At CES earlier this year, Fujifilm announced its first mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, the X-Pro1. While the X-Pro1 offered some interesting features, including a newly developed "X-Trans" APS-C sensor and a hybrid optical/digital eye-level viewfinder, its $1700 asking price for the body only put it out of the reach of most casual shooters.
On display at the biennial Photokina show in Cologne, Germany this week, Fujifilm's new X-E1 is a more-affordable alternative to the X-Pro1 that uses the same X-Mount lenses and packs the same 16-megapixel X-Trans APS-C sensor. It comes in at $1000 for the body only or $1400 as a kit with an optically stabilized 18-55mm f/2.8 to f/4 zoom lens. That's still not cheap: The X-E1's price puts it up against midrange DSLRs rather than entry-level models, but it's significantly less than the X-Pro1's price, which is priced against DSLRs such as the Nikon D600 and Canon EOS 6D.
The new camera shares a similar old-school aesthetic with the X-Pro1, but it's slightly smaller on each axis compared to its higher-priced stablemate. The X-E1 lacks the hybrid viewfinder of the X-Pro1, but it does have a high-resolution (2.36-million dot) OLED eye-level viewfinder in addition to a 2.8-inch LCD display. The new camera also has a pop-up flash, which the X-Pro1 lacked, as well as slightly better battery life (350 shots per charge as compared to the X-Pro1's 300-shot rating).
Beyond those hardware differences, the in-camera features for each model appear to be identical. Both cameras offer manual exposure controls in addition to aperture- and shutter-priority modes, dedicated dials for shutter and exposure-compensation adjustments, 1080p video capture at 24fps, ISO settings up to 6400, and RAW/RAW+JPEG modes. Each camera also has a motion panorama mode, a continuous shooting speed of 6fps at full resolution, and a hot shoe for external flashes.
The Fujifilm X-E1 is due in November in all-black or silver-and-black body styles.