In with the new? GXR to X-E1 - who has made the switch?

Discussion in 'Fuji X Forum' started by Lightmancer, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    So, as you know (pay attention at the back there) I have for a year or more been a happy owner of a GXR with the M module; this is in fact the camera that led me to coming here in the first place. I am still enjoying it, but I am eyeing up an X-E1... Gather 'round while I run my logic past you.

    The reason for my getting the GXR in the first place was the M module; I have a raft of Leica, Zeiss and CV glass that fits on it very nicely thank you and gives excellent results. I also use my Leica R glass on there; they are Leitaxed and I use them with a Nikon to Leica M adaptor from Novoflex. It is therefore by far my most flexible "platform", taking as it does almost every lens (LTM, M, R, Nikon) that I own. I also love the fact that it is a Jekyll and Hyde camera; I can hand it to a waiter with the P10 module attached and he can take a snap, or I can shoot it with my Sonnar and get exceptional, nicely nuanced results. What I don't like about the GXR is the (now) smallish Mp, and the clip-on EVF, which I am constantly knocking.

    I also have an X10 so I am Fuji literate. Now I am casting glances at the X-E1... The X-Pro didn't really float my boat; too big, and too much of a compromise - M-sized with a crop sensor. The X-E1 is more attractive to me; smaller, lighter, with the same sensor as its bigger brother. I like an OVF but I have two Leica Ms for that; an MP4 .85 and an M2, so the best of both worlds. I use the EVF on the GXR extensively, so it would be nice to have it built in as on the X-E1 and I would like the larger sensor real estate.

    So, questions, ideally to those who have transitioned from GXR to X-E1:

    1. How's the focussing? I love the GXR implementation and I don't want to step backwards
    2. How's the sensor (X-Pro owners can chime in here, since it is the same sensor). Is it as good as the GXR M module and what is the situation with regard to anti-aliasing filters?
    3. How's the EVF? Is it truly liveable with?

    I know that I will have to buy a new body, the M adaptor and I can see myself buying the 35 1.4 sooner or later, so even with selling off the GXR this is not a cheap choice, so I want to make sure it is sensible and viable; input and opinions welcome.

    Thanking you kindly in advance...
     
  2. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't have the X-E1, so grain of salt time with anything I say, but I have been looking at the X-E1 with a casual eye myself for a couple of reasons

    - more MP; many M lenses really do deserve more resolution behind them, plus increased crop-ability is always a bonus for me.
    - better noise performance at higher ISO; this is one of the GXR M Mount A12 weaknesses that gets in my way too often.
    - availability of autofocus lenses but unfortunately not yet a 35mm equivalent field of view. Next year a 23mm is to arrive... rather than buy on faith I'd prefer to see how the new lens performs as a 35mm equivalent focal length is very important to me.

    What holds me back other than waiting for the 23mm:

    - I might be better off with a NEX-7, 24 megapixels, and the Zeiss 24/1.8

    - NEX-6 is more directly comparable to the X-E1, also has a 16MP sensor, probably does well with most of my M lenses based on early reports, and has the same EVF as the X-E1, A99, and RX1 (improved over the NEX-7 / A77)

    - Being a GXR user myself, and a former NEX shooter, I don't honestly believe I'd be happy without focus peaking. I virtually never disable focus peaking on the GXR but I do flip between the two modes depending on what I'm doing.

    - I make heavy use of ACR/PS and Lightroom. Until Fujiflm/Adobe produce raw conversion software that handles the XTrans sensor properly in every case, I'm just not interested in considering any XTrans cameras. They say they are working at it... but it's been a year and still nothing.

    If my GXR died tomorrow I would probably consider both the NEX-6 and -7 and the Sony Zeiss 24mm and likely get rid of my wider M glass if I went the -7.

    What I'd really love to see... Ricoh bring out a full frame module for the GXR and a new EVF based on the same one in the RX1 and then both you and I will likely look no further but they are so quiet on what they are doing with the GXR... it is maddening. If they brought out a 16 or 24MP APS-C sensor M mount unit certainly I'd be considering it too, but they really need to also update the EVF to make that system competitive with other offerings. As you know the EVF makes life difficult in lower light situations, particularly in mode 2 FA.

    Unwilling to wait for Ricoh to announce what they will or will not do, and because 35mm is what I want with me 24x7, I'm going to sell off my ZM25/2.8 and ZM35/2 and buy a Sony RX1. Neither are rare lenses so if one day someone does make the camera I really want, I can always repurchase whatever M glass I choose to let go.

    Or there's the Leica M typ-240 when it ships next year. Not for me due to cost - I just won't spend that much on a digital body ever.

    One thing learned about the NEX-5N and NEX-7 is that just because one M lens model works well on one doesn't guarantee it'll work on another. I'm hesitant to put my M lenses on any new camera until we know how edge performance, colour shift, and vignetting affect the lens-camera combo. The latter two can be corrected in camera or in post, but the first - lost detail at the edges and corners - can't be fixed. Some lenses which were OK or OK-ish on the NEX-5 (and presumably now the -6) were not very good at all on the NEX-7 and the same was true with the X-Pro 1 - mileage varies.
     
  3. dayou14

    dayou14 New to SC

    2
    Jan 3, 2012
    Beijing
    Use it with several M adapters, then decide.

    Hi,

    I have the GXR M Module (actually, I pretty much have the entire set except the new A16 24-85), and I also have the X-Pro 1 with the 35 1.4.

    The first thing that really strikes u is that the XPro and X-E1 have NO FOCUS PEAKING. This could be a deal breaker, as unless you do exclusive zone focussing, critical focus is much easier with focus peaking.

    Since you're using M glass exclusively anyways, the slow AF speed is unlikely to be a problem for you on X series cameras.

    Having used both the XPro-1 and the GXR-M module, I can say hand on my heart that the two sensors are of a different level. The XPro-1 (and XE-1 since they share the same sensor) is about as good as a full frame 5D Mark II, and if you compare 100% crops on it, on some sunny situations, could actually have more detail. While the GXR-M Module also doesn't have the AA filter, there's no option of extending ISO beyond 3200.

    EVF: The EVF on the XPro-1 is quite good. It's better than the on on the GXR ( I have both), nothing to worry about.

    Things to consider:
    GXR-M is probably the last of the experiments of the Ricoh GXR system, and whether the format survives is actually open to question.
    But I love my GXR and would not sell it even if I use other systems more and more often.

    If paired with M lenses (Leica or otherwise), you are unlikely to get IQ better than on the GXR-M, unless you go with Leica FF M9 or M10.
    The XPro-1 may have the better sensor, but I don't know once the camera uses an adapter, how it behaves.
    I'll give an example. You can use the GXR-M module, or you can pair your M lenses with the NEX-7. Both are APS-C. But the difference is very apparent. The GXR-M gives more pleasing results at the micro level. It is just made for it.

    This is something to consider.

    So on balance, I say to make the switch only when you've managed to adapt all your fav lenses on an XE-1 or Xpro-1. Rent a weekend would be a sensible solution.

    Bian








    So, questions, ideally to those who have transitioned from GXR to X-E1:

    1. How's the focussing? I love the GXR implementation and I don't want to step backwards
    2. How's the sensor (X-Pro owners can chime in here, since it is the same sensor). Is it as good as the GXR M module and what is the situation with regard to anti-aliasing filters?
    3. How's the EVF? Is it truly liveable with?
     
  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Brian, that's really good food for thought. I admit that focus peakng probably is the deal-breaker for me - I have really come to appreciate it.

    Thanks to all who have responded on this; I think for now I shall be staying as I am.


    Sent from another Galaxy