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Customer Review

on November 21, 2012
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 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 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 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 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'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 that may or may not fit here. Thought this may help somebody IF you want a good small case for this great camera.
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4.7 out of 5 stars