XE-1 first impressions from a Canon user. Few pics.

Started Nov 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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AngDaga
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XE-1 first impressions from a Canon user. Few pics.
Nov 23, 2012

My journey into photography started back in September '03 with the original Canon Digital Rebel (also the time I started my addiction to dpreview. LONG time lurker here) In fact, I'm pretty sure I was one of the first to own one in Little Rock, Arkansas. I took thousands of photos with it and learned a good amount about the craft. I went on to own the XSi and T2i along with some quality glass as well.  I stuck with the Rebel line because the smallish size.  However, I always dreamed of the possibility of owning something with a larger sensor in a more compact body.  Along came 2012 and Fujifilm announced the XE-1. On paper it looked to be what I had been waiting for. With my mind made up, I waited impatiently for the release date.  I found the 35mm on clearance (guess they don't sell well around here?) for $449 a couple weeks ago. It sat proudly unopened on my desk until I was at a local camera store here in Okinawa, Japan and saw the 18-55 kit for sale. Paid about $1420 for it.

They had one of each color and I went with silver. Here are my initial thoughts and a few images.

When I first laid eyes (and hands) on the XE-1, I almost decided not to get it. Yes, the build quality felt very solid, even better than I expected. It was the size that made me second guess myself. It is just as wide as my Rebels. I imagined it to be smaller. It is noticeably thinner however. After using it for a while, it definitely is more compact and portable, especially with the smaller lenses.

I read a lot of complaints on the internet about the autofocus. After using it with the 35mm and 18-55, I have to say I'm satisfied. True, it's not lighting quick, but it's no dog. I don't think I'll be able to keep up the with two and four year old boys running around, but it will handle everything else I need it to. Unless you shoot fast moving subjects, you should be fine.

What else I like:

Colors are amazing. Now I know why so many people praise Fujifilm in this regard. Auto white balance is WAY better that my Canons. I always shot raw mainly so correct color cast. So far it looks like the Fuji is almost always spot on.

JPEG quality as everyone has already reported is top notch. I may not need to shoot exclusively in RAW any longer. High ISO is simply amazing. I NEVER would shoot about 1600 on my Rebel. Now I don't think twice about 3200. 6400 is not really a big deal too.

Both lenses are very nice. The 18-55 is not your run-of-the-mill kit lens. Pictures are very sharp, contrasty. They just look like photos from expensive lenses. Before I had to shell out big bucks with Canon and their "L" lenses.  Their physical build quality also impresses. Very solid and well engineered.

While I feel like this purchase has reinvigorated my passion for photography, the XE-1 is not perfect however (for me at anyways). Here are some things the bug me:

To change the focus point is a real inconvenience. I don't like to focus and recompose, so to change the autofocus point, you have to take the camera down from your eyes and press the button with your left hand. I guess I'll live with it, but I don't like it.

No option to set minimum shutter speed on auto ISO. This is HUGE. For me at least, it makes auto ISO unusable. Please fix via firmware Fujifilm. Please.

Those are the two biggies. Minor gripes include way the SD card is inserted next to the battery. It's difficult to get out. I end up popping it out and it falls on the floor. Also the lens cap, especially on the 35mm falls of way too easily.

Anyways, I didn't mean for this to be so drawn out. But the bottom line is I am VERY satisfied with this camera. I think the Rebel will start collecting dust. I'm not sure I'm ready to part with it just yet. I would miss my 70-200. Looking forward to some more Fuji lenses.

Here are a few snaps. Nothing too special here, will try to post more next time I have chance.

Canon EOS 550D (EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4)
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