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By 10 September 2012 | Categories: news

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We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 earlier this year, lauding its image quality and excellent build. But with a R20 000 price tag on the body alone, it simply is not destined for many camera bags. Now Fujifilm has unveiled the X-E1, their second interchangeable camera from the brand this year, and for all intents and purposes, it looks like a smaller (and cheaper) version of the X-Pro1.
 
The X-E1 boasts the same 16 megapixel APS-C sensor found on its bigger brother, with a more compact body (350 g), built-in flash and, importantly, the same X-mount for the (excellent) Fujinon XF lens range. But while the X-Pro1 contained a hybrid viewfinder (able to switch between optical and electronic), the X-E1 goes with an OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) only.
 
While camera purist might scoff at this idea, we don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. One of the benefits of an EVF is that you can see your image adjust as you play around with the settings. This while the X-E1’s EVF’s resolution is a hefty 2.36 million dots (vs 1.4 million on the X-Pro1), according to Fujifilm one of the highest resolutions available on digital cameras. Fujifilm further states that the viewfinder has a high contrast ratio of 1:5000 resulting in rich gradation and faithful reproduction of focus, exposure, white balance and film simulation effects in the viewfinder.
 
The 2.8” LCD display at the back can also be used to frame shots or, more conventionally, playback images and video. It contains a fair 460 000 dot resolution and provides almost 100% coverage.
Same sensor
 
Image quality was a treat on the X-Pro1, and with the same 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor, there is no reason to believe that the X-E1 won’t boast the same results. According to Fujifilm, the colour filter array can effectively minimise moiré and false colours without the need for an optical low pass filter. This makes it possible for the camera to maximise its advanced resolution capture, and to record each photograph brightly and clearly across the whole image.
 
Also on offer is Fujifilm’s interesting “Film Simulation Modes” to simulate the distinctive textures of conventional photo film (remember that?). Use the high saturation "Velvia" for landscape shots with stunning primary colours, "ASTIA" for faithful smooth skin tone reproduction and the more versatile "PROVIA" for its natural look, as well as two additional settings based on professional colour-negative films.
 
Soft tonal PRO Neg.Std and the sharper PRO Neg.Hi are both suitable for indoor portrait photography, while three types of filter simulation are also available for monochrome and sepia looks. The Film Simulation Bracketing function uses a single exposure to produce three images with Film Simulation effects applied.
 
Full HD Movie recording
 
As with most higher-end cameras, users can shoot HD movies (1920 x 1080) at 24 frames per second. In addition you can now use Monochrome or Film Simulation modes when video recording.
 
The Fujifilm X-E1 comes in two colours - black and a more retro-looking silver. It looks set to retail for $1 700 (R14 000) for the body only, which unfortunately still places it above the magical R10 000 mark. Unfortunately at time of going to print, no local release date or prices were available.
 
Fujifilm X-E1 key features list:
 
?      16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS Sensor
?      EXR Processor Pro
?      Fujifilm X-mount (For Fujinon XF lenses)
?      Extra high-resolution 2.36 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder
?      2.8” (460K dot) LCD (High contrast, High Brightness and Wide viewing angle)
?      Built-in pop-up Flash (hotshoe attachment also available for external flash)
?      ISO 200 – 6400, extended ISO 100, 12800, 25600 (range of ISO400-6400 when using ISO Auto)
?      0.05 sec Shutter time lag
?      Q (quick) button to shooting menu settings
?      In-camera RAW converter
?      Film simulation modes (Velvia, ASTIA, Provia, Monochrome, Sepia, PRO Neg.Std & PRO Neg.Hi)
?      Artistic features including multiple exposure & panoramic shooting
?      Auto Bracketing functions (AE/ISO/DR &FS)
?      Full HD movie
?      Microphone/shutter release input (Φ2.5 mm)
?      Approx. 350 shots per battery charge

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