Fuji XE-1

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Fuji XE-1

Postby chrisk on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:59 pm

Sooo...my little sweetheart arrived this week and i have to say i'm more than smitten with this gorgeous little thing. I know lots of people are interested in the fuji gear so i thought i may give a lamen's impression of it warts and all. I got the silver version with an 18/2 and 35/1.4. i bought them from t-dimension who were running a special last weekend, xe-1+35/1.4 for $1184 delivered. and then a couploe of days later i ordered the 18/2 for $525 delivered. try and beat that price ! i had the whole lot here within 3 days. thats right THREE days. i cannot recommend this retailer enough.

first up. packaging...
yeah i know its just the box it comes in but hey...its your first impression right ?
well, if fuji's marketing dept arent x-apple then im a monkeys uncle. the packaging quality, from materials used to the immaculate presentation to the tactile feel of all the materials is nothing short of exceptional. it makes nikons offering seem like its been packaged by bigw.

so how does it look chris ?
well come on, i gave it away didnt i ? it looks stunning. i love it almost as much as the x100 for looks. not having a VF front makes it look a bit odd in some ways but all in all...brilliant. the only gripe i have is that the shutter release is chrome rather than brushed aluminium like the rest of the top plate. imo, that cheapens the look of it and it feels crap. but...small things here. i cant stop looking at it. and i love the feel of that metal in my hand.

good segway...how does she feel ???
ok...so here's the rub...alot of talk about how the fuji's are uber well built. there wa a big deal made of it. is it well built ? yes. is it exceptional ? no. its deceptively light in the hand without a lens but the plasticky body underneath that silvery top feels cheap to me. i would say that only the top plate met my expectations of build quality. everything else is very good but there is no stand out here. the battery compartment door feels tacky and the place you insert the SD card is so close to the battery door you get a bit fumbley with the door putting it in and pulling it out. the door feels so flimsy that im afraid that i may break the door if im not careful.

the grip on the front is rubbery goodness. feels fabulous. much better than the body. the rear thimb grip is pretty good. great size but i have big hands so its not in the right place for me personally but its a grip nonetheless and lets you comfortabley hold the camera without worrying about it slipping out of your hands.

holding it up to the eye is great. it feels ike your shooting a camera, not a P&S. i love it. i also like that the VF is on the far left side cos i can shoot with both eyes open to see whats coming into out of the frame. much better than in the middle like a dslr. very enjoyable to hold and shoot. the hype about you really enjoying the experience is dead on, it just feels fun, it feels right. you get off on it.

ive handled and shot with a V1 a few times and the V1 feels better built to me personally. and certianly it aint in OM-D territory. that oly feels like its been carved out of one hunk of metal. this doesnt meet those standards at all.

how does it handle ?
ok...controls and such...ahhh....lets just say...quirky. its mostly pretty easy and the Q menu great good but they havent nailed it liek nikon have with the i menu system. too many things require too many button presses that dont feel intuative. for example, for the Q menu, you scroll thu the menu settings with the arrow keys and then have to move your finger off hem to change that setting with the thumbwheel. this is slow and stupid. the thumbwheel feels a bit cheap and aswell. another example is changing the AF point...bizarre setup here where you need to press the AF button on the left hand side of the camera with your left hand by making a "im picking my nose behind this camera" motion then use your right hand to move the AF point using the arrow keys. lol its so bloody stupid you have to laugh. exp comp dial is fantastic, easy to use quickly and easily. because of the size of my hands and thumb, i also find i regualry inadvertantly hit the up arrow key which activates macro mode which can get very frustrating. its these sorts of little things which sometimes go from quirky to annoying.

what about the VF ?
jittery, grainy and ordinary i have read. well yes, its a bit grainy and jittery every now and then but its a non-issue for me personally. i find it clear and very easy to use. no issue to speak of. very happy its there. i personally would prefer an EVF thats pretty good over an OVF which is just a framing window. so for me its a big win.

and the AF problems ?
ahhhh...what problems ? please. this has been done to death. theres nothign wrong with the AF. sure it aint no dslr and its not something id be usign at the dogs to track objects or nail focus on lunatic twin boys. but is it really meant for that ? id say not. im perfectly happy with it. feels snappy and responsive and perfectly adequate. now in low light and macro mode it pretty much sucks but again, you need to know what the camera is made to handle imo.

the glass ?
a joy to use. small, light and sharp as hell. they feel beautiful and metally. the hoods i dont quite undesrtand. but anyway...who cares ? another fuji quirk here. wtf with the lens caps ? they are crap of the highest magnitude. you also need to take the hood off to put the lens cap on. thats bloody stupid. anyway...like i said...QUIRKS ! lol

what about the IQ roozy boy ?
the IQ discussion is fantastic. this i think has been well covered by all and sundry and i cant fault it. what i can fault is the hype though. dont go expecting it to be an eye-popping revelation. its not. it didnt have the eyes popping out of my head like the d800e did when i pulled the first file out. now i know im comparing it to a camera 3 times the price, and normally i wouldnt but so much has been said about it that i bought into the hype. when i opened the box, i bought into it even more. but the reality is that its a brilliant aps-c sensor, but is not going to blow you away if you have shot a d800 or d700 even. what is immediately apparent from it is the sharpness and crispness of the files just like the d800e has. that AA filter really is a mush-producer in comparison. if i compare it to my old d300 it just blows it out of the water, but its no match for the latest nikon FX sensors.

so whats the verdict ?
funny. i was talking to a mate of mine about it and he summed it up perfectly. its like an alfa romeo. you fall in love with it despite the quirks...perhaps BECAUSE of the quirks ??! lol
having been the proud owner of the alfa 147 GTA a few years ao, i can attest to that. lara cried when we sold it. its the only car she ever actually loved. i kinda get the impression the fuji's are the same. they draw you into them with their feel and freedom like a dslr doesnt...so it makes it seem better than it truly is cos it feels better. and who can argue with that ? certianly not me. its a keeper.

matt and wayne have been inspiring me for so long with their street stuff that im gonna give it a crack. cant get a higher form of flattery than that, you guys make me want to be better. forget RAW, silkypix makes me want to take a chainsaw to the PC. these are SOOC, resized and uploaded, i believe i shot using B+W with R filter. the mistakes are apparent and i want them to be. i will fix nothing in post cos i want to see how far i grow in the next 12 months. no straightening, no sharpness, niente. despite being a bit embarrassed at my amatuerish offerings, heres the first few withe the xe-1...

thanks for reading and looking. :cheers:

Image
Untitled by .Chris.K, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by .Chris.K, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by .Chris.K, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by .Chris.K, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by .Chris.K, on Flickr
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby biggerry on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:05 pm

first image. potw stuff. nuff said.

oh, i did read that write up but fell asleep until i saw the images - nice one roozy boy. :roll:
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby chrisk on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:16 pm

fell asleep ? how DARE you !! lol

i took a couple more of that dude. i kinda like this one aswell.

Image
Untitled by .Chris.K, on Flickr

and here is a pic of an old fella having a dance to the music. i should have done so much better with this but i couldnt capture the moment.

Image
Untitled by .Chris.K, on Flickr
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Remorhaz on Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:26 am

Thanks for the writeup Chris - I don't think I'd go down this path myself but it was still an interesting read and the images are great. I too like the first best - I think I would have liked a bit more movement of more of the people in the background with the guitar player sharp as he is but thats quibling
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby biggerry on Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:12 pm

Rooz wrote:fell asleep ? how DARE you !! lol


well, i got further thru yours than this one one, 4 words into it and my head was on the desk :roll:

they are nice images SOOC. was the guy with the strings any good?
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Reschsmooth on Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:15 pm

Chris, I love the first - as an image, it tells a story. As a demonstation of a tool, fantastic. The tones that are coming from it are great. Are these converted to mono in camera?

"Nice photos, you must have a good camera" :biglaugh:
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Fuji XE-1

Postby chrisk on Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:27 pm

Pat, shot in mono jpeg so they are literally only resized. Gerry the guitar player was excellent and making a killing !
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Reschsmooth on Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:29 pm

Rooz wrote:Pat, shot in mono jpeg so they are literally only resized. Gerry the guitar player was excellent and making a killing !


I can see why you are smitten. Does this make you an X-fanboi? :D
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby gstark on Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:29 pm

Chris,

Great write-up, and I too love that first image. You've simply nailed everything that needs to be nailed in that image: exposure, composition, subject ... there's wonderful tonality there that, as Patrick suggests, means that you must have a good camera. :)

Glad you're enjoying it.

As to the Alfas, the 147 is not really an Alfa. :)

Not a bad car mind you, but Alfas were much better when they were real Alfas, like maybe the 105 series from the mid-60s through to the mid-70s. Yes, I've had more than my fair share of Alfas, both here and in the US. The trick with them is to have a good mechanic on your payroll, and then you just keep on contributing to his super fund. :)

These days my Alfa mechanic - whose been a family friend for around 30 years, such have been my contributions to his super fund - looks after the SLK and the truck. He's been hinting at wanting me to get another Alfa though ...
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby aim54x on Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:44 pm

The pictured musician is Tom Ward, a classical guitarist that often tours Europe and the US. Myself and Marcus have had a few chats with him and we really a blessed that he busks down at Pitt St on the side as many of us would not hear his music otherwise
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Matt. K on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:11 pm

I particularly like the last image...but would have preferred to have seen the background dropped out of focus a little. The images do have a Leica 'look' about them. The camera is capable, the photographer is skilled...get out there! :D :D
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Mj on Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:44 pm

Matt. K wrote:I particularly like the last image...but would have preferred to have seen the background dropped out of focus a little....


These images are particularly of interest to me as I'm heading toward grabbing an x-e1 myself.
As my primary use, at least initially, will be as a travel kit, I think I'm opting for the 18-55 (and perhaps the 14?) rather than collecting yet another complete system of lens.

As per Matt's note above I agree, however I note that in fact this images was taken wide open already at 1.4...
I'd be interested in just what distance from the subject the camera was as it seems to have quite significant dof for f/1.4 !!!
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Fuji XE-1

Postby Geoff M on Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:53 pm

Great set of images. The last is my favourite and reminds me of the saying 'dance like nobody is watching' the smiles and expressions on the people in the background watching the gent having a good time add an additional element. I bet he was a talking point for many a family that day - here I am 'talking' about him and I was not there!
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Mj on Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:35 pm

Ok... rather than start a whole new thread I'll piggy off this one.

Feels like I'm heading down the x-e1 way for a street/travel kit.
So my thoughts turn to lens options...

Seems I can grab the body with the 35/1.4 at a reasonable price now or wait till the 18-55 is available and maybe the 14/2.8 remembering this is all APS-C (1.5) so the wide end becomes an issue.
Alternatively grab the 35/1.4 and the 18/2 and wait for the 14/2.8 but that starts to feel like I'm building a whole new system.

So... how are people finding the 18/2 (good, bad, indifferent)... and is lack of width proving an issue? Although I read Fuji have some form of pano option which might help in some circumstances ?
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby chrisk on Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:50 pm

i have the 18mm and i find it excellent. if you're a landscape kinda guy i suspect you will want the 14mm though so id just pick up the 35 and wait for the 14.
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Matt. K on Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:04 pm

The Fuji 18-55mm zoom is scheduled to be available in the next week or 2. Early indications are that it is an outstanding lens and if further reviews are favourable then I will most likely add it to my arsenal. It is anticipated that it will sell for around the $800 mark, but will be available as a kit lens with the Fuji XE-1 for around $1400.
Here is my dilemma...do I buy the lens and pay full price or go for the complete kit and , in essence, pick up the XE-1 body for $600?
These are the sorts of difficult decisions that make life so enjoyable.
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Mj on Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:36 am

I feel for your dilemma :violin:
As I've just hit the trigger on an x-e1 with 35 i'll soon be in a similar position.
Whilst i was going to wait for the zoom my experience tells me that a product released in dec might not be in hand before jan or even feb.
Also i'm guessing that the 35 would still get some good use. The next question becomes the 14/2.8 or the 10-24/4 when either make an appearance.
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby aim54x on Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:43 am

Truth said I am not so interested in the 18-55 (even if I was in the market for a XPro1/XE1) something about the thought of a zoom on that camera seems so sacrilegious....
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Mj on Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:51 am

aim54x wrote:the thought of a zoom on that camera seems so sacrilegious

and is also almost 3 times the weight of the others... but then again has VR and a handy range, both attractive for travel me thinks.
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Matt. K on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:47 am

I'm thinking 2 Fuji bodies slung around my neck, one with the 18-55 zoom and the other with a prime, would still be lighter than my DSLR with a heavy zoom. It would also make for a good street photography outfit.
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby photohiker on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:49 am

aim54x wrote:Truth said I am not so interested in the 18-55 (even if I was in the market for a XPro1/XE1) something about the thought of a zoom on that camera seems so sacrilegious....


I agree, the 18-55 hasn't grabbed me yet. Maybe when some shots appear from Matt it will become more interesting, but the bulk is a bit off-putting. The 10-24 might be of more interest.

Still waiting for the 14/2.8 None of which seem to have escaped to early reviewers yet so it would appear there is a hold up. I'm guessing we might not see it till 2013 now.
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby aim54x on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:56 am

I think I will forever associate the 18-55 range with cheap (usually nasty) give away zooms, even though this looks to be very different from the usual 18-55 offering It also moves away from the image of the Fuji X-system that I have in my mind (the one that makes me want an X Pro 1 despite all my misgivings with the camera - a camera really has to do a great job of convincing me to part with my money).

Matt. K wrote:I'm thinking 2 Fuji bodies slung around my neck, one with the 18-55 zoom and the other with a prime, would still be lighter than my DSLR with a heavy zoom. It would also make for a good street photography outfit.


I would be more inclined to have the 18 and the 35 (or 60) in combination.
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby chrisk on Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:02 pm

UPDATE:
so...6 months have gone by and I thought id give an update. as lucas increases his enjoyment of photography he has been using he xe1 more and more and that has led to more and more frustration because the Fuji's AF simply cant cope with what lucas wants to put it through. the alternative has been lucas using a d800 with the 24G on it and as much as I love seeing him use a proper camera, having a 6yo running around with $5k of gear is giving me an ulcer. so, that said, the 35R was sold for $485 yesterday and the xe-1 and 18R will follow suit in the next few weeks while the resale is pretty good.

I have considered a small dslr for him but that doesn't suit me for what I want it for during the week. have also considered the nex but its fugly so doesn't suit me, (fickle I know !!). so I will be jumping into the Olympus camp with the pretty looking ep5 which will be available in july this year. I am compromising a bit on IQ and hi iso but that will be more than made up for with a massive improvement in AF and the legendary 5axis IS.

it will be tough letting the Fuji go, the IQ really has been a revelation for a small camera and although ive been impressed by the omd images, they dont quite have the Fuji magic dust sprinkled all over them. oh well...such is life...you cant have everything !!
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby zafra52 on Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:44 pm

Lovely and sharp images.
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Re: Fuji XE-1

Postby Matt. K on Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:44 am

Regarding the Fuji 18-55mm zoom lens. It is a Zeiss killer. No zoom has the right to be this good. Check the below image...shot against a bright sky. It should have loads of CA, be blocked up in the shadows and have burnt out highlights. Best zoom I have ever used.

Image

And at 100%
Image
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