Well, it’s Photokina time, one of those periods when there are lots of announcements made, and Fuji has made a few today. First is the new Fuji X-E1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. It’s the “little brother” to the X-Pro1 but in some ways, it’s looking as if it might be the preferable choice.
Here’s the X-E1 next to the X-Pro1 (image from here). As you can see, it’s just slightly smaller.
You can get it in a silver/black combo or all in black. (Image from here.)
Fuji is saying that the auto-focus is significantly faster than the X-Pro1 (with the new 18-55mm lens they claim it will focus in 0.1 seconds). Here’s the basic specs:
- 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS Sensor and EXR Processor Pro
- FUJIFILM X-Mount
- Extra high resolution 2.36 million dot Organic OLED viewfinder
- 2.8-inch (460K dot) LCD
- Built-in pop-up TTL Flash
- ISO100 – 25600 (range of ISO200-6400 when using ISO Auto)
- Q Menu shortcut button
- In-camera RAW converter
- Film simulation modes (Velvia, ASTIA, PROVIA, Monochrome, Sepia, PRO Neg.Std & PRO Neg.Hi)
- Multiple exposure and panoramic shooting modes
- Auto Bracketing functions (AE/ISO/DR and FS)
- Full HD Movie (1920×1080) @ 24 fps
- Approximately 350 shots per battery charge(4)
So there’s no more hybrid viewfinder but the new electronic viewfinder has that 2.36 million dot resolution compared to the 1.44 million for the one in the X-Pro1. And they also claim that the manual focus system is greatly improved.
So, same sensor, better viewfinder, faster autofocus, retail price will be US$1,000 body only or US$1,399 with the 18-55mm zoom lens.
DPReview’s first hands-on test notes the following:
The X-E1 uses a new autofocus algorithm and different sensor drive mode, which promises significantly-improved speed, especially with the XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro lens or when shooting in low light. Indeed Fujifilm claims the X-E1 and X-Pro1 now offer AF speeds competitive with benchmark cameras such as the Olympus OM-D E-M5. The ‘feel’ of the electronically-driven manual focus has been improved, and critically the camera now sets the aperture wide open in manual focus mode, finally allowing truly-accurate focusing using the EVF. There’s also a new 3x magnification mode to assist manual focus, which should be less prone to problems with shake when using long lenses.
Speaking as an X-Pro1 owner, this is vaguely frustrating. For anyone who spent the full US$1,700 for the X-Pro1 body only and then roughly six months later see this coming out at a greatly reduced price, I think anger might be the proper reaction. What makes it slightly better for me is that I bought mine used, for several hundred off the original price. It may be too soon to jump to conclusions; perhaps we are best off waiting for the camera to be released and to see some reviews and hard core comparisons. (More on this in what should be the next post.)
Here’s an interesting size comparison:
(Image from here.) That’s the Sony NEX-7 on the left, the new Fuji X-E1 in the middle, and the Olympus OM-D EM-5 on the right.
As for the new lenses, first is that 18-55mm zoom. The 35mm equivalent is 28-80mm and at the wide end it’ll be F2.8 and that drops down to just F4 as you start to zoom, which is not bad. The lens also features optical image stabilization.
The size is not too bad. (Image from here.) In the above photo, that’s the new zoom lens on the left, then the 60mm and then the 35mm. The new zoom lens will retail for US$700.
Last but far from least is a new 14mm (21mm equivalent) F.28 lens. I’ve read that this lens will feature distance and DOF markings on the lens, which will be an invaluable aid for shooting with manual focus. The lens will retail for US$900.
Hey, if you’re thinking about pre-ordering any of this, clicking on the links below won’t cost you a penny more but will help support this blog. You can pre-order the Fuji X-E1 camera and lenses from B&H Photo now by clicking the links below:
Fuji X-E1 body only black pre-order.
Fuji X-E1 body only silver pre-order.
Fuji X-E1 with 18-55mm zoom black pre-order.
Fuji X-E1 with 18-55mm zoom silver pre-order.
Fuji 14mm F2.8 lens pre-order.
Fuji 18-55mm F2.8-F5 lens pre-order.
(Actually, clicking on the above links and ordering anything at all would be helpful to me.)