Compared to Sony NEX 5N
I'm new to this forum but have been reading it for quite a while. I don't remember seeing an answer to my question.
I'm close to buying a Fuji XE-!, but I've been a little reluctant to take the plunge, given the lengthy discussions regarding the autofocusing and EVF. I take pictures mostly when I travel, and in the last few years I've abandoned DSLRs because of their size. In the last year I've used the NEX 5N with the EVF. I like it, but I've never been able to get used to its controls. I've been taking pictures since I was 12. My first camera was a Yashica Mat. And I've had every conceivable camera in my lifetime.
It's because of its handling and rave reviews about image quality and lenses that I'm interested in the XE-1. So my question is this: I know that I can't expect the same autofocusing or viewfinder as a conventional DSLR, but can I expect roughly the same experience as my 5N? For the pictures that I take--street photography, museums, churches--I have found both autofocusing and the EVF on the 5N to be fine. I'd especially enjoy hearing from people who have made the shift that I'm contemplating, but all observations are welcome.
I'm in the same boat - used to travel with a D3+ f/2.8 zooms, but just getting too heavy and bulky. Bought the Sony NEX 5N a little over a year ago and have been carrying it on my travels for the past year or so, but honestly was not pleased with the somewhat "digital" look of the files (particularly the highlight handling, with the rather abrupt transition to white) + the noise at anything over about ISO 1600 (and anyone who says you don't need ISO 1600 has not done much indoor / nighttime photography!). As you've pointed out, the menu is also horrendous, making it very difficult to make changes without diving into lengthy menu trees for the smallest of changes.
Just bought the Fuji X-E1 and am using it on my current trip (Budapest). So far, I'm very encouraged. It is a bit bigger and bulkier than the 5N (and I will likely buy a third party grip enhancement, as I feel the grip is not deep enough), but the image quality so far has been very good. Shooting at ISO 3200, the noise is well-managed and the colors stay pretty faithful (unlike the Sony, which starts to fall apart here). In addition, there is a good deal of highlight recovery room when using Lightroom (I'd prefer better raw processing, as I can see the "watercolor" effect others have pointed out, but it's not unbearable). Finally, the controls are much better than on the Sony - you have a good deal of control via external buttons / dials, and the menus are better organized all the way 'round).
So far, I am pleased with the switch. Can't imagine going back to the Sony at this point and am getting ready to sell my full-frame Nikon equipment.
John Walker http://jhwalker.smugmug.com/