User Review: Fuji X-E1 with XF18-55mm F2.8-4.0 OIS lens


nightwolf75

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Dec 18, 2003
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#1
*user review from the moderating team... if you want the nuts-and-bolts technical analysis, please view the usual websites.*

Fuji Singapore has kindly loan CS a set of the X-E1 and the much-coveted "kit" lens XF 18-55mm/F2.8-4.0 OIS. over the next couple of days, a few of us will be posting pictures and our own user experience of the X-E1.

The short version of my own experience? BUY THE KIT LENS. period.

I believe that there are enough X-E1 owners already in CS who will attest to the beautiful images straight out of the camera that Fuji is rightly famous for. I used to own Fuji's DSLRs - S2pro/S3pro/S5pro, and IMO, Fuji gives the best straight-out-of-camera JPEGs bar none. Eventually though, I gave up the use of Fuji DSLRs because of its slower AF compared to other DSLRs. I have not used any of Fuji's 'rangefinder-like' cameras starting with X100, but am aware of the slow AF problems. This is the first time I am touching a Fuji camera in over 5 years....My own experience of using the X-E1 over the last couple of days? The AF is on par with most top-end mirrorless/m43 cameras that I have used from Olympus and Panasonic, which is of course slower than DSLRs. The X-E1 won't win you any prizes shooting F1. But, for other things, it holds its own.

The minimalisticly beautiful camera...





I like the fact that Fuji made it as simple as possible, and not festoon with buttons like modern DSLRs. The problem though is that I have to menu-dive pretty often to change settings (the FN button makes life a little easier... but not much, IMO).





The same 'less is more' design philosophy makes the design of this camera almost like the more expensive and famous Leicas...
 

nightwolf75

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#2
And here's the much-coveted kit lens.




(fully extended)

Good things do come in small packages... This is by far one of the best "kit" lens (can it even be called a kit lens?) I have used, in comparison to the usual fare of Canikons... Sharp, light, pretty silent snappy focusing... and with Image stabilising built-in. The only thing I want to quibble over is the lack of aperture markings on the lens itself. I have to look at either the LCD screen or the EVF to see what aperture I am at. Makes it a little difficult for me to shoot from the hip in a quick flash. I suspect most don't really care though....

One strange thing Fuji did was to put the tripod hole off-centre from the lens, near the battery/SD card door. This presents a problem for those who like to shoot panoramas (kinda difficult to get the nodal point), and a general PITA for everyone else who needs to change cards or batteries in the field, especially if you use a tripod plate like me.


(this is the smallest markins plate I have... and it still blocks the door...)
 

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nightwolf75

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#3
Anyway, here are the usual hi-ISO tests. I left the NR off, and set the camera to default settings. Straight off the bat? Pretty damn impressive hi-ISO performance coming from a compact camera. These are really insane numbers coming from a compact camera.... you can pixel peep the actual files here.

ISO 25600


ISO12800


ISO6400


ISO5000


And how sharp is the lens? Count the cat hairs yourself... the actual pic is inside the zip file together with the hi-ISO pictures.

 

nightwolf75

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#4
The X-E1 has a panorama mode, which you can access inside the 'Drive' mode button. IMO, while it does what it is supposed to do.... the implementation is not the easiest to execute properly in the field for me. IMO, it is not as easy to use as the panorama mode in Sony's NEXs. By right, the user follows the yellow line marked on the X-E1's screen... but, it is not easy to follow, plus the fact that there is a perceptible lag between the shutter closing and the image being displayed on the screen. I found myself guessing if the image is captured. Plus, there is sort of a timer bar which supposedly tell you the amount of time left to capture (?). I wrongly estimated a number of panorama shots before I finally gave up using it. But, when it works, it works well.

(Chinese Garden)

(memorial wall @ Kranji War Memorial)

Again, the lens is more than up to the task in capturing fine details. You can see the acutal panoramas here.

X-E1 also comes with the usual Fuji's film stimulation mode. I particularly like their Monochrome mode. The other colour film modes - those who have used Fuji cameras before will be very familiar with the Astia/Velvia modes. I think they replaced Reala mode with the Pro_Negative HI, and Pro_Negative STD modes, which give a more neutral colour setting for your JPEGs.

(mono)

(mono + Yellow filter)

(mono + Red filter)
 

nightwolf75

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#5
(mono + Green filter)

I really like the implementation of B&W + filter mode. With a little PS, the X-E1 can really capture some outstanding digital B&Ws, IMO....



If there is one thing this X-E1 can do extremely well, that would be to shoot people! Like I said, nothing comes close to Fuji's ability to capture skin tones... but that is just me.

The usual 'models' for me when I need to shoot people.... all these were done on the kit lens. Did I say it is a damn sharp lens before....





 

nightwolf75

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#6
Here are some of the pictures I have shot over the last few days... straight out of camera, resized in PS only.


(the lens + camera has a decent macro function... but I think users are better off getting the 60mm macro lens)






(lonely gardener @ Kranji War Memorial)
 

nightwolf75

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#7
the f2.8 gives a pretty good bokeh...








(tending the graves of the brave people who sacrificed their lives in the defence of Singapore)


(wreaths left from Memorial Day)
 

nightwolf75

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#8
Overall, I am pretty impressed by the performance of the X-E1 with this "kit" lens. One thing I did not mention so far is the EVF on the X-E1. Truth be told, I am not a big fan of EVFs, and I do prefer OVFs as there is no lag between the shutter closing and the image showing up in the viewfinder. The EVF on the X-E1, while reasonably quick and bright, follows this trend for me. I like using the EVF on the X-E1, and certainly it is faster than some other EVFs I have come across. But, the lag is enough to irritate me when shooting. I don't know about the majority of users who shoot from LCDs, but this is a problem for me when using. I have not experienced the hybrid VFs like the X100. Maybe those are faster? I will appreciate someone else's experience.

But.... OMG..... buy the kit lens... it is worth every single rupee ..... :heart: if they can print the f-stops in Version II of this lens, it will be a runaway best seller for me!

More pictures and review will follow from the other moderators.... :)
 

1912123

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Sep 20, 2009
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Zion
#9
agree. this kit lens works very well with the body. :)
 

wonglp

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#10
Overall, I am pretty impressed by the performance of the X-E1 with this "kit" lens. One thing I did not mention so far is the EVF on the X-E1. Truth be told, I am not a big fan of EVFs, and I do prefer OVFs as there is no lag between the shutter closing and the image showing up in the viewfinder. The EVF on the X-E1, while reasonably quick and bright, follows this trend for me. I like using the EVF on the X-E1, and certainly it is faster than some other EVFs I have come across. But, the lag is enough to irritate me when shooting. I don't know about the majority of users who shoot from LCDs, but this is a problem for me when using. I have not experienced the hybrid VFs like the X100. Maybe those are faster? I will appreciate someone else's experience.

But.... OMG..... buy the kit lens... it is worth every single rupee ..... :heart: if they can print the f-stops in Version II of this lens, it will be a runaway best seller for me!

More pictures and review will follow from the other moderators.... :)
The OVF on Xpro1 has quite a bit of shutter lag, the EVF seems faster, it's a hybrid VF anyways:) no more pictures liao? gotta agree the jpeg skintones colors ( i use velvia at times too!) are so nice that i didn't need touch the raw.
 

nightwolf75

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#12
The OVF on Xpro1 has quite a bit of shutter lag, the EVF seems faster, it's a hybrid VF anyways:) no more pictures liao? gotta agree the jpeg skintones colors ( i use velvia at times too!) are so nice that i didn't need touch the raw.
fengwei has the camera now. guess he's going to update with more pics soon. ;)

hmm... i always thot OVFs should be faster? :dunno:
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#13
fengwei has the camera now. guess he's going to update with more pics soon. ;)

hmm... i always thot OVFs should be faster? :dunno:
Even if it is OVF, the shutter lag is still there. I find in OVF mode the AF point is not accurate enough, it will lock on the wrong part (background or foreground). Only on LCD or EVF mode I can get a more confident AF lock,
 

Cactus jACK

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#19
may I ask, is the lens hood for the XF18-55 metal like all current XF primes or it is plastic?
i believe that the hood is a plastic petal type hood.

just to add that fujifilm has introduced a neat little feature which is the depth of field display, this should be available for all XF lenses.





If you would like to read more about the Fujifilm X-E1, you can do so here - http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/fuji...xf14mm-xf18-55mm-x-pro1-firmware-v2-00-a.html
 

1912123

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Sep 20, 2009
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Zion
#20
is the AF point at the centre of the DOF range?
 

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