Coming next week: Fuji X-E2 and 23 1.4 vs Sony A7 and 35 2.8 report

Coming next week: Fuji X-E2 and 23 1.4 vs Sony A7 and 35 2.8 report

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Hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday! I know I am because in my hand I have the fabulous Sony A7 and 35 2.8 and along side of it a Fuji X-E2 and 23 1.4 (35mm equiv). The Fuji arrived a couple of days ago and after some quick use I can say it is the most responsive Fuji X Body to date (interchangeable lens body).  I snapped off maybe 30 pictures at home and while 40% of them had mis-focus I will not judge until I get out and take REAL photos with the camera. With that said Debby and I are headed to Las vegas this weekend for a quick overnighter and I will be shooting the Sony A7 with 35 2.8, the Fuji X-E2 and 23 1.4 and the E-M1 with 17 1.8. (I also have the SLR Magic 17 1.6).

Which one will I prefer to shoot? Which one will give the best user experience? Which will give me the most consistent results with AF and speed? Which one will deliver my fave shots from the test?

These are all questions I want to know the answer to so I will be testing them all and evaluating the Fuji as well. The Fuji looks good, feels good and is snappy, just as it should be. It is a little larger than the full frame Sony A7 with the 35 attached on the Sony and 23 on the Fuji which I thought was interesting 🙂

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I could not resist to take a quick higher ISO shot in my man cave/office with the Sony and Fuji just to see detail levels, noise levels and overall performance. Both autofocuses the scene about the same in speed and accuracy here. The room did not have any lights on nor were the blinds open so ISO 1250 was needed to get to 1/80s.

These are from RAW with no Noise Reduction. The Sony delivers a much more detailed image IMO but see for yourself. Keep in mind that the Sony is full frame and the A7 and 35 2.87 will run $2500. The Fuji is APS-C and the set will cost you $2000 for the camera and 23 1.4 lens (35mm equiv).

1st shot of my Home stereo amp – Fuji X-E2 – ISO 1250 – RAW – 23 1.4 at 2.8 – click it for full size (recommend RIGHT click and open in new tab or window)

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and now the same shot with the Sony A7 and 35 2.8 at 2.8 – ISO 1250 – RAW  – right click to open full size in a new tab or window.

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This Sony along with the A7r are pretty amazing little cameras full of tech that delivers some amazing results. The two Zeiss lenses are top notch as well. Makes me wonder what Sony will come up with next. The Fuji, as I already said, is the quickest Fuji to date and feels great to shoot. Can’t wait to get to Vegas Baby! More next week!

Oh..about that SLR Magic 17 T 1.6 for Micro 4/3…

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I have had the new SLR Magic 17 T 1.6 for Micro 4/3 for about 3 weeks and have shot it when I can but I do not like it as much as the Olympus 17 1.8 for photo taking. The SLR Magic is built very well  – solid, substantial and with the clickless aperture ring and T stops it is really designed for video use, where it will excel. For photos it is a little dull, soft corners and off color when compared to the Olympus but it does have more character than the more sterile Olympus. I will have a review of it soon but it is a nice lens for M 4/3 if video is your thing.  Here is a direct link to SLR Magic and the lens.

SLR Magic 17 T 1.6 – high ISO – E-M1

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..and about that amp above for those who are curious..

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Yes my friends..in addition to being a huge Photo geek I have also been an Audio geek my whole life. When I divorced 4 years ago I lost my entire high end audio system that took me 10 years to build up and I can now say I finally have been able to build it back up and have a killer audio system to listen to as I write my reviews, chill out at night or when I want to soak in all I have been blessed with in life. The amp above is the heart of my system and is a Line Magnetic 219ia – a 24 watts per channel SET  tube amp. The best amp I have ever owned or heard. 150lbs of a hand wired all hammer tone metal masterpiece. Who knows, this may kick off stevehuffhifi.com  – lol.

For Audiophiles and audio geeks, this amp is amazing and will deliver the artists into your room with you with delicacy, ease, finesse and eery realness.

So there ya go..now let me get to packing…Vegas is a 4 hour drive from me so I am ready to hit the road!

Steve

96 Comments

  1. I am going to play devils advocate to both sides of the argument here.

    Disclaimer, I own a Fuji X-E2, my previous cameras were various M/4/3’s I have shot full frame, but not Mirrorless/Sony.

    I think that that there are possibly 3 things happening here and that the reality is somewhere in the middle of the two positions.

    1) the 40% mis focus. Now this is going to open a can of worms, but everyone judges focus differently, some judge it based on overall picture at the crop the shot was taken, some judge it when you jump in a bit, some want it to be bang on at 100%. Now with the Fuji it nail focus to the first 2 levels above to my satisfaction most of the time. However when you jump in you will find that at 100% mag there are small issues. Personally these can be completely eliminated with manual focus. This is quick on X-E2 since latest firmware, because you can autofocus to get in the zone and then grab the focus ring which then takes over and allows you to nail the focus (you can set it so it automatically magnifies as soon as you touch the ring. I have got some amazingly sharp shots via this method. Anyhoo you can also get a lot of very sharp shots just with AF, but the point stands that maybe Steve is just fussier than some of us and is calling 40% because at 100% that is what he is seeing. That is no bad thing especially in a reviewer.

    2) Noise reduction in Fuji, turn it off, a lot of shots will not look sharp on back of camera because of NR, if you want to tell if your sharp have the NR off it will allow you to make more critical assessments of your shots in the field. Your quality rate will go up and you won’t get as many nasty surprises.

    3) Turn on high performance mode. I swear half of the negative comments about fuji cameras AF would disappear if people turned this on. it makes a huge difference.

    Finally processing tools will have an impact as mentioned above. I have switched to Capture one and the difference is night and day in terms of sharpness.

  2. I like the fuji x-e2 picture. You need to change the exposure Steve. Sony has problems with colour and chromatic aberrations.

  3. We want just the fujifilm x-e2 review . Please stop making comparissions. I like the fujifilm picture because it looks more natural and not oversaturated (sonya7)

    • Not sure. I handled it and was not a fan due to the size. It is too small IMO and when attaching larger M 4/3 lenses is really unblanaced. There is a fine line in camera size – not too big, not too small. The GM1 falls under “too small” for being an IC camera. The RX100 has a nice collapsable lens so the lens fits the body size. The GM1, with say a 12, 25, 45 or 75 or zoom attached will never fit in a pocket so what is the point in making it so tiny? I never was a fan of the tiny Panasonic GF bodies that came out and failed and all the GM1 does is change the body style and design and go even smaller.

      • I certainly agree that the GM1 would be quite ungainly with larger lenses. I would only consider it with the lens that came with it to have a larger sensor, extra small camera, not as a replacement for a larger 4/3 camera. Thanks!

  4. Hi Steve,
    looking forward for this comparison! While you at it, can you also compare it using any Leica mount 35mm that you have (Leica Zeiss, & Voigtlander), please? greatly appreciated…:)

  5. if you want best image from your fuji use iridient developer. not only crisper but the colors are so much nicer. something that turned me off with the fuji when i developed my images in LR or Aperture. using LR the difference in image quality will be even bigger.

  6. I would love it if you could do a video quality comparison 🙂
    Also it seems to me that the Fuji image is superior due to there being no false colour and because the grain is more monochrome.

  7. I bought an A7R body a few days ago to use with my Leica M lenses (have M9). I did not order the M-240 after a short handling trial in a Leica Factory store. I did not think the improvements were large enough to justify the cost and I did not like the additional weight. I have made some very early tests using the Summilux M f1.4 50mm and a Novoflex adaptor. I can see the improved image quality when pixel peeping and I love the A7R colours and the extended ISO capability (ISO the M-240 does not achieve). There are some challenges though. This is a very light camera body with a large noisy shutter. Other websites have analysed the vibration and experimented with adding weights to the body. I think without vibration reduction, or a tripod connected to the body, I expect to be limited to shutter speeds shorter than 1/250th when a heavy lens (heavier than the body) is attached for the highest IQ on distant objects. I think this is inevitable with a 36 Mpixel sensor. The test for this (I have found) is landscapes with hills or mountains on the horizon. I can see the slight loss of IQ at slower shutter speeds handheld. At 1/250th and faster it is brilliant! I am shooting it alongside the M9 for comparison. One more issue – the Summilux lens produces wonderful IQ at f5.6 or smaller on this body At f1.4 and f2.0, I can detect slight colour fringing on the peaks of the hills. I have not tried the new free Lightroom plug-ins from Adobe yet – designed to correct vignetting and colour cast (DNG Flat Field plug-in). I look forward to seeing your real world results with the Zeiss lens which better matches the weight of the body – please have some landscape images!

  8. Seems to be a kerfuffle brewing here. 🙂 Very exciting site (I think it’s what started my snowballing towards an RX1 last year) but *anyone* would be well advised not to take just one dude’s comments as the definitive word on whether a camera would work for you. Look at the ninety or so reviews at Amazon and B&H Photo alone… Based on those reviews and others (including my own experience after two months and 3,000 photos), simply put, there is no “focusing issue” for the X-E2. Steve will work it out and write up an interesting review I’m sure. We all seem to appreciate strong opinions and simple advice. But taking a quick comment, after a guy spends two days with a camera, and turning into your reason for buying or not; or for then thinking there is suddenly a focusing problem that was missed by everyone else in the world, is just silly.

    [Note: Apologies for a possible duplicate post but the original had been stuck “awaiting moderation” for over 24 hours.]

  9. Can’t wait for your Review of the XE2, Steve, including the snags. I need help in deciding whether to go for the NEX 6 with the Zeiss 16-70 (more of what I’ve got) or the XE2 with its 18-55 and the possibility of adding the XF23mm later to have something like the X100S as well! Dilemmas, dilemmas, dilemmas. Look forward to running out of GAS !

    • Just buy an X Pro and LEARN to use it. There is a learning curve with it, something you can’t possibly master in a week or two. But once you learn what to expect in a given situation it has GEORGEOUS files, and super accurate focus. Again there is a learning curve, but it is hugely worth it. Or just do your street shoots with a Voigtlander 21mm focused at 8feet and at f8 and just shoot away. Amazing QUALITY..

  10. Putting pixel peeping aside, you compare a complete system with a fragment and patchwork of a system. 

  11. I’ve had the chance to use 2 different A7’s and on A7r (my friends jump in) with 3rd party glass as well as the Zeiss 35mm f2.8. All 3 while using focus peaking missed the mark more than 50% of the time. Also, AF set to wide with the Zeiss is hit or miss. 2 A7’s and a slightly different focus system with the A7r but the same problems… do you think this is software related? I’ve read a fair bit out on web with people experiencing similar problems and it’s the only thing that is holding me back from the purchase and I’d like to know from you if there is a problem that wasn’t discovered with your first review?

    Focus peaking is a huge assist and what made the NEX 7 such an attractive camera, with what I’m experiencing all the focus peaking is good for is pretty squiggles in the viewfinder.

    • I found the focus peaking incredibly accurate providing you press C1 twice to zoom in on the focus point. with a 50mm lense I decided I could just about focus on one eye lash! Without using C1 it is pretty squiggles.

  12. LOL, if and when Sony decides to make a 35mm f1.4 AF lens, let’s revisit the size comparison & price difference again.

  13. Seems to be a kerfuffle brewing here. 🙂 Very exciting site (I think it’s what started my snowballing towards an RX1 last year) but *anyone* would be well advised not to take just one dude’s comments as the definitive word on whether a camera would work for you. Look at the ninety or so reviews at Amazon and B&H Photo alone… Based on those reviews and others (including my own experience after two months and 3,000 photos), simply put, there is no “focusing issue” for the X-E2. Steve will work it out and write up an interesting review I’m sure. We all seem to appreciate strong opinions and simple advice. But taking a quick comment, after a guy spends two days with a camera, and turning into your reason for buying or not; or for then thinking there is suddenly a focusing problem that was missed by everyone else in the world, is just silly.

  14. I am also curious on your fuji experience, its fine that you dont like fujifilm i dont need everyone to adore what i like. And i dont really feel i need to defend fuji as a company, i dont get payed by fuji and i have no fuji shares either 🙂 But it do seriously seem like you have an agenda against fujifilm. Some stuff you write is simply misleading.. I have great respect for you Steve and enjoy visiting this site but i seriously cant be bothered anymore with your articles that does have anything to do with fuji sadly.

    • I don’t like Fuji? I LOVE Fuji. In Fact, read my X100 and X100s reviews..and about my S5 pro, S3 pro and S2 pro experiences. I call it like I see it and always have, always will and I know they can do better. It happens ANYTIME I mention ANY cameras faults, I get attacked by those who own that particular model no matter if it is Sony, Leica, Nikon, Canon, Samsung, Ricoh, olympus, etc. That will never stop me from speaking about my true experiences with the cameras. I have not even reviewed the X-E2 yet, just mentioned what happened in the first two days of shooting it around my house with the Sony and Olympus. This website makes its income from camera sales through affiliate links..would it not be in my best interest to hype up the Fuji’s even if I did not like them so I could hopefully sell some through my links? Of course it would, but I would never lie to make a few bucks, or hundreds of dollars or even thousands. Why? Because lies always come back to bite one in the ass 😉 When I review it you will see my true experience with it, good or bad or both.

        • Ditto my experience with S5 Pro, X100 and a7. With the X100, I can never be sure that the focus is at exactly at where I put my green box. Not such problem with the a7.

  15. Since the A7/A7R’s came out, I have been considering getting one. Mostly because I felt they will work better with my M mount lenses. The focus peaking and excellent EVF, will make focusing easier.

    Currently I am using the X-Pro 1and have been since April 2012. The only Fuji lens I have owned is the 35mm. In all of that time I have never encountered more then a few percentage of mis focus shots. Even before all of the firmware updates. So I agree with some of the other commenters above. In fact when I have shot weddings using my Nikon D3’s and D700 along with the Fuji, the in focus and better exposures have been made by the Fuji.

    The other thing (which no one else has mentioned) is that your examples (at least form the Fuji) do not look like ISO 1250. I shoot RAW and when I magnify the image to 100% it takes ISO 3200 before it has that much noise. There also appears to be some smearing in the corners of your Fuji example. Possibly you got a bad copy of body or lens.

    If I had the Leica set-up you have, I would have a hard time using other cameras and or wanting them.

    • Be warned, the focus peaking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I hope Steve can shed some light on this, it’s not accurate and I’m hoping it’s software related. The EVF is outstanding though!

      • Stef I don’t find the focus peaking innacurate…just hard to see. I think it would be much improved if a colour other than white could be used.

  16. Hi Steve, I look forward to your HiFi blog! 😉 I, too, have been a lifelong audiophile. many upgrades over decades. But life happens and I had to sell it all off about 20yrs ago and haven’t (yet) been able to get it all back. Even if I never get back to the large scale I had (big transmission line speakers, lots of tube traps, etc), I’d love to see you posts, opinions, review for audio ! Today there are some amazing desktop or small room size systems, headphone systems, and apparently you can get superior quality from digital sources from today’s DACs.

  17. Hey Steve – I have to admit, as soon as I saw the title of this post, my 1st thought was “Let the Fuji-bashing begin!”. LOL You just do not get along with Fuji cameras, which is too bad, because you’re missing a great experience!

    I just returned from a family ski trip in VT, and I had an X-E2 + 23mm or 35mm riding with me all week. Out of @500 shots, I’d say about 495 are in focus. Seriously. And this was in sub-zero temps, with many shots of fast-moving skiers and many of those taken while I was ALSO moving. Something’s wrong if you’re getting a 40% miss rate in your living room. My only thought would be to make sure you have the latest firmware on the body and lens.

    Anyway, good to see you back to reviewing gear again. The “user reports” are fun, but they have been taking over too much of the blog lately. I have been a fan since you 1st started the blog, and I continue to come here for YOUR posts and reviews!! Keep it up! 🙂

  18. I own a/o a Leica M9, a Fuji X-Pro1 and a Fuji X100s.

    I find this site very informed and very valuable as far as Leica goes. I enjoy reading the articles very much.

    As far as Fuji goes… I stopped reading the articles altogether, or I start reading them and stop very quickly. The articles are full of bias and they are just untrue. I shoot with a Fuji all the time. There is just no way you can have 40% misfires with a Fuji. The focus of my Fuji X-Pro1 is spot on. I am not sure what the deal is here, whether you have a hidden agenda, whether you are deliberately trying to stir the pot to get some controversy going and get additional hits, whatever…

    I guess I will keep on reading the Leica articles and just ignore the Fuji ones…

    • No need to get snarky with our host. Maybe the Fujis just suit you better than they do him — subject preferences, working method, eyesight, etc. Back in the film era I used to run a Contax G info website and I know exactly how this goes: Some people got great results with them and absolutely loved them; others never could come to terms with the viewfinder and focusing and were constantly disappointed by their results. And just from reading their posts and looking at their pictures, it was hard for me to tell what was going right for some and wrong for others.

      • It’s not about ‘Fuji suiting him better’ it’s about Steve writing about experiences most other Fuji users completely disagree with….like 40% miss rates on the AF. It’s not like Steve doesn’t know how to use a camera so why does he get such bizarre results.

        By the way I owned a Contact G1 and while it was slow to AF I didn’t have issues with the accuracy on that camera either:)

        • I agree, and most others likely do too. It seems like a bias to me as well, but who knows. In my opinion, if someone can’t take sharp shots with the X-Pro 1, they should look no further than themselves. If I can have a high keeper rate, there is nothing wrong with the camera.

    • Since I “upgraded” my Xpro1 (and lenses) to the latest firmware, the XF18 lens is OOF in about 2 out every 3 shots below F8, really usable only in MF. The 35/1.4 misses now and then (never did before), the 18-55 lens is fine. I don’t think Steve is misreporting his experience, there is some variability in focus accuracy depending on light, contrast, texture and subject, much more so than I have experienced with Sony NEX or Olympus M4/3 bodies/lenses. The EM-1 is flawless regardless of lens or situation.

      • Gustavo that is interesting that you are having problems with the 18mm. I only own the 23 and 35mm lenses but don’t have issues with either of those and the XPro with latest FW. Have you tried reverting back to the older FW to see if it improves??

  19. Luckily for us “what happens in Vegas, WON’T be staying in Vegas” this weekend 🙂

    Hope you have a great trip Steve, and looking forward to your post!

    P.S. if you take any photos of your lovely fiance or other portraits would love to hear how the Sony ‘eye focus’ worked for you

    PPS not sure how long you’ll have these two camera but a 50mm comparison would be interesting as well!

  20. It is probably a personal thing but I like the Fuji colors above better. Don’t you think the r7 Image has a magenta noise?

  21. looking forward your thoughts as I am considering trading the Xpro1 for an A7 which would also me to use my small collection of M mount lenses at their native focal length. As I am researching what amp to use on my recently acquired B&W 804’s, the hifi page would be welcomed, with WAF advice!.

  22. Hi Steve,
    judging from your previous posts I am pretty sure you are a little biased towards the A7 as well you might be – its a great camera. No offense intended, but comparing the A7 and XE-2 with the 35mm equivalents – it is pretty obvious the Sony will have to come out shining. The full frame sensor no doubt has advantages. And the 35mm lens is THE show-off lens for Sony sizewise. Try and compare the 55mm Sony with the equivalent Fuji XF 35 and you might see s.th. entirely different. Personally I would not like to run around with a heavy and big Sony kit like that one but rather choose a compact Fuji setup with the excellent XF35 lens. Same goes for the zoom setups currently available.
    I have used both the Sony and the Fuji and both are tremendous tools – but The Fuji is definately the cam I would choose to take on a trip because its got the lenses I need and is in general far lighter and more compact to carry than the Sony – in any other combination except for the one lens combo you picked for your comparison of course. I am not a Fuji fan boy. I love the Sony RX-1and RX100 for instance and was even quite happy with the NEX 5n. But the Fuji X cameras allure to me because they are very light to carry and there is a full range of excellent lens choices along with an impressive APS-C.sensor. Sony is great but the few lenses there are on offer are way too big and heavy – except for the 35mm you picked for your comparison.
    Choosing this particular setup is made to show a superior Sony. No doubt it will be fun to read though.

  23. The Sony shot has a better “visual melody”, more depth, kind of like the Linn Sondek I used to have.

  24. I really want to love the Fuji. The AF on the X100S feels fast and confident, and an interchangeable lens would be just the thing. But if it misses focus for you, then it would miss for me as well.

    Same deal with the Sony, really. If you find yourself having to slow down and pace yourself to shoot good images with the A7, then so will all of us. Most people don’t have that luxury. They want their “landscape” camera to also be their “kid’s sports” camera. That leaves EM1 and not much else.

    Most of us are terrible at manual focus, and wouldn’t buy a manual focus lens any more than we would buy a tube amp.

    I like the rich sounds of the tube amp, but I am told it is really just harmonic distortion plus slow clipping that makes it sound warm and “live” at the same time. Tubes sound warmer than the new Onkyo, for example, but not all that different from the Marantz PM 6004, or any of the other amps that grew up in the world of tubes..

    Anyway, it ain’t the amp, its the musician.

    • Not necessarily, i have a fuji x-e1 and i certainly dont have a miss rate on 40% maybe 4%. I dont think steve is lying i cant see any reason why he would, but something is definitely wrong. Either he is so uninspired by fuji that he cant be bothered to use it any other way then some half assed spray and pray way. Or he got a faulty camera, thats the only explanation i can see. Or there might be something wrong with his settings. You can manually adjust the “focus box” to make it smaller and more accurate for example..

      • I wasn’t accusing him of lying in my earlier post either, but I am baffled by a 40% miss rate. It simply doesn’t add up….even on version 1 FW with my XPro1 I didn’t have that kind of miss rate. Seriously, if the XE2 performed that badly people would be returning it in droves.

    • That is silly…try it for yourself. Don’t buy something based on what someone else says. I was just shooting surfers yesterday with my X-Pro 1 and I had no problem with the AF. So, if someone has a 40% keeper rate, it is questionable.

  25. A7 wins in, better color, better noise, better DOF.
    I think you could compare shoots with their wide-open

  26. I did try both the A7 and the X-E2. I ended up keeping the X-E2 that I enjoy a lot. The main deciding factor for me were the available lenses. Fuji has a nice selection of fast f1.4 lenses, and soon the 56 f1.2. I hope Sony will come out with fast primes with AF (more than the 55 1.8). I am not really interested in their upcoming f4 zooms. I have some M mount lenses that I tried on the A7, but I would prefer some AF primes. For me, It’s more a “not yet” to the Sony than a “No”.

    • Unfortunately, the A7 cameras will remain white elephants unless an effort it made to miniaturize full-frame, autofocus lenses. Fast, autofocus glass for full-frame is the stumbling block here, as it must be of a certain size to meet current engineering necessities. So if you want to shoot fast glass you might as well use a Nikon or Canon body, they will balance much better with larger full-frame lenses.

      Nikon and Canon understand this, which is one reason they remain largely unconcerned about Sony’s foray into mirrorless full-frame. They understand that without a quantum leap forward in engineering miniaturization for these lenses (something I can almost guarantee Sony will not invest in; they have little commitment to their camera systems over time, after all), tiny, full-frame mirrorless cameras don’t make much sense, unless you’re prepared to use them with slow lenses.

      Yes, you can use them with legacy glass and Leica M glass, but that opens up a whole other set of problems, specifically all kinds of tolerance issues, from mount accuracy to lens/sensor compatibility.

      Personally, I tend to think that mirrorless will remain the domain of M4/3 and APS-C; that’s where it makes the most sense as a holistic system.

      • I think Nikon and Canon have been “unconcerned” for years. Coming from a press photographers background over 25 years back when the F3 was the indestructible “BIG” SLR of choice, these manufacturers have dictated terms for too long due to no competition during the evolution of digital.

        If the autofocus lens for Sony remains the same size as the Nikon and Canon lenses it doesn’t matter, the size of these DSLR’s are ridiculous.

        Enthusiasts and professionals don’t want to lag weights around their neck, they want to take photographs. We’ll see what is on offer in a couple of years and I think you’re last statement is very wrong.

      • Fuji and Panasonic will release organic CMOS very soon and it will change everything. We’ll see much smaller and faster lenses for mirrorless.

        • Odd. You think an organic CMOS sensor will further miniaturize mirrorless lenses and increase their speed? Odd.

      • I hope that smaller lenses will one day follow – it doesn’t seem that the technology is too far off. For example, I understand that Canon’s 40mm f2.8 pancake is pretty decent.

        But for me, there are other advantages of mirrorless that include: -abitlity to adapt lenses, -weight reduction, wywiwyg EVF, and associated features like eye focus.

        I now see it as a race between DSLR and FF Mirrorless and who can evolve the best and fastest. FF mirrorless has some catching up to do, but has a lot of potential. Will that potential be realized?

  27. The Fuji should be better dealing with low light. Two reasons, it is 16MP even if it is APS-C and the lens is f1.4 vs f/2.8. You have to match the full set of cameras and the lens. The Fuji has a two stop advantage. No comparing f/2.8 to f/2.8, that only matchs sensors. The Fuji has long been given create for having a fine low light sensor. Just compare images at DP, you will see the difference.

    I use a Rega P5 with power regulator and Grado MM pickup. Nice looking sound system.

  28. What are you using for reference speakers? I’m still have my system I built in college consisting of two David Hafler 200watt amplifiers and preamp with an ancient belt driven Thorens turntable.

    • Old Halfer is great! Thorens is good too. Steve If your turntable is direct drive, listen to a belt drive. You will wonder, did someone crank up the base and the whole dynamic range will better.

      • @Karl – compare your bert drive to a decent classic German direct drive (EMT938 -EMT948 – EMT950) or idler wheel drive (EMT927 – EMT930). Once tried, there is no way back… and they fit the context – the engineering and craftsmanship are as inspiring as the engineering and craftsmanship of Leica classics…

  29. Hey Steve,

    Looking forward to the a7 and X-e2 shoot off, as the A7 will likely be the next cameras for me. Although, I would like to see the Xpro 2 when it comes out against the A7. Always look forward to your reviews, thanks. Mark

  30. What is most scary and telling is when you mentioned 40% of shots misfocused for the fuji. I assume the sony did not have this issue. Probably might get better results outdoors in better light. But indoors is where people have their parties, gatherings and some of they’re most important events.

  31. Use better RAW converter for Fuji. I have no doubts that Sony will win in the ISO department in your test but the ISO level is not killing and with more adequate converter on the Fuji the difference will be smaller….there are tons of real pictures on the net to judge yourself. Regarding the colour there is only one winner for me and it is not Sony.

  32. Forgot to mention….count me in as another HiFi guy….forgetting about my Home Theater setup for a second my current project is my vintage Marantz setup…
    I am using a Marantz 2226 receiver as a pre-amp connected to a Marantz 170DC Power Amp. I also have a Marantz 6200 turntable….all 3 components are in as-new condition. The turntable isn’t the best I have heard but the 2226 pramp with the 170Dc Amp is incredible…..

    I’m in the process of putting an Emotiva XDA-2 DAC in my home theater setup and have already run cabling under the house to my Marantz so as to connect with my Digital music collection. Fun stuff.

  33. Steve…I love your site and read your articles all the time….your site was instrumental in me buying my first Leica…..but I don’t get where you’re coming from with your various Fuji experiences. I own the 23mm 1.4 (amazing lens IMO) and the XPro1. Obviously the XPro is no speed demon but I do find it accurate; I don’t understand how your XE2 /23mm combo could have a 40% miss rate on the AF. One of two things have to be wrong, either your camera/lens is faulty or you’re doing something wrong lol.

    My XPro is not the quickest to focus but I rarely have miss focused shots with either the 35mm or the 23mm. Everything I have read says the AF is an improvement with the XE2 so how you are missing AF on 40% of your shots is beyond me. This isn’t meant as a flame post…I’m seriously baffled. And yes…I have used the camera in low light….just ask my girlfriend how many frames I blast off in my dimly lit living room.

    • Just saying it how it is. I saved the shots for my review to show at least a couple of them. Shots that were no issue for the Sony or Olympus yet the Fuji mis-focused. The AF is now up to par with the other cameras (still slower than Olympus) and the IQ is fine with the Fuji color but for my tastes and having tried everything there is to try, seeing the early results do nothing to inspire confidence for me as it is all too familiar with Fuji for me. I have tested and used every single model they sell yet always had some sort of issue with the X Bodies. X100s was great, X100, love it. Smaller X point and shoots are just fine but the X-E1, X-Pro 1 and now X-E2..same deal. X-E2 is def the most mature feeling and if I owned it would probably just shoot M glass on it and have zero issues with focus. Then again, M glass gets used on my Leica or even the Sony now so…

      But this is why I also said I need to get out and get “real” photos with it where there is some light, some action and some life. I will know more by Monday.One thing I will not do is lie so if I have issues I will say so. I was hoping this would be the magic Fuji that finally fixed all of their quirks. Maybe it is but so far..can’t say that it is.

      I am also preferring the IQ from the Sony so far in regards to color, sharpness and pop…

      • Hey Steve, wasn’t trying to come across as attacking you or questioning your integrity, just confused by what you are seeing re: innacurate AF. I don’t doubt the A7 IQ is better, pretty much what I would expect from a modern, full frame sensor. I sort of get what you say about the Fuji colours…sometimes I love them sometimes not so much…I find it depends on what sort of subject I am shooting.

        Anyway, look forward to your review…interesting to see what you have to say!

        • Hi. I’ve been using the X-E2 for a couple months and have not had any issues with focusing (just an alternate opinion to put into the mix here). Great little camera that has done everything I’ve asked of it. My opinion is that a camera really has to be used exclusively for weeks, if not months, in order to get a true feel for it. X-E2 has been *consistently* good for me. Not the best camera out there, of course, but the best choice for me considering all things (have previously owned the RX1, 5d2 and 5d3, X100S, E-M5, X-E1). It’s currently my only digital.

      • I am wondering if there is something off in your X-E2 setup (camera? lens? outdated camera/lens firmware? camera settings?) that causes the mis-focusing you are seeing.

        I have been using an X-E2 for a couple of months (after being a heavy m43 user;), and I focusing has been quick and precise (I have been using the kit 18-55mm lens, thinking of switching to the 23mm/f1.4).

        In any case, looking forward to the review!

        • I am confused by it too. I have been using the X-pro 1 for 3/4 of a year now, and I rarely have missed shots. Just got back from San Francisco, and I have a higher than 90% keeper rate from that trip, and that is including panning and other action shots. And, the missed shots I encounter are primarily my fault. If I have a high keeper rate, I don’t see how someone else can’t. It is really becoming questionable!

  34. Steve, looking forward to your comparison. I would adjust your cost for the X-E2 and XF 23mm f/1.4 to $999 +$899 at Amazon. Thats $1900 not $2000 so there is a $600 difference. The Sony A7 and the Zeiss FE 35mm $2500 is OK.

  35. Hey Steve, if you have to compare a ff/aps-c sensor, i would recommend to compare the performance with there mathematical matching (crop factor…) f-stops to have an accurate test. otherwise you will suggest a difference in dof which isn’t the case.

  36. Hi! May comments be made on the cameras too? If so…….

    The two comparison pictures were very interesting. I guess they were taken from the same standpoint.

    The comparison would have been even more interesting if the distance between camera (read: sensor) and hi-fi equipment had been the de-facto (not 35mm equivalent) focal distance of the lenses multiplied with a fixed number. If that number is a factor of 40x, then the distance for the 35mm lens would be 140cm and for the 23 mm it would be 92 cm. Then the objects would be the same size on the monitor and a comparison really interesting.

    Looking forward to your real life test.

    Don’t gamble too much, but have lots of fun

    • Thanks and yes, I was hoping for discussion on the cameras 🙂 Bottom line is the Sony is indeed sharper (as I expected) and apparently a little better at ISO 1250 for noise. Af speed was about the same here. Size wise, the Fuji is larger than the Sony with the 23 1.4 and without a lens, the Fuji is also a little larger than the Sony. Pretty impressive for the Sony being that it has a full frame sensor inside.

      • Crazy prediction: Here we all are arguing Fuji vs. Sony, but I’ll bet that when all is said and done in Vegas, the E-M 1 will sneak up and bite them both. Reason: Its image quality is “good enough,” and it’s a very refined, responsive, confidence-inspiring camera that works well under a wide range of conditions.

        Analogy: Unless you’re an expert racing driving, you’ll almost always be faster around a track in a great-handling 300hp car than a 450hp ill-handling pig — because you can concentrate on doing your best rather than on avoiding accidents and scaring the living whee out of yourself…

        • I think that only applies to racing or anything that is life and death. My pictures are in deed a lot better on the a7r then when I was using OMD and NEX. I do get a lot more miss focus shots on the a7r but when I do get one, it is amazing,

          On another note, I actually made a GT40 pit for my Toyota in Laguna Seca. We had about the same lap times because he was holding me up (as we can’t pass in our groups). Of course he kills me on the straights but by the cork screw I’m up on his butt.

  37. Avid photographile and especially audiophile here, Steve! I actually make records and do concerts for a living too, among the other deeply rooted passions.

    Im curious about that amp of yours, looks interesting and it caught my eye. I love to (after all this time) find other audiophiles abroad, especially with aligned interests (in quality, above all, ingenuity, originality and a couple of different arts). Go Steve!

  38. Yea, can’t beat the sound from vinyl and a valve amp – iTunes eat your heart out. Which turntable have you got, Steve?

  39. Definitely looking forward to reading this one! I’m interested in better high-ISO performance than I am getting with Micro 4/3, so this will be an interesting matchup. Maybe take a manual-focus lens so you can let us know whether Fuji’s “digital split image” gizmo is any advantage…? And don’t forget to compare noise — of the acoustic variety, that is.

    Remember, what happens in Vegas DOESN’T stay in Vegas — it goes on the blog! Have a great trip…

    • The 300Bs on the Line Magnetic amp are of Chinese origin – TJ/Full Music 300B/n with ‘holed’ plates = fake ‘mesh plates’. Not bad, if you do not push them beyond 25W of dissipation at idle – though, in most amps they may come over as a bit sweet and dull, compared to the WE reissues or other premium 300B clones. In the LM they serve as driver for the 845 output stages, and for that they are fine… beware of ‘variable’ quality from production, though…

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