A day with my Fuji X-E1.
My lovely wife and life partner, Suzanne, and I were married on July 14th, Bastille Day. We didn’t plan it this way, it was pure coincidence but a very pleasant one. Where ever we happen to be on July 14, we just seek out Bastille Day celebrants to share our special day with. Since it is a French holiday, the food is always great, the celebration beautiful, and always people to see and be seen with. The French have such a great sense of style!
This year we decided to attend an afternoon celebration put on by the French Consulate here in Los Angeles. Wow, it turned out to be a big event! I had a chance to use the Fuji X-E1 for video, something I have been very hesitant to do since my first preliminary test. This outing I was one for two. One video was barely acceptable, but the others weren’t worth using at all. Fuji has incredible still cameras in their X-Trans sensor lineup, right up there with the best. But for a Hybrid Storyteller such as myself, the Video problems spoil the whole experience of trying to use them for anything professionally serious.
As a Leica M9 attack dog, these Fuji XPro-1 and X-E1 bodies gave my old M9 a serious run for a lot less money. Because they are three design years newer technology, the Fuji beats out the Leica in expected ways. Technology always moves forward. However, Leica is in process of releasing their new M type 240, so the game changes yet again. This time, Leica has set the bar higher with stills than ever before, and for the first time, is including video capability in the new Leica M. I still need to evaluate the Leica M 240 further, but frankly the video from my Fuji X-E1 isn’t going to be hard to beat. The present standard is set pretty low in the hybrid rangefinder pro level category that I have thus far tested.
Perhaps what some people are saying is true, Fuji has become the new Leica. It used to be Leica that was always at least a generation behind with their rangefinder technology. Now perhaps Leica reclaims the category leadership once again? The Leica M 240 I got to spend a few minutes with had a lot more going for it than just a red dot and a pretty, though expensive, face. There is some serious electronic engineering beating below that hybrid rangefinder’s skin. Time will tell more shortly.
Fuji is due for another firmware update next week; we shall see if the video gets any much needed love. If not, bragging rites as the category leader may move back over to Leica. Granted at a considerable price premium over the Fuji offerings. But in the hunt for ultimates in a professional small rangefinder style camera tool, video is high on the wish list. Could it be that stodgy conservative old Leica is moving their ball to the front of the technology pack? What can the camera world be coming to?