Need the last nudge before purchase. How happy are you with your X-E1 ??

Discussion in 'Fuji X Forum' started by nianys, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. nianys

    nianys SC Regular

    176
    Sep 10, 2012
    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...
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    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.

    -Ray
     
  3. tdp

    tdp Guest

    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.
     
  4. stanleyk

    stanleyk SC Top Veteran

    558
    May 23, 2011
    Taylor, Texas
    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.
     
  5. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    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.
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Here's my 2 cents.

    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.
     
  7. nianys

    nianys SC Regular

    176
    Sep 10, 2012
    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 ;)
     
  8. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    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.
     
  9. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    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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  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    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! :biggrin:

    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.

    -Ray
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Yes, but maybe or maybe not of the AF performance of new bodies with the three original lenses????? That's the sticking poing for me. But OTOH I was just playing around with my X-Pro this morning and remembering that I'm totally comfortable with how it works RIGHT NOW, so improvements will be welcome but I'm ok if it stays the same too. This is very different than my feeling about m43 a couple of years ago. There were some improvements that I knew were needed before I'd be satisfied with the system and, fortunately, all of them have come and many more that I'd have never thought of. For the way I like to use the Fuji, its just absolutely frickin' fine as is. If some future body improves on it, great - if not, also great...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. nianys

    nianys SC Regular

    176
    Sep 10, 2012
    Well that's the catch, none of the reliable sellers with good return policies have them here. The deal I've found is pre owned, but never used (barely open box). If I don't like it I should be able to resell with no loss, or very minor, but would have to go thru the hassle of listing, selling, etc (not that it bothers me much, I do that all the time).
    My decision (though obviously I very much want to buy it !!) is based on subtle things. I understand the AF is slow, but I expect IQ, controls and "cool factor" to make up for it. Also, the AF slow performance won't take me by surprise, as it did with the NEX. There's mass denial of the NEX AF issues, while they are well documented and admitted with the Fujis. Plus, we know for a fact there's a new firmware with further AF improvement in the pipeline and very close to released (was actually delayed last week) and I'm still hoping for Peaking to be added at some point. If all that holds true, i'll have a hard time hunting for a similar deal until for a while. I guess it's just I always have second thoughts when I'm getting ready to part with a large sum of money, lol.
     
  13. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    I think (though I could be wrong) that what you actually want is a camera that is not available yet -- a nice, mirrorless full frame, that looks good, has interchangeable lenses, and better controls and reasonably good AF (along with MF options). It's the same camera I'm waiting for too. If I'm right, then I'm guessing no camera will completely please you, so I think you should try the XE1, because you might as well, and the only loss is the resale. If you are far to busy to buy/sell cameras, then I would skip it, because I think you will sell it within a few months. The quirks will likely get to you. But if you've got some time, and IMO your works shows that you do get inspired by fun gear, as is seen in your shots, then it's worth the cost of the loss in resale.

    Just my two cents worth. Another way to put it -- if you decide NOT to try it, will you really walk away, or just keep thinking about it :D Might as well give it a spin, while you wait for the Sony NEX FF!
     
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  14. stanleyk

    stanleyk SC Top Veteran

    558
    May 23, 2011
    Taylor, Texas
    I would say the only way the AF system is not adequate is if you are shooting moving children. That said I shoot my dogs a lot with it and they don't stand still for very long. I find it is very accurate unlike the D700 which will miss sometimes even if the camera tells me it's in focus. The Fuji is slower but when it says it's in focus it's in focus.

    This site has a lot of good articles on Fuji cameras both pro and con. A lot professional photographers use them because of the beautiful colors, but they also take the time to understand how the camera works... :smile:

    Fuji X-Pro1 | Scoop.it
     
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Ahh, yes, that. But I used to hang out on the DPR m43 forum a lot (I still check in occasionally, but much less involved due to the insanity of the mob) and I recall your back and forth with the GX1 and OMD and whatever else over there. Sometimes we need to think out loud. With the ability to try while you buy, I tend to dive in and then tell the story of the stuff I kept and stuff I didn't keep after the fact. I don't buy a lot of used gear because I'm an idiot for the cutting edge. But I just bought a used GXR-28, a camera I've owned previously and loved and have decided selling it was a big mistake. I didn't buy it for its auto-focus - I mostly use the snap focus shortcut to zone focussing - but I'd forgotten just how SLOW that AF is. Its pretty sure once it locks on, but I just had my X-Pro and GXR out, both with the same 18mm (28mm equivalent) lenses, and the X-Pro absolutely SMOKES the GXR for AF speed. Just kills it. And I've never heard anyone really complain about Ricoh's AF. So, its all relative - you pick the tools that work well for you in the way you choose to use them...

    Good luck,

    -Ray
     
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Not trying to be a Debbie Downer (BTW, where is there no male version of that?). I love my X10 and can easily see picking up either an interchangeable lens Fuji body at some point if the end up getting focus peaking. I think that if XE-2 (or whatever it's called) has focus peaking then I would thing it would be a natural for you but based on what I think I know about your camera likes and dislikes (since we have more than a few in common) you have some very specific things you want from a body...shallow DOF, fast AF, enough physical controls and I am assuming a good MF experience as well to give your "baby" the Pen-F 38 a home. The way I see it the XE-1 definitely gives you two of those, physical controls and shallow DOF and the other two are debatable judging from the various responses.

    That said, don't let me be the lone voice of dissent, I have bought more than my share of gear just to try it out.
     
  17. nianys

    nianys SC Regular

    176
    Sep 10, 2012
    Thanks, thanks, and thanks !!
    A lot of very useful input here, I appreciate a lot. I never hid my taste for new cameras and playing with fun and sexy gear. OTOH I'm serious about finding a machine I bond with. When I think of that the first thing that comes to my mind is "a portrait tool", and I guess th X-E1 must be pretty good at that...
     
  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    As photographers we have GOT to come up with a better way to say something like that.
     
  19. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    Fair concerns.

    If you are prepared to invest a little time with this camera (and I suppose any other) it will likely deliver what you want. If you are shooting sports or other fast moving stuff, it's probably not for you. But otherwise, I believe your risk is low.

    Another thought: the camera is pretty much new to the market. There is demand. Buy it. Try it thoroughly for a while, say a month. If it is not for you, sell it on. You are unlikely to lose much. But then you will really know.

    Heck, by then Armanius will start missing his just sold XE1 and will likely grab it off you. Then, when you miss it, you can get it off him. :biggrin: (With apologies to Armanius.)
     
  20. nianys

    nianys SC Regular

    176
    Sep 10, 2012
    LOL... Good points ! Well (and Kevin sorry about that) but I "shoot moving children". And still ones, too. And dogs. I understand there will be limitations (maybe even serious ones) with that camera. If I decide to pass on the deal, I'm gonna keep agonizing over it for a while...I guess if I can be happy with the overall performance of the X10, the X-E1 couldn't be *that* far off ....