Let me start with the Fuji X-E1. Fuji got me this camera and the 18-55 f2.8-f4 zoom just a few days before we left for New York, so this is really my very first experience with this camera. I saw the camera at Photokina and was immediately very anxious to test this one out, the reason ? very simple, it’s actually almost a X-Pro1 but for less money…. and yes it does miss some features and it’s a bit smaller, but it has a build in flash (which I call the “Wall-E” strobe because it looks a lot like Wall-E) and it keeps the same image quality from the X-Pro1, which you probably already know is awesome. The moment I got the X-pro1 I was in love with the camera, for street photography and any photography where you don’t want to be noticed it’s a great “stealth camera”, I always call it my “wolf in sheep clothes”. There was one thing I really wished for in the system and that was a zoom lens… well Fuji got one (actually more now), for this trip I got the 18-55 with me which is a great walk around lens and gives you a very nice reach. The lens is relatively light stark starting at f2.8 and ending on f4 at the long end. I know that some people will start with “why not a constant f2.8?” but do remember that if you want that the lens would be a lot heavier and bigger and for most situations the f2.8-f4.0 coupled with the great noise performance in the X-E1 and X-pro1 actually work perfectly. Now one of the really nice things about the 18-55 is the fact that’s is also a lens with stabilization, and I can report that it works really well. I don’t know how many stops it will really do, but trust me when I say…. “it works really well”. So how do I like the Fuji X-E1. Well you know from me that I’m always doing reviews from a standpoint of using the camera and not the pixelpeeping and 1:1 comparisons (there are many sites for that) so here is my personal opinion. I love the build in strobe, when shooting the camera for private use the build in strobe is great when you take for example a shot in a restaurant where you want your group to stand out and lower the ambient, it’s also great as fill in flash outside and… well where you normally also use an on camera strobe for. Also the speed of the camera is great, the viewfinder is very nice, it responds very quickly and it’s sharp enough to judge images. Working with the X-E1 on location is great, focus locks on VERY quickly, this was also a huge difference on the X-Pro1 after the 2.0 upgrade by the way. The image quality is just jaw dropping, the image quality of the X-E1 is without any doubt just as good as the X-Pro1. The only thing you have to note is that when importing the files into Lightroom all images come in cropped to 16:9 mode, so when you import make sure you make a new crop to 100% and sync that to all images…..
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