miXed Zone: XF 14mm photozone test report and more


X-E1 + XF 14mm

XF14mm Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay / X-E1: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

The photozone test report can be read here. Some PROS: “The Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R is a highly attractive ultra-wide lens with few shortcomings. The most important factor for an ultra-wide lens is certainly image sharpness and the Fujinon delivers here. It is bitingly sharp in the image center and good to very good in the outer image region. […] very low CA [… ] Distortions are basically absenteven in RAW data – which is surprising for such a wide lens and even more so for a mirrorless one.CONS: “The primary weakness of the Fujinon is the very high amount of vignetting. Most RAW converters as well as the camera (JPEGs) can (mostly) compensate this automatically though. […] lack of weather sealing

image courtesy: photozone (XF 14mm distortion)

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Ken Rockwell’s comprehensive X-E1 review can be read here: “The X-E1 is an excellent camera for people photos and for people who want a lightweight camera that performs as well or better than DSLRs. Its color rendition for people is superb, but not very good for nature and landscape snaps.” He also posted his XF14mm review here. “The Fuji XF 14mm f/2.8 ASPH is an extraordinary lens. When a lens is just about optically and mechanically perfect, there isn’t much to say, other than to get one.

photographyblog XF14mm review (click here): “The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R’s auto-focus system is its minor weak-point, with a slight delay before locking focus and a rather loud mechanism. On the plus side it offers a generously wide focusing ring, a very welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure, and an innovative focus collar for quickly switching between auto an manual focus, the latter coming complete with a focusing distance scale with depth-of-field markings that makes it easier to zone-focus.

XF14mm at ephotozine here. The PROS: Extremely sharp in the centre. Excellent sharpness towards the edges when stopped down. Lightweight. Useful hyperfocal scale. Excellent build. Virtually no distortion. Low CA levels CONS: Falloff of illumination towards the corners can be quite pronounced.

thephoblographer XF14mm review: some CONS: a bit slower than the 35mm f1.4 X – wish that the focusing and aperture rings were smoother – wish that it could focus closer, even with the macro setting activated and PROS: Excellent sharpness when stopped down. When using a studio light, the specular highlights really make this lens sparkle…

Lasse wrote me this email: “Hi, I thought you might like to link to the first Scandinavian review of the X-E1 with the XF 18-55mm. Earning six out of six stars, where image quality weigh’s a good 50 percent, when the total is added up. It’s published in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, and here’s a link to one of them. (english version)”

Nikon Coolpix A vs X100s specs comparison

Based on the specs comparison, thenewcamera recommends you to buy the X100s. Both cameras feature an APS-C sensor and don’t have a low-pass filter. The X100s beats the Nikon Cooplix A almost in every aspect, except the image stabilization and size/weight… oh, and it’s also cheaper. Click here to read more.

Check in stock info and price at
Nikon Coolpix A: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Fuji X100s: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonDEAmazonUK / AmazonITA /

FinePix HS50EXR

From the conclusions of pocket-lint (read the review here): “We like the FinePix HS50EXR a lot: it’s an accomplished superzoom that’s put Fujifilm right back up there and in the mix and shown just what this brand can do. It can hold its head up side by side with the levels of its nearest competitors, it just ought to be a touch more cost effective by comparison.”

Check in Stock info and price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay


X20 vs. X10


by Rico Pfirstinger

Talk to Rico (questions & feedback)Sample images set Comparison images set

Same, same, but different! That’s what Fujifilm’s new X20 compact camera is for those who know its predecessor, the X10. From the looks of it, the X20 and X10 are quite the same, so X10 users will immediately feel at home. However, it’s a new and different home, one with a more conventional X-Trans sensor. Yep, compared to EXR even an X-Trans sensor is pretty old-fashioned. So in order to get the best results from an X20, you might want to shoot it less like an X10 and more like a X100(S), X-E1 or X-Pro1.

In order to compare the image quality of the X10 and the X20, we have to shoot with image resolution M, aka 6 megapixels. That’s because the X10 is an EXR camera with a split-sensor of 2 x 6 MP. Sure, you can also use it in HR mode to get full-size 12 MP output, but why would you buy an EXR camera in the first place if you weren’t interested in its unique features, such as hardware-based DR expansion, or pixel binning to reduce noise and artifacts under low light?

So I took both cameras and shot a series of samples. Click here to open the X20 vs. X10 shootout set on Flickr. While you are at it, you might also want to take a look at my ever growing X20 samples set.

In order to get comparable results, I put both cameras in 6 MP (size M) mode, set DR to Auto (or DR100% for some shots) and also used matching film simulation modes (Astia, Provia and Velvia). Noise reduction was set to -1, the rest was all default settings. After completing the series, I redeveloped each X20 image in 12 MP resolution using the camera’s internal RAW converter. This way we got two versions of each shot from the X20, one with 6 and one with 12 MP.

Looking at the full-size samples, you will recognize that even at 6 MP, the X20 is able to resolve better midtone and highlight detail while keeping noise levels lower and the image cleaner. Have a look at this example:

DSCF6416 - X10, DR200%, M

DSCF0139 - X20, DR200%, M

However, it’s a different situation when you look at dark shadow details in images that were shot with DR200% and, even more so, DR400% dynamic range expansion modes:

DSCF6415 - X10, DR400%, M

DSCF0137 - X20, DR400%, M

** CLICK HERE to Read the Rest of the Article **

X20 and X100s impressions and samples + FR-reader interview with Fujifilm at focus on imaging show


1) The Polish site fotopolis posted some samples at different ISO’s. For the X20 samples click here (translated version) and for the X100s samples click here (translated version). On fotopolis you can also read the first impressions of the X100s here (translated version). They say that the X100s is a “very successful evolution of the already very good camera.” Thanks for the link Jakub.

You can also read and see samples at the Polish site optyczne. The X100s impressions here (translated version) and the X20 impressions here (translated version). They seem to be very happy with the X100s (compared to the X100 better speed, focus accuracy, start up time, EVF…). The first impressions of the X20 are “positive”.

2) FR-reader Adam made an interview with Fujifilm at the focus on imaging show (UK). At the beginning of the video the Fuji-guy demonstrates Digital Split Image focusing, and Focus Peaking on the new X100s, and then he answers a few questions about the possibility of silver XF lenses, release dates, and future firmware updates for the X-Pro1 for auto ISO and Focus Peaking… to what concerns the firmware updates the Fuji employee just said “I’m not so sure, I haven’t heard anything about it yet“.

He also takes a closer look at the upcoming lenses. Many thanks Adam.

X100s: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonDE / AmazonUK
X20: AmazonUS (blacksilver) / BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / ebayITA /  / AmazonDE / AmazonITA


Technology of the Year: Fujifilm’s X-Trans Sensor (Imaging resource)


 photo wwwimaging-resourcecom_zps98e0380b.jpg

[The X20 arrived at Rico‘s home! See his first samples on Flickr here.]

For our inaugural Camera of the Year Awards, we came up with seven categories we felt spanned most of the great cameras we were privileged to test and review in 2012.” And here are the “The Magnificent Seven“. Let’s begin with point 7, technology of the year:

7) Technology of the Year: Fujifilm’s X-Trans Sensor:

” […] Because the X-Trans pattern includes red and blue pixels in every horizontal line of the array — whereas Bayer-filtered cameras display these two colors only in alternating rows — it can produce more consistently accurate colors and color boundaries. The net result is a real step forward in image resolution and crispness, as well as a more “filmic” look to its image noise pattern. […] With their X-Trans technology, though, they appear to have finally delivered something truly special. In testing the X-Pro1, we found exceptionally sharp images, with clean detail and very few artifacts — and the X-Pro1’s image sharpness was realistic, not oversharpened and rife with halos like we often see in JPEGs from even top DSLRs. […] Everyone talks about the importance of out-of-the-box thinking, but few are willing to endure the struggle that’s needed to bring something truly radical to market. Fujifilm stuck it out, and we’re happy to see them finally enjoying the fruits of their long years of effort and innovation in sensor technology.” Read the whole text here.

X-Trans is probably one of the reasons why Thomson Reuter named Fujifilm to the world’s Top 100 Global Innovators (2012). From the Fujifilm press release: “With this award, Thomson Reuters recognizes the world’s top 100 companies that strive to protect inventions via intellectual property rights and lead the world with innovative discoveries and initiatives, based on the concept of regarding patent activity and other intellectual properties as an indicator of technological innovations and future trends.

… and here are the other imaging resource winners:

1) Overall Camera of the Year: Sony RX1 (BHphoto / Adorama / your Amazon / ebay)

2) Compact System Camera of the Year: Olympus OM-D E-M5 (BHphoto / Adorama / your Amazon / ebay)

Not the winner, but close enough, the X-PRO1. Imaging resource says: “Quality prime lenses and a tack-sharp sensor come together with a unique hybrid optical viewfinder to form the Fujfilm X-Pro1, a digital camera built exclusively for enthusiast photographers. The X-Pro1 really hits the nail on the head, driving deep into high-ISO territory with tack-sharp images. Its controls and feature set are also ideal for the target market, and its available lenses are reasonably priced, small, well-made, and light weight. We found it to be a terrific photographic tool, easy to control, and a joy to use.”

3) Enthusiast DSLR of the Year: Canon 5D Mark III (BHphoto / Adorama / your Amazon / ebay)

4) Pro Camera of the Year: Canon 1D X (BHphoto / Adorama / your Amazon / ebay)

5) Pocket Camera of the Year: Sony RX100 (BHphoto / Adorama / your Amazon / ebay)… let’s see if the X20 can endanger the RX100 next year edition of the imaging resource award.

6) Entry-Level Interchangeable Lens Camera of the Year: Nikon D3200 (BHphoto / Adorama / your Amazon / ebay)

Here is a list of all Fuji X-series cameras with X-Trans sensor

Check in Stock info and price at
Fuji X-E1: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Fuji X-PRO1: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Fuji X100s: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Fuji X20: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

X100s: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonDE / AmazonUK
X20: AmazonUS (blacksilver) / BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / ebayITA /  / AmazonDE / AmazonITA /


X100s: High ISO review at Brian Krafts website


Keep the X100 or jump to the X100s? Brian says that, if you shoot in low light, you should definitely buy the new Fuji X100s. It’s a huge improvement to the previous model and “I have to say that I am quite impressed with the usability of these files.

Click here to see the High ISO 25,600 shot with different noise reduction (NR) settings.

Remember that Brian updates continuously his X100s review with PROS and CONS and images.

X100s: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonDE / AmazonUK
X20: AmazonUS (blacksilver) / BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / ebayITA /  / AmazonDE / AmazonITA /

image courtesy: Brian Kraft – ISO 25,600 NR at 0

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