Sunday, August 4, 2013

#MyHandsOn the Fujifilm X-E1

After 8 months of use, I will declare the Fuji X-E1 as the best ever camera I've ever owned!

It's not like I've owned tons of cameras already,  but I've been through the same journey as a lot of you did. I started with a big badass DSLR, a Canon 500D (which is small by the way as its an entry level DSLR). It was the camera that brought me to the world of photography and expenses.

A few years with it, and I got settled with a 35/1.4 and 85/1.8 setup which was the best combo for my style of photography, but mostly it was the 35L that I got to use 90% of the time. After a while, I found it too cumbersome and heavy to be packing all the gear, when we went into trips or just went out with family or friends. I didn't enjoy having to bring a big and heavy camera just to capture precious moments.

And this is how I moved to Micro Four-Thirds (I bought an Olympus OM-D E-M5). It was the next big thing, mirrorless cameras which were smaller, a lot more compact, had interchangeable lenses, and functioned much like a DSLR minus the weight. I won't get into the details of image quality, and say one is better than the other, but IQ of the m43 was very very good such that I didn't really miss going back to using a DSLR (save for the 35L which I dearly loved).

At that time, the only Fuji X camera was the X-PRO1, but the price was out of range for my budget, so I didn't really consider getting it. And that was when, the stars aligned.

Fuji announced the new X-E1, a younger brother of the X-PRO1 which had the same X-trans sensor with a more compact body (as it removed the OVF, but with it the price brought reasonably down). The price was reasonable enough that compelled me to switch completely from m43 to Fuji X.

I've had high regard for Fuji and the way it renders colors for a while. I've had the chance to shoot with the smaller Fuji X10 and loved using it. You can read about it here. I've also been continuously reading user reviews of both X100 and X-PRO1 and equally enthused by how people felt about it. So it's no surprise, deep down, I've lusted for the Fuji X system, and with the X-E1 out, I had the opportunity to switch (for good?).

It has been 8 months - and counting - and I'm still in love with it. I still keep saying its the best camera I've owned. There a lot of things I like about the camera and here's a few to note:
  1. Fuji colors is <3.
  2. 35/1.4 ('nuff said - bokeh lover here)
  3. Really cool retro camera design.
  4. Simple camera controls, I personally didn't have much of a hard time on first use.
  5. Aperture ring control on the lens.
  6. Compact size.
  7. The "Magic" - there's a so called connection ;)
I could list a lot more, but what makes more sense to me is how it has emotionally brought back the love for photography in me. There's this "connection" and "magic" that gets to me when using it and at this point I could not ask for a better camera for me :)

Here's some more photos I'd like to share, all with the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 lens.


  1. Good to read this. Thank you, Michael.
    I'm an X100 user and have loved it right from the start and still do. I am now wanting the X-E1 as I would like the extra focal length interchangeable lenses will give me – especially as I love taking head shots, so something a little longer than the 23mm (35mm equiv) X100 lens gives me.

    I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on the recent firmware upgrade for the X-E1. I've read it brings some of the new X100s goodies like focus peaking and substantial AF improvements to the camera. Is that the case?


  2. Hi Mark,

    I'm sure you would enjoy the move to X-E1. Only thing you might miss is the OVF specially if you use it a lot on your X100.

    With regards to the recent firmware upgrade, I would say the AF speed upgrade is noticeable, but I couldn't say substantial. I say this because even prior to the firmware update, the AF speed issues has not been bothered me much based on my style of photography and taking photos. However, I did do some quick tests over on low light, and there is really an improvement (it will still hunt focus at times).

    Focus peaking is a big plus, and has made me hunt for a film lens again (like what I did with the OMD). I tested it out with the Fujinon 35/1.4 and it works well (though the lens is not really suited for manual focusing - the electronic focusing doesn't feel right).

    Hope this helps. :)


  3. Thanks Mike!

    Hmm…it's a good point about the OVF. I have been using the EVF mostly of late… but having the OVF there is definitely nice. I just can't afford to start looking at the X-Pro 1 instead! :(

    Thanks for the info, much appreciated.