Fujifilm is currently the biggest champion of retro design in the camera space, and the newly announced Fujifilm X-E1 indicates there’s no end in sight. In many ways, this new edition is just a smaller version of the so-called poor man’s Leica, a.k.a X Pro-1. Many of its features are the same: a 16.3 MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor, ISO range of 200 to 6,400, manual controls, a battery good for up to 350 shots, and 1080p at 24p video capture. Its 2.8-inch LCD is a tad smaller and features a lower 460k-dot resolution, but that loss is slightly buffered by an improved OLED electronic viewfinder that touts a 2.36 million-do resolution vs. the X-Pro1’s 1.44. The hot shoe is still present for accessories, but a built-in flash has been added as a nod to portability.
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Two new lenses were announced alongside the new rig, including a XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom lens that is supposed to deliver improved autofocus performance — considered one significant downside of its bigger brother — and seems ripe for traveling photogs. The other fixed-length 4mm (21mm equivalent) ultra-wide angle lens should appeal to landscape enthusiasts or creative detail shooters. If those aren’t enough, Fujifulm also offers a proprietary M Mount Adapter for using Leica glass.
At a price point of $1,000 for the body alone, or $1,400 with a 18-55mm zoom lens kit, this new entry has the serious potential to shake up the midrange ICL market currently dominated by Sony and Olympus — especially if it delivers images on par with its bigger, pricier brother. True proof will have to wait until November, when the camera is expect to ship.
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