Review: Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 + X-E1

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image courtesy: Fujifilm (Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 and X-E1)

A few days ago we posted the first Chinese review about Fujinon 18-55mm (read it here). Now also flixelpix.com had the opportunity to shoot some pictures with this new lens (click here to see the review). Among other things, they say that “for a zoom lens the 18-55mm is still remarkably sharp… As for the new zoom lens, the 18-55mm combines versatility with image quality. With the lens hood attached it is only a little bigger lens to the 35mm XF prime lens… The 18mm-55mm scope means you have a quality lens capable of landscapes and vistas at the wide end right through to razor sharp portraits at the 84mm (full frame equivalent) telephoto end of the scale.

He tested the new lens also with long exposures settings, click here to see the images.

Apart from the lens, fixelpix makes also some considerations about the X-E1. They say that there is no doubt, Fuji is leading the way in mirrorless innovation. And what’s the main target group of this camera? “For the me the X-E1 is the perfect camera for all of those photographers out there looking at or upgrading an entry level DSLR. The X-E1 offers the same level of photographic quality but the package and user experience is just so much more enjoyable.”

And also this time the inevitable question couldn’t missX-PRO1 or X-E1? The X-PRO1 feels a bit more solid, but both are really well made cameras. The X-E1 is 30% smaller and has a built in flash. No OVF and smaller LCD for the X-E1. “The X-Pro1 offers a 1.44 million pixel LCD viewfinder, while the X-E1 features a 2.36 million pixel OLED viewfinder. The X-Pro1 is 100% magnesium alloy in construction whereas the back of the X-E1, like the X100 is actually made of strong, high quality plastic. It perhaps isn’t as strong but it is certainly lighter. The X-Pro1 has a locking shutter speed dial, the X-E1 doesn’t although I do think the exposure dial on the XE-1 is better and less prone to accidental adjustments.”

Here the conclusions of fixelpix: “Although I love shooting at a fixed focal length with the 35mm XF being my favourite lens I foresee the 18-55mm will see a large amount of use for general day to day shooting. The 18mm-55mm zoom lens offers my favourite 23mm and 35mm focal lengths at the twist of a lens barrel and with the added four stop Image Stablisation I am not sure you could ask for more. If you are currently an X-Pro1 owner and are looking at the X-E1 as a second body then the kit deal that includes 18-55mm lens might be worth considering…. As for the X-E1 it is everything you would expect from Fujifilm, a variation on a theme it offers an affordable version on the brilliant X-Pro1 with a slightly different specification perfect. Photographers looking for a good value, high quality replacement to their DSLR should look no further. Did I mention the photo output is stunning? Check the flickr set (click here) for larger versions of the photos in this post.”

have a great day

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Fuji X-F1: in stock at B&H and Amazon US (via third part reseller)

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Two brown (click here), two black (click here) and one red (click here) Fuji X-F1 are now available at Amazon US via third part reseller for normal price. There are 3 more black Fuji X-F1 sold by this reseller (click here).

Also B&H has now the X-F1 in stock. They have the red version (click here) and the black version (click here). For the brown version (click here) you have still to wait or you can pre order it.

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X-E1 in Myanmar: a short insight

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For one time, let me begin with the conclusions of framighands.com (click here). Richard Simko traveld through Myanmar with his X-E1 and at the end he says: “This camera is not without quirks as many previous Fuji cameras but it has less of them and Fuji seems to continuously working on improvements. It is easy one to fall in love with. And boy, I do love it. It is unobtrusive, light, relatively easy to handle and well built. I can carry it all day long without even noticing the weight… With growing lens range from Fuji as well as lenses from other vendors (noticeable Zeiss – EXCITING!!!) the future looks very promising.” [fujirumors told you yet that the new Zeiss lenses for the Fuji X system, the 12mm f/2.8, 32mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/2.8 with a price of around 1.000 Euro will hit the market on April 2013.]

PROS: The X-E1 looks gorgeous, has a great ISO performance, the Fujinon 35mm lens in very nice, sharp, fast and “it is rendering bokeh in very pleasing way.” And the image quality?When it comes to quality of image I think Fuji nailed it 110%. It is simply stunning. My “WOW” sounded much louder than when I first time saw files from Nikon D800. There is something to the X-Trans sensor… I am stunned by quality, colour rendition and dynamic range. I have to say that light condition I used this camera were pretty though ones with mostly very contrasty scenes, yet I was able to pull so much details from highlights as well as shadows.” Other reviews said that the X-E1 is too easy. For Richard Simko this is a PRO: “very light and one can barely notice it even after whole day wearing it on the shoulder or around the neck.

CONS: But, as he already said, there are some quirks. Here a list of some of them: “The EVF display shows the updated aperture with little lag” Further on he says: “Changing the autofocus point is awkward. Button is positioned lower left corner on the back of the camera. This means it cannot be done without moving the camera away from the face and not looking like I am digging the nose at the same time. This can be a big deal to some…  At F1.4 the depth of field is so shallow that even that slight movement when recomposing can throw the focus off (look at this picture here: the eyes of the Buddhist monk are not the sharpest)…” The focus: “in bad light conditions camera hunts for focus and cannot seem to find it. There is new firmware available for lenses so hope this might improve the situation… Focusing seems still slow to me. This is definitely not an action photography camera.” “There is a little shutter lag.” As Pedro Kok said for the X-PRO1, also the rubber lens cap of the X-E1 easily falls down, making it useless.

This is only short insight and there can be definitely more written about it. What I can say I didn’t regret a bit investing money into this jewel.

Read the whole review of Richard Simko here.

You can read about his travel through Myanmar here.

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Firmware update ACR 7.3 and Lightroom 4.3 / X-Trans RAW: Adobe & Co. vs JPG out-of camera

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codyhatch: “Come on, Adobe, help us unlock the potential of the X-Trans sensor.

ACR 7.3 beta and lightroom 4.3 release candidate are now available, but no luck also this time for Fuji owners. You have to be patient. There is still no native X-TRANS RAW support for ACR 7.3 and lightroom 4.3 so that the support for X-PRO1 and X-E1 is not optimal. So take a look at the two comparisons in this post, and you’ll understand why Fuji owners are really hoping for this support to come soon.

First comparison

Take a look at this comparison on codyhatch.com. Same exposure, same subject, same camera (X-PRO1), two different results. If you want, before you read the review, take a look at the 2 images here and guess: which one is an out-of-cam JPG, and which an output after processing in Lightroom 4.2?

Here the solution: “The first one is the output after processing in Lightroom 4.2, while the second one is the output of an out-of-camera JPG utilizing the Velvia film simulation.” The second image looks much better than the first one! “The difference between those two photographs is shocking and demonstrates how far Adobe has to go before properly handling output from the X-Trans sensor. There is far more sharpness, contrast, and dynamic range in the out-of-camera JPG“. Therefore “the best RAW converter for X-Pro1 images is the camera itself.

Second comparison

From dmcgaughey.com: He says that JPEGs are excellent with the Fuji X Pro1, but he needs to go to the RAW in two common situations: 1. Poorly exposed photos (usually when blowing the highlights) 2. Bad white balance is selected (often indoors, like most cameras)… “Unfortunately Adobe has done a … poor job in implementing their algorithmthey slap something together so they can check “Fuji X Pro1″ off  their list.” He tried to work with RAW-files with the following programs: Silkypix, Adobe Camera Raw 7.2, Raw Photo Processor. You can see in this image his 100% Crops!  (go directly to the review here)

image courtesy: dmcgaughey.com

Okay. Clearly Adobe su….s! It renders the leaves as indistinct strokes of color. It gets far worse if you try and sharpen even semi-aggressively, leaving jagged edges around color blobs. RPP does a nice job, but there’s always a smattering of colored pixels dotting the scene. These can be removed with a touch of color noise reduction in Bridge. But still, edges tend to be jagged. SilkyPix very closely matches the X Pro1 rendered JPEG. It looks a bit less sharp, but that’s more likely due to the lower contrast.

If you want to see more comparisons click here do read the whole post of dmcgaughey.

And so maybe you can understand why, at the end of his post, codyhatch says: “Come on, Adobe, help us unlock the potential of the X-Trans sensor.

As you know, rumors we got (read the post) say that something is moving. According to the rumors, Fuji is now working with Adobe, Apple and DXO towards tweaking the RAW file processing from the new Fuji X-Trans sensor. Could we soon have the potential of the X-Trans sensor unlocked?

For everyone out there who has further information or rumors, write us an email.

bye

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First X-E1 in Stock at Samys Amazon (and new testings).

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At the moment of writing we have one single Silver X-E1 im stock via Samys on Amazon (Click here). It’s the first time the camera is in Stock with the normal price. You will not have a problem to find it in Stock in Germany at Wex and in UK on eBay (via Slidoo).

That said we also have some new reviews to report. A hands-on with RAW image samples on Quesabesde. JPG image samples on Photographyblog and Clubsnap.

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