Monday, November 11, 2013

Premature Infatuation with the Fuji X-E2

This isn't a camera review. This is a gut reaction. This is a guy who loves gear and most importantly loves Fuji gear spouting his initial thoughts about the Fuji X-E2. I received it a few hours ago and had a few minutes to play with it. So far I'm very happy with the results, it delivers on speed feeling every bit as modern as the Olympus OMD EM5 did. As far as autofocus goes it is faster, but if you are expecting it to change the world you will be disappointed. But it is definitely better and that is what I was looking for, in fact it's enough better that I will finally start using my 55-200.


I am in love with the EVF and LCD. In fact between the EVF and LCD the 1/180 sync time on the dial, the three stop exposure compensation and the Wi-Fi I would be perfectly happy with this camera even without faster autofocus. The improved speed of operation is very noticeable, it just feels like a modern camera. Below are some random photos taken with it all shown here straight out of camera JPEG with the LMO enabled. My standard JPEG settings are Noise -2 Shadows +1 and that's it. I like to ride the exposure compensation dial, other than that these were auto ISO and all shot wide open.

Taken with X-E2 XF60mm f2.4 1/35th iso 6400
 Maybe I'm crazy but I think the noise handlingIs even better on the X-E2, that or I simply can't get used to how good ISO 6400 looks on the Fuji X cameras. I'm sorry but this is simply insane to me.


Taken with Fuji X-E2 XF60mm f2.4 1-220th iso 400
The 60mm didn't have any trouble quickly picking up focus. I have no real complaints with this lens. I feel like I'm doing good work with it, but it feels more responsive now.

Taken with Fuji X-E2 and XF55-200mm @148mm
What made me really happy about this image is I was able to adjust the autofocus point to its smallest setting and Cherry pick the focus on the purple flower with the first shot.  I personally have had A lot of frustrations with this lens when trying to mail my focus with other options in the frame. With this shot I felt like I didn't just get a new camera but also a new lens.

Taken with Fuji X-E2 XF55-200mm @200 f2.4 1-80th iso 400
I included this shot because I didn't feel right making a post with two flower pictures so I tried to man it up with a truck. All kidding aside it does show how good this lens is at blowing out the background. I will line up a model shoot soon to test the Fuji X-E2 out with lights and in my normal working environment.

For now suffice it to say I'm excited with the initial performance as I'm sure hundreds of others will be. I'll post more as I know more but as with all things Fuji there will be no shortage of people sharing their opinions (read infatuations) of every aspect of every piece of gear :).

***UPDATE***
FYI I have several casual portrait samples here if you want to see more, I'm not sure why but I'm in love with the fact that the AF point is Square now and I'm finding it incredibly easy to acquire accurate focus with the AF point dialed down to its smallest size and placed right on the eye.



13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the comments Wes. I've got the x100s and the X-E1 and was wondering if the X-E2 was enough of an improvement to buy one to use as a primary camera. I look forward to seeing your model shoot results.
    Thanks. Terry Jackson

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  2. It's going to be my primary for a while. I may even sell the X-Pro to get a 2nd X-E2. I'm itching to get some portrait work in with it, so far most of my lenses seem faster with it and if not faster at least more decisive. If that makes sense.

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  3. Some of the candids of the kids are astonishing for a Fuji X camera's AF system. The sharpness at the eyes of the girl behind the cards is amazing.

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  4. Thank you for the review and sharing your experience with us.
    What is your experience with built-in flash? I am thinking about getting X-E2 with 35 f/1.4. A lot of people say that 35mm f/1.4 is noisy and slow. What is your impression?

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    1. The built in flash is fantastic for bouncing. Just pulling it back gently with your finger and letting it bounce off the walls etc makes for a fantastically simple light. I haven't tested it for outdoor fill yet but its supposed to be based on same technology used in X100s which was quite good, the advantage it has over the x100s is they added proper flash exposure compensation. I'm looking forward to testing that out soon.

      The 35mm makes noise when it focuses, its not fast. That being said those are the ONLY two things you could say negative about one of the finest lenses I've ever used.

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    2. Thank you for your quick reply on this. Would you recommend 18-55 kit lens over 35 f/1.4 or would you rather go with 23 f/1.4?

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    3. Personally the 35mm f1.4 is the single best reason to get in to the Fuji X system. A lot of people love the 18-55, its a fantastic lens no doubt and with the deep discount you get by bundling it with the x-e2 as a kit lens its hard to pass it up. That being said either way I'd get my hands on the 35 asap.

      I haven't used the 23mm yet. I'm trying very hard to pretend it doesn't exist because I own and love the x100s and just don't shoot at the 35mm equivalent often enough to justify owning both the 23mm f1.4 and the X100s. So my input there is of no value I'm afraid. Still, I think I'd search the used market for an x100 with the new firmware I bet you could get that cheaper than the 23mm lens and who wouldn't want 2 bodies over 1? :)

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    4. A very interesting take on this. I must say that I am most certain about going with Fujifilm X series than before as I have just sold all of my Nikon dSLR gear. I am though very confused between X100S and X-E2. I am fine with the fixed focal length of 23 f/2 on X100S but I am not sure if AF speed, etc. are as robust as X-E2. Since you seem to won both of these, would you mind sharing your though on which way to go here? I can think of owning both. Thanks again - this is very helpful.

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  5. I mean own and not won. Sorry. Also I have heard that button, etc. on X100S are not that responsive. I could be wrong but since you own both of these maybe you can share your experience with me on that.

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    1. Since getting the X-E2 I have only picked up the x100s once and I wasn't thinking about it when I did. I'll take the two out and try a few things with both to see if I can speak to speed etc. As for now I can only say that the X-E2 is every bit as responsive as I want it to be. I personally couldn't lock myself in to one focal length and be happy for very long. If you can there is nothing wrong with the x100s at all. It's a fabulous camera as everyone seems to agree. The X-E2 just buys you a lot of options with wonderful lenses. Options are nice, but they aren't always desirable.

      I'll post what I find based on your question though.

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and insight into these things. I look forward to your future post on these questions. Please do share your thought son flash synch speed of X100S vs. X-E2. After reading your response, now I am more leaning towards X-E2 for sure. I am going to check out that camera and lenses today. Thanks again.

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  7. So today I decided to go to a local shop here in AZ. They still don't have X-E2 but they had X-E1 and X100S. After using X100S initially, I wasn't that impressed with it and I am sure it was because I am coming from Nikon D7100 background. I, however, found myself home with X-E1! They had all three lenses that I was interested in checking out - 18-55, 35 f/1.f and 23 f/1.4. I was a little annoyed with the barrel moving in and out on 35mm but I think it was very good. 23mm is stunningly beautiful and is a pleasure to hold. Although most reviewers say that it's big, I don't find it very big. It was fine on the body and looked nice. I liked AF speed on X-E1 compared to X100S - X-E1 must have the latest firmware I guess. At any rate, I am heavily leaning towards X-E2 (since I liked X-E1 I am assuming that I will like X-E2, too). I liked the focal length of 23 f/1.4 and although I get that on X100S, I wasn't home with that model. Again, look and feel is an individual thing and others may really like X100S more. I think you're right on these two - once I picked up X-E1, I didn't see any reason to go to X100S. BTW, 23mm is super sharp even wide open and incredibly fast. It feels rock solid. 18-55 is also good and so much better than all the kit lenses out there. Wish it had a constant f/2.8 - I would have been sold for sure. BTW, the flash on X-E1 was superb. The is one image of mine that I had the store guys took of mine and it was perfect. The image looked quite natual!

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  8. Very nice images; and what about the ISO 6400, please tell us: is there improvement about XE-1??

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