Fujifilm X-E1 Ken McMahon, March 2013

Fujifilm X-E1 vs Canon EOS M Quality JPEG

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To compare real-life performance I shot this scene with the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Canon EOS M within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The Fujifilm X-E1 was fitted with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 kit lens and the Canon EOS M with the 22mm f2 pancake prime. To match the Canon 22mm lens' field of view the Fujinon lens was zoomed in to 23mm. Unfortunately we didn't have access to the Canon zoom for a direct comparison of kits.

Image stabilisation was disabled for this tripod-mounted test and all other settings were left on the defaults.

  Fujifilm X-E1 results
1 Fujifilm X-E1 Quality JPEG
2 Fujifilm X-E1 Quality RAW
3 Fujifilm X-E1 Noise JPEG
4 Fujifilm X-E1 Noise RAW
5 Fujifilm X-E1 Sample images

The image above was taken with the Fujifilm X-E1. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode and the aperture set to f5.6. The unextended ISO sensitivity range of the X-E1 is 200-6400 so the camera was set to its unextended base sensitivity of 200 ISO at which it metered a shutter speed of 1/950. The EOS M metered 1/500 at f5.6 at 100 ISO. As usual for this test both cameras were otherwise left on their default settings.

Conditions on the day were fairly demanding, both for myself and the cameras, with partial cloud coverage and strong winds resulting in rapidly changing lighting conditions. With parts of the scene illuminated by bright sunlight and other areas in shadow it was a challenge to achieve similar exposures with both cameras. Despite the conditions however, the Fujifilm X-E1 has made a good job of the exposure here with a histogram right in the middle of the chart.

The first crop shows an excellent level of detail in the chapel with the crosses at either end of the roof crisply defined. Even though this part of the scene is in shade the perimeter stone wall and rocky foreground show a high level of detail too.

The second crop is also very impressive with the lighhouse a clearly defined cylinder with the detail of the lamphouse easy to make out. The window frames of the foreground buildings are crisply defined and you'd probably see more detail in the roofs were it not for the flat and subdued lighting here. The detail from the edge of the frame in the third crop is also looking good. It might be a little softer here, but if it is the difference is marginal. There's also little evidence of chromatic abberation; all-in-all, the 18-55mm zoom performs very well with consistence from the centre ot the edge at this slightly zoomed in focal length.

The final crop from the centre of the frame holds no surprises given what we've already seen. Edge detail is crisp and clear with good resolution of the finer detail. This isn't the first time we've seen results from this sensor which is the same as in the X-Pro 1, which I tested with the 18mm f2 lens against the Canon EOS 7D and Sony NEX 7. The only difference here is the new kit lens and quality looks to be very respectable indeed - it's far from a poor cousin of the primes as you might have expected.

In my earlier tests I found the X-trans CMOS sensor used in the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 outperformed the conventional CMOS sensor and Bayer filter setup used in the 7D and NEX-7 and to that I'll now add the Canon EOS M. The EOS M shares the same sensor as the T4i / 650D and in terms of processing the crops look typical of those from a Canon consumer model, which is to say that they've been processed for a 'consumer-friendly' look, nice and contrasty with crisp edge detail. But I don't see quite the same level of detail in the EOS M crops as in those from the X-E1.

My Fujifilm X-E1 RAW quality results on the next page will provide evidence of how much, if any, of the difference is due to processing. Alternatively, see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my Fujifilm X-E1 Noise results.


Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS M
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO

Fujifilm X-E1
results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise

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