When Fujifilm released the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 in 2012, the photography world stood up and took notice. The first generation Fuji X-Trans sensors and processing technology were really something special, and though the sensors aren’t “full frame”, they produce some of the tastiest files you’ll ever get from any camera, and the image quality is nothing short of spectacular. But what these cameras brought in IQ, they also lacked in Autofocus speed.
MC Contributor and Hybrid Photography Pioneer Will Crockett is no stranger to the Fuji Cams – and the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 were two of his favorite cameras of the last year. As luck would have it, Will is also one of the first guys to get his hands on the new Fujifilm X-E2 and put a prototype of the new camera through it’s paces. Does the second generation X-Trans Sensor and processing technology bring the autofocus up to snuff? Does the Fujifilm X-E2 represent a step up from the previous model? Check out Will’s Real Life Review above…
My 2 Cents
Nobody lays out the good, the bad and the ugly of a camera better than Will Crockett, and he never holds back any punches. After all, it was Will who first brought the autofocus difficulties of the 1st generation X-Series cameras to my attention. So, have Fuji upped their game with the next generation? In a word… yes!
With the first generation X-Trans sensors, Fuji proved to be the kings of Image Quality. In fact, in private conversations with Will, when comparing the Fuji cameras’ image quality to competitors, he has said that “It’s the difference between superb and spectacular.” With the X-E2, Fuji have been able to maintain the deliciousness of their files while stepping up performance in other critical areas. When Fujifilm unveiled their premium fixed lens compact, the X-100s earlier this year, it came tricked out with a new X-Trans II sensor and 2nd generation processing tech to boot. Fuji have added some phase detection pixels to the center of the new sensors, and the X-100s suddenly had the blazing fast autofocus capabilities that photographers crave, hence it became the darling of pro photogs such as Zack Arias. That technology is now loaded into the new Fujifilm X-E2, bringing Fuji’s new AF lightning to an interchangeable lens model. As Crockett indicates in the video above, it’s not perfect as he alludes to some difficulties the X-E2 had in face detection mode when the subject was wearing glasses. Will was not too concerned by this and neither am I… This is just a software upgrade away from being fixed – and bear in mind that the camera that Will was testing was a prototype, so this issue might not exist at all in the final production model.
Note to Fujiflm: I’m also with Will on the issue of proprietary connectors. Please… spare us! I didn’t like the 2.5mm audio port on my Lumix GH2 either, but Panasonic corrected this by including a standard 3.5mm Jack on the Lumix GH3. You would be wise to follow their example.
Small beefs aside, the Fujifilm X-E2 is one formidable camera, and it’s aimed right at Pros and Serious Enthusiasts who demand the absolute best where image quality is concerned. You’ll definitely get that beautiful IQ with the X-E2, whether your shooting stills or video. Yes, this camera is a great choice for Hybrid Photographers… although it may not be as easy to use for video as a Lumix GH3, you can achieve those spectacular results. Fuji’s lens selection is limited at this point when compared to say, micro 4/3 cameras, but the lenses they do have are absolutely first rate. Add in the X-E2’s Wi-fi capabilities, which, although they’re pretty basic at the time of this posting, we recognize that wi-fi is the wave of the future (and it’s something you’ll definitely want on your next camera) and it’s not hard to see that the X-E2 is a winner! We highly recommend the Fujifilm X-E2 and are giving it Editor’s Choice Status. (See review on HybridPhoto.pro)