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Fujifilm X-E2S review - Great photos but can it beat the X-T10?

Ben Pitt
12 May 2016
Fujifilm X-E2S front
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
749
in VAT

With outstanding image quality and controls, the Fujifilm X-E2S’s biggest competition comes from its own ranks.

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Specifications

Sensor resolution: 16 megapixels, Sensor size: 23.6x15.6mm (APS-C), Focal length multiplier: 1.5x, Viewfinder: electronic (2.36 million dots), LCD screen: 3in (1.04 million dots), Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths): 3x (27-82.5mm), 35mm-equivalent aperture: f/4.2-6, Lens mount: Fujifilm X Mount, Weight: 665g, Dimensions (HxWxD): 75x138x122mm

Photo quality

As with the X-E2, photo quality is the X-E2S’s strongest asset. The 16-megapixel sensor captures enough detail for A3 prints and its noise levels are lower than any other CSC range bar the full-frame Sony a7 series. The 18-55mm kit lens plays a useful role in low light, too with an f/2.8-4 maximum aperture that captures twice as much light as most kit lenses with their f/3.5-5.6 apertures. In practice, that means smoother, more detailed shots in low light where rival cameras struggle with grainy or smeared colours. Automatic exposure settings proved to be reliable — particularly with the added benefit of faster shutter speeds for moving subjects. JPEG colour processing is a matter of taste but Fujifilm’s rich colour palette does it for me.



^ This wide-angle shot is jam packed with detail from corner to corner, and there’s no hint of chromatic aberrations on the backlit branches. (1/420s, f/6.4, ISO 400, 27mm equivalent)



^ Exposure, details and colour reproduction are impossible to fault in this shot. (1/400s, f/7.1, ISO 200, 36mm equivalent)



^ The kit lens is just as sharp at the long end of its 18-55mm (27-83mm equivalent) zoom range. (1/350s, f/9, ISO 400, 83mm equivalent)



^ Pin-sharp focus and sumptuous colour in this macro shot. (1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, 83mm equivalent)


^ Shooting in low light is what this camera does best with its low-noise sensor and unusually bright kit lens. (1/100s, f/4, ISO 2500, 83mm equivalent)



^ The camera has detected a moving subject and pushed the shutter speed up to 1/180s to freeze motion. There’s barely any evidence of noise at ISO 1600. (1/180s, f/4, ISO 1600, 64mm equivalent)



^ Skin and hair textures are holding together well at ISO 3200. (1/30s, f/3.6, ISO 3200, 47mm equivalent)



^ Heavy noise reduction gives skin tones an airbrushed quality at ISO 6400 but the results look great at modest sizes. (1/56s, f/4, ISO 6400, 83mm equivalent)

Conclusion

I love the photos that come out of the X-E2S, and I’m just as fond of the exposure controls. Video quality and subject tracking are both a bit iffy; if these features are important, go for the Sony a6000 or Panasonic G7. I suspect most people won’t be too concerned either way. Autofocus and shot-to-shot times are up to scratch for the vast majority of shooting conditions.

For me the X-E2S’s biggest threat comes from its sibling. The Fujifilm XT-10 is very similar but has a tilting LCD screen, dual command dials, a dedicated drive mode dial and a more substantial handgrip. At current prices it’s £35 less with the same 18-55mm lens, or £100 less body-only. As such, the X-T10 remains my favourite compact system camera (CSC) in this price bracket, but the X-E2S isn’t far behind. Buy Now from Amazon.


Hardware
Sensor resolution16 megapixels
Sensor size23.6x15.6mm (APS-C)
Focal length multiplier1.5x
Optical stabilisationAvailable in lenses
Viewfinderelectronic (2.36 million dots)
Viewfinder magnification (35mm-equivalent), coverage0.62x, 100%
LCD screen3in (1.04 million dots)
ArticulatedNo
TouchscreenNo
Orientation sensorYes
Photo file formatsJPEG, RAW (RAF)
Maximum photo resolution4x896x3,264
Photo aspect ratios3:2, 16:9 1:1
Video compression formatMP4 (AVC) at up to 38Mbit/s
Video resolutions1080p at 24/25/30/50/60p, 720p at 24/25/30/50/60p
Slow motion video modesN/A
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality)14m 32s
Controls
Exposure modesProgram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed range30 to 1/4,000 seconds
ISO speed range100 to 51200
Exposure compensationEV +/-3
White balanceAuto, 7 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Auto-focus modesMulti/tracking, zone, flexible spot, face detect, eye detect
Metering modesMulti, centre-weighted, spot, average, face detect, eye detect
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modesSingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, film simulation bracket, dynamic range bracket, ISO speed bracket, white balance bracket, panorama, multiple exposure
Kit lens
Kit lens model nameFujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
Optical stabilisationYes
Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths)3x (27-82.5mm)
Maximum aperture (wide-tele)f/2.8-4
35mm-equivalent aperturef/4.2-6
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus (wide)30cm
Closest macro focus (tele)40cm
Physical
Lens mountFujifilm X Mount
Card slotSDXC
Memory suppliedNone
Battery typeLi-ion
ConnectivityUSB, micro HDMI, wired remote/microphone
WirelessWi-Fi
GPSVia smartphone app
HotshoeFujifilm TTL
Body materialAluminium
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap
Weight665g
Dimensions (HxWxD)75x138x122mm
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Detailswww.fujifilm.eu/uk
Part codeP10NC14610A

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