Thursday, January 23, 2014

Upcoming Review: Fujifilm X-E2 & XF18-55

Taken with Ricoh GR-D IV. 1/45th sec F/2.8 @ ISO 125.

The Fuji X series cameras have slowly grown on me. Last year when I tested the Fuji X-E1, I liked the camera, but not enough to want to buy one for myself. I was impressed with the very sharp and fast kit lens, and I liked the retro but still modern layout (healthy mix of dials and buttons). The image quality was very good as well, with a very unique look of their own, including classic Fuji film simulated jpeg modes (Provia and Velvia are my favourite). But there were some ergonomic and functional issues that made it a bit slow to shoot with, and I really wasn't a fan of the slow refresh rate of the EVF. In the end, I gave it a good, but not an excellent rating. I wasn't alone with these complaints. Fuji engineers are good listeners however; and with each new X series camera, they continually made small improvements to the layout, the sensor, AF speed, etc. I loved testing the X-Pro 1, and I really loved the X-100S. Each new X-series cameras comes closer and closer to what people want from this retro inspired line-up of cameras.

Finally it was time for Fuji to upgrade the X-E1, and upgrade they did. With 60 distinct improvements over the original X-E1, the new X-E2 was clearly Fuji listening to their core customers (and reviewers) and doing their best to meet those concerns. The changes aren't radical, but much like the X-100 to X-100S, the X-E1 to X-E2 improvements are subtle but significant. AF speed is much faster and more accurate. The button layout is more customizable. The EVF refresh rate is much improved (50 FPS vs 20 FPS in low EV). It looks the same, but operates very differently. It's quick, it's easy to use, and enough custom functions to work with how we like to work.

A full review will be coming out in the next few weeks so stay tuned. I know much of the attention now is on the soon-to-be-announced X-T1, but my guess is that it will basically have the guts of the X-E2 (same sensor, same OS, same EVF and rear LCD screen, etc.) but the ergonomics of a mirrorless DSLR-styled camera (Olympus E-M1, Sony A7). I'm going to be reviewing it as soon as my turn comes up, so I'll be sure to let you know as soon as I have one in my hand, I promise. 

Thanks for visiting, and we'll talk to you soon. Happy shooting!

Full Review of Fuji X-E2 here!!

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