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09-17-2016, 10:21 AM   #1
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Comparing K5 to Fujifilm XE-2 for travel photography

I bought a Fujifilm X-E2 "for my wife" as it recently went on sale for $500 as a travel camera. I usually carry my K5 every trip we go, but recently returning from Iceland, packing an entire backpack full of camera gear isn't as appealing anymore.

After playing with the X-E2 for a week, here's a couple of observations coming from a K5 user for the past 4 years.
  • Coming from a full weather sealed body, the Fuji felt plastic-y (though it's half magnesium). Not as bad as the low end Canons, but it didn't have heft of a K5. Especially the buttons didn't feel solid and felt more hollow.
  • Where the hell is the Mode dial? I was confused for awhile then realized the camera automatically decides based on aperture ring on the lens and the shutter speed dial. Say if you set the aperture ring to F2 on the lens with the SS dial in A (auto), then you're now in AV mode. I thought that was pretty creative to save space from having a mode dial.
  • Obviously form factor. See photo for size comparison.
  • I love the new weather sealed tapered lenses. I guess people buy Fuji if they can't afford a Leica
  • Photo preview in the EVF after taking a photo is awesome without having to look at the LCD
  • I missing having ISO auto update live. On the Fuji I can only see the ISO after half pressing the shutter.
  • DR and ISO range is limiting compared to the K5. 256,000 ISO? Sorry, Fuji only goes up to 6,400.
  • Auto focus is much faster on the Fuji. Apparently the latest firmware upgrade using the new 35 F2 lens can autofocus in .05 seconds
  • Battery life isn't as half as good
  • Still testing image quality. Since they both have a 16mp crop censor, quality should be similar.

Note I bought the XE2 based on price and form factor. I wanted the cheapest and smallest body Fuji offered. Also since most censors of their previous line are the same (X-E2, T-10, T1), I didn't want to shell out 50%-100% more for a better body.


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09-17-2016, 10:40 AM   #2
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I guess it all depends upon your definition of "travel photography"!

I currently own 3 Fuji X cameras, and previously owned the Pentax K5.

If your travel photography is a short getaway from work to capture a few snap shots to share on social media - then either of these cameras will do just fine.

However, if the goal of your trip to Iceland was to do serious landscape travel photography I'd suggest that a better choice would be either medium format or a Pentax camera with Pixel Shift.


Your review is more of a comparision of the the controls/displays/dials of the two cameras. Because of your years of experience with the K5 you are clearly biased towards that camera. But if you used the Fuji for as long a period, I expect that you'd like it just as much.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 09-17-2016 at 10:56 AM.
09-17-2016, 10:52 AM   #3
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There are no comparison images, it's OK, I can aways go to Imaging Resources…

Some of us are less interested in what you think, and more interested in why you think it.

Darn, the K-5 is so old IR doesn't have their images available on line anymore, What is it? 6 years old now, since it was released K-5II, K-3, K-3II, K-50, K-70, K-S1, K-S2.

This isn't exactly breaking news, the K-5. I actually traded mine in for the much faster AF and higher resolution of a K-3 years ago.

Last edited by normhead; 09-17-2016 at 11:02 AM.
09-17-2016, 11:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I guess it all depending upon your definition of "travel photography"!

I currently own 3 Fuji X cameras.

For lightweight and portability, the Fuji wins. For the best out of camera jpg's - Fuji wins. So, if your travel photography is intended to document your trip with lots of "snap shots" the clear winner is the Fuji X-E2 camera.

I'm going to Iceland next Spring. My definition of travel photography is serious landscape photography where I return with just a few, high quality image files. For my travel photography I will be bringing my K1 and will exclusively shoot it in Pixel Shift mode.

Was your Iceland travel photo trip a super serious attempt to capture the best possible images, or more of a getaway from work to capture a few snap shots to share on social media?
Good points! I wasn't thinking entirely of which one was a "winner" for travel photography since "travel" has different meaning for different people. I just found the differences to be interesting. I'll need to post an update after actually going on a trip with the Fuji.

I still prefer to shoot RAW and work on post in LR, but I'm not so keen on capturing "pixel perfect" photos anymore. I mainly shoot now for blogging. So I'd say they're a little more than snap shots.

Man, I wish I had the K1 on my trip. To answer your question on my shooting intention for Iceland, I was serious but the results weren't as serious . mainly because of my budget gear so I got the best I could out of them. I packed a few lenses and a tripod. It was a pain because we flew with WowAir and they had baggage weight restrictions. That's another story.

If you need some recs and tips for Iceland, here's a writeup from my trip: Iceland?Tips to Completing the Ring Road ? Countdown ? Medium

09-17-2016, 11:16 AM   #5
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Love your blog, lots of great advice on Iceland!

I realize that not everyone can afford a K1 and premium lenses. However, there are tricks that a photographer can use to get the most out of their more modestly priced gear (but that's another topic entirely).

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 09-17-2016 at 11:22 AM.
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