改善 . かいぜん . KAIZEN: change for the better; the Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of processes and products
February 4, 2016: Fujifilm released a truckload of enhancements for its 2013 X-E2 camera in the new 4.0 firmware update. Thank you Fujifilm.
Truth be told, my X-E2 hasn’t seen much of the light of day since I got the X100T, which—as I wrote recently—has become my default camera for travel and street photography. By comparison, the X-E2 just felt clunky and limiting on the streets. The new features essentially upgrade the X-E2 to an X-E2S, so I configured its settings to my liking and took it out for a day to see how it performs.
What a difference a day makes …
There’s a lot to love, but from my day out on the streets of Tokyo I am really, really happy about the electronic shutter, primarily because the camera is totally silent now. I shot solely in AF mode, switching via an assigned D-Pad button between Single Point and Zone autofocus modes, and the focusing just seemed zippier: quick and accurate and nice to use. In fact the camera seems more responsive all round. I appreciate the design subtlety of the new viewfinder/LCD interface and love the customizable Q menu, which puts wanted features just a button push away. And on the subject of buttons, the extra function buttons are appreciated as are the extra Auto ISO settings. The one thing I still can’t do on this model—unlike on other X series cameras (including the X-E1!), and given that it wasn’t included in this update I doubt it will ever happen—is choose a setting to shoot in EVF mode and view photos on the rear LCD without having to scroll through a menu.
That aside, the X-E2 Version 4.0 really is a much nicer shooting experience; the camera really is rejuvenated and paired with the XF27mm pancake lens it’s quite a compact shooter. Using it to take these photos I remembered how much I love the 40mm focal length. But. This lens, for all its good qualities, is unfortunately a poor relation in the Fujinon family. I doubt whether this will ever happen either, but I would love to see a new version: it needs to be quieter, faster, have an aperture ring (a distance scale would be nice). Why not make it water resistant? Why not, you know, make it in Japan? Why not make a low profile dome hood for it? I really shouldn’t complain. While I’m daydreaming of perfect lenses and viewfinder settings, I can enjoy my much improved X-E2 and be thankful that unlike other camera manufacturers Fujifilm regularly treats its customers to such gifts.