Fujifilm X-E2s Review

We review the new X-E2s, the update to the X-E2, with a 16 megapixel sensor and updated design.

| Fujifilm X-E2s in Mirrorless Cameras

Fujifilm X-E2s Review: Fujifilm X E2s Silver (2)

The Fujifilm X-E2s is a slight update to the X-E2, which in turn was an update to the X-E1. The X-E2s features a new AF system, along with a number of other refinements. Here we'll have a look at the X-E2s and see how it compares to the previous version and other cameras in the Fujifilm X series.

Fujifilm X-E2s Features

Fujifilm X-E2s Review: Fujifilm X E2s Silver (1)

The Fujifilm X series of cameras has always relied on traditional manual controls for aperture and shutter, with neatly designed metal dials, and the X-E2s is no different, with a shutter speed dial on top and an exposure compensation dial next to this. The cameras have always had an "A" / Auto position on these dials, but for some users, the cameras may have felt too complicated, as Fujifilm has introduced a new "Full Automatic" mode, with a dedicated "Auto" button available. This overrides any manual settings and makes the X-E2s a point and shoot camera, so that anyone who can press a shutter release button should be able to take photos easily. It even overrides the focus switch at the front of the camera, which will be useful for those that end up leaving the camera in manual focus and wondering why the camera won't autofocus anymore.

New Fujifilm X-E2s Features:

  • New "Full Auto mode" button
  • Updated AF system, with phase detection focus
  • Extended ISO range up to ISO51200
  • Updated design
  • Improved front grip
  • Electronic shutter
  • More intuitive GUI

Beyond the updates added to the X-E2s compared to the X-E2 and X-E1, you may also be interested to know how this camera fits in when compared to the X-Pro2 which was announced at the same time as the X-E2s, and where they both fit in, when compared to the X-T1 and X-T10:

  X-T10  X-E2s X-Pro2 X-T1
Sensor 16mp 16mp 24mp 16mp
EVF Resolution 2.36m 2.36m 2.36m 2.36m
EVF Magnification 0.62x 0.62x 0.59x (EVF)
0.6x (OVF)
Screen 3inch (920K) tilting 3inch (1040K) 3inch (1620K) 3inch (1040K) tilting
Continuous shooting 8fps 7fps 8fps 8fps
Battery life 350 350 250-350 350
Weight (body, inc SD and battery) 381g 350g 495g 440g
Weather-sealed No No Yes Yes


The X-E2s features the same 16 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor as other X series camera, which uses Fujifilm's unique X-Trans colour filter arrangement designed to improve detail reproduction, as well as produce images with lower noise, compared to traditional Bayer sensor camera, and the colour arrangement means the sensor doesn't have an optical low-pass filter (OLPF). We go into detail on the differences between Bayer and X-Trans sensors, as well as other sensor technology in our guide to sensor technology.

The processor includes Lens Modulation Optimisation (LMO) technology for sharper images, with reduced diffraction blur when shooting with smaller apertures, when using Fujifilm lenses.

On the back of the camera is a 3inch screen with a good resolution of 1040K dots, and an electronic viewfinder in the top left corner, with an eye-detection sensor, and a high resolution of 2.36 million dots. 

Along with full manual controls, the camera has a number of creative effects (advanced filters as Fujifilm calls them), plus a number of film simulation modes, including Fujifilm's classic films which include Velvia, Astia, Provia, Classic Chrome, Pro Neg Hi, Standard, Sepia and Monochrome. Continuous shooting is quick at 7fps, and the camera has a high-speed continuous AF mode, with AF tracking at up to 7fps. 

Wi-Fi connectivity is built in, letting you connect the camera to your smartphone or tablet so you can shoot remotely. The camera records FullHD video at a wide range of frame rates from 24 to 60fps, with stereo sound, and on the side it's possible to attach an external microphone. 

Fujifilm X-E2s Review: Fujifilm X E2s Silver (7)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
  • EXR Processor II engine
  • 3inch screen, 1040K dots
  • 0.5-inch 2.36M-dot OLED Viewfinder (EVF)
  • Full Auto mode
  • FullHD Video
  • ISO100 to ISO51200
  • 7fps continuous shooting
  • Wi-Fi / Send to Instax printer
  • Panoramic shooting
  • Available in black or two-tone silver and black

Fujifilm X-E2s Handling

Fujifilm X-E2s Review: Fujifilm X E2s Silver (4)

The X-E2s looks almost identical to the X-E2 that it replaces, but has an improved front grip, and subtly refined design, that is a little bit neater and more angular. The metal control dials feel well built with painted lettering, and a grippy metal texture surrounding them. With a metal top plate and metal controls, the camera feels well built, although this is slightly let down by the rear grip which hasn't been improved since the X-E2, and this is still a plastic grip for your thumb. Whilst this is a fairly minor issue, a rubber grip here would have been nice, and would have contributed to the feel of the camera. 

You can set the focus point to a wide area of the screen, and you can also change the focus point size. It's also possible to set the focus zone to a specific area of the frame, and the size of the focus zone can be changed as well. With face detection autofocus enabled, you can switch on eye-detection so that the camera focuses on the subjects eyes.

The layout of controls and buttons have not changed much since the X-E2, however there is now a new auto button (bottom left), and 7 customisable function buttons, with the Auto button also customisable. The 4-way controller buttons can be customised, as well as the Fn button on top of the camera, which defaults to video recording. A number of buttons are on the left of the screen, meaning you have to use two hands when holding the camera and, unlike the X-Pro2, you can't really operate the camera properly with just one hand. 

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) looks good, although it isn't as large as those found on other mirrorless cameras. The colour reproduction is very good on both the EVF and screen, and the screen is clear and easy to use, although it's a shame it doesn't tilt.

Fujifilm X-E2s Review: Fujifilm X E2s Silver (5)

Menus – The menus are clearly laid out, and separated into photo, setup and playback menus and they are the same as those found on previous X series cameras, including the X70. Unfortunately, the X-E2s doesn't benefit from the latest menu system featured in the top of the range X-Pro2, which is a shame, as it's a good improvement. However, saying this, it's still quite easy to use the menus, and access to quick settings using the Q button certainly speeds up the process of changing settings. 

Wi-Fi features - Using Fujifilm's Remote Camera app available for iOS and Android devices, you can remotely control and shoot with the camera as well as start/stop video recording. You can select photos to transfer to the smartphone or tablet, or receive photos sent from the camera. In addition, you can use the app to add GPS / geotagging information to photos. The app is quite easy to use and has a good level of options when shooting remotely. It's also possible to send images to a Fujifilm Instax SP-1 printer, for instant photo printing.

Fujifilm X-E2s Review: Fujifilm X E2s Silver (6)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 350 shots according to Fujifilm / CIPA test results, which is quite good for a mirrorless class of camera, although we'd recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting for long periods of time. 

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm X-E2s

Portglenone forestKedleston HallCosmos

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aitchess3 Avatar
aitchess3 9 6 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2016 2:24PM
Thank you for the excellent review. It is perhaps worth pointing out that shortly after the X-E2s's release, Fujifilm made available a very important free firmware update (version 4.0) available for the original X-E2, which has brought its specification substantially closer to the X-E2s - this can be applied by the owner. The X-E2 already had phase-detection AF (contrary to the list of features new to the X-E2s in the review) but that has now been tweaked to work in the exact same way as the X-E2s, and the new graphical user interface of the X-E2s is also now implemented on the X-E2, along with the silent electronic shutter feature, the availability of exposure compensation in manual exposure mode (when using Auto ISO of course), WB bracketing, ability to set shutter speed throughout the full range using the control dial in M and S modes, if preferred to the shutter speed dial, plus almost all of the other numerous and often significant additions such as the increase in customisable buttons and the functions to put on them, customisable Q-menu and so on. It really is a very comprehensive redesign of the camera's interface and operation, and it's perhaps easier to say what a version 4.0 X-E2 does not have compared with the X-E2s, which is as follows: any feature directly related to hardware (so that's all the restyling and any changes in engraving of features on buttons); it does not have the top ISO value of 51,200; it does not have the scene modes and full auto mode switching features; it does not have the additional "+ motion" settings for OIS which combine motion detection with the OIS to raise the shutter speed if a moving subject is detected.

As far as I know, aside from the above points, the X-E2 after updating to firmware v4.0 is otherwise functionally identical to the X-E2s (which is perhaps handy to know if somebody has the choice of both and there is a huge price differential). However, if the ability to use automated scene modes or switch the camera over to fully auto in one step is important, say to hand it to someone unfamiliar with it for instant use, then the X-E2s is the one to go for.
AlexandraSD Avatar
AlexandraSD 11 773 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2016 5:03AM
I love fuji but... why? It is just a mildly updated e2, im more excited about the x70 personally, this camera seems like a step backwards for fuji, where'as the x-pro2 is a completely different beast
from the pro1!

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