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X-Trans and Aperture feedback (and LR5)

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image courtesy: soundimageplus

1) soundimpageplus posted part 1 of his first impressions and comparison pics on his website here. For part 2 click here. Among the others in the first part he says that:

“[…] when I looked at typical ‘problem’ areas for the Fuji files, dense areas of green foliage, it was a different story. The Aperture files, as you can see, are clearly superior and don’t have that unnatural look that the Adobe files have, even with the latest version of ACR. There is none of that ‘smudging’ of detail and the look that some kind of dodgy filter effect has been added. Great you might think, but this does come at a (slight) price. There is definitely some colour noise and moire present in the Aperture files. […]  So overall, I’m VERY impressed with the Aperture renditions and the colour problems I can deal with easily. Finally, this is commonly used raw conversion software (if you use an Apple-Mac that is!) that does justice to the Fuji files and I got some spectacularly good conversions using it.”

2) Also thedigitalstory posted his Aperture vs Lightroom comparison pics here. “In my opinion, both applications do an excellent job of handling .RAF files. And the fact that both Apple and Adobe had the RAW updates so quickly after the release of the new X-Trans cameras (X-20 & X100S), says that both are taking these cameras seriously. Well done.

3) Thomas Fitzgerald also took a closer look at Aperture, and in his second part he could not confirm the the very good impressions he had in his first look. The goodSharper in detail areas. Retains textures and fine detail well in certain circumstances. Sharpens up well with some careful edge sharpening. Good saturation. Ability to switch between Raw and Jpeg very useful.” The bad? “Unacceptable level of chroma noise. Strange mottling in the blue channel, Moire is uncontrolled and uncontrollable. Random scattering of pixels in detail areas.  Initial sharpening can be a little weak, and the raw fine tuning sharpening is not great – you need to know how to use edge sharpening to get the best results.” Check it out here.

4) Jim Gamblin compared different RAW converters: Adobe Camera RAW 7.4, SilkyPix which came with the Camera, Raw Photo Processor 64, Apple’s newest update to Aperture and the SOOC jpeg. “Given I have done nothing other then open the RAW (RAF) file in each of the RAW converters and resize them for this site, my opinion is Apeture does the nicest job.  The color and detail to me seem the best of the lot.  Opinions will vary on this, I am sure .[…]  The SOOC jpeg doesn’t look too bad either.  In fact the Apeture version and SOOC jpeg look very similar to me, so I did double check and they repersented faithfully.” See the comparison pics here.

5) A review of the new features of Lightroom 5 can be read over here at andreinicoara. His favorite feature is the new radial filter. Check this youtube video.

Tested: X20 review at dpreview

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If you have some spare time, you could use it to read the comprehensive X20 review over here at dpreview. The X20 has an overall score of 77%. For a quick overview, read the PROS and CONS here:

“The Fujifilm X20 is a true enthusiast’s compact, with solid build quality, a fast lens, unique optical viewfinder, and sharp, high resolution photos. It offers a wide selection of manual controls, easily adjustable settings (thanks to twin control dials, the Fn button, and Quick Menu), and 1080/60p video recording. Downsides include a mediocre, hard-to-access movie mode and sub-par battery life. Good for: Enthusiasts and low light shooters who want a compact camera with high-end build quality and features. Not so good for: Users who want to get a full day of shooting out of one battery. Movie enthusiasts.”

Fuji X20: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

XF 55-200 first look by Tony Bridge

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image courtesy: Tony Bridge (Fujifilm X-E1, Fujinon 55-200mm)

It’s autumn in New Zeland, and Tony Bridge went with his pre-production 55-200 to his favorite place to take some pictures in the dawn. Read the in field test of Tony Bridge at his website here. I’ll post just a short extract:

“Fitted to either an X-Pro 1 or X-E1, it sits nicely in the hand and balances well, and the fit and finish is Fuji-superb […] The stabilisation really works, and I found myself able to handhold at 1/50 second in damp and unpleasant circumstances. […] The scene I photographed is rich in micro-detail, including power pylons, farmhouses, trees of various species and fine lines from intense agriculture. They are guaranteed to test any lens, and I wondered if the lens would deliver what I was the asking of it. It did. […] the lens is sharp right out to the corners, and contains a remarkable sense of three-dimensionality. The files required little or no sharpening, and micro-detail requires little or no extra work. If anything the lens is a little too sharp, and I found myself applying softening in places to create a greater sense of distance-reality. Colouration too seems a little on the cool side, but it is particularly responsive to reds and yellows. […] I was more interested in how the lens would cope in the field, how it would resolve detail, its flare and contrast characteristics, and above all whether it had that indefinable X factor, that sense of character and colour and light and space which marks a truly great lens. It has all of them. In spades.”

Preoder the lens at BHphoto, Adorama or DigitalRev.
Check the in stock status in your country: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

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 D800. Read the article, look at the video and see the beautiful images here.

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X100S

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– 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 OM-D 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

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– “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

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

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 GH3, Olympus OM-D EM-5 and X-PRO1 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

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– 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

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– 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.