found via DealsRunner.com (Subscribe to get deal info faster than you can get them here on FR).
Talk to Rico (open forum for questions & feedback) – Rico’s Flickr sets – Touit 1.8/32 samples – Touit 2.8/12 samples – Touit vs. Fujinon comparative samples (Flickr Guest Pass) – Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1 reading samples (65 free pages)Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32, Fujifilm X-E1 (ISO 200, f/2, 1/1200s), RAW, Lightroom 5, DxO FilmPack 4
Why would a business-savvy lens manufacturer like Carl Zeiss decide to introduce two prime lenses for X-Mount cameras that compete head-to-head with already existing, smaller and cheaper Fujinon offerings, while at the same time ignoring obvious gaps like a fast 23mm lens?
It’s a Sony
The answer is: they wouldn’t. And they didn’t! The new Zeiss Tout 1.8/32mm and 2.8/12mm prime lenses are quite obviously targeted at customers of Sony’s NEX camera system. They perfectly fit into Sony’s current lens lineup, and their design is pretty much in line with the sleek NEX appearance. A fast 23 mm lens to satisfy the cravings of the X-Mount crowd? No such luck, because Zeiss and Sony already offer such a lens (a 1.8/24) for NEX. This is apparently all about what Sony NEX customers want and need.Carl Zeiss Touit 2.8/12, Fujifilm X-E1 (ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/480s), RAW, Lightroom 4.4
So the X-Mount versions of the Touit lenses were clearly one of those “me too” decisions. But why did Fuji go along with it and invite a formidable competitor like Carl Zeiss into their home, not only offering full technical support and cooperation, but even co-marketing the Touit lenses? I know the real answer but don’t want to spill the beans just yet, so let’s just say that Fujifilm is making money with each X-Mount Touit lens that’s sold. They also like the Zeiss brand’s premium image and the resulting image transfer to the Fuji brand. After all, Panasonic also loves to put a Leica logo on their cameras and MFT lenses.
This is a hell of a news! First Fuji and Panasonic announced a new partnership. And the second big news is that they have already developed the first organic sensor! Here is the press release that explains all the advantages of the new sensor tech:
Here is the Press release (via Fujifilm):
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) and Panasonic Corporation (President: Kazuhiro Tsuga) have developed organic CMOS image sensor technology that uses an organic photoelectric conversion layer with a photoelectric conversion property at the light receiving section of an image sensor to achieve performance beyond that of conventional image sensors**. Applying this technology to the image sensors of digital cameras and other imaging devices expands its dynamic range*** and enhances sensitivity*4 further to prevent highlight clipping in bright scenes and capture a dark subject with vivid colors and rich textures.
The industry has put into continuous efforts to explore image sensor technologies for increasing their number of pixels. This has dramatically improved sensor resolutions, but, in order to further boost image quality, it is necessary to expand the dynamic range, enhance sensitivity and prevent cross-talk or color mixing between pixels. Panasonic took advantage of its semiconductor device technology to boost image quality for its high-performance image sensors. Fujifilm, on the other hand, has developed highly-reliable organic photoelectric conversion layer with high absorption coefficient to be used on a sensor’s light receiving section instead of silicon photodiode*5 in its effort to build a new image sensor technology.
In the latest collaboration, Fujifilm and Panasonic have combined Fujifilm’s organic photoelectric conversion layer technology with Panasonic’s semiconductor device technology to jointly develop an organic CMOS image sensor that outperforms conventional image sensors. The new organic CMOS image sensor offers the industry’s highest dynamic range of 88dB, advanced sensitivity 1.2 times more sensitive than conventional sensors** and broader range of incident angle*6 to enable the production of more sensitive and compact cameras with better image quality.
The two companies will promote the application of this organic CMOS image sensor technology to a wide range of products including security cameras, in-vehicle cameras, mobile device and digital cameras.
Fujifilm and Panasonic will present the research results at the 2013 Symposium on VLSI Technology (VLSI2013) to be held in Kyoto on June 11, and the 2013 International Image Sensor Workshop to be held in Utah, U.S.A. on June 15.
- *Performance of the light receiving section of image sensors, as of June 11, 2013 according to Panasonic data.
- **Estimation from Panasonic image sensors
- ***Range of light that can be recorded (ratio between the brightest and darkest areas recorded)
- *4The sensitivity of image sensors refers to the conversion ratio of light into electric signals. The greater the sensitivity is, the clearer you can capture low-light scenes.
- *5A type of photo detector that senses incident light, installed for each image sensor pixel to convert light into electric signals
- *6Range of incident light angles for efficient conversion into electric signals
Overview of the newly-developed organic CMOS image sensor technology
A conventional image sensor consists of a silicon photodiode for capturing light, metal interconnect, color filter and on-chip micro-lens. The newly-developed organic CMOS image sensor technology uses organic photoelectric conversion layer with high absorption coefficient instead of the silicon photodiode, reducing the thickness of the light receiving section down to 0.5 microns, i.e. one severalth of the thickness of a silicon photodiode. This structure provides the following benefits:
- (1)Industry’s highest dynamic range of 88dB to prevent highlight clipping and produce a vivid and texture-rich image even in low light
- Panasonic’s semiconductor device technology has improved the signal saturation value*7 by four folds compared to that of conventional image sensors. Coupled with the newly-developed noise-cancelling circuit, the sensor technology provides the industry’s highest dynamic range of 88dB, preventing highlight clipping in bright scenes and capturing a vivid and texture-rich image in low light.
- *7The maximum amount of electric signals that can be handled. Receiving a signal greater than this value leads to highlight clipping.
- (2)1.2 times higher sensitivity than conventional sensors to capture clear images even in low light
- The transistors and metal interconnects in each pixel, fabricated using Panasonic’s semiconductor device technology, are coated with photoelectric conversion layer, developed using Fujifilm’s organic material technology. The area of the light receiving section becomes limited in conventional image sensors because of the existence of metal interconnects and the need to form light shield film to prevent light incidence into areas other than the photodiode in each pixel. However, the organic CMOS image sensor technology coats the sensor with organic film, which can harvest all the light received on the sensor. This boosts sensor sensitivity by 1.2 times compared to conventional sensors to deliver clear images even in low light.
- (3)Range of incident angle expanded to 60 degrees for faithful color reproduction (See the image sensor illustrations above)
- The thickness of the organic film with high absorption coefficient, developed by Fujifilm, has been reduced to just 0.5 microns, or one severalth of the thickness of silicon photodiode in the light receiving section. Since the conventional silicon photodiode measures at least 3 microns in depth, the range of incident angles was limited to around 30 – 40 degrees. The thin film, achieved with the organic CMOS image sensor technology, has enabled the expansion of this range to 60 degrees, efficiently utilizing light entering at an angle for faithful color reproduction with no color mixing. It also gives greater flexibility in lens designs, facilitating the reduction of overall camera size.
- (4)Offering high reliability for broader applications
- Fujifilm has developed a process technology to produce inorganic films for protecting the organic film. It prevents the entry of moisture and oxygen into the organic film to safeguard it against performance degradation. The sensor technology has cleared reliability tests involving the application of stress such as temperature, humidity, electrical voltage and light, paving the way for the use of the organic CMOS image sensor in a wide range of applications.
Europeans can, till now, just dream of the X-superdeals offered in USA. But nevertheless you can find interesting prices here and there.
PCHstore Brussels (EU-shipping)
PCHstore Brussels offers the X-E1 body for €790 and the X-PRO1 body for €1070 (at AmazonDE you pay €899 for the X-E1 and €1263 for the X-PRO1). For €1090 you can bring home the X-E1 +18-55 lens (€1300 at AmazonDE).
You pay for shipping: BE € 15,00 / LUX – NL – DE € 23,00 / FR – UK – AT – DK – CH € 28,00 / IRL – FI – PT – ES – IT – SWE – NO € 37,00 / Pickup in store € 00,00
Here are the current prices in UK at different stores:
X-E1 for £629 at AmazonUK, Jessops and Wexphotographic
X-E1 with 18-55 for £899 at Jessops and Wexphotographic and for £940 at AmazonUK
X-PRO1 for £949 at AmazonUK, Jessops and Wexphotographic
Best place on earth right now to save money on the X-series ;). Check the superdeals at AmazonUS here (price drop + 4%reward), BHphoto here (price drops + 4% reward), Adorama here (price drops + lots of accessories) and pictureline here.
I have found some of these deals over at dealsrunner. If you find some more deals on the Fuji X-series you can post them there and they will automagically appear on the sidebar of Fujirumors. I think it’s the best way to keep you always up to date with the latest deals. Try it out, and help Europeans to find some crazy X-deals ;).
1) Adobe just launched LR5, and now we have Phase One’s answer: price drops on C1 PRO and Express until June 16th!
Thanks Łukasz for sharing this information with the FR-community.
2) BHphoto notified FR-reader Miguel: the 55-200 is ready to be shipped! (there are 2 available at ebayUS-cameraland). (Michael told me that Adorama has shipped his one a couple of days ago.)