X-E1 thoughts & playing dress-up.

So, the X-E1 is now official. I’m not going to go into details and I suggest you head over to Thomas Menk’s incredible Scoop.it page if you’re looking for info. But basically we’re talking same sensor and technology as the X-Pro1 without the hybrid viewfinder, which means no OVF. The EVF has a better resolution while the LCD has a lower resolution. It’s all about trade-offs folks. But it IS sexy and my feeling is that this is essentially the X200. I don’t think Fuji will be releasing a direct successor to the X100. It makes a lot more sense to keep the form factor and leverage the new XF lenses, which is exactly what the X-E1 does. As Derek Clark and I were discussing this week, if this is the case it’ll make the X100 a true classic. The first and last of its kind. Which is somehow fitting — the camera that launched a thousand ships…

There’s been a lot of talk about faster AF on the X-E1 but this appears to be tied to both improved firmware and the upcoming 18–55mm lens. It’s a one two punch. And since new firmware has also been announced for the X-Pro1 promising significant speed-ups, I’m not feeling too left out by the announcement. One disappointment though: the features in firmware 2.00 scheduled to be released September 18 do not include a minimum shutter speed for Auto ISO. They’ve added Auto 6400 but no mention of anything else. I hope we’ll get an undisclosed surprise. It’s a shame we still can’t use this feature the way we can on the X100.

In the meantime, I thought I’d do one of those camera dress-up posts. I’ve changed/added a few things on my X-Pro1 and I though I’d share. Nothing drastic or earth shattering.

the emperor has new clothes

First, the lens hood. The one that comes with the 35mm lens looks very cool. I love the shape and I love that it uses a proprietary “grip” to snap further back onto the lens instead of screwing into the thread. It makes for a much more discreet profile.

But. It. Jiggles.

It’s not super jiggly but just enough to be really annoying and make the entire camera feel cheap. Plus, the included cap is ridiculous. It falls off simply from looking at it. Seriously ridiculous. So I bought a kit on Ebay that includes a vented black metal hood and a matching pinch cap. It screws on which makes the 35mm that much longer, but at least it feels solid and I can protect the glass with a cap that actually stays put. Twelve bucks including shipping. No brainer.

I also wanted to protect the back LCD. I’m used to having a hard plastic cover on my Nikon and went looking for something similar. JJC makes a 3” protective cover that fits perfectly and doesn’t alter the image in any significant way. I’ve even managed to take it off and put it back on a few times without a problem. Another inexpensive solution.

Lastly, the camera strap. I wish camera makers would lose the harsh black nylon that’s been the norm for years. It’s very uncomfortable isn’t it? Hell, it could probably cut through something given the chance. But straps are like bags, which are like shoes: they can be addictive ;)

I went all hipster on this one: the Dreamer from Iconic. I know, I know it’s girly. But I don’t use the little pouch (gets in the way) and I didn’t snap on the cutesy name tag either. Fact is it’s quite comfortable. The back is soft enough, the width is just right and it makes the camera that much more enjoyable to use. I might get one for the X100 as well — although I’m attached to my father’s very old and very scrappy leather strap from his old Yashica. It’s a sentimental thing.

So that’s it for today. A couple of pics below. And for those of you who might be interested, there will be a new Editions post tomorrow morning entitled The District.