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Fuji X-E2 review

The build we love, but with faster responses and better image quality

Our Verdict

The X-E2 isn't designed to appeal to novice photographers, but many enthusiasts will love it. The key features are within easy reach, there's an excellent viewfinder and the images are also superb – especially the raw files.

For

  • EVF built-in
  • 920,000-dot LCD
  • Faster responses
  • Improved AF system

Against

  • Fixed screen
  • No touchscreen
  • Advanced Filters are 'JPEG only'

Fuji has earned huge respect from photographers for its X-series cameras. Many aspire to own the Fuji X-Pro 1, while others have opted for the smaller Fuji X-E1. Those wanting an even more compact interchangeable lens camera have the choice of the Fuji X-M1 or Fuji X-A1.

With the introduction of the Fuji X-E2, we have the first update to Fuji's interchangeable lens X-series. This new camera uses exactly the same APS-C format 16.3-million-pixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor as the Fuji X-100S.

Ratings in depth

Fuji X-E2 review
Fuji X-E2 review
Fuji X-E2 review
Fuji X-E2 review
Fuji X-E2 review


Unlike most cameras that use a Bayer pattern of red, green, green and blue receptors (usually referred to as RGGB) arranged in a 2 x 2 grid, the X-Trans CMOS II device uses a 6 x 6 RGGB filter array pattern, with a random arrangement of colour filters within each block of 36 photoreceptors.

This makes the sensor is less prone to moire patterning, and as a result Fuji is able to omit the anti-aliasing filter that overlays most digital camera sensors. The benefit of this is that the camera is able to produce sharper, more detailed images than a model with the same size sensor and pixel count and an anti-aliasing filter.

Features

As in the X100S, Fuji has coupled the X-E2's sensor with the EXR Processor II. This combination allows a start-up time of 0.5 seconds, shutter lag of 0.05 seconds and a maximum continuous shooting speed of seven frames per second when shooting JPEG images (with a class 10 SD card inserted). The writing speed is also reported to be 1.8x faster than in the X-E1. In addition, there is 14-bit raw support which should mean smoother tonal gradations.

Sensitivity may be set in the native range of ISO 200-6400, but it can be expanded for JPEG files to ISO 100-25,600.

Down the X-E2's throat

One of the main improvements offered by the X-E2 over the X-E1 is the addition of Fuji's Lens Modulation Optimiser technology, which tailors the processing of each image depending upon the specific lens, focal length and aperture used. It corrects diffraction blur to create sharper images across the frame. This system is compatible with the entire XF lens line-up. However, it is an option that users can choose to switch on or off as they prefer.

An additional benefit of using the X-Trans CMOS II sensor is that it has pixels dedicated for use by a phase detection autofocus system and the camera can use either contrast or phase detection depending upon situation. This is backed up with face-detection focusing, which can be useful at social gatherings.

Another claim to fame for the X-E2 is that it has the world's fastest phase detection autofocus speed of 0.08 seconds. Naturally, there are a few riders to this claim. Firstly, it relates to the phase detection element of the hybrid system, and secondly, Fuji says it's the fastest amongst digital cameras with a 4/3-inch or larger sensor.

Fuji X-E2
Keep the shutter release down for continuous AF

Fuji has also improved the X-E2's continuous AF system. Unlike with the X-E1, this now continues to operate while the shutter release is half pressed and the AF point is no longer locked to the centre of the frame. This improvement is made for both stills photography and while shooting movies.

On the subject of movies, the X-E2 is capable of shooting full HD movies at 60fps as well as 30fps.

Like the X-E1, the X-E2 has an electronic viewfinder. As before, this OLED unit has a resolution of 2.36 million dots and covers approximately 100% of the field of view. However, according to Fuji the unit has been improved to give better performance in low light.

As in the X100s, the EVF offers a digital split image as well as focus-peaking to assist with manual focusing, something that we found especially useful with close subjects.

Whereas the X-E1 has a 2.8-inch 460,000-dot LCD, the X-E2 has a three-inch 920,000-dot screen which should provide more detail when composing and reviewing images.

Fuji X-E2
The three-inch screen

Naturally, the new camera has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in, and after the initial connection has been made transferring images to a smartphone or tablet via Fuji's free app is a one-touch process.

It's also possible to wirelessly back-up images automatically to computer once the camera has been paired with a router.

Other improvements over the X-E1 include the ability to preview the exposure in the live view display of the screen and EVF, more accurate histogram display with high-contrast scenes, Dynamic Range Auto being available with manual exposure mode, maximum sensitivity and minimum shutter speed limits being customisable with the ISO Auto option, the provision of Fuji's Super Intelligent Flash and the ability to delete images from the zoomed-in view.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution16.3 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyX
Image StabilizationNo
ColourBlack
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameFujifilm
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Orientation Sensor, External Flash Shoe, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, H.264
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)300 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, REACH
Maximum Image Resolution4896 x 3264
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeX-Trans CMOS II
Total Camera Resolution16.7 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody Only
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNP-W126
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I)
Height74.9 mm
Width129 mm
Depth37.2 mm
Autofocus Points49
Product SeriesX
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsPCM
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain Sync, Suppressed Flash, Commander, Red-eye Reduction
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerFuji Photo Film Co. Ltd
Product ModelX-E2
Product NameX-E2 Mirrorless Camera
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberP10NC11720A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.fujifilm.co.uk
Marketing Information
  • X-Trans™ CMOS II & EXR Processor II harness the full potential of each XF lens to capture breathtaking quality in every image.
  • World's fastest auto focus speed of 0.08 sec. achieved by Fujifilm's unique phase detection AF system.
  • Classic design enables instinctive manual operation.
World's fastest AF speed of 0.08 sec. achieved by the integration of phase detection pixels into the advanced sensor.

High-speed response from the on-sensor phase detection AF system and accurate focusing in dark scenes that only contrast AF can deliver - the FUJIFILM X-E2 has both and Intelligent Hybrid AF automatic switches to the optimal focusing system for the scene and conditions. A newly developed algorithm improves AF accuracy when shooting low-contrast subjects and dark scenes. The evolved AF system of the FUJIFILM X-E2 brings your subject into sharp focus so quickly that priceless moments will never escape your lens.
Battery Life350 Shot
Package Contents
  • X-E2 Mirrorless Camera
  • Li-ion Battery NP-W126
  • Battery Charger BC-W126
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Body Cap
  • Metal Strap Clip
  • Protective Cover
  • Clip Attaching Tool
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Owner's Manual
Display Resolution1040000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone