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Playback Displays

The X-E1 can play back images either on its rear LCD or using the EVF. In both cases the view is much the same, so here we're showing the rear LCD versions.

The 'Information off' playback display is very simple indeed, with a plain black bar beneath the image where the basic exposure information really ought to be. The 'Information on' view adds a full array of detailed exposure information, overlaid on top of the image in roughly the same place as it's shown in live view.
The 'Favorites' view allows you to rate your images from zero to five stars, and you can use this rating later to search through and select your images. The Histogram view is luminance-only - there's no option to show an RGB version. Blown highlights are shown as flashing white/black 'blinkies'. The camera is a little slow in
Unusually, pressing the Up key brings up this alternative overlay of image information (in all display modes except Favorites). Another press brings up this second page.
Finally another press displays the position of the focus point, but bizarrely you can't click-in to check focus in this view. If the image was shot using manual focus the green cross disappears, at which point this display looks identical to the 'Information Off' view (while behaving completely differently). Clicking-in the thumb dial zooms in on your selected focus point. You can scroll around the view using the 4-way controller, and zoom out and in using the magnify buttons on the left side of the camera.

The maximum magnification is not very high, though, only about 6x, and only then when recording large JPEGs.
After a couple of seconds the magnification scale and navigation thumbnail disappear to give this uncluttered display. Oddly, when zooming-in to portrait format images to check focus, the magnified region remains within a portrait-format box, neatly wasting half of the screen.

Maximum magnification and file type

As mentioned above, the maximum magnification available in playback is only about 6x, and even then only when recording Large JPEGs. If you record RAW files only it drops miserably, and is nowhere near sufficient for checking critical focus. For a one-off check you can convert the RAW to JPEG in-camera, which always makes a Large Fine JPEG and therefore offers the highest available magnification. But we'd seriously consider shooting Raw + Large JPEG as a matter of course, just to be able to check focus properly. Here's a full summary of how maximum playback magnification depends on file type and resolution for 3:2 images (the compression setting, Normal or Fine, has no effect):

 File Type / Size  Maximum playback magnification (approx)
 RAW
2.5x
 Small JPEG / RAW + Small JPEG
3.3x
 Medium JPEG / RAW + Medium JPEG
4.4x
 Large JPEG / RAW + Large JPEG
6x

Thumbnail views

The X-E1 gives a choice of four thumbnail displays in playback, but the first two aren't tremendously useful, and the final one crams so many images onto the screen that it's difficult to make out what's going on.

Pressing the 'zoom out' button in playback once gives this not-very-useful view. Pressing it a second time gives this alternative not-very-useful view.
A further press brings up this finally-useful 3x3 thumbnail grid. One more press brings up this not-very-useful 100-frame view, in which each tiny thumbnail borders on unrecognizable, and portrait format images displayed the wrong way round.

Image search menu

One of Fujifilm's more useful playback menu items is the Image Search option. Using this it's possible to sort images by various criteria: most usefully by date taken or favorites rating, but also by whether you've marked them for upload to YouTube or Facebook.

The Image Search menu lets you sort though your pictures and movies in several ways. Perhaps most useful (and informative) is the By Date option.
You can also view images by star rating (assuming you've marked them first)... ...or find pictures of your friends or family by searching for images with faces.

Image deletion

One operation than behaves a little strangely on the X-E1 is image deletion. It's fine in the 'Information On' and 'Information Off' modes, but strangely isn't available at all in the 'Favorites' view. In the 'Detail Information' View it's distinctly sluggish, and requires the image display to switch over to a full-screen view before displaying the 'Erase OK' dialogue after a slight delay. This means that if you're quickly working-through images and deleting obvious failures, then it's best to work from a different display mode.

In-camera raw conversion

One of the X-E1's most useful features is its in-camera raw conversion capability. This is far from unique, of course (lots of other cameras can do it too), but Fujifilm offers an unusually wide control over the development parameters, including independent control over highlight and shadow tone, plus noise reduction and dynamic range.

The interface is simple and very approachable too. Strangely, though, you can't choose the either the aspect ratio (which is always the full 3:2 of the recorded raw file, even if the original JPEG was recorded in 16:9) or the output size and compression of the generated JPEG (which is always Large Fine).

To use in-camera RAW conversion, first find an image you want to re-process. Press the Menu button and the first item is Raw conversion. Press the right arrow to begin.
You can choose to simply reflect the shooting conditions, or alter the processing parameters to taste.

Dynamic Range can be decreased from that originally used, but not increased (you can't magically turn a DR100 raw file to a DR400 JPEG, for example - the data's simply not there).
Scroll down and you reach a second set of options. Note that the thumbnail image on the left doesn't update to reflect your new settings (and is too small for this to be very useful anyway).

To create a preview of your new conversion, press the Q button.
At this point the camera will think away happily to itself for a couple of seconds... ...then display a preview for you to approve and save, or cancel. Only at this point you can see the affect of your changes. If you're happy, press 'OK' and the camera will save a new JPEG.
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Comments

Total comments: 10
kreislauf
By kreislauf (9 months ago)

why was the X-E1 picture taken with a 35mm lens while MFT had the 50mm mounted and FF like A99 or 6D had 85mm???

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (1 month ago)

The 35mm F1.4 and the 60mm F2.4 Macro (the only two normal / short tele primes at the time of writing) are about equally sharp at f/5.6 and f/8 (see http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1487/cat/105 and http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1486/cat/105 ). In addition, the 35mm doesn't exhibit much field curvature, unlike, say, the latter-released 27mm/f2.8 pancake (more info on this problem: http://www.photozone.de/fuji_x/855-fuji27f28?start=1 )

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (1 month ago)

(cont'd)

Finally, now that the absolutely stellar (see http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1674/cat/105 ) Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R is out, non-macro people able to shell out the double the price generally prefer it to the old 60mm F2.4. (Of course, this may not have been a point in choosing the 35mm over the 60mm back then. Nevertheless, we are pretty lucky to have a studio shot demoing the field curvature / sharpness of prolly the most popular Fuji X prime, and not that of one that has since been overshadowed by a newly released one.)

0 upvotes
pscharles
By pscharles (10 months ago)

continuing my post . . .

I understand why Fujifilm designed the lens rings with those slim grooves for stylistic reasons, but I find myself frequently turning the wrong one because they all feel the same. I'll get used to it, but a rubber ring on the zoom would help. Also, the zoom ring is stiff and those little grooves are slippery. Rubber would help the grip.

I would suggest turning off the image display as the default is 1.5 seconds. The image display clogs up the EVF for 1.5 seconds making it impractical to follow action. It's in the menu under setup screen 2.

1 upvote
pscharles
By pscharles (10 months ago)

Had mine a short while, purchased in part due to this review.

A couple things worth mentioning in terms of this review. The exposure compensation dial on my camera has a very firm detent so there's no chance of an inadvertent movement of the dial. I've loaded body firmware 2.0 and 18-55mm lens firmware 3.0. According to Fujifilm, these updates are supposed to address a number of issues, including the slower focusing. I find the camera/lens focus speed to be quite good with this update in place.

0 upvotes
lbpix
By lbpix (10 months ago)

Had my xe-1 2 weeks now and I'm blown away by the quality of the images taken with the kit zoom lens. The images could easily be printed at about 50" and are in practice comparable to my D800. AMAZING!
In use too I love it. The EVF whilst not as clear as an SLR viewfinder, tells me all I need to know and enables me to see all the menus without putting on reading specs. I use it exclusively in EVF mode. It is light and handles superbly. The image stabilisation seems incredible- so far, as good as the D800 shots from a tripod! If you're in doubt, go and buy one.

2 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (10 months ago)

Can the back screen be turned off completely so only the electronic viewfinder is used for composing and shooting?

0 upvotes
vratnik
By vratnik (10 months ago)

sure

0 upvotes
newtonseye
By newtonseye (10 months ago)

when you say ":but powering off usually cleared the error." can you expand a bit on that. Was there a different fix at another time?

0 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (10 months ago)

What about shutter lag? Any appreciable delay from the time one pushes the button til the shutter actually releases?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 10