Fujifilm announced the second generation X-E2 with 60 new or improved features, most notably boosts in performance and focusing speed. The company also announced a posh compact camera, the X-Q1.
Fujifilm's X series landed with a bang last year, and the company has been building it up quickly. Based on a 16MP APS sensor using Fujifilm's proprietary X-Trans technology and unique semi-randomized pixel array, the lineup has produced cameras capable of taking impressive images that, based on Adorama Learning Center field tests, rival those shot with some full-frame sensor cameras. Now the Fujifilm X-E2 is the first next-generation camera in the lineup, and Fujfilm says it has over 60 new or improved features. It's hard to believe that just two years ago, this line didn't exist.
The Fujifilm X-E2 and XQ1 can be pre-ordered now at Adorama. Orders will be shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until orders ship.
Topping the list of features is the sensor. While the pixel count remains at 16MP, Fujfiilm has added a Lens Modulation Optimizer, which is said to improve image quality, and a CMOS II sensor that the company claims has the world's fastest phase detection autofocus. A souped up EXR Processor II improves start-up, interval and continuous shooting performance, while additional functions include advanced filters, focus peaking, face detection and digital split manual focus. The bottom line? If Fujifilm's claims are true, this camera will be the fastest X-series model to date.
Set to be available by mid-November, the X-E1 will cost $999 for the body at Adorama.
Fujfilm X-E2 vs. Fujifilm X-E1: What's new?
While Fujifilm claims 60 new or updated features, we're going to take a quick look at the top ones...
- Flash sync boosted to 1/180 sec
- Exposure compensation increased from +/-2 to +/- 3 stops
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Fn button now also works as Wi-Fi button
- AF, Q and AF-L buttons repositioned
- Fn, Fn2, AE, and AF buttons are now customizable
- Frame rate increased from 5.6fps to 7fps
- Claimed 1.6x faster write speed
The Lineup: Fujfilm X-E2 vs. X-Pro 1 vs. X-A1
Fujifilm X-A1 (Adorama price: $599 with 16-50mm kit lens) is a budget-priced interchangeable-lens compact, based on the original version of the Fujifilm 16MP CMOS sensor. It is the smallest, lightest X-mount camera inthe lineup. The X-A1 lacks an eye-level viewfinder but has a flip-out, high-resolution LCD monitor, and was the first X-series camera with built-in Wi-Fi. Mode dials replace manual exposure controls, but advanced users can access manual via menus. Read more. http://www.adorama.com/alc/0014312/blogarticle/Fujifilm-X-A1-Entry-Level-MILC-First-Look
Fujifilm X-Pro 1 (Adorama price: $1,199 body only) is geared towards serious photographers including street shooters and photojournalists. Its hybrid Multi Viewfinder lets users switch between optical and high-resolution electronic views. The camera is adorned with a physical shutter speed ring and according to our tests delivered some of the best image quality we've seen in an APS-sensor camera. However, in our hands-on field tests we noticed occasional issues with shutter lag, especially in high contrast scenes. Read more. http://www.adorama.com/alc/0013786/article/Fujifilm-X-Pro-1-Product-Review
The Fujfilm X-E2 is geared towards photo enthusiasts. It features a straightforward high-resolution eye-level digital viewfinder and is about 1/3 smaller and somewhat lighter than its big brother. It is the most advanced X-series camera to offer Wi-Fi. If all of Fujifilm's claims and improvements, such as much faster focus acquisition and 0.05 second lag time, hold true in the field, it may make X-Pro 1 owners envious.
Fujifilm X-E2 Key features:
- 16MP X-Trans CMOS II sensor
- New EXR Processor II claims faster performance
- New 1040k dot LCD
- 2.5M dot resolution EVF
- 86K phase detection pixels
- 7fps burst rate up to 37 consecutive images
- Digigtal Split Image at 1 and 4x
- Focus peaking highlight
- Face Detection
- 8 Advanced special effects filters
- Full HD Video at 60fps
- Easy one-push WiFi communication with smart phone, tablet
One of the biggest knocks against the first generation of X-class Fujifilm cameras has been performance. It is very good, but there's room for improvement and Fujifilm claims the X-E2's performance is a significant improvement. Autofocus acquisition, at 0.08 sec, is claimed to be the world's fastest, thanks to the deployment of 86,000 phase detection piels and a 36% central area. Start-up time is said to be reduced to half a second while shutter lag is claimed at 0.05 second, which is effectively instantaneous. Fujifilm has increased buffer space and bandwidth, resulting in a 1.6x improvement in file writing speed.
Image quality, already impressive in the first version, is claimed to be improved thanks the the removal of an optical low pass filter, and low signal/noise ratio in high ISO images. Movie autofocus and optical image stabilization are also said to have been improved.
Fujifilm is touting easy Wi-Fi integration, claiming their system has streamlined the process to a single push procedure. Wireless features includes remote operation of the camera's features.
The Fujifilm X-E2 will be available at Adorama in November for $999 body only in black or silver and $1,399 with a kit lens, also in or silver.
Fujifilm XQ1 Goes After Posh Pocket Compact Market
In addition to the X-E2, Fujifilm opened up a new front, coming out with their first posh streamlined point-and-shoot camera, the Fujifilm XQ1. Using the same 2/3-inch X-trans sensor as the highly regarded X20, the XQ1 features a fast 25-100mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.8 zoom lens that collapses almost completely into the camera body. The XQ1 sacrifices the X20's handy zooming viewfinder, but this allows the XQ1 to be a significantly smaller camera. A sophisticated control ring lets users choose either all auto or manual control, or anything in between, while images can be viewed via a new 920k dot LCD monitor. The XQ1 is approximately the same size as its closest competitors, the Canon S110 and Sony RX100 II.
The big news about this camera is the lens. Made of 7 glass lenses in 6 groups, it includes a high refractive index element as well as three extra low dispersion lenses, resulting in minimal flaring, ghosting, and chromatic aberration. Built-in optical image stabilization is claimed to reach 3 stops. A new control ring built around the lens barrel can select modes, focus, zoom, shift program, set shutter speed and aperture values, change ISO and exposure compensation, and set film simulation modes.
Fujfilm promises the 12MP, 2/3-inch X-trans CMOS II sensor will deliver better resolution, thanks to the same randomized pixel array and lack of an optical low pass filter found on the larger-sensor X-series cameras. Autofocus acquisition is claimed to be the world's fastest, at 0.06 seconds, thanx to the phase detection autofocus system.
Fujifilm XQ1 Key features include:
- 3-inch, 920k LCD monitor
- Focus Peaking Highlight
- Film mode that simulates Provia, Velvia, Astia and Monochrome classic film emulsions
- Tracking AF in Continuous Shooting
- New control ring around lens
- Customizable control ring and E-Fn button
The main difference, in addition to the claimed improvements in performance, between the XQ1 and the Fuji X20 is that the X20 has a zooming optical viewfinder, and isn't quite as small. Additionally, the XQ1 has built-in Wi-Fi so users can easily share images either directly online via a hotspot or through their mobile devices.
The Fujifilm XQ1 is expected at the end of October, and will be available at the Adorama price of $499. It will be available in black or silver.