Fujifilm X-E2 Is here ! – Improving on an already amazing camera – My first impressions

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 When I first heard that there would be an X-E2 coming out this year, I have to say the gear nerd inside of me did a tiny fist pump. I’ve been shooting on my X-E1 for almost a year and I really can’t imagine not having this camera in my life, so I figured with the X-E2 things could only get better, and as I had hoped, I was correct. The design, well no surprise here, no real major changes from the body shape and design of the X-E1, which I don’t mind one bit, I’m a ‘don’t mess with a good thing’ guy,  and the bonus ? my grip from my X-E1 fits perfectly, one less accessory to purchase. The couple changes you will find are; the Q button has moved, there is no longer a View Mode button and there’s now a F2 button to give you another button to program, making 4 in total. For you photographers that like to do a lot of button pressing on your camera this should be a welcomed edition as well you can now set the exposure compensation dial now goes to 3 stops.
I think the biggest and best changes to the X-E2 happened on the inside. They’ve upgraded the guts to the 16MP X-Trans CMOS II & EXR Processor II and the Intelligent Hybrid AF (Phase & Contrast Detection) which promises a great improvement to the AF function of the camera as proved by the X100S. There is a list at the bottom with a break down of all the features of the X-E2, but for me this camera is all about taking a very well designed camera and making it take better photographs, simple as that. You’re probably asking yourself, what about manual focus ? No huge changes here, you’ll find the two different options available for a highlight or split screen, of which I’ve found I prefer the highlight option as it’s less obtrusive in the frame, I noticed as well that the improved processor means the EVF reacts noticeably smoother and quicker in manual focus mode . I only had a few days with the X-E2 so this isn’t as much as review but a ‘First Impression’ but the good news is I will be taking an X-E2 with me to New York City in November to put it through it’s paces on the street and on some fashion shoots for one week, so I’ll be able to update this post with more of an in depth analysis and a huge pile of photos !
As in all things in life, nothing is perfect, so let me get my one bugaboo out of the way now. I shoot with the EVF or OVF on any camera I use, I never have image preview turned on, never shoot from the LCD and for the most part I don’t chimp, my issue is that on the new X-E2 it’s not possible to shoot through the EVF with the LCD turned off and then hit the play button to preview a photo or use the menu, you have to look through the EVF which I’ve found to be dangerous and down right clumsy if you are out in the street shooting, the new options are LCD only, EVF with eye sensor or EVF only, I undestand the idea of having the eye sensor is to save on battery power while you walk around with your camera on all day, but if you are like me, my camera lives on a strap over my shoulder, so the fact that the camera is laying against my body means the sensor is on anyway,  as I mentioned earlier in general I don’t chimp but there are some moments where you want to take the time to check your photograph and make sure you got what you were intending, as well sometimes you just want to scroll through the menu on the LCD. DISCLAIMER; The version of the X-E2 I received was a pre-production model so the good people at Fujifilm will be ironing out some quirks before they hit the shelves, so it’s my  hope that this simple oddity can be fixed on the production models in the form of a firmware update, and bring back the same preview system as the X-E1, other than that I really can’t think of anything I don’t love about this camera.
Well, to the meat and potatoes. What’s new ! Here’s a list of some of the most important updates and features found on the new X-E2 and below some sample images I shot on the camera.
• 16MP X-Trans CMOS II & EXR Processor II
• Intelligent Hybrid AF (Phase & Contrast Detection)
• Focus Peaking & Split Image Focusing
• Lens Modulation Optimizer technology
• Face Detection (Stills and Movies)
• Super Intelligent Flash (Super i-Flash)
• 8 Advanced Filters
• 1.04M Dot LCD
• 4 Customizable Buttons: Fn1, Fn2, AE, Down Direction Pad
• Full HD 1080p with choice of 60/30fps

 

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Back view #1

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Back view #2 showing the new position of the Q button the the added Fn2 button

 

Here are some photos I shot over the couple days I had with the X-E2. As there wasn’t any software out there that could work with the pre production RAFs, I had to convert them to JPGs in camera and import, but I’m excited for some updates that will allow me to work with the RAFs to work with photographs in all there uncompressed glory. All images straight from camera JPGs with slight adjustments to White Balance and exposure in Adobe Lightroom.

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Well I hoped you enjoyed my first impression of the brand new Fujifilm X-E2, now get out there and take some photographs !

Some other blog posts by my fellow Canadian X-Photographers on the new X-E2

“The Devil, the Details & the X-E2″ Patrick laRoque:  http://www.laroquephoto.com/blog/2013/10/18/the-devil-the-details-the-x-e2
 
“The Eternal Chase” Don Craig: http://doncraigphoto.com/2013/10/18/the-eternal-chase/

Riley Joseph   http://rileyjoseph.com/theblog/13903358/fujifilmxe2

Head over to Fujifilm Canada for more details and the official announcement ! http://www.fujifilm.ca/products/digital_cameras/index.html