January 28th, 2013, 09:59 AM
Need the last nudge before purchase. How happy are you with your X-E1 ??
Ok, I've probably found the best deal I'm gonna get on a X-E1 (2 months old but totally unused and registered with Fuji club France for extra guaranty) with 35/1.4 (purchased new in June and unused since, but with latest firmware upgrade). Body is black (my initial choice) and everything comes with boxes, manuals, invoices, etc.
Now, while not life altering, it's still a pretty fair chunk of money and I wouldn't want to do the wrong thing. I've been shooting FF in 2011 and before (along with APS-S), then a 6 months stunt with a GX-1 and mostly fast primes, then NEX with manual glass only (NEX's native lenses AF didn't cut it and Peaking was just too sweet not to use extensively).
Now, I'm a portrait shooter and shallow DOF lover at heart, that's pretty much 90% of what I (love to) do.
I got a X10 three days ago and love it to pieces already, but what I truly want is the X-E1 with 35 prime.
I understand AF is not the fastest, God knows I've watched enough demo videos on Utube, by itself and vs other cams to have a pretty good idea how what it performs lile.
NOW, something I just cannot find info about is how usable is manual focus with this cam ?? I'm still hoping they will add focus peaking via firmware update, but I want to know how you guys enjoy MF as it is, now ??
Overall, how happy, satisfied, or on the opposite, disappointed, annoyed, with your X-Es ????
Thanks, I'm really sitting on the fence here and need an extra nudge, one way or the other...
Last edited by nianys; January 28th, 2013 at 10:35 AM.
January 28th, 2013, 10:44 AM
I have the X-Pro, but its basically the same camera other than the OVF and flash. So I'd again refer you back to your experience with the GF1 and 20mm - I'd say the focus with the 35mm is pretty similar to that. We can quibble about whether its slightly faster in good light or hunts a bit more in low light, but my memory of that setup is quite similar to the X-Pro with the 35. And if expectations play into my memory, I'd guess the Fuji is actually quicker, because now I'm comparing it to REALLY FAST m43 bodies and lenses and in the GF1 days, everything else was equally slow or slower (like the EPL1 or EP2 with the same lens). The 18mm lens is pretty quick if you're interested in eventually adding that. And I suspect future lenses will be somewhat faster, as future bodies should be as well.
The Fuji's AF will frustrate a pro who's used to a DSLR and needs that kind of performance. Most people who don't have those types of expectations are pretty happy with them. My bigger concern with the XE1 would be the lag in the EVF. If its like the EVF in the X-Pro (which I understand it is, although it lags at higher resolution!), its not nearly as usable as the EVFs you're used to from the m43 world or probably from Nex (although I'm just going by what I read about the Nex EVFs). Doesn't bother me with the X-Pro because I use the EVF so rarely, but with the XE1 it would be a very different story. So, I'd try one if there's ANY way you can find a demo somewhere. If not, I think they're great cameras and the AF has never been a problem to me, but the EVF might be.
January 28th, 2013, 10:56 AM
I've had the X-E1 + XF35mm lens since October and picked up the XF18 recently. I also have adapted my Voigtlander Nokton 40mm for the Fuji (which is manual focus only).
For tripod work I use the 35 and 18 on manual focus (which is by wire, but not horrible).
For manual focus I push in on the scroll wheel to zoom the EVF/LCD in, fine tune the focus then take the shot. For legacy lenses you can zone focus the normal way, with Fuji lenses that do not have an external DOF scale there is an electronic scale DOF on the EVF/LCD.
I have a 5DII, EM5 and XE1 and manual focus lenses for all three. The EM5 is the easiest to manual focus between those three because the IS is in camera and works for legacy lenses as well - so the zoomed EVF/LCD view is stabilized. Makes hand-held manual focus easier.
January 28th, 2013, 11:10 AM
For shallow DOF you can't do better at less than say $1200 than the Fuji 35mm. It is really good at F1.4 (which I guess is about F2.0 on a FF). The 60 has beautiful bokeh but they are releasing a 56mm F1.4 (roughly 85mm FF equivalent) and 23mm F1.4 (35mm FF equivalent) later this year. I only shoot Fuji and Nikon (D700) but the Fuji lenses are so good that I haven't even bothered adapting the Nikon ones.
Ray is correct that you are basically getting the same camera as the X Pro for what's really important- the sensor/processor. However, I would still try one out. Some people can't live with the AF speed. It has never been a problem for me. I use manual focus lenses a lot with my Nikon so I'm probably the exception as opposed to the rule. It might be my eyesight but I don't like manual focus with EVF's. The X Pro is the favorite of all the cameras I've ever owned. I'm just completely unconvinced that most people would share my enthusiasm.
January 28th, 2013, 11:50 AM
As with Ray and stanleyk I am an X-Pro1 shooter, and agree with their take. I would add that given your love of portraiture, the EVF lag isn't likely to bother you. I don't use the EVF on my Pro a lot, but when I do it's fine for what I shoot.
If you can, try one before buying.
January 28th, 2013, 11:55 AM
Here's my 2 cents.
Originally Posted by nianys
Based on your experiences with the NEX and I would HIGHLY recommend try one out before you buy. If it is as Ray says you're looking at GF1+P20 speed for AF that is not particularly fast. I think IQ might be secondary for you because ultimately it was AF speed that was the reason you sold the NEX (and the primary thing that you mention in every review you have written) and while the Fuji IQ is said to spectacular the NEX is no slouch IQ wise. Also you have noted how great the AF was on the GX1 with the PL25 (and it is pretty great) and how the Fuji X10 is the minimum acceptable AF speed so I think that you need to make sure that suits you before shelling out the money. I know you've seen tons of YouTube videos about XE-1 AF speed but as you and I both know the only way to know for sure is to try it out yourself. On video the AF speed of the Sigma 30 on the NEX doesn't seems all that objectionable but it can be maddening when you are trying to use it and it hunts like crazy (something I understand the XE-1 does in lowlight). As for MF...the Fuji does not have focus peaking. It might get that in the future (it seems certain that at least the successor to the XE-1 will have it based on the X100s and X20) but there is no guarantee the XE-1 will get it. Making older models competitive with a feature like that tends to impact new model sales and Sony giving focus peaking to their NEX3 and NEX5 after the fact was really an unusual move IMHO.
I say this not as someone trying to stop you from scratching that "wanna buy a new camera" itch (I'm the last person that would do that) but as someone that has bought and re-bought so many bodies looking for the "perfect" one. If you can possibly try one before hand I would do that. I know you've found a good deal but there are always good deals to be found. The great thing about this hobby os that the longer you wait the cheaper things get.
Last edited by dixeyk; January 28th, 2013 at 12:05 PM.
January 28th, 2013, 12:01 PM
Ahh, Kevin, you're raining on my parade here ;) I appreciate it though, I wanted unbiased and honest opinions. Sure, AF was the reason I parted with the NEX. I still think I could suffer through similar AF to enjoy the Fuji IQ and character. Yes the NEX were excellent, no doubt. But the 7 was the only one with decent controls. I'm actually enjoying the X10's UI much better. As you've found out for yourself (and you've been totally instrumental in me getting the X10) those Fuji X bodies are really, really special beasts.
Keep the opinions coming guys, so far the score is 3 to 1 to buy ;)
January 28th, 2013, 12:13 PM
Buy it. Especially if it is a decent deal. You are not risking the purchase price, only the difference in what you'd lose on a re-sale. While it is a good idea to try it first, the reality for me is that I need a prolonged test drive in most cases to really form a decent opinion. 30 minutes of handling something in a shop will only weed out the worst options. I'm pretty sure the X-E1 doesn't land in that category.
January 28th, 2013, 12:18 PM
I said bye bye to my XE1 last week. But my interest was definitely not to use the XE1 as a MF camera. So my needs/wants are definitely different. To me, AF speed and accuracy in all lighting conditions are very important. So for now, it'll still be OMD. I am TOTALLY looking forward to the new AF systems on the X20 and X100S though. It could be very telling of the AF performance of the XPro2 and XE2! :)
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January 28th, 2013, 12:21 PM
Looked to me like it was 3-1 to TRY before you buy. If you read it differently, I think you have your mind made up!
Originally Posted by nianys
If you sold your Nex because of controls, I think you'll find the Fuji will be a big improvement. If you sold it because of AF issues, I doubt you'll be happy with the switch.
You really ought to find one to try out in person or buy from a retailer with a return policy. I mostly buy from Amazon and B&H in the States and both have very liberal return policies. I don't abuse them, but I buy with more confidence knowing I can return something if after a couple of days I know its not gonna work for me. And I've returned a few, in addition to keeping a good deal more. I can pretty much always tell within a few days, at most.
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