Time to Ditch Your DSLR for Fuji X-E1?

Is it time to ditch your DSLR camera? Maybe. It depends on what you use your camera for.

In the last few years, a new camera system appeared – mirrorless cameras. I wrote about it recently, here’s the post if you haven’t read it:

Fuji Makes a Comeback with X-Series!

So what I want to focus on in this post are my views on one of Fuji mirrorless cameras – Fujifilm X-E1.

Why Switch to CSC camera?

Let me start saying that Mirrorless cameras are a great alternative to DSLR cameras. They’re smaller, lighter, don’t have moving mirror thus quiter and yet they use the same sensors as DSLRs (at least most of them). That’s the main reason why I decided to give a CSC camera a try – the sensor in Fuji X-E1 is the same size sensor as APS-C sensor in most DLSRs (and even bigger than sensors of Canon cameras because Canon’s multiplication for lenses is 1.6x where Fuji is 1.5x.

CSC camera may not be for everyone. If you are a professional photographer shooting sport or car races, DSLR’s autofocus is faster that one in CSC (at least for now). However, for most users a CSC will be a great alternative. It shares many advantages with DSLR cameras:

  • interchangeable lenses
  • same size sensor than the one found in DSLR
  • use of external flashes mounted on a hot shoe

Which CSC should I go for?

That depends. I looked at all different CSCs as an alternative to my DSLR and many companies make really good CSCs – Fuji, Panasonic, Sony to name just a few. In my case, one of the really important features that I was looking for in a camera, after good sensor and range of good optics were already considered, was the viewfinder. I don’t understand people taking photos holding their camera like a mobile phone in front of them. That’s not how we take pictures. And it’s not just a matter of looks, holding the camera close to your body (when looking through the viewfinder) helps keeping the camera steady.

This meant that in my case I disregarded Canon and Nikon. What really caught my attention was a range of Fuji cameras with their retro look. I just loved it! And I still do.  It reminds me my early days of photography when I started taking pictures, first with Smena 8M and then with Zenith 12 XP. Zenit was my first real camera, which I took with me on many trips. Here it is:

Zenith 12 XP.

And that’s just one of many things I love about Fuji X Series. Within the range, there are a number of cameras and your choice will depend on what you really need and what kind of photography you do. I do mostly travel photography as well as some portraits so things like how many frames per second I can shoot and how fast the autofocus is are not that important to me. For that reason I didn’t want to spend too much money either so I didn’t go for X-Pro 1  or X-T1 (this one’s actually a bit too big for me). They’re great cameras but for me something “less sophisticated” would be great.

I looked through the entire range and I knew that X-M1 and X-A1 were not for me as they didn’t have a viewfinder. So what remained was X-E1 or X-E2. I chose the former.

Why Fuji X-E1?

Fuji X-E1 camera
Fuji X-E1 camera

So why Fuji X-E1 and not X-E2?

One of the reasons might be the X-E2 came out recently and X-E1 is now much cheaper. You can get one for less than £400 for body or I saw some offers for X-E1 + Fuji XF 18-55mm for about £450. This is a great deal as X-E1 was about £700 when it came out (and that’s what you would pay for X-E2). Whether you go for X-E1 or X-E2 is up to you. X-E2 seems to have much improved autofocus and is WiFi enabled (and I don’t need any of those so I’m happy with X-E1 at least for now).

I have used X-E1 for almost two months now and I love it! It’s an amazing camera and I haven’t used my DSLR since I bought Fuji. It’s definitely going to replace my DSLR (which I’m selling now – Canon 7D). Fuji created some amazing lenses for their X System and I’m going to write about it soon. For now I bought Fuji XF 35mm F1.4 – amazing standard prime lens! and Fuji XF 18mm F2.0 for wide angle. Very well built and high quality lenses!

More on that soon.

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