The X-E2 looks and feels like its predecessor. Upon closer examination we see the differences in layout of controls, and after delving deeper find that performance has also been improved with some additions and tweaks. The sensor is still 16mp, but is the enhanced X-Trans CMOS II version gaining raves inside the X100S, and is now coupled with the a new EXR processor II for improved performance. If you liked what the X-E1 delivered, you're going to like the X-E2 even more. Keep in mind that digital camera technology has reached a high level of sophistication so changes between models are not going to be as dramatic as they had been in prior years, as when sensor megapixels and ISO ranges were making huge leaps from one camera model to the next.
|The Fuji X-E2 with 23mm f/1.4 lens and surrounded with the two Fuji zooms and 27mm pancake lens.|
The auto-ISO feature has been improved to include a minimum shutter speed setting. On the previous camera the low shutter speed was often set arbitrarily low. In addition, it did not allow compensation for the focal length being used, taking into consideration, for instance, that telephoto lenses require a higher minimum shutter speed to stop movement than shorter focal lengths.
The LCD monitor has been increased from 2.8" to 3".
|A Lens Modulation Optimizer feature similar to the X100S has been added to the menu. This allows the camera to correct diffraction and some loss of corner focus in Fuji lenses.|
Continuous shooting in high has been increased from 6 to 7fps for about 28 jpg images. This is made possible by a faster write to disc time than the X-E1. More importantly, at the low setting of 3fps the viewfinder now refreshes and refocuses between each frame. This is particularly handy in AF-C mode where you can now also change the focus point.
Battery life remains the same at approximately 350 images, which is what I was achieving in my tests.
|The new PRE-AF option allows the camera to continually focus the lens even when the shutter button is not half-pressed -- a really good way to quickly drain your camera battery. For this reason alone, I keep it set to OFF.|
|Individual focus points can now be selected in AF-C continuous focus mode. The camera was quickly able to discern the difference between the foreground and Empire State Building in the background when taking this photo with the long zoom.|
|Click here to download a high res version of this image. Taken with the 55-200 zoom lens at f/5.6.|
|Autumn leaves photographed with a +2 close-up filter on a Fuji 35mm lens set to f/1.4 for extremely shallow depth of field.|
|New York's Guggenheim Museum photographed on an overcast day with the 18-55mm zoom.|
|An autumn panorama created from two side-by-side images taken of the Turtle Pond in Central Park and combined later in Photoshop.|
|Photographed with the Fuji 55-200mm zoom at maximum focal length. Quick and accurate continuous focusing with changeable focus points is important in wildlife shooting where the subjects are moving rapidly and unpredictably.|
|There is something about the color from the X-E2 that is really nice -- rich and vivid.|
|Shot at wide open aperture directly into the sun with the 55-200mm lens.|
With this model Fuji has moved well beyond the introductory phase of the X-series with new features and modifications that make a real difference to a pro using this camera. Admittedly, many of these new features appear to be subtle changes, but taken together they substantially affect how the camera can be used dependably and repeatedly as a working tool. We take image quality for granted, auto-focus issues are a thing of the past. The X-E2 responds quickly and smoothly, exactly the way a pro camera should operate.
Fuji is building a strong reputation for listening to its client base and incorporating the changes and suggestions from their field use of Fuji products. There is undoubtedly a good reason that the X-E2 was introduced before an updated X-Pro1. It will give Fuji more time to apply what it will learn from X-E2 feedback to the new X-Pro2. I use both cameras because I do appreciate being able to switch over to an optical viewfinder, but there is something nice to be said about the compactness and handling of the X-E2 body.
As stated earlier, ground-breaking changes between digital camera models are behind us. One question that pops to mind is whether or not a switch from an X-E1 to X-E2 is worth the price. This says a lot about the X-E1, which is an exceptional camera in its own right. Nonetheless, the changes made to the X-E2 address issues that are important to anyone using these cameras in a work environment. Now that I have had time for a hands-on assessment of the X-E2, I can say unequivocally that it was well worth the switch.
|Taken with the 35mm f/1.4 lens shot wide open and with a +2 close-up filter.|