image courtesy: Fujifilm (X-E1 sample images)
In the jungle of reviews of the new X-E1 (there is really much interest around this camera), sometimes there are really good ones. And here it is another one, made by the the Swiss digitalliving.ch (click here). It’s in German. If you have good command of this language, just jump to the review on their website (click here). Otherwise here is a short summary and translation (I think my translations are better than the google ones… but I’m open for critics ;-) ), and then look at the test pictures on digitalliving.ch. The question here is:
Is the X-E1 (click here) the little sister of the X-Pro1 (click here) or the biggest rival?
As the reviews of luminouslandscape and stevehuffpost, also this one is really enthusiastic about the X-E1.
PROS: ISO is very very good. You can shoot acceptable images with ISO 6400, so that you don’t need a flash at twilight.
CONS: If you use the ISO-automatic, you cannot adjust the shutter speed. And if you let the camera adjust automatically the ISO, the X-E1 chooses a too slow shutter speed and that causes often blurred images. But Fuji could solve this problem with a firmware update, so that the ISO-automatic could benefit of the big potential of this camera. In the past, many aspects that photographers criticised on the X-PRO1 had been solved from Fuji by firmware updates (faster autofocus, for example). The tester is sure that Fuji will also work on the ISO-automatic problem.
PROS: A lot easier than the X-Pro1, and the camera feels easy also with the 35mm lens on it. The tester suggest to change the ordinary and simple strap of this camera with the much more comfortable and nice Street Strap (click here), or maybe this Joby 3-camera Way strap (click here) (for further information about how comfortable this strap really is, read the phoblograher post here).
The EVF and Display
PROS: The electronic viewfinder is very good and rich in contrast, with a high image frequency. There is no hybrid viewfinder, and so the camera competes with the Sony Nex-series (click here) and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (click here). The X-E1 is cheaper and easier than the X-PRO1 also because of the renunciation of a hybrid finder. The addition of a diopter in the EVF is a really nice feature.
CONS: A flippable display would be a nice feature. No hybrid viewfinder like on the X-PRO1.
The X-Trans-Sensor and RAW
PROS: We have talked a lot about this sensor, and digitalliving confirms: the sensor beats rest of the APS-C competitors. A beautiful “analogue” colour reproduction. The quality is the same as the X-PRO1: simply great! The new technology reproduces better colours and prevents also the Moiré pattern (click here for more. This effect happens for example when you take images of geometrical patterns, like sometimes on clothes).
CONS: As we know (click here), there is a lack of software-support for RAW-files of the X-Trans sensor.
Image quality of JPEGs
PROS: The digitalliving tester says, that once you have seen the jpegs that this camera shoots, then the RAW-problem seems immediately much smaller. He says you have to use all the superlatives you have to describe them: fantastic, incredible…”.
Handling and Menu interface
PROS: The camera is really easy to handle, if you know the basic correlation between ISO, shutter and aperture (the exposure triangle… click here). The camera can adjust these settings automatically. The tester says, that this kind of adjustment, using the wheels, brings back that joy in photography, that the digital era has taken away from us. There is a dedicated button “Q” that once pressed, shows you the 16 most important functions on the display. The camera puts the most used function automatically on the FN-button, so that you can access there immediately. All in all, a very good handling and interface makes this camera easy to use.
CONS: The 16 most important menu functions do not include the film-function. You have to jump to the second page of the menu. But, if you want, you can “sacrifice” the FN-button for the video-function. Would you?
PROS: As on the X-PRO1, also the autofocus of the X-E1 isn’t the fastest, but there was an improvement and now it is fast enough for the normal use. So, it’s not the fastest, but once the camera focuses, pictures are very very sharp.
CONS: Not that good for action and sport photography.
PROS: The camera films in Full-HD with 24 fps . There is a stereo-microphone and a microphone jack (no jack on X-PRO1)
CONS: Most of the other cameras of this price range have 30 fps. But sure, film is not priority in this camera.
PROS: A nice feature of this camera is that you can use the build-in pop-up flash to control your studio flashlight-system.
CONS: Well, it’s a built-in flash, don’t expect it to illuminate a whole room!
All in all, the X-E1 beats the X-Pro1 in every aspect, apart from the hybrid viewfinder. Cheaper, easier, and same image quality. This camera is for everyone “who celebrates photography”, but not for sport-photographers. It’s fun to shoot pictures with this camera, easy to use, and apart some little things, this camera satisfies every wish.
that’s all folks!
PS.: for those lucky ones that already have or tested the X-E1… add your own PROS and CONS in the comments!