Review: Fuji X-E1 starts a sibling rivalry with image quality that challenges big brother X-Pro1—for a lot less


posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2:42 PM EDT


The Fuji X-E1 may be the baby brother to Fujifilm's flagship X-Pro1, but in many ways is its equal. Most importantly, the two compact system cameras (CSCs) share the same impressive 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor, which produces image quality superior to most APS-C-sensor-based digital SLRs, but in arguably more attractive camera body designs. The Fujifilm X-E1 is also significantly less expensive than its older sibling, while boasting many of the same features. We loved the X-E1's look, which marries the design of a classic rangefinder camera with a smart and sophisticated CSC. And the Fuji X-E1's polycarbonate-and-magnesium build make it quite light and highly portable, especially when compared to the X-Pro1.

Though its operational performance is a bit of a mixed bag with slow startup and mediocre AF shutter lag and shot-to-shot times, the X-E1 shines when it comes to image quality. Our photos looked wonderful -- with lots of resolution and detail. While we didn't expect much from the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens -- which is the first zoom for Fuji's X-series interchangeable lens cameras -- it produced images with impressive sharpness and professional looking background blur (bokeh), which is great for portraits. The Fuji X-E1 also really stood out against the competition in low-light situations and higher ISOs (especially in the 1,600 to 3,200 range).

Bottom line: There's little to complain about with the Fuji X-E1, and a lot to praise -- especially at its price of $1,000 (body only), about $700 cheaper than the X-Pro1. Check out IR's ultimate conclusion on the camera by reading our Fuji X-E1 review.