thing, a little small. The X-Pro1 is a perfect size.  The 23 mm and the 55-200 mm dwarf the x-E1 &2  and give it an odd feel. I remedied this by buying the Really Right Stuff L-plate and grip. Not a cheap solution by any means. But I would strongly suggest it to anyone using both the X-E1, E2 and Pro1. It not only makes the camera feel more secure in your hands it eliminates the need for a tripod connector plate. Most every plate I have seen or used when attached to the bottom of the camera covers the battery door and make it impossible to access the battery compartment while screwed on to the camera. A pain in the field. To be fair I have read on fujirumors.com a notice that Fujifilm has announced a new set of hand grips that “provide enhanced grip and hold for the X-Pro1 and X-E1/E2, plus allow access to the battery and memory card slot without removing the grip.” You can find the press release here.

I love the flash on the X-E2. But it seems really flimsy and I have fears that if I was to leave it up by mistake it my get bumped and bent or worse ripped of the body.

An articulated display screen would be nice for those really low shots or the really high over the head shots. I am not saying by not having it this camera lacks anything, but at the same time it would be a nice extra touch to an already great camera.

 

f/13, 1/7 sec, at 14mm, 800 ISO, on a X-E2

f/13, 1/7 sec, at 14mm, 800 ISO, on a X-E2

 

More thoughts on the X-E2

This camera is very responsive. I have read reviews where people say, it is a nice improvement. I think that is an understatement. This is a huge improvement. The X-Pro1 one was sluggish. This camera is flat out responsive, especially when you put the AF point in the center where the phase detection is. It seems to nail the focus immediately.

The image quality is great. In fact, I would say it it is comparable to anything out there today, better than most. The high ISO grain is almost nonexistent. Certainly up until around 1600 (See the next image below).

 

f/2.8, 1/60 sec, at 14mm, 1600 ISO, on a X-E2

f/2.8, 1/60 sec, at 14mm, 1600 ISO, on a X-E2

 

In Conclusion

I can say with certainty that even after only two weeks of (daily) use I have no regrets trading my Canon 5D MKIII for the Fujifilm X-E2. None whatsoever. This camera is everything I had hoped for when I first bought the X-Pro1. The X-Pro1 was a a great start and frankly there is a good chance that the X-E2 would not be the camera that it is today without it. Fujifilm has built on it success and unlike other camera companies, it has listened to it’s users. Fujifilm is a company that I am excited to watch. What will be next? I would assume that it will only get better.

 

f/1.4, 1/40 sec, at 23mm, 2000 ISO, on a X-E2

f/1.4, 1/40 sec, at 23mm, 2000 ISO, on a X-E2

 

f/2.8, 1/3 sec, at 14mm, 400 ISO, on a X-E2

f/2.8, 1/3 sec, at 14mm, 400 ISO, on a X-E2

 

f/5, 1/450 sec, at 14mm, 400 ISO, on a X-E2

f/5, 1/450 sec, at 14mm, 400 ISO, on a X-E2

 

f/11, 1/10 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-E2

f/11, 1/10 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-E2

 

f/2.8, 1/30 sec, at 14mm, 1250 ISO, on a X-E2

f/2.8, 1/30 sec, at 14mm, 1250 ISO, on a X-E2

 

f/1.4, 1/340 sec, at 35mm, 1250 ISO, on a X-E2

f/1.4, 1/340 sec, at 35mm, 1250 ISO, on a X-E2

f/2.8, 1/100 sec, at 14mm, 1250 ISO, on a X-E2

f/2.8, 1/100 sec, at 14mm, 1250 ISO, on a X-E2

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62 thoughts on “Fujifilm X-E2: A Real World Review In The Philippines

  1. Great review Matt, I’m very close to ditching my Nikon gear and switching over to the Fuji cams too, especially now they are getting a full lens line up and some quicker AF. My only concern is the EVF but you and everyone else I know who have been using these cams seem to be finding them okay despite the lack of OVF. Any real reasons to hold on to the DSLR kit then for portrait and street shooting?

  2. Hi Matt,

    Great working review. Having just picked up an X-E2 plus the two XF zooms in time for a family vacation (in Eastern Taiwan) my first impressions echo yours though I haven’t really done more than begin to explore the possibilities it opens up (and I don’t have your more extensive professional or X-series experience so I am still getting used to the fuji way of doing things). I’m impressed with the optical character of the 55-200 despite the slower focus. As you say, tack sharp and with very pleasant bokeh (at least in the situations I have used it in so far – very dull overcast most of the time here). As for the 18-55 it is too early to develop the same sense of attachment as I feel with the Canon 24-70L I on the 5DII but that may change with time. Images seem crisp enough, though and again it seems to have reasonable bokeh – it certainly isn’t a ‘kit’ lens. Carrying it around in the social context that a lot of my photography has currently to take in to account is certainly a lot more pleasurable than the Canon combo. The main issue is trying to fend off my daughter who wants to use it all the time!

  3. Hi Matt,

    Great review. I’ve used the X-E2 for a while and had the opposite experience with the kit 18-55mm lens. AF was fast and it wasn’t accurate. I’m wondering if the X-E2 works better with the primes than with the kit lens?

    • Alvin, I would be surprised it the trouble is in the X-E2. My guess would be the 18-55. Though I can’t say with can’t certainty as I don’t own that lens. I have used it now with the 14mm, 18mm, 23mm, 55-200mm and have no complaints about the camera.

      • I highly doubt that it was the 18-55. I’ve been using that lens on my X-Pro 1′s since May 2013 and find it the best of the three I own (18mm an 35mm) in terms of focus speed and AF accuracy. I’m using it professionally for paid jobs too.

    • Perhaps you might want to update the firmware of 18-55, i have a friend with a similar problem and by updating the firmware of the lens solved the problem.

  4. Pingback: “What makes the X-E2 stand out in the crowd? In two words: Almost Everything!” (thedigitaltrekker) | Fuji Rumors

  5. Hi!

    Nice review and great images. I’d like to ask you, how did one battery last? How many images you did with one? Since that was my main problem with X-Pro1

    And one small thing, maybe for others to help.
    Quote:
    Focus Area: On the X-Pro1 Fuji placed the button for the focus area (the focus point) adjustment on the lower left side of the camera.

    You can access focus area by pushing down arrow below the “OK Menu” button. I found it soon enough and it is easy to use.

    Regards, Saso

    • Saso, That change only happened after a firmware update earlier this year. Prior to that it was how I described it. A photographer should never have to take the camera away from his or her eyes to change the focus point. That was a poor design choice. But Fujifilm, made good with the firmware update and changing things around on later cameras, including the X-E2.

  6. My impressions are roughly the same, and I’m totally with you regarding the Manual Focus: the split screen seems a bit underwhelming but the focus peaking compensates it. I’m also using a couple of small, older Nikkor AF lenses with a mount adapter (like the 85mm f1.8) and manual focusing with it is smooth and easy. I even think that one might get a better experience mounting those lenses smaller Nikkor on a camera with good EVF and focus peaking than on a Nikon Df, a camera marketed for older lenses but that hasn’t any extra features for manual focusing (like interchangeable focusing screens).

  7. As ever a truly useful post for those interested in this camera.

    I’m looking forward to the next version of the X-Pro 1; I prefer an OVF, even with the latest generation EVFs, and also prefer the size of the X-Pro 1 . Fuji have been very impressive with updates and versions. But this XE-2 is impressive and I’m glad you are enjoying it.

    Its a pity about the 55-200 focus speed. For most of my shooting it hasn’t hampered me too much, but it can be a bit frustrating on an otherwise impressive lens.

    • Thanks Stephen, I like what I am hearing on Fujirumors about the weather sealed camera coming out in Jan. It is suppose to have a faster AF than the XE2. That will truly be impressive.

  8. Matt, I am just back from 12 days in Myanmar where I took along my D4 and the X-E2 and my impressions are exactly the same, where I still more comfortable shooting with the DSLR I think is just a matter of take more time with the X-E2 this is my second X body as just upgraded from the X-E1. The IQ is superb and moving forward I’ll leave the Nikon at home and just travel with the X. Thanks for sharing!!!

  9. For enthusiasts, the X series is awesome. Walk around anywhere and you see folks lugging big DSLRs and huge lenses. And for what? Pictures that will never go anywhere other than their harddrive and maybe into an email.

    i’m a professional, have been for 30+ years (i know, i’m old).

    i’ve used canon stuff for a long time, have 5dmk2 bodies, a slew of lenses, AND an x100s and two xe-2s with 14, 23, 35 and 55-200. And an xe-1 about to go on ebay.

    Most of my work is on location, and though i often use an assistant, i still have to actually carry the cameras when shooting… and at the end of a long day, or long few days, my elbows hurt, my wrist might hurt, my neck…

    I recently shot a decent sized job with two xe2s and one canon 5dmk2 with a longer, fast lens, and it was a joy.

    But for a lot of my work the smaller sensor just won’t work. It’s my belief that the full frame, higher MP count of the canon just looks better, and leaves some room for cropping when a photo is used as a full page or across a spread. And, in a critical moment, the dslr’s are just faster and easier to work with.

    i’m looking forward to the new 56 1.2 lens, and think that the day when i can leave the dslrs at home may come… but i just can’t do it yet… i love my canon 135 f2, for instance… so handy, makes anything look awesome…

    and, i love my x100s, but does the 23mm f 1.4 lens make it useless? i don’t want to think so… am on the fence…

    well, that’s my ramble!

    • I think that’s a very valid ramble Jack. Thanks for chiming in. I would say that I was right there with you up until the X-E2 came to my bag. I agree that these camera aren’t up the the DSLR’s job, quite yet. Maybe never. I think there will always be a place for the DSLR. It is not “dead”, for that matter, maybe not even “sick”. But it is clear to me at least, that the DSLR is no longer the only game in town for the pro. I don’t think I need the super fast focus. Do I still want that option? Yes. And according to the latest Fujirumors the next X-series camera (announcing in Jan) will be even faster than the X-E2, fine by me. Full Frame? Frankly, I have been a huge advocate of the FF sensor for years. I have wrote about it on this blog. I want a lens to act like the lens it is, not a cropped version of another. Cropped sensors just don’t give us the DOF that a FF does. The funny thing is I would have thought I would have missed it more than I have with the X-series. But, these primes are delivering some really nice looks. I still have the “23 mm acts like a 50 mm…” talk, it doesn’t. Only a 50 mm on a FF acts like a 50 mm. But until Fujifilm delivers to us a FF the size of the X-Pro 1 I am pretty happy with what I have… for now.

  10. I have read where a lot of people love the x100s but are discouraged by the “one lens for all seasons” approach. I don’t know if it’s possible or not where the camera has a leaf shutter, but could Fuji make this camera with just a two lens interchangeable solution where the shutter is part of the lens? Stay with the current 23mm and say a 50mm f/1.8 that could be swapped out. I know if would add to the cost but then portrait shooters would have the best of both worlds.

  11. Man i miss the phillipines!! hopefully i can go back there soon! Im really happy fuji is getting there autofocus up to speed with the competition. Great review and happy shooting!!

    • Not that I can tell, but then I am not a pixel peeper. What problems have people been having? I read were some folks are getting a magenta tent to skin on the .raf files. I haven’t noticed this. Anything else?

  12. Thanks so much for your candid report. I was very seriously considering the X100s but I do have some old Nikon glass and for that this camera is a good fit with an x mount adapter. Plus I really like black cameras and thus far the S is not out in Schwartz! Images look so lush and the colors are really nice. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  13. Matt
    Just bought the xe2on Saturday I can not figure out how to set Manuel mode for shooting in Manuel can you help
    Frank

    • One of two ways, Frank. 1. there is a small dial on the front lower right side that list M,C,S. Switch it to “m”. That turns it manual. 2.Also, if you own the 14 mm or 23 mm lenses then there is a push pull front part of the lens that once pulled back it is in manual.

  14. I get tired of all this “full frame” talk. The Fuji X series camera are full frame. All cameras are full frame. It’s just that they’re not all the same format. The xE2 etc, is a full frame camera. This is all daft.

    I’m a pro shooter and have been since 1992 and I use APSC cameras. Would like to upgrade to 135 but cannot justify the cost when a bag of D200s and Nikkor primes yield such consistently excellent image quality and are robust and fast.

    I also use a battered X100 for quiet and low light work and on the streets and it’s a sublime piece of equipment, particularly after the recent firmware upgrade.

    I’ve been on the point of upgrading and switching systems regularly over the years but my D200 still hold it’s own against everything else particularly since I know the camera so thoroughly and can stretch the files all the way to 50mb when needed and clients never query anything.

    Right above my desk right in front of me as I type this is a 40×30 print from a D200 file and it’s glorious. The CCD sensor, though grainy in low light, does lovely things with skin.

    My next camera may well be yet another D200 as they are now so inexpensive on the used market. It’s rock solid, weather sealed and handles very quickly indeed. Utterly reliable. And as I only use primes now, it’s not too heavy.

    As long as this D200 pays it’s way, I cannot be bothered changing anything. And I’m a stickler for quality and fidelity.

    - Paul.
    @photohumourist

    • Paul, that’s a little like saying call cameras take photos. Yes, all cameras have a fully framed sensor, but the “full Frame” sensor is not the same as a cropped. Not just the fact that it is a smaller sensor size, it is that the lens acts different. You can read my thoughts HERE

      • Matt, I’m not sure you understood my point. “Full frame” is bullshit. M43 is full frame. APSC is full frame. 135 is full frame. 120 is full frame. Full frame does not equal format. You don’t need to explain anything to me. I’ve been a pro photographer for a quarter century and utilised all sorts of formats. If you have a Nikon FX camera and shoot it in DX mode for whatever reason, then you’re using a cropped sensor. An APSC is not a cropped sensor. It’s its own full frame sensor but in a different format to 35mm or 135 to be exact.

        As usual, the language is all wrong on this.

        • Paul, Let me help Matt clarify this for you; one does not call a Smart car a “Mid Size” or a Pint glass a “Shot” glass – they are references of size. Educate yourself. Full Frame is a referral to a specific sized sensor in comparison to 35mm film so it is not “BS”. However what you babble on about is.

          • Paul, not to worry. You are not antagonizing me. When people act like adults, I love to host as long of conversation as folks want. I also don’t mind people disagreeing – again, as long at people act like adults.

            Actually I think I do see your point. The problem is the industry bases almost all the digital cameras tech today on the 35 mm format of film. This is what I am referencing in my responses link in the comment above. It might be as you say, a different format, but I don’t have the energy nor the ability to try to change the language of the a whole industry or culture. Right now, everyone uses the 35 mm as a measuring stick, I think I’ll stick to it.

          • Nicely put. Sorry for rant. I’m just a frustrated old hack. Pros don’t really matter anyway. It’s all about the enthusiast. As it should be. I guess I just have to embrace the fact that pros are enthusiasts too. Mostly anyway.

        • Paul, Nor was I trying to rev you up. You are not wrong in what you are trying to say, I get it, I think we all get it, but the digicam business does not really get it. The bigger issue is they market cameras and need to use some sort of technical nominclature to do it. Hence their sizes of sensors and stuff.

          Now finally it appears fuji are turning thing on their heads. Who would have thought Kodak would die and Fuji would come on as a major contender in the hardware game. And good for them. Good for us too.

          Ironically the smart phone cams are killing the sales of digital cameras. Not solely a bad thing for upper end stuf, but if these companies lose enough sales to the iPhone, then the de elopement of things like the X100 and so on will wane. Their companies are already feeling the pinch and that could keep them from developing better cameras and even drive up costs to end users.

          So in a way you are right, the marketing terminology is failing the very companies we support.

        • Matt (and/or Paul)
          What might your thoughts be between an X-E2 with the 18mm f2 prime vs. the X100s? I like the wifi option on the new E but do either of you think the fixed lens on the X100s trumps the E2 with the 18mm prime?
          Would be very interested in either/ both of your opinions. Thanks

          • The X100s would be my choice. Fixed lens means forever clean sensor. And the OVF is a joy to behold. If you need WiFi, just get a WiFi capable SD card.

            XE2 is a stunning camera in so many ways but it’s a system camera and if you’re thinking in terms of just the 18mm f2, then why bother?

            The X100s is a bi-focal length camera when paired with the excellent WCL-X100. Its OVF and fixed lens make it very special indeed.

            Eventually, I’ll add an XE2 and use my Nikkor primes on it to add to my bi-focal length X100 and that’ll be my future professional system. I tend only to utilise 28, 35, 50 and 75 (in 35mil terms) for my work and the X100 covers the first two.

          • Frank, Maybe I am missing something, but why are you comparing the X100s with a 23mm lens with the X-E2 with an 18 mm? Why not compare it to the X-E2 with the 23 mm f/1.4? The 23 is the same focal length as the 23 on the X100 but faster and you get a system camera so you’re not limited to a 23mm for the life of the camera. Paul make a good point about dust, but frankly, I get very little dust on my sensor and when I do, it is easily cleaned off with an Arctic butterfly. As for Paul’s love of the OVF, I really like the OVF, but frankly I find myself using the EFV more than I ever thought I would. That’s my 2¢ To each his own.

          • Matt,
            Yes very good point. Clarification – the reason I brought the 18mm lens into the conversation was due to its compact size rather than its actual focal length. I do lean toward wider angle personally.

            I like the overall profile and size of the X100s and the X-E2 with the 18mm would be very comparable in size.

            Price of X100s and X-E2 with the 18mm again are comparable in cost based on what I have seen.

            Paul, although I have never used one, the wifi card is a very valid point. Makes perfect sense. Like yourself, I too have Nikor glass that I could then use on the X-E2, but that is not the primary objective. I am really looking for a nice compact unit, so If the 18mm is as good as the X100s 23mm then it is a no-brainer for me.

            Do you believe the 18mm lens is as good as the 23mm on the X100s?

            Thanks
            PS: The new shots above with your 23mm lens are sublime!

  15. Great write-up and fantastic shots. Reviews and images like this sometimes make me wish I had gone the Fuji route instead of the Olympus OMD series. However, once Fuji finds away to introduce a great IBIS system, improved video codecs, and flesh out their lens selection a bit more, I’ll take a seriously long hard look at switching :P

    • Tony, I doubt that Fujifilm with do IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization). What kind of improvements to the codecs would you like to see? As for the lenses, I am excited about the 10-24 mm and the new 56 mm 1.2 Here is the rumored new lens road map:

      - XF 16-55mm F2.8
      - XF 50-140mm F2.8
      - XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6

      What else would you like to see?

  16. Just a quick note…IShoot makes a plate that works for the xpro, xe-1, x100s and suspect now for the xe-2 (same size as xe 1??)…takes a while to ship from China but the build quality is great, the battery compartment is accessible, and the tripod hole is now centered, works perfectly on Arca Swiss Ballhead, and feels GREAT in my hands…and it costs somehwere around $70 vs the close to $200 for Right Stuff.
    Thank you for great article…I am struggling between an xe-1 and 2 given that the xe-1 is now about half the price…is it worth the xtra bucks? I have an xpro but would love faster focusing sometimes. (The 14 mm lens is a killer lens, yes?!!)

  17. Pingback: Fujifilm X-E2: A Real World Review In The Philippines | Matt Brandon

  18. Hi Matt, very interesting review. I sold my Nikon gear last October because of the weight & bulk and bought the X Pro 1 and I am beginning to regret it. I like doing macro work and have found that manual focusing on the X Pro 1 is a pain in the ****. Even trying to focus in manual mode the lens seems to be hunting, would the XE2 be a vast improvement as I would really like to stick to the Fuji X products? If so I will sell the X Pro 1 and keep the lenses, if not I’ll sell it all and switch back to a DSLR.

    • David, I am hesitant to answer as it is always a risk when money is on the line. But I can only say for me the X-Pro1 after the firmware update (You have done the firmware update on the body and the lenses, right?) was faster – noticeably so. But it still was not like the X-E2 is.The X-E2 is almost as fast as most DSLRs, not quite. But I find it to be very accurate more so than many of the DSLRs I have used, so it makes up for the comparative slowness. When I say “comparative”, I mean it is still very fast over all. I have no issues as all now if the AF and I did before. My biggest issues now are the lens choices but as of this past few months these are becoming less an issue. With the advent of the 10-24 mm (though I wish it was faster) and the 56 mm f/1.2 both being announced I am now a happy camper.

      • HI Matt, thanks for that. I was just wondering if it would be practical to use a 3rd party lens like the Tamron 90mm macro on the XE2? I would use manual focus anyway but don’t know if I would have any problems?
        Seeing your brilliant images is one of the reasons I want to stick to the Fuji X series.

        • David, Sorry for the delay in answering this. I have been traveling. There should be no reason why you couldn’t use a Tamron lens. You would need the appropriate lens adapter. In other words if it is Canon or Nikon mount you would need the Canon or Nikon lens adapter.

  19. Pingback: Pushing the X-E2 to it’s limits and finding them. | The Digital Trekker Blog & Photography

  20. Pingback: Pushing the X-E2 to it’s limits and finding them | Matt Brandon

  21. I was hoping to be able to us my Leica lenses on the X-E1, but unfortunately the edges of the image are not sharp, especially so with the wide angle lenses. I suppose it is the same situation with the X-E2. Has anyone any experience of this?

  22. My Leica M240 has been idle since I bought the X-E2 with 14mm & 18mm lenses….what a brilliant little camera for street & documentary B&W work.

    The AF is really fast & works well at night, and auto exposure works in a variety of light conditions (unlike the Leica M!). The files are a little flat for my taste but respond well to a bump in contrast. Image quality including high ISO is getting close to my M240′s, and I’m nailing more shots in tricky conditions.

    I had issues with inadvertently moving the EV compensation dial but that’s easy to fix by adding a Thumbs Up.

    I’m now wondering whether I should sell off all my Leica gear: M8, M9, M240 + lenses…. ^^

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