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Fujifilm X-E1 - Image Quality summary and Verdict

By Phil Hall



  • Recommended by TR
Fuji X-E1


Our Score:


Fujifilm X-E1: Image Quality

The X-E1 uses the same 256-zone metering system as the X-Pro1, providing Multi, Spot and Average metering modes. With Multi metering selected, the X-E1 delivers well-exposed shots in almost every situation. Occasionally a dab of positive exposure compensation is required, however given that the EV exposure dial falls within easy reach it’s pretty easy to apply.

Fuji X-E1 sample image

The X-E1 benefits from two expanded dynamic range settings, which are referred to as DR200 and DR400. The aim of these two settings is to retain highlight information, which can be an issue when shooting high-contrast scenes. Working with both JPEGs and Raw files, shooting in DR200 does see the X-E1's base ISO increase to ISO 400, while ISO 800 will be your base ISO if shooting in DR400, however the results are impressive, with considerable highlight detail retained.

Automatic white balance is consistent in both natural and artificial light, producing neutral, pleasingly saturated results throughout the ISO range. With a nod to Fuijfilm’s 35mm film stock heritage, the X-E1 offer a range of Film Simulation modes that can be called upon to provide a slightly different look to your images, with Velvia, Provia, Astia, Pro Neg.Std, Pro Neg.Hi. With the aid of the bracketing tool it’s also possible to bracket three different Film Simulation effects for each image so that you can choose which you prefer afterwards.

Fuji X-E1 sample image 1

As with the X-Pro1 before it, the sharpness and level of detail delivered by the X-E1 is nothing short of spectacular. The unique colour pattern array of the X-E1’s proprietary X-Trans CMOS sensor has allowed Fuji to remove the anti-aliasing filter which, in turn, allows the X-E1 to capture a level of detail that surpasses other APS-C based cameras with a similar resolution.

Comparing Raw files side-by-side with JPEG images we were surprised to find that they're both fairly evenly matched when it comes to detail at base ISOs, although the Raw file still has the edge here. As sensitivity is increased, Raw files appear to have more 'bite', with JPEG files becoming progressively smoother due to the in-camera noise reduction. Overall though, the X-E1's JPEG processing is very pleasing.

Fuji X-E1 5

Fujifilm X-E1: Verdict

While it might be tempting to think of the X-E1 as a stripped back X-Pro1, that does it something of a disservice in that the X-E1 is a great camera in its own right. Gifted with the same premium grade construction and finish, the X-E1 feels more refined and balanced than it’s more expensive sibling. While some may lament the removal of the hybrid viewfinder found in the X-Pro1, the truth is that the X-E1’s sharper, crisper EVF more than makes up for this, though the rear screen remains, at 2.8in and 460k-dots, somewhat underpowered for a camera of this price. Our only other issue is the autofocus performance and while this has certainly been improved from the X-Pro1, it’s still not as fast or as responsive as what’s offered by other CSCs. These issues aside, and the X-E1 is a joy to shoot with. By far the biggest selling point of the X-E1, however, is its sensor. The quality of the results and the detail rendered is excellent, delivering images that are some of, if not the best we’ve seen from an APS-C sized sensor.

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Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 10
  • Design & Features 8
  • Image Quality 10
  • Value 8


November 29, 2012, 6:38 am

Am I the only person who is finding Trusted Reviews almost impossible to read nowadays? The advertising has become so intrusive that even though I have a fast broadband connection waiting for animated adverts and video insets means that scrolling down the page is slower than in the age of dial-up modems. I just gave up trying to read this review.

sam palmer

November 30, 2012, 3:46 pm

Very cut n pasted feel to this review. And the score of 8 rather than 9 seems more about evening up the 10/10 for the xpro 1. (8/10 for build quality?!) And yes the site is slow as anything. A shame because before the revamp this was the best tech review site on the web, now it's a shambles.

Terry 10

December 1, 2012, 3:02 pm

I agree with mikfrak. The scrolling adverts down each side of the page are EXTREMELY intrusive constantly pulling the eye away from the review.

If this doesn't stop, you,re going to be wasting your time creating the reviews and the advertisers going to be wasting his money paying for the space because there's going to be no readers at all.

Please stop the scrolling IMMEDIATELY.


December 3, 2012, 2:41 pm

Want to know why the X-E1 rates 8/10 in build quality when the X-Pro1 got 10/10? Here's what Trusted Reviews says of the X-E1: "Build quality ... hasn't been compromised in any way." And: "Gifted with the same premium construction and finish [as the X-Pro1], the X-E1 feels more refined." That clear things up?

You might also wonder why the X-E1 got 9/10 in image quality, vs. 10/10 for the X-Pro1. The review: "As with the X-Pro1 before it, the sharpness and level of detail delivered by the X-E1 is nothing short of spectacular." That's no surprise, given that both cameras have the same sensor, metering system, processing software, lenses and so forth. The only surprise is the difference in ratings.

C'mon, trusted reviewers. How can you expect readers to trust reviews that contain such glaring inconsistencies?


December 3, 2012, 3:33 pm

Hi guys, I can fully see where you're all coming from. I'll raise these issues with our camera team and see what's what.


December 4, 2012, 3:43 pm

Having talked among our camera team the consensus is that the x-pro1 was probably a bit overrated even for its time so its overall score has been adjusted accordingly. Meanwhile the x-e1 will remain at its current overall score, reflecting the fact that the market has moved on somewhat since March and both cameras are less competitive now. That said, there was also agreement that there was little reason for the build quality and image quality scores to drop so these have been raised too.

These inconsistencies do sometimes happen as a consequence of different writers and editors looking at the different articles and, after all, the two reviews were posted many months apart.

I'd also like to point out that scores, while a good indicator, only mean so much and it's the words of the review that really matter. This is also why we've not felt the need to change the words of either review, despite having adjusted the scores.

Hope that clears things up for you all.


December 4, 2012, 4:12 pm

Well done!

Joel fentin

February 13, 2013, 7:34 am

If its the readers have to correct the ratings of the reviewers, then the reviews do not worth to be read I guess. After all, why do reviwers write reviews? For money, right? But this way of making money is like begging or cheating


December 6, 2013, 11:55 am

Well I have just switched from a Canon 1D Mk!! (Too heavy at my age) to a Fuji X-E1. Looks and feels lovely. BUT cannot register my new 55-230mm lens as it is not even listed! I then tried to load the disc saying "Update Firmware Software" No instructions, no notes, didn't load, and I am NOT computer literate. To say that I am NOT impressed with Fuji and their customer service backup puts it mildly. OK I'll get there somehow (maybe one of the guys here knows) but I already wish I had chosen the Canon compact because of their first class support and help.

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