All I want for Christmas….review of the Fujifilm X-E1
After a passionate yet somewhat impetuous relationship with the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 I couldn’t resist a little fling with his younger brother the Fujifilm X-E1 I’d spend sleepless nights wondering if he could deliver the same image quality as the X pro 1 but at almost half the cost of the Fuji X Pro 1 I was in serious doubt…
Appearance wise, albeit the slimed down body, slightly smaller LCD, additional pop-up flash, but lack of the much talk about hybrid view finder, the look and function of these camera are almost identical, to the point that they could be twin – they both posses the X-Trans CMOS sensor, 16 million pixels resolution and a high ISO sensitivity which all attribute to the X pro 1’s outstanding image quality. Though, the thing that really enticed me into this adulterous fling was the new.Fujinon XF Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS kit zoom lens.
Admittedly I could have purchased this separately to use solely with the X pro 1 but the kit price and buzz surrounding the X-E1 was just too tempting…and as Oscar Wild states ‘I can resist everything but temptation’ :))
My first though was to take this seedy affair around the back streets of soho, mainly to test out the infamous noise free high IOS settings and also the new built in pop-up flash; However as me and the lovely model Allana from Milk management set out on our quest, it was clear life had other plans for us:) As the temperature that night slowly decreased to sub zero temperatures and drunken tourist tried to muscle in on our shoot. We only managed to get a handful of shots around Soho: See below for the test shoots using the flash:
ISO 5000 18mm f/4.0 1/13 sec (direct flash at slow syncho)
ISO 5000 18mm f/4.0 1/13 sec (bounce flash)
I must admit I’m not a lover of pop up flashes, especially if they offer no bounce, but here is the effect it created when set to slow syncho, the second image was taken when I attempted to bounce the flash holding it at a 90-degree angle with my finger. This is somewhat of a futile attempt, but hey the person who never made a mistake, never made a discovery. and I’m pretty sure this method would work had I a ceiling to bounce it off:)
Despite our spot of bad luck we did manage to get one shot from the streets of Soho published on the Vogue.it website
ISO 5000 50mm f/4.0 1/25 sec
And here is an example of the beautiful bokeh the lens gives at f/4
ISO 5000 35mm f/4.0 1/120 sec
Not being one to give up, we decided to make the best of a bad situation and took some shots on our bus journey home:
This was somewhat of a challenge… shooting in relatively low light whilst on a moving bus, really put the zoom lens image stabilization to the test and in this respect I do believe it can up trumps:) The issue I still have, as with the Fuji X pro 1 is the auto focus. I found this even more difficult with this camera due to me solely having to reply on it’s electric viewfinder. There is however (which I discovered afterwards) a small diopter adjustment control to the left of the viewfinder which you can rotate to sharpen the display:
Over all this lens surpasses any other kit lens I have come across and in fact gives my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.4l USM a run for it’s money.
See below for an example of how sharp the lens can get. I love the way it has rendered the water on the glass and ever somehow reflected this in here face, making it look like tears:
ISO 5000 35mm f/3.6 1/40 sec
Overall I love the Fuji X-E1 but my heart will always remain with the Fuji X pro 1 mainly due to it’s hybrid viewfinder. Nevertheless the X-E1‘s image quality is definitely on par with the X pro 1 and I am very happy to now have this as my back up camera! So if any of you pro or enthusiast out there are looking for anything to add to santa’s wish list the Fuji X-E1 is your man.
Merry Christmas to one and all!
Photography, Hair, make up and Styling by Michelle George
Model: Allana at Milk Managment
(Since this photoshoot Fuji have just updated the firmware for the The Fujinon XF Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, you can download it here )