Friday, November 30, 2012

A Mirrorless camera - Fuji XE1

Ever since i sold away my Panasonic GF1, i have never considered getting a mirrorless camera for my M mount lenses. My experience on GF1, a micro 4/3, was quite a disappointment. One of the major reason was the 2x crop factor that translate my 50mm lenses to 100mm.
It was pretty difficult to use it for these lenses and not to mention the manual focusing was a chore. Every 10 pictures, only 2 came out sharp. This was harder than shooting film.
So i dedicated these lenses to film camera only.

Well, while im indulging in the analog processes, the technology evolves once again. Within a few years, Sony Nex came out strong with an apsc sensor mirrorless camera...with a crop factor of 1.5x. As it launches more series and competitors started entering the apsc sensor mirrorless market, the price was alot more affordable.

With the recent launch of Sony Nex 6, i was really excited and determined to get one and while trying to justify which model to get, the 5N, 5R or 6...i went into a dilemma and a series of testing, trying and self convincing.

Do i need a viewfinder, do i need wifi, touch screen, do i need the articulating screen that allows me to take self portrait? Trying my best to distinguish the needs and wants among the many features that sony releases to enchant its customers.

I tried the Nex 6 on its first day of launch. I love it..i love the grip, i love how fast it goes, everything...but somehow im quite indecisive on which model to choose. The whole process keep repeating...over and over...looking at the images posted online etc, i am not very convinced that this is what i wanted.

A casual conversation with Fei one day, brought me back to the world of Fuji.
I have tried David's Xpro 1 before and i didnt quite like it. The images from the LCD is not convincing. The slow focusing and the limited functions did put me off and dropped the idea of owning it...least the camera is so expensive.

But i got a little curious on the improvement on the XE1 compared to the XPRO as well as Nex 6..and i quietly googled for some comparison..

My interest grew after looking at this comparison and like David said, i should give it a chance and test i went to a nearby camera store and tried it...The uncle was friendly when he opened a brand new set to let me hands on...
That short period of testing....make me released how slow the camera is compared to the Nex...i had so much complain about it...but yet when i went home, i just kept thinking about it...

In fact, i did not really try it thoroughly before i was convinced with the various pictures i saw online..and this particular blog helps in my decision...

Medina - 1 week with the XE1

And she shot a series on the recent Sandy hurricane

Medina did a good write up on it...and the next day, i was all prepared to buy it...and coincidentally, with the new kit lens set released, i managed to get a brand new kit set. I sold the kit lenses away immediately and uses the camera with a borrowed lens from David.

The camera looks really nice





And like most of my camera, i did the ceremony of concealing the excessives design..
IMG_5923's some test that i have gotten. The colors was from the camera without processing. I did slight editing such as cropping, vignette...

This camera handles high ISO well...and this image is from its Fujinon 18mm f2 lens @ iso 3200. I couldnt see the noise at all..

The following shots are not really test shots but most of them are from iso 2500 to 3200...

Using the Fujinon 35mm lens...this lens is really sharp and good...

The inbuilt B&W with yellow filter




I shot these with the Fuji m mount adapter and the canon 35mm f2
Night scenes are done easily at iso 3200




I did not have enough time to really shoot it much but definitely with these pictures, its enough to convince me that i had bought a great camera. We all know that Fuji has one of the best image quality and colors among other brands...but the ability to handle high iso and still make the picture usable is very impressive. Not even my Canon 60D can do so well compared to it.

But i must be frank here that, there are just too many technical handling of this camera that falls below expectations.

1) The Camera has very slow AF...i bet the ixus compact camera would have done a better focusing than the XE1 did.
2) There is no face detection mode and the auto AF spotting for subject is always inaccurate...well at least here we are not talking about function gimmick cameras..
3) The camera has a very weird sound when you half press the shutter button
4) The camera evf and LCD screen lags when you perform half press...even if you follow thru the action, its still secs slower....the good thing is even if it lags, the moment you click your shutter, you can still get the image
5) The camera body needs a proper just feels too insecure holding it without a strap.
6) The camera LCD screen feels cheap...i cannot understand why the LCD screen display looks worse than my compact camera....but thankfully, its not the true representation of what you get as the images looks 5x better on the monitor screen.
7) If you are looking at articulating screen, wifi, touch screen, hd video capability..then this camera might not be the one you are looking for....Sony Nex can do better here
8) It hunts....and even in good lighting, you can get the red box appearing when you do an AF focus.
9) I hate how the images are deleted from the lcd shows a "dissolve in" animation from powerpoint setting...
10) Finally i hate how this camera reacts..its always half a beat slower...


This camera has really nice output. The image colors are really nice. Many would say that colors should not be a major consideration as editing is possible...but what we all know and while some refuse to admit that although colors can be edited, you can never achieve a similar color, tone that is naturally out from an image.
Fuji called it Fineness...and i think its true!
This is also why companies are putting in a lot of efforts in their colorations..

The high ISO is remarkable and can compete with any of the top range DSLR with high ISO performanace..

As i shoot alot on films, im a little particular about details...this camera has alot more better details compared to the Nex series. Sad to say this, but the Nex image quality feels very m4/3 from what i see and tried (well nex was in my consideration for the longest and i studied them for very long)...well this is my personal opinion thou...

And its funny why with 10 Flaws and only 3 positive views, i would choose the XE1...
Its hard to explain here...but i know i did the right choice...after all, im an enthusiast and not a professional!

There is no perfect camera!


  1. Fuji Singapore shld pay u for this little advert! :)

  2. I write until so bad lo....10 cons and just a few pros...i bet they will request me to take it down..haha