I’m in the process of writing up my X-E2 review right now, but thought I’d share this part of it with you now as it’s a question I’m seeing pop up quite often.
X-Pro1 or X-E2?
I’m guessing a lot of you are wondering whether you should buy an X-Pro1 or X-E2 right now. The X-Pro1 has some fantastic offers of free lenses at the moment, meaning you can buy a body and two lenses for almost the same price as just buying the two lenses alone, effectively getting the X-Pro1 body for around £100 the last time I checked. That makes it an awfully tempting prospect. I love the X-Pro1, it feels like a brick, it feels like you could drop it down a steep stone path and it will survive, or drop it onto a concrete pavement with no damage. Actually, I know it can survive because I’ve done both of those! Not long after I bought it I also took it out in driving rain and stood around for two hours taking photos of the crowds waiting for the Olympic torch, getting both myself and the camera absolutely soaked (to give you an idea of how bad it was, I was totally soaked to the skin – right through my supposedly ‘waterproof’ coat, and through my normal clothing too!) The X-Pro1 didn’t bat an eyelid, despite apparently not being “weather sealed”. The X-E2 doesn’t quite have the same solid feel to it, and for me it’s a little small in my hands, which is why I like to use it with a plate and grip. The X-Pro1 also has the OVF which I know a lot of people like.
The X-E2 does pretty much beat the X-Pro1 on ever other front though. The built-in flash is really very handy for just adding a little fill in sunlight, the AF is much more useable, the exposure compensation dial goes +/- 3, it has built-in WiFi, it has a mic input for video and electronic remote shutter release allowing you to use accessories such as the ioShutter. There are many other small refinements such as the buttons in the thumb grip being recessed so you no longer press them by accident. For those reasons the X-E2 is the camera I grab most of the time now. If I’m doing something purposeful I’ll still reach for the X-Pro1, or I’ll often use the two in combination – the X-Pro1 on a tripod and the X-E2 in my hand. In general though, it’s the X-E2 I choose to carry with me.
If you’re looking to get into the Fujifilm X-Series then I’m very tempted to say that having a couple of decent prime lenses may be more of a benefit than having the very latest body, and in that case the X-Pro1 deals should be taken seriously. I know people are probably worried about buying an outdated camera. I have no inside information, but from everything that I’ve heard and read, Fujifilm appear to be committed to continuing the X-Pro1 for a while yet and have indicated a replacement is not imminent.
If you have the money to buy the X-E2 and a couple of lenses too, then as an all-round system you’ll find it easier to use and get to grips with than the X-Pro1, especially in terms of AF if you’re coming from a dSLR background.
X-E2 or X100s?
I’ve also seen this question hanging around quite a lot. To my mind it’s almost a non-sensical question. It’s impossible to answer for someone else as the answer depends entirely on what the individually wants to shoot with it, and only they can answer that. I also feel that if you don’t know if the X100S is the camera for you then I’m not sure it really is. That might sound harsh, but the X100S is a unique camera for a certain type of photographer who will ‘get’ it.
I’ve also seen a lot of people asking if they should buy the X100S or the X-E2 with the 23mm f/1.4 lens. To my mind if all you’re interested in doing is shooting the 23mm [35mm FF equivalent] focal length then just buy the X100S. It is exactly what it was designed for and is much more portable, more robust and better looking camera. The 23mm f/1.4 XF lens is something you buy to complement an X-Series system, it isn’t a replacement for the X100S.
The only thing I would say that might help you decide is that if it is going to be your only camera and you want a small compact body/lens combo then you should consider an X-E2 with the 27mm pancake lens (a super sharp and relatively cheap compact lens – check this comparison here) which will allow you to build on the system in the future should you decide to do so. If you buy an X100S then you do have to buy another camera body to expand it further.