Yin and Yang with the Fuji X-E1







All images Fuji X-E1, 18-55mm and Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 lenses.

There are times when I think that the Fuji X-E1 is the best camera I've ever used and the image quality is wonderful, but like my experiences with the X-Pro-1 there are days when I just want to get rid of it. Yesterday was one of those.

The first problem I have with it is the terrible battery life. Like the Sigma DP Merrills, I suspect that this is a consequence of the processing involved with the sensor. Like the Foveon in the Sigmas, the X-Trans sensor in the Fuji's may well require a lot of power to create the files. I hope I'm not being charitable here and Fuji just can't be bothered to design a more powerful battery. But whatever the reason, its just not good enough. Yesterday, as usual I went out with two spares, but due to getting involved in shooting pictures in rapidly changing light I forgot to take them with me and only realised that when the camera gave me the exhausted battery sign. It was fully charged but had only taken about 100 pictures. OK I do a lot of re-focusing, checking images on the screen and I have live view running all the time with no power save, but then I do that with all my cameras and their batteries last a lot longer than the Fuji.

The second problem, is that I'm still not entirely convinved that the 'foliage smearing' effect is entirely cured, even using Aperture. Sure, its a lot better than it was, but there are still problems. The above picture with the oil-seed rape in it, lost a lot of definition in the yellow when processed in Photoshop. Conversion in Aperture was better, but still not what I'm used to. It is worse when sharpening is applied. Again I suspect this is a consequence of the X-Trans sensor and the reason that the images are so 'clean' and noise free. It certainly doesn't happen all the time. I shot some buildings yesterday and the definition in those shots were spectacular.


But the sensor seems to have real problems with greens and yellows and doesn't seem to be able to 'sort them out' properly.


Now I'm prepared to concede that this is a consequence of how and what I shoot and how I process the raw files, but then I don't see why I should have to change that since every other camera I've ever used doesn't have these effects. 

So Yin and Yang. The technology that gives us spectacular ISO performance creates a somewhat 'confused' rendition of certain kinds of detail in the natural world. To be honest I don't know what to do about it other than either put up with it or use the camera just in certain situations. But then it does have those wonderful colours for landscape photography and for certain images, it works just fine. Its just I don't seem to be able to predict when and where the 'watercolour effect' is going to turn up, and I really need cameras that don't give me that uncertainty.