Lord Vader, Your Camera Is Ready.

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If Darth Vader were to use a camera, it would obviously be all black to go along with the rest of his menacing outfit.  Though, the camera itself would not be a DSLR, that would be far to pedestrian for his Lordship.

Rather, Lord Vader would employ a camera that is unique, ahead of its time, technologically advanced, easy to handle, astheticaly appealing, well engineered and produces spectacular photos.

Enter the Fuji XE-1.

On August the 9th, i hauled the rest of my Nikon gear down to CamtecPhoto on McGill.  I emptied out my camera bag and spread everything out on the counter top and the negotiations started.

Since my D7100 was fairly new and fairly new on the market, I am not going to mention how much I got for it.  This would not be fair to the store since local people may see this post and try and use it as leverage.  With that being said, he gave me a fair price for everything, all considering the fact that the guy has to pay his bills.

Looking at everything spread out on the counter top, i really did not have any second thoughts.  The only thought running through my head at the time was, when can i start using the XE-1!

I chose the black one.  It seems like every review I have seen on YouTube, the person has bought the silver one.  Not being one to follow along with the masses, i went in the opposite direction.  Along with the camera, I purchased an extra battery, a red shutter button and the half leather case for some added protection.

The half leather case really is leather and has that wonderful new leather smell.  It is very well made and fits the camera like a glove.  It protects the lower half of the camera, the half that will come into contact with any surface the most.  It has a flap on the bottom so that you can access the battery/memory card compartment and is secured with a snap-button.  For obvious reasons, there is no way that you can attach a tripod to the camera when the half leather case is on.  Lastly, the case does come with a nice neck strap, fabricated with the same leather that the case is made of.  In the end, you end up with an extra strap because the camera comes with a black leather strap.

The extra battery I purchased was a third party battery.  I have not tried it out yet, for I was sold the wrong battery.  Really, it was an honest mistake by the store manager and i will talk further about it in another post.

The red shutter button that I bought screws into the shutter button on the camera.  This just gives you extra real estate for your finger to press on.  I am sure if you go out onto eBay or Amazon, there will be all sorts of different ones.  In the store, he had ones with a ladybug painted on them and were smaller then the one i bought for the XE-1.  I might get the ladybug for my X-10.

I bought the “kit” wth the 18-55mm.  Before I go on, I really dislike the word “kit”.  If you know anything about the Nikon world, the word “kit” usually gives off a sense of cheap.  When you talk about “kit” from a Nikon stand point, it is referring to the lens that comes with the camera body.  These lenses are usually the least expensive in the Nikon line-up and are all plastic, except for maybe the lens mount.  Despite that, they are all very good lenses.  But, for some reason, Nikon users tend to cheapen them just because they came along with the camera in a “kit”.

Let’s get one thing straight:  there is NO “kit” lens in the Fuji line up.  All the lenses in the Fuji line-up are equally made and are little engineering marvels.  I bought my camera with the 18-55mm and is the perfect lens to start with.  You do have the choice of buying the camera body only and then choosing a different lens, such as a prime.

In terms of it’s build, performance and optical quality, the Fuji 18-55 surpasses any so-called “kit” lens that you would obtain with the purchase of a Nikon or Canon.  It has three rings: focus, aperture and zoom.  All the rings are metal.  Though, there is no numbering for the aperture ring.  You will have to look at the LCD or the EVF to see what aperture number you are at.  The lens comes with a lens hood, a front cap and a rear cap.  It is a “stabilized” lens.

There are plenty of other accessories that you can purchase with the camera and i get the feeling that the Fuji X-series is going to become the Honda Civic of the camera world.  Go easy on the “pimping”.

Very rarely can you buy a camera or a lens that is not made in China or Thailand.  It is hard to find any modern equipment that is actually made in Japan, except for maybe Nikons top tier cameras/lenses.  There is just something to be said about something made in Japan and that is, you know you are getting a very well made product.  Well, if any of you out there are like me and really appreciate things that are made in Japan, you will like the XE-1.  It, along with the lenses, are all made in Japan.  Though, in regards to the lenses, this may change since Fuji is starting up a lens factory in the Philippines.

The first thing that comes to mind when i look at the XE-1, is how appealing it is to look at!  It has a real retro look and feel to it, one that will bring you back to the 70’s and how some 35mm film cameras looked back then (I was not old enough in the 70’s to own a camera, but from doing research about the camera, i can confirm that this is true.)  The other aspect that may come to mind, is the fact that it does look similar to a Leica camera and what photography nut does not love the way a Leica looks like.

So far, i have only taken test shots around the house and so far, I am very impressed.  With the X-Trans APS-C sensor, JPEGs straight out of the camera are just amazing.  I will be going out today and the weather is just beautiful for a nice walkabout to take photos.  I will post up my first real shots with this camera later this weekend.

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