Fuji’s idea of Kaizen, or why Fuji frequently releases firmware updates

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The brand new [shoplink 10075]X100S[/shoplink] has already been updated with a new firmware (1.02). I was curious to know why Fuji seems to release firmware updates more often than other companies. So I made a little search and stumbled across this article at fujifilmxseries.

According to the author “some manufacturers might be reluctant to update firmware, as it represents, in a sense, an admission that things were not correct or perfect at the time of product release“. This isn’t the case of Fujifilm, as they frequently release firmware updates to improve their cameras. This philosophy can be summarized in one word: KAIZEN… and, unless you are a Japanese reader, many of you probably won’t know what “kaizen” means. Fujifilmxseries looked for the definition:

kaizen […] My iOS dictionary […] defines kaizen as “betterment, improvement.” It then expands thusly, “kaizen (Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement). […] Thus, strictly speaking, I’m not sure that firmware updates in of themselves are an example of kaizen. However, the frequent refinement of the firmware itself most probably is, and Fujifilm can only be applauded in extending this concept out to cameras already in the hands of consumers, rather than waiting for the cycle of new generation releases. If nothing else, an understanding of kaizen might offer a convenient framework for interpreting why Fujifilm frequently updates firmware, rather than attempting to ‘get it right’ the first time round. It was ‘right,’ now it’s ‘more right.’”

There is always something to improve. Now, just add in the comments what you would like to have fixed (or added) with the next firmware update: faster autofocus, focus peaking for the X-E1/X-PRO1, set minimum shutter speed when in Auto-ISO, customizable “Q menu”… just extend this list in the comments.

Over at uservoice you can vote a X100S firmware-poll (thanks Fredrik).

Kaizen (wikipedia) / fujifilmxseries (read here)

enjoy your Sunday
Patrick

miXed zone: restoring a theater and X-series reviews

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image courtesy: dave kai piper

– “During a recent trip to the USA, Sam Krisch arranged a trip to a GORGEOUS old theatre. This is a little story about the fundraising project to restore it.” Almost every image you’ll see has been taken with the X-PRO1. The rest with a [shoplink 11193]D800[/shoplink]. Read the article, look at the video and see the beautiful images here.

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X100S

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– Was Zack Arias exaggerating when he said that the X100S is the best camera he has ever owned? According to kevinmullinsphotography no! “The Fujifilm X100S is a wonderful camera, and I genuinely mean that.  Zack Arias said it is the best camera he has ever owned and you know what, I think I may well agree with him.” Read why here.

– It’s a mere specs comparison, but if you are interested in it, see how the X100S deals against the brand new ultra compact, cheap APS-C Ricoh GR (check price and specs at BHphoto and Adorama). The winner is the X100S, but check it out by yourself here. Over at mirrorlessrumors you can read a comparison of the GR against the rest of the world high end compact cameras (including X-PRO1).

– A few words and a lot of images… but pay attention, “the X100s’ review LCD shows a pretty bad representation of the actual photograph. So don’t delete in camera immediately! Wait till you import them onto your computer!” Read danielkcheung’s review here.

– A X100S vs [shoplink 11210 ebay]OM-D[/shoplink] here at mirrorlessons.

– X100S photoreview here. They say that the X100S is “good for landscape photography, group portraits, street photography, (especially scenic shots) shooting in low light levels travel (provided you can tolerate the fixed focal length lens and not so good for shooting sports and action, close-up shooting and shooting movies.” Check it out here.

– confessionsxl posted his X100S video review here. Take a look at it!

X20

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– “Soft background with the X20” here at thedigitalstory.

– Japanese dc-watch review here (translated version).

– focus-numerique posted his full X20 review here (translated version)

X-E1

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You’ll need some time to read the comprehensive X-E1 review of imaging-resource here. They compare it with many other cameras, like the [shoplink 11360]GH3[/shoplink], [shoplink 11210]Olympus OM-D EM-5[/shoplink] and [shoplink 10261]X-PRO1[/shoplink] at different ISO settings. From the conclusions:

“Our photos, however, looked wonderful — with lots of resolution and detail (partly due to the absence of a low-pass filter). And thanks to the X-Trans sensor technology, there was also a low incidence of moiré despite the lack of the LP filter. While we didn’t expect much from the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens — which is the first zoom for Fuji’s X-series interchangeable lens cameras — it produced images with impressive sharpness and professional looking background blur (bokeh), which is great for portraits. The X-E1 also really stood out against the competition in low-light situations and higher ISOs (especially in the 1,600 to 3,200 range). The camera’s operational performance was a mixed bag, however, with some full AF shutter lag and shot-to-shot speed issues. The X-E1 was also painfully slow to wake up from sleep mode, which resulted in some missed candid shots. Bottom line though, there’s not a lot to complain about with the X-E1, especially considering its more budget-friendly price tag.”

image courtesy: imaging-resource

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X-PRO1

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– Grimmy vs Plummy: “Love your site! Always on it to check up on your latest rumors. I use my X-Pro1 everyday practically and started my own little challenge with my Fiance.. She owns the OM-D and started our own challenge that lets people vote who takes better shots. If you have time please check it out here. Keep up the great work with your site!”

XF1

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– Head to head: XF1 vs X10 here.

– cameras.about.com review here: “The Fujifilm XF1 is one of the more interesting looking cameras currently on the market. Not only does the synthetic leather covering give the XF1 a unique design, but its boxy shape and aluminum trim contribute to a retro look for this camera

– Pcmag review here. “The Fujifilm XF1 is a neat retro-look compact camera with sharp optics, but its light-gathering capability diminishes as you zoom.

X100S firmware 1.02 available!

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Fuji is famous for frequently releasing firmware updates and the constant improvement of its cameras. Now they just released the firmware 1.02 for the X100S here.

The phenomenon is fixed that the brightness of the OVF bright frame doesn’t change according to a surrounding brightness in case of ISO 1600 and higher.

Keep it up Fuji!… and what should be next? A fully customizable Q-menu as Ivar suggest in the comments? (RAW shooters would be very happy)

If you want to know how to do update, check out Fuji’s clear step by step guide here (and read Rico’s firmware update tips.)

cheers
Patrick (and thanks for the link, Kim)

Fuji X100S update guide

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Silkypix 5: improved image processing of X-TRANS files soon!

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Silkypix 5 promises better X-TRANS RAW-files support soon. Here is the press release:

“Ichikawa Soft Laboratory (Representative Director: Yoshikuni Ichikawa; Headquarters: Chiba City) has succeeded in improving image processing algorithms in the digital development software “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro5,” further improving picture quality when developing RAW images from the “X-Trans CMOS Sensors.”

“SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro5” has received high praise on its image quality from many customers since it became compatible with “X-Trans CMOS Sensors” (16 February 2012), but with these improved image processing algorithms, it can now further utilize the functions in “X-Trans CMOS Sensors,” as well as create images that maintain high resolution while eliminating images such as moiré.

We have already completed the technology for improving these image processing algorithms, and plan on releasing an updated version of “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro5” in the near future.

For every Silkypix user ou there, click here to check it out.

Free X-E1/X-PRO1 photographers guide book PDF

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If you click on this link, you’ll be able to download a free PDF photographers guidbook for the X-E1. (If you want the free X-PRO1 book [with instruction on how to use SILKYPIX], click here) From the description:

“This is an official guidebook for the premium interchangeable lens camera, FUJIFILM X-E1. It is intended to help users enjoy photography even more with tips on how to use each of the various functions. It also includes an interview of photographer and some gallery of their works.”

It can’t match Rico’s “Mastering the X-PRO1“(Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version), but take a look at it, it’s nice, free and well worth a read!

And check Fujifilm’s lenses and accessories catalogue here (PDF)

Fuji X-E1: [shopcountry 10259] Fuji X-PRO1: [shopcountry 10261]