Fujifilm adds another elegant camera to its ILC lineup
We did occasionally find that the exposure compensation dial would turn when we carried the camera in a camera bag. This easy-turning dial provides a remarkably quick way to bracket manually or to adjust for abnormal lighting conditions. We suggest that you double-check it when you take the camera out of a bag.
As with the whole X-Series, aperture is changed by a ring on the lens, complete with click stops. Focus mode gets a three-way flip switch on the left front of the body. Most other settings can be changed in the quick menu. Meanwhile, any of 13 different settings can be assigned to the function button that sits next to the shutter release. In our field tests, we left this set to ISO.
In our test of the X-Pro1, we noted that manual focusing was less than optimal due to the sluggish rate of adjustment when you turn the focusing ring. Fujifilm has not only made the focusing ring more responsive, but made the action progressive—the faster you turn the ring, the faster the focus changes. So now you can get from one end of the focusing scale to the other with one quick turn. With a little practice, we found the manual focusing quite pleasing. The X-E1’s autofocus is also faster than the X-Pro1’s, but it remains middle-of-the-road for ILCs. Not a problem—just not amazing.
The most useful addition over the X-Pro1 is the X-E1’s pop-up flash. With a guide number of 22 (feet, ISO 200), it’s not super-powerful, but not as overly weak as the ones in many compacts. We were initially confused when we tried to adjust flash-exposure compensation with the camera in its silent mode. Turns out that, because silent mode is meant for those times when you don’t want to be noticed, it disables the flash.
The Fujifilm X-E1 is a great addition to the company’s line of premium ILCs. Rangefinder diehards might miss the optical finder provided in the X-Pro1, but given that this isn’t a true rangefinder, we were perfectly okay with the X-E1’s EVF. It’s wonderfully crisp, bright, and gives you a good preview of the effects of setting changes. Its refresh rate could be quicker—you’ll notice a bit of stuttering on fast pans—and we wish it didn’t black out during bursts, but it’s among the best electronic finders out there. We’d say Sony’s OLED finders are the only ones that are appreciably better.
If pricing has made you hesitant to enter Fujifilm’s X-Series, the X-E1 might be just the thing to draw you in. And if you’re just looking for a really nice rangefinder-style ILC, you should give the X-E1 a try. We think you’ll like it.
IMAGING: 16.3MP effective, APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS sensor captures images at 4896x3264 pixels with 12 bits/ color in RAW mode.
STORAGE: SD, SDHC, SDXC stores JPEG, RAF RAW, and RAW + JPEG files.
BURST RATE: Full-sized JPEGs (Fine mode), up to 40 shots at 6 fps; RAW, up to 10 shots at 6 fps.
AF SYSTEM: TTL contrast detection with 49 selectable focus areas; single-shot and continuous AF.
SHUTTER SPEEDS: 1/4000 to 30 sec, plus B (1/3-EV increments).
METERING: 256-segment TTL metering, evaluative, centerweighted average, and spot (approx. 2% of viewfinder).
ISO RANGE: Normal, ISO 200–6400 (in 1/3-EV increments); expanded (JPEG only), ISO 100–25,600.
VIDEO: Records at 1920x1080p at 24 fps; 1280x720p at 24 fps in H.264 MOV format; built-in stereo microphone; stereo minijack input; maximum clip length 29 min.
FLASH: Built-in pop-up, GN 22 (ISO 200, feet); flash sync to 1/180 sec.
VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level 0.5-inch 2.36-million dot OLED.
LCD: 2.8-inch TFT with 460,000-dot resolution.
OUTPUT: Hi-speed USB 2.0, mini HDMI video.
BATTERY: Rechargeable NP-W126 Li-ion, CIPA rating 350 shots.
SIZE/WEIGHT: 5.0x2.9x1.5 in., 0.8 lb with a card and battery.
STREET PRICE: $1,000, body only; $1,400 with 18–55mm f/2.8–4.0 OIS lens.