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Help me choose an all around camera! XP1, XE1 or XE3

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Looking to get my first fuji camera for awhile, something I can carry for everyday use. 

Mainly portraits and more music documentary shots as I'm currently shooting Sony and it gets the job done for video and photography but (as some people) I see it as a work camera and can't seem to enjoy shooting for fun with it to be honest.

 

I love the "classic instagram #leicamag" Leica look from the M242/ M10/Q for portraits with the low highlights and "film look" replica that some can execute perfectly and I'm wondering if it's really the sensor or just good editing and matching... But damn those skin tones colours get me everytime.

 

Right now I'm leaning towards the XP1 because of all the first generation sensor talk but I'm gonna be shooting raw most of the time unless the jpegs are as good as most people say, so is this 1st gen really worth the hassle or should I just pick up an used XE3? I'm looking mainly for great colours, specially skin tones.

 

Thanks in advance.

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The 'Fuji-colors' are mostly a product of the JPEG-engine in the cameras. While there is a slight difference between the 16MP and the 24MP, most differences are due to the JPEG engine and between lenses. Some of the older lenses (the fast 23, 35 and 56) have a 'special' film-like quality. It has mostly to do with how they render color and contrast. Using these lenses on the newer cameras, results in the same effect. Fuji-purists sometimes praise the older 16MP sensor for its character, but to my eye the 24MP sensor is just as good and has the resolution to do additional cropping. I've owned 6 Fuji cameras over the past 9 years (and still own 2) and the newer cams are just as good as the older ones (if not better).

I've had the XP1 but upgrading to the XP2 didn't affect the colors in RAW. In fact, the JPEG-engine in the newer cams (like the XP2 and the XE3) can also control the film grain and has a few more film simulations that can be an advantage. Esp. Classic Chrome can be made to look similar to the 'Leica-look' (I've used a/o the M8 and the M262).

To learn more check out fujiweekly.com and the film recipes outlined there. Also check-out the RAW and JPEG manuals of Thomas Fitzgerald. He gives very good advise on how to set sharpening and noise reduction. Fuji's JPEG engines are too aggressive to my liking, so I dial down NR to -2 or -3 on the 24MP-cameras and Sharpening to -1 or -2. I use Capture One as imo it works way better with RAF-files than LR.

PS. with the new XP3 out, second-hand prices for the XP2 dropped. While not as low-priced as a used XE3, an XP2 is now great value-for-money. 

Edited by Herco

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@Herco thank you so much for the informative response!

Yeah I've been looking at the XP2 but I'm in the 400/500€ budget (at least for now) as it won't be a camera I'll use for professional work where I usually need fast and accurate AF, hence the Sony.

I'll probably move full Fuji next year to be honest 😅

The older lenses you're referring to are the 1.4 versions? I was thinking of getting either the Viltrox 23mm or the 7artisans 25mm but probably the 7artisans as it will probably have a more "film"/vintage look unless I get a really good deal on a Fuji.

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I indeed refer to the 1.4/1.2 versions. I don't have experience with the Viltrox and 7artisans lenses. The Zeiss Touit lenses for Fuji also have a great film-like look to them, but they are rather expensive (also used).

Funny enough, I'm in the process of moving to Sony or Leica for my professional work (fashion portraits). I have the A7RIV and the SL2 now on trail and will decide which one (and esp. which lenses) in a couple of weeks. I'll keep the XP2 and some of the f2 lenses for fun when I need a compact set for personal use.

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