August 24th 2012 8:04 am

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Image quality Has the same IQ as the X-Pro 1 great!
  • Video quality I have not yet tried video but it should the equivalent of the X-Pro 1 which was well regarded good
  • Battery life Initially rather disappointing but need to get more experience good
  • Design and form factor I have only two minor quibbles: Exposure compensation dial is too loose (as on X100) and no way to set minimum speed alongside ISO. Overall, wonderful camera great!
  • Durability Metal construction, feels as well made as X-Pro great!
  • Speed (start-up time, lag) No comments good
  • Ease of use No comments great!
Detailed review
The X-Pro 1 has been highly rated and, in my opinion, the X-E is the better all-round package. It has everything you find on the X-Pro except the bright-line optical viewfinder. But the new 2.4Mp EVF is superb and, frankly, it is an improvement to have just one viewfinder that does the job so well. Manual focus has been improved considerably and working with manual focus Leica lenses is a breeze. There is no focus peaking, as on the Sony NEX models, but achieving focus is really easy, especially with the 10x magnification aid. Correct focus is accompanied by a slight shimmer and mild moiré effect, so it is easy to judge. I have used the camera with Leica lenses from 28mm Elmarit through to 90mm APO Summicron with outstanding results (of course you need the Fuji M-mount adaptor which is well worth the money). I also own the Fujinon f/1.4 35mm prime which, in my opinion, is the equal of a Leica 35mm Summilux at a fraction of the price. Overall, this is a superb camera with better image IQ than almost all APS-C DSLRs. It as an ideal second body for a Leica owner. Although it has only an APS-C sensor, I think this camera is will give the new Leica M a run for its considerable money (and it has a much better built-in EVF instead of the Leica's already outdated 1.4Mp Olympus hot-shoe accessory).

My blog review of the XE-1 with Leica M-mount lenses gives more background:
review history
Updated detailed review
Updated detailed review
Updated detailed review
Edited comment on Design and form factor
Updated detailed review