I have spent one month with my fuji Xe1, so-called sexy one, and before I go deeper in details about my experiences and impressions, I have to describe the kind of photog I am :
- I am a guy photographer. Even if I love nice landscapes, I am better at shooting people. My best pictures of landscapes are pictures with an individual in the fore or middle ground.
- I love motion in pictures. But when I watch my galleries in LR, it looks like I mostly shoot static subjects.
- I love to play with light. Light is for me even more important than the subject in itself.
- I now really agree and practice the following statement of Don McCullin who once said : “I use cameras like I use a teeth brush : It’s just a tool to get the job done”. For those who don’t know Don McCullin, he was a photojournalist who covered many wars during decades. His shots of the Vietnam war strongly influenced the public opinion. Click here and here for more information about his life. He is still alive and mainly shoots dark landscapes in the Somerset, United Kingdom. So to me it doesn’t really matter what camera I have as long as the picture is what I like.
- My favorite lens is a f/2,8 18-70mm because of its versatility.
That being said, let’s go down the topic.
Aspect of the camera
It looks nice. Is it important?
The good thing is the was you set the camera : like in the old times, you have to turn the ring to set the aperture and wheel for the shutter speed. Here, you have the “real” speeds : 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000. If you need a more accurate in 1/3 of a stop, you have to use the correction exposure wheel. The camera is small and light.
Is it convenient?
It’s a camera which is very light and small. So you can take it with you everywhere you go.
I have the 18-50 which is actually a 24-75mm and the combination camera/lens is great. It’s not a continuous f/2,8, but honestly, it hasn’t yet been a problem. The quality is very good. Very sharp. There is a technical reason for that, but the technic does not interest me so much, the picture is what I care about. And the camera is able to deliver very nice pictures, with a lot of nuances, and nice colors. Fuji made/makes films and this know-how is noticeable.
Electronic View Finder
No optical view finder in the camera. Is it good or bad? It’s not so easy to answer that question in a few words. If you are a nostalgic guy who think old things are always best, then stay away from the fuji xe1. But maybe you should reconsider your point of view since EVF will certainly rule in the coming years. They are cheaper to produce. My opinion is that it depends on the situation: it’s nice to see the result in the EVF while you are composing the shot. When you down the shutter-speed, you see the picture becoming darker before you press the button. It’s cool. On the other hand there is a delay between what you see with your eye and what you see thru the EVF, especially when you shoot subjects in motion. Considering the fact you have to focus besides,… So to me, the FUJI is not a camera for sport or speed street photography. But it’s perfect for all subjects which don’t move or very slow.
Even after the new firmware, it’s not a ninja.
That’s a thing Fuji should, and maybe they are, work on. In the owner manual it is said you can shoot 600 times with a full loaded battery. Well, I am far below this. 300 is more realistic. A second battery is a must have.
Not as intuitive as Canon (best in class for me even if I am a Nikon/fuji shooter), much more easy to use than Nikon, they are at a very easy to understand. The “Q” button leads you to the main settings you see on the LCD . You can navigate there and change the values with the wheel. It’s easy, done within seconds, it’s very cool.
Is it OK for Studio work?
I don’t think so. Here the EVF hits its wall : because what you see is what you get thru the EVF, it’s often too dark to focus on the eye and the compose the shot. Maybe there is parameter to change this setting. But after a month, I am still looking for it. If one of you knows how to do it, please click above CONTACT and let me know! :-)
Is it ok for on location shoots with strobes?
Yes, in the limitations of the EVF.
ISO and noise
The X-e1 makes a good job with very few noise. Good point!
Are you happy with your camera?
Yes! A big yes as it is suits my needs. And when I need a cam for sports or studio-works, I grab my dslr-cams.
It’s the camera I take anywhere any time. And the best camera is the one you have with you !
More to come…