Why I Won’t Be Upgrading To The Fuji X-E2 Anytime Soon . . .

. . . Please note the title of this post is “Why I Won’t Be Upgrading” and not “Why You shouldn’t upgrade”.

To quote a much used though oh-so-relevant phrase, we do indeed `live in a throwaway society`. Whether it be a car, a TV, or a camera, there is an underlying (almost genetic) predisposition to commit oneself to a lifelong search for the holy grail of perfection. That indefinable something, that x-factor which (once found) will bring skills you never knew you had and an (as yet) undiscovered nirvana.

With regards photography (and cameras in particular), this has never been more prevalent. Nowadays it seems there’s an updated model released every 6 months to one year, often with very little more than `window dressing` as improvements. The Fuji X-E2 is a case in point.

Let’s not forgot also the commonly ignored or overlooked issue of depreciation and the not inconsiderable sums of money lost when selling your `old model`, but more on that later.

I will start by comparing the differences between the `old` X-E1 and the X-E2. No, scrub that, I’ll start by comparing the non-differences. From the outside you’d be hard pressed to see any difference. On the front, there’s the X-E2 badge obviously. However, like me you may have covered that on your X-E1 with a small square of black electrical tape. So no advantage for me there.

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And . . . that’s it for the front of the camera. Now let’s move to the rear.

Here things are a little different. Most of the button layouts are the same, however some have been moved to new locations. The ‘Q’ menu button has been moved, as has the AF button. However, much of the new layout is already achievable on the X-E1 via the custom button menu functions. The X-E2 now features a Fn2 button where the AF button used to be, though once again, the X-E1 can have one of these on the lower button of the 4-way controller, via the custom button menu.

One button that’s been removed completely is the `View Mode`. Now I for one have found this to be quite useful. On the odd occasion, I may want to be extra stealthy/sneaky/covert etc and with a quick press of the view button, I can sneak a shot with the live view. Two more presses and I’m back in EVF. Not anymore as it’s now hidden in a menu. A definite backwards step for me.

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Further, the rear screen is now 3″ with 1.04M dots as opposed to the ‘pitiful’ 2.8″ 420k dots of the X-E1. And that brings me nicely to my second grumble. The rear screen of a camera is intended as a means of checking whether the photo’s you’ve recently taken are ‘keepers’ or not, period. It’s not intended as a ‘desktop quality’ image editing facility. That’s what your computer at home is for. So why the need for ‘clearer than life’ displays on the back of a digital camera, especially if the display already fitted is more than up to the job?

Then there’s the top of the camera, which I won’t even spend the time photoshopping a side-by-side comparison of. The differences are that the Flash Sync on the main dial now shows 180/sec and the ‘A’ is now ‘spaced a little further away’.

Moving onto the internals of the camera.

The X-E2 features basically the same X-Trans Sensor as that of the X-E1, the only difference being it now has a `ii` after the name. Still the same 16 megapixels, the same pixel size, the same fantastic and revolutionary non-Bayer Pattern array.

I’m being childish of course as it now comes with Phase Detection Auto Focus. However, I never noticed any deficiency with the old system, probably because I only shoot in manual focus.

Mind you, there’s now a `Lens Modulation Optimizer`. In a nutshell this means your pictures will be `even sharper`. Even Sharper ? When the X-Series of cameras were released, photographers fell over themselves to announce just `how sharp` and clear the photographs were and that the old Leica benchmark was a thing of the past. Now the Fuji’s images are `even sharper`. Just how sharp does a picture need to be ? Fuji proudly advertise that their sensors faithfully recreate the feeling and quality of Silver Halide Film. Film and sharpness ? I don’t think so.

The X-E2 still features the same and excellent 2.36M OLED EVF. Good as it is one of the best in the business.

The X-E2 will now `rattle off` 7 Frames Per Second compared to the asthmatic 6 of the X-E1. Hang on a second, when was the last time I used burst mode on the street, and even if I did, surely 6 FPS is more than enough ?

Buffer Refresh Rate has been increased. Why ? I don’t recall ever encountering a situation where I was unable to take a picture because the buffer was full. Back to the previous 6 FPS question.

It’s also worth pointing out that many of the new features of the X-E2 will shortly be available on the X-E1 with the soon to be released Firmware Update. Click here for more details and roll on the 19th December 2013.

I’m sorry if I sound like a sour puss, or an old stick in the mud. Remember this article is about why I won’t be upgrading but if you intend to do so, then `fill yer boots` (I hate that phrase 🙂 ), but maybe I can best describe my feelings about the X-E2 with a `good old` car analogy ?

Let’s assume you have a 4 month old car (that’s how long I’ve had the X-E1). An updated model is released. It will now do 127mph as opposed to 124. It comes with 2 more cup holders (as though the 10 it already has isn’t enough) and now features airbags in the boot to protect your golf clubs. Would you be tempted ?

Well that’s enough of the technical reasons, so let’s move on to the financial concerns.

I purchased the X-E1 just 4 months ago (didn’t I just say that) and cost me £899 which included the 18-55mm zoom lens.

Now let’s assume I decide to upgrade to the X-E2. I would keep the 18-55 but sell the body on eBay, which (at the time) if purchased separately would have cost £799 and are currently selling at a used price of around £300. The 18-55 currently sells for about £280. Therefore, adding the two together makes £580. I’m already down by around £300 on the original purchase price and that’s before taking off approximately 15% in eBay and PayPal fees which work out at around £70. Now I’m about £370 down on my 4 month old purchase, if I sold the body AND lens.

So I sell the body for £255 (after fees) and then purchase the X-E2 Body currently costing £799. This means that with the money from the X-E1, I will be down by £544. Add this to the £300 from the original X-E1 purchase and I stand to lose £844. 😀

Even worse, imagine I’d bought the camera with one of those fantastic `2 Year Interest Free` offers. £899 purchase price over 24 months equates to £38 per month x 4 payments = £152 which leaves a balance owing of £747 minus the £255 for the body I’ve just sold. This leaves me owing £492. I then purchase the X-E2 costing £799 then add the £492 I still owe which comes to a grand total loss of £1,290.

And remember, in one years time the X-E3 will come out and the whole sorry episode will start again and I’ll still be owing for the two previous cameras.

“We live in a throwaway society”. Nothing these days has value. I remember a time when you bought a camera and expected it to last 10 years or even a lifetime. If it broke down, you sent it to your local repair man/woman. Nowadays that shiny new state-of-the-art camera will be up on the ‘bay 3 months later and sold for a third of it’s purchase price. There’s nothing wrong with it and it still takes those same gorgeous pictures which made you buy it in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong. New ‘stuff’ is great and I’ll be the first to admit to many severe cases of G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). However, when the piece of kit I already own is more than up to the job and for that matter, is barely out of it’s wrapper, I wouldn’t want to upgrade for the sake of two more cupholders ? 😉

Of course there will be many for whom changing to the X-E2 will be a sound decision. Mike Kobal is one such photographer and you can read all about it in his excellent article & photography blog here Mike Kobal – Fuji X-E2. Is it worth to upgrade?


If you are looking to buy a used Fuji X-E2, there are always a fine selection for sale here on ebay

 

Author: Kevin Shelley

Street Photography. eBooks. Blog. Shoots and reviews cameras. Develops film. Writes novelesque articles.

14 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Be Upgrading To The Fuji X-E2 Anytime Soon . . .”

  1. I pretty much agree with what you are saying. In fact when the X-E2 was announced I took the opportunity to buy a second X-E1 for my wife as it it is such an astonishing camera.

    The thing that really bugs me is that people seem to have lost sight of the main point – which is to take photographs. I see endless chatter on web forums about how ‘this’ is better than ‘that’ or this upgrade is a must have etc. I then go and open my old Time Life Books and look at the astonishing images shot half a century or more ago and my jaw drops open with respect for what was achieved with old technology (in many cases better than stuff I see today). We seem to have lost the plot a bit IMHO.

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    1. Upgrading to X-E2s mates no sense at all for owners of X-E2 as both are basically the same camera with minimal difference and it makes little sense to owners of X-E1 because difference between 1 and 2s, in my opinion, does not warrant the investment.
      That is not to say that X-E2s is a bad camera at all. It is X-E2 slightly improved.
      On the other hand X-E3 – or whatever Fujifilm choses to call it – makes lot of sense, provided it is version of X-Pro2, minus OVF.
      I own X-E2, am very happy with it and do not need OVF or even twin card holders, would be happy with no 4K and if I must I will do without WR.
      But X-E3 must be essentially unchanged so far as size and any increase in weight is concerned.
      Beauty of X-E cameras is in their small size and light weight.
      My ideal X-E3 is:
      1.The X-E3 will have the same core specs of the X-Pro2 and X-T2 (X-Processor Pro, X-TransIII, Same AF-speed, same IQ….)
      2.Price range of the X-T10/X-T20
      3.X-E3 will have a tilt screen
      4.no weather sealing, like the X-T10 line… makes the camera cheaper
      5.1 SD-card slot
      (From Fuji Rumours).
      In regards to price, I would be quite happy to pay a bit more for X-E3 with performance of X-Pro2 or X-T2.
      Realistically speaking we want a version of flag ship camera, at least so far as performance is concerned, we need to be prepared to pay for it.

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  2. Well the first thing I would comment on is the statement “Still the same 16 megapixels, the same pixel size, the same fantastic and revolutionary Bayer Pattern array.” It not a Bayer Pattern, that’s what makes is revolutionary. The “Bayer Mosaic” is the traditional color filter array (CFA) for arranging RGB color filters on a square grid of RGBG photosensors. It is named after its inventor, Bryce Bayer of Eastman Kodak. The “X-Tran” is the name Fujifilm has given to their unique approach.

    Second, at least use comparative pricing from the excellent Photographer -to- Photographer forums that make selling gear much more reasonable like Fred Miranda, Photography-On-The.Net, FujiX-Forum, Rangefinder.com, etc. With these forums there is no 15% fee to eBay. Paypal is what it is no matter where its used. Here you can buy and cell without as big a loss. Most of the equipment I buy, like my X-E1, and most of my XF lenses were bought here and came to me much cheaper than buying new so not everyone pays fill price for their upgrades even if they suffer from G.A.S. like I do.

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  3. I agree with you, but let’s face it! if money wasn’t a concern we just by the latest regardless of whether it’s actually any better or not! 😉

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    1. Hi Sam,

      I agree also. If money was no object, I would probably now be stood on the streets of Paris or 5th Avenue in New York, taking pictures with my Leica M240, replete with Summicron’s of every focal length available.

      Now crashing back down to earth, the X-E1 will suffice and I’ll have to be happy photographing the mean streets of the North West of England. 😀

      Cheers,

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  4. I agree wholeheartedly with everything thats been said, GAS is a serious problem but now that I’ve come to a point where I can’t afford to buy anymore top of the range gear after buying the XM-1 with lenses 16-50 and a free 50-230 then I bought s/h from Wex XE-1 £320 it’s hardly been used (bargain) , like Kevin said the money you lose by part exchanging has to hit you where it hurts, plus getting an earbashing from your other half doesn’t help, so when I used to shoot film and I still do from time to time I remember the Canon AE 1 I had and the lenses 28mm,35mm,50mm they were good lenses so I bought a couple from ffordes a 28 & 50mm and I must say they are sharp, sharp enough for me anyway so with two adapters £22 & £40 for the lenses and shooting manually I’m happy as a pig in muck….cheers Mick.

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    1. My pleasure, glad to have helped.

      The diffence between the E1 & E2 is minimal and because you’re buying a used E1, if you decide it’s not for you and want to try the E2, you can sell it again with minimal loss. 🙂

      The ‘X’ is a really capable photographers camera.

      Enjoy,

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  5. Thanks..this is really a nice article…I was little bit dillydallying about XE1 and XE2…I just bought XE-1 with “kit” lens[18 -55 which to me is not at all kit] at B&H for $ 699you saved me $ 500mannnn… [XE-2 is $1199]…

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  6. My philosophy has for sometime not to buy the latest and greatest. Like you I have in the past spent a great deal of money ‘upgrading’.
    Like most people I love the new features on cameras if they are going to be of use. Now I try a little patience. Once the furore of the new model fades so does the top list price. The X-E1 is a case in point it can be purchased new £289 and has been as low as £220. Still an excellent camera I have only just moved across to the X-E2.
    I bought the X-E1 as a second user and sold it on again – still with box and all paperwork, coz buyers love that, and purchased an ‘almost new’ X-E2. The price difference including fee was less than £160.
    I expect that I will be keeping the X-E2 for quite a while and may move to an X-E3 or whatever a year after it has been out.
    Patience is a virtue and it can save you a bag of cash too.
    Regards
    GW

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  7. I really dislike the X-E1. It is built cheaply, feels like a plastic toy, the lenses feel cheap and it can’t focus at all in low light.

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  8. Hello all,
    Still waiting for an x-e3 with multi zone af, pdaf, and faster af uhs2 cards, etc…
    The x-e2 i really think i should have buy one a year ago.
    Still with my x-e1 af is still an issue.
    No x-e3 to Come yet.

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  9. I bought into the Fuji X system with a humble XM fitted with 16 to 50mm zoom and a free voucher for a 50 to 230mm zoom. Have to admit I dont like the XM, as the lack of viewfinder is restrictive to me. However the lens and sensor quality of images beat any of my Nikon DSLRs. So the next step was to find a better Fuji X series camera, I found the XE-1 fulfils my needs precisely, I bought two hardly used examples (1 black and 1 silver) when the XE-2 came out and the second hand market filled up with XE-1 bodies – what bargains they were, I love using them and concentrate on growing my Fuji lens collection now. As for the XM, well I keep it as a spare, in the car glovebox fitted with a pancake lens, it makes for a great little ultra sharp street camera. I cant think of any reason to go beyond XE-1 bodies unless Fujifilm just happen to develop an utterly amazing new sensor for future X models.

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  10. yes, in mid 2015 still with no X-E3 in sight, you sound like a stick-in-the-mud. X-E2 is a great camera, you could have upgraded back then for a few hundred pounds, much less second hand now, but you’re not ‘losing money’, just buying stuff. But hey, I still have my X-E1 and am equally happy with it. Spent money on a (used) lens instead.

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