Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fujifilm X-E2: The digital rangefinder without rangefinder.

Working with the Fujifilm X-30 compact camera has been so gratifying as a creative experience that I have impulsively decided to buy the Fujifilm X-E2/XF 18-55mm Camera & Lens kit.

Fujifilm X-E2 / XF 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 OIS

Yes it is a bigger camera (especially with the XF 18-55mm lens) and heavier too. But many aspects justify the difference between the X-E2 and the X-30. The general performances of the X-E2 are really enhanced by using a bigger APS-C image captor. Its viewfinder is bigger although the automatic vertical information rotation of the X-30 is missing (this option has been added to the Fujifilm X-E2 with firmware update no.4). The direct aperture and shutter controls are reproducing the past experience of the traditional cameras using film.

The handling is good but could be perfectible for the handgrip and the position of certain feature controls.  The menu interface is easily comprehensible but it has to be learned with practice. For myself I have chosen to reprogram one Fn button to regain control of the viewfinder option, which doesn't offer the same ease of use as the X-30. The playback option should be configured in a way to allow direct viewing over the LCD screen in disregard of the picture taking viewing option selected.

The Fujifilm X-E2 can be a quick camera for spontaneous photography for most of the situations. The AF functionality is usually reliable except for some specific situations that are demanding a manual intervention or a pre-focus process. The AF/Manual focusing option will be welcome in the next firmware upgrade of the camera (Dec.18th 2014).


On-camera flash photography has always been a challenge for a more natural rendering of the exposure. In using the X-E2 with the inboard flash has given me the impression that this unit is a bit underpowered even for short portrait distance. To counteract I choose to add an external flash unit (Fujifilm EF-X20) that allow more pleasant rendering.

At that point the combination of the X-E2 with the XF 18-55mm lens and the EF-X20 flash really recall the days of the rangefinder era.



 


The picture quality issued from the Fujifilm X-E2 is excellent both in color and black & white. This X-E2 is definitively a creative camera very funny to explore and bring along you on every circumstances. The low profile of the camera design (and the black version of the body) help to stay modest during the photo session.


The last December 2014 Firmware Upgrade was an excellent improvement of the camera functionalities especially regarding the final manual focus correction option and the camera remote control in using a tablet. Another firmware upgrade is now (February 2016) that offers the same internal performance at the level of the new X-E2S version and very similar to the X-T10 model.


Little Add-On: I have tried the Joby wrist strap with both my Fujifilm X-30 and X-E2 and found them very confortable and non-intrusive materiel proper to hand carries your camera. Since I am using a small Lowepro Passport gadget bag already I don’t need a full shoulder strap.  The flashy lime color version is helping me to identify my X-E2 from the X-30.




Here are some preliminary results of my initial itineration with the Fujifilm X-E2:












Product Link: Fujifilm X-E2 Link

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fujifilm X-30: the "cool" camera

Fujifilm X-30 at rest


Close friends who happen to know me a bit more don’t really understand the continuous flow of different models of cameras that is part of my way of life. In my view cameras are photographic tools (including in-camera devices) and I am still looking for the ideal one in terms of esthetical beauty, better camera handling and finest picture quality. All those qualities may not be reached soon in my humble opinion.

What about the Fujifilm X-30 that is the third version of the high-end compact Fujifilm X-two digits series initiated by the X-10 and X20 previous models. It is definitively a very fun camera. It works nicely. It performs decently for its image captor format. The handling is good with a bit of adaptation needed to interact with the controls and options. But the big improvement is the use of an electronic viewfinder instead of the previous imprecise optical viewfinder of the X-10 and X-20. Now the new EVF give you the complete story in term of picture rendering and the entire picture taking info’s.  In my sense a viewfinder is an essential option in traditional compact photography (including D-SLR as they suppose to be compact cameras…).


So let the pictures speak as you can review in this small essay:










Product Link: Fujifilm X-30 Link