Photography News Issue 31

Photography News | Issue 31 | absolutephoto.com

Camera test 35

FujifilmX-E2S An update for the award-winning X-E2, Fujifilm’s newest entry-level camera is a rangefinder model with 16.3 megapixels and an X-Trans CMOS II sensor, but is it worth the upgrade?

Specs

Price £549 body only, £749 with 18- 55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS XF lens Sensor X-Trans CMOS II sensor, 16.3 megapixels, EXR processor II Sensor format APS-C 23.6x15.6mm, 4896x3264pixels ISO range 200-6400, expandable 100 to 51,200 with JPEGs only Shutter range 30secs to 1/32,000sec, flash sync 1/180sec. Mechanical and electronic shutter options Drivemodes Single, continuous up to 7fps Metering system Multi-zone, average, spot, AEB Exposuremodes PASM Exposure compensation +/-3EV Monitor Fixed 3in, 1.04 million dots Viewfinder 2.36 million dots, 100% view Focusing Contrast detect, phase detect, multi-area, centre, tracking, face detection, selective single point, single, continuous, manual Focus points 77 in Wide/Tracking mode Video 1920x1080 Connectivity USB 2.0, Mini HDMI, Wi-Fi Storagemedia 1xSD/SDHC/SDXC Dimensions (wxhxd) 129x75x37mm Weight 350g body and battery only Contact fujifilm.eu/uk

ReviewbyWill Cheung

Fujifilm its flagship X-series model, the X-Pro2, which we tested in issue 29. At the same time Fujifilm introduced its new entry-level rangefinder model, the X-E2S. The X-E2S is fundamentally an update for the popular and award- winning X-E2with the headline of an improved AF system, an electronic shutter and an improved handgrip among other things. At £549body the X-E2S only offers an attractive entry into the Fujifilm X-system. Like the X-Pro2, theX-E2S gives a rangefinder experience with the eyepiece to the EVF positioned to the far left side of the body. If your preference is for a more DSLR style of handling and shooting with a centrally placed viewfinder eyepiece then look at the X-T10, available for £449 body only. The X-E2S’s EVF provides an excellent viewing image that’s easy to view even with spectacles on. Fujifilmdoes say theX-E2S’sEVFhas been improved from its predecessor with a display magnification of 0.62x and the world’s shortest display time lag of 0.005secs. There is a dioptre correction feature to the left of the eyepiece and I did find on occasion that was adjusted as the camera was removed from the bag. Key camera data such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO are shown across the bottom and out of the image area. With the Screen Set-up menu item, you can get other items to show, like subject distance and histogram, and these sit within the image area. Push the DISP BACK button on the back panel and you get an image free of any data until you partially depress the shutter release and then you get essential information across the bottom. recently upgraded

The quality of the actual EVF image is excellent with a bright viewing image and the finest detail on show and no image smearing as you pan across a scene. The switchover to EVF from the monitor is automatic when the camera is raised to the eye. This camera is EVF only and has no optical finder like the X-Pro2. The camera monitor is fixed and not touchscreen operated while the menu structure is traditional Fujifilm with five red-coloured Shooting Menu tabs and three blue Set-up tabs. Given the structured and arguably better organisedmenu seen on the X-Pro2 perhaps it is a surprise that the newlook isn’t employedhere. Camera handling generally rates highlywith controls that are positive, well placed and of a good size. Most controls are on the back- plate while on the top-plate are the shutter speed/exposure mode dial, the exposure compensation control, the shutter release and a customisable function button. No locks are provided on the two dials and, in particular, the compensation dial can be inadvertently adjusted so watch out for that. Also on the top-plate is a pop-up flash. Its frame design means the flash head itself is slightly in front of the camera body which helps avoid lens shadow during flash photography. With the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 zoom at 18mm, you can get as close as a metre with no lens shadow, get closer andyouget a slight shadow. In the menu, there is a commander mode with compatible units. Control layout on the back panel is very Fujifilm so current X-users will find their way around quickly but even for newcomers it shouldn’t be a

The quality of the actually EVF image is excellent with a bright viewing image and the finest detail on show

problem navigating your way to the key controls. Six buttons on the back panel are customisble, the AE and AUTO buttons on the left-side and all four of the thumb-pad controls. There are 27 options including NONE that can be assigned to each of these buttons. Pressing Q takes you to the Quick menu with up to 16 functions instantly accessible. If you prefer you can edit these to suit your needs. In default set-up, the bottom pad of the four-way controls takes you into focus area where you can move the AFmode or change the size of the AF sensor. Direct AF control with all four pads working is an option. TheAF system is very capable and there are plenty of options. Rather than single zone youmay prefer Zone or Wide/Tracking. In Zone you have the optionof 77AFzones that youcan set as groups of nine, 15 or 25 and the active zone can be moved anywhere within the 77 point pattern. InWide/ Tracking mode, you are leaving it to the camera to pick what to focus on, again using the 77-point pattern and little greenboxes light up on theEVF/ monitor to showyouwhich zones are being selected. There is also face and eye detection – the latter with the options of auto, left-eye or right-eye priority. Eye priority performance was inconsistent and taking some

interior daylight head and shoulder portraits with the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 lens was more miss than hit. That isn’t to say that eye detection didn’t work, it just wasn’t reliable. Face detection itself was more effective. I tried theX-E2Swith awide range of prime lenses and zooms including the 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 and the new 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 (also tested in this issue), both of which feature linear motors and internal focusing. Generally, autofocusing speed was good and impressive in decent lighting conditions. The camera would lock on static subjects readily without hunting in singleAFbutwas less good in continuousAFespecially in Zone andWide/Tracking mode. In those focus settings you rely on the camera picking up what you want in focus and with messy scenes, the system couldn’t cope and locked on the wrong subject or flitted around the scene randomly.Using single area AF, adjusting the size of the active point to suit provedmore reliable. One areawhere the camera proved very reliable was with exposure. Extreme contrast can trip it up of course, but in some against-the-light situations the X-E2S still delivered useful shadow detail. In more gentle conditions, the multi-zone system delivered time and time again.

The images The right side of the X-E2S’s body is busy but

despite that handling is good. The exposure compensation dial would benefit from a lock and using the four-way pad to move the AF point around needs a slight hand- position shift.

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