18
Oct
2013

First Look: Fujifilm X-E2

 photo X_zps5ffffe9c.jpg

PRE-ORDERS

by purchasing your camera using the link below, you’ll support Fujirumors. You won’t pay a single penny more for your camera, but a small commision goes to FR. It’s big help for the site and keeps it ticking over.

X-E2 - USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / AdoramaDigitalRev / Pictureline / EUROPE: wexphotographicUK / DigitalRev / Fotomundus24 GER / PCHstore /

XQ1 - USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / AdoramaDigitalRev / EUROPE: wexphotographicUK / DigitalRev / PCHstore /

 

 

  Click here for the LIVE-BLOGGING

 

First Look: Fujifilm X-E2

by Rico Pfirstinger

Talk to Rico (open forum for questions & feedback)Rico’s Flickr sets – X-E2 Sample Images SetX-E2 Tracking AF Samples (private set, must use this link) – X-E2 Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) Examples (private set, must use this link) – Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1 reading samples (65 free pages) – Order my NEW book (print or DRM-free eBook/PDF): Mastering the Fujifilm X-E1 and X-Pro1 (use code FUJISAVES30 to save 30%!)

Good morning and welcome to this early edition of Friday’s X-Pert Corner. Today’s column is all about the new Fujifilm X-E2, the successor of the popular X-E1 mirrorless system camera. Here it is:

I was able to test drive an early pre-production unit of the X-E2 for the past 4-5 weeks. Don’t worry, compact camera fans: I will soon add another First Look article on the XQ1. If you aren’t yet familiar with Fuji’s X-E family of cameras, click here to access the official product information page explaining the features and listing the full specifications of the X-E2.


X-E2 SOOC JPEG (click on the image to access the full sample set)

The X-E2 is a camera many Fujifilm enthusiasts have been waiting for. Don’t let its almost unchanged exterior fool you: The X-E2 is an all-new camera on the inside, with object-tracking on-sensor PDAF, an almost twice as fast image processor with LMO (Lens Modulation Optimizer) support, 14 bit RAW processing, face detection, wifi networking (which is supposed to offer wireless remote control after a future firmware update) and dozens of small but important improvements that make shooting with this camera easier and more enjoyable, all without sacrificing its classic retro design and manual controls.

Exterior, Displays and User Interface

A brief glance at the X-E2′s exterior reveals several changes and improvements, such as the shutter dial with a fixed 1/180s flash sync stop, or the new 3-inch LCD display with 1,040K dots and a native 3:2 aspect ratio (X-E1: 420k 2.8″ 4:3 display). The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is the same 2,360K dot OLED display we already know from the X-E1, with a built-in -4 to +2 diopter adjustment. However, the EVF/LCD refresh rate has been significantly improved from 20 fps to 50-60 fps in low light. This makes shooting action in bad light (like concerts) so much easier. There’s virtually no more motion blurring when panning the camera.

The X-E2′s EVF/LCD screens offer a pretty accurate WYSIWYG display. They do so in all four PASM exposure modes—yes, even in manual exposure mode! This means that in manual mode (M), the live histogram is now fully functional and the camera’s live view shows a preview that very much resembles the brightness of the actual exposure. Most photographers will love this, but some studio and flash photographers won’t. That’s why there’s a menu option to switch the manual mode live view back to the traditional auto-gain display known from the X-E1.

The X-E2 features separate buttons for AE-L and AF-L, so exposure (AE) and autofocus (AF) can now be locked independently from each other. This also means that AE-L is still available in manual focus (MF) mode, where the AF-L button assumes the popular “Instant AF” function. Don’t like this new feature? No worries, you can configure the camera to behave like an X-E1 and merge AE-L and AF-L on a single button.

With AE-L engaged, you can now finally make changes to the selected aperture or shutter speed. That’s because unlike the X-E1, the X-E2 doesn’t lock exposure values, it locks the actual exposure. In a similar manner, AF-L now allows making changes to the aperture and shutter speed, too. However, it doesn’t recognize changing the exposure compensation dial. I have already contacted Fujifilm about this slight omission, so this might be addressed in a future firmware update.


X-E2 SOOC JPEG (click on the image to access the full sample set)

The improved exposure compensation dial covers a more substantial range of ± 3 EV, allowing for stronger adjustments in difficult lighting situations. While the camera’s built-in flash remains the same as in the X-E1, flash output compensation now covers a range of ± 2 EV, way better than the ± 2/3 EV of the X-E1. Sadly, exposure bracketing is still limited to three frames and a maximum exposure range of ± 1 EV. Even worse, the camera still freezes until all images of a bracketing series have been transferred to the SD card. Practically, this isn’t much of an issue, though, because the X-E2 works really fast when you use an UHS-1 SD card with a nominal write speed of at least 80 or 90 MB/s.

On the X-E2, the Q button to access the popular Quick Menu has now replaced the View Mode button of the X-E1. The View Mode functionality is still available, but it’s buried in the setup menu. Sadly, there’s no way to assign the View Mode function to any of the camera’s four(!) function buttons. This could easily be rectified with a firmware upgrade, though. On the bright side, the improved View Mode function now includes a new “EVF only” option that activates the EVF only when you are actually using it. This is basically an energy saving mode: When it’s on, the LCD display stays dark all the time, and the EVF is only working when someone is looking through the viewfinder.

I already mentioned that the X-E2 offers four different Fn buttons. So where are they? It’s rather straightforward: In addition to the standard Fn and AF (arrow-down) buttons known from the X-E1 and X-Pro1, the X-E2 features a second Fn2 button to the left of the LCD display. Directly above this button, the AE button is serving as another Fn button and can hence assume any of 18 different functions. Sadly, neither the popular View Mode nor the new Face Detection function can be assigned to an Fn button. Especially the latter is quite unbelievable, since all other Fuji X cameras with this feature allow “Face Detection ON/OFF” to be assigned to any Fn button. Fuji should take care of this with a quick firmware update.

The X-E2′s EVF/LCD user interface has been improved: The distance/DOF scale is now semi-transparent and obscures less of the scene than in previous X camera models. Also, manual exposure compensation is now easier to recognize thanks to the correction indicator arrow turning yellow. Even better: With active Auto-ISO and Auto-DR, a half-press of the shutter (or pressing the AE-L button) now not only displays the actual ISO value, it also reveals the actual DR setting chosen by the automatic dynamic range function. No more surprises!

Speaking of Auto-DR, the X-E2 (and XQ1) will always choose either DR100% or DR200%, so the DR400% setting is only available when it’s manually selected. It remains to be seen if this is deliberate or just a pre-production firmware glitch. In any case, DR-Auto is now also available in manual exposure mode (M).

The illustration below shows the improved live view screen layout with the live histogram and an exposure compensation of – 1/3 EV:

Here’s the same scene upon half-pressing the shutter button:

You may note that the X-E2′s AF frames are squares instead of rectangles (they are still available in five different sizes) and that there’s a new green AF confirmation dot in the lower left corner of the screen. This dot can be quite useful during AF tracking, since it indicates whether a tracked target is currently in focus or not.

Fuji has made a few minor changes to the behavior of some of the back buttons: Pressing and holding the DISP/BACK button does no longer enable/disable Silent Mode, and pressing and holding the Q button does no longer give direct access the Edit Custom Setting function. On the other hand, engaging the Key Lock function by pressing and holding the OK button now also locks the AE-L and AF-L buttons.

Speaking of user interface changes and enhancements, the Image Display (aka image review) function now offers two shorter instant review durations of either 0.5 or 1.5 seconds. Hardcore DSLR shooters will be happy to learn that when the eye sensor is active, they can now instantly review an image on the LCD screen as soon as they remove their eye from the EVF in order to look at the LCD.


X-E2: SOOC JPEG (click on the image to access the full sample set)

The popular manual focus (MF) magnifier tool is now also available in autofocus (AF-S) mode by simply pressing the command dial, offering a magnification level that’s somewhere in between of the two magnification levels that are available in MF mode. Even better, the MF/AF magnifier tool now remains available while the cameras is writing data to the SD card. In AF-S, you can take an exposure while the magnifier is engaged, so you can more easily catch the very instant when your subject is in perfect focus.

Manual focus users can combine the magnifier with one of two additional focusing aids: traditional focus peaking or the PDAF based Digital Split Image mode already known from the X100S.

In playback mode, magnified images that were shot in portrait format now occupy the entire screen, and images can now be deleted when viewing them zoomed in. Yay!

New and Improved Features

The X-E2 incorporates a Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO). This feature is already known from the X100S and X20, and you can learn more about it by clicking here. Adding the LMO to the X-E2 means that in order to support this feature, all lenses require a firmware update, adding specific LMO data that the camera’s processor (or possibly an external RAW converter) can use to reduce diffraction and other unwanted optical effects by applying state-of-the-art deconvolution algorithms. As of now, only the new XF23mmF1.4 R lens supports the LMO right out of the box, that’s why many of my sample images were taken with this lens. I will add more samples in the days and weeks to come, so check back frequently.

In order to assess the effect of the LMO, I have taken a few test images at different apertures. Click here to access a private Flickr set where you can directly compare several 100% crops of images taken at different apertures with active or inactive LMO. As it turns out, the LMO is not only effective at small apertures with plenty of diffraction, is also improves things at wider apertures, including the optical “sweet spot” of a lens.


X-E2: SOOC JPEG (click on the image to access the full sample set)

The LMO can be turned on and off in the shooting menu and in the camera’s internal RAW converter, giving you the opportunity to create different versions of an image based on the same RAW file. Don’t like the results of the LMO? Simply switch it off!

According to my sources at Fujifilm, all XF lenses will receive LMO firmware updates within a few months, many of them already before the holidays. There are no such plans for the cheaper XC lenses, though, and while the processor hardware of the X-M1 and X-A1 could support an LMO firmware update, Fujifilm has currently no plans to offer one. Users of the X-Pro1 and X-E1 are definitely out of luck, because the older processor hardware in these cameras isn’t able to support the LMO.

As of now, it’s still unclear to me whether the X-E2 saves the LMO data in the RAW metadata of a shot. I suppose it does, which would open the door for external RAW converters to support this feature, too. Brian Griffith of Iridient and Jim Christian of PictureCode (Photo Ninja) might want to look into this. By the way, Iridient Developer and Photo Ninja are already offering X-E2 and XQ1 support. You can view samples that were processed with both of these converters in my Flickr set.


X-E2: RAW with Photo Ninja (click on the image to access the full sample set)

Let’s talk about Auto-Iso. As expected, the X-E2 offers the same Auto-ISO functionality as in the X100S, X20, X-A1 and X-M1: You can set an ISO floor, an ISO ceiling and a minimum shutter speed. So far, so good, but it gets even better, because in the X-E2, the minimum shutter speed can now exceed 1/125s. It can be set as fast as 1/500s. Action shooters will love this.

On the downside, the maximum shutter speed of the X-E2 is still 1/4000s, so those who want to shoot in bright light with a wide open XF56mmF1.2 R lens should probably invest in an ND filter. The maximum flash-sync speed remains at 1/180s, too, but at least there’s now an extra position for it on the shutter speed dial.

Speaking of minimum shutter speeds, there have been changes in the minimum flash-sync speeds the camera is using with its built-in or an external TTL flash unit: With native lenses, the camera’s minimum shutter speed in forced flash mode is now 1/[2 x focal length] seconds. With adapted lenses, the minimum shutter speed has been doubled from 1/15s to a more practical 1/30s. Sadly, the camera is still not using the focal length information in the lens adapter menu in order to adjust the minimum flash-sync speed in a more flexible and smarter way. In slow-sync flash mode, there’s now a new minimum shutter speed of 1/8s for adapted and native lenses. This is different from the X-E1, which has no minimum shutter speed at all in slow-sync flash mode.

Here’s another shutter speed enhancement: In S and M modes, “odd” in-between shutter speed settings like 1/640s are now remembered when the camera is switched off and on again or toggled between playback and shooting mode.

Sadly, the X-E2′s double exposure function no longer saves a RAW file of the composite image, so those of you who actually use this feature will only get a JPEG. The same is true when using one of the 13 effect filters, so-called Advanced Filters. These filters are well known from many other X series cameras, but all you’ll get out of them is a JPEG file. In the same fashion, Advanced Filters still can’t be applied to RAW files in the camera’s built-in RAW converter.


X-E2: RAW with Iridient Developer (click on the image to access the full sample set)

Like the X-M1 and X-A1, the X-E2 is equipped with wifi and can communicate with PCs (Mac/Windows) and smartphones/tablets running Android or iOS. The user interface has been simplified to incorporate “one touch” operation: Simply press the Fn (Wi-Fi) button in playback mode and handle the rest with a Fujifilm app running on your tablet or smartphone. As of now, wifi basically offers manual image transfer to computers or smartphones. It’s also possible to obtain GPS location information (geotagging data) from your smartphone, which is then stored in the EXIF data of subsequently taken shots. A future firmware update is supposed to offer a wifi remote control feature and will most likely also be made available for the X-M1 and X-A1. However, please take this with a grain of salt, since such an update hasn’t officially been announced, yet.

Autofocus and Performance

For many users, the most important enhancement of the X-E2 is its hybrid on-sensor PDAF/CDAF autofocus system. In principle, this isn’t really new, as the X100S and X20 already offer such a system. That said, the X-E2 (and also XQ1) advance this feature to a whole new level by (finally!) implementing tracking autofocus for objects that move towards and away from the camera.

This new AF-C mode continuously tries to keep a moving object in focus while the shutter is half-pressed. In order to facilitate this, AF-C now offers the same selection of 49 AF frames (each in five different sizes) as the more conventional AF-S mode. The nine AF frames in the center serve as combined PDAF/CDAF frames, offering the best AF performance by combining the fast on-sensor phase detection autofocus (PDAF) with the very accurate contrast detection autofocus (CDAF).


X-E2: SOOC JPEG ISO 6400 (click on the image to access the full sample set)

Both AF-S and AF-C also work with face detection, meaning the camera can follow a person that is walking towards the camera. So what happened to the “old AF-C” of the X-E1 and X-Pro1? This feature is actually still available as an option in the camera menu, and you can now use it as an addition to the updated AF-S and AF-C modes. The option is called Pre-AF: When activated, it will continuously try to focus on any object the camera is pointed at, just like the old AF-C did in the X-E1. Obviously, this feature quickly drains the battery. Since the “real” AF-C is kicking in as soon as the shutter button is half-pressed, pre-AF should rarely be required.

How is the new AF-C performing? You can use it in single-shot mode or in combination with the X-E2′s low-speed burst more of 3 frames per second (fps). In burst mode, the camera will still measure and readjust focus and exposure of each shot that’s taken while the shutter button remains depressed, but it won’t make changes to white balance or dynamic range (DR) settings. The latter are always established in the first frame of a burst and they remain the same throughout the series.

Using the high-speed burst mode of 7 fps, AF tracking is no longer available. Focus, exposure, white balance and DR settings are established in the first frame of a burst and remain unchanged throughout the series. The X-E2′s image buffer holds approximately 28 JPEGs or 8 RAW+FINE files. You can take an unlimited number of shots at 3 fps when you are using a really fast SD card.

Let’s have a look at AF-C in combination with the low-speed 3 fps burst mode: With these settings, you have a choice of either using face detection or any of the 49 AF frames to track a moving subject. Using an AF frame is more precise, especially if you select one of the 9 central hybrid AF frames. Both PDAF and CDAF respond to the size of the selected AF frame: A larger AF frame increases the chance of the PDAF to engage, while a smaller AF frame increases the autofocus accuracy. It’s up to the user to set a compromise that gets the job done.

This private Flickr set shows a sequence of six images that were taken with AF-C in 3 fps burst mode while the girl was walking towards the camera. The set also shows 100% crops of all six images, and as it turns out, each one of them is in quite perfect focus. Now, this isn’t always the case, of course. There’s also a difference between a walking person and a speeding horse, car or child. Further tests will be required with production cameras and lenses.

In order to use the X-E2′s PDAF, all native XF and XC lenses need firmware updates. As of now, only the XF23mmF1.4 R lens supports PDAF out of the box, so I couldn’t shoot tracking AF samples using a more adequate telephoto lens such as the XF55-200mm zoom. I will perform more tests as soon as Fuji offers firmware upgrades for those lenses. This is supposed to happen in the next few months, with most lenses receiving updates already before the holidays. All XF and XC lenses will eventually support PDAF, at least those from Fujifilm. I haven’t received any information about LMO and PDAF updates for Zeiss Touit lenses.

The overall AF performance of the X-E2 appears to be quite good, if not excellent. The camera feels snappy, and PDAF leads to virtually instantaneous focusing. By the way: Similar to the X-M1 and X-A1, images shot in a burst mode are now saved as “standard” images with conventional “DSCF” filenames. No more filenames starting with an “S”!

Video

The X-E2 records full-HD video at either 60 or 30 frames per second (X-E1: 24 fps). Autofocus and the Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) in the XF/XC zoom lenses have been optimized for video usage. Face detection also works in video mode, and it is possible to manually focus and apply up to ± 2 EV of exposure compensation while the camera is recording. That said, some users may be unhappy with the reduced maximum recording length of now 14.5 minutes per take. The X-E1 records takes that can be about twice as long.


X-E2: JPEG & Aperture (click on the image to access the full sample set)

Since the X-E2 occupies the same body design as the X-E1, existing X-E1 accessories remain compatible. There’s one exception, though: Like the XQ1, X-M1 and X-A1, the X-E2 is using a standardized Micro USB port. This means that older RR-80 remote control units aren’t compatible with the X-E2. Instead, you’ll have to get a remote that’s compatible with the new RR-90 standard. Hopefully, there’ll soon be third-party adapters that allow using RR-80 remotes on RR-90 cameras. Of course, there’s still the other option of using the X-E2′s microphone port as a remote trigger. You can read more about this topic in my Remote Shutter Control for X Series Cameras column.

PRE-ORDERS

by purchasing your camera using the link below, you’ll support Fujirumors. You won’t pay a single penny more for your camera, but a small commision goes to FR. It’s big help for the site and keeps it ticking over.

X-E2 - USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / AdoramaDigitalRev / Pictureline / EUROPE: wexphotographicUK / DigitalRev / Fotomundus24 GER / PCHstore /

XQ1 - USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / AdoramaDigitalRev / EUROPE: wexphotographicUK / DigitalRev / PCHstore /

 

 

What’s Next?

I am already working on a new eBook showcasing more than 100 tips and tricks for mastering the X-E2. It should be available near the end of 2013 or in early 2014.

By the way: Don’t underestimate the XQ1! This little camera is even smaller and 20% lighter than the tiny XF1. It fits in every pocket, but its performance can match the X-E2 in many aspects: The full-metal XQ1 features the same hybrid tracking AF and the same fast EXR II processor. It shoots bursts with up to 12 fps, it features a built-in LMO, and it records full-HD video at 60 fps and high-speed video up to 250 fps. The new control ring of the XQ1 is quite ingenious, and Fujifilm is going to offer a custom underwater casing for this camera. It’s an X20 on steroids! Stay tuned for my First Look article on the XQ1 right here on X-Pert Corner.


XQ1: SOOC JPEG

For your convenience, here’s a TOC with links to my previous X-PERT CORNER articles:

Rico Pfirstinger studied communications and has been working as journalist, publicist, and photographer since the mid-80s. He has written a number of books on topics as diverse as Adobe PageMaker and sled dogs, and produced a beautiful book of photographs titled Huskies in Action (German version). He has spent time working as the head of a department with the German Burda-Publishing Company and served as chief editor for a winter sports website. After eight years as a freelance film critic and entertainment writer in Los Angeles, Rico now lives in Germany and devotes his time to digital photography and compact camera systems. His book “Mastering the FUJIFILM X-Pro1” (Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version) is available on Amazon and offers a plethora of tips, secrets and background information on successfully using Fuji’s X-Pro1 and X-E1 system cameras, lenses and key accessories.

  • Donsantos

    Yay min shutter speed!

  • Fujimoto

    Nice…

  • Christian

    Interesting, but I dont believe its worth to upgrade from the previous x-e1.

    • Daniel

      It’s a good thing. Enjoy your X-E1!

    • DuartePokerPlayer

      +1 at this point id rather keep the xe1 and get an a7. Also I wonder if theres an adapter to use my fuji lenses on e-mount. I may have to make the switch completely if fuji doesnt give me something more than an xe2.

      • http://deleted Calking

        That will certainly rock their world.

      • Renato S.

        Fuji has a shorter flange distance than E-mount, even if they could adapt you would lose infinite focus or something. But what’s the point of switching to Sony if they have no lenses?

  • mgw

    The X-E2 sounds like it’s the camera I’ve been looking for. Now just need to scratch together the funds…

  • Christian

    Great!

    Will any of those features come to my good old X-Pro 1 ? Min. Shutter speed in auto ISO?

    • Daniel

      Definitely.

  • Armanius

    Thanks Rico! Very informative as always. Headed to your Flickr sets now!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Always happy to help!

      • jjestar

        I want to move to Fuji from Niko D700 but I am having a hard time deciding on X E2, X Pro 1 or wait for new X Pro? Any recommendations……Thanks

        • patrick

          go, get yourself an X-E2, and start to have fun! There will be always newer and better cameras. Unless you need it weather sealed (the next body announced in January), I can’t see any reasons to wait longer.

          • jjestar

            So you would buy the X E2 over the X Pro 1, can I ask why?

          • patrick

            faster focus and awesome EVF in low light!

  • Bemused

    Noice. I like what they’ve done. Still happy with my X-E1 though.

    • JK

      I’m very happy with my X-E1 too…
      BUT
      - The exposure compensation dial is really bugging me – not one day of shooting without some pictures with an involuntarily changed exposure compensation setting…
      - Auto focus speed is a real concern, specially since I own the Fujinon XF 55-200mm lens.
      - Minumum shutter speed is very handy too.
      - The newly added manual focus aid (digital split image) will be a great help for me too. My first SLR didn’t have any auto focus feature but used split image.

      • Bemused

        Sounds like you’re due to upgrade then!

      • http://www.jasonpitcher.com Jason

        Why not get a lensmate thumb rest? That might help with the unintentional compensation. My x-10 had that problem and drove me nuts. I got an x100s and it isn’t as prevelant, but I also got a lensmate for that camera and I don’t have any unintentional compensation issues.

        • JK

          Well that would be a solution but the thingy would make the camera bulkier and costs quite a lot of money (if you buy the one provided by Fuji at least :)).
          But thanks for the tip anyway :)

  • David B

    I am skeptical about Fuji’s claim of worlds fastest AF. C/mon. I own Fuji X100s and yes it has a hybrid AF and no, it is not fast. It is well behind the m43 latest cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. At least there is face recognition which will help AF a lot. In any case it definitely sounds like a better camera than XE1. Good job, Fuji, perhaps work some more on faster processors to get instant AF in any light. That would be great.

    • MdB

      Yes true the X100S isn’t like lightning, however the lens on the X100/S is not a great design and in itself can only focus so fast. So there was a big leap between X100 and X100S. Faster focussing lenses such as the 18-55mm should equally be improved by the PDAF and new processor, so those should be VERY fast.

      • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

        I think so, too, but even the XF23mm acts like lightning when the PDAF kicks in. So this was a pleasant surprise.

        • JK

          Well, wide angle lenses are always faster than the lenses with longer focal length. I would prefer to hear how the auto focus speed has improved on the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses.

          Ty for all the information supplied in this and all the other blog entries Rico :). I’m really happy to have a site that keeps me up to date with Fuji stuff :D.

        • JK

          And I’m looking forward to reading your test results with a production X-E2 of course. Image quality and auto focus speed (and overall handling speed) will make me decide whether to buy a X-E2 and eventually selling my X-E1 or not.

          Ty for your feature informations in advance :D

  • Lord Fish

    I’m new to the X series and wondering if I should get the XQ1, or the highly discounted XF1.

    • Ezc

      I say the XQ1. X-Trans CMOS II is definately worth the extra money.

      • Renato S.

        I’m not sure it worth the extra money, a lot of people prefer the EXR look. I think that processing and AF would be something to consider when choosing between the two.

  • idp

    i am liking this x-e2. i will definitely buy this together with the 18-55 kit lens to add to my fuji x100 (which will receive the just announced v2.0 firmware). exciting times…

    • idp

      forgot to say thank you rico for this first look! looking forward to your next articles. :)

      • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

        Thanks!

  • sidtw

    …its good to live in China so the report came in handy right for a first coffee break :)

    Wow! Thank you for this fast report – full of details. It has risen expectations for an even more mind-blowing X-Pro2.

    • Adrian

      Must be quite a coffee break – took me the best part of an hour :)

  • Fly Moon

    Thanks Rico

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      You are welcome!

  • limlh

    Huge improvements over the X-E1. Even if the price of X-E1 drops to half, it is still worthwhile to buy X-E2.

  • steve

    Danke Rico. Einfach Klasse!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Gern geschehen!

  • Mark H.

    Hm, looks nice, but I miss a comparison of image quality to the x-e1. Beside the option of LMO does the new sensor show any reallife improvements in your pics? What about noise and dynamic performance? What about the jpg engine?

    With the Sony A7 28-70 Kit there is a very strong new competitor which might change the game.
    It offers fullframe, great video, a tilting display and a bigger viewfinder for only 400€ more than the e2-Kit.
    So I wonder which is the right choice for me because I want to join into a new system.

    • Fuji X-Fan

      The X-E2 is £1200 with kit lens, the a7 is £1549 for an untested, Sony zoom (not a Zeiss). They are not “comparable” in price, but I see your point.

    • http://deleted Calking

      Buy the sony and you get to wait 2-3 years before it’ll have a complete set of lenses. If you want a “system” and not just a “sensor” buy the fuji.

  • john

    “In S and M modes, “odd” in-between shutter speed settings like 1/640s are now remembered when the camera is switched off and on again or toggled between playback and shooting mode.” – Would like to see this firmware update for X-E1 and X-Pro1. Cause this issue bugs me since day 1. Hope Fuji is listening.

  • http://7188photography.com holger feroudj

    Finally a way to lock shutter speed at max. flash sync speed – this one has really bothered me!

  • Armanius

    “What’s Next?”

    XPro2 with 24 mp X-trans sensor, touch screen, super-fast and accurate AF, weatherproof, and kit with the 23/1.4 at a nice discounted price!!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Yep, you got it. Comes with a built-in coffee maker.

      • Daniel C.

        Shit, I already have a coffee-maker and the 1.4 23mm lens ….

        BTW: Thanks for the first glance Rico. Absolutely appreciated.

        • Armanius

          You can give me the extra coffee maker and 23/1.4 then!!! :)

          23/1.4 already available?

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          You are welcome!

    • SteveW

      Would be nice, think I will hold out for a month or so…. was going to upgrade my Pentax but that might go after falling in love with my X10!

      Cheers, Steve

  • steve

    No. But the coffeemaker!

    • steve

      No. But the coffeemaker!

  • Alex

    Hi there,

    thanks a lot for this great article. I’m not into the X system yet because I was waiting for the X-E2 ;-)
    I really like to shoot panoramas. Are there any special features? AFAIK the X-E1 offers a “motion-panorama mode”.

    Thanks in advance and keep up the good work!

    Alex

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Thanks!

      Motion Panorama is still available, no changes here as far as I can see.

  • Don-Pino

    Schnell, detailiert und, soweit ich beurteilen kann, sehr profund!
    Hatte ich bisher noch einige Fragezeichen, ob ich zu Fuji switchen soll, so ist die Entscheidung heute morgen gefallen.

    Ich bin mal auf den deutschen Liefertermin gespannt!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Mitte November, sagt die Pressemitteilung.

  • XE11

    why are people asking for touch screen? even the best touchscreen out there is limited by the size of your finger i.e. not very accurate. and if your finger has to travel from one side of the screen to another, im sure standard wheel/d-pad type control will be quicker…. and not to mention accidental touches….

    have I missed some details on the senor? is it the same and the upgrade is mainly image processor like x100s?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Touch screen is problematic. Left-eyed shooters like me can easily “operate” it with their nose, with unpredictable results. And when it’s cold, you may need special gloves to use it.

      • Armanius

        The advantages of having a small nose!

      • Renato S.

        this is easily solved by disabling touch automatically when using EVF, that’s not a problem. but touch focus can really be useful.

        • Renato S.

          and if it’s only for touch focus, it could be a resistive screen so gloves wouldn’t be a problem. but even if it was a capacitive one, it’s not like it would be so necessary that you had to have it working all the time, if you have a glove try to use it in another way, like those cheap pen or anything with thaat cheap rubber for capacitive screens.

    • tim

      Touch to focus, like a phone.
      Swipe to review shots, like a phone.
      pinch to zoom, like a phone.

      and so on.

      Keep in mind that accidental touches happen on buttons too, perhaps more so on a Fuji camera because there are so many of them (buttons).

      • http://deleted Calking

        LOL. Ok.

      • Alan

        Touch screen would be a waste and a real setback, want touch screen for photography use your phone. I would rather have other functions.

  • XE11

    oh, and thanks Rico for doing the article ! Cheers.

  • xcm

    Hi All,
    I read carefully but did not find any data about MANUAL video control.
    Is there an option for full manual video mode????
    Thanks for info

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      You can change focus and exposure compensation during recording, and set the aperture before recording. The shutter speed dial is inactive.

      • xcm

        yes, but I need all three settings control manualy. (ISO, Shutter, Aperture)

  • XE11

    ignore my post. i read the blog from updown. i missed the curtains up article. =[

  • http://www.kenandagnesphotoworks.wordpress.com kenandagnesphotoworks

    hi rico,

    morning!
    ming thein reported in his pre-production model review some AF lagginess and notchy/unresponsive shutter release as a potential concern. did you encounter this too?

    great job with the life blog. have a restful weekend after this.

    best regards,
    kap

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      No, not at all. I wouldn’t like that. Maybe a bad copy or firmware? I went through several firmware revisions in the past 4 weeks.

  • http://www.lionelruhier.com Lionel

    Sure this little camera will be felt like an earthquake by others manufacturers with so many and good features! Thank You Rico.
    One question : What about the “rolling effect” in video ? was it improoved a little ?
    Lionel

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      IMHO, 60 fps does help mitigating rolling shutter. Of course, 60 fps also requires more light than 30 fps, so you have to open the aperture in low light.

  • Markus

    Thanks for the review, Rico!

    Did you get any sense of how close the 10-24mm is?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      January, same price as the 56mm (= not cheap, so probably very high quality).

      • Markus

        Sweet thanks! A lovely lens lineup.

      • Markus Worsdorfer

        Hi Rico, many thanks for your informative article. Looks indeed very promising.
        Have you got already information about the new 56mm, like approx. price and availability?

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Yes, but I can’t tell. :)

          • MJr

            It’s four digits or above isn’t it ?

          • Markus Worsdorfer

            :( I’m so looking forward to the 56.
            One more question about the X-E2. Does the manual focuspoint selection override face detection? Meaning if I chose a focus point and face detection looks at someone else.

          • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

            No, it is the same as in all the other Fuji cameras with FD, that’s why a quick on/off switch on an Fn button is important.

          • Markus Worsdorfer

            Thank you. That definitely needs to be changed. Easy fix though

  • Armanius

    Last rant before I hit the sack … It is 0200 here.

    What’s with the trend of camera makers to splatter the model # on the front of the cameras? Makes it so ugly!!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      They basically do this as personal favor for me, so I stop mixing up all those X cameras sitting on my desk. Without the label, they look all the same…

    • Markus

      Nothing new, X-e1 has it?

  • tdzan

    It seems a brilliant evolution of the X-E1. I think Fuji should consider full frame soon, though, guys. That is the big news after the Sony presentation this week. Autofocus speed and video mode are good, but I don’t think that these are top priorities for X-E1 owners like me. The argument ”comparable to full frame cameras” is not so strong any more, since a full frame CSC without AA filter is an option now. A full frame X-Pro2 is something that will turn heads, make Leica sweat and is also what I am eagerly awaiting for…

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Fuji is of looking into all available sensor sizes for the X series, 2/3″, 1″, APS-C and 35mm. Until yesterday, a full-frame CMOS sensor for system cameras with a small flange-back distance didn’t even officially exist (at least if you don’t count that peculiar Leica M240 sensor). So this entire “full-frame discussion” is very much about Sony providing or not providing their new sensor to other camera makers like Fuji. The organic sensor is still years away.

      • DTB

        Do you think we will see an X-Pro 2 in early to mid 2014?

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          We will almost certainly see at least one other X-Pro incarnation.

          • DTB

            If it is just going to be these improvements, they should do it sooner than later. If it will come with major improvements over the X-E2, a longer wait would be understood. Until then, I can just hope for a firmware update for minimum shutter speed settings in auto ISO…

          • Adrian

            Rico, you think that there is a chance that Fuji will drop the X-Pro after the X-Pro 2 comes out? Why? I’d like to know, I would not want to buy lenses that have no ‘pro’ body to be used on…

          • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

            There is a chance for everything. I guess it would depend on the success of this X-Pro2 you are talking about (and which I don’t know much about). All I know is that Fuji is not planning to abandon the X-Pro at this time.

  • deng

    1/180s on the shutter dial
    +/-3 EV
    AutoDR limited to 200% (yes, I like the idea!)
    WYSIWYG
    focus tracking

    “Throws money at the monitor display”

    • deng

      Oh, and the LMO can be disabled! (I never liked the idea).

  • Laurence

    Hello Rico. Thanks for the first look! Wow, I really want this now! I wish Fuji would offer this as a kit with the 23mm. Anyway, by any chance did you test whether the Exposure Compensation dial works during Manual Mode with Auto-ISO?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      No go. OTOH, such a “misomatic” isn’t really needed with all those improved Auto-ISO functions.

      • Laurence

        Oh yeah, you’re right! Woohooo!

      • Fuji X-Fan

        I still think such a function is very usable, like the TAv mode on pentax/ricoh cameras. It could be selectable from the menu if you wanted to engage exp. comp. during manual mode with auto-ISO. I don’t see any problem or complexity with giving that feature. More customizability can only be better, as long as it is clear and can be turned ON/OFF.

        Also, the face detect should really be a Fn-button choice that toggles when pressing the assigned button. Additionally, as I think you have mentioned before, when pressing iso on the shooting screen, you should get a “list” of ISO-values that toggles left to right and is changed via the wheel on the back.

  • Jonathan

    Does the exposure compensation dial function with a fixed shutter speed and aperture, and auto-ISO?

  • MdB

    Does the split image MF aid work with adapted lenses?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Sure, this is a visual manual focus aid after all.

      • MdB

        Just wanted to make sure it didn’t need any info from the fly-by-wire lens ring or anything. Sometimes manufacturers disable features like this as well when there are no electrical contacts – Such as AF points with manual lenses lighting up, or in body IS systems that turn off without electrical contacts.

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Luckily no such restrictions.

        • MJr

          Manufacturers don’t disable it, it’s just not happening without the contacts. For example, normally when you manually focus a AF lens it automatically activates the appropriate aid, but of course when there are no contacts it has no way of knowing what’s happening. This confused some people using olympus as well, but all they had to do was assign Focus Peaking or such to one of the Fn buttons to activate it when needed.

  • Max Schmidt

    Hello Rico. I just can subscribe to the others opinion – a very well and infromative first preview, thank you for that. Now I finally want to switch from my Nikon D300 to the X-E2. I heard that the estimated delivery date is in the middle of November, do you think that there will be bigger amount available in Germany at this time or do we need patience?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      It may pay off to pre-order early in order to receive part of the first shipment. There have been reports of gaps between first and second shipments of Fuji products.

      • Mendew

        How long the delay would be??

  • Alex Dodis

    Marginal operational and performance improvements overall, updating the XE-1 featureset to the level of the more recent X100S and X20 with their faster processors, hopefully for the same price!

    Too bad they didn’t differentiate from the older model with some obvious new feature such as a tilting LCD. Fortunately the recent new camera announcements from Sony and Panasonic aren’t competing directly with the X100S or XE-2 but the X20 is looking pretty feeble right now.

  • Junsas

    Danke für deinen ausführlichen Bericht, Rico! Sounds like a nice update.

    I would have one question though, you wrote: “However, the EVF/LCD refresh rate has been significantly improved from 20 fps to 50-60 fps in low light. This makes shooting action in bad light (like concerts) so much easier. There’s virtually no more motion blurring when panning the camera.”

    Is the X-E2 anywhere near the E-M5 “smothness” of the EVF with this refresh-rate update? Especially in low light the X-E1 was too laggy compared to the Olympus in my opinion. Is there any improvement in good light situations to the X-E2 EVF performance (smothness)?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Thank you!

      Since I don’t use an E-M5, I can’t comment on its EVF smoothness in low light. All I can say it that IMHO, there’s no blurring at all in the X-E2 EVF/LCD up to f/5.6 at ISO 6400, a huge difference to the X-E1 and also X100S.

      • Junsas

        Ok thanks Rico. That sounds really good!

      • http://deleted MTlab

        Interesting. Since it uses the same sensor and processor as the X100s, should we expect a firmware update for the X100s to improve lag in low light ?

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Good question. I found the X100S low light lag quite irritating, as it is even worse than in the classic X100. I mentioned this in my reviews, of course. I would like to forward this question to Tokyo with my next firmware feedback, you never know, they might actually answer.

          • http://deleted MTlab

            Sometimes they do. When the X-pro 1 was released and they published a roadmap, I sent a mail explaining why I thought it could be interesting for them to use a MF ring design that allows the apparition of a DOF scale on lenses below 50mm EFL. To my surprise they actually responded asking me further questions. I was positively surprised when I saw the release of the 14mm lens, and even more when I saw that they redesigned the 23mm to include one.

          • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

            Indeed, Fuji product planners do listen to outside opinions from abroad. That’s a fact, so by all means, if anyone has a great idea or suggestion, write it up and send it to Fujifilm. The more, the merrier. I wrote extensive feedback on the X-E1, and about 90% of it was fixed or implemented in the X-E2. That’s an amazing ratio, it makes me feel much more optimistic regarding future products and enhancements.

  • bensherman

    Thanks for the first impression…Is there any percieved image quality difference between E1 as opposed to E2? On Fuji’s website it says X-Trans CMOS II. I wonder how different it is from previous sensor

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      The IQ difference is in the LMO, just look at the LMO sample set linked in the article.

      • Fuji X-Fan

        Did I understand it right that LMO can be turned off for RAW but not for JPEG? Or can the LMO-data even be included with the RAW so that Lightroom (for example) can use it?

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          LMO is a JPEG parameter in the shooting menu and internal RAW converter. As RAW metadata, it could also be used by Lightroom, Iridient etc. during RAW conversion.

          • chris

            Hi Rico,

            Can you precise ? If I use the current version of lightroom, I will not benefit from LMO ? It could be better to shoot JPEG and not RAW then… What about silkypix ?
            By the way, if you say that Fuji is listening their “fans”, it would really be great to be able to use the same raw concerter in silkypix as the in camera converter.
            Thanks for your article !

  • http://www.izelphotography.com Izel Photography

    Some very nice improvements but most important….. no change to the design philosophy. No radical changes to the exterior….. reassuring!

    Liking the additional focus selection points for continuous as well….. can’t wait for the new X Pro2, should be good!!!

  • shadowc

    Thanks for the article. I have a question here. “The EXR Processor II can harness information taken from over 100,000 phase detection pixels incorporated in the X-Trans CMOS II sensor. ”

    Does this mean that those pixels do not get real values but values from Neighboring pixels? Thanks.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      As I understand it, Fuji is using a 50% mask, so there’s still half the amount of light falling on these pixels, that’s 1 ISO stop less, which is easily compensated/interpolated. IIRC, Canon and a few others are fully dedicated the PDAF pixels, so they have to be fully interpolated.

  • Raymondo

    Thanks for review Rico, well that’s my Christmas present sorted, just need to persuade my good lady that I really, really need the XE-2!!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Good luck! :)

  • http://www.flashgordonphotography.com.au Flash

    Thanks Rico. Great overview. I have one question. Has there been any improvement in the low light autofocus? The XE1 just gives up too easy in low light which makes the great high ISO performance useless. Even with the AF illuminator (wish they’d moved that). I’m OK if it’s a bit slower than outside in daylight as long as it can actually get a focus lock. SO, any improvement over the current XE1?

    Thanks again.

    Gordon

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Hard to tell, as I usually always get an AF lock even in near darkness. I have no idea why others even report low light AF problems, I never have any, not with the X-M1, the X-A1 or X-E2.

  • http://www.grahamnixon.com Graham Nixon

    I have the X-E1 and although it’s an amusing toy I’ve never considered it for professional work. The specs on the X-E2 will have me reconsidering. I’m off to preorder mine today.

  • MV

    Thanks for the detailed review, Rico.

    The X-E2 looks like a great upgrade. But things like ‘Face detection no longer assignable to an FN2 button’ emphasise a concern that I’ve had with Fuji since the X series first launched.

    Don’t get me wrong, my problem is not about the lack of a specific feature (I can do without Face detection on the FN button!). It’s about what these omissions suggest about Fuji’s design philosophy. With each new model, some obvious features available on previous models have consistently disappeared for no apparent reason, only to be re-added with a firmware update (or sometimes not at all). The absence of user-controllable minimum ISO settings in auto ISO is another example on the X-E1.

    Now, I stand corrected if these omissions are founded on deliberate design decision. Most of them omissions are only little things that relate to the interface (e.g. Face detection in FN!). So therefore I’d be really curious to understand the thinking behind it.

    My worry is that there ISN’T thought behind these omissions on the part of Fuji’s designers, which isn’t very ‘Kaizen’. That they go rushing in to add new features and leave existing things half-baked, so that every little feature doesn’t always carry over to new models as it should. Apple is an example of a company that would never let this happen.

    (Once more – my beef is with what these omissions suggest about Fuji’s design philosophy, not the lack of any specific feature!)

    What do you guys think?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      I think that the 18 Fn options occupy exactly 3 screen menu pages (6 each), and that Fuji probably didn’t want to add another page for just one or two functions. I may be that trivial. I’ll make sure that the product planners hear about this, and I am pretty confident that a solution to this minor omission will be found.

      Btw, I am already getting a production(!) XQ1 tomorrow morning, so I’ll be able to shoot more samples over the weekend for a Monday or Tuesday X-Pert Corner covering the XQ1. Such a sweet little camera, but I’m not entirely happy with the lens of my prototype, that’s why I didn’t shoot a lot of samples.

      • MV

        Thanks for following up on that omission, Rico!

        My question was more about Fuji’s design philosophy than this specific thing though – any thoughts on that?

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Nope, Germany is too far away from Tokyo, I really don’t know what’s going on in the design department. I give plenty of feedback which I know is read and processed, so I’m quite happy most of the time. However, some issues simply remain mysterious. :)

    • http://deleted MTlab

      This isn’t just Fuji – the whole camera industry is plagued by less than clever and rational design decisions, which results in half-arsed products, the introduction of less than ingenuous solutions to problems that should have never existed in the first place, lack of innovation in terms of operational / ergonomical / user interface qualities, etc.

      I’ve always suspected that these companies put too much emphasis on engineering, and not enough on design.

      An example : in Olympus cameras the stabilisation can be activated or deactivated during continuous burst shooting via a menu option. The menu option is called “Burst + IS off”. Then you can choose between “on” and “off”. That means that to actually ACTIVATE IS during burst mode, you have to select “off”, not “on”. The use of the double negative is a completely idiotic violation of user interface design rules 101 that no competent designer should have left in existence.

      That it’s a smartphone company that found a solution to a decades old problem about flash (iPhone 5S) is telling : camera companies are failing to solve users’ problems.

  • Makoy

    i hope it will reach before Christmas here in dubai and all over the world!!!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Most definitely!

  • JanIIIsobieski

    They should add faster shutter speed like 1/8000, these days almost evry company adding this or even faster shutter speed(pen ep5 got it for example, gx7 even small gm1 end ofcourse new sony a7). Ehhh fuji why you doing so many thinks right to overlook essential features like that:/

  • http://www.gippslandimages.com.au Daniel

    Id like to know why there is such a huge price difference between AU and US prices with the xe2. The xe1 there is very little difference, the same with the sony a7 but there is a whopping $400 difference body only and $500 as a kit between US and AU prices (after AU conversion). This has to be a pricing thing by Fuji rather than tax etc or we would be seeing it on the other bodies.

    • Andy

      It’s not just a Fuji thing. The cost of doing business it vastly different ie. Wages realestate and taxes. Marketers have also realised that Australians are willing to pay higher prices and their job is to maximise profits for Fuji. Europeans also pay more…

      • http://www.gippslandimages.com.au daniel

        Andy I can understand that but my point was why so much? There is a $250 difference with the a7 and almost no difference with xe1 actually a week ago the xe1 was the same price here as us. Someone’s throwing on a few dollars

  • Andy

    Rico, thanks for the informative article. As usual your articles keep my interest in fuji system strong and returning to this site. When my current steed is put out to pasture Fuji X will be a strong contender for replacement. If that happens I’ll be sure to invest in your book as I have developed a real apreciation for your work.

  • gajira

    Now the question is: X-E2 or X-E1 with better price or used? :D

    • http://deleted Calking

      If you have to ask the question, the answer is the xe-1 at a lower price.

      • gajira

        It’s not just a money issue. You can buy the X-E1 + kit + one more lens, or just the X-E2 + kit at the same price. The question is: is the X-E2 so much better than X-E1? Yes, there are many other features and improvements, but these make so much difference?

        • http://deleted Calking

          Thom Hogan once said that upgrades should be based on NEED, I.e., what specific feature does one camera have that you need that is only available with an upgrade?

          So again, I’d say if you have to ask the question about one over the other, the cheaper / older model will probably suit you just fine.

          You’ll see that many current xe1 owners are perfectly content with what we have and others will upgrade, either out of need or want.

  • http://andrewnewson.co.uk Andy N

    Thanks very much Rico.

    Sounds like they have done almost everything they can to improve the camera.

    Shame that there are some omissions to features that could have easily been there, sure they could come with firmware and I do like the whole Kai Zen idea (I expect X100 owners do too!!) but what’s the point of getting people like your good self to test drive these cameras pre-launch if they don’t include the things you mention in your feedback? I’m talking about things like assigning face detection to a function button etc.

    Wifi is great, a geo tagging feature is also cool but if it offered the ability to use a phone or tablet as a remote and viewfinder it would great and IMO make this a much more desirable camera.

    I don’t want to get all down on Fuji because it does look like a great camera, it’s just they can be frustrating sometimes.

    Also disappointing to hear you say that organic sensors are years away :-(
    This doesn’t bode well for us existing X-Pro owners. I think the best we can hope for now is an advanced refresh like we see here, I just hope that weather sealing will be included too and some firmware issues ironed out from use of the X-E2.

    Full frame with a new set of lenses would not be an option I would be happy to entertain – it has taken long enough to see lenses like the 23mm f/1.4 appear so I wouldn’t want to wait again, not to mention the cost of updating lenses too.

    Sorry, back to this camera. It looks great I just hope firmware updates come quickly for the little omissions.

    One last question Rico if you don’t mind. Do you think the X-Pro will get improvements in the OVF?
    They wouldn’t consider losing it altogether if EVF are getting so much better? Of course the OVF is the one main difference I know, just curious.

    Thanks again.
    Andy

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Thank you. Improvements to the OVF of the X100S and X-Pro1 could come as early as this November. We’ll see.

      • http://andrewnewson.co.uk Andy N

        Oh okay, thanks!

        I was thinking improvements to OVF in X-Pro2 not a firmware update, but that is/could be great news.

        Thanks.

  • Ran Rinat

    Is there any chance AF tracking will come to the x100s through a firmware update? it seems the hardware is there…

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Good question, I would not rule it out, although I haven’t heard of any plans regarding this option.

  • Adrian

    Rico,

    Thank you for your work here and for this amazing article. Seeing as how you don’t derive any income specifically from this, I would be more than willing to support your work by donating through Pay Pal and I’m sure others would agree.

    I already purchased your book on the X-Pro 1 and has proved to be invaluable in a number of situations.

    Thank you again.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      You are very kind. Unlike some other bloggers, I do not accept donations on principle, but feel free to give as many books as you like to friends of yours. ;) It’s (almost) the season, after all.

      • http://deleted Calking

        And it’s a GREAT book on the xe-1 / xp1 Rico, btw. Thanks.

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Thanks and you are welcome. :)

  • Scott

    Great read and Ordered! Time to dump my Canon lenses and cameras.

  • TJM

    Hi Rico,

    I’ve been really interested in the X series for a while. I’m close to buying into the system as I love the manual control scheme, lens quality and the output of the sensor.

    My querie is about the potential of the mount to allow coverage of the sensor of a possible full frame body – any idea?

    Of course I look on with great interest at the Sony A7 as it would fit my want for a digital version of a Nikon FM type camera. I want to print large for exhibit so would like to go up to FF in the future if right for me – I’d prefer a Fuji FF but wondering if I should wait to see if mount changes for FF to get into the system?

    Really good article by the way – very helpfully written.

    • http://deleted TJM

      Forgot to add – will be looking to print up to 30/20 inch for viewing distance of around 80cm – 1m. Any feedback on current 16mp sensor prints at these sizes?

      Cheers!

      • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

        That should not be a problem at all.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      No idea, but I’d expect it to fit.

  • http://asylum-photo.com Asylum Photo

    Wonderfully detailed review, thanks Rico.

    My one and only question is about low light focusing, as it’s been an issue for me with a couple of the slower lenses (zooms, mainly). So hopefully there’s improvement there.

    I’m not actively shooting at the moment, so I can take my time making upgrade decisions. Would like to see what the X-Pro2 has to offer. :)

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      I can’t complain about focusing in any light, but why don’t you testdrive a camera in a local shop once it becomes available?

      • http://asylum-photo.com Asylum Photo

        I definitely will. But I’m also not in a huge rush, which my wallet is grateful for haha. Thanks again for the (p)review.

  • Andre

    Hi Rico,

    will there be any firmware update to the X-E1 anymore to improve for example min. shutter speed?

    Regards
    André

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      I believe it when I see it. But I expect it to happen eventually, depending on the workload of the software developpers in Tokyo.

  • Markus Worsdorfer

    With all that good news, the next big question. When will Fuji update their lens roadmap and bring us a 16mm 1.4 and 90mm 2.0 ? ;)

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      There is an updated roadmap, it is a work in progress, and I have no idea if or when Fuji decides to make it public. Usually, roadmaps are not made public, 2012 was an exception to earn goodwill and trust. Publishing roadmaps is risky, as it takes away a lot of freedom to react to market changes. You only do that if you have to, especially since all your competitors can see your roadmap, too.

      • Markus Worsdorfer

        Thank you for the insight. Talking of insight. How do you feel about a user defined
        Q menu? I’m sure that what be possible via firmware and further enhance the X-E2.

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          I feel good about it, and I have already asked Fuji to go in this direction. I suggested a second Q menu that can be configured by the user. It could be accessed by doubleclicking the Q button, or by pressing and holding it.

  • http://www.kuau.com Steven K

    Rico,
    Let’s cut right to the chase, is the Raw IQ and better then the X-E1.
    I shot mostly in manual mode, manual focus adapted Zeiss ZM lenses.
    So AF performance is a non issue for me, and I assume the X-e1 was only a 12 bit raw camera or is it14?
    The thing that does interest me about the new x-E2 is the wysiwyg EVF. Yet if there no real gain on over all IQ then I am not to sure. with used x-e1 selling for $450.00 USD, I would be taking a big hit to upgrade.
    Though I will do it if you the master Fuji X shooter can say IQ is for sure better then I will go for the upgrade.

    Steven

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      IQ with external converters will be better if those converters can make use of LMO data. It will all depend on this feature. Plus, the E2 is 14 bit, like the X100S. But the LMO would really make a difference, it certainly does with the built-in RAW converter.

      • http://www.kuau.com Steven K

        Thanks Rico for the info so when you say if the converter can take advantage of the LMO data if I am using Fuji’s M adaptor which I am and using lenses that Fuji has certified to work will I see an improvement?
        Lastly I assume that he built in raw converter is still limited to JPEG output and no tiff ?

        Steven

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          LMO works with native lenses that required an LMO firmware update. The correction data is stored in the lens firmware and transmitted to the camera, which could save it in the RAW metadata for external converters to use.

  • Drew

    Amazing work Rico – thank you so much for all of your efforts!

    Quick question: I ended up returning my X100s as the hi ISO skin tones had a very plastic look that my X-Pro 1 never used to give off. Have you noticed anything like this with the X-E2? I worry that it’s inherent in the X-Trans II somewhere and am really hoping that it doesn’t overdo the NR at 6400 and 3200 like the X100s…

    Any info appreciated!

    Thanks – Drew

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Nope, I haven’t noticed this, but it may be more a matter of taste than a technical issue. I find the E1 to be very much in line with the M1, and I shot plenty of portraits with this camera.

      • Drew

        Thanks for the quick reply Rico – I should have mentioned though that this was only when shooting JPEG. Would you still say portraits weren’t overly smeared/NR’d at hi iso?

        - Drew

  • Martin

    Thanks Rico for this review.

    I think the main changes from XE1 to XE2 can be summarize as follow:

    1- better focusing skills – Intelligent Hybrid AF – true Continuous AF (but let’s see what benchmark tests will conclude)
    2- improve video – rate – and certainly the AF
    3- WiFi capability

    I don’t think I will change my XE1.. well it depends the price I can sell it on 2nd hand market. Any idea ?

    Also, is the Intelligent Hybrid AF just a question of firmware or it also includes hardware capabilities? I am wondering if we can expect a firmware update for the the XE1 including this improvement… maybe I am dreaming!

    Thanks again.

    Martin… another Fuji X lover !

  • psh

    Hi Rico,
    thank you very much for your very informative first look review.
    You wrote that wifi networking is supposed to offer wireless remote control after a future firmware update. How are the odds for such an update and do you have a rough idea, by when we can expect it?
    And is there a realistic chance that 24p will be (re)implemented in video mode via firmware update?
    What do you think?
    Thanks, Peter

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Probably spring or summer 2014.

      • psh

        Thanks.

        Do you mean this fw-update will cover both (remote control and 24p)?

        Peter

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Sorry, I know nothing about 24 fps, was only referring to wifi remote control.

  • TJM

    Hi Rico,

    Thanks to the response on the print size – seems my money is hanging on by a thread.

    Sorry to press the issue but any ideas about if the X mount will support full frame? I’m not sure it’s wide enough – just trying to get an idea about how the system might develop.

    Thanks again, T

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      I expect it to support 35mm sensors, but this is just my guess.

      • TJM

        Thanks Rico – it’s not a deal breaker, either way, just wanting a bit of clarity. When I have saved the cash I think I’ll invest.

        Cheers

  • http://fujirumors Juan

    Hi Rico!!

    Thank your for the report!! Do you have any news if Fuji is planning to announce soon the X30?
    I want buy the x20 but just read it and I do not want to spend the money if there is a new camera coming out in a few months.

    Thank you for your comments!!!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      I could answer your question, but it would mean that I would have to pay a fine and find a new topic to write about. ;)

  • Mallik

    Thanks for an informative preview Rico. Have a question on spot metering, is it still linked the the center of the sensor or linked to the area around the selected focus point?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Yes, still center spot. I will specifically ask for an option to link it to the AF frame in my next firmware feedback. Many people seem to like such an option.

      • Hakan

        While talking about spot metering – here is something I have never understood. How large is the spot metering circle in the X-E1? Does it correspond to the medium/large focus square? Spot metering becomes kinda pointless if you don’t know what the spot meter is looking at.

      • Mallik

        That would be a nice feature. Hope fuji will give that as firmware update for X-E1 too :)

      • Robert

        I would as well. Seems logical for the spot meter to follow the AF frame IMHO.

  • marmarmar

    How about continuous phase-detect autofocus in video? Does it work and how well? If not – can it be added via firmware update?
    Thanks a lot for answers.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      AF-c works in video mode and it has been improved, but since I am no video guy, I really can’t comment on this in a competent fashion. I’d really like to see a competent video expert testing these features. If you find one who is using Fuji cameras, send him right over, so he can write a video special edition of my column.

      • marmarmar

        I thing guys discussing touchscreen should join this video thread. I guess it makes sense to use autofocus in video mode using touchscreen. People who don’t understand touchscreens forget about the video mode – but its still just a small feature for quite a cost.
        I would be satisfied with well working continous autofocus :)

  • marmarmar

    I am going to Bangkok in November. Will there be a chance to buy the X-E2 there? The prices are much better compared to Europe.

  • Andrea

    Thanks for the news Rico! Does it have a new EVF and a higher resolution display?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      As mentioned in the article: same EVF, but higher frame rate.
      Same same, but different. ;)

  • loplop

    Thank you for the detailed information! I am very excited for the new focus changes, especially PDAF/CDAF combo (which I find works very well on the X100s and X20, super fast!) and even more so the Face Detection and “real” AF-C modes. I am hopeful those improvements will also make it to the X100s and X20, as both also have the newer EXRII processor; do you know, Rico? I find face detection *very* helpful at times when shooting kids on the X20, but combined with the new predictive AF-C that would be excellent. I’d love to see face detection on the X100s, FWIW.

    All in all this looks like a nice set of refinements. I am tempted by those refinements to replace my XPro1 with the XE2, but I love the optical finder so much I will keep (patiently!) waiting for the XPro2…

    • Robert

      +1 for face detection AF in an FW update for the X100S. Very useful indeed. I also want to see/know/try the AF speed on the X-E2. Fuji has improved what I really wanted and then some. Might actually be time for an upgrade from the X-E1.

      @Rico: I am not too happy about that the exposure compensation meter seems to still be visible in the composition area of the X-E2. If it is not possible to put it outside the composition area, would it not be a good idea to at least make it disappear when you half press the trigger and when no exposure compensation is set in P, A or S ‘mode’?

      • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

        Since it is now transparent when not in use, I’m okay with it.

        • Robert

          Looking at the two pictures of the screen layout above, where the exposure compensation is set to -1/3 EV it looks like the scale is somewhat transparent like on the X-E1. Are you saying that on the X-E2 in P, A and S ‘mode’ when no exposure compensation is set, the scale disappears completely (even without half pressing the trigger)?

          Thanks btw for the nice review. I think that your reviews of Fuji equipment are the best, because you actually use the gear for a long time and so have the answers that actual Fuji users are looking for.

          • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

            Yes, transparent when not in use, and more visible when in use, just like many users wanted to have it.

            Thank you for your feedback, I agreee, it is my very goal to be different by focusing on practical details that other reviewers are missing, because they simply do not have the time to spend as much quality time with the X cameras. :) Kudos to Fuji for making it happen.

          • Robert

            I found a small youtube clip in the X-E2 initial review at dpreview where the difference is visible. It is that when the exposure compensation is not set (in A ‘mode’, I assume it is the same in P and S ‘mode’) the +/- sign and the 0 on the scale are still white and the transparent exposure compensation meter background is the same, but the rest of the figures in the exposure compensation scale are no longer white, instead they look transparent/greyed out.

            This is an improvement since visually it is now more evident if there is an exposure compensation set or not. Still I would like the whole transparent meter including all graphics to disappear completely when it is not being used i.e. in P, A and S ‘mode’ when no exposure compensation is set. This way it would be even more obvious when there is an exposure compensation set.

            I guess I can always turn the exposure compensation scale off in the custom EVF/LCD view like I do on the X-E1 (because I think it is hard to frame the left border of the picture in the EVF otherwise) and we have to leave something for Fuji to improve in coming models and FW releases. :-)

          • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

            You need an XF1 or XQ1, these cameras handle the exp. comp. display exactly how you want it! :)

          • Robert

            I believe that to my taste the XQ1 will not have high enough IQ. I have not yet used medium format cameras because of weight, size and price, but the IQ of full format cameras is something I really appreciate. Given that, it is rather the X-E1/2 that will be used when I want higher portability without losing too much IQ. :-)

            Seriously speaking, which way of working for the exposure compensation meter do you prefer? In case you would prefer the meter to disappear completely when no exposure compensation is set, as I have described it above, to increase the visibility of when exposure compensation is applied or not, I would much appreciate if you could add that to the FW improvement wish list that you send to Fuji.

            I should also add that this is not a showstopper for me when looking at the X-E2 (since I would apply the same solution as for the X-E1, to remove the exposure compensation meter from the custom view), but it would be a nice improvement in a future FW update and/or in a coming model.

          • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

            I really don’t care that much about it, as long as I don’t overlook that any compensation is engaged. I’d probably be happy with the XQ1 implementation. It makes the most sense to me. Plus, I also like the alternative interface in the X-M1/A1/F1/Q1. It would be nice if Fuji offered a full custom view version with this interface.

          • Robert

            In Patrick La Roque’s X-E2 review I just found a new feature that may help to partly solve my issue with the exposure compensation meter being visible even when no exposure compensation is set:

            “Information OFF screen mode: I love this. In this mode everything disappears from the screen after about a second, unless you touch the shutter or any of the dials. Everything. On the X-Pro1 I’ll often trigger the AF selection screen just to see the entire frame without distractions (well, except for the AF selection points). This is way better.”

            Maybe that is what you are referring to? If so I agree that a combination of the Information OFF and Custom view modes would be a good idea, meaning that you can select what you want to see in the view finder and at the same time get the feature that everything disappears after about a second. Nice. :-)

  • Niklas

    Regarding the so-called Advanced Filters, I feel almost disappointed that Fuji put them in there and the way the choose to describe them. It feels like a small let-down for anyone who actually intend to use this camera more professionally (and would generally speaking rarely need these sort of “creative” effects in their work). I tell my self that I can ignore those functions, but it still goes to show of Fuji to some extent ignoring actual professional use of their X-series, especially since there not being a word anywhere about an updated X-Pro camera… I guess that proves the “E” as “Enthusiast” and could be intentional to put off more professional (as in intentionally working with the camera to generate money), but it would indeed be a strange strategy if you ask me.

    I am really surprised that the double exposure shots don’t generate a JPEG preview and two separate JPEG/RAW files (depending on set preference) by default, it feels like a no-brainer to give that kind of output for being able to further work on the material later while also taking advantage of the on-location overlay shooting. I don’t really do double exposure, but it feels like this would be a quite smart way for Fuji to go (doable in firmware I am sure?), but perhaps too advanced for most who would want to use the double exposure feature, but what do I know maybe there are some people who would actually have use for it but can’t today due to the amateur-directed way it works now.

    I’m so very partial to this camera, but I guess I will buy one just as the best way to use the X-lenses right now (especially with the improved EVF low-light fps, great work Fuji!)

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      The “E” means Evolution, says Fuji. The X-E1/2 aren’t really targeting pro users, but that doesn’t mean that pros can’t or wouldn’t use them. Daido used an X10 or X20 in Hong Kong, after all, and he certainly qualifies as a pro, or at least as one of the leading street photographers on the planet. Pros can and do win Pulitzers with iPhones, no worries.

      In any case, I don’t use Advanced Filters, so I ignore them. That’s very easy, I also ignore all those functions to print images from the camera, upload them to Facebook and whatnot. Does any of you really understand and use all those functions in the playback menu? Mark a movie for YouTube upload? WTF?

      Well, I don’t, I just skip over them and use the few things that I need. As long as those work as expected, I am happy. If not, I write a feedback and hope for a change. Luckily, things mostly do change for the better after this.

      • Niklas

        I agree, and thank you for the clarification on the “E” :)

        The line of keeping away from what you don’t like is of course a pragmatic and well working one – which would work even better if you could actually hide certain features from the menu system (even the first iPods did that). I think this would also be able to give an already versatile system the edge of actually being as hands-on in the menu system as it is in the exterior controls (of course coming from a decades old tradition of rangefinder and SLR cameras, even two decades or so of digital camera development like the Fn button I guess). Nothing fancy, like being able to reorganize the menus or changing locations of things: simply to turn of options you know you’d never use or turning on the visibility of really specialized functions which only a few percent of the users would even think of using. Just my thoughts, looking for a better and more intuitive tool to do what I want to do.

        I’m no big follower of street photography (I guess I’m in minority here), but rather need a camera like the X-E2 or X-Pro as a tool in art production. I think these cameras make a fantastic tool for documenting art including performance and installation, or being used for conceptual works which includes photography, basically filling the function of very hands on and “intuitive” cameras from the earlier history of photography used in the arts (outside of being “just” photography) such as those in the lines Olympus OM, Leica M (for the wealthy artist) and Contax G. I’m really happy for what Fuji is doing here, and could only possibly ask for that last thing, to be able to hide the distractions that I don’t ever use in the menu system. Thank you, by the way, for the first look on the X-E2 :)

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Indeed, I’ll take the XQ1 and X-E2 to the modern art museum on Sunday where I shot some of my X-A1 samples. Have a look at my corresponding Flickr set, if you are into this stuff.

          Configuring the configuration? That’s way too complex for me, I simply ignore what I don’t need, I am very good at that, my brain completely blocks it out. Works with some Trolls in forums, too! ;)

          • Niklas

            Haha, I guess you are highly skilled in filtering things :) Me I have to make do wading through the details until someone puts a something simple yet just-so in my hands. But just like half finished things in my home I’ll probably look past anything unwanted soon enough and just enjoy the X-E2 with that 23mm lens and have to cuddle with the M3 until then…

  • Alim Hassam

    I’m holding out for the x pro-2 still but holy heck fuji keeps releasing these newer cameras and I’m just itching to get my hands on one. Already selling my Canon gear so when the x pro 2 comes out I can afford it. Time for a smaller system and with what I’ve been seeing, I think fuji needs to get that X Pro 2 out there so I can buy it already :)

  • Steve B

    I read somewhere that the shutter sound has been improved. Did you notice this?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      What exactly do you mean by improved? You know that the sound changes depending on the lens that is attached, as every lens adds a different body of resonance.

      • Steve B

        The reviewer mentioned that it sounded “better”? I’m just curious if there’s any change to the shutter or “sound” at all? Thx Rico

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Nope. It sounds pretty normal to me, but I have to admit that I am focusing more on a camera’s IQ than how it sounds.

  • http://blog.outdoorimagesfineart.com David Knoble

    I’ve been using the X100s and the X-Pro1 for about 6 months. I have the four primes (although the new one is on the way!). Coming from using Leica M (which I still use), I like the simplicity of the X series. Yes, I can drill down and set all kinds of special options and I do that as well. However, when everything is set, it is as simple as setting a shutter speed and f/stop. This is kind of like the ‘stick and rudder’ of photography.

    First, I pre-ordered the X-E2 about 7am this morning, hoping that I am near the top of the list, but realizing it may be awhile. I don’t mind beating up the X-Pro1 and the ability to change lenses to the various primes (and my Leica and Voigtlander lenses) have kept me using the X-Pro1 more than the X100s. However, the X-trans II sensor on the X100s is killer. The black and white is crisp and the details are better (IMHO) than the X-Pro1 sensor.

    It sounds like not everything we asked for is in the X-E2, but I’ll just drill down the menus to make the key settings and then start dialing in the shutter speeds and f/stops firing away. My feeble old brain just doesn’t have the power to keep all those settings at my fingertips. I want to take photographs and I don’t want to wish I hadn’t missed one looking for a button. So, I for one, and extremely excited about this advancement from Fuji.

    Thanks RICO for such timely and detailed information!

  • Ken Deemer

    Thanks, Rico. Can you tell us if exposure compensation will work with auto-ISO in Manual mode? One of my frustrations with the XE-1. Didn’t see an answer to this question posted earlier.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Yeah, we already discussed this about 12 hours ago, it’s a no-go and IMHO, it also isn’t really needed with the new Auto-Iso. It could even be contraproductive for users who set a small span between ISO floor and ISO ceiling. Fuji would need a second exposure gauge, one for the set exposure correction, another like the current gauge in manual mode. Not worth it with Auto-ISO settings that are fully flexible up to 1/500s.

  • codeNsnap

    Pre-ordered my XE2 today with 18-55 and 23mm f/1.4. I was done waiting for the D400. Thanks Rico for clarifying the EVF performance on XE2.

    Placed the order through this website, hope Adorama gives Patrick referral click fees. Thanks for the good work Patrick.

    • patrick

      thanks a lot codeNsnap. This is a great support for Fujirumors. Enjoy shooting next month with your X-E2… and send me some shots so that I can share them in a X-shooter zone on Fujirumors

  • Felix

    Great Review, Rico. Thanks.

    One point I haven’t seen discussed here but which is causing consternation over at DPReveiw is the fact that the new Auto ISO minimum shutter speed setting demands that you set a fixed value. That is to say, you can’t set it to 1/focal length or 1/(2xfocal length) as you can on the Nikon. So if you are using the 55-200mm, for example, the minimum shutter speed will not change between the long and short focus point.

    Is this correct? Is it a problem?
    Sounds like 1/focal length and 1/(2xfocal length) would be easy to add in firmware. :-)

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Yes, that’s right. People wanted this, they didn’t want the Auto-ISO based on a lens rule, so they got what they wanted. Is it a problem? Not really, since you can even make presets with different Auto-ISO settings and quickly change between them in the Q menu. So for those who need a quick change between e.g. 1/125 and 1/500, it’s no big deal.

      1/(2xfocal length) is the new minimum shutter flash sync speed, btw, as mentioned in the article.

      • LeFred

        On the other hand changing this parameter each time You zoom in or out, or at least each time You use a different Lens may be not very convenient, in particular when You have to use a menu instead of a direct dial…
        And switching to M mode is not a perfect solution either since exposure compensation doesn’t work in this mode, which means using manual ISO instead.
        Maybe there is still room for improvement, dont You think ? ;)

  • Jon Maxim

    Hi Rico,

    Thank you very much for not just this excellent post on the XE-2 but all of your posts. You are truly helping the Fuji X community. Even more important, we really appreciate your replies to our questions and comments which other bloggers of your stature rarely do.

    Two questions and one opinion.

    Questions
    1) Lloyd Chambers and others have reported that the XE-1 in manual mode will change focus when things like aperture and shutter speed are changed. I have not formally tested this on my XE-1 but I think I am noticing the same thing. Do you know if Fuji have fixed this on the XE-2?
    2) I am interested in your book but would like to know – will you be updating it for XE-2?

    Opinion
    Re Sony A7 vs. Fuji. I am fortunate enough to be able to own both the X-100S and the Sony RX-1r. IMHO there is an edge in the image quality of the Sony over the Fuji. However, in operation, I like the Fuji better. I think it is quite likely that IQ edge will continue with the A7 especially with 36MP A7r. But, while I think that comparing the X100s to RX1r is arguably valid because they are similarly sized, I think we have to recognize that an interchangeable lens full frame camera will still need large lenses and the total size of the kit will be significantly bigger/heavier even though the camera is small. At that point I do not think that the two systems are comparable. At the other end, I also have m4/3 systems which have even lower IQ, but I sometimes prefer to take them for their portability. If you have to use long tele lenses, I still find it incredible how a m4/3 with a Panasonic 100-300mm (200-600mm 35mm equivalent) is so small, light and easy to shoot wildlife with.

    I recognize that few people are as crazy as I am in spending money on camera equipment so they must make a choice. I would really recommend that anyone trying to choose between the X series and A7 (and m4/3 for that matter) first consider how important IQ is to them vs the size of equipment. I think in many cases the X series will win since the X IQ is really quite close to the full frame and the X size is really quite close to m4/3.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      1) For lenses that exhibit focus shift (I don’t rule out that some lenses may fall in this category), this should be automatically compensated when the aperture is changed.

      2) As I wrote in my article, an eBook on the X-E2 is in the works.

      • Jon Maxim

        Thanks for your reply, Rico. A couple of clarifications.

        1) As I understand it, the problem is not the normal lens focus shift that is inherent in some lens designs. It is the camera that changes the focus point randomly when parameters are changed and not specifically to adjust for those parameters or when the camera is cycled on and off. For instance, when street shooting I’ll often use the classic technique of standing in one place, pre-focusing on one spot and then shooting when the person enters that spot. If I have to change aperture or shutter due to changing light, I’ll often find the focus point has changed and not in any predictable way. At any rate I think your answer indicates that nothing in the XE-2 has changed in this respect. Correct?

        2) I’m sorry I did not phrase my question well. I realize that you stated right at the beginning that you are working on the XE-2 book. Since I plan to trade in my XE-1 for an XE-2 as soon as I get it, I wonder if your XE-2 book is intending to cover everything about it or is it incremental to your first book so that I will need to purchase both?

        By the way – do you never sleep? :)

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          As mentioned in the article, it will be a tips and tricks eBook.

          I have never encountered the probkem you describe, btw, and it is the first time I read about it in any forum. And I follow all X camera forums. Did you ever contemplate that your camera may be defective?

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Just to clarify: We are talking about MF, as this is the only mode where prefocusing makes any sense. In MF, the focus is always taken with CDAF and at wide open aperture, so the actual working aperture should not be an issue, and any focus shift should automatically be compensated. I remember firmware issues after the last Photokina, when the Instant Focus would lead to bad results at higher aperture numbers (lens stopped down). I immediately recognized the problem, reported it, and Fuji released a lens firmware upgrade before anyone else noticed it. The problem was paricularly evident in fast lenses like the 35mmF1.4, but as I said, it was quickly resolved. Since then, I haven’t encountered any issues with manual prefocusing.

          • Jon Maxim

            Yes problem is a manual focus one. If you have not come across Lloyd Chambers here is a link to his blog index where you can do a search for Fuji: http://diglloyd.com/blog/index.html.
            The actual test results themselves are in the paid subscription part of his web site. He is considered one of the best and most objective testers.

            Thanks for the clarification and I have bought your book.

      • loplop

        Rico, I didn’t know the fuji’s could compensate for focus shift. It makes sense that it is possible, but for many years other manufacturers have not (to my knowledge) offered this feature as it is obviously lens specific. Two of my favorite lenses ever, the zeiss sonnar 50/1.5 and the Canon 50/1.2L, experience significant focus shift due to their optical designs. Obviously CDAF automatically compensated for this shift, add it is looking directly for best sharpness/contrast. However, PDAF cannot compensate on the Canon camera, and you have to be very aware of your chosen appetite and its effect on focus.

        If the fuji cameras with PDAF compensate automatically due to data in the lens firmware (which should be feasible), this would be truly excellent. I hope, then, for a similarly designed sonnar-type lens for the X mount, that would be so sweet! I love the smooth rolloff from in focus to OOF on those designs.

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Well, that was my theory, as it was the only way to explain how Instant AF could be in perfect focus at f/1.4 but blurry at f/8 with my 35mm lens, when I took test shots of my laptop screen. Usually, you would expect rather the opposite behavior: more sharpness when stopped down.

          My theory was that the new lens firmware contained false focus shift compensation data, which blurred the image. X-Pro1 firmware 2.00 (= X-E1 firmware 1.00) changed Instant AF from working aperture to open aperture (Andy Westlake specifically really wanted this), which means that lenses with a focus shift design would need adequate focus auto-correction when set to working aperture (aka when half-pressing the shutter button).

  • Anish

    I hope Fuji changes one small thing from last edition. When you create a JPEG off a RAW file in camera, that file is placed at the end of the line of all photos taken. In the old version, you had to move back to the original position to create a custom JPEG of the next one. Hoping they will have the new JPEG placed along the original RAW image.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Unlikely, since the naming scheme is sequential, so the highest image number is always the one at the end.

      • Jack

        Not with a little creativity:

        DSCF100_0001.JPG
        DSCF100_0001a.JPG
        DSCF100_0001b.JPG
        DSCF100_0001c.JPG

        DSCF100_0002.JPG

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Well, this doesen’t comply with the naming standard and has already been discussed at great length in the usual forums. ;) Been there, done that.

          • Jack

            Hadn’t seen the forums (I haven’t time to read even many, let alone all). My only comment is that conventions ought to serve the photographer, not the other way around. Creating an new in-camera JPG on a card with a couple hundred photos, then having to backtrack 100 photos, is phenomenally annoying. On a card with a few hundred, it renders the in-camera raw practically unusable.

          • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

            Yeah, that’s why I use it differently. Copy everything to my Mac, throw away all the crap, keep the handful of shots that are acceptable (yeah, I’m that bad), then copy those RAWs back to the card (or leave them on the card), then redevelop them in the camera with different parameters.

            I also want to have a look at the images on a larger display in order to decide what needs to be improved with the internal RAW converter.

  • Michael DeCorte

    I *love* my X-E1 but wish the exposure compensation dial was a big tighter It moves with every bump and all too often I don’t notice until too late. Any chance that the X-E2 is tighter?

    BTW, your book is great. Thanks for the Kindle version.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Nope, it’s not tighter on my PP camera. Thank you for liking the book, please don’t forget to write a review over at Amazon if you can find the time.

  • Jim

    Dear Rico,
    While not so spectacular as the sony a7, x-e2 seems like a great camera.

    As a x100s owner, can we expect the features of the xe2 in a firmware update? Face detection, af tracking etc

    And will the xe1/xpro1 get a big update anytime soon?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Wouldn’t that be nice? Those who want this should write to Fuji. As we know, they do listen.

  • http://www.fxtc.de Sven

    Hey Rico,
    really nice first look and amazing good informations! Do you have already tested any legacy or M mount lenses? With the X-E1 the M lenses with apapter have all this smearing in the corners. Is there any hope that the new sensor is making something better now?`
    Cheers! Sven

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      No. The lens manufacturer would have to redesign those lenses in order to perfectly support regular digital sensors at M mount flange back distances. Alternatively, you would have to use a digital camera with a modified sensor that specifically addresses this issue, like the Ricoh GR M mount module or the Leica M8, M9 or M240.

      Of course, the easiest way is to simply use either native X-Mount lenses or adapted lenses that do not exhibit smearing. Most adapted lenses (including many M lenses) render great results.

  • Eggi

    Hi Rico,
    thanks for the review.
    Earlier this year you wrote aboet another major software update for the X-E1. Do you stll think this will come or do you expect Fuji nt wanting to threaten the sales of X-E2?
    Thanks again!
    Eggi

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Version 2.0 was released in July.

  • Yacek

    I wonder if, while recording video with auto focus, the AF is “breathing” now and then, re-adjusting quite a bit? That renders it unusable on X-E1.

  • TC

    Can you recommend any ring for the Leica R lens. Thanks.

  • gunda

    Thank you for the detailed preview.

    I’d like to think that we’ll see a lot of these improvements in a firmware upgrade for the X-E1, but I suspect that we will need to wait awhile, so that Fuji can sell the X-E2 to upgraders first.

    If you’re talking to Fuji, there are two things I’d like to see in the firmware.

    1. I was disappointed to lose the View Mode button. Coming from an NEX-7, it was a relief not to have to dive several layers in the menus to access this option. Although shooting from the hip is easier with the 7 and its tilting screen, it’s still possible with the X-E1, but you want to be able to quickly turn off the viewfinder when you do this, and then back off when you’re finished.

    2. On the 7 I was used to WYSIWYG previews, so getting it in the X series would be great. I assume that this includes aperture stop-down for DoF preview. But focussing is easer wide open, esp with focus peaking. What frustrated me on the 7 was doing another menu dive to switch between them. Wide open and auto-gain for focussing and then WYSIWYG for compose and expose. Would be great to see this on one of the configurable buttons.

    I would put #1 on the AE button and #2 on the Fn2 button. An extra screen to scroll down to configure the buttons once is nothing compared to a deep menu dive *every* time I want to change the settings.

    What’s the best way to contact Fuji to make these suggestions?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      #1 has already been suggested to Fuji by me.
      #2 has always been available, even in the classic X100. The the DOF preview option is already there.

      • Robert

        Hi Rico,

        Above you wrote:
        “Sadly, neither the popular View Mode nor the new Face Detection function can be assigned to an Fn button. Especially the latter is quite unbelievable, since all other Fuji X cameras with this feature allow “Face Detection ON/OFF” to be assigned to any Fn button. Fuji should take care of this with a quick firmware update.”

        and here (#1) you say that you have already suggested to Fuji that they should add the possibility to assign View Mode to any Fn button. My understanding is that you have also already suggested to Fuji that they should add the possibility to assign “Face Detection ON/OFF” to any Fn button. Is that correct? If not please do so, since I agree “Face Detection ON/OFF” and View Mode would be very good Fn button options. :-)

  • Sebastian

    Hi Rico,

    First of all, thanks for the review.
    I’m looking for a new camera, but I’m new to the Fuji cameras. The X-E1 looked interesting to me a couple of weeks ago, but I was a bit sceptical because of the slow AF I read in reviews. I would mainly take pictures from our little kids, so the X-E2 seems just fine now.
    I’m wondering if a X-M1, x20 or perhaps x100s would be also ok for that purpose?

    Another point I hadn’t read about in the comments above: can I connect my phone and the camera directly via wifi, so without an extra access point?

    Thanks again and greetings from Fürth to Nürnberg (…I think…when looking at your pictures)!?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Yes, you connect directly to smartphones and tablets. PC connects via a wifi router, aka a network.

      Greetings back to Fürth, I am currently in Schwabach, feel free to book the free “Rent a Flysurfer” experience that I offered in two German photo forums. :)

  • Phil

    Thanks for the preview, Rico. Can you explain if 1/180x is simply flash x-sync speed? If so, 1/180s is very disappointed sync speed for someone who came from FF-sensor DSLR and relies on off-camera flash (both Manual & ETTL). I love the leaf-shutter that Fuji x100s and x20 offers and I hope Fuji can extend that capability to future interchangeable lenses or increase x-sync speed to a much more usable speed 1/250-500s. Do you think it’s possible?

    On the other note, in a few years, when I start investing my $ to a mirrorless system, I would highly consider Fuji X-series due to several reasons: good compromised sensor size (APS-C), compact, but great and high quality lens system. Full-frame sensor like Sony A7 introduces are just amazing but they will need to design a brand-new high quality but compact lens system to go with the camera, so unless they can pull out of the full bag of tricks like A7, I doubt I will commit to it.

    MFT system from Olympus or Panasonic, on the other hands, will always be limited by its small sensor and that will greatly affect the IQ. It’s definitely fine for small & medium prints but for large prints, forget it.

    I love to hear your thought on this topic: MFT v/s APS-C v/s FF?

    Thanks
    -Phil

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      As described in my books, many flashes like the EF-20 or EFX-20 will work up to 1/250s. As for sensor formates: It is obvious that Canikon sell a multitude of APS-C DSLRs compared to full-frame DSLRs. Smaller sensors are much more popular than cameras with 35mm or medium format sensors. Only very few sensor makers are even producing and selling 35mm or medium format sensors to camera makers, and I am quite certain that there isn’t a single medium format sensor out there that is based on CMOS technology, they are all CCDs, right?

      Offering full-frame MILCs makes sense for camera companies that already offer full-frame DSLR cameras and lenses, as it is a way to move DSLR costumers to the mirrorless segment. Theese customers can still keep and shoot their legacy DSLR lenses thanks to on-sensor PDAF and digial adapters, so it’s a smooth transition. Olympus is doing the same with the E-M1: letting FT users shoot their FT glass with a MFT body. Sony is now doing it with the A7, this is basically a full-frame Sony DSLR without a mirror.

      Fuji has no current DSLR system, so they have to find out if the mirrorless 35mm market is large enough to sustain the development of such cameras in their own merits. They simply can’t count on Fuji legacy users with Fuji legacy lenses to jump at this opportunity, as those customers do not exist. But I am sure Fuji is watching closely.

  • http://jeffbridges.net Jeff Bridges

    Why the heck would they even further REDUCE the recording time?! I know there’s a 30 minute max due to EU taxes (so why not have different firmware in the US?), but less than 15 minutes? This is crazy.

  • Helen

    Hi
    I just finished reading your excellent book on the x-e1. Hopefully I will stop using it like a compact now so thank you.

    Do you think it’s worth upgrading to the x-e2 if you already own the x-e1? As a Canon DSLR user I’m particularly interested in the phase focussing.

    Do you think they will do any more firmware updates for the x-e1 & could they include the ability to wifi (which I’d love) and set minimum shutter speed?

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      I’m glad I could help.

      I can’t tell you if it is worth upgrading. For me it’s a no-brainer, but it depends on your shooting style and financials. The X-E1 is still the same great camera it was a year ago. It’s just that the X-E2 is better, and it’s better at stuff that I appreciate.

      I am not aware of any further firmware upgrades for the X-E1, but that doesn’t mean anything, of course. Just like with the X100, Fuji could still deliver updates 1 or even 2 years from now.

      You could add wifi by using an Eye-fi card or something similar. I recommend getting a fast one, though.

  • Goetz

    Hi Rico!

    I’m really amazed, how much information you are presenting here! I’m planing to buy a Fuji and planed take the X-M1. But the introduction of the X-E2 made me thinking again. As I’ve been shooting mostly without a viewfinder the new EVF isn’t the point. But a faster AF is a killer feature for me as I also want to shoot kitesurfing.

    Is there the possibiltity to add the AF-features of the X-E2 to the X-M1 and do you think Fuji will do so?

    Thanks a lot from Ingolstadt,
    Goetz

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Which AF features could that be? Obviously only software features, and I am not sure, how effective a tracking AF could be in a CDAF-only camera? Plus, it would put the M1/A1 above the E1/Pro1, so I doubt that such an update (even if it was possible) would come before the remaining stock of E1/Pro1 cameras has been sold.

      • Goetz

        Thanks a lot. So I’m awaiting the X-E2!

  • Manne

    Hi Rico!
    Thanks for a nice first look! One thing that’s bugging me with the X-E1 is that you’re not able to lock exposure during video. Is this possible with the X-E2 (kind of critical if you want good video footage – would be nice, now when they’ve cranked up the video bitrate…)?

    Cheers!
    //Manne

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      No exposure lock in video mode.

      • Manne

        Thanks for a quick answer and a very nice column here at FR!
        That’s too bad. I appreciate that Fujifilm are concentrating their efforts on still photography instead of video, but why on earth did they go through all that trouble getting extra mic input, sound level adjustments, high video bit rate etc. without taking care of this small improvement. Anyone shooting video knows that manual control or at least exposure lock is essential for video/film in the first place and without this, video usage is almost useless – so mic input and what not would be unnecessary before you could do this (in my humble opinion…). Don’t get me wrong – I believe the X-series are the best digital cameras for still photography the world has seen so far (for my needs and prefs ;-)) and I love my X-E1. I use it for still but once in a while it’s nice to use the great lenses and shoot some video as well. I would love to see full manual control or exposure lock in video mode in future software updates but I guess it’s a hard nut to crack as they haven’t done this already…

        Thanks!
        //Manne

        • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

          Yes, video needs development. On the other hand, Nikon disabled video altogether in their new Df, as it didn’t fit the retro style and market targeting of the camera. This is a hen and egg situation, basically a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Joe Glasing

    Hey Rico,

    what a beautiful article. Thank you so much for that!

    May I ask you if all of your images were taken with the standard 18-55 mm lens that’s in the Kit? I don’t see any information about the lens on your images. I want to buy the X-E2 with 18-55mm for doing landscape fotography.

    Sonnige Grüße aus Salt Lake City, Utah

    Sehr guter Artikel, Respekt!

    Joe

  • Joe Glasing

    Sorry for reposting, but did you ever try the Panorama mode ?

  • Helen

    Hi, I have had trouble focus and reframing with my Fuji EX-1 and instead move the focus box, unlike with my Canon. I heard that most people do this too. If I understand correctly, the new speedy focussing technology is Phase Detection and this is only from the middle box. Does this mean it’s now better at focus and reframing using just this middle focus point? Otherwise for fastest focussing you’d have to always have everything slap bang in the middle of your photo.

  • http://imagineimedentrodeti.com Carlos Muralhas

    I don’t really understand why XE-2 lost two simple button functions that were used a lot by me on the XE-1.

    I’m refering to:

    1)
    Pressing and holding the DISP/BACK button for 3 seconds toggles SILENT MODE ON/OFF.
    I do a lot of theater photography and the SILENT MODE is essential to that. With XE-1 it’s SO practical to do that and there is not one other camera out there (that I know off) that does that. Sadly not even XE-2 :(

    2)
    The missing View Mode button. Another essential for me is the possibility to easily and rapidly changing the display between the LCD or the EVF. That button was really used a lot by me on the XE-1. In XE-2 the button is gone :( and there’s not even the possibility to assign that function to a configurable button :(

    2.1)
    Associated to the LCD/EVF option there was another behavior which I loved on XE-1 that is gone on the XE-2. Even when in EVF mode, the playback of an image was dependent on the Eye Sensor, so we could see the photo taken in the LCD if the eye was away from the Viewfinder. I thought this was the decision of a genius Fujifilm software designer. Not any other mirrorless camera (again, that I know of) is this practical. Alas, not even XE-2… :(

    I hope they will be returned in a near future firmware upgrade because they were really important for my work – but now they are both menu options which are much dificult and much slower to use :(

    Best regards,
    Carlos Muralhas

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      2.1 still works as always, so I don’t get this point.