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My take on the Fujifilm X-E1

November 24, 2014

I am curious as to some of my friends' defection to the X-series of Fujifilm from other brands. I commonly hear the "Fuji colors" as the differentiator and I want to experience it first hand. I have tried the X-E1 in store on its initial release and got so disappointed with the slow AF. After a year, I then tried the X-E2 and still got disappointed for the same reason.

A friend of mine who shoots with Nikon and has a nice gallery here, was in town recently and he let me try the X100S, E-X1, and X-T1 that he acquired to replace his Nikon gear. It was then that I decided to "join the fun" and I acquired the X-E1 with 18-55 f/2.8-4 OIS lens.

Why the X-E1? I don't want to spend too much money on another system, that even I considered the X-M1 and even the X-A1 entry-level models. However, an opportunity came for a pre-owned X-E1 with the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4. This is a better buy for me because:

  •  the price is cheaper than a brand new X-M1
  • I get a better lens compared to the XC16-50mm kit lens
  • I still favor having a viewfinder

I know, I rejected this model before due to poor AF performance and I was hoping that the new firmware update would have improved it.

There are many photos of the X-E1 on the internet, and I'd like to add a few of mine.

The XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS lens is well built and is made in Japan.

I am thankful to be invited to the Huawei Mate7 launch the day after the purchase so I was excited to use the X-E1. The event took place at the newly opened Valkyrie Nightclub at Bonifacio Global City.

I had mixed emotions with the results and the overall experience.

I took note of some concerns as I use the camera, that includes:

  • Poor battery life due to the LCD display. I now shoot using the EVF only. You can cycle through the options using the [VIEW MODE] button.
  • When the View Mode is set to Viewfinder only, and the menu if activated via the [MENU] button, the menu is displayed only on the Viewfinder. I have to cycle the VIEW MODE again for the menu to appear on the LCD.
  • The electronic viewfinder is too slow.
  • It is super inconvenient to change the focus point in viewfinder only mode, as I have to press the [AF] button to trigger selection of the focus point. I can assign the [AF] to the [Fn] button, but I prefer that button to switch AF Mode instead.
  • The Macro mode is a joke.
  • Another inconvenience is when viewing photos and deleting them. Say I'm viewing a photo, I zoomed in on the photo [DRIVE] (+) and decide to delete it [AF] (delete), it won't let me delete until I zoom out fully [AE] (-) or press [BACK] to completely un-zoom.
  • The AF is still slow. The camera is running on version 2.3 of the firmware.
  • The continous AF is too slow. This is unusable for anything that moves.
  • There is more lag that I discovered, which is not related to AF.
  • The distance indicator still shows up when using a dumb adaptor.
  • The "Shoot without lens mounted" should be intelligent.

After the field test on the Huawei event, I went out to purchase a Nikkor AI to X-mount adapter so I can use my F-mount lenses. Lo and behold, both Henry's and Camerahaus at Glorietta don't have any. In the end, I picked up this XF60mm f/2.4 as it is on sale at Henry's. I thought at the price I paid for, it offers good value for money. The lens is similarly well built, and is also made in Japan.

I have more information and gallery from this lens here.

Lag, and more lag...

When I decided to acquire the X-E1, I already accepted its slow AF, so that is out of the way. However, I was experiencing something else- lag. This is when engaging the shutter button, from half press to full press. What's more frustrating is that it is influenced by other settings. I don't know how to explain this experience and what's causing it. Thankfully, I found this thread at the Fuji X-series forum at DPReview.

Close Examination of Fuji X-Series Lag Time

Another discussion of the matter at the FujiX-Forum.

Compatibility with Eye-Fi

I am pleased to find out that the X-E1 is compatible with my Eye-Fi Pro|X2. While there is no additional option in the camera menu for the card unlike my J1, it only takes protecting the image aka frame for easy upload to my mobile device running the Eye-Fi app.

More to come...

I hope to be able to share more experiences and photos as I get to further use this new system.