Customer Review

70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something about the picture quality..is AMAZING!, November 21, 2012
This review is from: Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD - Body Only (Black) (Electronics)
I've only had my X-E1 a couple days so I won't write a book here, well maybe I will :). I also own the Olympus E-M5 and had the NEX-7 so I can compare this Fuji to it's competition a bit here. To the point, this X-E1 takes BEAUTIFUL pictures.. They are so nice even just browsing the thumbnails on my computer, this X-E1 is standing out as something special vs my NEX-7 and E-M5 to a degree. I find getting around on the X-E1 is super quick MUCH better than the Nex7,and the X-E1 is quite intuitive to use. The EVF is excellent, as good or better than the Nex7's and I have not noticed any lag despite a few people saying the X-E1 EVF refresh rate is slower than the NEX's EVF. I just haven't noticed any problem at all about it. The lcd screen looks just fine...great color, yes less pixel density than say a Nex or E-M5 but more accurate color..so which is better? Accurate color or more pixels..I prefer accurate color! I currently have the 1.4 / 35mm lens so that's what I am using for my review by the way.

Focus speed is pretty quick..also owning an X100 I'd say this is a bit quicker to a lot quicker to focus overall. I'd also say YES, it can hunt a bit in lower light. Manual focus actually works WELL this is a Fuji?..though if it had the Sony PEAKING type feature, that would be helpful. Unlike the x100 you don't need turn the focus ring forever. You can see a magnified view of your target, and it's clear enough thru the wonderful EVF that just slightly turning the focus ring will get you superb focus..even in VERY low light, if auto is hunting too much. I may rarely use this feature but the built in stitch panorama feature works INCREDIBLY well, BETTER than the Sony Nex7 I am surprised!. One other nice feature on the X-E1 is after you take the shot, in playback mode you can push the command dial in..this will bring up a zoomed in view of WHERE your focus was. This is useful so say you wanted to focus on the eyes..and it shows you really focused on an ear you can re shoot..well done Fuji! Those who may own an E-M5 it has a similar feature where on playback a little green box auto shows you WHERE the focus point was...sort of a tie here on that useful feature.

The Q menu (QUICK MENU,) is wonderful and you can get to things usually buried in the menu rocket fast. As to this special sensor and no Moire pattern? Well it's very good, BUT I have seen some moire pattern on a jacket and jeans a couple of times, though less than my E-M5. Most of the pics I have taken with the X-E1 HAVE been Moire pattern free however!

As many sample pictures may seem, if you leave in camera sharpening set to zero, and Noise reduction to zero the jpegs tend to be a tad soft. I bumped the sharpness up one notch, and NR down 1 notch, and the pictures have tons of detail now yet have virtually no noise even up to 1600 or 2000 iso in GOOD light.

For raw files for now, for best results you need to use the included Silkypix software. It knows how to work with this special Fuji sensor. But unlike many people crying about it, Silkypix is not THAT bad..it does have a learning curve, it's rather clunky, YET powerful. I mostly use raw to correct white balance and or exposure compensation. For such small stuff like that, Silkypix is just fine..you can save the output as an uncompressed tiff file if you like, then finish up in LR or Photoshop or whatever graphic software you are more comfortable with..no worries!

Two features I miss from the E-M5 vs the X-E1 are IN camera Pixel mapping, and the E-M5's GREAT 5 axis image stabilization. Fact is, you are going to have to raise the ISO up a bit higher on the X-E1 for a faster shutter speed in low light vs the Olympus if you don't want a blurry picture. Hence? The E-M5 will give you indoor pictures with lower noise as the iso can be set lower than the X-E1. If you buy the Fuji zoom lens however, it IS an optically stabilized lens so in that case the E-M5 may not be much better as to image stabilization. You can then lower the iso on the X-E1 in low light depending upon the aperture you choose of course. The zoom is a VERY fast lens for a Zoom fast as in 2.8 aperture vs the norm at 3.5, But the E-M5 has IN body stabilization so ANY lens you pop on it will be stabilized...a plus for the E-M5.

If you want a camera that is made REALLY well, is very quick to operate has amazing accurate color ESPECIALLY skin tones (Best I have ever seen) don't like that Sony color?? and Olympus just doesn't sing to you..this X-E1 can take breath taking photos! I should have said this earlier, to me what sets this X-E1 apart from it's competition MOSTLY is it's film like picture quality and VERY accurate pleasing color. As much as I love my E-M5 it does not show color as accurately as the FUJI, and the Sony Nex(s) tend to have that cool Sony Color..yellowish skin tones always. Fuji X-E1 you no need spend so much time post processing it just has accurate color almost always, without tweaking anything. :) I have to say I still love my E-M5 too, and it's focus speed is way faster than the Fuji BUT to my eyes OOC pics from the E-M5 are just no match for the Fuji ESPECIALLY color accuracy(Repeating) and a hard to put my finger on, film like silky quality that this X-E1 has. Great little camera overall!! Didn't give it 5 stars cause the auto focus could be quicker and it has a tad too much iso noise above 1600 in low light..BUT OVERALL a GREAT camera!

(Adding this about a week later) I was wrong..low light iso is definitely better than my E-M5 much tighter grain and less grain..compared many same pictures iso side by side. Maybe about a tie with the NEX7 or a bit lower noise. Raising my prior 4 star review to 5!! Biggest downside is you can find faster auto focus in a Nex or EM5..but this XE1 is pretty fast to focus..it's just not EM5 quick. GREAT camera!!

Added Dec 30..if you may want the smallest possible case for the XE1 WITH Kit Lens? I searched high and low and the Lowepro Munich 100 case has a perfect snug fit, it seems well made too. For me as this camera is small, certainly vs a DSLR, I don't want a huge case. This case is for the camera with attached kit lens only. No room for an extra lens etc. I don't use the strap..so that may or may not fit here. Thought this may help somebody IF you want a good small case for this great camera.

http://www.amazon.com/Lowepro-Munich-100-Camera-Bag/dp/B003X1M3FS/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1356892704&sr=1-1&keywords=lowepro+munich+100
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 26, 2012 8:18:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2012 8:18:52 AM PST
Perhaps you haven't used the camera long enough to notice X-E1's excellent low light capability. The high ISO performance of this camera is the best of any APS-C sensor camera, including the NEX-7 and is much better than the 4/3's E-M5. This has been demonstrated many times in various head to head comparisons. Check out the review of the Fuji X-Pro1(it has same imaging hardware as the X-E1) at dpreview.com for one example. This, along with increased sharpness because of the lack of an AA filter, are the two main advantages of the 6x6 CFA X-Trans sensor.
I would rank it right along side my full frame Canon 5D MkII when it comes to high-ISO quality. The only thing I don't like about the camera is it's relatively slow contrast detection auto-focus. Can't compete with a DSLR's phase detect AF.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 5:51:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2012 6:02:07 PM PST
Radio Man says:
Andrew, thank you much for your comment. I really like the X-E1 more and more with each day. However unless maybe I got a lemon? there is a bit of FINE grain at iso 1600 and above in low light with my X-E1, more than I had with my NEX and E-M5 "to my EYES"., I was actually a bit surprised about this. BUT according to DP review (I just compared the PRO X1 to the NEX and EM5 "you are CORRECT"..the X-E1 and PRO X1(same), tested BETTER at high iso low light than the NEX and E-M5 thanks for the heads up .Also being honest, again to MY EYES I might need glasses :) though they took away the AA filter, certainly in theory this camera should out resolve the NEX and E-M5, but I now have the sharpness up to level 2..looking AMAZING, but I had more FINE detail with my Nex7. BUT I disliked the OVERALL pictures from my NEX and the E-M5's pics look flat to me. I LOVE the X-E1's output. " Again this is JUST my opinion and eyes" :)..I'm not saying you are incorrect, actually from the DP test at least re: iso noise YOU are correct!.
Anyway I am just using my eyes having tons of Nex7 pics, E-M5 pics, and now many X-E1 pics. I admit I haven't had the camera all that long but this is my initial impression with the pictures I have taken. But again, I just LOVE this camera. It's the MIX of the total IQ from the Fuji that I simply love MORE than the NEX and E-M5, PLUS I prefer the X-E1's amazing build quality and ergonomics.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 11:51:21 AM PST
Glad you are enjoying the X-E1 as much as I am! How are you comparing the images? RAW files or OOC JPEGs? I agree, I really love the files that the X-E1 produces, more so than my 5D MkII. The Fuji has much better auto white balance and seems to have superior dynamic range. Sure, I could probably get similar results from the Canon by tweaking the files in post, but why would I when the Fuji's images are so good out of the camera? Most importantly, because of it's size, weight and old school controls, the X-E1 is just more fun to use! Depending on how the 18-55mm lens performs, I may sell my 5D MkII, 24-70L and other lenses.
The X-E1 isn't a "jack of all trades". I wouldn't recommend it for sports/action photographers or a casual user who needs a camera to shoot their kid's soccer games, they would be better suited with a DSLR. However, for people who do more deliberate, slower paced work, such as street photographers and photojournalists, then this is nearly the perfect camera.
+Outstanding image quality. The number one selling point of this camera.
+Controls
+Size and weight
+Very nice lenses and a promising lens roadmap.
+EVF and zoom makes manual focusing much easier than with an SLR.
-Slow contrast-detection AF. (Judging from Fuji's patents, a faster phase detection AF system will be implemented in future X-series cameras)
-No min. shutter speed when using AutoISO setting.
-Relatively sluggish overall system speed(EVF refresh rate, SD write speed)
-Poor 3rd party RAW support. Supposedly Fuji is working on this.

Here is a link a few photos that I took during my first few days with the X-E1 and 35mm f/1.4...
http://www.apwimages.com/?p=1

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 5:12:57 PM PST
Radio Man says:
I agree with all you said here Andrew. Looked at your pictures from the link you provided, Very nice! What isos were most of those at? No Exif data.. Where do YOU set in camera sharpness on the X-E1. I do find set to 0 for my tastes ooc jpegs may look a little soft. Since I bumped sharpness up 1 notch sometimes up to 2 I find the pictures to be full of detail YET don't look over sharpened to me..where is yours set to?

Agreed Jpegs are generally so good I rarely need to work with a raw file. I do shoot raw+ jpeg just in case, but I have mostly been using just the jpegs, they are GREAT. Color accuracy and that Fuji color thing, to me are just outstanding with this camera. I like my E-M5 but especially GREENS like grass, bushes, tree leaves, it just never looks like real life from my em5.. X-E1 wow...fantastic real looking color...maybe the sky gets just a tad too pretty with the XE1 but I much prefer it's blue, to the darkish Sony NEX7 blue...which never looked spot on. My only disagreement here and I'm repeating myself..still on my monitor low light iso is OK but in the darker shadows I seem to see more noise than my NEX and EM5 have/had. Could be Fuji is using much less aggressive NR perhaps, and that's a good thing. I really need to compare raw to raw maybe but as the XE1 works best with Silkypix and my other cameras I use Adobe Raw, not sure it's apples to apples as to what I'd be comparing. But to sum up..this Fuji takes really pretty silky GREAT color pictures in my opinion. It feels great in the hand as they say, and for I JUST want to pick it up and use it...

Posted on Jul 20, 2013 3:41:13 PM PDT
Jack Hoggard says:
and the good news is that Focus Peaking will arrive next week with the firmware update!
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