What happened was, this month includes trips to Tokyo and the Big Island. And lately I’ve been reading about cameras full of shiny new ideas. So I decided to indulge myself; here are way too many words about the state of cameras in general and in particular the one I bought. SLRs are fat-bodied because you need a big glass prism to bend the light from the lens to the viewfinder. If you lose the prism, you free camera designers from a bunch of constraints. Most obviously, you can have smaller thinner bodies that are friendlier to hand and handbag…..
Nice Things About the X-E1
The viewfinder is just brilliant. If I have my glasses on I can compose on the back of the camera. If I don’t, I put the viewfinder to my eye; it’s got a proximity sensor and lights up automatically. The visual readout in the viewfinder is very good, and it’s got a diopter adjustment for less-than-perfect eyes. The ergonomics are nifty; there’s no mode dial! The aperture and shutter speed are visible at a glance and on manual dials, looking down at the camera top. If both are on “A”, you’re in full-auto mode. If you set the shutter speed you’re in shutter-priority, if you set the F-stop, you’re in Aperture priority, if you set both, you’re in manual. Which makes the mode dials on most SLRs feel kind of superfluous and stupid. The menus aren’t that great but you’ll never need to use them. There’s a button marked “Q” that brings up a grid of the most commonly-used settings. It’s stupidly quick and easy to twiddle what you need to. It’s a bit lighter than my K-5, and both the prime & zoom are a lot lighter than their counterparts. In particular, the X-E1/35mm combo is really a treat to hold in your hand, or to sling over your shoulder for hours at a time.
Below from left to right: Canon S100, X-E1 (with the 35mm F1.4), and K-5 (with that Sigma). The Pentax and Fuji are about the same width, but the Fuji (and its lens) are smaller along every other dimension. The camera makes outstanding JPGs, creamy-smooth and with great white-balance guessing. I shoot raw anyhow because I like fiddling with pictures in Lightroom (had to install the 4.4 beta), but you probably don’t really need to, and in some low-light shots the camera might do a better job at noise reduction than Lightroom ……
Of course, you still need to see what you’re shooting. One approach is the traditional optical rangefinder, as in the Leica M; a little window through the camera that looks out beside, not through, the main lens. Or you can take what the sensor is seeing and route it electronically to a screen on the back of the camera, or to a viewfinder you hold up to your eye, or both. Generally speaking, serious cameras which have managed to lose the prism are now called “compact format”. For a while, it looked like we’d say “EVIL”, for Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens, but that didn’t quite catch on; a pity.SLRs are fat-bodied because you need a big glass prism to bend the light from the lens to the viewfinder. If you lose the prism, you free camera designers from a bunch of constraints. Most obviously, you can have smaller thinner bodies that are friendlier to hand and handbag. Of course, you still need to see what you’re shooting. One approach is the traditional optical rangefinder, as in the Leica M; a little window through the camera that looks out beside, not through, the main lens. Or you can take what the sensor is seeing and route it electronically to a screen on the back of the camera, or to a viewfinder you hold up to your eye, or both. Generally speaking, serious cameras which have managed to lose the prism are now called “compact format”. For a while, it looked like we’d say “EVIL”, for Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens, but that didn’t quite catch on; a pity. I suppose this is partly a review of the X-E1, but if you want to know the most important thing (what kind of pictures it takes) just follow the blog for the next week or two. I’ll do a pictures-from-Tokyo series that covers a lot of different photographic styles. What Once We Called EVIL · For a while there, everything was either a point-&-shoot (meh) or an SLR (good); SLRs compete in a nice linear way around megapixels and sensitivity and ergonomics and lenses. I suppose this is partly a review of the X-E1, but if you want to know the most important thing (what kind of pictures it takes) just follow the blog for the next week or two. I’ll do a pictures-from-Tokyo series that covers a lot of different photographic styles. What Once We Called EVIL · For a while there, everything was either a point-&-shoot (meh) or an SLR (good); SLRs compete in a nice linear way around megapixels and sensitivity and ergonomics and lenses…..
See on www.tbray.org
I will also link to photos as soon as I have had time to shoot properly. Check back in a while! :)
- Let’s just get that one out of the way. Incredible speed-up compared with the X100. Nothing more to add. It’s fantastic.
- There is something called “High Performance” under “Power Management” in the settings, which will increase AF speed further (as well as shorten startup time). I will get back on how this may impact the focus speed. Somehow it doesn’t feel important as the AF speed is already fantastic.
Manual focusing and the MF ring
- The MF ring is quick, responsive and smooth and it just works! It features variable sensitiveness and becomes more sensitive as you go closer (e.g. macro), requiring more turns.
- You can set the camera to automatically zoom into the MF assist modes (standard, focus peaking, split image) when you touch the MF ring. Half-pressing the shutter will zoom out. Nice feature!
- Quickly switch between AF-S and MF as they are now the outer options of the switch on the side of the camera. Minor design difference which gives major impact on how I will use this camera.
- Higher resolution is very noticeable and refreshing.
- Less lag, if any.
- Auto ISO is now available in the same menu as ISO.
- ND no longer accessible from Q menu (but can still be assigned to the Fn button, just like on the X100). It should really be added to the new Q menu though (via future firmware update), if possible.
- Menus feel much snappier, no lag anywhere. Now you can shoot and use the menus immediately without any lockup of the menus.
- The menus are now organized and with tabs on the side and the new Q menu is a quick way to choose – or divert from – the three saved custom settings (C1, C2, C3).
- Hold and press Q results in increased brightness of LCD. Great for shooting outdoors in bright light. Nice!
- Possible bug: The Q menu’s “Basic” mode does not remember the Auto ISO setting when switching between C1/C2/C3/Basic. Instead it inherits values from custom profiles C1 or C3 (depending on which way you scroll through the three custom profiles). To clarify, “Basic” mode is what your camera is set to when you haven’t loaded a saved custom setting or what happens when you load a saved custom setting (e.g. C1) and then divert from it by changing a setting on top of it.
- The MF ring works really well while recording video. When turning the MF ring, it’s hard to not shake the camera (just like with any camera) and some sound noise is generated.
- Much improved bitrate/quality, video looks great.
- MF assist does not work with video, where it is badly needed. Especially focus peaking. I hope Fuji will implement this in a future firmware update.
- Macro control can’t be reached in video mode (you have to exit video mode and enable macro, then go back into video mode and it will work).
- There sometimes seems to be strobing in video shot the wider you go and in certain lighting conditions. This is probably just the way it works as the camera is setting the shutter automatically (this also means no need for zebra). When I’ve experienced strobing, I can just go less wide and it disappears. It’s a non-issue to me.
- Both 30 and 60 fps modes produce a 1920×1080 movie. I’ll check and see if there are different bitrates to them. I’ll also perform a slowdown test from 60fps to 30 fps to see how slow motion would look.
- JPEG blacks by default seem to too dark for my taste. I’m experimenting with custom shadow tone values here…
- Sometimes noise reduction smearing at default value when pixel peeping at 100% scale. I’m experimenting with custom NR values here………
See on fredrikaverpil.tumblr.com
The X100, X-Pro1 and X-E1 are famous for their low-light, high-ISO capabilities, but sometimes a touch of flash can make an image pop where is could be flat otherwise. This is especially true in bright sunlight where harsh shadows and bright backgrounds can often lead to subjects not being properly exposed, or having harsh and ugly shadows across their faces. A fill-in flash can make all the difference. If used properly, flash can enhance a scene and allow you to use a lower ISO to get better image quality without the caught-in-the-headlights look so often associated with it. That’s another topic though, but I came to the realisation that with the correct use of flash I could enhance my images, so I started looking for the best way to add an external flash to my X-Series cameras. The X-Pro1 doesn’t have an on-board flash, so I initially bought the Fujifilm EF-20 flash as it was half the price of the X-Series EF-X20 version of what was seemingly basically the same flash in a different body! I didn’t see the point of buying the “X” version. I was happy enough with the EF-20, it worked well and was nice and compact for the X100 and X-Pro1, although it does hang a little far forwards….
Summary of the differences between the EF-20 and the EF-X20
- Both flashes work in TTL with the X-Pro1, X-E1, X100, X100s, X20, X10 and X-S1 cameras and I believe they work with some of the Fujifilm bridge cameras as well.
- Both flashes have a Guide Number of 20, which is significantly more than the on-board flashes, though that reduces to 12 with the wide-angle option on the EF-X20.
- The EF-20 can tilt 90 degrees up to allow you to bounce flash whereas the EF-X20 is fixed facing forwards.
- The EF-X20 can operate as a slave, which means it can be used off camera wirelessly.
- The EF-X20 has +/-EV controls as a simple dial and full manual control down to 1/64th. The EF-20 is purely TTL.
- The EF-20 uses 2xAA batteries where the EF-X20 uses 2xAAA batteries.
- The EF-20 retails for around £80 where the EF-X20 retails around £170.
See full article on www.photomadd.com
I’ve done a comparison on a Fuji X-Pro 1 file using The new Photoshop ACR 7.4 and Raw Photo Processor 64, the excellent Mac platform raw converter. Different software but I processed each with no sharpening added and only added a slight amount in Photoshop later. I used the same values for each file. Click on the link for the full-size high-res file. As many who have tried the new ACR are saying, the files are slightly softer than they were before, but unlike the previous ACR conversion, it is now possible to add sharpening to these X-Trans files without creating unpleasant artefacts. RPP still produces slightly sharper results to my eyes, but there isn’t a lot in it.
After waiting a long time to see this, I spent yesterday working on some X-Pro 1 files and it was pleasing to see the results. I have been so frustrated by the fact that I knew that there was more in the files, but was unable to get to it. RPP is great and I recommend it, but Photoshop is the cornerstone of my processing workflow and I know it well and how to get what I want from it. So for any camera I use, proper support is essential. It is now finally available.
So what went on? Was this a spat between Fuji and Adobe? Did Adobe just take their time to get round to this? We will never know the whole story, but it has been a long wait. As you know I baled out on the X-Pro 1 early when it looked like there wasn’t going to be decent ACR support and I’ve had lots of files sitting on my hard drives that I haven’t done much with, since I wasn’t keen to upload what I considered to be sub-standard versions to my picture libraries. I can now get some really nice files from my original raws and they do have a different ‘look’ to conventional bayer sensor files. With the ACR conversions and indeed with the RPP ones as well, there isn’t that classic non-AA filter look. But then with the different sensor array I’m not sure that there would be. What is extraordinary is the ability to produce ‘clean’ files at high(er) ISO’s. I believe it would be perfectly feasible to shoot high-quality landscape at ISO 400 and even ISO 800 with an x-trans sensor and I’m seeing a 2-stop improvement in noise levels over virtually everything else I use. This has all sorts of advantages in terms of narrower apertures and higher shutter speeds when shooting in good light, which for what I do is a good thing.
I’ve been very critical of this whole raw conversion saga and indeed seem to have developed somewhat of a reputation as a ‘Fuji basher’, but my only concern was to see a realisation of the FULL potential of these files. We do now have that and I’m glad to become a Fuji X-Trans enthusiast at long last. But lets be honest, its been a long and unnecessary wait and thats not really good enough. For those who had the patience to stick with it, welcome to your new camera!
See on soundimageplus.blogspot.fr
Fuji has announced the successor to their hugely popular X100, the imaginatively named X100S, but what does the “S” stand for? Superior? Sexier? Successor? Or, just a rip off of Apple’s unimaginative upgrade path? Well, the new X100 S may have a poorly thought out name change, but is the new camera better than Fuji’s naming strategy? The original X100 was a hugely successful camera for Fuji. The retro styling and fixed lens combination took off in a way that few saw coming. The camera offered great styling and imaging quality to match. It was reminiscent of rangefinder cameras of the past and offered a camera that made people fascinated by it when they saw it. Beyond being camera bling it was effective as a serious photographic tool that could be used to great effect in several different situations. The X100 was, simply put, a “cool” camera. Let us not forget that it had more than its fair share of bugs that could be more than a little frustrating. The well documented issues with the camera were not enough to deter people. Many of the initial problems with the X100 were fixed by firmware updates, but issues still remained. Fuji has strived to address this with the new X100S. So what are the improvements being touted by the X100S and what do they offer you?…..
See on www.digitalrev.com
This should be a fun comparison. I have the pleasure of having three of the best mirrorless cameras around in my possession right now: a newly acquired Fuji X-E1 with 35mm f/1.4, my trusty Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Panasonic GH3, fresh into my hands for review. Expect full reviews of the Fuji X-E1 and Panasonic GH3 in the coming weeks. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to pop the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 on the two Micro 4/3 cameras and do a controlled studio shot against the Fuji X-E1 with its Fujinon 35mm f/1.4. Due to the different sized sensors, these setups result in an almost identical field of view, with the 4:3 aspect ratio of the m4/3 cameras allowing for a little wider field of view in the vertical direction. The 35mm on the X-E1 is slightly narrower than the 25mm on Micro 4/3, however (equivalent to the field of view of a 53mm lens on full frame vs the equivalent field of view of 50mm for the Leica). As a result of this minor difference in aspect ratio and field of view, the crops you’re about to see will make the Fuji look like it is rendering things slightly larger. All images were taken on a tripod with 2 second timer, and all were taken from the same position……
Well, the X-E1 is a camera with fantastic image quality, that much is certain. Not surprisingly, it produces cleaner images throughout the ISO range and retains great detail. Is the Fuji the best of these three cameras then? In pure image quality from the sensor? Yes. In other ways? Not so fast…. Wait for my full review of the X-E1 for more detailed discussion, but both the GH3 and OM-D are much more responsive machines when it comes to autofocus. Still, Fuji has a winner on their hands. It’s also great to see Panasonic put out a body with very high image quality to match the OM-D on the stills side.
See on admiringlight.com
English Photographer Ben Evans compares the Fuji XE1 and XPro1 cameras in Barcelona. Hand-on photography with several photographs made with the cameras during the review.
The balance is that the Fuji XE1, while lacking the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder makes up for this with a cheaper price, upgraded EVF (electronic viewfinder), built-in flash and slightly smaller size. It was therefore the ‘winner’ in this little hands-on camera test.
Many thanks to Hiromi from www.HiromiTorres.com for shooting this video! If you’d like to get in touch and contribute to a microphone for her so that future tutorials and reviews sound better, she’d really appreciate it!….
See on www.youtube.com
I have been using the Capture One beta version 7.0.2 for a bit and wanted to share an example of the difference in processing RAW files from the X-Pro1 between Adobe Lightroom and Capture One’s beta. Yes, yes, I know the Capture One is beta. I’m not going to speak to the details of its stability, any errors, etc. Anything like that I would report to Phase One. Since I mainly shoot landcapes, I’d like to illustrate the difference between the two RAW processing engines using an image with a bunch of foliage. The image I’m showing is one I shot at North Fork near Ogden, Utah during autumn. There was great light but I wasn’t too happy with the lack of foreground interest when I took the photo. Since there is mainly foliage and grass in the shot, it’ll serve to illustrate the stark difference between Lightroom and Capture One. The image was shot using the 35 mm prime lens, ISO 200, 1/15 second, f/16, with a polarizing filter. In both Capture One and Lightroom, my standard sharpening was used. I cannot push the Lightroom sharpening much at all or details get even more mushy where it seems I can push Capture One as far as I’d like. Amazing. First comparison is a 100% crop of the trees, first from Adobe Lightroom 4.3 and the second from Capture One 7.0.2 ….
See full article on www.codyhatch.com
Better late then never. I finally had the chance to play with the Sony Nex 6 and the new collapsible 16-50mm kit lens. First thing I noticed was the size of the lens, retracted, it is about the same size as the Fujinon 18mm f2 and looked proportionally “correct” on the Nex body. There was no time for an in depth comparison between the Fuji X-E1 since I only had the camera for half a day. Instead, I will try to summarize my impressions of both cameras…..
As a purist with no interest in video, the choice is easy. Fuji X-E1. Anyone serious about video, the Nex 6 is a no brainer. I hope this helps some of you to make a decision. PS: I was also interested to find out how the 16-50mm collapsible lens performs, esp when compared to Sony’s monster flagship 18-200mm and managed to shot a quick test. Should have it up in a couple of days.
See full article on www.mikekobal.com
A few observations that I made during the test:
- While focusing I noticed that the Canon lens tended to show more color fringing from green to red while I was fine tuning the manual focus.
- The Canon was also more difficult to fine tune since the manual focus reacted rather fast and direct to small movements.
- The Fujinon on the other hand actually benefited from the fine graduation of the “focus by wire” setting in this situation at close focusing distances. This was the first time that I actually saw the benefit of this technology.
- The Fuji seemed to have a larger sweet spot of the sharp focus area depth compared to the Canon – even though both were set to f/1.4
I was surprised that the Fuji lens did this good in direct comparison to my favorite Canon lens! But there is one factor in favor of the Fuji lens that also needs to be mentioned:
The X-Pro 1 recognizes the Fuji lens and applies some lens correction inside the JPG engine. The Canon lens does not get this special treatment and shows an uncorrected result from the lens. I could have partially avoided this by shooting in RAW but then the RAW converter of i.e. Adobe Camera RAW could have recognized the Fuji lens as well and add some auto correction. But in the end I wanted to see how the Canon lens compared when I use it on the X-Pro 1 in my normal use and this is what I got. The X-Pro 1 will not internally compensate for the Canon lens no matter what I do.
But if you happen to own some Leica M lenses and purchased the Fuji X-Mount to Leica M-adapter, then the Fuji will internally apply corrections to some of the Leica M lenses (i.e. the SUMMICRON-M 35mmF2 ASPH)
The Canon EF 35mm f1.4 is a fantastic lens on my Canon FF DSLR camera. It has a fast Ultrasonic AF motor and the weight and size match the bigger camera body well. The Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R is a fantastic AF lens for the Fuji X-Pro 1 / X-E1 cameras. This comparison has solved the question for me if I could improve the image quality by using the Canon EF 35mm f1.4 instead of the XF 35mm f1.4 for special occasions. The answer for me is “No!” and I can now comfortably leave the bigger Canon 35mm lens attached to my Canon camera.“Bigger is not always better” :)
See full article on fujixfiles.blogspot.de