Pros Automatic mode is incredible
Picture quality is stunning
Picture depth is amazing
Built in panoramic function
Build quality is superb
Cons No minimum shutter speed setting for auto
"Format Card" buried too deep in the menus
Summary I bought an X100 a couple of years ago and my wife simply adores that camera. Her only complaint: no zoom. And by only, I mean Only. In all other ways the X100 is amazing.
The X-E1, however, is better. A lot better, actually. OK, so it doesn't have a composite viewfinder... actually, that's fine. We were never sold on it, anyway. The eyepiece now shows you precisely what the sensor is seeing - how is that anything but great? If your eye sees it, the sensor sees it. Perfect - particularly given all of the information available in the viewfinder, if you want it.
Automatic mode is incredible. Take a photo of a black dog - routinely impossible for most cameras - and see what happens. The fur comes alive. The subtleties of the dog's eyes and black nose leap off the screen. Instead of a black shadow, you see a dog - even in pretty low light conditions. The picture depth is amazing. Bokeh is awesome.
Many years ago the SLR makers were finally getting "auto" right. I owned a Pentax that would truly take an awesome picture if I bought 400 (or faster) film, and ran it on Auto. From then until now I've never owned a digital camera that could do the same. Auto always resulted in great outdoor (full light) shots, but indoor shots were murky or - worse - washed out by a flash that was way too strong.
Not this camera. This is the camera that will take interior shots of that cathedral you are visiting. This is the camera you take into the caves during a winery tour. This is the camera that you macro-set and take a shot of a flower, even in low-ish light. It has a built in panoramic function. Go to the beach or the mountains and take your panoramic shot. Let that huge-sensor absorb every detail, while Fuji's brilliant electronics stitch the image together flawlessly.
Most people are using their smart phones to take photo's, and I do too. Those are analogous to what Kodak was doing in the 1970's. Cheap cameras taking absolutely OK photo's, easily. There's a time and a place for that.
When you take a photo with this camera you remember: there was a reason that people turned to 35mm SLR's. A photograph *can* be art. There are subtleties that your camera-phone will never see, because the aperture is simply too small on a phone. Not with the X-E1. Big lens, big aperture, uber-dense sensor, and magnificent electronics - all in a camera that fits in your hand. Remember that: this camera is significantly smaller than the DSLRs out there. It's bigger than the small point-and-shoot's that you buy at the Big Box, but not by much.
The build quality is superb. The camera is light without being flimsy. There's a heft to it that says "well built." What appears to be aluminum is used in a lot of places - where others would use a cheaper, and less durable, plastic. Lenses insert with exquisitely accurate tolerances. Insert, turn, "click."
The picture quality, even on Auto, is stunning. At least as good as the X100, and likely better.
With a *zoom.* And swappable lenses!
This is, absolutely, the finest camera I've ever owned. It finally will do everything my old SLR would do, without me having to learn all about the settings - without film, and at half the size.
My Advice: Before you buy the Fujifilm X-E1, Check for Best Price at: Camerapicking.blogspot.com/p/fujifilm-x-e1.html
We love this camera.
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