miXed zone: The Valley of Ghosts, X-talk, X-reviews and Iridient Developer

Iridient Developer

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image courtesy: soundimpageplus (in the middle Iridient, at the bottom Photoshop)

1) Now also soundimageplus joined to the group of photographers who use Iridient to process their X-Trans RAF files (click here). [check also this FR-post here and vote the poll] Among the others he says that:

“You will clearly see how much more detail and sharpness there is in the Iridient Developer version, which is just from the X-E1 preset. The ACR file has sharpening added but still produces a softish ‘smeared’ result. The advantage of Iridient Developer over Aperture is that it is slightly sharper and still keeps the colour noise and moire under control. If you have a Fuji X camera and a MAC,, give it a try. I think you will be impressed.”

2) FR-readers Olaf and Kasia visited the Valley of The Ghosts with the X-PRO1 and X100S… don’t be scared, if you click here, you’ll just see some beautiful shots. All images were processed with Iridient 2.1 and LR: “Iridient Developer is new software, which supports the X-Trans files really well (the best demosaic so far?). We will share more about this in the upcoming posts.”

image courtesy: Olaf & Kasia

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X-talk

– The Lens Wipe contacted me at the FR-facebook page and told me: “We did an interview with Kevin Mullins who uses the X-series cameras extensively in his wedding photography. Though it would be interesting for you guys. The Lens Wipe is on iTunes or just use this link.”

X-M1

X-M1 (body only or with 16-50mm)USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA XC 16-50: WexUK / PCHstore

– Ahead of their full review ephotozine published some samples shot taken with the X-M1 using the 16-50 lens here and the 27mm lens here.

– A 2 minute X-M1 preview video at the digital camera world here.

X100S

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– X100S and infrared at digitalrelish here. “With the release of the X100S and its enhanced high ISO performance offering the possibility of going tripod-less whilst using an IR filter, I set off for a week away in the English countryside.  I wasn’t disappointed with the results from the camera. The combination of a higher resolution 16MP X-Trans sensor for more detail, the improved high ISO performance for less noise […]”

Matti Sulanto was on the streets of London with his X100S and XF1. The text is in Finnish, but the images are universal… see them here.

 X20

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

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image courtesy: eyalg

eyalg posted his well made X20 review here: “Autofocus in most conditions and situations is very fast. Instantaneous almost. Even in low light, the X20 manages to lock focus better than I expected, even when taking into account that it’s a high-end compact. In macro mode, AF is generally to slow to catch an insect without effort. I had to make several attempts to shoot a bee or a spider up close. […] Battery life is surprisingly better than advertised. I was able to take about 600 shots before having to charge the battery – that’s more than twice the official number.”

– Read thephoblographer‘s review of the X20 here: “The Fujifilm X20 is a great choice for the discerning street photographer and photojournalist. Despite its diminutive size, it packs a punch that shows itself in post. With a beautiful design and powerful innards, the X20 will get you the images you need. Just remember to get your mind out of manual focusing with this, but if you find that you absolutely have to, a tripod would be a good thing to have on hand.”

– X20 or X100S: “As you can see, the X20 and X100s are very different cameras, even though they share many similarities when it comes to design and technology such as the X-Trans Sensor. The diverse lens system and a different sensor size are the key elements that separate these two cameras from each other. It goes without saying that the X100s has been designed with professional photographers in mind, while the X20 is aimed more at the amateur/enthusiast who wants upgrade from a simple point-and-shoot.” Read it all here at mirrorlessons.

karimhaddad posted his thoughts about the X20 (or “X-junior“) here. The conclusion: “Even though I didn’t really need it, I’m still happy I bought this fun camera. It’s portable, although not small enough to fit in your pockets – unless you have some really big pockets. For you ladies, it’s small enough to fit in some of those purses you use. Most importantly, it takes some very nice pictures and gives the photographer many options to choose from. There may be some similar sized cameras that take better pictures, but I haven’t used them. I’ve played around with the X20 enough to know that it’s a great piece of kit. In many ways, the X-junior is my new walkaround.”

image courtesy: karimhaddad

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lenses

admiringlight tested the 12mm Zeiss Touit lens. The eternal question, Zeiss 12 or Fuji 14? And it’s again the Fuji! Read the whole review here.

– the German digitalcamera.de tested the new Zeiss Touit lenses. Read it here (translated version).

– Fuji 55-200 mm on a 720nm IR converted X Pro 1 at markhilliardatelier here: “As you can see as you get to f/11 we start to develop a small hot spot, but nothing that cannot be fixed.  Above f/11 the lens becomes unusable at the wide end.”

– Hand on the 55-200 at mirrorlessons here:In short, the 55-200mm is a very nice lens but I would never buy it. If you, however, feel it is the kind of lens that could meet your needs, you can check out additional photos below and the first article I wrote about his lens.

– A car race and the 55-200. See the results here at nicolaslambert in French (translated version). From the verdict: “Is it possible to take pictures of sports with its new Fuji telephoto? Yes, but …I think that to make a bet at the correct point, one must understand how the work of AF Fuji and therefore target areas with a contrast. For example, in this case here, a sticker with the lettering, the number …

FinePix HS50EXR

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR review at photographyblog. “As Fujifilm make a big play of in their marketing, the HS50EXR really is an all-in-one camera that will cope with virtually everything that you can throw at it, from macro photography to extreme close-ups of sports and nature. It also successfully mimicks the handling of a typical DSLR camera, with the obvious advantage of not having to carry several big, heavy and expensive lenses to achieve anywhere near the focal range that the HS50EXR offers out-of-the-box.

switching to the Fuji X: leave the DSLR world behind

Feel free to share your thoughts, stories and shots with Fujirumors (facebooktwitter)… and enjoy your weekend.

tzSantos

Hello Patrick! Ive been following FR for quite a while, allways collecting great info from you and other readers. Thanks for sharing all the insights and all the effort you put into it! I want to share with you my switch to fuji´s  X-system you can find it here (translated version)

I moved to Fuji!!! Now What?!! life still runs….

In the last couple of years my clients and their demands have changed, so has my course deeper into the food, product and interior photography but something else, deep inside really needed an ouverhaul and that was my aproach and concept of photography.

In the last year we´ve been assisting to a war between the major brands about megapixels and ISO Performance…disregarding the users, and they´re demands. So Fuji comes up with the X100…. something new and refreshing hited the market. i started do get curious, but the single lens wasnt a fit for my comissioned jobs.  Then the Xpro 1 and  X-E1 came along those were my answered prayers!!

I borrowed a x100, and tok it to a job, I LOVED IT!!! it was a Judo Masterclass and several keynote presentations… totalizing a 6h reportage, I delivered mainly x100 images to my clients. and my big heavy DSLR stood in the bag most of the time.

The game was on! The lightness, inconspicuousness, high quality files, Stunning high ISO performance, packed with a fun and challenging camera, gave me the final push into the X-System cameras.

within two months i sold all my pro Nikon Gear, and bought a Fuji X-E1 + 18-55. It was a deep dive but i had the help of Antonio Homem Cardoso the portuguese X-photographer and also the Royal family personal shooter. He drove me throught the process and cleared some doubts that only users could answer.

3 days after getting my hands on the X-E1, I had a reportage job in agenda, i didnt want to make any mistake so i borrowed a D600 + 24-70, I just couldnt risk fighting with the new system while in reportage and loose the pictures that were happening in front of me. That didnt happened!! and the images were Stunning…  all done with the X-E1!!

I cant say everything is now perfect and amazing, there are still a few issues and quirks but they all keep this camera charming, and it really makes me slow down and think throuh my settings and framing….. in the end…. I really found what i was missing in DSLRs… the fun and pleasure of creating images, for the pure pleasure of creating something mine and personal.

tzSantos

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Fred

Dear Patrick,
I’m a long-time follower and fan of Fujirumours who has just upgraded from X100 to X100s. Like many of your contributors, I too used to pack a 12kg backpack full of a D800, 4-5 primes, flashes, blah, blah.. But in 3 years my photography hadn’t progressed. I was paralysed by choice and becoming obsessed with pixel- and lens-porn. Every time I had the urge to go and shoot, I looked at the backpack and thought, “Nah… too hard, maybe tomorrow”.

Then I saw the light and sold the lot. Sure, I lost money- lots, actually. But I’m happier and never going back to dSLR-land. I usually shoot people, not things, and never people doing sport- so the X100s is my ideal camera. I’m still on a steep learning curve, but I know my skills have improved because I’m a) now taking the camera out with me, and b) actually thinking about the shot, instead of which lens would be better for the shot.

Shooting at 35mm is perfect for what I do, but I will be buying the WCL as soon as I can afford to- Saigon has some VERY tight spaces to shoot in.
I have Tumblr blog if you think it’s suitable to share on the forum. It’s not just photos, but some writing on my life as an independent researcher in VN. I’d refer you to the Ha Tien wedding posts for the best X100s shots (last weekend was my first play with it). There is other more confronting stuff there, all shot with the X100. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts. There are some brief explanatory notes with the posts.

I’m not going to begin to review this over-reviewed camera again here (I’m so not qualified, anyways!). But here’s what I think about it compared to the X100 after week one:

AF– single shot, yes it’s much better- certainly not dSLR-quick, but more than quick enough to catch street action 95% of the time in Vietnam. The X100 had a 30% suck rate on this.
AF-cont- not tried it yet
MF– I like the peaking, but yes, red would be a better colour choice. The faux split screen thing?- Meh! it’s a gimmick.

Handling tweaks- again, improved, but still nearly deleted a whole card’s worth of images by accident- that cheap crappy plastic scrollwheel really belongs on a $120 camera, not something worth $1300- lift your game here, Fuji.

High ISO noise? There is none in the range that normal people want to take pictures. For pixel-peeping wankers, doubtless they’ll find noise.

Image quality– This is where I think there is more than an incremental improvement. I was especially looking for improved range in the skin tones. The 14bit depth has made that difference- and it’s dramatic in my opinion.
There’s a tonal quality that comes through in the B&W conversions, too. For taking pictures of Vietnamese faces, this camera is just unbeatable. My girlfriend’s sister’s skin looks beautiful at her wedding.

In addition, kiboshing the LPF, and cranking the pixel count have both of course contributed to sharper images with more resolved detail.

I was interested to see that the SOOC jpeg (ProNegNormal- default everything), seemed a little bluer/less red than the RAW files I’d converted using the default Fujifilm X100s settings in CaptureOne.

My love affair with the X100s has just begun. I have a photoessay project to embark on over the next few weeks. I will use the X100s for this and send you a link once it’s ready.
Here’s the blog link for now.

http://gunzzel.tumblr.com/

Thank you for keeping my excitement alive for the past few months whilst I’ve been saving for the X100s upgrade. I browsed ‘rumors’ at least 5 times a day, and will continue to do so for inspiration. Keep up the wonderful work, Patrick!

best regards,
gunzzel (Fred Abery)

Fred

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Brad

Here’s my blog post and pictures about trying out the X100s on a vacation. I’m not a full time professional photographer, and the pictures are your basic family vacation type shots, but they might be interesting to see for folks like me.

“Even though I was having to figure this camera out on the fly, I really enjoyed shooting with it.  I loved its size (so much smaller than my DSLR rig).  And I loved the pictures that were coming out of it (even those that weren’t in perfect focus). I did find that, at times, I missed not having a zoom lens […].  Honestly though, I didn’t miss lugging around extra equipment. Having just the, comparatively, small camera hanging off my shoulder was freeing. […] Fuji X100s was the perfect (for me) size camera for my family vacation.

Now the sad part.  I sold the X100s right after we got home.  I promised my wife I wouldn’t keep it, so I put it on Craigslist and it sold immediately. Then… I starting missing it.  I picked up my Canon and the weight of it instantly reminded me of lighter days with the X100s.

Then the idea hit me that I might want to leave the DSLR world behind and go mirrorless. […] And there are some challenges with the X-Pro 1.  Again, the auto focus is nothing like my DSLR.  I can’t really use it for some of the things I shoot a lot–sports.

Brad

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Timo

Hello. First of all thanks for the great site! Just wanted to share my  thoughts about switching from Canon to Fuji. Take a look @  http://timokoponen.blogspot.fi/2013/06/hello-world-and-switching-from-canon-to.html

“[…] I recently sold my full frame Canon kit (5D mkII, Sigma 35mm f1.4 and 100mm f2.8 L macro) and bought some magic beans from the Fujifilm Holdings Corporation. 2 magic beans, to be exact. Fuji x-pro 1 (with Fujinon 60mm macro lens) and x100. And oh boy.. those are some fucking tasty beans (and full of magic). When it comes to image quality, they outresolve my old Canon kit in every way, color, dynamic range, high iso.. and they are small&sexy.

Small and sexy. For me, those are important things. More important than the image quality from the camera (I mean, really, I could have bought ANY camera system on the market and the IQ would have been more than sufficient for my use). I think that Fuji cameras look really […] cool, simple as that. And they are small, not as intimidating as the big dslrs are, a big chunky dslr covers the photographers face and makes him look like a some kind freaky one eyed cyborg, x100 and x-pro 1 allow me to have eye contact with the model while shooting (which is nice, people tend to response better to someone who has, you know, a human face). […]”

Timo

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P.S.: You may have already seen this video, but also Samsung suggests to leave the DSLR world behind and switch to Fuji X ;)

The X-series lost its soul! X-M1 in Cuba (laroquephoto)

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image courtesy: laroquephoto

The X-series is more than just stunning image quality. The viewfinder, the lenses with aperture ring, the retro design, the controls and more are part of the “soul” of the X-series. This is why Patrick La Roque, when asked if he would buy or not the X-M1, gives a clear answer: NO! The X-M1 is simply a digital camera that delivers fabulous images but there is no “true photography” feeling as with the other X-Trans cameras. But keep in mind that pro-photographers are not really the target of the X-M1. Read Patrick’s article here.

“Leaving out the viewfinder, building lenses without aperture rings… When you strip away the physicality of that experience what are you left with? A Canon or a Nikon. The camera’s image quality is fabulous but in the end, it’s a robot. It’s a digital camera that flaunts its digital nature at every turn and takes all the immediacy, stealth, thoughtfullness and pleasure out of the equation. It completely disconnects you from the scene. I know I’m being harsh but there’s a reason I’m so enthusiastic about the X series; this ain’t it.”

Tell me, what should Fuji do to save the X-series. What’s the “soul” of the X-series? Make a list with your suggestions in the comments (I’ll then make a poll).

X-M1 (body only or with 16-50mm)USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA XC 16-50: WexUK / PCHstore

 

anti-deal: X-M1 for $9,999 – free shipping :)

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Fuji is the new Leica… at least if we look at the price at top rated reseller K&K Digital (via AmazonUS). $9,999 (free shipping) for the entry level X-series camera X-M1! Click here to check this Anti-Deal! Or save $2000 and get the Leica M9-P (AmazonUSyour ebay) with sapphire glass display and vulcanite leatherette covering.

btw, can Fuji be considered as the new Leica? Can the X-series really compete with the red dot cameras? Fuji vs Leica… feel free to leave a comment.

X-M1 (body only or with 16-50mm)USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore XC 16-50: WexUK / PCHstore

FR-readers roundup: X-E1 top ten photos, night photography, niggles and wedding

The Fuji Guys posted part 1/3 of their X-M1 first look at youtube here. For a deeper look at the top features and the new lenses (16-50 / 27) we have to wait for part 2/3 and 3/3.

pre-orders

X-M1 (body only or with 16-50mm)USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore XC 16-50: WexUK / PCHstore

FR-readers roundup

Lawrence: “hi Fujirumors. It’s been a month since I got my Fuji X-E1. Here’s my top 10 photos so far! Feel free to link to it”

Lawrence

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– Brandon: “Hey there, Been reading your site every since I found out about the various new cameras that Fuji has been working-on– keep up the good work! I know the X-E1 is not exactly the newest camera at this point, but I’ve not seen very many examples of night photography taken with it.  I put it to the test this past weekend and thought maybe your readers would be interested in seeing some night photography shots (click here).”

“Overall, I came away VERY impressed with how the Fuji lenses and sensor performed when used for night photography.  The accuracy of the auto white balance in the X-E1 is simply in a category of its own.  The combination of Fuji lenses and its sensor produce amazingly colorful and sharp photos that to me are quite impressive.  Most night photos in color don’t do much for me but these blew me away in color. I would not hesitate to recommend the Fujifilm X-E1 and 14mm & 35mm lenses for night photography.”

Brandon

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– Andrew: “Hi, […] some thoughts on the X Pro 1 from an old pro.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the camera, but there are too many BUTS at the moment and not enough people are mentioning them.
I know 3 other pro’s using this camera and I am not alone in my frustration. So I hope you will print this to elicit some decent conversation. And by that, I don’t mean a whole lot of net trolls whinging about my Leica comments.
cheers Andrew.

With a little time on my hands the other day, I decided to drop into see the friendly Leica dealer on Ave Beaumarche in Paris and with SD card in hand, try a few shots with the new Leica M (240).
I’m no pixel peeper, so I won’t bore you with my results, but what struck me right away was how well it worked as a camera and how much quicker it felt than my X Pro 1. I do own an M6, but all the same, this camera felt intuitive in my hands.
Heresy I hear you Fuji owners say, but let me explain. I’ve been pounding the pavements of Paris this last few weeks and daily taking many hundreds of photographs in what I would call a street style. I’ve had some good success, but I’m bothered by the amount of shots I’ve missed whilst the camera is getting up and going or deciding on it’s point of focus. Street photography is by it’s very nature reactive and quick and I admit, that after 40 years in the business and a number of eye operations, I am slowing down a bit.

What struck me when using the Leica, was the speed, manually focussing and all, between seeing and shooting. So I thought I would make a few observations to Mr Fuji about his sometimes wonderful machine.

The positives of the X Pro1 we all know well, a great feeling camera, well made and with some great glass, as good as a Leica, I’m told. Compact, lightweight, a good optical/digital viewfinder and a great future lens roadmap. It’s a seductive list and it seduced me to lay out for the body and 4 prime lenses.

So, why aren’t I completely happy? Well here is a list of things that bother me that I feel should not be happening.
Battery life is woeful. I rarely use the EVF or leave the rear screen on and am constantly getting caught out with a flat battery. Ever owned a Canon 5D mk 2 or 3, then you will know what great batteries can be like. You can just about shoot all day with 1 Canon battery and I cannot see why the X Pro 1 with only a single processor and no mirror cannot match this performance. I’ve been caught out so many times by sudden battery death and I never leave home without them fully charged.

Whilst on the subject of batteries, why are all the Fuji models using different sized ones. There must be a heap of pros and advanced amateurs shooting both X Pro 1’s and X100’s and I bet it frustrates the hell out of them, having to run two sets of batteries and chargers. And who was responsible for designing a battery that could be put in backwards rendering the camera inoperable? DESIGN 101, a bit of forethought would have gone a long way.

Now we come to my real bugbear, the menu layouts. Is it just me or does everyone find themselves all of a sudden shooting away, only to find that the camera setup has changed, the auto level has gone, or the EVF won’t shut off. What the hell is going on and why does it have to be so hard???????
I’m an Apple Mac user and despite what my jealous PC mates tell me, I use Macs not because they look so much nicer than a PC, but because of their functionality.
Macs work, simply, efficiently and generally with little fuss, once you get the swing, there is an obvious logical workflow to using them and it’s that obvious logical workflow that seems to have gone astray with the X Pro 1….. It shouldn’t have to be so hard. Software engineers seem to think, that because they understand the logic of a process, their customers will too. Well using the X Pro 1 can be a bit like recording your favourite program with the TV remote and I’m sure you all know what I mean here.
Hey Fuji guys, why not second a few of those Apple software designers for a few months and rebuild the interface from the ground up. I’m feeling decidedly unsure of explaining myself properly here, but I know in my heart things can be a lot better.

And finally, is there any point to having a whinge about autofocus speed? You betcha there is. If we are going to have a serious contender as a street camera, then things have got to change. I know there is a rumoured X Pro 2 in the wings with a rumoured twin processor inside it, but there must still be a fair bit of latitude via software upgrades to improving things on the current model (the same goes for battery performance I suspect). Well, we shall wait and see what next July brings with it’s rumoured upgrade. Those of us who have put their faith in the X Pro 1, should not have to put our hands back into our pockets when the X Pro 2 arrives, just to get what we thought we were getting in the first place! [admin: read the updated rumor here. The X-PRO2 won’t come before late 2013, early 2014] When you look at the heritage of Leica cameras, even the 1939 model 3A I have still works so well, albeit a bit bruised and battered.

Fujifilm is hardly a small company with little resources available to sort out these teething issues. So, finally, what’s in all of this for Fuji? Well, they are sitting on the edge of greatness here with their cameras and they need to start asking themselves the hard questions. Do they want to play in the big sandpit with Mr Canon, Mr Leica and Mr Nikon, or do they want to be consigned to the trashcan of camera design history, just another camera manufacturer that nearly made it, a could have been…..  The ball’s in your court guys. Greatness awaits.

Andrew

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– Craig: “In case you can use this on the Fuji Rumors”… Fujifilm Xpro-1 – Wedding Photographs – The Beauty of Black and White here.

Craig

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