Review : The Fujifilm X-E1 & 18-55mm Zoom Lens | David Cleland
When Fujifilm announced the new X-E1 camera I couldn’t help wonder where it sat in relation to the fantastic X-Pro1 that I had now grown to know and love. The X-E1 features all the power of the X-Pro1 but in a streamlined, reduced specification package and at its current price point is going to have a lot of photographers particularly excited. Both the X-E1 and X-Pro1 share the same software engine and stunning 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor. Both cameras offer the amazing low light quality we are used to and although they have remarkable similarities they also have some key differences that will attract different photographers depending on their specific needs and style.
Fujifilm have continued with the successful retro styling of the X range cameras it is as visually stunning as it is powerful. I will look at the differences between the cameras later. I opted for the silver option as I love the look of the X100 and view the X-E1 firmly as a replacement to the my first experience with the Fuji’s mirrorless camera range. The X-E1 is perfect for the shooter who doesn’t quite need all the features of the X-Pro1 and who wants to break into the interchangeable lens setup. Because the X-E1 uses the same sensor as the X-Pro1 the image quality is nothing short of amazing and it means the camera is already supported by Adobe Lightroom 4. I frequently receive emails asking how I find Lightroom for processing of X-Pro1 files and although I have read many photographers struggling with the format I still find shooting RAW and LR4 perfectly acceptable. To be honest if I had any major issue with the RAW files I would have moved back to shooting JPG. I have no doubt Adobe will improve their support for the X-Trans sensor in upcoming updates but at least there is support, Aperture users are still, sadly lagging well behind on support for the X-Pro1. Over the last year I have really got to the know the sensor and how Lightroom processes the files so much so I’ve created a number of Lightroom presets designed for using with the X-Trans sensor, see FlixelPix Grit and FlixelPix Mono……
Although I love shooting at a fixed focal length with the 35mm XF being my favourite lens I foresee the 18-55mm will see a large amount of use for general day to day shooting. The 18mm-55mm zoom lens offers my favourite 23mm and 35mm focal lengths at the twist of a lens barrel and with the added four stop Image Stablisation I am not sure you could ask for more. If you are currently an X-Pro1 owner and are looking at the X-E1 as a second body then the kit deal that includes 18-55mm lens might be worth considering. As for the X-E1 it is everything you would expect from Fujifilm, a variation on a theme it offers an affordable version on the brilliant X-Pro1 with a slightly different specification perfect. Photographers looking for a good value, high quality replacement to their DSLR should look no further. Did I mention the photo output is stunning? Check the flickr set for larger versions of the photos in this post.
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