Composing Hands Blog Quote "The X-E1 is too good a camera to start finding faults that may stop you buying or using it..."
A Pro's & Con's article but without using the word "Con", that's because I see them more as minor niggles that one can work around or change your own habits to accommodate... The X-E1 is too good a camera to start finding faults that may stop you buying or using it - let me explain.

This seems to be one big debate, lag & high noise in low light, however in reality when you need to use a EVF it's either too bright to view the rear screen, so then in bright conditions the OLED is perfect and wonderfully sharp. The rear screen may only be a 460k res, but it's very clear and live view looks great indoors, take this view (no pun intended) it's a tool to compose & review your shots, it's enough to know if you got the shot right and move on.

Get a Grip of yourself
The On/Off switch was annoying on my first shoot but I'm becoming more used to it now and being careful where I place my hands. I still seem to hit the macro option button but these are just niggles, the extra grip would improve handling with the added bonus of having a centre position screw thread inline with the mounted lens for tripod attaching. Some third party cases seem to offer up nice solutions but I still prefer the solid grip that sticks out a little more and the screw mount centered. 

Q & Fn Button 
I love the Q button, I shoot with a fixed ISO of 200 most of the time but my custom Q1 has the ISO set to Auto ISO800 when needed. It's the best of both worlds, so quick to change when needed. My Fn button is set to AF Mode, however, maybe Fuji could add some more options to the list (make it another AF Select button?). 

D.I.Y. Focus
Manual focus for my type of photography is not a problem, having the 3x & 10x magnification (or checking focus) is extremely useful but if I was using manual focus only lenses then I may wish for a focus peaking option and who knows where Fujifilm may go with this and future firmware updates, seems to be another hot topic. I do like seeing the focus distance and depth of field scale on screen, if you were shooting street photography and allowed a little bit of depth of field then you could quite easily preset focus and shoot  immediately, I think it's very under looked.

Wait, I haven't got the focus point selected yet!
Changing the AF point when needed was a bit slow, not always getting it to the area I wanted and having to re-enable the AF select again and by that time you might miss the opportunity. Being able to use AF in MULTI with an area zone selection would be useful but these still aren't "CON'S", just something you'll need to practice. I do like the focus box area that can be shrunk or enlarged, useful if your not working too fast.

Feeding the X-E1
Battery life is reasonable, I got through about 33% in 30 minutes walking around with camera continuously set to the On position using both the EVF & rear screen for the whole time and it was a cold morning, don't forget it's also powering the OIS on the XF18-55 (not continuous). Easy message, get spare battery's. Downside, It just means if you are using the grip then you'll have to remove it before you can load in a new battery.

Pimp your settings
Set it up the way you work... Custom settings are many, 7 custom Q menus or just hit the Q button and quickly change an option - its genius. EVF & rear screen display options the way you want it, I keep mine uncluttered. It's great to have a custom Fn button but the list of options could be bigger. Even the manual focus ring can be set to rotate either direction for close to far or far to close. All your precious setting are remember after firmware updates. 

I did try processing the RAW's in camera, the JPEG's looked GREAT but it was annoying that you don't get a preview until you've finished, if your not happy with the look and cancel you start back at the beginning. I would like a resume editing option at least. So far I've been processing my RAW's in Lightroom but I still feel I'm missing something without full support for the X-Trans sensor and have become reluctant to process all my images. 

Good News coming... "Capture One" with X-Trans support (still only beta), but this could be really exciting for ever user, start saving. 

Don't say KIT lens, Prime in a Zoom, the XF18-55
The XF18-55mm is superb, build quality is excellent, a good weight and smooth rings. Variable aperture ring... Well yeah you do have to read the screen to set aperture but it works well, let's say you are set to the widest aperture and change focal length from 18mm to 55mm then back to 18mm, it always remembers where aperture was set for these focal lengths, changing from f2.8 to f4 then back to f2.8, my Sigma EX DG lenses with variable aperture don't do that. Image detail is incredible at both ends, wide open it's still excellent and stopped down it's razor sharp, like having prime quality in a zoom. Lens hood is plastic and petal shaped but it adds to the protection and limits glare to the front element. This XF18-55mm makes the perfect travel and walkabout lens capturing beautiful images.

Who needs it?
The X-E1 is a perfect travel camera, it was a big factor for me, not having to compromising on image quality but something I could easily carry, for discreet street photography (if any camera can be discreet once you point it in someone's face), artistic and creative photography, photographers who are more deliberate with their style and don't rely on anything that moves too fast...

Personal endorsement
As I've said previously about this camera, it's a joy to use, even the shutter sounds gorgeous to my ears, respect the camera and adapt when needed but be thankful such a camera exists and enjoy the magic it creates. 

I didn't mention video, honestly I haven't used it yet. I chose the X-E1 for its ability to take amazing stills only, video is just a bonus.



29/12/2012 5:08pm

Just a tip re the macro button: I had the same problem. You can block it by pressing the menu button for a few seconds ...

30/12/2012 5:53pm

I tried this and it works, thanks for the tip.


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