For over a year and a half now, I’ve only used the micro 4/3 camera system. The anchor of this has been the Olympus OMD E-M5 and a few of the top notch prime lenses from Olympus and Panasonic. The system fit my need for a lightweight and compact set up that still delivered on image quality. The system is great, but it was starting to wear on me. The bodies felt comprised because of their size (GH3 excepted), the EVF’s on the Panasonic’s didn’t win me over, the small buttons and fiddly grip of the E-M5 made it harder to handle than I would have preferred. Nothing major, but just enough to keep me from loving the system.
Then along came Fuji with the their X-Pro 1 and later on the X-E1. On paper, the X system was everything I had wanted. Bodies that were compact, but still large enough to be able to handle comfortably. The lenses at launch were all primes and all of them appeared to be excellent. Once the reviews for those camera’s came out though, the one constant among them was about the camera’s generally sluggish response and very poor autofocus performance.
In the recent months though, Fuji has been updating firmware for both the camera’s and their lenses, and reports have shown that they have been busy fixing many of the outstanding issues. Besides speeding up the AF speed, they have added in new features that users have been requesting and generally trying to make the camera’s better. This may seem like common sense, but I’m not familiar with it happening too much in the photography world. I know my E-M5 has had a few firmware updates, but I can’t recall Olympus adding in anywhere near the updated functionality that Fuji has. This speaks volumes to me in that Fuji seems like they are listening and being active in making their products better, even after they are purchased.
Which brings me to the long overdue point of this post, my wholesale system change. Reading about the X system for months and reviewing image quality and generally trying to learn as much as I can about it came to a head when I saw a ‘Like New’ X-E1 kit with 18-55mm zoom from Amazon Warehouse Deals for a great price. I couldn’t pass it up, and my ever patient wife told me to just buy it and see if it’s as good as I think it is.
It is. Every bit of it. Most of it to be truthful. The autofocus isn’t up to OMD speeds, but it’s certainly usable for most things. The speed of operation isn’t up to OMD speeds, but it’s close. The EVF is laggier than the OMD, but it’s much more detailed. The controls, handling and the sensor are what set this camera apart though. It just feels right in the hand and makes me want to get out and shoot. I only have a few days experience with it, but so far, it’s love. Here are a few examples so far.