Ever since the often-mentioned X100, Fujifilm has been working very hard not to let their luck slip. Today, they made yet another step (actually – not one, but three steps) into winning over more customer hearts with the introduction of the second X series interchangeable lens camera, the X-E1, and Fujifilm has been bald again – the new baby X-Pro1 will surely attract many buyers, and likely even steal some from the (much) more expensive brother.
The new X-E1 is strikingly similar to X-Pro1 in both looks and functionality, and, while missing on a couple of features, they do seem to be compensated in other areas. The most notable omission is the loved optical viewfinder, first found in the X100. Instead, Fujifilm chose to focus strictly on EVF with this mid-range model. Many users will miss the optical viewfinder, and I am one of them, but Fujifilm has made sure the (new) OLED EVF is up to the task of pleasing even most demanding photographers by offering a very high 2.36 megapixel resolution, compared to 1.44 megapixel EVF found in X-Pro1. Also, leaving out the optical viewfinder has allowed Fujifilm to make X-E1 smaller and lighter than it’s bigger sibling. Also, the camera seems to be beautifully made, featuring die-cast megnesium front and top covers, and while the screen size has been reduced to 2.8″ (with 460k dots, down from 3″ 1.2 million dot screen of the X-Pro1), it’s unlikely to be of huge relevance for most photographers.
Other than that, and also dimensions, weight (350g with card and battery, compared to 450g X-Pro1) and price, X-E1 is identical to the older member of the X series camera system. It even features the same highly acclaimed APS-C sized, 16 megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor found in X-Pro1, and, as before, Fujifilm promisses Full Frame comparable sharpness and noise. We’ve already tested the sensor and you can read about it in our X-Pro1 review. One has to wonder – how good would a Full Frame X-Trans sensor be? So far, we can only guess.