Fujifilm X-E2S Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-E2S|
(23.6mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||200 - 6400|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/32000 - 30 sec|
|Max Aperture:||2.8 (kit lens)|
5.1 x 2.9 x 1.5 in.
(129 x 75 x 37 mm)
includes batteries, kit lens
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-E2S specifications|
Fuji X-E2S Review -- First Impressions
by William Brawley
Preview posted: 01/14/2016
After the long-awaited update to their flagship rangefinder-style X-series camera, the X-Pro2, Fujifilm also served up a refresh of their smaller, premium rangefinder-esque mirrorless camera, the Fuji X-E2S. As the name suggests, this "S" model comes as an update over the two-year-old X-E2, and while not largely different than its predecessor, it offers a handful of welcomed improvements and upgrades.
That being said, it should be noted that current Fuji X-E2 owners will not be left out in the cold. Fuji has historically been very generous with regards to firmware updates, often providing lots of new features and performance improvements to older camera models. With the X-E2, Fuji will be releasing a firmware update that will add almost all the improvements of the X-E2S to this older model.
Externally, the Fuji X-E2S shares a lot in common with its predecessor. Apart from the updated contour on the handgrip, the body design is largely unchanged with its familiar rectangular, boxy shape and rangefinder-style EVF placement in the top left corner (as viewed from the back of the camera). The top and rear of the camera are nearly identical with very similar controls and button arrangements. The Fuji X-E2S allows owners to customize the function of up to seven buttons on the top and back of the camera so they can quickly access settings and modes that they use most often -- Fuji also states that the X-E2S now has an updated user interface for quicker access to important settings.
Like the X-E2 (with firmware version 2.00 or greater installed), the Fuji X-E2S features a "Real-Time Viewfinder," which according to Fujifilm has the world's shortest EVF display lag time of a mere 0.005 seconds. Combined with a decent 0.62x magnification (35mm eq.) and a high-resolution 2360K-dot OLED screen, the electronic viewfinder on the Fuji X-E2S should function more closely to a traditional optical viewfinder with very little perceivably lag and sharp, crisp detail.
Also like its predecessor, the Fuji X-E2S is built around an APS-C-sized 16.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor coupled to an EXR Processor II image processor. In some areas, performance specs remain the same as in the older model, but in other areas, there are some subtle, but welcomed improvements. However, there is one notable decrease which is mentioned below.
The ISO sensitivity range of the Fuji X-E2S is expanded one stop with a higher extended option of ISO 51,200, a bump up from the ISO 25,600 maximum on the X-E2, though native ISO still tops out at 6400. According to Fuji's specs, shutter lag and start-up time remain just as quick, at 0.05s and 0.5s*, respectively. Burst shooting remains up to 7fps for JPEG files (no spec is stated for RAW or RAW+JPEGs burst rates, though the specs for the X-E2 list 7fps as well, so one can infer that it's the same or similar with this updated model). The camera can also capture a continuous burst of images at a slower 3fps rate, with an unlimited buffer capacity when shooting JPEGs. One unfortunate change to burst shooting, however, is that according to Fuji's specs, the maximum buffer capacity for the higher speed 7fps mode is limited to around 18 JPEG images for the X-E2S, whereas it was 28 frames on the earlier X-E2. All these differences disappear when you upgrade the X-E2 to firmware version 4.00, though, even the buffer depth spec becomes the same.
(*The 0.5s start-up time occurs when "High Performance mode" is enabled, otherwise it's a 1.0s start-up.)
The Fuji X-E2S' autofocus system gets a performance and feature boost compared to the predecessor, with a slightly faster focus acquisition speed of 0.06 seconds, according to Fuji's specs -- down from 0.08s on the X-E2. While the hybrid AF system, which combines both contrast-detection and on-sensor phase detect, still offers the standard 49-point Single Point mode as the earlier model, the Fuji X-E2S gains updated Zone and Wide/Tracking modes with a 77-point area array to help track moving subjects. Again, firmware version 4.00 updates the X-E2's autofocus system to these specs.
Other feature improvements on the Fuji X-E2S include silent shooting thanks to an all-electronic shutter mode, which also allows for a super-fast 1/32,000s shutter speed -- perfect for shooting portraits with that 56mm f/1.2 lens in bright conditions! (The mechanical shutter is still limited to 1/4,000s.) The Fuji X-E2S also adds the Classic Chrome film simulation mode to the already healthy array of popular film simulation options and creative filters, a built-in interval timer for timelapse ranging from one second to 24 hours (up to 999 frames), and a dedicated Auto mode button (in place of the Fn2 button on the X-E2) that lets you quickly enter a new Advanced SR Auto mode, which automatically selects optimal settings depending on the subject. Apart from the new Advanced SR Auto mode and dedicated button, firmware version 4.00 adds all these features to the X-E2 as well, even the electronic shutter mode!
Video recording features remain unchanged compared to the earlier model, with the Fuji X-E2S offering 1080p video recording at up to 60fps with a high-quality 36Mbps bitrate. The earlier X-E2 offered a 2.5mm external microphone/remote jack as an option for capturing audio instead of the built-in stereo microphones, and it appears the X-E2S continues to include this jack, despite the info initially provided to us by Fujifilm.
As with its predecessor, the Fuji X-E2S includes built-in wireless connectivity, and with the free FUJIFILM Camera Remote companion app, you can remotely control the camera as well as quickly transfer images from the camera your smartphone or tablet. The camera is also compatible with wireless printing to Fujifilm's Instax portable photo printer.
In addition to the above-mentioned Wi-Fi capabilities, other connectivity options include USB 2.0 High-Speed data and a Mini (Type C) HDMI high-definition video output. The USB port is also compatible with Fuji's optional RR-90 remote release cable.
As before, the Fuji X-E2S uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards with support for faster UHS-I types, and records still image files as JPEGs, RAW or RAW+JPEGs. Videos are recorded in H.264 (MOV) format with stereo Linear PCM audio. The camera is powered by a Li-ion battery (NP-W126) with a CIPA-rated life of 350 shots per charge (the same as the X-E2), and a dedicated battery charger is included in the bundle.
The Fuji X-E2S is set to be available from February 2016 for US$699.95 body-only in black or two-tone silver and black, and for US$999.95 kitted with the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS lens. That's an impressive $300 less expensive than the X-E2's original body-only list pricing, and $400 less than the original kit pricing, perhaps making the Fuji X-E2S' price tag the biggest "upgrade."