When the "only fatal flaw" found on a camera is its (Silver-ish) colour scheme, you know that we're dealing with a momentous camera:
"The more significant development, in my mind, is that the autofocus can see in the dark. It was able to focus in light levels approach EV -6. It focused on my cat in the sink at midnight with only reflected street light to see with. Why I am taking pictures of my cat in the can in the middle of the night is a whole other story, but should your photographic perambulations take you into the outhouses of Borneo under a full moon, rest assured, any rare felines co-inhabiting the facilities will be autofocused-upon accurately. . . . read more
"The X20 is generally a very responsive camera. The startup time can be as little as 0.5 seconds, allowing you to capture any moment that appears. The X20's new Hybrid AF system - which builds phase detection right on the CMOS sensor - is noticeably faster than the X10's contrast detect-only system, and among the best in its class. Shot-to-shot delays are reasonable, and the X20's burst mode allows you to shoot at full resolution at speeds exceeding 9 fps. It can take over twenty seconds for the camera to flush the buffer after a burst of Raw images, though. The two main performance issues that bothered us were . . . read more
"The X20 makes for a great little “Mini Monochrom” camera...
The X20 also makes for a nice B&W only camera if you shoot it in B&W mode because I find the color images a little lackluster once you get past ISO 640 if you are not in the perfect light. While it is nowhere near as versatile as the Leica MM in ISO, smoothness or lens capabilities it can create some nice B&W images on the cheap.
Now I am in no way saying the Fuji X20 can replace a Leica Monochrom, because it can not. But it can be fun to head out with it with the mindset of shooting only in B&W. While gorgeous color can come from the X20, it can do B&W equally as well. With a 28mm to 112mm lens on board you also have some versatility although I admit I prefer just shooting it at 28mm and f/2 when I can. When the X20 is slung around you many will think you are shooting an old film camera, and you can go out with that mindset and if you do I suggest turning off the LCD and just using the OVF. Set it to B&W JPEG mode and fire away."
"One key new feature in the X100s—and a worldwide first—is the Digital Split Image (DSI) manual focusing assistant, which makes clever use of Fuji's phase-detection AF system integrated into the new X-Trans CMOS II sensor. The DSI mode is effectively a kind of digital stigmometer that splits an out-of-focus image in two. As you focus the lens manually, the images look to blend together until they form one when you find the right focus position.
From a technical point of view, the DSI function is a very clever use of the AF system. In fact, it's hard to image how no-one has thought of doing this before. In reality, though, it's a little less exciting. This function definitely makes manual focusing easier, but it can be hard to see exactly when you've found the right focus, as the split image just doesn't look sharp or precise enough onscreen. A touch of peaking over the top could have made a nice addition here (note that a separate peaking mode is available). Plus, seeing as the lens uses an electronic rather than a mechanical focusing system, the whole experience could generally be more pleasant and more accurate. The DSI mode is therefore best left as an occasional helping hand in complex situations that the autofocus may have trouble dealing with (shooting in conditions that are too bright, working with uniform subjects, etc.). All in all, it's an impressively innovative function, but it feels like it still needs a little polishing.
Thankfully, the X100s has a secret weapon:
Rico's article also includes the handling of the Metabones Speed Booster adapter on a Fujifilm camera:
"The X-Pro1 is not a rangefinder camera. It’s a pure-bred autofocus camera and as such—despite its hybrid viewfinder—it is only marginally equipped to work in combination with manual focus lenses. Currently, the only tool that the X-Pro1 and X-E1 feature to assist with manual focusing is a magnified digital viewfinder. The camera also offers some kind of focus peaking when you magnify the viewfinder image: It will enhance contrasty edges, indicating that they are in-focus.
Unfortunately, there are a few further aspects that render the X-Pro1 and X-E1 not yet perfectly equipped for working with third-party lenses: When a lens is attached to the X-Pro1 via an adapter, Auto-ISO operates with a minimum shutter speed of 1/30 second—independently of the actual focal length that was set in the adapter menu. 1/30s may be too fast for many wide-angle lenses and too slow for most standard and telephoto lenses. The cameras also set the . . . read more
"The Fuji X-E1 may be the baby brother to Fuji's flagship X-Pro1, but in many ways is its equal. Most importantly, the two cameras share the same impressive 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor, which produces image quality superior to most APS-C-sensor-based digital SLRs, but in arguably more attractive camera body designs. The X-E1 is also significantly less expensive than its older sibling, while boasting many of the same features. We loved the X-E1's look, which marries the design of a classic rangefinder camera with a smart and sophisticated CSC. We wished the camera grip was larger and more comfortable; it's not a great camera to handhold over long periods of time, but if you're just going out for a day of street shooting, it should be fine. The Fuji X-E1's polycarbonate-and-magnesium build make it quite light and highly portable, especially when compared to the X-Pro1. The X-E1's shutter button, which has a nice old-school look to it (minus the film winder), unfortunately is mushy to press and doesn't feel very responsive.
"The Fujifilm X20 produces images of outstanding quality. It recorded noise-free JPEG images at ISO 100 up to 800, with a little noise and slight colour desaturation at ISO 1600 and more visible noise at ISO 3200 at full resolution, an excellent performance for a camera with such a small sensor. Even ISO 6400 is worth using, although the same can't be said about the range-topping ISO 12800. The RAW files were also excellent, with usable images throughout the entire range of ISO 100-3200, and they are noticeably sharper than on the original X10."
"The Fujifilm X-E1 is the second of the company's mirrorless compact system cameras to use the X-mount and the 16 Megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor debuted in the groundbreaking X-Pro 1. It's smaller and less expensive than the X-Pro 1 but lacks one of its key selling points - the hybid optical / electronic viewfinder. But in most other respects the X-E1 offers the same, and in some cases a better level of features and functions as the flagship model, making it a great buy for anyone who loved the X-Pro 1, but couldn't afford it.
The good news: Wi-Fi and extreme waterproofing (up to 15 meters). That makes it a good value alternative choise for not-so-extreme divers. The Bad news: Another rugged camera with a tiny sensor, isn't it time for someone to release a prosumer specced rugged camera?
Valhalla, N.Y., March 22, 2013 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation announces the latest addition to the popular rugged XP Series, the FinePix XP200. The new XP200 uses an improved 16MP CMOS sensor for enhanced image quality, a reinforced 5x FUJINON lens, and is Waterproof to 50ft (15M), Shockproof to 6.6ft, Freezeproof to 14°F (-10°C) and Dustproof*1. The XP200 also has a newly redesigned battery door lock with double . . . read more
The XF 14mm is the most expensive fujinon lens, and fortunately, it shows:
"The Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R is a highly attractive ultra-wide lens with few shortcomings. The most important factor for an ultra-wide lens is certainly image sharpness and the Fujinon delivers here. It is bitingly sharp in the image center and good to very good in the outer image region. The very low CAs contribute to the high quality perception. Distortions are basically absent - even in RAW data - which is surprising for such a wide lens and even more so for a mirrorless one. . . . read more
"Introducing a new XF product line, Fujifilm looks set to launch more options in to the ever-popular small camera with high image quality category. The first camera in the new range, the XF1 uses the 2/3-inch type sensor that’s smaller than the APS-C, Micro Four Thirds or 1-inch type sensors used in interchangeable lens Hybrids, but it’s a little bigger than the 1/1.7-inch type predominantly used in more expensive compacts.
Just after Adobe enhances its support for the Fujifilm X-Trans sensor based cameras with the updated Lightroom and ACR versions, comes DPreview's verdict on the X-E1. A very interesting read, even though parts of it comes from the previously published X-Pro1 review:
"Overall, we really enjoyed shooting with the Fujifilm X-E1, and I'm very pleased with the images I got out of it. The camera crashed on occasion (it wouldn't be a new X-series camera if it didn't have some bugs...), leaving buttons unresponsive, and focus and exposure sometimes delivered odd results, but powering off usually cleared the error. . . . read more
"The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R's auto-focus system is its minor weak-point, with a slight delay before locking focus and a rather loud mechanism. On the plus side it offers a generously wide focusing ring, a very welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure, and an innovative focus collar for quickly switching between auto an manual focus, the latter coming complete with a focusing distance scale with depth-of-field markings that makes it easier to zone-focus. The lens mount is made of metal and, thanks to an internal focusing (IF) system, the front element and filter thread do not rotate on focus, which is very good news for those using polarisers and ND grads on a regular basis. . . . read more
It is not every day Adobe goes back and changes the de-mosaicing algorithms for previously supported cameras, but this time they've done it, and the first preliminary reports are in. DPreview's Amadou Diallo runs some tests with a couple of X-Pro1 raw files:
"Capture One Pro 7 produces more crisp results than ACR with contrast and saturation defaults that more closely mimic the in-camera JPEG. Having said that, however, ACR 7.4 RC avoids the edge halos and even more obvious aliasing patterns that exist in the Capture One Pro 7 renderings of our real world and studio test scene. Overall, the ACR 7.4 RC files deliver more realistic, natural results in areas of organic low-contrast detail like the foliage in the street scene above and the fuzzy balls in the studio scene below." . . . read more
The X-Transians have gotten their first wide angle prime, and the reports keep pouring in. Here are 6 of the most memorable-almost religious experiences, to be found around the Interwebs:
First, we've got Ray from FujiXspot, who takes the 14mm Fujinon for a full workout on the streets of Philadelphia, and ends up with some decision dilemmas:
"So, there's no doubt in my mind that the 14mm is an excellent lens in any respect that matters. My only hesitance is still based on a combination of price and wondering if I'll use it enough to justify it. The other lenses I have similar costs into are the Olympus 12 and 75. The 12 is probably my most-used lens, so no question there." . . . read more
"The Fujifilm X10 is an excellent alternative, and currently available for around £310. It has better controls, an optical viewfinder and a brighter aperture at the long end of the zoom. Then there's the forthcoming Fujifilm X20 with the promise of sharper detail, and the Panasonic LX7 with its superior videos, faster performance and even brighter lens. However, we'd be tempted to trade all of this for the XF1's slimmer design and integrated lens cap, which makes it much easier to slip in and out of a pocket. With its lower price and gorgeous design, the XF1 is at least as good as the LX7, and fully deserves our Best Buy award."
This whole, 'moving from Dslr to the greener pastures of Compact System Cameras' issue has picked up a lot of steam lately, and as someone that sits firmly in between the two, I think its now worthy of its own Estiasis 'Moving from DSLT to CSC' tag. Roshan Vyas is one of the switches, and so far, seems happy with the choice:
"I mentioned earlier that I sold off my Nikon D7000 and three lenses last month. The main reason was size: Having traveled around Europe with the whole kit for a month, I didn't see myself carrying all of that weight on a trip again. And around San Francisco, I prefer my Fuji X100 for street photography. Even more, I didn't find myself being as deliberate with my photos with a DSLR compared to the more manual and sometimes slower X100. I just enjoyed the Fuji photos more, and it was nice to not end up editing hundreds of quickly shot burst photos. I also figured that if I ever actually wanted to use a DSLR for a . . . read more
Wow, his must be the most serious case of X-Trans sensorophobia on the whole wide Interwebs. I still have a lot of respect for much of what he otherwise does, but when it comes to the X-Trans artifacting issue he clearly fails to see the sum of the image (heh): As a total, Fuji's sensor produces some gorgeous images, a fact that is stated in confessions and declarations by numerous pro, avid and generally accomplished photographers. I can point you to a zillion galleries and essays, but I choose just one for now and rest my case: Check out Dave Piper's gallery of images he got with the X-Pro1.
"Why bother with a problematic sensor? Or a company that can’t get its act together and just pay Adobe $250K a year or whatever to deliver exceptional results from ACR (if this is even possible, which I begin to doubt). This dog doesn’t hunt. Get a Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill and enjoy real resolution with zero artifacts, totally clean, not even Bayer sensor demosaicing yuck. Or get a D600 or D800E system which isn’t that hugely different in size, but has a full frame sensor. I see no point in investing in a 2nd-tier system with a sensor that forces photographers to jump through hoops." . . . read more
Philip Ryan tests the camera together with the XF 18-55mm kit lens:
"The Fujifilm X-E1 is a great addition to the company’s line of premium ILCs. Rangefinder diehards might miss the optical finder provided in the X-Pro1, but given that this isn’t a true rangefinder, we were perfectly okay with the X-E1’s EVF. It’s wonderfully crisp, bright, and gives you a good preview of the effects of setting changes. Its refresh rate could be quicker—you’ll notice a bit of stuttering on fast pans—and we wish it didn’t black out during bursts, but it’s among the best electronic finders out there. We’d say Sony’s OLED finders are the only ones that are appreciably better. . . . read more
'A good sample'? I think this is the second review of this lens that mentions it..what's up with the QC Fuji? The anonymous reviewer from Photozone shares some more insight into this issue:
"The Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS may be the hottest reason to enter the Fuji system. It is amazingly sharp throughout the zoom and relevant aperture range. The amount of lateral CAs is generally quite low with the exception of 55mm @ f/4. The Fujinon is not without flaws, of course. Technically it suffers from a high barrel distortion at 18mm and the vignetting is a bit too high at max. aperture. However, these aspects are taken care of either by the camera itself or external RAW converters so you don't need to worry from a user perspective. The quality of the bokeh (out-of-focus) blur is pretty good for a standard zoom lens but it cannot rival the best prime lenses, of course. . . . read more
David grabs a no-name intervalometer and wanders into the night:
"In conclusion I am at the bottom of a steep learning curve but I was impressed at the performance of the X-E1 and want to explore the technique further. I realise I have to be aware of battery live so kept a battery on charge for quick change over. Initially I thought changing the battery would ruin the lapse as the camera would change position but I have decided that the camera sitting in a single stationary position isn’t interesting.
I think I have the post production side of things covered so the next step is to master the capture process and then it is time to find some interesting locations to do a proper testing. If you have explored this technique and have any tips please post away in the comments, all advice would be greatly . . . read more
Well, that was distracting, but the darn OM-D keeps turning up in places it shouldn't. This time its in Tech Radar's Fujifilm 2 flagship cameras comparison, and their place among the top competitors, the NEX7, the GH3, and the E-M5. Things look pretty normal until the Raw performance comparison charts. Also noteworthy, the rather unimpressive results given by the GH3:
"The signal to noise ratios of the TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Fuji X-E1 don't compare quite as well for signal to noise ratio as the JPEGs did, coming behind the Olympus OM-D at all sensitivities and below the Panasonic GH3 at ISO 200 and 400. The Fuji X-E1 beats the Panasonic at higher sensitivities though, and beats the Sony NEX-7 andFuji X-Pro1." . . . read more
"The X-Pro1 was 2012’s most fun new camera, but if you’re one of those people that thinks saving money is fun too, Fujifilm has the answer. By reducing the X-E1’s footprint and stripping out the novel—but unhelpful—hybrid viewfinder, the company has shaved $400 off the X-Pro1’s already-reduced price tag, all without sacrificing much of that model’s stellar performance.
For better or worse, our most enthusiastic praise is reserved not for the camera itself, but for the new kit lens. When the X-mount debuted, Fujifilm showed a commitment to high quality glass with its first three prime offerings, but many wondered if this performance would extend to a zoom lens. Now we know the answer. The X-E1’s 18-55mm kit lens is almost exactly as sharp as the XF 35mm f/1.4, which is really quite amazing for a zoom lens. We only wish the . . . read more
Some quick notes on user reactions: Apparently the XF 35mm firmware upgrade makes the lens noisier in operation, at least that's what many people report.
The X-E1 update does not result in as dramatic AF speed improvements as the earlier X-Pro1 update did. The camera DOES focus more accurately now, especially with the 18-55mm kit lens, but many users claim it does so at the expense of speed. And finally, one big issue Fujifilm did not resolve is the much wanted minimum shutter speed at auto Iso setting. Finally, Rico Pfirstinger has posted some nice tips about firmware upgrading on Fujifilm bodies: . . . read more
The firmware update Ver.126.96.36.199 incorporates the following issues:
Applicable models for the raw file converter are added as follows
FUJIFILM X-E1 / XF1 / X-Pro1 / X-S1 / X10
FinePix X100 / F800EXR / F770EXR / F775EXR / F600EXR / F605EXR / F550EXR / F505EXR / HS30EXR / HS33EXR / HS20EXR / HS22EXR . . . read more
I believe there is something special about the crowd of photographers posting at SteveHuff.com. I will not delve into the kind of 'special' I'm reffering to, but, in any case, here's a review-or more properly, user experience, with the Metaboners Speed Booster mounted on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and used with a bunch of (of course) Leica lenses: Leica R Elmarit 19 /2.8, Summicron 35/2, Summicron 50/2 and a Summicron 90/2. Daniele does not go into the very specifics of image quality issues, So I tried to pixel-peep the mostly blurred and noisy pictures she provides with the review, and came out empty handed. And then, there's the Colombus egg:
"But last night when I saw the Metabones Speed Booster ad everything was so clear. It is a Columbus egg! If you cannot have a full sensor size why don’t you reduce the image circle of a full frame lens to an aps c size sensor? The effects are . . . read more
This is the follow-up to Ron's RX100 review from a week ago:
"I like the RX100 and feel like it makes great images. If you do a comparison of the RAW images you’ll quickly find that it has great RAW images that are hampered by fairly poor in-camera processing compared to the other cameras I’ve tested. At low ISO’s it’s not an issue and they are quite good, but as the ISO’s climb the poor in-camera noise reduction really hurts. As a result, my “always keep your raw images” applies more for this camera than any of the others I’ve tested.
I'd say its the camera for the Smart man and woman, the poor Leica
snobs suckers usually go with a dented semi-functional Leica M4 they snatched off Ebay or Craiglist for a few hundred bucks.
"Initially my choice fell with a Leica M9. I’ve dreamt of this camera for years, but the price always made me quickly stop and think. I wanted to give the Leica a chance, so I borrowed an M9. I was excited by the Leica, in fact a lot for me. So of course there was a 9,000 Euro start up cost, with only a 35mm lens. After intense consultations with my conscience and lots of sorrow on my brow, I came next to the M9 and engaged with the mirrorless system cameras. There were a good . . . read more