I waited for two days as the tracking number showed my package getting closer to delivery. Like the initial hype of the Leica X-Vario, I didn’t want to build my expectations too high for the X-E2, but the concept of the X-Trans II sensor and better focusing was too tempting. I received my X-E2 (in black) today and here are my initial thoughts. First, yes, I’ve taken images, but I will post some nice shots in a few days as I get used to the camera. Images of my office desk with a cup of coffee are not too exciting and are better left on the SD card.
The X-E2 body is smaller and lighter than the X-Pro1. Like my X-100s, I did not own the first generation of this camera model, so my comparison is to the X-100s and the X-Pro1. I like the heft of the X-Pro1 better (size and amount of outside metal guarding the innards). I am sure this comes from using Leica rangefinders for so many years. The weight actually helps me hold the camera steady. The dials are tight, like the X-100s. The buttons, especially the AE-L and AF-L seem a little harder for me to find and push, but I am very used to the placement of the X-Pro1 buttons. The EVF is very similar to the X-100s and is very comfortable for my eyes. The diopter correction worked as expected and I began shooting images very quickly thanks to Fuji pre-charging of the battery. Oh, and yes, the battery is the same as the X-Pro1 so not only do I have an extra battery already, but my compact charger for the X-Pro1 can still be used. In fact, these two bodies go well together.
Overall the build seems fairly tight. I can live with more plastic if it is strong enough. One thing that really should be adjusted is the quality of the glass on the back display. It feels very thin and prone to scratches. I’m sure I’ll order a schott glass cover quickly just to keep it in good shape.
Very, very similar to the X-100s in menus and items. I notice a few extras from the new focusing methods with the lenses and know that the camera came set only for JPEGs, not RAW (fine and RAW is what I use). I adjusted the contrast, color, etc. to my liking and with the consistency from other camera bodies in the X series, I’ll be able to come up with my custom settings quickly. I like the extra function buttons and left them in factory default, which aren’t bad. I’m sure I’ll change them as I go.
I attached the 23mm X lens f/1.4 to see what would happen. Note that this lens does not need the firmware updated for the new focusing where the 35mm and 60mm do. I noticed instantly the fast focus. There is no comparison to the X-Pro1. In fact, it is king of like a light – either on or off. The focusing of the new X-E2 is not only spot on in my dark office, but extremely quick. I’m anxious to see what the new firmware does with some of the original lenses.
Second, I tried the burst shooting. I went to high speed shooting, pressed the ‘trigger’ and had to let go quickly. In no time I had 8 images all available for paging through on the back display. The software handles the bursts much better than the X-100s with no grouping together, just lots of similar images in a row like every other image on the memory card.
The color is great. The detail is what I’ve seen with the X-100s. The power button is a little tighter than the X-Pro1 which should help keep it from accidentally being turned on in the bag. The power on is faster. Overall, this will be a great grab out of the bag, flip on and take some shots camera. I can see the X-Pro1 being the lonely camera on my shoulder with a different lens installed, waiting patiently for me to decide to pick it up and shoot some pictures while the X-E2 gets a breather.
I am still anxious about seeing the new weather sealed camera Fuji will announce. I am hoping it is more like the X-Pro1 body, but hearing the rumors that it may be more like an old SLR wanna be with a prism in the middle, etc. Size would be great like the X-E2 so that the camera could still be slipped in a coat pocket.
Conclusion, For Now
For now, WOW. The insides are fantastic and appear to do what they were designed to do and in a manner convenient for the photographer. I would like to see more sturdiness and weight on the body, but the EVF is great and the LCD screen on back is also crisp and colorful. The advances on the software side that were really only available with the new CMOS sensor are worth the investment in a new body. I won’t go sell my X-Pro1 just yet as two bodies with the 5 lenses I now own (14mm, 18mm, 23mm, 35mm, and 60mm Macro) make for better shooting.
I’ve seen great images popping up on the web and I’ll add some of my own as I get time to shoot them.