In addition to improvements in just about every area, Fujifilm has also brought some interesting…
Fujifilm Announces The All New FUJIFILM X-E2
It is no secret that most of the team here at TheCameraForum.Com are big fans of the Fuji X-Trans sensor based cameras. In fact, all of us own at least one. Mine is the X-E1, a camera that I both love and hate. Love for its image quality, size, and beautiful files, and at the same time hate for the abysmal autofocus speed and its horrible video. I’m not alone either, many share my dreams of Fuji one day getting all of these shortcomings sorted out so that I can rely on professional level control and enjoy the many other wonderful features of this promising system.
Well, it appears that Fuji was either reading my mind or has been reading my and other people’s forum posts about the X-E1 shortcomings. Today Fuji has announced the X-E2, the second generation of this great little camera, and you know what? They claim to have fixed all of my complaints, and whats more have added many new promising features I look forward to getting to know more about.
But as always the real proof of the pudding as they say is in the eating. How good are the image files from the new X-E2? FANTASTIC judging from the image samples! I’ve put two small sample images below just to illustrate what I am writing about, but you really owe it to yourself to download the full size JPG files Fuji has kindly provided. The files are excellent, something to be seen with your own eyes to be fully appreciated. Incredible fine details, awesome color saturation (especially with the Fuji patented VELVIA® look applied <Grin>, and even better dynamic range than my present X-E1 to my eye, which is truly saying something. The dynamic range on the X-E1 is pretty darn good!
Fuji is also making some pretty tall in the saddle claims about the improvements to autofocus in the X-E2. Whether there is any truth in here about the X-E2 being the fastest autofocus camera in its class is yet to be proven in testing. However, coming from the abysmal X-E1 autofocus performance, almost anything would be an improvement. Manual focus has always been fine, and my personal working preference. The two image samples that follow I chose because they are with the 14mm f/2.8, a lens I own and know very well the excellent qualities of. Judging from these JPG samples, the IQ advancements Fuji is claiming appear to be true. It appears the promise of good lens design combined with advanced in camera software error correction are bearing fruit in smaller body cameras as they have been for some time in the larger Fuji designed and built Hasselblad H system. The power of the in camera image processing chips has dramatically increased since Fuji released the X-E1.
While it is hard to make any hard and fast judgements from a few factory supplied JPGs and a data sheet, I can say that this is a camera that will tempt me greatly. It has a great heritage and clearly a manufacturer behind it that is both listening to their customers and listening with intent to continue to refine the X-Trans system, preserving the value in the lens and accessory investment. All things worth considering. But the bottom line is these are fun little cameras to use that in the right hands are capable of producing more than adequate professional quality photography. As a working professional, I can also attest that the Fuji products won’t break the bank, as some of the other name brands products can quickly do. I look forward to getting my hands on an X-E2 to evaluate further.
Download FULL SIZE LARGE image sample here: Image Sample 1
Download FULL SIZE LARGE image sample here: Image Sample 2
From the Fuji Press Release:
Main features of the FUJIFILM X-E2
Building on the global success of the highly acclaimed FUJIFILM X-E1 — awarded 2013’s Best Expert CSC by the Technical Image Press Association — the X-E2 takes image quality to a dynamic new level that is comparable with full-frame cameras. It delivers even more beautiful color reproduction, higher definition image capture, and that world’s fastest AF speed of 0.08 seconds**.
This is achieved by more than doubling the processing speed*** of the EXR Processor II. It is able to harness the information taken from over 100,000 phase detection pixels incorporated in the X-Trans CMOS II. The hybrid AF also combines phase detection AF and contrast AF to ensure accuracy when shooting low-contrast subjects and dark scenes.
The 16.3 million pixels APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS II Sensor incorporates an original color filter array. This eliminates the need for an optical low pass filter that typically minimizes moiré but does so at the expense of resolution. Instead, the X-Trans CMOS II sensor can capture unfiltered light from the lens for an unprecedented level of image clarity.
Quality is further improved by the Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO). Its high-precision processing of the various lens parameters, as well as data from the screen centre to the edges, corrects diffraction blur when shooting with a stopped down aperture and compensates for the slight blurring in the lens periphery. The result is edge-to-edge image quality with incredible sharpness. LMO will be compatible with every XF lens.
The X-E2’s prestigious feel continues with the combination of aperture ring on the lens and shutter dial on the top of the body as seen in its predecessor. This allows full shooting control while keeping your eye to the viewfinder. The X-E2 is available in solid black or two-tone black and silver.
Fast and accurate focusing
Thanks to the X-E2’s ultra-fast response you won’t miss a photo opportunity. In addition to achieving a world’s fastest AF, the X-E2 has a rapid startup time (0.5 seconds*4), virtually no shutter lag (0.05 seconds), and high-speed continuous shooting of 7.0 fps (up to approx. 28 frames)*5.
Accurate and comfortable focusing comes courtesy of the hybrid AF. It combines a contrast AF that is strong in low light situations and a phase detection AF that provides high speed response and the camera automatically switches between the two AF modes. With the improvement of the detection algorithm, it’s easier than ever to focus on difficult low contrast subjects and horizontal striped patterns. Focusing continues right up to the moment the shutter is pressed half way during continuous AF.
Better image quality
The X-Trans CMOS II sensor controls moiré and false color generation by using an original color filter array with a highly randomized pixel arrangement. This removes the need for an Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) that degrades resolution. This is the same sensor as used in the highly acclaimed and award-winning FUJIFILM X100S.
Image quality is further increased by the inclusion of the first Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) for interchangeable lens cameras. The EXR Processor II image engine corrects even slight blur at the edges of the lens, as well as diffraction blur caused when narrowing the aperture. This advanced technology has been made possible by the integrated development of lens, sensor and processor and is based on the optical performance and characteristics of individual lenses. The camera is able to maximize the resolving and individual imaging power of each lens.
Ultimately, the sensor and engine combination achieves astonishing resolution, extends dynamic range, and reduces noise at high sensitivity. Fujifilm takes great pride in the resulting rich color reproduction and beautiful gradation of tones.
The X-E2 continues to use the combination of a manually adjusted aperture ring and a shutter speed dial on the top plate that was well received by X-E1 owners. It allows the user to shoot and operate the camera without needing to look away from the viewfinder. Exposure compensation has been increased to the scope of ±3 EV. Every X-E2 owner can also customize up to 4 buttons on the top and back of the camera to suit their own shooting style.
Accurate and comfortable framing and focus checking is assured via the high resolution approx. 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder and Fujifilm’s original optical design gives a distortion-free field of view. The premium clear LCD monitor size has been increased to 3.0” but the body is thinner. It has a high viewing angle and 1.04 million dot reinforced glass. The scratch-resistant surface reduces reflections and improves visibility, making it easier to check image quality.
Manual focus made easier
Manual focus has been made easier by the inclusion of Digital Split Image*6 technology. This helps the user achieve pin-sharp focusing by simply adjusting focus to line up the four stripes displayed in the central part of the live view and match the left and right split images. Focus Peaking Highlight, the highlighting of the outline in high contrast areas of the subject during focusing, further assists the user achieve critically sharp shots.
Improved movie performance
The X-E2 shoots Full HD video (1920×1080) up to 60fps and the AF tracking performance in movie mode has been improved with good focusing speed, accuracy and smoothness. Quick focusing on the subject is possible in a variety of situations, such as when panning and zooming, or when the subject moves closer to or further from the camera. Film simulation settings and exposure compensation (±2 EV) can be used during movie recording. Also a high bitrate (36Mbps) has been enabled.
Wirelessly transfer your images
You can easily transfer images wirelessly from the X-E2 to your smartphone or tablet after installing the free FUJIFILM Camera Application app. There are no troublesome ID and password settings; just press the Wi-Fi® button of the top of the camera and then add the images instantly to your blog or share them with friends on your social networking site. You can also use the X-E2’s built-in Wi-Fi to save your photos to your PC.
Choose your own image style with the Film Simulation Mode and recreate Fujifilm’s unique film heritage. By selecting from one of 10 variations you can shoot your images how you want them. Velvia gives vivid colors, ASTIA shows faithful smooth tone reproduction, PROVIA offers a natural all-rounder, while the softer Pro Neg.Std and sharper Pro Neg.Hi are perfect for portraiture. Sepia film simulation is also possible while creative black & white photography can be enjoyed using three different filter effects. Film simulation bracketing is also handy for generating three film styles from one shot.
Multiple Exposure imaging is achieved by combining two shots in one frame. After taking the first image, you can display it in either the EVF or LCD monitor as reference for taking the second image. This ability helps users produce highly creative results. In addition, there are eight Advanced Filter options for extra creativity, including Toy Camera, Miniature, Dynamic Tone, Pop Color, Soft Focus, High Key, Low Key, and Partial Color.
Through the in-camera RAW development function, a RAW image can be converted to JPEG without a computer, while 14bit RAW capture enables RAW conversion with richer tonality. The built-in Super Intelligent Flash gives the right amount of light for the scene, while overexposure when using a flash for macro photography is also controlled, helping the user capture nature-looking images.
Perfectly fitting the X-E2’s compact and lightweight body, the BLC-XE1 is an authentic quality leather case. Including a separate cloth wrap for protection when storing the camera away. To further enhance the handling experience and performance you can add the HG-XE1 hand grip and one of three models of dedicated external flash.
FUJIFILM X-E2 Key features list:
16.3 million pixels APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor
Original color filter array to control moiré and false color without an optical low pass filter
EXR Processor II
FUJIFILM X Mount
Lens Modulation Optimizer for improved image quality
Extra high resolution 2.36 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder
±3 EV Exposure Compensation dial
3-inch (1.04 million dot) premium clear LCD (High contrast, High Brightness and Wide viewing angle)
Built-in pop-up Flash (hot shoe attachment also available for external flash)
ISO200 – 6400, extended ISO 100, 12800, 25600, Auto (maximum ISO setting from ISO 400 – ISO6400 available)
AF speed 0.08sec**
Q (quick) button to shooting menu settings
In-camera RAW converter
Film simulation modes (Velvia, ASTIA, PROVIA, Monochrome, Sepia, Pro Neg.Std & Pro Neg.Hi)
Artistic features inc. Multiple exposure, Panoramic shooting, and eight filter effects
Selection of Bracketing functions (AE/ISO/Dynamic Range & Film Simulation)
Full HD Movie
Microphone/shutter release input (φ2.5mm)
Approx. 350 shots per battery charge
FUJIFILM X-E2 accessories list:
Dedicated all-leather case BLC-XE1
Compatible with all Fujinon X Mount lenses
M Mount Adapter for additional lens compatibility
Hand Grip HG-XE1
Three dedicated flash models to choose from depending on requirements (EF-X20, EF-20, EF-42)
Protector filters (PRF-39, PRF-52, PRF-58 and PRF-62)
Remote release RR-90
*X-Trans is a trademark or registered trademark of FUJIFILM Corporation
**Fujifilm research as of September 2013. Compared with other digital cameras equipped with APS-C size sensor or larger, based on CIPA standards, and using internal measurement methods under high performance mode. Attached with XF14mm F2.8R lens.
***Compared with EXR Processor Pro
*4In high performance mode with XF27mm F2.8 lens
*5JPEG format: Use a card with SD speed class with class 10 or higher
*6Digital Split Image is a trademark or registered trademark of FUJIFILM Corporation
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