Fuji X-E2 Firmware Update

fuji fujifilm x-e2 xe2 firmware ver4.jpg

The choice between a new X-T10 and the X-E2 has become a little more tricky. At least, it will be sometime soon-ish. Fujifilm has confirmed another firmware update for the X-E2. In my comparison, I posited that the X-E2 was probably end-of-life as far as firmware upgrades are concerned. Turns out I was wrong, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

My Versus piece saw a minor update to reflect the firmware news, and will be overhauled once the firmware’s feature set is at least officially announced. What’s of particular interest to me is how early days this is. All Fuji has said in any sort of on-the-record format is they’re planning an update, and will determine what is included in the update based on requests from users. I think it’s pretty safe to say the new AF features (multi-point, zone, wide/tracking, eye detection) will be included, but what about a UI update? Or a rotating EVF UI? Can Fuji please, for the love all that is good and pure, make the left and right function buttons customizable, and set playback to the LCD even when EVF-only has been chosen for composition?


While the early nature of this announcement pacifies X-E2 owners and gives them something to look forward to, it also leaves us with no sense of when this update will be available. Most of the internet seems to think Fuji will intentionally impose a long delay as they will not want to cannibalize sales of their new X-T10, but I think a bigger reason for the wait will come down to the engineering resources Fuji has to put on the project. Would Fuji really be disappointed if people buy one Fuji camera body over another? Hardly.

Pricing & Decisions

As of this writing, the X-T10→ is preorder only for $799 (USD), while the X-E2→ can be had for just $699 (USD). Either way, buyers today have a bit of a wait in front of them. The purchase decision will in part come down to format preference (rangefinder-style vs. DSLR-style), but also which immediate gratification is most enticing:

  1. Having an X-E2 today with an untold wait time for the latest features at $100 less.
  2. Having an X-T10 in a few weeks with the latest features, and a few additional hardware niceties (tilt screen, dials and buttons) for $100 more.

It’s nice to have these kinds of tough decisions.

On Buttons

If the rumours are to be believed, Fuji are doing some interesting differentiating with the button layouts of their cameras. Take the most recent leaked photos of the X100T.1 It appears to have a D-pad that’s very much like the one found on the X-T1, no functions assigned to it via icons. I’ll assume it will be the new and preferable clicky variety. The images of the back of the camera look great to me. Very clean. No more scroll wheel. It will be interesting to know if the toggle has moved to a dial as well.

Now, the just-announced X30 has a D-pad that’s more similar to the X-E2, complete with even more icons delineating their function. Fuji’s consumer-centric cameras tend to all feature this more protruding and icon-laden D-pad whereas cameras like the X-T1, which is decidedly more “professional,” has the customizable and more recessed D-pad.2

It’s interesting to me that the X100 line of cameras is taking on the X-T1 style D-pad and I fully expect the X-Pro1 successor to do the same. This suggests that Fuji slots the X100 into less of a consumer space which coincides with it’s price, and the fact that it’s a fixed focal length. The X30 couldn’t be more targeted at the more casual “consumer” shooter.

If these photos are real, it’s nice to see Fuji bringing consistency to their cameras like this. It makes a lot of sense for them to take no the role as expert with the more consumer-focused cameras and tell the user which buttons do what, but let the more serious shooter make up his or her own mind about how the buttons behave.

  1. I have to say, their poor quality and the fact that the OVF/EVF switch has gone back to how it looked on the X100 (non “S”) makes me question their authenticity a little. EDIT: With the addition of the OVF/EVF hybrid mode, it makes perfect sense for Fuji to go back to the symmetrical viewfinder switch as each direction from middle serves a different purpose.
  2. The X30’s buttons are all fully customizable as well, but Fuji have provided their suggested designation, which is a subtle suggestion that digging into the menus to adjust things is less of a necessity.

X-T1 vs. X-E2 vs. X-Pro1

Fuji Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-E2 vs X-Pro1.jpg

Another complete overhaul. This time, it’s my X-T1 vs. X-E2 vs. X-Pro1 page. It is still getting a remarkable amount of traffic, so I figured I would remove the rumour content. I didn’t stop there though. I’ve added a bunch of comparison images, and written up some impressions on how the overall handling of each compares to the others. I also cleaned up the table, which can still be found towards the bottom of the page.

What is perhaps most interesting about these three cameras now is how well the X-Pro1 still holds up, and how the X-E2 has faded away slightly. It’s still an extremely good camera, but it might be the overlooked middle child of the Fujifilm family these days.

X-T1 vs. X-E2 vs. X-Pro1

“Should I buy an X-T1?”

The age old question. Brand spankin’ new camera comes out with a brand spankier new one rumoured to be on the way. Do you buy the new X-T1 hotness or wait for the next new hotness?

The answer to this sort of question ultimately comes down to what you can afford—no to mention your appetite for the constant torrent of upgrades, which we’ll mostly leave out from this post—but one thing I find slips the minds of a lot of photographers (and their Significant Others) is the real cost of any camera gear.

Your cost - What you sell it for = Actual cost

This brings me to a question I was asked on Twitter shortly after posting my review of the X-T1 that I imagine many Fuji fans are pondering as well:

If I have an X-Pro1, should I (buy the) X-T1 or hold for the X-Pro2?

For me, it’s an easy question to answer, but let’s talk it through for fun. The earliest of X-Pro successor rumours say end of 2014 for an announcement with a ship date in early 2015. That’s a full year away. A year of enjoying the very best Fujifilm has to offer before you decide if the X-Pro-Whatever is actually the camera you want. The X-T1 is a massive upgrade over the X-Pro1 and X-E1, even with the firmware updates Fuji keeps throwing at them.

Of course, there are two ends of the spectrum in how you approach upgrade cycles with a bunch of variances in the middle:

  1. Upgrade early and often: You’ll always have the latest and greatest, which is nice, and the best1 your chosen camera platform(s) has to offer.
  2. Stick with what you know: Upgrade only when you absolutely have to. Your camera will be an extension of your hand and eye, and you will attain omnipresent supergalactic oneness with your photography.

Both are valid. I’m ever trying to find the right balance between the two. I think there’s a special case to be made for at least two Fuji bodies:

  1. The X-Pro1: It has been out an awfully long time, and was their first interchangeable offering. A great deal has changed since it came on the scene and Fujifilm cameras have improved significantly. Conventional wisdom is to skip a generation when upgrading, but I doubt many people who owned Nikon D1’s passed on the D2 line of cameras. Thus, I wouldn’t blame anyone for taking an X-T1 steppingstone along their path to the X-Pro2.
  2. The X100: It, and the X100S share a lot of functionality. Selling an X100 to fund the purchase of an X100S will not leave you fumbling with controls as you struggle with a learning curve. You’ll just have faster focus and better overall image quality. Not to mention a black version for the same price.

The one upgrade I think some people could have passed on is the X-E1 to X-E2. I imagine those who waited for the X-T1 are feeling pretty good about their decision right now, and they still have a very capable camera that will produce the same image quality2 as the new(er) X-E2. As a matter of fact, all my tripod-based photography is still done with an X-E1 because I haven’t wanted to pay the exorbitant shipping costs to get a Really Right Stuff L-plate. You see? Balance.

Back to the question at hand

Should you buy the X-T1? If you have an X-Pro1 or X-E1, my answer is, if you can afford it, yes. No question. It’s a massive upgrade over what you have and the glowing reviews are well earned.

If you have an X-E2, that all depends on whether or not you need a weather sealed body. If you don’t, the X-E2 will continue to suit your needs very well. Even better pretty soon it would seem. Focus is quicker on the X-T1, but it’s pretty darn swift on the X-E2 as well.

Whether you have an X-E2 or X-T1, if you think the X-Pro2 is what you’re really going to want, sell your current body when it comes out and buy it. Surely the couple hundred dollars you might lose on the sale is worth a year of use. Think of it as an extended rental. The bottom line is, it’s tough to make a bad decision with Fujifilm’s latest body lineup. They’re all going to produce great images. Your choice comes down to performance. And remember:

Your cost - What you sell it for = Actual cost

  1. Save for launch bugs and lemons like the D600. But those are the minority and largely avoidable with how thoroughly reviewed Fujifilm’s gear is before it’s been released.
  2. Particularly those who shoot RAW. JPEG shooters will miss out on the Lens Modulation Optimizer benefits of the X-E2, but in my experience, it hasn’t been anywhere close to a deal breaker. I’m still holding out hope that Fujifilm will open these up to Adobe along with their Film Simulations.

X-T1 vs. X-E2 size

In my X-T1 review, I showed an image comparing the X-T1 with the 27mm f/2.8 to a X100S to demonstrate how small a package the X-T1 could be with the right lens attached. However, there’s been some confusion surrounding the size of the X-T1 compared to Fujifilm’s other cameras, particularly the X-E line.

No, the X-T1 is not approaching DSLR sizes. It’s essentially a slightly thicker X-E camera with a hump, and more of a grip. Here are some additional images to help illustrate the differnce.

Front view. Pretty much the same. Only the viewfinder is making the X-T1 a little taller.
Side view. The thickness is most apparently from this side as it include the X-T1’s more substantial grip. In other words, the worst case scenario.
Back view. Not a whole lot more to see here compared to the front view.
Top view. More thickness and the grip. 
Bottom view. 

Bottom view. 

Unless you have both cameras on hand, you’ll hardly notice a difference in size, if at all. You will notice a slight difference in weight, and a significant difference in feel. As mentioned in my review, the magnesium X-T1 feels better in the hand.