Fujifile X-E1 first impressions
Finally had a chance to try out my nifty Fujifilm X-E1 with both the 18-55 f2.8-4 and 35 mm f1.4. All of the pictures were processed from the RAW files using Lightroom. No sharpening or noise reduction were applied.
Impressions: Operationally this camera is a pleasure to use. I had read all of the reviews ahead of time and was up and running without reading the manual. Key features are accessible by well-placed buttons. Selecting among aperture preferred, shutter preferred and program is a breeze. The layout is very appealing for those who graduated from film cameras.
The EVF takes a bit of getting used to, but I like it. Immediately after taking a picture the image is visible in the viewfinder. It is the same as what you saw. If what you see appears to bright, or dark, just turn the EC dial to compensate.
Fujifilm has supplied this camera with excellent lenses. The 35 mm f1.4 is sharp wide open, a beautiful lens. The 18-55 is comparable in IQ to the Canon 24-105 f4L I use on my Canon 5D MKIII. Both lenses are solidly built--up to Canon L standards, but at a fraction of the size and weight.
High ISO performance is excellent, not quite as good as my Canon 5D MKIII, but comparable to the 5D MKII. The images shown that were taken at ISO 6400 show noise at 100%, but this is not noticeable on an 8x10 inch print. As noted the images were processed from the RAW files with no NR. I also shot jpegs. These images show no noise with the NR set to 0 (on a scale from -2 to +2).
Overall I really like this camera, but the quirks I was aware of when buying this camera also show up. Auto focusing with the 35 mm f1.4 is often painfully slow. With the newer 18-55, focusing improves a lot. However, coupled with the EVF, this is not a camera for action photography.
Battery life is not great, be sure to get a couple of spares.
As a portrait photographer, the lack of high speed sync on any Fuji flash is a real problem. I can't wait to get my hands on the 60 mm 1.4 to be released this year, but why bother? No way you can shoot portraits at a wide aperture with fill flash without using ND filters.
Also note that people have reported problems with the RAW converter in Lightroom and ACR.
You can see examples, including some ISO 6400 pictures at: http://www.pbase.com/jcassatt/fuji_xe1
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