When you consider that the v.4.00 firmware update allows the X-E2 to more or less match the X-E2S in many respects, you start to wonder why Fujifilm chose to release the X-E2S at all (and whether it's worth going for the cheaper X-E2 and just upgrading its firmware instead). Still, when viewed in isolation, anyone seeking a capable and handsome camera should find plenty to like here.
Although only a few changes have been made from the X-E2, its current RRP-level street price is reasonable when you consider that this will no doubt soon start to drop. It strikes a good balance between offering the ease of use and approachability of the entry-level models while offering enough from more advanced siblings to warrant its mid-range billing.
That said, at its current price, it goes up against cameras that manage to offer a little more for the money. The Olympus OM-D E-M0 II has the advantage of a sensor-based, five-axis image stabilisation system and a tilting touch-sensitive LCD screen while the Panasonic Lumix GX8 includes these on top of 4K video recording. As members of the Micro Four Thirds system, the pair are also compatible with a wider range of lenses than the X-E2S, although Fuji's own range is fast developing and widely respected.
The X-E2S has a great design and an approachable control layout, and the fine performance and a tried-and-tested imaging pipeline makes the X-E2S a well-rounded enthusiast's camera.
The grip could be more substantial and the Q button isn't as convenient to access as it could be. The screen can also be difficult to see in bright sunlight, and while this can be rectified using its brightness controls this obviously comes at the expense of battery life.
The X-E2 is well-designed and pleasing to use, with the advantage of very good image quality straight out of the camera. While it lacks some of the functionality of rival models, its agreeable price point makes it more accessible to those upgrading from more junior models, while also being a fine contender as a backup body for cameras higher up in the Fuji family.