Blog by a Belgian Flying Photographer based in Dubai (UAE) specializing in Architectural, Travel and Aviation photography
Thursday, January 17, 2013
30 Days with the SEXY-1 ( or X-E1 )
For the last few years, I've been constantly on the look-out for a compact camera that gives me a light weight solution for some of my Travel photography needs. Although not bad, the image quality of semi-pro compact cameras like the Canon G series and Nikon P7xxx, still suffer from having a relatively small sensor.
End of 2012, courtesy of Gulf Photo Plus, I tested the FujiFilm X-1Pro. Returning the camera after 3 days, I was sold! The image quality of the 16 million APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor blew me away...
When Fuji announced the X-E1, a cheaper X-Pro1 in a slightly smaller body without the Optical Viewfinder (OVF), my order was in! The Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) however, works great and is of a much higher resolution than in its bigger brother.
Rather than writing a full review and similar to what I did during my first month with the Nikon D800; I decided to make a 3 minute slideshow of images shot during my first 30 days with the X-E1. Make sure you select 1080p and preferably view it on a high resolution screen for the best viewing experience.
While interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras have been around for several years, famous photographers like +Trey Ratcliff from Stuck in Customs, have predicted that the present DSLR camera is a dying breed. I must admit that the Nikon D800 body I bought early 2012, could indeed well be my last DSLR body...
Nicknamed by the Dutch photographer Frank Doorhof, as the "SEXY-1", it is like shooting a +$10.000 Leica M series on a budget.
Even though the full frame image quality of the D800 is still slightly better than the Fuji, the latter is surely not far of!
The amount of detail Fuji sensor puts out is simply mind-boggling. A good example is this nigh-shot of the Burj al Arab in Dubai.
The fact that this setup is very light and portable, has the advantage of being really stealthy. After all it looks like a "small camera"... I already managed to make images in places where I would have been chased away by the tripod police within minutes!
Low light high ISO performance is almost in par with my Nikon D800 body. ISO 6400 is easily useable as seen in the image above.
When Fuji initially came out with the X-series camera (X-100), the slow auto-focus was the number one complaint. Even though it still is slower than mirror-less cameras like the Sony NEX-6/7 and Olympus OM-D, Fuji has come a long way and to me it is more than adequate for the task.
Another complaint is the limited support for RAW file conversions. Lightroom 4.3 does support the camera, but because the sensor uses some very new technology (Trans CMOS), the full potential of the RAW development is not (yet) seen. On the other side and even though I'm not a jpeg shooter, the quality of the jpegs is excellent.
For the moment I only use the 18-55mm 2.8-4 "kitlens" which proofs to be very versatile and sharp. Another link to the "30 days with the Sexy-1" can be found here.
Tomorrow I'm off to Singapore and guess what camera I'm taking... Yes indeed the Sexy-1!
Remember: "No photographer is as good as the simplest camera" - Edward Steichen