I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!

Started May 19, 2013 | Discussions
Ben Herrmann
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I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
May 19, 2013

For years I've been shooting only RAW with countless brands of digital cameras that I've owned since 2001 (well, those that had RAW capabilities) - the total of which approached nearly 90 (since 2001).  My reasoning (and it still holds true in most cases) is that I can coax much higher quality out of RAW files than with JPG's.  Even with the gorgeous Olympus JPG's, I still shot RAW.  I had my RAW workflow down to a T.

Well, I've been reading with interest over the past year or two about the absolutely silky, superb JPG's that the X series of cameras are capable of generating.  So what the heck, I tried it in JPG fine (Provia mode).  All I can say is that I'm hooked - especially after reading the DPReview review comments about RAW not having much of an advantage over the X-E1 JPG's.  Yes, the rich, creamy (for lack of a better term) and superbly DR images are a revelation.  In a way, this kind of torques me off at the same time because previously, I was dishing out a bundle for micro 4/3 cameras and accessories.  I can't believe that for me - a victim of habit - I will now shoot only JPG's with the X-E1.  Mannnn, I'm stoked to the max - not to mention, a doubling of the amount if images I can shoot on one 16 Gig card!!!!!  

Now to budget for additional X series lenses - and am now fully hooked to the Fuji camp.  Damn, I hate this (in a nice sort of way).

Sorry - I just felt that I had to blurt this out without much forethought!  

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Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
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bestbyte
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Ben Herrmann, May 19, 2013

Ben Herrmann wrote:

For years I've been shooting only RAW with countless brands of digital cameras that I've owned since 2001 (well, those that had RAW capabilities) - the total of which approached nearly 90 (since 2001).  My reasoning (and it still holds true in most cases) is that I can coax much higher quality out of RAW files than with JPG's.  Even with the gorgeous Olympus JPG's, I still shot RAW.  I had my RAW workflow down to a T.

Well, I've been reading with interest over the past year or two about the absolutely silky, superb JPG's that the X series of cameras are capable of generating.  So what the heck, I tried it in JPG fine (Provia mode).  All I can say is that I'm hooked - especially after reading the DPReview review comments about RAW not having much of an advantage over the X-E1 JPG's.  Yes, the rich, creamy (for lack of a better term) and superbly DR images are a revelation.  In a way, this kind of torques me off at the same time because previously, I was dishing out a bundle for micro 4/3 cameras and accessories.  I can't believe that for me - a victim of habit - I will now shoot only JPG's with the X-E1.  Mannnn, I'm stoked to the max - not to mention, a doubling of the amount if images I can shoot on one 16 Gig card!!!!!  

Now to budget for additional X series lenses - and am now fully hooked to the Fuji camp.  Damn, I hate this (in a nice sort of way).

Sorry - I just felt that I had to blurt this out without much forethought!  

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Have a great one....
Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
North Carolina, USA
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Damn, you are right!! The Fuji's Jpeg engine is captivating,almost addictive! Enjoy the Silky-Smooth-Output

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to bestbyte, May 19, 2013

Fuji's jpeg engine and white balance is standard for other manufacturers to meet for sure.

Greg.

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zuiko fan
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, May 20, 2013

Ben,

One reason to continue shooting RAW is that you can later use the in-camera RAW developer to redevelop using other film profiles, or sharpness/saturation, etc. inputs.  I have read on this forum of people hooking the camera up to a monitor and doing PP that way, and still having the benefit of RAWs developed by the camera's jpg engine, which seems to be superior to what is yet available through PC-run software.  Loved your Oly pix, hope you're pleased with this camera as well.

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Beat Traveller
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Ben Herrmann, May 20, 2013

I must say I'm very impressed with the camera's auto WB, using the dropper in Lightroom usually only ever pushes the hue slightly in one direction. It does make shooting only in JPEG a real possibility.

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PeterPrism
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to zuiko fan, May 20, 2013

zuiko fan wrote:

Ben,

One reason to continue shooting RAW is that you can later use the in-camera RAW developer to redevelop using other film profiles, or sharpness/saturation, etc. inputs.  I have read on this forum of people hooking the camera up to a monitor and doing PP that way, and still having the benefit of RAWs developed by the camera's jpg engine, which seems to be superior to what is yet available through PC-run software.  Loved your Oly pix, hope you're pleased with this camera as well.

I agree 100% this is a very GOOOOD suggestion, infinite jpg developed in camera.

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Ben Herrmann
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Never thought about that...good points
In reply to zuiko fan, May 20, 2013

Will keep that in mind - that's for sure.  And my admiration for the Fuji X-series of cameras is not at the expense of my love for the m43 field.  I'm firmly entrenched in micro 4/3 end of things.  So between the OMD E-M5, which has impressed me so much - along with some of the other Oly/Panny models - now adding the X-E1 to the mix brings even more capabilities to the table.

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Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
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BillyInya
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Ben Herrmann, May 20, 2013

If you nail the exposure and don't want to 'fake' your photos too much there's no need for RAW at all.

RAW is a thing of the past for a lot of us.

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jl_smith
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Ben Herrmann, May 20, 2013

Very good to hear this.  I have a used XE1 + 18-55 incoming and I cannot wait!

I'm just like you too, I've used a lot of cameras and never relied on just JPEG, even with my OMD.  Oly's JPEGs are pretty good, but I could still get an appreciable boost in DR and sharpness / noise performance from the RAW.

I have a feeling I'm going to love Astia (?) and Velvia on the EX1, and maybe monochrome (though I will probably stick to Silver Efex 2 for that).

At the minimum, I hope the XE1 will convert me to at *least* a RAW+JPEG shooter  That way, as said earlier, I can use the RAW to convert to another JPEG if I wish.

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Beat Traveller
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to BillyInya, May 20, 2013

BillyInya wrote:

If you nail the exposure and don't want to 'fake' your photos too much there's no need for RAW at all.

RAW is a thing of the past for a lot of us.

It's not so much about faking the right exposure as having extra options. Actually, the thing I like most about RAW files is their longevity. I've pulled out files I took years ago that looked like crud on the existing conversion programs, and putting them through the latest software is a great way to bring out the scene as I remember it.

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BillyInya
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Beat Traveller, May 20, 2013

Beat Traveller wrote:

BillyInya wrote:

If you nail the exposure and don't want to 'fake' your photos too much there's no need for RAW at all.

RAW is a thing of the past for a lot of us.

It's not so much about faking the right exposure as having extra options. Actually, the thing I like most about RAW files is their longevity. I've pulled out files I took years ago that looked like crud on the existing conversion programs, and putting them through the latest software is a great way to bring out the scene as I remember it.

That doesn't make sense.

A jpeg image will capture what's there as would a RAW file so I'm not following you.

If you go back to that jpeg image you are not going to see something different over the years.

However, if your "memory" is vastly different to what was actually truly there, say pink with white dots sky and orange ocean then sure, RAW is great for that cause can you work it to give you any fake look you like.

In that case it's not your jpeg's that are failing, it's your memory.

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Al Valentino
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Ben Herrmann, May 20, 2013

I now the feeling. Its been five momths since my Nikon left the house. I used to shoot raw exclusively but now I shoot jpeg 95% of the time and raw + jpeg the rest. I did put the time into lesrning which film modes I prefer in Different situations and sometimes bracket film modes. Anyway, there are a lot of little things to master like shadow comtrols and DR settings but nce you get that down you an set your camea to get pictures that require almost no exta post work. It is also a pure joy to use and if made photogrpahy fun again.

have you tried the panorama mode yet. That is another nice feature.

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Beat Traveller
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to BillyInya, May 20, 2013

BillyInya wrote:

Beat Traveller wrote:

BillyInya wrote:

If you nail the exposure and don't want to 'fake' your photos too much there's no need for RAW at all.

RAW is a thing of the past for a lot of us.

It's not so much about faking the right exposure as having extra options. Actually, the thing I like most about RAW files is their longevity. I've pulled out files I took years ago that looked like crud on the existing conversion programs, and putting them through the latest software is a great way to bring out the scene as I remember it.

That doesn't make sense.

A jpeg image will capture what's there as would a RAW file so I'm not following you.

If you go back to that jpeg image you are not going to see something different over the years.

However, if your "memory" is vastly different to what was actually truly there, say pink with white dots sky and orange ocean then sure, RAW is great for that cause can you work it to give you any fake look you like.

In that case it's not your jpeg's that are failing, it's your memory.

You misunderstand me. Because the eye is capable of making micro-adjustments by opening and closing rapidly to suit varying light conditions, it has an effective dynamic range of over 24 f-stops (the actual range of the eye when kept open is much lower, but because of the speed of neural processing you don't notice these shifts, you amalgamate them into one 'exposure').

No current digital sensor comes anywhere near this, but both sensors and demosaicing technology are improving over time. Hence, if I attempted to capture a scene with massive dynamic range a few years ago, my eyes would record both high and low key details perfectly but the camera would usually blow highlights and crush shadows. If I'd shot in JPG, that's the photo forever. But I've taken RAW files from years ago and, thanks to improved algorithms in most software, it's possible to push the dynamic range closer to what I actually remember from the day I took the shot, without posterising the colours or making it unbearably noisy.

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mcshan
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Ben Herrmann, May 20, 2013

Yeah the jpegs from the XE1 really are good and the kit 18-55 is a good one. I seldom use zooms but this one delivers and I am enjoying it.

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wayfarers
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Beat Traveller, May 20, 2013

Yes, modern JPEGs and RAWs have limited dynamic range when compared to human eye. This is one area which is being improved in the sensors, generation after generation, still a long way to go. However assuming that in camera conversion does its job correctly (and Fuji currently has the best JPEG engine) full dynamic range the sensor was able to record will be present in both JPEG and RAW files. Thus no external software will be able to improve dynamic range beyond what the sensor recorded, unless it extrapolates and guesses. Obviously you are correct if in camera JPEG engine is poor - not the case with Fuji.

Beat Traveller wrote:

...Hence, if I attempted to capture a scene with massive dynamic range a few years ago, my eyes would record both high and low key details perfectly but the camera would usually blow highlights and crush shadows. If I'd shot in JPG, that's the photo forever. But I've taken RAW files from years ago and, thanks to improved algorithms in most software, it's possible to push the dynamic range closer to what I actually remember from the day I took the shot, without posterising the colours or making it unbearably noisy.

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mediasorcerer
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Ben Herrmann, May 20, 2013

Ive had one about 7 days now and im prety impressed too, but i still shoot raw, for me it's not quantity but quality, i can't wait to get the new 200-zoom and the 35 1.4 as well as macro later on,

it's a fabulous camera that does a few things really well, just what i need.

Glad you like it too.

I believe the thing is with raw files, post processing options are increased and very fine details show better when magnified.

I guess it depends on what your application is with the photos you take?

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Leopr
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Re: I am downright impressed.....with the X-E1!
In reply to Ben Herrmann, May 20, 2013

Hi Ben. That is high praise indeed from a Connoisseur of cameras such as you. It confirms for me that I made a good choice in trading my Oly E-M5 and m43 lenses for the X-E1 and 18-55 kit.

I sometimes miss my E-M5  because I have enjoyed it so much when mt wife and I visited Germany last September but I wish i had the X-E1 with me now that I have experienced the Fuji pictures. However I was pleased with the Oly at the time. Here is a link to mt Flickr sets of Germany in case you are interested.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/leor3/sets

Have a good day with your new Fuji.

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Ben Herrmann
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Re: Panarama mode....
In reply to Al Valentino, May 20, 2013

Haven't tried that yet - in fact, I've never used that mode with any of the cameras that have them.  But there's always a first time, y'know!

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Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
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Ben Herrmann
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For this 18-55...the term "kit lens", I feel, is inappropriate....
In reply to mcshan, May 20, 2013

We're all used to the term kit lens as they applied to the inexpensive optics that N, C, O, and P provide with various cameras.  But this 18-55 that Fuji provides with the X-E1 is entirely too good to be labeled a kit lens.  This is the kind of lens that folks normally would shoot for as an upgrade to a "kit lens."

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Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
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Ben Herrmann
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Nice pics of Germany - interestingly enough.....
In reply to Leopr, May 20, 2013

I've never been back.  I was born in Moosburg (Bavaria) in 1949 and we emigrated to the US in the mid 50's.  My father, who was a German Wehrmacht Officer during WW II, and my Mother, who was a secretary with the German General Staff during the War, met and following the war, they elected to emigrate to the "new country" for a new beginning.  We always talked (as a kid) about visiting again, but it never occurred.  As a result, any relatives we had who still lived in Germany, have long since passed on.  I would love to visit Bavaria though and some keen memories are still there of my being raised on a farm.  Heck, at the age of 3 - wearing leather shorts in mid February, I can remember American Tanks rolling through the streets and the US soldiers giving the kids candy - that I can still remember.

But as my father clearly stated when we first arrived in the US, he said, "We are going to be the best Americans we can be.  We will learn the language, learn the history, and be as productive as we can be."  And that's exactly what we did - and we never looked back.  Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore with some of the immigrants coming to the US.  In fact, my father - who was a Hauptmann (Captain) with the Deutsche Panzer Korps in WW II, was one of the only Germany Army Veterans to be able to join a local VFW in Philadelphia in the early 60's because he was so well liked - with the members there making him an honorary member.  He used to walk around with a Phillies Baseball cap on and a cigar and folks loved him.

People always ask me, "wow, for a German, how did you get the name of Ben?"  Well, my full name is Bernd Werner Herrmann - as German a name as one can have.  But there were/are no nicknames for Bernd (pronounced "Bearnt").  So as a kid, other kids started calling me Ben and it stuck.  Of course, kids can be mean, and others called me "that friekin Nazi" because I was German - which wasn't nice, but I learned to ignore it.

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Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
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