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Fujifilm X-E1

Estimated Street Price: $999 (body only)


Fujifilm’s first interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera, the X-Pro1 ranked high in desirability, but also commanded a $1,699 price—on the high side for a mirrorless model. Now comes the X-E1, with the same unique sensor and a much lower price tag.

Fujifilm’s X-Trans image sensor is a 16.3-megapixel APS-C unit that features a unique RGB filter array that differs from conventional Bayer arrays by using a more random arrangement that positions red, green and blue pixels in every horizontal and vertical row. This minimizes moiré and false colors, allowing Fujifilm to do away with the sharpness-robbing optical low-pass filter required by most Bayer-sensor cameras. Normal ISO range is 200-6400, expandable to 100-25,600.

Replacing the X-Pro1’s unique, but bulky Hybrid Multi Viewfinder is a high-definition, high-luminance OLED electronic view-finder that actually has higher resolution. There’s also a 2.8-inch LCD monitor.

Contrast-based AF is very quick, due in part to the new EXR Processor Pro. The X-E1 can shoot up to 6 fps. HD video capabilities include 1080p and 720p at 24 fps in H.264 (MOV) format, with stereo sound via a built-in microphone or an optional external mic.

Like the X-Pro1, the X-E1 uses the Fujifilm X electronic mount, which provides for a wider opening and deeper mounting of the X-Pro1 lenses, minimizing the flange-back distance (the distance between the lens mount and image plane) and sending light more directly to the pixels. Data is transferred between the lens and camera body electronically. Currently, three XF lenses are available: 18mm ƒ/2 R wide-angle, 35mm ƒ/1.4 R normal and 60mm ƒ/2.4 R macro.

STANDOUT FEATURE: The X-Pro1 sensor in a more affordable package.

1. The drive button makes access to preset features quick and easy.

2. Dials atop the camera provide direct setting of shutter speeds and exposure compensation, and resist inadvertent turning.

3. The X-E1 has a built-in flash, something the X-Pro1 lacks.

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