Fuji X-E2 Review
The Fuji X-E2 is the first Fuji mirrorless to feature the unique 16 MP X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in Phase-Detect autofocus. Like the one on the X100S
Fuji X100S, this APS-C sensor has a 1.5X crop-factor and 3:2 aspect-ratio except that it forgoes an anti-alias filter thanks to its unique color-filter which is not prone to Moire.
The X-E2 uses Fuji's own XF lens mount which has a very short flange distance. This makes it easier to design high-quality lenses and lens-mount adaptors, including one made by Fuji for the Leica M-mount. Fuji launched a total of ten lenses so far, mostly bright prime lenses, rather than the usual zooms, reinforcing the X-E2 as a high-end offering with a small footprint. This is crucial for SLDs since they must provide a clear advantage over DSLRs which have an iron-grip on the high-end digital camera market.
This digital camera follows the X-E1 with the same design, including a class-leading 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start sensor in a retro-styled body. Its highly mechanical interface offers a classic shutter-speed dial, plus an EC dial and a control-dial to use instead of the aperture-ring on entry-level lenses which do not have one.
Since the Fuji X-E2 is quite similar to its predecessor, large parts of this review are taken from the X-E1 Review. Differences are highlighted below in green, just like this text.
This digital camera review analyses the usability, performance and image quality of the Fuji X-E2.
Fuji X-E2 Features
- 16 Megapixels CMOS sensor
- X-Trans 6x6 Color-Filter Array
- No Anti-Alias filter
- 1.5X Crop factor (APS-C)
- 3:2 Aspect ratio
- Phase-Detect AF
- Fuji XF lens mount
- ISO 200 to 6400 sensitivity range, 1/3 EV steps
- ISO 100, 12800 and 25600 expansion, JPEG only
- Auto ISO, Selectable maximum from 400 to 6400
- ISO Bracketing, 3 frames, 1/3-1 EV steps
- 1/4000-30s Shutter-speeds, 1/3 EV steps
- Bulb exposure, maximum 1 hour
- PASM Exposure modes
- Multi-Segment, Spot and Average metering
- Exposure-Compensation, ±3, 1/3 EV increments
- AEB, 3 frames, 1/3-1 EV increments
- 100%, 200% or 400% Dynamic-Range
- Dynamic-Range Bracketing, 3 frames
- Flash-Compensation, ±2, 1.3 EV steps
- Auto, Forced, Slow-Sync, Rear-Sync, Wireless and Off Flash modes
- Automatic, 7 presetsSunny, Shade, 3 Fluorescents, Incandescent, Underwater, Kelvin and Custom WB
- WB fine-tuning along 2 axis in 19 steps
- Film Simulation: Provia, Velvia, Astia, Pro Negative Hi, Pro Negative Standard, B&W plus 3 optional filters, Sepia
- Film Simulation Bracketing, 3 frames
- Noise reduction, 5 levels
- Optional Long-Shutter noise reduction
- Adjustable Color, Sharpness, Highlight Tone, Shadow Tone, 5 steps each
- Single-shot or Continuous autofocus
- Manual-focus (MF), Electronic Magnification
- Automatic or Manual focus-point selection
- Hybrid 49-point AF system
- Optional Digital Split Image
- Optional Focus Peaking
- Optional MF-Assist view
- Optional AF-Assist lamp
- Fly-By-Wire focus-ring on lenses
- 7 FPS Continuous Drive
- 20 JPEG or 12 RAW Buffer
- Multiple-Exposure, 2 frames
- Self-timer, 2s or 10s
- 1920x1080 @ 60 FPS Video
- 1280x720 @ 60 FPS Video
- MPEG-4 codec
- Stereo sound
- Mini-Jack audio input
Display & Viewfinder
- 0.5" EVF, 2.4 Megapixels, 100% Coverage
- 3" LCD, 1 Megapixel
- Eye-Start sensor
- Digital Level, 1-axis
- Depth-Of-Field Preview
- Optional Live-Histogram
- Optional Framing-Guides, 3 types
- 3:2 Native aspect ratio
- 16:9 and 1:1 cropped aspect ratios
- 16, 8 and 4 megapixels modes
- JPEG, RAW, RAW+JPEG capture
- 2 JPEG Compression levels
- Customizable AE-L button
- Customizable AF-L button
- 4 Customizable Buttons
- Full-stop shutter-speed dial
- Aperture ring on lenses
- Third-Stop EC dial
- One adjustment-dial
- Standard Hot-Shoe
- Built-in WiFi
- HDMI (1080i) output
- USB 2.0 connectivity
- SDXC memory
- Lithium-Ion battery
- Built-In popup flash
Suitability - What is it good for?
The Fuji X-E2 features a 16 megapixels sensor with a unique color-filter array which does not require an anti-alias filter. Normally, an anti-alias filter is placed right in front of the sensor to very slightly blur light reaching the sensor. This avoids the sensor trying to resolve details which are too fine and could result in Moire artifacts. The side-effect of this is that most camera sensors never get as much details as they can capture, assuming a high quality lens, of course.
Having such a high-resolution sensor without an anti-alias filter makes the X-E2 suitable for large prints with extremely sharp details, as long as the lens in use is sufficiently sharp. This is probably why Fuji started the XF-mount with high-quality prime lenses. Otherwise, they might have wiped out the resolution advantage of the new X-Trans technology.
The APS-C sensor of the Fuji X-E2 is the same size as sensors found in most digital SLRs. Only a handful of mirrorless cameras have larger sensors. This gives the X-E2 good resistance to image-noise. With a standard ISO range reaching 6400, the Fuji X-E2 can work in rather low-light. Those shooting JPEG also have access to expanded sensitivities up to 25600 and ISO 100.
Shutter-speeds from 1/4000 to 30s are available at any ISO. It is also possible to perform bulb exposures for up to one hour. For this, it is highly recommended to use a remote-release and the X-E2 supports both a traditional mechanical and an electronic cable.
This digital camera is built in a tough metal body with plenty of external controls including direct dials for shutter-speed, exposure-compensation and aperture (on the lens) for efficient access. Despite the high-end build, the X-E2 is not weather-sealed and neither are any current XF-mount lens. This makes it suitable for professional use but not in adverse weather conditions.
The Fuji X-E2 features a class-leading EVF with Eye-Start sensor. The EVF measures 0.5" and is made of an OLED panel with 2.4 megapixels of resolution, the second highest resolution available today. The image is extremely detailed, bright and shows good contrast. Motion is quite fluid too but slows down a little in low-light.
The EVF, just like the rear LCD, shows 100% coverage. Sadly, this view is not Exposure-Priority, negating the most fundamental advantage of EVFs over OVFs. The optional Live-Histogram is of no help either since it is based on the display brightness.
A full complement of manual controls, including manual focus, choice of metering modes and custom white-balance gives photographers complete control over the creative process with the X-E2. There is also a RAW mode for those who with to process their images differently than the camera. The buffer-depth for the 7 FPS continuous drive is 20 JPEG or 12 RAW.
The Fuji X-E2 is suitable with most types of photography within the limitations of available lenses which span from ultra-wide to medium telephoto. The lack of weather-sealing seems a curious choice by Fuji and should also be considered when deciding if the X-E2 fits your needs.
Fuji X-E2 Facts
Mirrorless digital camera
|16 Megapixels Mirrorless (SLD)||ISO 100-25600|
|Fuji X Mount|
Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|0.50" Built-in EVF 2.4 Megapixels (0.64X)||Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|Automatic Eye-Start sensor||Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|1 Axis Digital Level||Spot-Metering|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Hot-Shoe|
|7 FPS Drive, 20 Images||Stereo audio input|
|1920x1080 @ 60 FPS Video Recording||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|3" LCD 1 Megapixels||Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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