Fujifilm X-E1 pictures and hands-on

Why hello there. Fujifilm's X-E1 offers a more "consumer-grade" compact system camera than its bigger brother, the X-Pro1. At Photokina 2012 Pocket-lint was on hand to have a play with Fuji's latest, dressed in its elegant silver-like finish (there's a black version too), with the 35mm f/1.4 lens attached. 

We re-visited Fujifilm to get the latest on the new 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 zoom lens, and it works very well indeed attached the body. We even popped it on to the front of the X-Pro1, which forces the latter camera into its electronic-only viewfinder mode.

But what we can say already is that the X-E1's focus speed, at least with this particular lens, felt like it had had a speed injection compared to the X-Pro1. So Fuji's cut back on the price but genuinely enhanced the performance compared to the X-Pro1. Now that we like.

Of course the X-E1 doesn't have the dual optical and electronic viewfinder of the X-Pro1, instead opting for an electronic-only version. But the X-E1's new OLED panel viewfinder does have a huge 2.36-million dot resolution that looks great to the eye.

The addition of a pop up flash, activated from the rear of the camera and popping up on a stalk, is another welcome addition.

In terms of image quality the halls of Photokina weren't necessarily the perfect place to test, but some nearby flower arrangements made for colourful, shallow depth of field samples that quickly focused up, even in the poor quality artificial light.The X-E1's 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor is the same as the in the X-Pro1 and should make for excellent images (to find out why, read our in depth X-E1 news piece which comes with geeky non-Bayer array detail and all). However, as this is a pre-production model we were unable to take any samples away.

From what we've seen of it so far though we still reckon that Fuji has an awesome quality, retro-looking system that is well up in the compact system camera rankings. It might not suit all, but for image quality buffs in the know we suspect that this will quickly become a new favourite. 

There's still no final word on price or release date, however.