Fujifilm Introduces the X-E2

(news & commentary)


Fujifilm added phase detect autofocus to the X-E1, improving the video capabilities to include 1080P/60 and 720P/60, improving the rear LCD to a glass covered 1.04m dot one, upping the continuous frame rate from 6 to 7 fps (with an 8-frame raw buffer size, and adding a new Digital Split Image function to make manual focusing easier. All for the same US$1000 as the original X-E1.

Fujifilm is making strong claims about the focus performance, saying it's the world's fastest focusing digital camera. Fujifilm apparently is taking over the Olympus mantra of "world's fastest" at 0.08 seconds, but note the footnote: with 14mm f/2.8 lens. In other words, using a wide angle lens that doesn't move the elements much when focusing. The new focusing system is hybrid, using on-sensor phase detection for moving subjects and contrast detect for more stationary subjects.

Another subtle addition is more lens correction, called Lens Modulation Optimiser, including what Fujifilm claims is a diffraction reducing algorithm and corrections that are different for center and edges of the frame. Indeed, there are a lot of subtle changes, showing that Fujifilm has been listening to its customers. Configurable Auto ISO, for instance, more button customization options, 14-bit raw files, nearly 2x faster file writes, even a better EVF view in low light.

The video changes aren't all positive. The addition of 60P also changes the lower speed to 30P. 24P is no longer available. On the other hand, the bitrate is now 36Mbps, and the continuous autofocus now works during video. 

Virtually everything else about the new camera is the same as the older X-E1. Indeed, virtually nothing changes on the outside (small change in LCD, one button separated into two, some slight repositioning and incrementing), something I wish we'd see more often in cameras. Sure, change what's inside to give us more performance or more options, but if the basic handling of the camera isn't broke, don't fix it.

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