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Hands-On: Fujifilm XQ1, X-E2 Review

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Fujifilm announced its point-and-shoot XQ1 and its mid-tier X-E2 earlier this month as two products that help expand its popular X Series. This past week, Fujifilm attended PhotoPlus in New York City, and lucky for us, they brought bot the XQ1 and X-E2 along for the ride to show off exactly what both cameras are made of. So without further ado, let’s take a look at how both cameras performed from our short time with them.

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The first camera we checked out was the point-and-shoot XQ1. One of the first things we noticed when we lay our hands on the camera was how sturdy it felt when compared to other point-and-shoots, which often tend to not feel so solid. A good majority of the XQ1 is covered in brushed aluminum, giving it a nice premium look and feel when in use. If you’re familiar with point-and-shoot cameras, you’ll know what to expect out of the XQ1 as its portability comes at a cost as you won’t be able to wrap your hands around any grips.

Even though the XQ1 is pocket sized, Fujifilm packed in some impressive specs as it features a 12MP sensor the company’s new F1.8 4x zoom lens, a 2/3″ X-Trans CMOS II sensor and an EXP Processor II, which was previously included in the company’s X20. Because of its specs, the XQ1 is able to deliver AF speeds at 0.06 seconds, which is the fastest rate in the world for a camera in this class. The XQ1 also comes with Wi-Fi built into it, allowing you to transfer your capture images to your compatible smartphone or tablet through Fujifilm’s Camera Application app.

The XQ1 has a number of interesting programs that can be access through its dial. One that I got the most enjoyment out of was it’s filter mode, which allows you to take photos using Instagram-like filters. You can select filters using the camera’s controls, and when you select through different filters, an example of that filter will show up on the LCD screen to show exactly how your subject will look with this filter on. This will be one mode those who take shots with their cellphones more often than not will most likely get a kick out of.

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Moving on from the world of point-and-shoots, Fujifilm also had the mid-range X-E2 on hand. Considering how much more advanced the X-E2 is, we weren’t surprised to feel it was a bit heavier than the pocket-sized XQ1. When we wrapped our hands around the X-E2, the slight grip on the right side of the camera certainly helped in getting a better grip of the camera. One aspect of the X-E2 I liked was how it looks. As advanced as cameras are becoming, the older look of cameras is one most people really enjoy as it adds a bit of a retro flair, which makes your camera stand out more than a “modern” camera.

The Fujifilm X-E2 continues where the X-E1 left off as it has a 16-3MP sensor, a 3-inch LCD display, ISO200 – 6400, extended ISO 100, 12800, 25600 and Auto. It also features an EXR Processor II, which makes the camera able to deliver an AF speed of 0.08 seconds. The X-E2 also has an integrated pop-up flash, which the photographer is able to use their finger to manipulate the direction the flash brightens the subject. This is a nice tweak for those moments when a direct flash isn’t needed, but a little bit of light would certainly help.

Fujifilm will release both the XQ1 and X-E2 next month, and both are priced accordingly to the kind of consumer they’re being geared towards to. The Fujifilm will retail for $500, while the X-E2 will be available for $1000 for its body-only version, while its pairing with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 zoom lens will bump the price up to $1400.

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