miXed zone: street photography with the X100S, DPreview studio shots, VSCO Film 01 and more

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VSCO Film 01

Vsco Film 01 now with custom camera profiles for Fuji! check it out here.

X100S
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PROS: Excellent resolution and detail in photos – Low noise up to ISO3200 and above – Excellent colour reproduction – Unique – optical hybrid electronic viewfinder – Aperture / Shutter controls – Excellent build quality – Silent shutter sound – Bright f/2.0 lens. CONS: Quite high price – Fixed focal length – RAW not available with “Advanced Filters”. Read the whole ephotozine review here. They “highly recommend” this camera.

“Using the Fujifilm X100S for Street Photography” at thephoblographer here. The full review has still to come.  “The cold can really destroy battery life, but the X100s has held up extremely well and I have been able to have it on for a remarkable 14 hours or so until it finally died. No, I’m not joking. I dimmed the screen though, so keep that in mind. Plus the camera was turned off at certain points. This battery life rivals Canon’s.

DPreview added 3 pages of studio shots with the X100S. Click here to get lost in comparison. Page 5: ISO JPEG’s, page 6: HIGH-ISO JPEG’s, page 7: RAW. Compare, but be careful, don’t get addicted ;). About the X100S RAW’s DPreview says:

“Processed through Adobe Camera Raw 7.4, raw files from the X100S look great at low-to-medium ISO settings, with the exception (as with the JPEGs) of some obvious artifacts in areas of extremely fine horizontal and vertical detail, and a slight lack of definition in the very low-contrast feathers at lower-right compared to more conventional sensors. In general though, organic textures are rendered nicely, and overall detail reproduction is very good. Compared to the best of its competitors, the X100S does well, but moiré is a factor in areas of very fine detail, and it is possible that Adobe Camera Raw is not yet quite making the most out of its sensor (we will update our conversions if and when Adobe tweaks its plugin).”

X20
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Techradar posted his X20 review (click here). From the conclusions:

“With the X20, Fuji continues its dominance in the corner of the market reserved for high-end compact cameras with superb image quality that exude retro cool. The fact is, no other manufacturer manages to mix those two qualities together quite so well as Fuji, and for that, the company should be applauded. As a premium compact, the Fuji X20 is a delight to use and will be surely appreciated by those looking for a great backup model for their DSLR or CSC. If you already own a Fuji X10, there’s not quite enough here to warrant an upgrade just yet, though there are obvious advantages to this over the previous version of the camera.”

image courtesy: techradar

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FR-reader Hinrich send me this video (vimeo), made with the X20. He wrote: “Short late afternoon walk with my friends new Fujifilm X20 around my barrio. Old man hand-held, no stab. no editing. The camera looks beautiful and fits ergonomic perfect into my hand. But I think the quality of my Sony RX100 photo and video files are better. Thank you

X-E1
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Cameralabs highly recommends the X-E1. Read why in their comprehenisve review here. An extract: “The X-E1 is a great follow up model to Fujifilm’s X-Pro 1 providing most of what the more expensive flagship model offers at a significantly lower price point. For purists, an optical viewfinder on a rangefinder style camera will be a must-have feature and the X-Pro 1’s hybrid viewfinder is a technological wonder. But if you can live without an optical viewfinder, the X-E1’s EVF is one of the best around and is arguably better suited to an interchangeable lens camera.

image courtesy: cameralabs

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PS. In the meantime FR-reader Frank is anxiously awaiting his X100S. Everything is ready, as you can see in the next image…

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X-TRANS versus Lightroom, Silkypix, Capture One and AccuRaw

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image courtesy: chromasoft

Fuji X-photographers finally have more software options to process their X-Trans RAW files. That’s great. Now the question is, which one is the best option for your needs?

Sandy (chromasoft) compared ACR7.4/LR 4.4 RC, Silkypix, C1 and AccuRaw (you may know that AccuRaw is Sandy’s product). As other reviews already pointed out, he says that Adobe considerably improved its products. On his site you can see comparison images with the old version of Adobe Camera Raw. Here just a some PROS and CONS of ACR7.4/LR 4.4 RC:

“Compared to the previous generation, the new Adobe algorithm has much less obvious chroma smearing, so it certainly is much improved. Taking a closer look, where previously the smearing was really bright and intrusive, in the new version the smearing is a lot less bright. However, there’s actually more smeared pixels – in effect, the smearing now has a wider radius. In addition, the image is noticeably softer than the previous version.”

And what about Capture One, Silkypix and AccuRaw? Read the whole comparison here!

From the conclusions:

“Firstly, Adobe’s products, even in the new LR 4.4RC/ACR7.4 form, still don’t stack up. Although much improved over the previous generation, they still have excessive chroma smearing relative to image resolution.  If you were to select a raw processor purely on the basis of getting the maximum out of your X-Trans based camera, Lightroom wouldn’t be it. […] with the new raw developers, the difference between a conventional sensor and a X-Trans sensor is small enough to get lost in differences in lens performance, etc. There are now enough good raw developers that most users will be able to find one that works for them.

At the end of the post you can read also his thoughts about the X-Trans technology. While many praise the new Fuji-sensor (technology of the year according to imaging resource), here is Sandy’s point of view:

“It’s ten months since I first blogged about the X-Trans processor, and so far it’s delivered nothing to justify the “greater resolution than conventional sensors” hype. Finally, the really big losers are the many camera “reviewers” out there that uncritically repeated Fuji’s claims about the X-Trans sensor’s greater resolution. To their credit, some reviewers did raise warning flags – Sean Reid and Thom Hogan to mention two, but they were the exceptions. So next time you read a camera review, here’s a suggestion – take look at what they wrote about the X-Pro when it was introduced, and judge accordingly.”

In response to chromasofts article, read the one at soundimageplus here.

“Well there may be be some reviews out there like that and I’ll take the writer at his word, but I certainly haven’t seen any. I’ve talked about how good I think the X-Trans image quality is, seen as a whole package including ISO performance, clean results etc., but I’m not sure resolution is part of this.”

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Now or never: last “crazy X-deals” days. Save up to $1000

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Good deals can’t last forever. So the “crazy X-deals” will soon be over. Everyone who’d like to join the Fuji X-series, should seriously consider to grab this occasion.

I know, many of you are waiting for an interchangeable lens camera of Fuji, with all that great innovations introduced with the X100S and X20 (X-Trans sensor II, EXR II, phase detection + contrast AF and more). But consider this: If you purchase, for example, the X-E1 bundle with a $1000 rebate, you’ll actually just pay the lenses and the X-E1 is in fact for free (as it costs $999 which corresponds to the rebate).  Then, the day a X-PRO2/X-E2 will be released, you’ll already own a lot of lenses and you just have to buy the X-E2/X-PRO2 body. You can then sell your X-E1 or use it as a backup camera.

Here are the deals:

ADORAMA

Click on “buy together and save“, and you can save up to $1000.

Adorama deals: X-E1 (black versionsilver version) / X-PRO1

BHphoto

There are 9 options for bundle savings at BHphoto. Until March 31 you can purchase the X-E1 with different lenses (X-PRO1 with XF 18-55) and save really a lot of money. There are many lenses in offer, but if you’re looking for the new XF 14mm, this is not included in any of the bundles.

Just click on “Buy Together and Save” to check the different bundles (you can save up to $914).

BHphoto deals: X-E1 (in blackin silver) / X-PRO1

AmazonUS

Until March 31 you can enjoy that super Fuji deal at Amazon too (Click here). Depending on the combination you want to buy you save up to $525 (Click here to see all possible combos).

UK/Ireland

And finally also UK/ROI citizens can save a lot until 30th April 2013! And the 14mm is included in the bundles! Here they are:

X-Pro1* + 3 lenses = £350/€400 cashback
X-Pro1* + 2 lenses = £300/€350 cashback
X-E1* + 3 lenses = £250/€300 cashback
X-E1* + 2 lenses = £200/€250 cashback
X-E1 Kit + 1 lens** = £30/€35 cashback
* Body only. **18mm/35mm lens only.

Check the approved stores here.

Fuji X-E1: Amazon.it, DigitalRev, eBay
Fuji X-PRO1: Amazon.it, DigitalRev, eBay

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X20 in stock at AmazonUS + X10 vs X20

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The X20 is now in stock here in black and here in silver. For more in stock infos check this post here.

X100S: BHphoto / AdoramaAmazonUS / AmazonDEAmazonUK / AmazonITA / DigitalRev / your ebay / your Amazon
X20:  BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUS (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / AmazonDE / AmazonITA / DigitalRev / your ebay / your Amazon

The Japanese site camera.itmedia (translated version) postet a X10 vs X20 comparison.

image courtesy: camera.itmedia

left: X10 – right: X20

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miXed zone: X100S + X20 reviews and more

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image courtesy: Roel

Cambodia: A Photographer’s guide

If you plan to go to Cambodia, you should read this post of Roel (click here). He travelled with the X-PRO1 (main camera), X-E1 (backup) and 4 of the 5 native X-mount lenses ([shoplink 8628]XF 14mm[/shoplink], [shoplink 8625]XF 18-55mm[/shoplink], [shoplink 8630]XF 35mm[/shoplink], [shoplink 8632]XF 60mm[/shoplink]). He put all in his [shoplink 9262]Think Tank Photo Sling-O-Matic 10[/shoplink]. A light kit (about 2 kg) and a great image quality. Nice images, many practical advices and interesting to read.

Think Tank Photo Sling-O-Matic 10 [shopcountry 9262]

X100S
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DPreview added some X100S samples here. And see real life images of the X100S in Vietnam here.

ephotozine samples (from ISO 100 to ISO 25600) here.

In depth: X100S at strobist.blogspot: “it sees in the dark”, “Sync at Any Speed”, “Choose Your Palette”, “Speaking of White Balance”, “Hip to Be Square”, “Shooting in Toy Camera Mode”, “Finally, Pitch-Perfect Focusing”, “Menu Evolution”, ” Is it The Perfect Camera?”, “Fuji Is the New Leica” and “The Dreaded Question, should I upgrade?”. Read all these chapters here.

imaging resource posted first shots of the [shoplink 9525]Nikon D7100[/shoplink] and Fujifilm X100S. Read the article here. “How do they compare with each other? Check them out in our Comparometer, you might be surprised“. In the meantime you can read their first considerations about the X100S here: “If you like your X100, you’ll probably want to run — not walk — to the nearest camera store or friendly internet retailer, to lay hands on the new X100S. We expect the improvements to be pretty dramatic.”

X20
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The popular German newspaper Spiegel.de posted his X20 review here (translated version).

Adam sent me via Twitter his review. Read it on his website here. He confirms, great AF performance: “The speed of focus is outstanding. Switching focus from close, to a distant object, appears immediate, much faster than my Xpro1! Focusing is absolutely silent too, this is great for street shooting!” He was also very impressed with the ISO capability of the X20. Pros: Very small, lightweight – Excellent focus speed – Optical viewfinder “semi electronic” – Good ISO performance – In-buit flash – Good zoom range. Cons: Poor battery life – Difficult to control in manual mode using optical viewfinder. Verdict: “This is an excellent compact camera. For its size and price, it performs brilliantly. If I was asked to recommend a camera to amateur photographers, wanting to get into street photography, or serious about their travel photographs, then this is a great place to start.” Read the whole review here.

Some nice X20 shots can be seen at Donato Chirulli’s facebook here.

X20 in Venice. Image courtesy: Donato Chirulli

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X-E1
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Soundimpagplus posted his first impressions of the X-E1 (read here) and the XF 18-55mm (read here). X-E1: He loves the “Leicaesque” feeling of this camera in his hands. He prefers the EVF of the X-E1 to the X-PRO1 viewfinder: “It’s more accurate plus it is polarised sunglasses friendly.” “It isn’t a Leica, its a lookaleica, and it isn’t a rangefinder (another plus as far as I’m concerned) but it leans heavily on old school camera design.” The second article takes a closer look to the XF18-55, which he also like, and wide open delivers a better result than the XF18mm prime lens, sharper, with no CA / fringing. From the conclusions: “Is this the best standard kit lens ever? Well probably, […] It’s just a very good zoom lens, and obviously very nicely matched to the X-Trans sensor. It is I think somewhat better than the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, though obviously it doesn’t hold that fast aperture throughout. Sony have nothing like this for NEX, and while I quite liked the Samsung 18-55mm zoom, this is significantly better.”

Check in stock info and price at:
Fujinon XF 18-55mm [shopcountry 8625] Fujinon XF 18mm: [shopcountry 8859] Panasonic 12-35mm: [shopcountry 8861] Samsung 18-55mm: [shopcountry 8863]

X-PRO1
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Jonas published his XF 18-55mm first impressions (with X-PRO1). Read it all and see his nice samples here. His conclusions: “The Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4R OIS is a great allround performer. As a kit lens, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. As a stand alone zoom lens it’s up there among the best of the normal range zooms IMHO. It would be perfect if it had a set aperture at about f/2.8. It’s very reasonably priced, and you get a lot of lens for your savings. If you, like me, is considering the prime XF 18mm f/2.0, I would instead recommend that you buy the 18-55mm since it delivers on par image quality, it’s faster at focussing, and you get some added flexibility.This lens is really great for street photography. The good fast AF coupled with one of the best OIS’s I’ve ever used makes it joy to use. The images it produces are sharp throughout the range and delivers great “pop”. This is a great addition to my X-series system.

XF1
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Fujifilm XF1: Stylish, creative controls and image quality amongst the best compacts“. DXOMark published the test results for the XF1 (click here). From the conclusions:

“The 12-megapixel 2/3-inch EXR-CMOS sensor at the heart of the XF1 puts in a solid performance in the DxOMark Scores, ranking 12th overall for compact and high-end compact cameras. That said, despite the slightly larger sensor, it only boasts roughly the same image quality as competitors, such as the Nikon P7700, Olympus XZ-2 iHS, Canon PowerShot S110, and Panasonic LX7. While these competitors achieve their best scores at the lowest ISO, the XF1 is a little stronger through the sensitivity range. The relatively small sensor compared to APS-C or Micro Four Thirds sensors however mean compact like this are always going to struggle with noise, and with a Low-light ISO score 199 ISO the XF1 struggles to achieve good image quality at higher sensitivities.”

NEW: Fuji XP200 + FinePix S8400W long zoom bridge camera (specs and price)

Fujifilm has announced a shockproof, waterproof camera (15 meters underwater) with Wi-Fi, the Fuji XP200. Read a hands-on review here at techradar. Fujifilm announced also the FinePix S8400W. Read Fuji’s press release and the Key features of this camera here at ephotozine.

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