XF 55-200 preorders now at AmazonUS and UK (order now and be high on list) + B&H ships Zeiss in 6-8 weeks

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FR-reader Roger just told me that AmazonUS finally takes pre-orders here (XF 55-200). He said that “there appears to be no order activity yet as there is no sales rank posted. If this is correct, one could order now and be high on list.” UK-readers can preorder here at AmazonUK (“this item is due to be released on June 14, 2013“)

Preoder the 55-200: BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonUS / AmazonUK / DigitalRev / PCHstore Brussel

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BHphoto estimates that the new Zeiss lenses will ship in 6-8 weeks. So they should be in stock in late June / beginning of July.

Pre-order the 32mm f/1.8 lens (Adorama / BHphoto / Uniquephoto / PCH Brussel)
Pre-order the 12mm f/2.8 lens (Adorama / BHphoto / Uniquephoto / PCH Brussel)

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luminous landscape X100S review: “Fallin’ in Love all Over Again” + XF 55-200 pre-production feedback

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image courtesy: luminous landscape

1) Luminous landscape tested the X100S (specs&price). The reviewer says among the others that although the AF is still not as fast as the OM-D E-M5, it’s fast enough for “pretty much any application this camera will be put to“. The really great thing is that the AF sees in the dark: “Walking the streets of NYC at night, I was able to focus readily on passersby, in conditions that would have been a real challenge with the best rangefinder.  You will run out hand-steadying ability four or five stops before you run out of AF.  This is truly impressive. […] It’s a DSLR  killer for a lot of serious shooters (like Zack Arias whose review is linked here)“.

“A truly modern camera focuses quickly, accurately, often with little light, and at the spot in the frame where the photographer wants it to. The X100S does that. Case closed. […] The best thing that could happen on the next-gen Fuji is a serious simplification of controls. AND, spending another $25 a camera on buttons.  Nice buttons. Expensive, metal-feeling buttons.  That  small step would take the Fuji to a real “premium” level. […] It’s a real photographers’ camera.”

Check out this nice review here.

2) laroquephoto has the opportunity to test the XF 55-200. As it’s still a pre-production model, Fuji doesn’t allow anyone to post full size sample images (there are still improvements that will be made).

“The contrast, sharpness and highlight rendition is right up there with the 35mm f/1.4. My initial feeling is that it even surpasses it. The OIS feels like a Steady-Cam; Manual focussing follows in the footsteps of the 14mm and 18–55mm and keeps me eating my own words about fly by wire. And when mounted on my X-Pro1 the entire kit feels like it’s at least half the weight of my old Nikon 70–200 2.8 on its own.”

Read it all and see the sample pics here.

Preoder the 55-200: BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonUS / DigitalRev / PCHstore Brussel
Check the pre-orders in your country: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

image courtesy: laroquephoto

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It will come! Trusted sources confirm launch of Fuji entry level interchangeable lens camera

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Now we know: it will come! According to trusted sources, Fuji is about to launch an entry level interchangeable lens camera this summer. It should be smaller than the X-E1 with less control buttons or dials… and no viewfinder. I’m working to find out more. Is there someone out there that could make my work easier? I’m all ears ;)

A new source told me here that the price (body+lens) should be of $550 and launched in July (not confirmed until now from trusted sources).

That’s all for now
Patrick

P.S.: You’re not interested in entry level cameras? Then check out this new X-PRO1 body for $ 1,049 at ebayUS here (4 available).

P.P.S.: The X100S is now in stock on AmazonUS (via third party reseller) for normal price here (only 2 left!).

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Zeiss Touit (vs Fuji XF) sample images and feedback (PCH store Brussel)

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Michel from PCH store in Brussel shared with me his Zeiss samples. You can check more at his facebook page. You can pre-order these lenses at PCH Brussel here. He’s not a pro gear reviewer nor pro photographer, but he told me that he made a comparison between the 12mm Zeiss and the 14mm Fuji, and between the 32mm Zeiss and the 35mm Fuji.

“To be honest I do not see something that strikes me, the files look similar, maybe the Zeiss 12mm is a bit smoother and not as sharp, or maybe it is more creamy than the 14mm Fuji, and maybe the 32 Zeiss is a bit sharper, or has better micro contrast? I can not tell really the differences. What is sure is that the Zeiss Lenses are beautiful to see and play with, I like the focus ring a lot, it’s a better feeling than the one of the 35mm. The aperture ring is a bit too smooth for my taste, and one can easily change the aperture without noticing it. It happened to a lot of shots during the comparison, were I had to be careful and check every time the aperture ring cause it had moved […] After testing the 2 lenses 32&35, I found them equally fast, providing that the xf35 has the latest firmware. It’s difficult to say which is faster. The Zeiss on the other hand seems a bit less noisy and the focus seems smoother, I would say not so mechanical. But these are subtle differences. I did not have two bodys to compare.  The Quality of the Zeiss is beautiful, the feel is georgeous, I like them, but image quality wise, they do not seem to be better than the Fuji’s. Only precise tests will tell from the usual Photozone and the likes what the truth is […] Another thing, I’m testing now the Zeiss 32mm, and in manual focus mode, like the Fuji’s, you can still get AF when pressing the AE-L/AF-L button”

For the PCH comparison shots (Fuji vs Zeiss full resolution samples) you can check this dunkelkammer post here.

Pre-order the 32mm f/1.8 lens (Adorama / BHphoto / Uniquephoto / PCH Brussel)
Pre-order the 12mm f/2.8 lens (Adorama / BHphoto / Uniquephoto / PCH Brussel)
XF14mm Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay XF35mm Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

Zeiss 32 f/5.6
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Fuji 35 f/5.6
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Zeiss 32 f/1.8
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Fuji 35 F/1.8
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miXed zone: Dave Kai-Piper’s workshops, X-reviews and more

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AmazonDE (via third party reseller) sells the X-PRO1 for € 935 + € 20 shipping (click here)

Dave Kai-Piper’s travel equipment + Lighting For Location (workshops)

Travel Kit:

Last year Dave Kai-Piper traveled a lot with his X-PRO1. He shared his “travel-kit” on his website here. He tried to travel as light as possible, with, among the others, a 3 Legged things tripod, orbis Ring Flash, Billingham 307 and much more.

Workshops:

“Being a Portrait Photographer these workshops will be tailored to the ideas and concepts of creating wonderful images of people on location.  We will look at all the worries that can arise from shooting on location and create some amazing location based Fashion Portraits.  From Wedding photographers to Fashion to family portrait photographers, if you shoot on location or have to think quick in tricky lighting, this workshop is for you. […] We are very proud to announce two new workshops. While both look at the idea of creating light for location, we are having an introduction lighting day where we will look at the basics of mixing natural light that locations give us with key modelling lights or extra created light. The intensive session will go into more detail looking at multi-lighting set ups and dealing with a technical set ups.”

You can participate to the workshops on 27th and 28th of July. For more information and to book your place check out Dave’s website here.

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X100S

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

1)While you may have plenty of gear at home, the strength of the X100s is its simplicity, mobility and silence. This camera will be always with you! You will grab it without concern about weight, security or complications. With your constant companion, you will take photos you wouldn’t otherwise take.” Check out Olaf’s X100S review and see his beautiful shots here.

image courtesy: Olaf

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2) Click here to see the “top shelf episode 007: photography” at the Verge. Jump to minute 7 where Michael Shane talks about the X100S. He likes it and says that “artistically speaking, the fixed lens, introduces certain restrictions that are really good. Having only a 35mm field of view to work with, changes the way you see scenes, it changes the way you make photos, and I think restrictions like that make you a better photographer.” There is also the Verge review here: “Making today’s pictures with yesterday’s design.”

3) FR-reader Baris: “Hello there, This is Baris from D.C, a Turkish fellow in trouble with writing his thesis :) I am a huge fan of your website. I preordered my X100s and I am expecting to receive it tomorrow. (I am checking the UPS site every 10 minutes). I found a fresh review on CultofMac site (click here).”

Outstanding image quality, great straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) JPGs, the best digital camera CultofMac ever used, some useful tips… but one big problem: “no Leica-logo on the front (kidding!)” Here an extract of his verdict:

“Should you buy it? You probably know the answer already. If you want a rangefinder-style camera, or if you just want a camera that handles as well as any film camera you ever owned, then yes. Go buy it. You’ll love it, and you’ll actually want to take more pictures because of it. If you’re worried that you might need a zoom, or wonder why on Earth you’d ever need an optical ‘finder when you have an electronic one, or you think that 1,200 bucks is way to much for a camera with only one focal length, then no. This might not be for you. And that’s cool, because if Fujifilm had tweaked the camera to appeal to a wider audience, then it would never have made the perfect camera for me.”

4) “Enclosed: one Fuji x100s review” of motobloat at dpreview. “So what are we left with? Well, the Fuji X100s produces as-good-as, or better, images than the majority of those alternatives, and to my eye it’s the best looking of the bunch. Add on top of that the most important things: good ergonomics and handling, a good sensor, and a good lens, and you’ve got a winner. For now. This is a good camera. It takes good pictures. My friends like it. It looks cool. All the cool photographers (some of whom seem to spend more time writing about gear than taking photos) are raving about it. I guess I’d better like it. But is it a DSLR-killer? Hell no. (What are you, high?)  The Fuji Xpro2 or Xpro3 might get there, someday, and until then, I’m waiting in the wings.

5) FR-reader Román linked me the X100S comprehensive TechRadar review. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

They liked: “Fuji’s combination of retro design, robust build and excellent image quality makes the X100S a very desirable camera. The hybrid viewfinder provides a superb view of the scene, and it makes a pleasant change to compose images with the camera held to the eye.” They disliked: “There’s no getting away from the fact that the Fuji X100S is large for a compact camera. In the past we might have been able to excuse it because it has an APS-C format sensor rather than a piddling 1/1.7-inch device or the like, but the APS-C format Nikon Coolpix A is much smaller, and Sony has proved that a full-frame sensor can be squeezed into a tiny camera body. That said, the Sony RX1 costs in the region of £2,600 / US$2,800 / AU$3,000 and it doesn’t have a viewfinder built-in. Given its retro design and the presence of an excellent viewfinder, we are prepared to let the Fuji X100S off for not having a vari-angle screen, but it would be nice to have a touch-sensitive screen.”

TechRadar says also that the “X100S’s JPEG results for dynamic range are less impressive than those for signal to noise ratio, with the camera sitting below the Sony RX100 and Fuji X100 at every sensitivity setting, and below the Canon G1 X until ISO 6400-12800. The Fuji X100S shows less dynamic range in its JPEG images than the Sigma DP1 at ISO 100, but picks up to produce stronger results than the Sigma at every other ISO.

Read the techradar review here.

image courtesy: Techradar (page 5)

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X20

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

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image courtesy: Donato Chirulli (facebook page)

– A wonderful city (Venice), a little great camera (X20) and a talented photographer (Donato Chirulli)… see the images here at Donato’s facebook page. Donato Chirulli is one of the 25 photographers chosen (out of 55,000 photographers worldwide!) by PhotoVogue for the second editon of the “A Glimpse at Photo Vogue” exhibition. See one of the shots that convinced PhotoVogue here at riflessifotografici. Congratulations from Fujirumors! And for a 55-200 sample shot, check this riflessifotografici post here.

– FR-reader Chris sent me via twitter some black and white images he shot with the X20 of the Alaska mountains. Check them out here at facebook.

X-PRO1

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

A lot of recent cameras have updated classic designs rooted in photography’s golden past for the digital age; none have done it better than the X-Pro1. A compact, interchangeable lens system and 16-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor mean there’s plenty of brawn behind the rugged beauty.” This is the reason why the X-PRO1 has reached the 8th position of the “Twenty of the most beautiful examples of industrial design born in recent years” at the T3 Design Award 2012 (click here). This years’ winner: Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Triple win for Fujifilm also at the 2013 red dot design awards: X-PRO1X-E1 and Instax mini 8. Read the press release “Triple win for Fujifilm at the 2013 red dot design awards” at Fuji Canada here

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