Fujifilm X-E2: Autofocus upgrade and X100S sensor spearhead CSC model's improvements

Fujifilm has announced its latest compact system camera, the X-E2, a model that brings with it a stack of updates to improve on the earlier X-E1 model.

The latest X-E2 incorporates the same 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder as its predecessor,but is all about improvements elsewhere: there's a new 16.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor, the same as found in the Fuji X100S, including "Lens Modulation Optimiser" tech for better sharpness; an updated autofocus system that's snappier than before; and a new 3-inch, 1.04m-dot LCD screen.

The faster autofocus speed is partly the result of the latest EXR Processor II - this more than doubles processing speed and amps up the refresh rate for a better, smoother preview and that faster autofocus capability. Fujifilm says it's the world's fastest - but we've heard that aplenty. Is it true? We've been playing with a pre-production X-E2 to see what we had to make of it.

READ: Hands-on: Fujifilm X-E2 review

There are a whole host of other top features, including a +/-3EV exposure compensation dial, a new 180th/sec flash sync speed on the shutter dial, and the addition of a function 2 (Fn2) button that's moved the autofocus (AF) key onto the d-pad. When not using the faster autofocus the same digital split image focusing as found in the X100S to give a rangefinder-style method of manual focus. Very snazzy.

The faster processor means Full HD video capture is possible with improved quality, alongside a seven frames per second (7fps) burst mode which makes it possible to snap up to eight consecutive raw files.

It's a shame the battery hasn't seen a push compared to its predecessor, with a quoted 350 shots per charge available. But the X-E2 keeps all of the good stuff that the X-E1 had to offer: a built-in pop-up flash, ISO 200-6400 sensitivity as standard, quick menu access for speedy settings adjustment, and that sturdy build quality and retro appeal.

The Fujifilm X-E2 will be available in November, priced £799 body only, or £1199 with the 18-55mm kit lens. It's available in all-black, or black with silver trim.