Trip report – the Fuji X-E1 in San Francisco

Fuji X-E1

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some initial impressions of the awesome Fujifilm X-E1 camera. It truly is a beautiful piece of equipment. It just begs you to go out and take some photos. The best thing is that the Fuji X-E1 is pretty small and really light. That’s why I brought it with me on a short business trip to San Francisco last week. Here are some of the results along with additional impressions of the camera.

Low light experience

Upon my arrival in San Francisco around 8pm, I needed to do something to keep me from falling asleep. That was a perfect opportunity to roam around the San Francisco ferry terminal. I found the X-E1 pretty easy and comfortable to operate in the low light. Due to its weight, you can easily get away with a light and compact travel tripod. In this case, I had actually overpacked by bringing the Manfrotto BeFree.

San Francisco
ISO 200, f9, 22s, 18-55mm, tripod & self-timer
San Francisco Ferry Terminal
ISO 200, f9, 13s, 18-55mm

One of the great things about the Fuji X-E1 is its amazing low light capabilities. While hunting for some food in the San Francisco Marina district, I passed the Palace of Fine Arts (one of my favorite places in San Francisco). Unfortunately, I did not have a tripod with me. Instead I took a few photos free-handed. While none of them qualify as master pieces, I was quite surprised about the clean and sharp look:

Palace of Fine Arts
ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/18s, 18-55mm, handheld, generous application of Clarity in Lightroom

Quick tour

Jet lag does have some benefits: you wake up really early. One morning, I grabbed my camera and spent 20 minutes racing around the Embarcadero Center. It was kind of fun to do some kind of ‘speed shooting’. The light was perfect that morning and I was quite happy with the ROIT (return on invested time). I decided to take just one lens with me (the 18-55mm).

ISO 200, f5, 1/280s, 18-55mm
Embarcadero Center
ISO 200, f5, 1/120s, 18-55mm
San Francisco Ferry Terminal
ISO 200, f5, 1/850s, 18-55mm
Embarcadero Center
ISO 1250, f5, 1/30s, 18-55mm

Capturing the atmosphere

The Fuji X-E1 hardly ever left my side on Saturday. We saw some pretty spectacular weather. Majestic fog in the morning, warm air in the afternoon and a psychedelic sunset. This created some amazing photo opportunities. Once again, all these photographs were a bit rushed. Nevertheless, I am pretty happy with the results.

ISO 200, f4.8, 1/125s, 55-200mm
ISO 200, f4.8, 1/125s, 55-200mm
ISO 200, f4.8, 1/450, 55-200mm, handheld
ISO 200, f4.8, 1/450, 55-200mm, handheld

The perfect travel companion

The Fujifilm X-E1 will be my permanent travel companion. Besides its comfortable portability, it offers great image quality. There are no excuses not to bring it along. I have had regrets in the past when I had brought my heavy DSLR equipment along. Never once did I feel dragged down by the weight or its size. One added benefit: The camera simply looks cool. Some people stopped me to chat about it.

You can find a ton of in-depth reviews at (highly recommend following that blog if you are interested in the Fuji X system).

fuji x-e1
Camera, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 8mm fisheye, charger and some filters
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