X-E2, got it, what a beast!

Started Nov 8, 2013 | Discussions
a l b e r t
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X-E2, got it, what a beast!
Nov 8, 2013

Just received my X-E2 today.  I've owned or used many X cameras, including X10, X-Pro1, X100 LE, X100s, X-E1.  My other non-X cameras are Sony NEX-6 and Nikon D3s.  Currently, I still own X10 (mainly for the face detection AF part), X100 LE and X-E1.  I never owned a X100s, but I've used it and I know how well it performs compared to other X cameras.

The X-E2's firmware makes it a completely different camera compared to the X-E1.  Not only it is more responsive in just about anything, AF is now the best amongst all the X cameras.

At first, I was worried that phase detect AF may not work in low light indoor condition.  But it actually works quite well.  I found that the phase detect pixels are vertical contrast sensitive only.  If the phase detect pixels can detect a vertical contrast edge, the X-E2 is able to move to the focus position extremely quickly.  In fact, I found it sometimes quicker than a DSLR!  With my D3s, when the camera acquires focus, I can feel the AF motor moving back and forth a little towards the final focus point.  This is especially true with a f/1.4 lens.  With X-E2, I found that very often, it just moves there and stops.  Zero lens hunting.  I was testing the focus with something at 2.5m and 3m away with strong vertical contrast, and it locked focus in an instant, with a single stoke of lens movement.  I repeatedly AF on these two subjects and the distance on the distance scale was consistent too.  There was ZERO lens hunting at all.  With X-E1, it sometimes jumps all over the distance scale as it mis-focused and thinks it has acquired the focus.  The lens I used for testing was the XF 23 1.4.

When compared to my NEX-6, the X-E2's PDAF algorithm works so much better.  On the NEX-6, I really don't feel the camera making use of PDAF much, at least not in the way I see it works on the X-E2.

Also, X-E2, like X-E1, is able to detect horizontal contrast with the latest firmware.  X100 and X100s AF algorithms are incapable of detecting horizontal contrast.  So when you try to focus on something with horizontal contrast, X-E2 will only use CDAF (no PDAF), and the lens will hunt back and forth to find the focus point.  I've tested NEX-6 and Sony A7.  They both cannot focus on something with horizontal contrast.  I read from the Oly forum that even the OM-D EM-1's CDAF fails to lock focus on horizontal contrast.  I think X-E2 is now on the top of the heap in terms of AF speed and accuracy for all mirrorless cameras.

There is now a Pre-AF function.  If you turn it on, it'll perform continuous AF at the AF point you selected.  It'll also continuos AF when you have Face Detect AF + Pre-AF on.  I think this is going to be great for catching movements of toddlers.

One undocumented new feature is the ability to change aperture when you half press on the shutter release button.  None of the X camera can do that and my NEX-6 cannot do that as well.  This feature alone makes the camera behave more like a real SLR.

Fuji also improved the information layout on the screen.  Now the distance scale and EV compensation scale are much less intrusive.  They are now translucent and the distance scale now occupies very little vertical space.  The EV compensation scale does not highlight the scale when it is at 0EV.

EVF as we all know, refreshes quicker.  You can now adjust the brightness of the EVF and LCD independently!  The jagged edge as seen during AF is now a thing of the past.

I found that the AF square is now bigger and I think the 49 AF points are spread further apart (not 100% confirmed, as my X-E1 is with Fuji for sensor cleaning).

I also found that it has a much less tendency to use DR400 when DR is set to Auto.  I found that DR400 can sometimes produce unpleasant contrast on people's face.  I'd much rather limit it to DR200 max in Auto mode and it seems that X-E2 is more intelligent in making the correct DR choice.

Delete button behavior is now different.  When you hit delete, you'll be presented with 3 choices.  Frame, Selected Frames, All Frames.  The default is on Frame.  So you need to press OK to select Frame, and press OK again to delete the current frame.  So there is more button presses than before.  But after you deleted the current frame, it'll move to the previous frame, you can hit OK again to delete it.  You can keep pressing OK to delete a series of frames that way.  And once you finished deleting, you can hit BACK to exit the delete mode and it'll go back to picture review mode or half press the shutter to get out of delete/playback mode completely.

Other minor changes includes a stiffer power on/off switch.  The button feel is different, there seems to be a tiny bit less travel or stiffer.

So far I found two quirks:

1. You take a photo, and press Play immediately to review the photo.  Press the wheel to zoom in on the picture to check on focus.  Now as soon as the X-E2 finishes writing the files (I use RAW+Fine), it will reset the review mode so that the picture is no longer zoomed in.

2.  Set the X-E2 to EVF+Eye sensor only.  The LCD is turned off to save power.  EVF is also turned off until I put my eye next to it.  When both EVF and LCD are off, I can press the buttons on the X-E2 but nothing is shown on the LCD.  I'd think it should turn on the LCD when I press a button to let me perform the setting and then turn off the LCD again after a few seconds of timeout.  Or, it should lock all the buttons and will only activate them when my eye is looking through the EVF.

So all-in-all, the X-E2 is not a minor upgrade.  I don't know how many of the firmware features in X-E2 will get trickled down to the X-E1 or X-Pro1.  I think Fuji will probably select a few features on the next X-E1/X-Pro1 firmware update, such as min. shutter speed for Auto ISO.  But I don't expect them to redo the info layout, or add face detection in the older cameras.

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txagib
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

Great write up. I was convinced that I was going to skip this upgrade but now I'm torn! Sounds like Fuji did a great job with the X-E2.

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Al Valentino
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

Great report. Fuji just keeps getting better and better. Hopefully this will help put an end to those that think Fuji is trouble - of course that will not happen.

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Red5TX
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

a l b e r t wrote:

Delete button behavior is now different. When you hit delete, you'll be presented with 3 choices. Frame, Selected Frames, All Frames.

Excellent report.  Thank you.  That said, I am not a fan of this change to the delete function.  If I want to delete everything I'll just format the memory card.  Period.

I worry about this new button behavior.  It's easy to think, "I would never delete all frames," but sometimes, in the heat of the moment, fingers do not function the way they should and mistakes get made.  Erasing an entire memory card is about as big as mistakes come.

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ajamils1
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

Thank you for the excellent write up. After reading this it is going to be even more difficult to wait for my X-E2. For whatever reason Fuji wants people in USA to suffer with anticipation while they take their sweet time releasing it here.

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a l b e r t
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

One more thing to add: X-E2 now remembers the shutter speed!  It is when you set it to something other than the shutter speed on the dial, i.e.: 1/100, 1/80, etc.  Previously, it'll lose the speed setting once you review a photo or cycle power of the camera.

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a l b e r t
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to Red5TX, Nov 8, 2013

Red5TX wrote:

a l b e r t wrote:

Delete button behavior is now different. When you hit delete, you'll be presented with 3 choices. Frame, Selected Frames, All Frames.

Excellent report. Thank you. That said, I am not a fan of this change to the delete function. If I want to delete everything I'll just format the memory card. Period.

I worry about this new button behavior. It's easy to think, "I would never delete all frames," but sometimes, in the heat of the moment, fingers do not function the way they should and mistakes get made. Erasing an entire memory card is about as big as mistakes come.

I agree.  I think the choice "All Frames" should not be there.  One can simply format the card.  I've not tried it.  I'm not sure if it will leave video files untouched or it'll just erase everything.

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hellocrowley
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

a l b e r t wrote:

One more thing to add: X-E2 now remembers the shutter speed! It is when you set it to something other than the shutter speed on the dial, i.e.: 1/100, 1/80, etc. Previously, it'll lose the speed setting once you review a photo or cycle power of the camera.

I hope this makes it to the XPro1. Such a stupid quirk that becomes very annoying when you need to chimp a lot.

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Caerolle
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

OK, this is awesome! Especially when using flash.

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Caerolle
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

I seem to recall that you can now delete when zoomed? Is that so? I find it annoying to zoom and seem the focus is off, then have to go back to normal size to delete. I just want to delete where I am.

I am seriously considering getting a D6 for pics of people, I don't think I can wait another 6 months for the 56/1.2. I was planning to wait until at least the X-E3 to upgrade my body. However, your experience with the X-E2 makes me wonder a little if I should get an X-E2 instead, and grit me teeth until the 56 comes out. That would be really hard, though...

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vkphoto
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raw files, please :)
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

Albert, thank you for excellent report.

Can you take the same scene with XE1 and XE2 with the same lens and post both raw files for download? Many thanks in advance.

vk

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TangoMan
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

Very informative! Thanks for taking the time to share.

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mgn2
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

When compared to my NEX-6, the X-E2's PDAF algorithm works so much better. On the NEX-6, I really don't feel the camera making use of PDAF much, at least not in the way I see it works on the X-E2.

Also, X-E2, like X-E1, is able to detect horizontal contrast with the latest firmware. X100 and X100s AF algorithms are incapable of detecting horizontal contrast. So when you try to focus on something with horizontal contrast, X-E2 will only use CDAF (no PDAF), and the lens will hunt back and forth to find the focus point. I've tested NEX-6 and Sony A7. They both cannot focus on something with horizontal contrast. I read from the Oly forum that even the OM-D EM-1's CDAF fails to lock focus on horizontal contrast. I think X-E2 is now on the top of the heap in terms of AF speed and accuracy for all mirrorless cameras.

There is now a Pre-AF function. If you turn it on, it'll perform continuous AF at the AF point you selected. It'll also continuos AF when you have Face Detect AF + Pre-AF on. I think this is going to be great for catching movements of toddlers.

So would you say you prefer the Fuji X-E2 to the Sony NEX-6?

I have an X100 and a NEX-6 + 1650PZ lens + Sigma 30mm and am considering putting more money into the system and buying a faster lens like the SEL 35mm 1.8 OSS or ditching Sony NEX and switching over to the Fuji X system.

I love my X100 for the colors, JPEG output, size, looks, manual controls but the AF is just not fast enough for taking pictures of a fast-moving toddler in low light indoors, so went for the NEX. The NEX has worked out ok, but I need a faster lens, and the Sony 35mm is $450 (overpriced IMO but perhaps justified by the OSS). I also would like the small size of the Sony (pocket-able in jackets). If I get the X-E2 + kit lens + 1 'normal' prime, do you think I'd get similar or better AF performance and how much bigger/heavier would this be than the Sony equivalent?

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57LowRider
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to mgn2, Nov 8, 2013

Personally, at this moment, I think that just the 14 and the 23 are reason enough to get into Fuji X ILC right now. I'm playing with both and they're made out of the same pot of awesome.

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Graham Hill
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to Al Valentino, Nov 8, 2013

Al Valentino wrote:

Great report. Fuji just keeps getting better and better. Hopefully this will help put an end to those that think Fuji is trouble - of course that will not happen.

The best way to get rid of the naysayers is for Fujifilm to turn a profit with their cameras.

Not only are they losing money still, but the amount is increasing (over 100% increase in losses the past quarter, year on year).

A double of losses is not indicative of a healthy operation.

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Bernie Ess
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to Graham Hill, Nov 8, 2013
Not only are they losing money still, but the amount is increasing (over 100% increase in losses the past quarter, year on year).

A double of losses is not indicative of a healthy operation.

The problem is not the X- line, but the compacts on which Fuji tried to live for several years before they brought the X- line. They said the X cameras go well.

Bernie

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Graham Hill
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to Bernie Ess, Nov 8, 2013

Bernie Ess wrote:

Not only are they losing money still, but the amount is increasing (over 100% increase in losses the past quarter, year on year).

A double of losses is not indicative of a healthy operation.

The problem is not the X- line, but the compacts on which Fuji tried to live for several years before they brought the X- line. They said the X cameras go well.

Bernie

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'All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.' (Elliot Erwitt)

Not true.  Revenue is up (X cameras are selling) for the camera division, but profits plunged with losses over 100% greater than the last quarter, year on year.

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mistermejia
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Where are the pictures?
In reply to a l b e r t, Nov 8, 2013

a l b e r t wrote:

One more thing to add: X-E2 now remembers the shutter speed! It is when you set it to something other than the shutter speed on the dial, i.e.: 1/100, 1/80, etc. Previously, it'll lose the speed setting once you review a photo or cycle power of the camera.

Well, can you post some photos when you have a chance??  From what i understand, the XE2 is supposed to be "sharper" than the previous model?  Can you post or say something regarding if there is improved IQ?  I am interested in this camera now.

Thanks.

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Al Valentino
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Re: Where are the pictures?
In reply to mistermejia, Nov 8, 2013

mistermejia wrote:

a l b e r t wrote:

One more thing to add: X-E2 now remembers the shutter speed! It is when you set it to something other than the shutter speed on the dial, i.e.: 1/100, 1/80, etc. Previously, it'll lose the speed setting once you review a photo or cycle power of the camera.

From what i understand, the XE2 is supposed to be "sharper" than the previous model? Can you post or say something regarding if there is improved IQ? I am interested in this camera now.

Thanks.

It is still 16mp so resolution is the identical and sharpness - at least for RAW files should be the same. The variable is the lens, and the latest primes, 14 and 23 are outstanding so one can get even sharper results with the best glass. I suspect the 56mm will also be ground breaking.

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a l b e r t
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Re: X-E2, got it, what a beast!
In reply to Caerolle, Nov 8, 2013

Caerolle wrote:

I seem to recall that you can now delete when zoomed? Is that so? I find it annoying to zoom and seem the focus is off, then have to go back to normal size to delete. I just want to delete where I am.

Yes, you can now delete when zoomed.

I am seriously considering getting a D6 for pics of people, I don't think I can wait another 6 months for the 56/1.2. I was planning to wait until at least the X-E3 to upgrade my body. However, your experience with the X-E2 makes me wonder a little if I should get an X-E2 instead, and grit me teeth until the 56 comes out. That would be really hard, though...

You mean Canon 6D?  I do think the 56 1.2 will come sometime 14Q1, maybe as early as January.  If 56 1.2 is your thing, then maybe you do need to wait it out before getting the X-E2.  To me, the X-E2 has the size advantage and the lenses are very sharp, compared to other mirrorless offerings.

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