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Review of the Fujifilm X-E1 | Martin Doppelbauer

Since many years I am using digital full frame Canon cameras. Starting with the EOS 5D I have now switched to the Mark III. I am not always able or willing to carry the heavy equipment and for such cases I have a second, lighter system. That used to be a Panasonic Lumix G1, which I replaced by a Fuji X-E1 and the 18-55 mm 1:2.8-4 zoom lens at the end of 2012. After several weeks with the Fuji I am still excited by the X-E1. Further down you will find a number of photographs that demonstrate the potential of this camera. But there are not only positive things to report: The X-E1 does have its quirks and I they will also be reported here…..

Compared to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The images of the X-E1 are of such a high quality that a comparison with the full-frame EOS 5D Mark III seemed reasonable. Both cameras were tested together with their “kit zoom lenses”, the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 on the X-E1 and the 24-105 L f/4 on the Canon.

I have shot hundreds of images in various tests with all ISO and aperture settings. Landscape shots were represented as well as close-ups and photos of test images to determine resolution and moire. Some of the images are available for download in full resolution high quality JPG. You can find the download links at the end of my report.

For fair comparison the settings of both camera systems should be largely identical. This affects focal length, depth of field and exposure (ISO and shutter speed). Due to the different sensor sizes and Fuji’s exaggerated ISO numbers the matter is not so easy.

Focal length and depth of field (aperture) is converted to the crop factor, i.e. with 1.5. For example, a focal length of 23.3 mm on the X-E1 corresponds to the popular 35 mm on a full frame sensor. An aperture of f/5.6 on the Fuji gives a similar depth of field as f/8 at the Canon. I have always reduced the ISO values by 2/3rd steps on the EOS 5D Mark III.

All images were shot in RAW format and developed with Capture One 7.0.2. In some of the X-E1′s pictures the white balance was adjusted according to the EOS 5D, which I generally found slightly more accurate. All other parameters of the RAW software were left at their default values, which is particularly important when comparing noise performance.

The first series is a landscape shot with 35 mm focal length (full format). I used f/11 on both cameras in order to achieve optimal image quality. ISO levels were varied. All shots were taken with self-timer from a tripod. The image stabilizer was turned off. Below is a series of 100% crops from ISO 200 to ISO 6400…..

See full article on www.martin-doppelbauer.de

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The Fujifilm X-E1 is The One | Rey Spadoni


 
I wanted to like the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 (see my review here).  I really did. The fit and finish.  The metallic heft.  The reminiscent styling.  And the new x-trans sensor mojo with image quality rivaling bigger sensor systems.  They were on to something here with this no anti-aliasing filter wizardry and whether concocted by the pinstripe suit marketing executives or fashioned in the basement by doctorate scientists, no matter.  My eyes didn’t lie. Me like.

But alas…

Autofocus performance and overall sluggish performance made me think better of it.  And then there were the niggles, like no built-in diopter adjustment capability for these aging eyes.  No easy-on flash for quick fill for shady conditions. So, like Bogart and Bergman, we parted on the misty tarmac.  Ah, what could have been… what could have been…

OK, I’ll stop messing around.  The newest X-mount body from Fujiflm is a dream come true.  It solves just about every problem I encountered on the X-Pro 1 and then, for kicks, goes even further up the tickle-my-fancy meter.  This is the camera I had been waiting for.  This is The One.

Read on for some impressions.
 
The X-E1, available in a very X-Proesque black or more X100-like silver topped finish, is a smaller and lighter body.  I did find the X-Pro to be a bit heavy and oddly tall for my liking.  Most likely because there’s no need to house the mechanics of a full hybrid viewfinder, the X-E1 is squatter and without lens, especially, its lightness gives you the distinct impression that baby brother has been manufactured with a bit more plastic than the Pro version.
 
Did the loss of the nice hybrid viewfinder bother me?  Actually, it didn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I love shooting with the X100 and you can’t beat having the ability to look through clear glass at the world in front of you.  But the higher resolution electronic version in the X-E1 is wonderful. Much as been written about lag and it’s clearly not as snappy as the viewfinder in the Olympus OM-D (another camera I love – see here), but it’s more than adequate for my type of shooting.  If you’re someone who moves the camera all about in quick fashion, trying to see and capture what lies in front of you, especially in lower light conditions, then I think there are many more reasons why the X-mount system isn’t the one for you. How about the autofocus?  Much, much improved.  That’s a function of some software updates along with a built in motor within the exceptional, and I mean exceptional, kit lens.  It’s faster and sharper than any other kit lens I’ve used and so it’s almost a shame that Fujifilm had to package this lens with the X-E1 as many reflexively look down their noses at it, thinking, ha… it’s only a kit lens.  Well, look again.  Fast, sharp, and the ability to adjust aperture on the barrel is wonderful.  Manual focus, again because of firmware changes, is actually useful.  The upcoming X cameras have focus peaking and the X100s has a digital split-prism effect.  It would be wonderful if Fujifilm could backward add those features to the X-E1 now that the code is written.  That would make an outstanding camera even better…..

2 Guys Photo is a website dedicated to emerging photographers everywhere.  The 2 Guys are Ed and Rey, brothers living in New England (United States) who fell in love with photography as young boys and who have continued to be in love with it since.

See full article on 2guysphoto.wordpress.com

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CaptureOne 7.0.2 and the FujiFilm X-E1 short words.. | Daniel Blasko

So I wanted to try what the forum writers call imposible, shoot action with the X-E1. To make it even harder I only have a non-TTL flash and really crappy indoor (cave) lighting conditions. I called up a friend and a really good skater, Daniel Blasko and he was up for the task.

We headed over to Area 51 in Gothenburg and did a quick two hour session. Basically the rundown is simple, I´ve been shooting skate, snowboard and in short.. everything that goes fast for over a decade now so the motivation and knowhow is not totally f-cked from my side when it comes to actually produces somewhat good pictures in this scenario.

My quick thought are.. flash.. problems and issues and my knowhow of this specific camera.. well there is a lot to wish in the knowledge area for this camera and Im not quite there to say the least. Cant get the flash to sync at all.. tried to do the best but It seems to lock on other settings that I cant find out within the menu system (during the started shoot). The camera is sloooow on autofocus even with the AE-L/AE-F button and I winded up trying to shoot totally manual.

The flash was stuck on 2nd curtain when I finally got it to sync, and sync only worked full to 1/125 after that.. well there were sporadic symptoms ;)

So what came out?

Did a mix of lenses and even tried out the new adapter for a couple of the Canon lenses.

See full article on skullfilmsproductions.blogspot.com

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Antarctica with the X-E1 and E-M5 | Cyril Dhénin

Oyez, oyez, lecteurs, cette note est avant tout destinée aux geeks de la photo et notamment à mes connaissances de Fuji-x.com et du Forum Olympus France, deux sites que j’ai pas mal parcourus avant ce voyage. Si vous vous fichez comme de l’an 40 du matos photo, sautez ces lignes et jetez un coup d’oeil éventuellement aux photos de cette note (non publiées dans les notes précédentes). Comme promis donc, voici un retour d’expérience sur l’usage conjoint d’un Fuji E-X1 et d’un Olympus E-M5. L’idée ici n’est pas de dresser un comparatif « E-X1 versus E-M5 » car j’utilise ces appareils dans des situations bien distinctes, mais plutôt de souligner leurs atouts et contraintes dans ces contextes. Grosso modo, le Fuji est principalement utilisé avec le zoom 18-55 pour des photos de paysage tandis qu’un 75-300 (éq 150-600 donc) est vissé en permanence sur l’Olympus pour de l’animalier. Autre précision concernant les conditions de prise de vue : l’Antarctique, cela veut dire de la lumière. Beaucoup de lumière. Et, avec la glace, la mesure d’exposition par défaut des deux boîtiers est sans surprise à côté de la plaque. Pour retrouver la blancheur de la neige, le bleu éclatant de la glace, il faut donc surexposer, de 1 voire de 2 diaphs. Dans ce contexte, on apprécie de pouvoir afficher l’histogramme lors de la prise de vue (ce que les 2 appareils permettent) pour tirer à droite l’expo en évitant de brûler les hautes lumières. Un p’tit plus sur ce sujet avec l’Olympus et sa fonction de peaking des hautes lumières (les zones brûlées brillent lors de la prise de vue). A noter que cette fonction semble au menu du X100s. Donc, pas de souci avec l’Oly comme avec le Fuji pour corriger l’expo…..

Google Translater:
http://bit.ly/VIMizy
 

See full article on www.zoneapart.com

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Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens Review | Patrick Leong

When Fuji announced that they were coming out with the X-Pro1, it got many photographers out there excited because finally, there was a digital camera that reminded them of how cameras use to be built. The Leica M digitals evoke the same feelings but they also cost a lot more. The X-Pro1 was a camera that really allowed photographers to take an active role in the photographic process instead of letting the camera do everything for them but for several times less than something like an M9. Furthermore, the X-Pro1 had many of the same attributes of a traditional rangefinder even though it was in the mirrorless class. Many thought that just like a traditional rangefinder, only fixed focal length lenses could be used. Then Fuji surprised us by announcing that they would be creating zoom lenses for the XF Series lineup. The first of these zoom lenses is the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R Lens, which is the lens that I have here today for review, and the lens that came with my X-E1 kit.

Honestly, even I was a bit surprised when I heard the news that Fuji was coming out with zooms for the X-Pro1/X-E1. First off, most people who are going to buy a camera like the X-Pro1 or the X-E1 are more interested in fast primes. I know I was because I grew up with fixed focal lengths. Optically, they’re just better, faster, and most importantly for a rangefinder type camera, smaller. But as my interest grew for the Fuji X-E1, I began looking at the price of the new zoom. If I bought the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R Lens separately, I would have to cough up almost $700 for it. However, if I bought it packaged as a kit with the X-E1, I would only be paying about $400 for it.
 
The Fuji X-E1 with XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R lens.
I’m pretty traditional in terms of what I like in photographic equipment, and everyone who knows me knows that I can be pretty stuck in my ways. Look at my blog.  You’ll see Leica, and Fuji X series cameras, which are all cameras that rely heavily on user input. I’m not trying to rat on anyone else’s preferences; that’s just my style. I like these kinds of cameras because they’re basic, and the controls are manual allowing me to fully concentrate on the photo. I really don’t like electronics getting in my way, and in terms of lenses, I really believe that all you need is a fast prime to take care of 90% of your shots. For me, the ultimate setup to this day is a Leica M9 with a 50 Summilux ASPH. So what made me try out this zoom?  Well, for me, the fact that the X-E1 had only an electronic viewfinder bothered me a bit because I like having an OVF. But the features of the X-E1 got me to take the leap, and buy it so I figured that since I’m giving the EVF a chance, I might as well go for the zoom, and see what I’ve been missing. Plus, again, the zoom cost me only an extra $400 if I bought the Fuji X-E1 kit, which to me was a great incentive to give the zoom a chance.

Did I regret my decision? No, not at all. This is one awesome lens, and in my opinion, Fuji shouldn’t label it as a kit lens because that’s very deceiving. I love using this lens. Is it perfect?  No but it definitely expands the range, and usefulness of the X-Series system, and gives the X-Series system one more reason to love it.
 
See full review on findingrange.com

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Sony RX1 and the X-E1 | Andre Goosen

Hello world! I’m very excited to share this with all of you. There has been huge amounts of interest in my Sony RX1 post so i thought i would share 2 frames shot tonight for a lovely client who was nice enough to let me use 2 of the photos to show you what i mean by “Pro” quality from a small camera. The photo you see above was shot with the brand new Sony RX1 and i still can’t believe how spectacularly good it is… and it’s a total pleasure to use.

Here is a 100% enlargement from the Sony for the Pixel Peepers… (i don’t really care too much about this but i know people will ask)

The second image was shot with the Fuji X-E1 and is equally spectacular… these are two very different systems.. both have pros and cons… but man… i love them both!!!


 
Here is a shot to show the diffence in size between the two cameras. The Fuji on the Left and the Sony on the right… keep in mind that the Sony is a FULL-FRAME camera and the Fuji is not.
 
I am totally blown away by the quality and the sixe of these two cameras and you can expect a full writeup in the next few weeks once i’ve had enough time to fall in-love again….

See full article on iamandregoosen.com

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Shooting Weddings with the Fuji X-Pro1 | Kevin Mullins

I’ve been using the Fuji X-Pro1 camera system now for over a year for my wedding photography assignments.  This year, I was presenting a session at a trade show and wanted to demonstrate how I use the X-Pro1 during my wedding shoots. I’ve had “a lot” of conversations with many photographers about this camera.  I always say the same thing.  The camera is amazing, the results are amazing, and perhaps, as importantly, this camera empowers us as photographers to think a little more about our images. The X-Pro1 is certainly not a “spray and pray” camera.  Each picture is considered, composed and timed.  It has to be that way with this systems – and, in my opinion, that is a good thing. I’ve said it many times, the X-Pro1 gives you an advantage as a documentary wedding photographer – it’s small, light, powerful and produces amazing imagery. Below is my slideshow of images shot on the X-Pro1 over the last year.  You may also be interested in my sixth month overview of the camera. Turn the sound up, click full screen and enjoy the next three and a bit minutes.  As always, I’d love your comments and questions and please feel free to share on social media if you so wish…..


 
See full article on www.kevinmullinsphotography.co.uk

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Photographing a Fashion Jewellery Campaign with the Fuji X-Pro1 |
Kent Johnson

I love working with clients that have a clear vision for their brand and from our very first phone contact and meeting I knew that minds behind new Fashion Jewellery label OUMIRA were very switched on; understood their target market and the kind of eye catching, fashion branding images that would grab a customers attention. As the premier sales point for Oumira is an online shop we decided to go with classic white background, lit and photographed in the studio – great for online retailing and very popular with PR’s and Fashion Editors for ease of insertion in magazine ‘What’s Hot’ fashion pages too. The brief was for great energy from the model; and this only comes from great energy between the model and the photographer, to be combined with fabulous lighting,  put it all together and capture those special moments.

Story continues below…

Pros & Cons of shooting Fashion with the Fujifim X-Pro1

Pros

  • A very high percentage of Sharp and In-Focus shots = more keepers to choose from.
  • Exceptional file quality straight from the camera.
  • Great detailed files from RAW – but see the Con below..
  • Ability to shoot with any of the three viewfinder options & I used all three on this shoot.
  • No mirror ‘black-out’; you see the shot you are making.
  • Everyone loves the X-Pro1, and the client probably doesn’t own one (yet)..

Cons

  • You need to remove the tripod plate to open the Card/Battery door.
  • Viewfinder not as large as with a DSLR, I look over the top of the camera if it’s a problem.
  • RAW conversion tends to be time consuming – frustrating – impossible under some circumstances..
  • Write speeds not as fast as DSLR – can slow down playback viewing.
  • Minor shutter lag, though not enough to cause me at least to miss any shots..

For me the decision to use the Fuji X-Pro1 on this shoot was definitely the right call. The Camera and the XF35mmF1.4 R were a perfect combination for the contemporary fashion look and feel we were after from the shoot. The image quality is superb and the cameras ability to focus accurately and quickly (in that order) allowed me to focus more on what was happening in front of the camera; the shots, than worrying if the shots were really in focus or not. And as I wrote in my X-Pro1 review on Street Fashion Sydney; this is a camera that enhances your photography instead of hindering it.  Love it!

See full article and more pictures on fashionphotographysydney.blogspot.fr

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Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R | Roel

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to test a pre-production copy of this new prime to provide some feedback to Fujifilm.  This article will discuss my experience with it plus provide you with some of my initial images taken with this lens.

Before you can use this lens with your X-Pro1 or X-E1,  you will need to upgrade the firmware on the camera body (which allows for lens corrections plus enables a few other features).  I was supplied with (non-public) beta-firmware from Fujifilm (V2.02 for my X-Pro1) but I suspect when this lens is publicly released, a new firmware version (V2.03 or higher) will be available for download.

Final Thoughts
Here is a quick summary of this lens:
 
Pros

  • excellent build quality and lightweight
  • fast f/2.8 aperture
  • the AF/MF clutch is a welcome feature to move quickly from AF to MF
  • focus ring responds nicely when using manual focus (as opposed to the original focus by wire)
  • Depth of Field markings
  • Distance Scale markings
  • aperture ring feels solid with discreet 1/3 stop settings
  • sharp, even wide open
  • very little distortion
  • surprisingly flare resistant
  • the petal lens hood is an improvement over the previous ones made by Fujifilm

 
Cons

  • the $US 899.99 price tag might put some people off
  • 14mm (21mm equivalent) is very wide and will challenge any photographer’s composition skills
  • the focus ring could use more dampening, but that may change in the final production units

See full review on roel.me

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Hands on with the Fujifilm X100s | David Cleland

In July 2011 I purchased the Fujifilm X100camera. I was struck by the liberty offered by such a small yet powerful camera. Coming from a full frame DSLR setup I have to confess the initial months were a love hate relationship. I loved the stunning image quality while hating the focus accuracy of the initial release. Fujifilm quickly addressed the frustrations with a series of firmware updates that catapulted the X100 camera to the fore of my photography habit. Like many I found the X100 offer a photographic experience that developed my skills as a photographer, rather than rattling off a series a shot I learned to be more thoughtful and controlled making each shot matter. The X100 taught me that you can be creative in the camera without having to rely on post production processing. In short the X100 became my every day camera. 2012 brought the mighty X-Trans sensor in the X-Pro1 and more recently X-E1. Both cameras have the same sensor and are capable of producing breathtaking images, ultra-sharp with simply beautiful colour rendition. Fujifilm are certainly leading the way in the mirrorless camera market and we all knew it was only a matter of time before we saw an upgrade to the X100. Despite expecting to see the Fuji X200 the announcement of the X100s came with a very large wave of excitement. I was lucky enough to have the X100s for a week in December and I used it to capture some images around Northern Ireland. Like the X20I decided to visit Belfast, County Down and my favourite location ‘The Dark Hedges’. Physically the camera is almost identical to the X100, there is the addition of the ‘S’ to the logo and the all important Q button but also the focus options are now M-C-S rather than M-S-C as they were on the X100. The big changes come on the inside, a 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II a a Lens Modulation Optimiser and the new EXR processor are just a few of the highlights. Anyway, I was already a massive fan of the X100 and was the X-Trans sensor going to make that much of a difference? In short, in complete certainty and after just a few hours I was able to conclude the answer is a definitely YES. The image output is breathtaking and I can’t wait to use the X100s to capture long exposure photos. If I was asked to describe the X100s in two words they would have be “Super Sharp”. I was restricted to shooting JPG but I was blown away at just how sharp the photographs are and how quick the camera is to focus and capture……
 
See full article on www.flixelpix.com

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