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Fujifilm X-E1 SLR-like camera brings retro design into the digital age

Consumer Reports News: September 06, 2012 05:08 PM

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Where Sony and Samsung appear to be favoring camera designs that often have a sci-fi appearance—sleek camera bodies and minimal buttons and dials—Fujifilm's new 16-megapixel X-E1 takes another tack, harking back to cameras that sport lots of controls and a chunkier, more boxy form. At the very least, it's a strategy that distinguishes Fujifilm from other camera makers, appealing to those who like sturdy-looking products.

The X-E1 is actually a smaller version of another, more expensive mirrorless model with a retro design that Fujifilm announced earlier this year: the X-Pro1. The X-E1 is also a mirrorless SLR-like camera; it's smaller than an SLR, but has a large sensor and accepts interchangeable lenses, the Fujinon XF-series.

The camera also includes an OLED electronic viewfinder (with 2.4 million dots), which should make it quite sharp, as well as a rubberized grip, and it can capture video at 1080p (24 frames per second). It also has a 2.8-inch LCD (460,000 dots), a pop-up flash, and a top ISO of 25,600. Like most models in its class, it can capture RAW files and has a hot shoe for attaching an external strobe.

Fujifilm also unveiled a new XF-series, 14mm f/2.8 prime lens, $900. An 18-55mm kit lens will be sold separately for $700. The X-E1 will be available in November for $1,000 (body only) and $1,400 with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens.

Thinking about adding an SLR-like mirrorless camera to your photographic arsenal? Be sure to check out our free digital-camera buying advice at ConsumerReports.org.

Terry Sullivan

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