Fuji X-E1 Review: CameraLabs

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With all the positive buzz about the current hot properties from Fuji – namely their newly released fixed lens compact cameras, the X20 and X100s – it can sometimes be hard to remember that their former star players were released less than a year ago, and in the case of the Fuji X-E1, that figure comes down to about 6 months.  But the interchangeable lens X-Series cameras from Fuji are still A-List cameras, and Ken McMahon of CameraLabs took the X-E1 out for a proper shakedown while compiling a full review on one of our favorite cameras of the last 12 months.

Here’s CameraLabs’ Final Verdict…

“The X-E1 is a great follow up model to Fujifilm’s X-Pro 1 providing most of what the more expensive flagship model offers at a significantly lower price point. For purists, an optical viewfinder on a rangefinder style camera will be a must-have feature and the X-Pro 1’s hybrid viewfinder is a technological wonder. But if you can live without an optical viewfinder, the X-E1’s EVF is one of the best around and is arguably better suited to an interchangeable lens camera.

In virtually every other respect the X-E1 has as much, if not more to offer. If you like the idea of old school physical control over exposure augmented by well designed and functional digital tools the X-E1 won’t disappoint. In the same way that Olympus has re-stoked enthusiasm for traditional SLR design with the OM-D E-M5, with this latest X Series model Fujifilm stands poised to do the same thing for the classic rangefinder. It’s a beautifully designed and engineered camera that’s a pleasure to use, well deserving of Cameralabs’ Highly Recommended Award.”  (Read full review on CameraLabs)

Good points

  • Excellent image quality.
  • Superb high ISO noise performance.
  • Big, bright, high resolution EVF.
  • Built-in flash.
  • External mic/remote socket.
  • 6fps continuous shooting.

Bad points

  • EVF prone to extraneous light.
  • No direct movie record button.
  • Limited movie modes.
  • AF perfomance still so-so.
  • No gadgets like built-in Wifi or GPS.

Scores  (relative to 2013 system cameras)

  • Build quality:  18 / 20
  • Image quality:  18 / 20
  • Handling:  17 / 20
  • Specification:  16 / 20
  • Value:  16 / 20
  • Overall:  85%

My 2 Cents

The Fuji X-E1 is a superb camera, and depending on your personal preferences you may even like it better than the flagship X-Pro1.  While each of these cameras does have it’s drawbacks, like autofocus performance that’s not quite on par with their chief rivals or the lack of a dedicated video button on the X-E1, Fuji’s X-Trans Sensors are top of the class and there’s no denying the absolutely eye popping image quality of the pictures that they produce.  Video shooters should look elsewhere, but the X-E1 (and X-Pro1 for that matter) are tailor made for photographers who want to make beautiful images and who don’t mind slowing down to take a breath between shots every now and then – and they remain among the favorites of all of our contributors and colleagues here on MC.

Buy the Fuji X-E1 on Amazon Here

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