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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite camera of all time!
I've owned a variety of cameras over the past 40 years and digital cameras in particular going back 15 years. When I purchased the Fuji X-E1 in black with the 18-55 F2.8-4.0 zoom kit lens, a couple of weeks ago, I held on to my Nikon D700 and Olympus E-P2. The D700 is a great camera and a wonderful friend over the past several years, and the E-P2 was pretty good - but...
Published 24 months ago by Augsburg57

versus
278 of 309 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love this camera!!! So why 3 stars?
First off, I LOVE this camera!!!!!!!!!

So why 3 stars? because I cannot recommend it to most people. I HIGHLY recommend this to experienced photographers.

However the look, the feel, the incredible high ISO performance, all top notch. The focus is just sad compared to other cameras. If you want to buy this for sports, weddings, wildlife or chasing...
Published on December 21, 2012 by Chris R. Field


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278 of 309 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love this camera!!! So why 3 stars?, December 21, 2012
This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
First off, I LOVE this camera!!!!!!!!!

So why 3 stars? because I cannot recommend it to most people. I HIGHLY recommend this to experienced photographers.

However the look, the feel, the incredible high ISO performance, all top notch. The focus is just sad compared to other cameras. If you want to buy this for sports, weddings, wildlife or chasing kids around(which is a bad decision due to the lack of telephoto lenses) you will be very disappointed. If you take a slow and deliberate approach to your photography you will be greatly rewarded. This is a camera you work with, not a camera you use, and I really like that aspect personally. But the slow AF, weak AF in low light, and lack of features other cameras have in spades keep it from being a 5 or even a 4. If I were to rate it off the sensor and feel only it would be a 10 out of 5. Optically it is as close to perfect as you will get for less than $3000, and the kit lens is no slouch.

If anyone is looking at this they are also probably looking at the Olympus OMD. I own both of these cameras and want to put up a side by side comparison from my own experience.

Why compare this against the OMD? Because it has set a new benchmark of performance in the world of mirrorless cameras, and even with a smaller sensor it competes well against larger mid range DSLR's. Other options include the NEX 7 and maybe the NEX-6. I have owned and used both the NEX c3 and NEX 5N quite a bit and they are awesome fast high performance compact point and shoot cameras, you sort of have to just trust them, and they do an excellent job but i am a bit of a control freak with my cameras. I found the manual controls lacking, especially compared to the Olympus OMD and Fuji XE-1. That is not meant to be a knock against the NEX line, i would have included the NEX-7 in this had i any experience with it, nor do i have any experience with the GH3.

my experience with DSLR's includes the Nikon D40, D70, D90, D7000, and the Canon 60D and 7D all of which I have used extensively with pro grade lenses such as the Nikon 24-70f/2.8, 70-200f/2.8, and equivalents on the Canons. I am not a pro, just a hard core enthusiast/amateur and timelapse photographer with horrible spelling, and a decent job to fund the hobby.

I hope this helps.

1) Autofocus

OMD's AF blazingly fast for single AF. It focuses in low light areas without the need of the focus lamp, very little hunting. The Continuous AF is not on par with the D7000. It is loaded with various features such as facial tracking, left and right eye priority, touch to focus and shoot, etc. I use the facial tracking when doing things like instructional videos on timelapse.

XE-1's AF system is best not tested after using the OMD, because compared to the OMD it is laughable. It hunts in low light even with the AF lamp. It seems to work well enough with some decent light around. The options on Fuji's AF system is Single, Continuous, and Manual. There is no tracking, no facial recognition, you can set the size of the AF point, that is about it. For photographers with a bit of experience this AF system is not going to be much of a hindrance. There is also the Manual focus bar on the display which is AWESOME. See more on that later.

2) Customization

The OMD is highly customizable, everything from the viewfinder, display, lens function, f1, f2, the list goes on. It is the most customizable camera I have ever had. Almost to the point of making things a bit confusing. It took a while but I now have it set to how I like it, and it is pretty easy to use. You can have the OLED and EFV display different things as well, in fact, borrowing somebody elses OMD for a shoot will probably leave you annoyed and frustrated because they probably set it up a lot differently and it wont even feel like the same camera.

The Fuji XE1 is nowhere near as customizable. It has ONE function button, but you cannot even use the scroll wheel on the back to control it, you still have to use the thumb pad which means you have to pull it from your eye, seems kind of pointless. I would say this camera is not very customizable, if it were not for the Q button where you can scroll through pre-sets, but I would argue this is not customization, this just enables fast configuration changes. The screen and EFV will show the same info

3) EFV

The OMD has a decent viewfinder. It is not very sharp even when adjusted with the diopter, I know it is not my eyes because I read at 20/15 since my Lasik. Very little lag, even in low light. The eye sensor works ok but could stand to be a bit faster. It throws up a nice large image about the same size as the OFV on the D7000. Not sure why but you cannot have the EFV on non-stop, even when shutting off the rear display the EFV is off until the eye sensor is triggered.

The XE1 has the same size viewfinder, but higher resolution and you can see the difference. Things look sharper and crisper, no doubt about it. However it is much laggier. The eye sensor is better though, and flips from screen to EFV faster. You can leave the EFV on non-stop with the back off if you like.

Build quality

The OMD nice solid construction. Not a fan of the dials, the dials do feel a bit cheap. Weather sealed which is awesome! Some users of the OMD have had the dial pop off.

The XE-1 also has a nice feel to it, but not as nice as the OMD. However the dials feel much better and more secure. It is NOT weather sealed at all. The compartment door on the side feels extremely cheap compared to the refined feel of the rest of the body.

Ergonomics

OMD is not bad, it is a small camera, with small buttons a bit mushy because of the weather sealing but that does not bother me much. Without the grip it is ok for lighter lenses. I have the Panasonic 12-35 on mine and it really needs the grip. Let's talk about the grip too, it really helps, but the bottom corner of it sort of digs into my palm on the large area at the base of the thumb. The battery grip helps, but I have been considering machining out a plate to attach to the bottom with a curved surface to help remove the bottom corner. The memory card is on the side which I prefer so you don't have to detach it from a tripod plate to swap out the memory card. Dials and buttons are well laid out in a nice intuitive manor

XE-1 Better IMO ergonomically. It just feels awesome. However they focus light is on the grip? WTF? The 18-55 kit lens has some heft to it, but it still seems to balance without the need of a grip. The buttons are larger, fairly flush but stick out just enough. It is pretty darn comfortable to hold. I like how the viewfinder is not in the middle like the OMD, this means I don't have to bump my nose in the screen. The dials and buttons are very well laid out. The memory card sits in the battery compartment like the NEX, I don't like this, I prefer to see it on the side..

Image quality

This horse has been beaten to death. You can find TONS of sample images and pixel peeping online. Basically 95% of the time the OMD will be more than good enough for what you need. The XE-1 in my opinion IS better, but not by a substantial amount in most scenarios. However one area the XE-1 shines is HIGH ISO. 6400 is perfectly usable on the XE1, but not the OMD. In fact, ISO 12,800 looks pretty darn good on the XE-1. Keep in mind there is not a lot of RAW support, Adobe LR, Photoshop, etc,. due to the non traditional bayer filter. However that may change. In the meantime if you do not mind shooting Jpeg the XE-1 has a killer jpeg engine in it and they look fantastic!

Video

The OMD is pretty decent for video, it is not up to par with many other cameras but the 5 way IBIS makes it seem like the camera is floating on a steady cam unit. No complaints on the video, not a lot of options, but it gets the job done.

The XE-1 video is very very basic. This seems like it was added in because they felt it needed to be there for advertizing. It works, i would not expect this to become a new DSLR Video cult classic in any way.

Image Stabilization.

The OMD's 5 way IBIS is just awesome. This is by far the best image stabilization system available period. It really makes shooting in low light very, you can shoot 300mm at 1/15th of a second and keep it sharp. AWESOME!

The Fuji XE-1 has stabilization in the lenses, so this may or may not get better and depends on the lens being used. My experience with the kit lens is that it does a good job, on par with Canon and Nikons IS/VR systems in thier lenses.

Cool stuff specific to each camera.

OMD - Highlights and Shadows. How cool is this? it shows you live where you are clipping. I always have it ON with the OMD. I really like that feature

OMD- Articulating screen. I was not a fan of the idea when this became popular, gotta admit, I have started to like it.

XE-1 - DOF and manual focus bar. This is AWESOME. There Is a bar at the bottom of the screen/efv that indicates distance, there is a red line surrounded by a white bar that indicates the focus point. The red line is the exact center of the focus, the white bar shows you the depth of field. So when adjusting the aperture up the white bar expands and contracts to show the area that will be in focus. Using this you can manually focus in very low light with only knowing the approximate distance to the subject.

XE-1 film simulation modes. I know I know, the OMD has Art modes. However to be honest, my personal opinion is most of the art modes are just stupid and I will never use them, they are too over the top, the only one I kind of like is the Dramatic Tone. The film simulation modes are just more subtle and does not look like it was heavily processed, it still looks like a natural photograph.

XE-1 Pop up flash. I dig it, it is low powered, probably just enough to kick up shadows a bit in harsh sunlight conditions or to nudge up the shadows a bit on a backlit situation. It goes INTO the camera and gets out of the way. you can also use it for bounce in smaller rooms. The OMD just has that goofy/stupid attachment flash that requires you to remove 3 separate plastic covers which can get lost.

XE-1 Aperture ring! yes! I love the way this camera is setup. The shutter dial, aperture ring, give it a very nice feel.

XE-1 High end kit lens? Yes! This kit lens is awesome! it has a wonderful feel, metal construction, very very smooth and competent feel to the focus and zoom rings. Due to it being a variable aperture lens there is no hard stops on the aperture ring, but it does feel very good.

In the end these are two very different cameras and do not make for a good comparison.

The OMD is a Ninja, it is a Jack of all Trades and master of many, it is fast, efficient with excellent image quality. It is a finely engineered marvel of photographic joy.

The Fuji XE-1 was clearly designed as a fun camera geared towards photographers. It takes more care and thought, and seems to have been intended with more of an artistic purpose. It has a lot of personality to it.

The differences between the two really balance each other out, and I recommend them as a set. They are so different they almost feel natural together.

As for which is better that depends on what you are into. If you need high speed system for fast changing environments the OMD is probably the better choice. The Fuji seems to be more of an artist's tool intended for deliberate shooting. Even though I will probably use the Fuji more than the OMD, I will probably take far more pictures with the OMD than the XE-1. I feel the OMD us something I will "use", the Fuji will be something I "work with". I suspect Leica is keeping a very sharp eye on the Fuji Xpro-1/XE-1 cameras, as they are the first ones to really start competing with Leica in the area that Leica dominates, and at a fraction of the price. I know that the Leica has a full frame sensor, keep in mind that Fuji's X-trans sensor is routinely (and rightfully so) compared to the Canon 5DmkII and the Nikon D700 full frame cameras. It IS that good.

If I were only allowed to keep one, it would certainly be the XE-1. It really seems to hit what I want to do with my photography which is very slow and deliberate. If you are into wildlife, sports, etc., the OMD would be a better choice. In fact, for many people I think the OMD will be a better choice.

[UPDATE DEC 31 2012]
I have had a little bit more time with this camera, and have really been enjoying it. I still stand by my 3 star review even though i really enjoy this camera. I was hoping as i got to know the camera a little better i would find out that i was doing something wrong. The fact is the AF is still very slow, it has some shutter lag, and is in general a pretty unforgiving camera.

This is a camera that rewards effort, that is not to say it fights you. It is an excellent choice for experience photographers or those keen on learning photography, Whereas the OMD seems to have Cleo the psychic crammed into it because it seems to read my mind and has lightning fast response like bruce lee.

If you can just ante up and get both, you will have a really awesome combination for any situation.

[Update 1/15/2013]

I just got back from a week of hiking around Sedona Arizona, I took both the OMD and the Fuji XE-1 and my plan was to start out with the XE-1, then halfway through the hike switch to the OMD. After a few days the OMD was just left at home. I love shooting with the XE-1 and just find it more enjoyable. The rest of my review still stands, the XE-1 is a camera you work with, the OMD is a camera you use. The OMD has pretty much fallen as a backup for bad weather, and as my primary camera for time lapse photography while the XE-1 is my primary photography camera.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite camera of all time!, December 29, 2012
By 
Augsburg57 (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I've owned a variety of cameras over the past 40 years and digital cameras in particular going back 15 years. When I purchased the Fuji X-E1 in black with the 18-55 F2.8-4.0 zoom kit lens, a couple of weeks ago, I held on to my Nikon D700 and Olympus E-P2. The D700 is a great camera and a wonderful friend over the past several years, and the E-P2 was pretty good - but had some issues. However, within a few days after purchase of the X-E1, the D700 and E-P2 had been sold. I don't think I will be looking back.

A couple of days ago, I spent an afternoon with the X-E1 and took about 300 photos. Wow, what a pleasure! The size and layout are really good. Not too small and fiddly like the Oly, and not too big and heavy like the D700.

The X-E1 is a photographer's camera. Controls are easy to use and well laid out. But that's only half the story. The image quality, low light performance and dynamic range are all fantastic - definitely surpassing the D700 in low light performance. I could reliably shoot the D700 up to 1600 ISO, but the X-E1 does better at 6400 ISO than the full frame Nikon did at 1600!

I have made all firmware updates (as of late December 2012), including both the body and lens. Focusing is a non-issue for my camera. I NEVER had the camera hunt or mis-focus with my 300 shots a couple days ago - and most shots were indoors! My old D700 would not have done that well with autofocus. The D700 would occasionally hunt and mis-focus. And compared to the Oly E-P2, the Fuji's focus is night and day better. During my afternoon of shooting - much with low light, I confirmed I can shoot reliably down to 1/15th second shutter speed with the image stabilized 18-55 lens.

I love the Quick menu giving easy access for adjusting the X-E1. The 18-55 lens is a great zoom, with fast glass (for a zoom) and ring adjustment of zoom, focus and aperture. The small built in flash comes in handy. The Oly had no flash and it was always an inconvenience to pull out the external flash and mount it when needed. Plus, the Oly had an external electronic view finder, which could not be mounted with the flash installed.

The Electronic View Finder (EVF) is an excellent tool and I'd say I take 75% of my photos using the EVF. When I purchased the X-E1, I considered the Sony RX1, but decided against it because: 1) no built in view finder, 2) lens could not be interchanged, and 3) user interface was too menu driven. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 was considered, but the four thirds format does not match the Fuji X-E1 in low light performance. I also considered the Fuji X-Pro 1 and would have gone for it, had it a built in flash. I actually like the slightly larger size of the X-Pro 1.

One of my favorite features of the Fuji X-E1, is the film simulation bracketing. Fuji made several iconic films over the years and you can select three types from a list and bracket your shots with them. I found in post production I would pick one film type or the other - depending on the shot. So it really gives the photographer more choice. And with the low cost of high capacity SD cards, space for bracketing shots is not a problem.

My only issues with the camera are: 1) can't set a minimum shutter speed for full auto or in aperture priority; 2) Lightroom 4 does not yet process the raw files to their full potential. Lightroom 3 (my preferred platform) does not handle the Fuji's raw files at all. The camera shoots unbelievably good jpegs that require very little adjustment, however, so this is not a major problem. Finally, the "format card" command is buried a deep, dozen or so clicks into the menu. Fuji needs to fix this with a firmware update.

Pros:
1) Image quality
2) Low light performance
3) Dynamic range
4) Built in flash
5) Built in EVF
6) Well laid out controls that are easy to use
7) Perfect balance of size (not too small or too big)
8) Interchangeable lens
9) High quality lenses available at affordable prices
10) Stabilization with the 18-55 lens

Cons:
1) No minimum shutter speed setting for auto
2) Lightroom still not up to snuff on processing raw files (as of late December 2012)
3) "Format Card" buried too deep in the menus

Given all of the above, the X-E1 is now my favorite camera of all time.
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81 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Image quality Fuji XE1 better than Sony NEX6, Nikon D600. Useability; not so much., December 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I arranged to get these three top cameras at the same time and tested them on the same indoor shot (bookcase of colorful books) with room light at ISO 3200 and 800 and flash at ISO 200. Had to use different lenses of course (18-55mm zoom on Sony, 24-85mm zoom on Nikon, 18-55mm zoom on Fuji), and all shots were JPEGs, so this comparison does not make it possible to distinguish the relative contributions of sensors, lenses, jpeg processors. All the noise reduction settings were on defaults. Just for fun I threw in my Canon S95 pocket camera and my iPhone5. All pix were blown up to the screen equivalent of about 24" wide.

A word about JPEGs vs. RAW: It is important to understand that modern lenses including these three are no longer just hunks of glass; they are designed to be used with the in-camera JPEG processing firmware, which undoes the inherent distortions on the wide angle side. Vignetting is also corrected, and chromatic aberration. It is no longer necessary to design lenses depending so much on the difficult correction of glass elements with additional glass elements, aspherics, etc. Lenses are now part software, which results in better optics at lower cost. In principle a poor single element lens could give near perfect results, limited only by the processing power of the little computer in your camera. You can see this for yourself; watch the LCD image and then fire the shot - you'll see the replay image come up with the whole field visibly altered by software distortion correction. For this reason it would require a lot of skill and Photoshop time to do the same thing manually starting from the RAW images. JPEG's are the way these lenses are designed to be used, so that's how they should be evaluated, as part of the whole camera.

Results at ISO 3200:

- Nikon D600 (full frame) gave the nicest image, as we should certainly expect for the sensor size, camera size and weight, and cost. Image was creamy, clean and contrasty.
- Fuji XE1 was second. Image was just a bit noisier and rougher than Nikon full frame.
- Sony NEX6 was third. Although it had more contrast than the Fuji, this varied by colors; in some areas, such as red type on a blue book cover, the image actually washed out completely. Noisier than Fuji and evident compression artifacts.
- Canon S95 quality is not in the same ballpark at high ISO and magnification; very rough.
- iPhone5; like a juvenile delinquent in a class full of straight A students!

Results at ISO 800:

ISO 800 is my basic setting in daily photography. All three images were beautiful.
- XE1 was the cleanest, but the Sony NEX had more punch and contrast.
- Nikon D600 was a bit rougher and noisier than the other two, but of course had the highest pixel density when blown way up.

Results at ISO 200:

- Nikon D600, Fuji XE1 and Sony NEX 6 are quite comparable, with the choice being almost a matter of taste. Here the D600 is a bit noisier than XE1 in some areas and many people would say the Fuji XE1 half frame actually looks better overall than the Nikon full frame, which is remarkable. Sony NEX is right up there with them; the three images have different qualities, but there is no obvious winner. Canon S95, although still raggedy compared to this company, is not bad at all at low magnification and low ISO.

What is amazing about comparing XE1 and D600 is not that the Nikon DSLR is superior but that it is only SLIGHTLY superior and then only under extremely low light and high magnification. Fuji really seems to have some special sauce on their half-frame sensor which allows it to capture photos almost as good as a full-frame DSLR. At ISO800, they are all very good but XE1 is best. If your goal is best image with least bulk to lug around, XE1 is the winner. The XE1 is an improvement over XPro-1, simpler, smaller, but still a bit quirky and the interface odd. Sony NEX was just a bit muddy at high ISO, but superb at ISO800 and below. Also, there are so many other good things about Sony NEX (focus peaking, in-camera HDR, articulated LCD, wireless, ability to use legacy lenses easily in MF mode, picture effects) that I use mine all the time.

Let's talk about viewfinders. I have a soft spot for my Nikon, and greatly prefer the optical through-the-lens viewfinder to EVF or LCD, but objectively speaking, purely in terms of image quality per unit weight/size, there is no longer any real justification for DSLR. Fuji is a unique instrument for the photographic artist. Sony NEX is also so good as to make the need for full frame DSLR questionable, and is the most flexible, ergonomic and cleverly fabricated of the three. You may have various reasons to choose one of these three, but image quality is no longer the deciding factor. Finally, all three of these are cameras for photographic fanatics; for ordinary folks looking to capture uncropped snapshots in good light at a viewed size about 4x5, the tiny Canon S95 and iPhone5 results don't look that much worse to the naked eye.

So that's the good news; now for the other news. If image quality were the ONLY consideration, we would all still be using 8X10 view cameras. There is also useability in day to day picture taking, and here the XE1 is going to make many photographers unhappy. Besides the EVF, which many folks will not like, the autofocus is slow and in some cases (60 mm lens) borderline unacceptable. Also the latency (time from button press to shutter release) is lacking. Although the XE1 looks like a Leica and has wonderful precision materials, it does not equal the Leica's lghtning fast street photography. The XE1 is quirky and idiosyncratic in its menus and has a significant learning curve. Five stars because the IQ is so outstanding, but an overall assessment would be lower.

Update in June 2013: My predictions about customers not necessarily liking the XE1 even though the images it makes are stunning is proving to be correct. Fuji is reducing prices subtantially, which can only be because sales are not meeting projections. I suspect there are significant levels of returned product as well. In addition, the main reason for mirrorless was size and weight over DSLR, but Canon has recently put out the SL1 which is smaller and lighter than the XE1!

Bottom line is that the XE1 is a lovely instrument but not for everyone; you really should try it out before buying.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars back to the future..., December 12, 2012
By 
This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I stepped away from photography some time ago ,but now I'm back... I'm a film dinosaur .. I have tons of really nice film cameras from Hassleblads,Mamiya 6,Contax G2,Nikons ect.. I used to develop and print my own black and white stuff,I loved working with quality films .. for my travel companion I used to use my Contax G's the lens and the quality I got from 35mm were un-matched ... the camera itself was so clean and simple to use , the only problem was the batteries ...

the Fujifilm X-E1 is the second coming of that Contax G2 ,in digital form ... the pictures quality is the best I have seen compared to any of my DSLR(D40 and D300).. I love the ease of working from Blk/wht to color and changing the EV+- ,changing to different film types and it even has a black&white film with red,yellow or green filter setting .. plus many more... I seeing such details from the shots... I love it.. I got 3 lens now .. the 35mm is just so sharp ... the 60mm F2.4 Macro Lens is very nice for the purpose .. focusing jumps around a bit but I just use manual focus to get what I want.. XF 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 is probably going to be my carry all lens,..it does everything .. it's sharp and feels solid using...
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've Been Waiting Years for a Camera Like This, March 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I delayed upgrading to a new camera because however great the latest DSLRs are, they're simply too large and heavy for the ways I use my camera: outdoor activities, travel, and impromptu shooting. I need my camera to fit under a shell for winter hiking, where every half-pound counts. And I want to bring it to a variety of events without it feeling like a millstone. My priorities are: (1) beautiful lens options; (2) beautiful sensor; (3) "mirrorless"/small form factor if possible. I also wanted to get a decent prime and a zoom up front. Luckily for me, the X-E1 was released right before I was ready to upgrade. This holiday with extended family clinched it: when it was portrait time, all the fancy huge Nikons came out, but no one even tried to bring them along on any outings or activities (and I don't blame them), leaving me to document everything with only a point-and-shoot camera.

So we went with the Fuji (kit plus a beautiful 35 mm prime) and have been thrilled with its performance. I've carried it on long runs through the fog. I've brought it with me on several winter hiking expeditions. I've used it for winter family activities with lots of fast kid action. I've used it in low-light museums and zoos. The Fuji's sensor and lens qualities speak for themselves. In addition to ego gratifying praise from friends and family, I've had requests to use my photos for promotional purposes. My hiking friends and I also actively debate the best third generation camera to carry along, and we've been doing direct comparisons between the Fuji and the (half-pound lighter) Sony. No question that the Sony is a really nice camera, but the images out of the Fuji are really stunning and the Fuji wins hands down.

The X-E1 satisfies all my camera priorities, and is fun and stylish to boot with convenient exposure and speed dials. Beyond the sale kit that comes with a 18-55 mm f2.8-4 zoom and the great 35 mm f1.4 prime, Fuji is expected to release a 55-200 mm f3.5-4.8 telephoto, as well as a superwide 10-24 mm zoom. I'm already thinking about these as well as a 56 mm f1.4 prime for portraits. There's also adapters for just about every lens out there if you're okay to give up AF and OIS through the adapter. Buying the X-E1 really means buying into Fuji's XF System lens options, and these are a beautiful set of lenses.

The Bayer versus Fuji X-Trans sensor array is academically interesting to me, but I honestly haven't seen or read anything yet that proves the superiority of the X-Trans over a lpf Bayer output. In practice nevertheless, I swear by the Fuji's image quality, which speaks for itself. Most image quality is determined by non-ideal exposure issues anyway, and you're lucky if you get to worry about the theoretical performance limits of sparse array sampling on your (X-Trans) sensor. As for X-Trans RAW conversion, the current options are in-camera processing, Photoshop CS6, Lightroom, iOS PhotoRAW, SilkyPix, and maybe a few others. SilkyPix has the rep for the best performance so far -- even over in-camera processing, but yuk on its UI and workflow. There's fair internet grumbling about lack of decent support from Apple and Adobe for X-Trans RAW conversion and chroma smearing in ARC, but I'm shooting all raw and use ARC now and will reprocess in a year or so if I think Adobe has improved their demosaicing algorithm.

The standard camera accessories have all worked great with the X-E1. My favorites are: a B+W Kaesemann CPL especially for outdoors shooting, a one dollar Bower Pro Lens Cap Keeper -- you're guaranteed to lose the 35 mm f1.4's lens hood cover without one of these, a Eye-Fi wifi SD card to compensate for the X-E1's lack of wifi and gps, and an Apple Mac AC power adapter duck head to replace the unwieldy cord that comes with the battery charger. I also really like Rico Pfirstinger's book "Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro 1" even for the X-E1. I'd also recommend following the good advice to be found on the X forums and the internets: update your body and lens firmware right away, and this dpreview thread ("Thanks, DPR. These X-E1 AF tips actually work") recommends improving close-range AF speeds by, counterintuitively, turning off the AF Assist Lamp and using a LARGE AF square, advice I've found to work.

The X-E1 is really a great camera that I've waited a long time to enjoy.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, December 3, 2012
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This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
First review I have done on here and giving it five stars. Had the Xpro1 but felt it was too big, expensive, and I never used the OVF so it made no sense for me to keep it. Been going back and forth between the Fuji and OM-D. The Oly is a great camera and the system has some wonderful lenses. The image quality I get from the Oly is just slightly under what the Fuji gives me. The Fuji jpegs are great as I only shot raw prior to getting the Xpro1. Overall, verry happy with this kit. The 18-55 is prettyfast to AF but of course not a DSLR. For those people shooting static objects or even kids you shouldn't have an issue. If you want to shoot sports daily and have tones of keepers, yoyu may want to look at something else. The complaints most people complain about do not affect me (ie. Raw support, AF speed). I say go out and shoot and make great photos and stop analyzing every damn thing about a camera! No camera is perfect but the benefits I get from this one far outweigh any disadvantages....
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding performer!, November 17, 2013
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This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I can't speak highly enough about this fuji camera. The image quality is truly stunning for a dx sensor camera. Coming from a Nikon D600 I thought I would give my real world impressions. The pros: image quality is breath taking similar 3d quality look with the outstanding fuji glass. The size is just right, allowing you to grab images without looking "professional". The colors are really nice on the portrait side of things. The jpegs are really second to none, I shoot raw still but find the jpegs can be hard to match. The noise performance is really up there compared to even some FX sensors cameras. The only down side is the auto focus, which is actually not horrible but not up to DSLR caliber stuff. It's not a deal breaker but something you learn to over come as every camera has something that makes you adjust to. The fuji updates have made the camera work well, which just doesn't happen with other camera manufacturers. I have used this in low light without issue and managed to grab many sports photos. I wouldn't buy this as a primary sports camera but it will do the job if you understand the camera and how it works. The only other concern I have is flash use, fuji is no where near canon or nikon when it comes to this area. There isn't a lot of TTL off camera functionality and this has been a steep learning curve. Manual flash is not too difficult to learn but something I'm not all that comfortable with. This is a natural light persons dream camera and something I will pursue more now that I'm into the system. If I had to do it again I would absolutely purchase this camera.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally fuji gets it right!, December 20, 2012
By 
Ron Greer (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I've loved Fuji sensors since my first digital camera, a S2, back in 2003. My next Fuji was the X100 which I found quite frustrating, what with slow start-up times, poor focus, non-functioning manual focus; I traded it for a Nex 7.

While the Nex 7 is a pretty good camera the lens are less than great (with the exception of the Zeiss 24mm) and the color rendition, and general look of the images, never impressed me. There are other little things that bugged me quite a bit, like the non-standard hot shoe, the menus system and control layout I kept forgetting. In general too much like a walkman and not enough like a real camera.

Enter the X-E1. I looked at the reviews of Mike Kobal and others for weeks wondering if I should really trade my Nex in for what on paper appears to be rather similar cameras. I finally took the plunge, keeping for now my Nex 7 should I wish to go back.

Well, after a week I am quite happy and can't imagine returning this little gem. The auto focus is not bad at all, although I wish the focus spot was tighter. The start-up time and shutter leg are quite short. While the camera body seemed rather light, taking it out of the box, once with the lens attached it felt just right. The view finder is as nice as the Sony (yes maybe a bit of lag in dark scenes but it doesn't bug me).

The things I really like over the Nex 7: The shutter sounds much nicer. This may seem unimportant or superficial but the shutter has such a sweet precision sound it just makes photo taking a pleasure. I think its shutter sound is closer to my Leica MP than the Leica M9 is. The controls also feel much nicer, especially the off-on switch; the Sony feels very cheap and always worries me about its longevity. I'm also finding that my Leica lenses work much better than they did on my Nex 7. My Voightlander 21mm f4 appears to have no chromatic aberration like it did on the Nex 7. Can't forget the Fuji lenses, I only have the so called kit zoom, which is very solid and way better than the sony e kit zoom, I'm really looking forward to getting more Fuji lenses: 14mm, maybe the 23mm or 27mm.

All in all I am very impressed with the progress Fuji has made from the original X100. This camera is very close to perfect. Things that need improvement, sure: better video (manual) controls, a few firmware improvements everyone is talking but otherwise it just feels right and I'm really enjoying taking photos.

Update: Well, after two weeks I can tell you I'm ready to sell my Nex 7. This camera is a keeper. I've figured out how to reduce the size of the focus square, and learned one can keep the camera in manual focus mode and use the AF button to quickly auto focus; this is great for shooting multiple compositions from the same spot. I wish there was a way to quickly adjust the flash but otherwise I find the controls pretty much ideal.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stills, October 25, 2013
By 
Kenneth J. Delage (Biddeford, Maine United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
As a longtime Nikon and Minolta (in the film days, I'm 56)shooter, I needed a smaller carry-around camera to use on a daily basis. I purchased a Fuji X100 last year, and intrigued by the fantastic picture quality of the X100, I started to look at the XE-1. Almost hit the button on the XE-1, but I really didn't need another camera, and the price at the time was high. I came across a steal for a Nikon V1 with the 10-30 for $250 refurbed. I liked the camera, fast auto focus etc., but the pics didn't hold a candle to the Fuji X100. Last week Fuji announced the XE-2, I immediately saw the price drop on used ones. Picked up an XE-1 with the 18-55 zoom, and have been blown away by the pics. A head to head comparison at full resolution with my D600 and 16-35 this week showed the pictures shot with the XE-1 to be sharper and slightly more detailed. Granted it was only an afternoon of fall foliage shooting, but in several different locations, it showed the Fuji files (jpeg)better. Is the Nikon D600 more versatile, faster focusing, and more advanced? Sure is, but for the $800 I paid for the XE-1, it's a keeper.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first foray into this new genre, August 15, 2013
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This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD and 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I have been an avid photographer for many years and even spent a few as a pro. All good photogs know that great shots do not wait for you to run home and get your camera, so you need to carry one all the time. Not exactly practical with my big, heavy Canon SLR, so I thought I would give this Fuji a try after reading so many positive reviews.

Bottom line is that I am very pleased overall. The image quality is superb, the colors out of the camera are great, and exposures are surprisingly good even in difficult lighting situations. The two areas that I am a bit disappointed in is the speed and, especially, focusing. Shot to shot when shooting raw is pretty slow, which is really surprising because it has a burst mode that will fire off at 6 fps, so do not understand why single shots take about a second each. Focus speed has improved with the latest firmware, but it seems to be pretty finicky and I get more out of focus shots than I would expect.

Having said all that, there are tons of things to like about this camera, including the size, the super build quality, the manual controls, and the value for the money. Highly recommended for serious photographers!

Update on the shot-to-shot issue: turns out that if you turn off auto preview it will shoot as fast as you can press the shutter button. The more I use this camera, the more I love it. One thing that occurred to me is that expecting it to behave like a high-end SLR will lead to disappointment. It is a different beast, and once you get your head around that, it is a most amazing camera!
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