Fujifilm X-E2: A little bit of everything

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Fujifilm is on a roll with the X-Series, launching one improved camera after another. Their latest MILC is no different. Just as it was unveiled, already the specs impressed and street photographers, who seem to be particularly enjoying Fujifilm’s digital lineup, took notice. Could the X-E2 really have the world’s fastest phase detection AF? Many have criticized Fujifilm cameras for having slow AF and not having real manual focus. The X-E2 still doesn’t have the latter, which is probably the one thing I miss the most, but Fujifilm has really improved on the AF speed. Image quality is as high as you’d expect from the X-Trans CMOS II. Some might wish for more megapixels, but for most cases, including professional uses, what the X-E2 produces is already great (good enough for a magazine cover, in fact). The colors may be subdued, but with film filters, especially Velvia, the colors have just enough saturation to pop up, and skin tone comes out rich with much depth. The X-E2 is also sensitive to color gradations, including several shades of gray. Rendering on the LCD and EVF is crisp and pretty close to what your eyes see from the subject without the camera. The 18-55mm XF is a good starter lens and is suitable for every average circumstance you’d take a photo in. The macro focus adds the needed boost in DOF that you might miss with the f/2.8 aperture. Fujifilm also introduces the Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) technology for increased imaging precision. For regular-sized prints, the difference isn’t too noticeable. Verdict Fujifilm has reached a certain refinement in specs, build, compactness, performance, and retro styling for any X-Series model to be a solid enthusiast or second camera. The X-E2 sits on top of that pile and would be a great shooter to spend 2014 with. Review by Aritha Zel Zalamea First published in Speed January 2014