Fujifilm X-E2: A bigger upgrade than meets the eye
Fujifilm announced the update to their well received X-E1 yesterday, with the new X-E2. If you go by the looks, you’d think all they did was enlarge the rear screen and slap a new number on the camera. The body of the X-E2 is virtually unchanged from the X-E1 with the exception of a larger 3″ LCD with 1 million dot resolution. The insides, however, have received more of a significant upgrade.
The X-E2 still features a 16 megapixel X-Trans sensor, but the X-E2 inherits the upgraded version of this sensor that first debuted in the X100s. The X-Trans II sensor has phase detection pixels on the sensor, which, combined with better contrast detect algorithms, should drastically improve autofocus speed for all lenses. The PDAF sensors should also allow for continuous autofocus that is also much improved. Manual focus has been enhanced by allowing for Fuji’s unique digital split prism focusing aid and better implemented focus peaking. With the newer image processor on board, the X-E2 is also a significantly more responsive camera, and will write to the card and process images quicker than its predecessor. This increased processing power also allowed Fuji to bump up the burst rate on the camera to a respectable 7 frames per second.
While the X-E1’s electronic viewfinder was beautifully detailed and clear, it had significant lag in low light. With the X-E2, the refresh rate in low light has been tripled and early reports show essentially zero lag in low light. Exposure compensation has also been increased to allow +/- 3 stops. WiFi capability has been added and several early previews point to small refinements throughout the interface and operation as well.
While none of these improvements are drastic or revolutionary, they address nearly every single thing that I viewed as negative with the X-E1. They’ve taken what was a good, but slightly flawed camera, and fixed nearly everything. The result should be an extremely polished mirrorless camera. I will have a full review of the X-E2 shortly after public release.
It’s an exciting time in the mirrorless industry. Fuji’s getting stronger and more capable cameras to leverage their excellent lenses, Panasonic pushing the limits of size for interchangeable lens cameras, and Sony is packing in giant full frame sensors in a tiny package. While all of these systems have strengths and weaknesses, they also are all capable of creating great images with a good photographer behind them. What is best for you will depend largely on your specific needs. In any case, it’s a fascinating time in the industry.
5 thoughts on “Mirrorless News Roundup: October 2013”
I hear on the Sony lenses. The primes are pretty outrageously priced. On the other hand, the 24-70mm f/4 OSS really isn’t bad at all. That’s probably the best deal of the lot. I mean the Canon 24-70mm f/4 is $1500. That’s a $300 difference right out of the gate. If the quality if good. I’d be happy with that lens along with a few MF primes.
I think that zoom lenses are too big for A7 and A7r. Then fit the aspect ratio much better between camera and lenses for the Micro Four Thirds System, also there is more to a good camera than a large sensor, it is certainly not always an advantage with a large full frame sensor …..
Sounds like a dream camera, but although IQ sounds unbeatable, I still think the EM1 will have the edge for most people because of a much lower outlay to get a satisfactory package. Once prices get lower people like me might consider this one.
Another thing: The real influence of these cameras will be shown in their second or third imlepemtation, so I would say this series will come alive in two or three years.
Many have summed it up here, but I think it’s worth asking the question: what Sony has improved upon compared to the NEX line? Yes–they’ve taken the image quality to new heights (a category they arguably already led). But have they addressed the issues with the NEX line? I still see the same issue–lens choice. But now is price as concern as well?
In the big picture, FF will likely move mirrorless anyways. Sony has just managed to best Canikon to the task. So even if the Sony is wildly successful, what about when everyone else introduces their FF mirrorless option 1-2 years from now? Will the Sony be the best option in 1-2 years? Is this a camera that will stay at the top? Judging by it’s feature set and lens selection, I’m not sure it will. Just imagine a FF mirrorless Nikon that takes all F-mount. Would you chose the Sony then?
Alternatively, I believe the EM-1 will stay class leading (mirrorless cams) over this period because it offers a more complete camera experience, starting at lenses, and including 5-axis IBIS, weather sealing, viewfinder, and WiFi.
Just my $.02. Thanks for reading and thanks to Jordan for a nice write up on the new product season so far.
I love the Micro 4/3 system, shooting with the EM-5 and recently the GX7. THE GM1 could the the camera I always have with me but I have a lot of trouble dealing with the lack of a viewfinder.
What would really help this for me would be an accessory shoe on top so it would take an optical viewfinder. The GM1 with a PanLeica 25mm and a Leica 50mm Bright Line finder would be superb. Or if the 25mm was a bit large, the Panasonic 20mm would be smaller although 40mm finders are a little harder to find.