X-E1 arrived! Impression and suggestions
Toronto area from Aden.
First impression...very solidly built. Lenses (18-55 and 35) are solid too and sharp wide open, smooth bokeh.
Having owning many Pentax DSLRs and a D700, the AF speed is somewhere in between In good light, about as fast as a GF-1 on the 35mm, very slightly faster on the 18-55.
In low light, focus speed drops to the level of my E-PL1 but still faster than an old *ist DS. The 18-55 sometimes fails to lock, but the 35 locks every single time - and I'm talking about very low light - think about at night with lights off with the room illuminated by a 24 inch monitor alone. To give a reference, the D700 would lock focus in such light with a 50/1.4D most of, but not all the time.
The 18-55 has a reversible hood.
IQ-wise I'll skip - I'll just say, in my experience it seems better than the D700 in high ISO.
Impression of the system:
- Auto ISO is not configurable, but it seems in Av mode it uses 1/FL*1.5 which is I guess alright.
- The 35mm lens is great, but its irreversible rectangular hood and rubber lens cap is not so great.
- The lens caps! Why do they need to be a bulge? I usually stand lenses cap-down but cannot do so anymore.
- RAW zoom is limited to about 2x!! To zoom further in I need to shoot RAW+JPEG. However, when AF locks it seems to be 100% accurate, so there's no need to check for critical focus...yet.
- Having to press the AF button to select the AF point is annoying. Would much rather let the AF button perform AF in MF mode (instead of AE-L/AF-L button doing the same), and always enable AF selection without pressing anything.
- View mode is limited to LCD, EVF, and Eye Sensor. I want one more mode: how about an Eye Sensor mode that switches on and off the EVF while keeping the LCD always off? Having the EVF on while my eye is off the EVF doesn't sound quite right.
- Bounce flash works and it is as nice as the one on my E-PL1.
- The "Macro" button. I thought it's only needed on fixed lens cams? I guess I'll need to read the manual.
- The Drive mode menu button does not contain the timers! In my opinion it should replace the film simulation bracket, ISO bracket or DR bracket. Funnily, WB bracket is nowhere to be found in the drive mode menu.
- Coming from Pent@x and Nik0n's bright, big prism finders I thought I'd not like the EVF, but it turns out to be very good. Sure it lags slightly in low light but it hardly matters. For now I still prefer a FF prism but I'm thinking I may end up liking the EVF better in the long run, mainly due to auto gain.
- Balance is perfect with the 35mm, very easy to hold steady. In the above mentioned dark environment with focus distance roughly 1.5m, ISO 6400, 1/6 seconds...no blur at all.
- OIS works very well with the 18-55mm.