Summary: The X-E2 is a highly capable enthusiast-focused camera capable of producing excellent images. Direct control dials and plenty of customization make for an engaging shooting experience, and its output is impressive. Wi-Fi and in-camera Raw conversion make it easy to share images. It's only really the lacklustre video that disappoints.
Pros: Classic camera appearance and layout makes you want to take pictures, Excellent JPEGs with good color, little need to use raw most of the time, Reliable metering and AWB systems, Impressive image quality at all ISO settings - good resolution and low noise, DR modes make it easy to use camera's impressive dynamic range, Wi-Fi is handy and reasonably well-implemented, In-camera Raw conversion lets you make the best of the camera's JPEG engine, Built-in flash with genera...
Cons: Disappointing movie quality, JPEGs appear to over-process skin tones at high ISO, Interaction of ISO and DR modes potentially confusing, Q-menu prioritizes obscure settings at the expense of arguably more useful ones, Face Detection mode poorly integrated and not very successful, No wireless flash control option, Flash exposure compensation setting awkward to access (requires trip into menus), Built-in level isn't always as accurate as we'd like, Camera disables Raw s...
Conclusion: We always recommend that photographers shoot raw files where possible to get the best image quality, but this is especially true with the X-E2, provided you have access to Adobe Camera Raw to process the files, as this elevates the results - in many cases producing images that are better than those from competing cameras, such as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic GX7.
Conclusion: The X-E2 doesn't succeed in every area, failing to match competing models in terms of AF speed and Wi-fi performance. However, if you're looking for a retro rangefinder-type CSC that delivers in terms of design and image quality, the X-E2 is a pleasure to use and one of the best on the market.
Excerpt: : This 16.3 megapixel mirrorless interchangeable lens camera has an APS-C size sensor with the low-pass filter removed to improve sharpness. There is a 75mm LCD which is non-swivelling and a high resolution eye-level electronic viewfinder. The camera is quite large and heavy and the lens is big, so there is not as much benefit from the mirrorless form compared with the Panasonic/Olympus range. There is built-in WiFi of limited functionality.
Excerpt: Mirrorless cameras are rapidly becoming the most popular form of photography today, and for good reason. They are positioned halfway between a compact and a DSLR, and not only do you find people stepping up to them from their point-and-shoots, but also professionals are choosing to use them as an extra body, or as a camera to be used discreetly for situations like street photography.
Pros: Excellent build and image quality; built-in Wi-Fi
Cons: Electronic viewfinder takes a little time to get used to
Conclusion: Our pal N, a fastidious photographer whose work includes photographing concerts, is buying the X-E2. He is a Nikon man from way back but is prepared to get into a new system, even though there are only a few lenses and they are expensive, because of the high-ISO performance. It is lighter that his DSLRs and possibly less conspicuous in its all-black form. For N's purpose it is ideal but at the price it is short of features others might seek in a new camera.
Pros: Image quality is excellent, right up to ISO6400. The high-ISO, low-light performance is brilliant, so even though it has an inbuilt flash it will hardly ever be needed. The kit lens is mechanically and optically outstanding.
Cons: The fixed LCD is a disappointment. Swivelling LCDs are so useful that omitting one at this price is regrettable. And the SD memory card cannot be accessed when the camera is on a tripod, which again is unusual for a high-class camera.
Excerpt: As companies clamour to deliver the best possible camera solutions, sometimes all it takes is a little bit of polish and effort on a manufacturer's behalf to buff out the apparent spec sheet blemishes of an older model to deliver a winning ticket. And that’s exactly what the Fujifilm X-E2 is all about.
Pros: Image quality leads the way, retro design, decent screen and viewfinder, solid build quality, lenses with hands-on aperture controls, improves upon predecessor with success
Cons: So-so battery life, autofocus not flawless, continuous autofocus is slow, still too easy to knock exposure compensation dial
Summary: The X-E2 will appeal to anyone who liked the appearance and functionality of the X-E1. Essentially, Fujifilm has taken a very good Compact System Camera (CSC) and improved it in response to requests from owners of its predecessor. Buyers of this camera will be primarily raw shooters who want sophisticated controls in a compact camera body that doesn't compromise on performance and build quality. Its user interface will appeal to traditionalists and serious photographers.