I hinted a few weeks ago that I added another camera to my kit, and so far, it does not disappoint. In fact, I’m enjoying it so much, it may replace good ‘ol Sebastian (my X-T1 – yes, I name my cameras) as my favorite interchangeable lens camera I’ve ever owned. I think more time in use is required for me to make such a determination, but it’s a real possibility.
Does that surprise you? It surprises me. The X-T1 transformed my photography. It was revolutionary to me. And yet, despite the absence of a tilting screen and a dedicated ISO dial, I LOVE the five year old Fujifilm X-E2s (affectionately named, Baloo). I love the form factor and the way it handles. I added a thumb grip for a bit of extra security (not due to any failing of the camera, but rather, due to a wrist injury I sustained two decades ago) and the feel in the hand is so comfortable and natural. The X-T1 is not a big camera and yet the X-E2s is even smaller, lighter and more compact.
That said, the X-E2s, while very nice and clearly well made, lacks the same solid feel as the X-T1 (and even the X70, if I’m being honest). It doesn’t feel cheap by any means, but in comparison to my other Fujifilm cameras, it feels more plastic-y, especially the buttons. Just something to keep in mind if you’re considering adding one of the X-E series cameras to your photography bag. The build quality of my X-T1 and X70 gives me the confidence of knowing those cameras can take a beating and will still last a good long while. Again, while the X-E2s in no way feels “cheap,” the build quality just doesn’t feel as durable.
Now, I think it warrants saying that neither of these cameras could replace the absolutely tiny X70 (“Pascal” to my kids*). Comparing interchangeable lens cameras to fixed lens cameras is apples and oranges. In my opinion, the X70 really stands alone amongst the three because it fits a completely different niche. It’s not better or worse – it’s different.
The picture quality from the X-E2s is identical to those from the X-T1, as you’d expect, given that they share the same sensor. Like the X70, the X-E2s has the ability to store a different white balance when saving custom film simulation recipes, which is a very handy feature that is lacking on the X-T1. You’d think they could’ve fixed that via firmware, but they didn’t. This makes using custom recipes from places like Fuji X Weekly much more accessible on the X-E2s (and X70) than on the X-T1. I don’t like to edit so any adjustments I can customize in camera to craft a finished SOOC jpeg definitely gives the X-E2s an edge.
I am thoroughly enjoying the X-E2s and look forward to continuing to put it through its paces. I have normally purchased my used gear from B&H Photo but this time around, I found the camera I was looking for at KEH and had a great experience with them as well. I would recommend both of these online retailers. I’m a BIG fan of buying used gear and purchasing from a reputable shop gives me peace of mind.
*Did you notice a trend? I name all my personal electronics after Disney sidekicks. Because I’m a nerd and an unashamed Disney fan. It’s also much easier to get kids to look at the camera when you tell them a familiar Disney character wants to take a picture of them rather than the strange lady they just met. You’re welcome.