The X-E2S reminds us of all the things we liked about the X-E2. It manages to improve on what we’ve seen before in more than one area, but the changes and modifications that have been made are minor rather than revolutionary.
It feels smaller and more compact in the hand than Fujifilm’s flagship X-Pro2, yet it upholds a strong build quality and the beautiful styling we associate with classic rangefinders of old. A competent performance and extremely pleasing results straight out of the camera back up its fine looks. It resolves the same level of detail and performs identically to the X-E2 through its sensitivity range, yet focuses perceptively faster, is better suited to tracking moving subjects and allows those who’d like to use wider apertures in bright lighting conditions to do so by taking advantage of the electronic shutter’s 1/32,000sec limit.
It’s great to see Fujifilm offering the same perks to existing X-E2 users and if you own the older model you’ll be thankful for the boost in performance without needing to spend any money to get it. To save a few pounds, there’s nothing to stop you buying an X-E2 in new or second-hand condition and then update it with the new firmware to get the same performance as the X-E2S. If you were to do this, the only things you won’t get are the engraved ‘S’ on the front panel and the one-touch auto mode button at the rear, which will be appreciated by beginners advancing from a simple point-and-shoot compact.
There are some, myself included, who hoped for slightly more from the successor to the X-E2, nevertheless the updates that have been made to the X-E2S have enhanced the performance, without treading too much on the X-Pro2’s toes. It’s an attractive proposition in the X-series for those seeking a camera with more retro appeal than the X-T10 or X-T1 and those who settle on it will quickly discover the images it produces complement its satisfying aesthetics.