A BIT TOO DARK
Like the Fujifilm X-Pro1, the X-E1 too has a retro finish. But then this camera is very different. The X-E1 too has its share of buttons, peppered all around the 3-inch LCD, which is not a touchscreen. That would have been too much for a camera that tries to be as old fashioned as possible. There is an electronic viewfinder, in case you are more comfortable that way. However, where this camera tries be different is in the way you set the modes. There are no mode dials, using which you can set shutter or aperture priority. The same is done with a combination of the shutter dial and aperture ring on the lens. Keep both in A and you have full auto, with shutter in A you can set the aperture and vice-versa; adjust both and you have full manual. Quite simple once you get the hang of it.
Like other compact system cameras, this one too lets you take full control and adjust almost all parameters. The 16.3 MP camera gives you good results, especially in natural light. But we felt the LCD as well as the viewfinder failed to give a good preview to frame a picture. The results ended up duller than what we saw on the screens, so you have to adjust settings compensating this. A bit like what you would have done with an old film camera. This is a very powerful camera, but needs some serious fettering.
BAG IT OR JUNK IT?
Can be powerful in the hands of an experienced user.