[This post is an old write up]
The Fuji X-E1, a great camera in its own right, but mine had now been passed onto the realm of the secondhand camera store to make way for a new Fuji X-E2, this makes my current kit a pair of X-E2's which are great fast cameras which I love using. That being said the original X-E1 is a great camera and really was my road into using the fuji x series for proper work as such here is a review of how I found this camera for weddings, pros, cons and a few shots, enjoy.
One thing I had always been interested to see when I was first getting into shooting with Fuji is if I could photograph a whole wedding using just this camera, people may be sceptical of these little cameras and fear they do not bring the power that a DSLR has to the table, but let me tell you they are awesome and the gripes and problems people have had with them are nothing when looking at the bigger picture.
I'll start this review off with some photos of a wedding where I used just the XE1 + 35mm 1.4 all day, I will point out I was a second shooter at this wedding, I used this great opportunity to have a play and see how I felt using this camera in a real world environment.
The camera performed fantastically and I was thrilled with its ability, by the end of this day I was sure that an all Fuji system was for me and set to work in slowly replacing my gear.
So having this camera gives you a few district advantages, not only for your work but also for you. The main one is weight, the fuji XE1 with the 35mm weighs in at just over 500 grams, to compare a Canon 5dii with 50mm / 1.4 is just under 1200 grams, so thats a fair bit of difference which after a long day at a wedding means your back isn't screaming at you in pain.
I would be happy to say the XE1's image quality can equal or beat anything a canon 5D can put out, maybe not the Mkiii's in low light, they do have an edge there, but that sensor is so damn sharp and the colours that come out of it are fantastic, I usually shoot Jpeg with this camera, they are just that good.
My favourites aspect of this camera is one that has nothing to do with image quality, but more to do with getting the image in the first place, this camera is subtle, small and inconspiuous. People just don't feel the intimidation that you get when you point a 24-70 at them couple that with a much quieter shutter and you have a camera that can get up close and personal without intruding.
So those are a few reasons why I love working with the Fuji XE1 but to keep things fair below I have a few negatives I find with the camera, but I would be happy to say these won't ever stop me from using it, they just make things a bit harder.
This is going to be the most talked about point with the Fuji's and that is the sluggish focus speed and accuracy. Now for me I can work around this, it isn't that slow and once you get to grips with how it focuses [try targeting a high contrast area] it is pretty fast but can mean more work to achieve focus.
This camera will go though batteries like you have no idea! Seriously, you can get off 300 shots [according to the manual] which on a wedding days means your changing out batteries a lot, not to mention the battery indicator going from full to nothing very quickly. Be careful not to get caught out.
The last kind of point, depending on who you are is the cameras appearance, now I think they look awesome and are very inconspicuous, but there is the old worry of people opinions, they want to see big sometimes, they think it means better. Not to much of a problem but you should be prepared for the odd encounter with someone who thinks you have a less than top of the range camera, or indeed a film camera.
So one of the cons was with the focus speed and accuracy, here are a few tips and workarounds to help out with this, now this camera is by no means bad at at focusing, it is just slower than it's DSLR brethren.
Tip 1. -Contrast detection, this camera looks for strong lines of contrasts to achieve focus, if you are having trouble try locking onto an area of strong contrast [I've mentioned this the 35mm 1.4 review] keep an eye out for light and dark, this will improve your chances of getting focus.
Tip 2. -Full press the shutter, instead of your standard half click to focus then fire make one swift move to fully press the shutter while aiming at your target, this works well for fast moving subjects but is very hit or miss, it can help in a pinch.
Tip 3. -Back button focusing, by switching to manual focus and using the AE-L / AF-L button on the back of the camera to focus you can fire the shutter without having to re-focus each time. You can also use this method combined with spot metering to achieve silhouette effects, by focusing on your subject with the back button and exposing for the light by half pressing the shutter, then fire.
So thats my sort of review of this awesome camera, just a few points of why I love using it and the problems that do come with it, but if your determined you can get over, the new XE2 is set to solve a lot of these problems so I can't wait to play with one of these.
Feel free to share around or leave a comment.