X100 or X-e1?

Started Sep 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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aardvark2
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X100 or X-e1?
Sep 14, 2012

Hi everyone, newly registered user but long time lurker of dpreview here

I've been researching the Fuji mirrorless APS-C lineup like a madman since i found out about them a couple of months ago, and was CERTAIN i was going to buy the x100 - was just waiting on a couple of invoices to clear before I ordered...

until the XE-1.

So a bit of background info, I'm a photographer by trade (only 2 years in the business however) and use a 5D mkII as my professional camera, or when the situation allows for it, but as is the case with most people interested in Fuji's X lineup, I'm pining for a lightweight and versatile camera for street shooting (it will be on my shoulder every day) that can rival (or almost rival) the IQ of my Canon.

First and foremost i just want to put aside the whole interchangeable lens argument - i understand these two cameras are actually quite different due to the fixed lens on the x100 (and the OVF) but I'm treating the increased versatility of the XE-1 as an added bonus (i.e. not a dealbreaker) and would only be able to afford the body and 35 1.4 to begin with anyway. Both 35mm and 50mm focal lengths (full frame equivalent) I am familiar with, and enjoy equally so this is also not a factor.

Where the choice gets muddy is in the so called 'quirks' of the x100... By nature i'm an extremely technical photographer - as in one of my favourite parts of the industry is the tech side, gadgets, specs etc, and consequently i use my cameras to their full extent - I like to know them inside out, and how every feature operates.

The x100 worries me, being an older camera (relative to the just announced XE-1) and the first of its kind... I'm asking myself, will i be underwhelmed with the operation of the x100 - or find it so far off the operation of my 5D that i dont enjoy using it? (i realise autofocus is vastly different, and it will not be near as smooth in operation) How bad (REALLY) are the infamous quirks I've heard so much about?

So my first questions would be; how professional does the x100 feel to a DSLR user? How many of the original quirks I've been hearing about have been ironed out in firmware?

Enter the XE-1 - what an amazing little camera (on paper). From what I've gathered, pretty much a smaller X-pro1 without the OVF (feel free to tell me any other significant differences). I'm attracted to the 16mp sensor and better autofocus, as well as the option to buy more lenses (although as mentioned this is NOT a dealbreaker) and primarily the age difference - fuji has had heaps of time to iron out issues with their first model in this style, and i figure the XE-1 has been adjusted accordingly. (many pre-production reviews have confirmed a big improvement in AF performance and MF operation for instance).

Where I feel the XE-1 falls down (PERSONAL OPINION!) is:

-Styling - the new camera LOOKS newer and more gadgety (i'm a big fan of the retro look, as I'm sure manypeople reading this are), primarily due to the squared off edges and lack of VF window in front, i also like the fixed flash (regardless of operation) better above the lens than the popup on the XE-1

-No Optical viewfinder. This is the option that will teeter my final choice the most - how important is an OVF, or even - how in your opinion is the OVF experience better/worse/indifferent to a dedicated EVF (such as on the XE-1)? I've very rarely used an EVF, and obviously SLRs are primarily (if not entirely) sold with OVFs, but a rangefinder OVF is a whole different entity for me... I like the idea of being able to see things outside of a frame line to further plan and compose your shot as things happen, but not enough to make this decision based on it. Plus the with the EVF on the XE-1 being so advanced, would i really care about not having the OVF?

Sorry for the wall of text! I guess the TL;DR version would be:

-Im a photographer who likes his tech
-Smoothness of operation IS a big deal
-Lens changing is NOT a big deal
-IQ IS a big deal (but both are comparable)
-Quick AF is NOT a big deal (but nice to have)
-I need input on the OVF/EVF comparison!

I am keeping in mind that no one (save for product testers/reviewers) has an XE-1 as of yet, and hence the comparison of the two is definitely a little skewed, but considering the XE-1 is based completely on the the X-Pro1, I feel people have a good idea of what it's going to be. I'm looking for some 1st hand info on the operation of the x100, and how much worse (or maybe better) it feels/operates than the X-Pro1 (which for all intensive purposes is posing as an X-E1! :P)

Thanks for reading!

Canon EOS 5D Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-Pro1
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