We have already compared the recently introduced Fujifilm X-E2 camera to its predecessor, the X-E1 (click here to read our comparison). Based on specifications, the newer camera proved to be better than the old one, but with price taken into account X-E1 can easily hold its ground and is still a very viable option. But how does it compare to the still-current Fujifilm flagship camera, the X-Pro1?
The thing is, X-E2 is a direct replacement for the outgoing X-E1 model, so naturally it should be better. Otherwise X-E2 would be pointless. But the situation is a little bit more complicated when you compare it to X-Pro1. On one hand, the flagship is an older model and thus should be inferior in certain respects. On the other hand – it is a flagship and thus a class above X-E2. The price has also come down considerably during the time of X-Pro1’s availability, so it is better value than ever. Let’s take a look at how the two cameras stack up against each other in terms of specifications:
Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs X-E2 Specification Comparison
|Camera Feature||Fujifilm X-Pro1||Fujifilm 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||Hybrid Optical (OVF)/Electronic (EVF)||Electronic (EVF)|
|Viewfinder Size and Resolution||OVF – 0.37x-0.6x magnification|
EVF – 0.5″, 1,440,000 dots
|EVF – 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||3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD||3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD|
|LCD Resolution||1,230,000 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)||450g with battery and memory card||350g with battery and memory card|
|Dimensions||139.5 x 81.8 x 42.5 mm||129 x 74.9 x 37.2 mm|
|Price||$1699 (as introduced),|
|$999 (as introduced),|
As expected, the two cameras are very similar, but there is more difference between them than there was when we compared X-E2 to X-E1. In the case of those two cameras, the only reason why you would want the X-E1 instead was the more affordable price. With X-Pro1 and X-E2, however, both cameras have their advantages and disadvantages when compared to one another, along with the price difference. Let’s now start with the list of strengths the X-E2 has over X-Pro1. Mind you, most of these advantages are exactly the same as the ones X-E2 had over its predecessor.
- Sensors: X-Pro1 has a sensor that is identical to the one found in X-E1. Naturally, it is also very similar to the X-E2 sensor. Don’t expect any image quality improvement, be it dynamic range or high ISO. The only real difference lies in the incorporation of phase-detect AF sensors in the newer X-Trans CMOS II of the Fujifilm X-E2. Which means…
- Hybrid AF: with the latest firmware update, Fujifilm X-Pro1 is a lot snappier and more reliable in the autofocus department than it was at launch. Fujifilm try to constantly improve the capabilities of their cameras through firmware updates, something we are quick to recognize and appreciate. 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. In lower light, however, the system will rely on contrast-detect more, which means the speed difference between X-E2 and X-Pro1 might be much less noticeable, if at all. Hopefully, Fujifilm X-E2 doesn’t have any of the accuracy issues under specific lighting situations that our copy of the X100s had. In which case X-E2 will be a step above the flagship model in terms of autofocus.
- Image Processor and Speed: X-E2 gains EXR Processor II which, according to Fujifilm, is much snappier than the first version found in X-Pro1. First of all the new processor means quicker overall operation. Fujifilm quotes lag and shot-to-shot time improvements for the new camera. Just as importantly, 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. In practice, it means better EVF responsiveness and less lag in poorly lit environments.
- 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).
- Video Improvements: the X-E2 is now capable of shooting 60 fps videos @ full HD 1080 resolution instead of X-Pro1’s maximum speed of 24 fps. Video recording has never been a strength of Fujifilm mirrorless cameras. Given the improvements it is clear they want to catch up in this respect.
- 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-Pro1). 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 X-E2’s Q button is now on the top panel, while the AE-L is now separated from the AF-L button and is 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. In our opinion, the biggest ergonomic advantage X-E2 has over X-Pro1, along with the Fn2 button, is that AF button has been re-positioned. With X-Pro1, you needed to hit the AF button with your left hand as it was located near the LCD screen on the left side of the camera. X-E2 allows you to change focus points with your right hand. Finally a step in the right direction. Now if only you didn’t need the AF button at all!
- EVF: Fujifilm X-E2 has a newer-generation EVF when compared to X-Pro1’s electronic viewfinder. It has higher resolution and, presumably, better responsiveness in low-light environments.
- Diopter Adjustment: sadly, the flagship model in Fujifilm mirrorless camera lineup does not offer built-in diopter adjustment. For some spectacle-wearers, this is a real drawback, as X-Pro1 only accepts diopter correction lenses (±3). X-E2 has built-in diopter correction (-4 to +2).
- Dimmensions and Weight: Fujifilm X-E2 is a whole 100g lighter than its big brother and noticeably smaller. While far from pocketable, some of the users are likely to appreciate the more compact dimmensions.
- Price: X-E2 is a whole $200 cheaper than X-Pro1, while also offering all of the above improvements.
As you can see, the list is quite long. But what about the improvements X-Pro1 has over X-E2?
- Hybrid Viewfinder: no doubt Fujifilm X-Pro1’s party piece is its hybrid viewfinder. It allows you to switch from a rangefinder-style optical viewfinder to EVF with one switch and gives the best of both worlds. Some photographers have a hard time adjusting to EVFs and prefer not to stare at a miniature screen, but rely on old-fashioned optical viewfinders. X-Pro1 offers a nice break from the rest of mirrorless camera pack.
- LCD Screen: X-Pro1 offers a 3″ LCD at the back, just like X-E2 does. However, X-Pro1 has slightly better resolution at 1.230 million dots versus 1.040 million of the X-E2. It is definitely not a huge difference and perhaps completely unnoticeable in real-world use, but still better on paper.
- Build Quality: the body of X-Pro1 is made of magnesium alloy, top to bottom. X-E2 is built from a mixture of plastic and magnesium alloy parts, so its build quality is slightly inferior.
- Handling: the fact that X-Pro1 is bigger can be both a plus and a drawback. For those with bigger hands X-Pro1 might be easier to handle.
X-Pro1 has a much shorter list of advantages over X-E2. Conclusions are very easy to draw – for most users, X-E2 offers much more sense, especially when price is taken into account. Currently, X-Pro1 retails for $1199, X-E1 – for $799. The X-E2, newest and possibly most capable of the three, slots perfectly in the middle and costs $999, but it manages to beat not only its predecessor, but also the more expensive, higher-end X-Pro1 camera. For the most of us, X-E2 is the best Fujifilm X camera currently on offer. However, for some users the larger size, hybrid viewfinder and better build quality of the X-Pro1 is definitely going to make it very tempting. Because of the higher price, there won’t be many such buyers, but look at it this way: X-Pro1 has never been more affordable and has never offered so much bang for you buck. One thing is certain, Fujifilm X-Pro1 sales are about to drop until the stocks run out – just in time for a replacement.