Now that the new Fuji X-E2 is officially released (see our announcement post with a short preview), it is time to compare the camera to its predecessor and see what has changed. In this article, I will show feature differences between the Fuji X-E2 and the older X-E1, which we have recently reviewed (and really liked). And by the way, we are giving one away this December! Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and other comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Fuji X-E2 review.
After evaluating all Fuji X cameras, I came to a conclusion that the X-E1 is the best of the bunch, even when compared to its bigger brother, the Fuji X-Pro1. Despite having a smaller LCD screen, a slightly inferior build and lack of an optical viewfinder (it is EVF only), the X-E1 is smaller, lighter and has exactly the same image quality as the X-Pro1. I loved it so much that I bought myself one while still reviewing the Fuji cameras! And you can imagine how excited I was when I saw Fuji’s announcement of the X-E2. I requested a pre-release sample from Fuji USA, but they had a small number of units that were already given out to others, so I am still waiting. Oh well, if I don’t get it soon, I will have to wait until my X-E2 arrives. For now I am planning to keep both. So what has changed since the X-E1? Let’s take a look at how the two cameras stack up against each other in terms of specifications:
Fuji X-E1 vs X-E2 Specification Comparison
|Camera Feature||Fuji X-E1||Fuji X-E2|
|Sensor Resolution||16.3 Million||16.3 Million|
|Sensor Type||X-Trans CMOS||X-Trans CMOS II|
|Sensor Pixel Size||4.82µ||4.82µ|
|Dust Reduction / Sensor Cleaning||Yes||Yes|
|Image Size||4,896 x 3,264||4,896 x 3,264|
|Image Processor||EXR PROCESSOR||EXR PROCESSOR II|
|Lens Modulation Optimizer||No||Yes|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic (EVF)||Electronic (EVF)|
|Viewfinder Size and Resolution||0.5″, 2,360,000 dots||0.5″, 2,360,000 dots|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/180||1/180|
|Storage Media||1x SD, SDHC, SDXC||1x SD, SDHC, SDXC|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||6 FPS||6 FPS|
|Shutter Speed Range||1/4000 to 30 sec||1/4000 to 30 sec|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||TTL 256-zone metering||TTL 256-zone metering|
|Exposure Compensation Dial||Yes, ±2 stops||Yes, ±3 stops|
|Base ISO||ISO 200||ISO 200|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 200-6,400||ISO 200-6,400|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100, 12,800, 25,600 (JPEG only)||ISO 100, 12,800, 25,600 (JPEG only)|
|Autofocus System||TTL contrast AF||Intelligent Hybrid AF (TTL contrast AF / TTL phase detection AF)|
|Focus Points||49 AF points||49 AF points|
|Video Output||H.264 (MOV)||H.264 (MOV)|
|Video Maximum Resolution||1920×1080 (1080p) @ 24p||1920×1080 (1080p) @ 60p, 30p|
|Video Maximum Record Time||29 minutes||14 minutes in 1080p, 27 minutes in 720p|
|Audio Recording||Built-in microphone|
External stereo microphone (optional)
External stereo microphone (optional)
|LCD Size||2.8″ diagonal TFT-LCD||3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD|
|LCD Resolution||460,000 dots||1,040,000 dots|
|Built-In Wi-Fi Functionality||No||Yes|
|Battery||Li-ion battery NP-W126||Li-ion battery NP-W126|
|Battery Charger||Battery charger BC-W126||Battery charger BC-W126|
|Weather Sealed Body||No||No|
|Weight (Body Only)||350g with battery and memory card||350g with battery and memory card|
|Dimensions||129 x 74.9 x 38.3 mm||129 x 74.9 x 37.2 mm|
|Price||$999 (as introduced),|
|$999 (as introduced),|
As you can surely see, the two cameras are remarkably similar. Is that bad? Well, I feel quite safe in saying – no. Simply because there is nothing wrong with the X-E1 to begin with – it is an extremely capable and attractive camera. Fujifilm stuck with the tested formula – don’t fix what is not broken. That is not to say that there are no improvements. As subtle as they may appear at first, the added capability, at least on paper, is well worth the extra $200 in our opinion. Here are the main differences between the two cameras:
- Sensors: both X-E1 and X-E2 feature very similar sensors. It is unlikely that you will see any difference in detail captured or low-light, high ISO performance. The only real difference lies in the incorporation of phase-detect AF in the newer X-Trans CMOS II sensor, also found in Fujifilm X100s fixed-lens compact camera. And this improvement is responsible for…
- Hybrid AF: at the beginning of its life, the X-E1 didn’t have a particularly impressive autofocus system. But here is the thing with Fujifilm – they constantly improve the capabilities of their cameras through firmware updates, and so with the latest software X-E1 (and X-Pro1, for that matter) performed admirably. Fujifilm X-E2 builds on that with further improvements – a hybrid autofocus system that is quickly becoming the standard for mirrorless cameras. This system uses both contrast (normally used in compact cameras) and phase-detect (normally used in DSLRs) autofocus for improved speed and accuracy, especially noticeable when tracking moving subjects. The same exact system is currently used in Fujifilm X100s and what we have learned about its hybrid AF is that it performs very well in good lighting conditions where phase-detect system is at its best. This should also be true with the X-E2. In lower light, however, the system will rely on contrast-detect more, which means the speed difference between X-E2 and X-E1 will be much less noticeable, if at all. The X100s did exhibit some autofocus accuracy problems under some circumstances, though. We are hoping to get our hands on a production X-E2 unit for reviewing as soon as possible.
- Image Processor and Speed: X-E2 gains EXR Processor II which, according to Fujifilm, is much snappier than the first version found in X-E1. Such performance should mean quicker operation. Fujifilm quotes minimal lag and shot-to-shot times for the new camera. Also, because of the faster processor, Fujifilm was able to increase the refresh frame rate of X-E2’s EVF in low light, which is very good news.
- LCD Screen: it may not have been a huge drawback, but the X-E1 had a rather modest 2.8″ 460k dot LCD screen, not enough to compete against direct rivals. X-E2 gains a proper 3″ screen with much higher resolution of 1.04 million dots. Here is hoping that in conjunction with the snappier processor, Fujifilm will allow 100% magnification RAW file reviewing.
- Wi-Fi: Fujifilm X-E2 gains the now-standard for this class of cameras WiFi connectivity. Unfortunately, remote control of the camera is not supported yet (to be fixed in a future firmware update), but you can use it to transfer files to your Mac / PC or other devices like phones and tablets. You can also transfer GPS location from your phone to the camera (geotagging).
- Price: Despite the improvements, X-E2 costs the same $999 at launch (and it should), just like the X-E1 did last year. But if you compare current prices, X-E1 sells for $200 less and that is a lot of savings for an already great camera.
- Video Improvements: the X-E2 is now capable of shooting 60 fps videos @ full HD 1080 resolution instead of X-E1’s maximum speed of 24 fps. Great!
- Exposure Compensation: you can now adjust exposure compensation by ±3 stops in 1/3rd increments using the dedicated dial (versus ±2 stops of the X-E1). Still ±2 stops in video mode, though, but that is hardly relevant.
- Lens Modulation Optimizer: just like the X100S, the Fuji X-E2 also received Fuji’s proprietary Lens Modulation Optimizer – software that can use special algorithms to reduce diffraction and other optical problems
- Layout Differences: there are some slight button / layout differences between the two cameras. The Q button has been moved from its previous location to the top panel, while the AE-L button goes to where Q used to be. Because the left side gained one extra space, Fuji added a programmable “Fn2” button and together with two other buttons (AF and AE), there are now a total of 4 programmable function buttons on the X-E2.
The biggest improvements are definitely brought by the new sensor and processor, but the rest of the list makes X-E2 even more attractive and very much up-to-date when compared to rivals. Other than these changes, it is more or less identical to its predecessor – the dimensions are almost exactly the same. The weight – with batteries or without – is identical. On paper, X-E2 is definitely the better camera with more potential, especially when it comes to autofocus performance in good light. For those of you who found X-E1’s performance to be all you need, however, the older sibling is now a very impressive value for money offering. You can get the same basic experience with the older camera and achieve the same technical image quality for $200 less! At this price point, that is quite the difference and will ensure X-E1 will be wanted by a lot of people. For certain types of photography, such as landscapes, there is absolutely no difference between the two cameras, so you might as well save some money and add it to a lens. For those who want the best interchangeable lens camera from Fujifilm, X-E2 is the right choice at this moment – if you do not need an optical viewfinder, it beats both X-E1 and X-Pro1 cameras. At least until the flagship X-Pro2 arrives.