Fujifilm X-E2 review
One of Fuji’s newest compact system cameras alongside its mighty X-T1, the even more ‘classic’ in appearance X-E2, which naturally updates the X-E1, also features a DSLR-sized APS-C sensor at its heart. Here again we’re provided with a 16.3 megapixel effective resolution. However this is a more semi-professional model compared to the entry level X-A1, and comes with a price tag that when bought with a standard 18–55 mm zoom will push your spend over a grand.
Build quality is what we would have formerly expected from a Leica, and this Fuji again copies that brand in its presentation of rangefinder-like dials on the top plate, governing shutter speed and exposure. The traditional design might not really make it obvious, but it does give the nod to modernity by including wireless image transfer and a video mode capable of capturing full-HD footage at a swift 60 fps frame rate.
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Pleasing the enthusiast, this Fuji incorporates an eye-level viewfinder offering a whopping 2.36 million dot resolution; plus an LCD just beneath for composing shots. There’s also the ability to switch between the two in an instant thanks to an eye sensor adjacent to the viewfinder.
The larger 3-inch, 1.04 million dot resolution LCD here cannot however be tilted or swivelled however; it’s resolutely fixed to the backplate. Further controls here match what we’d expect to see on a digital SLR – such as dedicated buttons for auto exposure lock and auto focus lock, alongside drive modes and a couple of customisable function buttons.
In all, no fewer than four buttons can be tweaked to best suit your needs at a button press. What’s missing, alongside an optical low-pass filter – the jettisoning of which is supposed to help eek out more detail according to Fuji – is a dedicated shooting mode wheel. But we do get the regulars of both a vacant hotshoe for accessory attachment, a pop-up flash, eight digital filter effects and Fuji’s Film Simulation modes.
Unadulterated Raw images can be converted into JPEGs within the camera if desired; no specialist software required.
The Fujifilm X-E2 is worth considering for its knock-out images. This is a large part of what you’re paying for here after all. In terms of sharpness, colour and richness of detail, pictures were almost on a par with the output from a DSLR – particularly when using fixed focal length prime lenses – and more than good enough for almost all but the beadiest of eyes. And that goes for video as well as stills. In fact, like Fuji’s pricier X-T1, you probably could not ask for a lot more of an APS-C sensor compact when it comes to photo quality.
The slightly broader width of the X-E2 and the faux-leather frontage meant that for us the camera sat slightly better in the hand with lens attached than the much cheaper X-A1, but whether that and the bells and whistles as described above make this worth £500 more is open to debate. If you’re not fussed about an eye-level viewfinder there is money to be saved.
Improvements over the earlier X-E1 seem to be largely performance based, and come down to enhanced speed and accuracy – Fuji hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bathwater. That said, if you’re considering spending this amount then we’d also recommend taking a look at Fuji’s equally new X-T1, sitting above it in the range and with the added advantage of a weather sealed, dust proof body.