Fujifilm XE-1, first impressions

Started Dec 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Jim Cassatt Veteran Member • Posts: 4,856
Fujifilm XE-1, first impressions

I just received my XE-1,together with the "kit" and 35 mm lens yesterday and have not had a chance to exercise it too much.  Nonetheless, I am rather impressed by this beast.

As a way of background, I generally shoot with Canon digital SLRs headed by a Canon 5D MKIII and the usual assortment of "L" lenses.  Last year I bought theFujiX10 for something I could slip in a jacket pocket.  I was very impressed with the IQ of the X10.  My biggest gripe was difficulties in accurately framing the image in the OVF and even the lcd.  Nonetheless, I have gotten some terrific images with that little camera.

With the XE-1, I was looking for a system that could replace my Canon system for non commercial work.  So far it looks like this will be a success.

I did some stuff with the 35 mm f1.4.  The main thing I noticed was that there was very little dropoff in sharpness at f1.4 compared to f4.  In fact the lens appears razor sharp from at f2.  Autofocus is reasonable compared to my 5DMKIII, but the lens is noisy.  People have talked about a chattering sound and I hear it even after I installed the latest lens firmware.

The kit lens looks like a real winner. I have shot very little with it, but autofocus is pretty quick.  As others have noted, faster than the 35 mm f1.4.  IS works great.  Tomorrow I will do some quick tests to see how it stacks up against my Canon 5D MKIII with 24-105 f4L.

As far as the camera itself, it is small and is not as comfortable as a big DSLR, but I wanted something compact.  So far I don't mind the EVF.  The flickering is a bit annoying, but EVF is big and bright and provides for accurate framing. I have not tried in on people yet and wonder how well it will do with action.

I found the layout of the controls very logical.  I had read the reviews and had no problem getting started without consulting the manual.  It is nice to be able to see the aperture and shutter speed without turning on the camera. In make me want a dial for the ISO as well.  In the old days this was no problem as we simply taped end of the film box to the back of the camera.

I should point out that the "kit" lens has no shutter speed markings.  The excuse given is that it is impossible given variable aperture associated with the zoom.  Nonsense.  Fifteen years ago, I have a pair of autofocus Tamron zoom lenses with variable apertures for my old Pentax.  These lenses had aperture makings.  Also why can't the 35 mm lens have DOF indicators?

The Fuji flash system sucks.  No hi speed sync for any of the flashes Fuji makes.  I did find, however, that my old Sunpak 383s work fine (still no hi speed sync).   I need to get a bracket to get the flash off the camera.  I tried the flash with a $30.00 Cowboy remote trigger.  Bingo the setup worked like a charm.  I have three Sunpak 383s.  Add some light stands and umbrellas, and I have a low cost studio.  I should also be able to trigger my more powerful Canon 580 EXIIs with this setup in manual mode.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will take a lot of pictures and update this brief report.

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 Jim Cassatt's gear list:Jim Cassatt's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Canon EOS 40D Canon EOS 300D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Fujifilm X-E1 +24 more
Canon EOS 5D Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm X-E1
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