Fujifilm X-E2 Review
Three different manual focus aids
Like other mirrorless cameras the XE-2 doesn't just accept native autofocus lenses; it can also work with a wide range of manual focus lenses. Fujifilm makes its own adapter for Leica M-mount lenses, and almost any lens designed for SLRs can be used via third party adapters (although manual focus lenses with physical aperture rings are easiest to use). This means you can resurrected a treasured lens collection from an older system, or hunt out eBay bargains to experiment with - the possibilities are almost endless.
The X-E2 offers three different manual focus aids, which can be used with both native and adapted lenses. There's the usual magnified live view, and the increasingly-common focus 'peaking' display which highlights in-focus regions on the live view display.
The X-E2 uniquely adds a third option that Fujifilm calls 'Digital Split Image' focusing. This uses the camera's left- and right- facing phase detection pixels to provide a monochrome display in the middle of the frame that's divided into four strips. In a fashion very similar to using a split-image focusing screen in an SLR, the image is in focus when these four strips are aligned.
The manual focus aids are available when the focus switch is set to M, and can be toggled through by pressing and holding the rear dial for a couple of seconds. A click of the dial magnifies the view, and at this point spinning the dial changes between 4x and 6x magnification. The various modes are illustrated in the video below, recorded off the back of the X-E2 with the XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro mounted.
|Fujifilm X-E2 manual focus aids (magnified view, digital split image, focus peaking)|
The sequence of events shown in this video is as follows:
- Camera is focused using AF-L button
- Standard Live View focusing
- 4x magnified view
- 6x magnified view
- Digital Split Image focusing - full screen view
- Digital Split Image, magnified view
- Focus Peaking display
- Focus Peaking with 4x magnification
- Focus Peaking with 6x magnification
It's also possible to enable a zoomed-in 'focus check' view when the camera is set to AF, from the 'Screen Set-Up' section of the cameras Setup Menu. When this is turned on, you can click the rear dial to zoom in and check focus at any time.
The X-E2 has Wi-Fi built-in with essentially the same implementation as the X-M1, which means that it's primarily designed for sharing photos. Unfortunately there's no option to control the camera remotely, meaning that overall there's not much extra here compared to using a Wi-Fi SD card. But it's still nice to have it all built-in, of course.
Images can be transferred to your tablet or smartphone using Fujifilm's unimaginatively-named 'Camera Application' for iOS and Android. There's also a basic 'Photo Receiver' app that you can encourage your friends to install, so you can transfer images to their device (not exactly the most convenient system, but it's a nice idea). Alternatively images can be automatically saved to PC across a Wi-Fi network, using the equally literally-titled 'PC Autosave' program for Windows or Mac.
Wi-Fi sharing is activated by pressing the Fn button in playback mode, at which point the camera will fire up its network and give on-screen instructions for how to connect. It's all relatively straightforward, mainly because the camera sets up an unsecured network with no password. Instead all connections have to be explicitly authorized from the camera.
|This is the main screen of the Fujifilm Camera App. It's all pretty straightforward - 'Receive' accepts one or more images specified from the camera, while 'Browse Camera' allows the contents of the SD card to be viewed from a smartphone and copied to the device.
'Geotagging' allows location data to be read from from a phone and appended to images. Unhelpfully it tags images with where you are now, not necessarily where you were when you took them. 'Tell a friend' is simply an option to email a link to the app that your friend will need to download so that you can share images with them (which isn't a bad idea at all).
Finally, the little cog icon at the bottom left of the screen takes you to a window where you can specify a recognizable name for your device, which the camera displays when it asks you to approve a connection.
|The 'Browse camera' screen is clear and simple, displaying thumbnails of the images of the card (with size selectable for phone or tablet). Images can be selected either for download, or for a more detailed view.||This is the image viewer - again it's very clean, and very basic. By default images are downsized to 3MP for sharing, but this can be changed in the camera's menu to allow full-size images to be transferred.|
Overall this isn't the most exciting or sophisticated implementation of in-camera Wi-Fi we've seen. However it's reasonably straightforward to set up and use, and offering a stripped-down app that can only receive images is a nice touch.
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