Fuji Announces the X-E1, the Smaller and Cheaper 16.3MP Sibling of the X-Pro1

Fuji has announced its new, much leaked, X-E1 mirrorless camera. It features the same high-quality CMOS sensor as the X-Pro1, but packs it into a smaller and lighter body for increased portability. Specs include a 16.3 megapixel APS-C sensor, a 2.8-inch LCD, a pop-up flash, ISO of 200-6400 (expandable to 100-25600), shutter lag of just 0.05 seconds, focusing speed of up to 0.1 seconds, and RAW and built-in RAW conversion.

One of the main differences with the X-E1 is that it’s missing the highly-acclaimed hybrid viewfinder found in the X-Pro1 and X100. Instead, it features an electronic viewfinder with the resolution of 2.36 megapixels — one of the highest resolutions found in an EVF today.

Also, unlike the X-Pro1, which only comes in black, the X-E1 features a silver version that’s reminiscent of the X100. In terms of size, the camera is 30 percent smaller than the X-Pro1. This gives it a weight of 350g — far less than the X-Pro1’s hefty 444g.

Like the X-Pro1, the X-E1 offers a built-in Film Simulation mode, which lets you shoot photos that have the look and feel of popular Fujifilm films. The simulation lineup includes Velvia, Astia, Provia, and more.

On the video side, the camera can shoot 1920×1080 video at 24fps. Film Simulation can be enabled during video recording, allowing you to have entire videos that have the look and feel of Fujifilm films.

Finally, affordability is one of the main things that gives the X-E1 a spot in the Fujifilm X-series lineup. The body costs just $1,000 — not exactly cheap when it comes to mirrorless cameras, but significantly cheaper than the $1,700 X-Pro1. The camera will be available starting in November 2012.

When the retro-styled X100 came out, people grumbled about the fact that it wasn’t an interchangeable lens camera. When the interchangeable lens X-Pro1 camera out, people grumbled about the fact that it wasn’t cheaper. Now that the cheaper X-E1 is out, those grumblers really shouldn’t have much more to grumble about, unless they were absolutely smitten with the X-Pro1’s hybrid viewfinder.

Fujifilm is covering all the bases now, inviting photographers to join in on the retrotastic fun.

  • Bj√∂rn Luminaire

    Looks like it’d be a good every day street shooter & carry about.

  • Zhemin

    Cut more cost and make it OVF only!!

  • g

    Which would make it more expensive. Everyone seems to demand an OVF only version to cut price, but if you want one that really works (parallax correction, focus confirmation, adaptable framelines, optics worth a second look..) it isn’t cheap, and not cheaper than an EVF

  • Alberto

    You’re wrong, most of people didn’t grumble about the interchangeable of X100 or the high cost of X-Pro1, we mostly complained about the poor autofocus speed. It was the reason why I sold my X100. Beautiful colour, amazing high iso performance, but AF is really the archilles heel for Fuji. Hopefully they fixed it in this camera.

  • OllieOh

    Two words. Zone Focusing. There’s virtually no lag and perfect for impromptu shooting from the hip.

  • OllieOh

    Great POV, Michael. I agree. It’s all going to come down to just how awesome that EVF is and if… and a big IF the auto focus has been improved.

    One thing to note on the EVF. One annoyance is the OVF (on the x100) is it sometimes lied about the focus… and annoyingly never allowed for macro focusing.

  • Mike Pangwi

    You can have that with an entry-level DSLR, but Fuji wont compete in that market.

  • disqus_GufZJvCef2

    Yes, a viewfinder, high resolution EVF is better than no viewfinder or crappy OVF.

  • Richard H. Weiner

    EVF or OVF or Hybrid…don’t matter to me. The fact that it has one of these is a good point. I have seen too many people with either a VF-less camera or ‘smart phone’ in their hands, their arms extended to see the screen and their arms bouncing up/down as they struggle to keep the camera/phone still. A VF brings the camera close to you and ‘anchors’ it for less motion/camera blur and less fatigue in the arms.
    The $1000 pricing?…well that is a bit offputting. It will come down to the autofocus speed and other factors, for me to consider it.

  • Noel

    You can’t make it OVF only. If you use ANY lens other than a 35/50mm lens the lens itself is in the way OR the OVF doesn’t represent anything close to what the lens is actually capturing. If anything I would imagine all of these camera going EVF only in the future. OVF will go away it’s too limited in function.

    You could do a fixed focal range OVF camera I guess but that seems pretty niche.

  • Helvio

    I dont understand why this cameras are so expensive! They are more than entry level DLSRs!

  • Noel

    Let me know how zone focusing works on fast moving subjects like children or a wedding. And when a zone focuser is asked to compare their success ratio to someone with a camera with a good AF. (ps. I own the X-Pro1)

  • OllieOh

    You’re comparing apples to oranges. Who uses a rangefinder type camera for weddings and capture fast moving subjects like children?

    I agree that the autofocus on the recent Fuji cameras are abysmal, but zone focusing is a fantastic work-around, especially when you’re using your rangefinder for what it was designed to do: discreet, quiet, ninja-like street photography.

    Sure, this is optimal for fixed lenses like the X100 or the Ricoh GRD series, but lets establish that the X100 and the X-Pro/X-E1 are different cameras, designed to do different things, not upgraded versions of each other.

  • E

    Sure you can make it OVF only, but as pointed out above it isn’t cheap (and it limits the amount of lenses, and macro is tricky). It isn’t as limiting as you suggest though when it comes to lenses: just look at Leica M (the VF is all optics and mechanics) and the x-pro1 (with the digital overlay in the VF when using the OVF).

    I don’t think OVF will go away. Some people prefer the clear look of an optical viewfinder (not talking about DSLRs here), but sure.. it will probably be a niche product. More because of price than the limitations I suspect.

  • HCB

    I didn’t have a problem in that area.

  • Noel

    Sorry if I am reposting not sure where my comments go after I hit submit they disappear.
    I appreciate your opinion and agree with a lot of that. I also don’t know of any camera manufacture that would ever market a camera in 2012 with “hey here is a good work around to accomplish what works well on many other models from many other manufactures without this technique” you yourself use the word “work-around” for instance. It’s far far from an ideal solution. I like my X-Pro1 a lot and sold a 5D Mark II to get it and don’t regret it but in many ways the AF issues really sink the camera, the AF can simply not be trusted. I’m learning how to work in the way you describe day to day but it’s very difficult to view it as anything other than a necessity because the technology is simply such a failure (we agree on the failure part at least). Fact is in 2012 shipping an AF of this quality makes Fuji deserving of some lambasting on this point, I truly hope it motivates them to improve a lot because the sensor is otherwise great.

    And where we say “ninja” I hope we mean a ninja who gets home and finds a large ratio of images being unusuable due to focus issues. I think of ninja’s as fast and accurate and precise the Fuji X-Pro 1 is none of those things though. So then maybe the “ninja” quality applies to the photographers technique in which case the comment could mean I am simply not good enough to “use” my camera “properly” which a different argument altogether and one again that I think would be fun to have with any person considering buying that particular model from Fuji.

    When the focus locks on my X-Pro1 and it gets the shot it does look wonderful though and I get by in general because I don’t shoot a lot of moving stuff.

    In comparing apples to oranges I think I am really just comparing cameras that have working good AF in 2012 versus a camera of relatively great expense that simply does not. I don’t think having an expectation that it focuses “OK” is asking too much.

  • OllieOh

    By ninja I meant stealthy.

    I think we’re agreeing on the same things here. We’ll make sacrifices for a camera we love and find compromises for things we don’t like.

    At the foundation of what makes rangefinder photography so excited and why it rekindled so many photogs’ love for photography is in the simplicity and patience Fuji’s recent cameras exude. They don’t focus as fast as your past 5D, but damn are they enjoyable to shoot with.

    Balancing those limitations, weaknesses, and strengths is true for every camera we end up choosing. It’s a realization for most X100 and X Pro owners and I think we stop caring because we love shooting with these cameras so much.

    I welcome (desperately) faster AF in the X-E1. Will it entice me to upgrade? Probably. Will I sell my X100 to fund it? Probably not; I’m to selfish to give up what has been by far my favorite camera to shoot with.

  • Tomi Tarkin

    Looks very good competition for the Olympus OM-D and the next level of MILC evolution.. I like the EVF placement of this in the corner a lot and the sensible layout of manual controls more than in OM-D.. I’m tired of draggin around my Canon DSLR still desire most of the similar functionality but in lighter and smaller scale.. Only thing missing in this one I can see is the flip screen which is desirable in street photography and is pretty well implemented in the Olympus. Still have to wait and see..

  • Sevy

    I love it but can someone let me knwo if the autofocus works during videorecording with this Fuji x-E1

  • Geoff

    Autofocus works during video recording on the Fuji X10, so I’m sure it will work on the X-E1.