X-E1 or X-PRO1: that is the question!


You surely remember the digitalliving review, one of the most discussed reviews on fujirumors. If you did not read it, click here to read.

The question was: X-PRO1 or X-E1? Digitalliving had a clear answer: “All in all, the X-E1 beats the X-Pro1 in every aspect, apart from the hybrid viewfinder. Cheaper, easier, and same image quality.” Also fixelpix was cought in this dilemma, as we wrote in this post here.

It’s one of the most asked questions in the reviews I’ve read. And the answers are different. And now, that the X-E1 is finally available also in the US market, is it really better to buy the X-E1 rather than the X-PRO1? Is it better to save the money, buy the X-E1, and buy an additional lens with the money you saved? Here are an autofocus comparison and four more reviews:


In this video matthewemaddock compared the AF speed of X-E1 and X-PRO1. Seems to focus at the same speed, but, at least in this video, the focus is quite loud. (see the video here).

First review:

This time another German review makes the same question, but the answer is different (click here to read): The X-PRO1 beats the X-E1 in nearly every aspect, except two: 1) the external jack-connection 2) the electric remote release.

Combined with the new FUJINON XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, the X-E1 is better for videos. But for those who set priorities in photography, the OVF is simply better than the EVF. The battery life of the X-PRO1 is also much better, if you use the OVF (but it’s a bit worse if you use EVF.)

Second review:

(derekclarkphotography review) X-E1 or X-PRO1? This review says that there are more similarities than differences between the X-E1 and the X-PRO1. But there are a few differences.

The X-E1 is easier. Maybe to easy? The X-PRO1 however feels quite nice in his hands. He says he will wait for the Gariz half case to be available for the X-E1, not only to protect the body, but to “add a bit of weight and make it a bit more comfortable in the hand.” I looked for all the Gariz half cases available for X-series worldwide on slidoo.com (see results here). There are also the first full cases of other brands available for the X-E1. See them all here!

The EVF of the X-E1 has a high resolution, the addition of the diopter is great.

He also says that “one thing I should point out is that although the shutter sound is as awesome as the X-Pro1, there is an extra noise as the shutter closes that sounds almost like a rapid wind on of film, very short, but I wasn’t sure if it should be there.” According to what Fuji UK told him, it’s the sound it should make.

And at the question, X-PRO1 or X-E1 he answers: “If I didn’t own any X cameras, I would buy the X-Pro1, but if you’re looking for something smaller, lighter, less expensive … then the X-E1 is the one to buy.

Third review:

photomadd.com: X-E1, X-PRO1 or X-100?I’d still go for the X-Pro1.  That’s coming from a position of using the X-Pro1 for the past 7 months though, I’ve got an attachment to it.  If I was starting over from scratch I might not think the X-Pro1 was worth the extra £400 (street price)... The saving over the X-Pro1 allows you to (just) buy an additional lens, and if you’re starting out that is likely to be more important than the body as it will give you more flexibility.” At the end he also says, that if he should choose between the X-E1 and X-100, he would go for the X-100. “There is something about it that isn’t replicated in either the X-Pro 1 or X-E1“. [also Ken Rockwell chose the X-100: “In case everyone forgot, the Fuji X100 is still… my favorite over the Fuji X-Pro1 and Sexy One (X-E1).”]

Fourth review

There is a Spanish review at dslrmagazine.com (translated version) that concentrates only on the comparison between X-E1 and X-PRO1. In short, there is a gap between the models. So they have a different target. But they say that the X-E1 is a complete camera.

Which one would you choose? Would you buy the X-PRO1 or the X-E1 (maybe with additional lens) ?

  • dnercesian

    X100, X Pro 1, or X-E1? I chose not to tackle that question and just bought them all. Seriously, the X100 is irreplaceable, for reasons i can’t quite put my finger on. The X Pro 1 has been great to shoot with and has it’s advantages, like the hybrid VF. The X-E1 has its advantages as well, like a built in flash.

    In the end, the overall success of the system will help all around in lens development and future bodies, so having these options is a smart move by Fuji.

  • TimoB

    I ‘m a X-Pro1 owner and i already tested the X-E1. Both are somewhat of fantastic cameras that will make most People happy. For me the X-Pro1 feels more than a “real” camera with its OVF and formfactor. I would always prefer
    it against the X-E1.

    I also own the X100 and i have to say this little guy is not replaceable by any camera available today. It’s my first digicam where i say “i will Keep it until the bitter end!” ;-) Every time using this camera makes me feel home. ;-)

    • hexx

      +1 completely agree and regarding X100 – when my girlfriend asked me if I’m going to sell my X100 after I bought X-Pro1 I replied that I would never do that, that camera is the best digital camera I have owned so far.

  • Jonnie Burtoft

    In the UK you can buy the X-pro1 with a lens and claim a free lens from Fuji, this brings the price to be roughly equivalent to and X-E1 with the same lenses. I bought the X-Pro1 with the 18mm and claimed the 35mm, no regrets with the purchase and would buy it again if required, this is mainly due to the OVF which i use nearly all the time and is a joy to use.

    I heard about the X-Pro1 having video, funny thing is since having the camera i have never even tried it!

    The range of cameras from Fuji is fantastic and will surely bode well for the future regarding 1st and 3rd party lenses and development of further bodies.

    • hexx

      I’ve been going back and forth for about two weeks (originally promotion was valid until the end of October) but in the end I settled for X-Pro1 mainly because of the OVF, much better rear LCD, size and build quality. I use OVF on X100 on roughly 90% of my captures and the same appears to be the case with the X-Pro1.

  • Rich

    I’m so conflicted! I guess the answer is just to go to a shop and try them both, assuring yourself that whichever you choose, you really can’t make a “bad” decision. If Fuji weren’t running their free lens deal then there would be no doubt in my mind, but with the prices almost equal…

    I wonder if the free lens deal will lead to a lot of never-used lenses appearing on ebay – I think it might…

  • MJr

    X-Pro1 is slightly on the large side for me, that’s reason enough already.

    However great the X-Pro1 is the X-E1 just makes more sense, and has a bunch of these little improvements that i just couldn’t imagine getting the X-Pro1 now. Sure i prefer OVF when it’s with a wide-standard prime, but it’s just too weird when using the 18-55, a super-wide, or any long lens, and various legacy lenses. Then it pains me to say it, but the 2Mln dot EVF is just more logical.

    Also, the skewed right-half of the top plate annoys the hell out of me.

  • tim

    I think the X-Pro1 is for people who want the range finder experience, hence the OVF, where as the X-E1 is for people who might have purchased an entry level DSLR but would rather something smaller and more traditional looking.

    An entry level DSLR has a built in flash, 100% accurate framing (same as EVF), good image quality and usually a few zoom lenses (wide and tele) that work well with the system. I guess the price point of the X-E1 is competitive in the entry level DSLR, and the current and future zoom lenses are also perfect for that market.

    And that covers the real differences between the two; OVF, resolution of EVF, resolution of Display and built in flash. Everything else is firmware differences I suppose (USB shutter control etc).

    • MJr

      Not just traditional looking. The experience as well. SLR is large and has the mirror slap, the NEX has disgusting controls and bad lenses, and MFT has the smaller sensor (not that bad anymore tho) and are fiddly to control as well. All completely different.

      X-E1’s EVF only means that you can’t see outside the framelines and it zooms along, granted that’s a big one, but you’re being compensated plenty imo. Especially when you take the affordable 18-55/2.8-4 kit with some legacy lenses on the side. But all that makes the X series so special remains as such. :)

  • db

    Isn’t it good to have such dilema. I’m pretty sure that women would understand it similarly as men understand their hard decisions when choosing between two ‘different’ pairs of shoes. Different? Well… No one could help them, ah, those women. (Btw: love them anyway.)

    X series.

  • BdV

    Undecided, I think I will slowly hesitate until the X101 or X200 or X100B comes out.

    • AG

      Ask Fuji to make it FF with a 35mm F:1.4, keeping the shutter as it is, and I’ll go the same way to replace my X100, but that is a different story as the present doubt is about interchangeable lens cameras.

    • db

      Yes. I guess that in the meantime you could slowly take a good photo or two. Just as me/we with Xs.

      • BdV

        I worry FF would make it a seriously priced machine, sluggish in fps and writing the huge files to the card (as they would probably use at least 24mp sensor), bigger lens, bulkier, not sure if they are able to keep the weight down to what for instance the RX1 weighs… I am not really hoping for FF to be honest. 1.4 on a 23mm lens would be very nice though. As well as a bigger battery, faster AF, and what I also really would appreciate: a tiltable LCD-screen.

  • AG

    Not an easy one but just to add another decision aspect: what about a possible X-Pro2 bringing phase detection autofocus, something Fuji seems to have a recent registered patent on?

    I’ve the X100 and I’m looking forward to add one of these cameras to it (not to take its place) but not an easy decision – my dilemma is:

    1 – shall I buy the X-Pro1?…
    2 – the X-E1?…
    3 – or the X-E1 looking for a future change to a X-Pro2?

  • i am X-Pro1 owner, prefered OVF

  • Chad

    I think it would come down to two (maybe three) simple questions:

    1. Can you afford the extra $600 (with lens)
    2. Is OVF important
    3. Is the larger size and better build quality of the X-PRO a positive

    If the answer to at least two of these is yes, maybe you should go with the X-PRO

  • I actually just did this myself. I went to shop, tried the x-pro and the xe-1 as my local store in the UK had them both a couple of weeks ago. I propped and clicked and uhmmed and ahhed.

    I bought x-pro1 instead as I preferred the extra weight, I preferred the improved sealing and I like the OVF. What really decided it was that I could get an extra lens for free from Fuji, removing the price benefit of the xe-1 for a short while if you’re buying two lenses.

  • Papunko Bebunku

    I am X-Pro1 owner, prefered OVF, and enjoying the rangefinder feel and look!

  • Malve

    X-pro 1 for me.
    I really like the OVF (i hope Fuji will adjust the size of the frames)…

  • I’m leaning toward the X-Pro1 and plan to own the 23, 35, and 56mm f1.4 lenses to complement the body (perhaps even the 14mm, as well, but I typically do not shoot that wide). Ideally — and this is probably just me — Fuji would make a 50mm f1.4 instead of the 56mm. I think the former would fit better with the planned lens lineup, given we already have the 60mm, albeit slower, macro lens. I know the 56mm will more closely match the vaunted 85mm FF field of view that people prefer for portraits, but I’ve had the pleasure of using (but not owning) Leica’s Summicron lenses (35, 50, 75, and 90) and, for me, those four make an ideal kit. Anyone else like the idea of a 50mm instead of the planned 56mm offering?

    So what am I waiting for? I haven’t yet pulled the trigger on the X-Pro1 because I’m hoping they upgrade the EVF soon, but like everyone else I have no idea when that may happen. Regards,

    Mark D.

  • Evil Ted

    I have had an X-Pro 1 since May 2012 and absolutely love it.
    My Canon 5D MK3 doesn’t get much love since I got it.

    I wanted to get the new 18-55 zoom but couldn’t find any available for $699.
    I bit the bullet and bought the XE-1 in kit form.

    Testing the EVF, it doesn’t feel much different than the X-Pro 1. Higher resolution maybe, but just as slow.
    I primarily use the OVF on the X-Pro 1 unless indoors in poor light.

    I love the miniature size of the XE-1, the popup flash and the built-in diopter.
    I don’t like the plastic buttons compared to the X-Pro1 and putting a lower resolution LCD on the back when the camera is EVF only seems a stupid move (I get more resolution with the EVF but less with the LCD for LiveView – WTF? )

    Anyway, the zoom seems a better fit on the X-Pro 1 but when used with the OVF, the frame lines are backwards (the shrink in size as I zoom in and get bigger as I zoom out).

    I put the 18mm F/2 on the XE-1 and now have a very stealthy street camera :)

    Final thoughts:
    The X-Pro1 pros include build quality and the OVF.
    The XE-1 pros for me include built in flash, diopter and small, light package.
    The EVF benefits are negligible.


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