Days after spotting the light leaking issues on the Sony A7 and A7r, it seems Fujifilm’s latest and hottest X-T1 mirrorless camera is having problems of its own. A German Fuji Rumors reader first spotted the light leaks coming through the ports on the camera. Reviewed confirmed the errant photons come in through the 2.5mm audio jack and HDMI output. The exposure above shows the results of taking a 30-second long exposure whilst shining a flashlight around the outside of the camera.
While it’s clear the issue exists, light leaks only really crop up while the port door is open when shooting long exposures or shining a flashlight directly into the camera. A simple fix would be to put gaffers tape over the ports to completely block out the light. Fujifilm, meanwhile, is offering a service to fix the “few affected cameras” and return them within 10 days.
Despite being clearly a camera flaw, light leaks actually affect some pro-body full frame sensor cameras including the Nikon D800E and Canon 5D Mark III. Imaging Resource put the two cameras under the microscope and found they both suffer light leak issues passing though the lens mount just like the Sony A7 and A7r. When photographers spend an arm and a leg for the best equipment, any flaw including light leaks seems like a complete insult that ruins the camera.
However, the issue only becomes apparent when shooing in some truly unusual circumstances, like ISO 25,600 and a 30-second exposure. Ferrell McCollough also demonstrated the same problem can happen by taking pictures in a studio environment with a strobe shinning directly into the lens flange of a camera. But again the issue was easily corrected by stepping a few inches away from the light. For the most part light leaks are a real problem and an annoyance, but ultimately they won’t ruin most of the photos for the average shooter.
With today’s news of the Sony A7 and A7r suffering from light leaks, we decided to answer the question about what exactly they are without totally confusing everyone. First off, light leaks are little white tinges that you see on an image which was significantly more common when photography was primarily done by shooting film. What they often look like is just like what you see above. Photographer John Angelone said that this happened when he was shooting with his Fuji GW690III + Fuji Pro 160S film. Typically, light leaks were often seen to be unacceptable and that they tainted image quality until it started to happen in such a way that it appeared beautiful to some artists.
Today, we often think about it being associated with Hipster trends. But for what it’s worth neither VSCO, Instagram or Hisptamatic give you light leaks as a filter or modification option. The only way to actually accomplish them though post-production is through Photoshop Touch. But you can still get them through the camera.
Light leaks occur when seals on the lens or between the lens and camera body aren’t properly closed. This is a bigger problem due to the construction of digital sensors but it wasn’t as horrifying when it came to shooting film. When a camera takes a picture, it only sees the light that comes in from its eye: which is essentially the sensor. Everyone’s eyes have a lens, which is represented by the lens of a camera. When the lens isn’t working correctly, it starts to get blurry and sometimes the world may be too bright in certain areas–this is a common complaint amongst many folks who suffer from extreme astigmatisms.
What I also found out later on while using film is that sometimes, light leaks can occur when the back of the camera isn’t closing correctly too. This is far more rare and more than often the images just end up completely washed out, but it’s still an interesting problem to have. This won’t happen with digital cameras at all.
When my Editor-in-Chief asked if I’d like to review the Fujifilm X-T1, I responded with an emphatic, “YES.” Having worked with the X-E2 for several months and the X-A1 and X20 before that, I’ve become the Fuji lover both on staff and around my friends. The X-T1 has something of a traditional SLR design with the the viewfinder in the middle, as opposed to the left side, and all manner of dials along the top. It’s only slight larger than the X-E2, but it’s far more satisfying to use. While the core elements of the X-T1 are the same as the X-E2, there are several important factors that keep it comfortably above the rest of the crop.
If you’re a reputable camera manufacturer, especially one serving a more demanding selection of customers, then you have to have an in-house customization program. Leica has had one for years, called ‘Leica à la carte,’ which would let you customize your camera’s button design, color, and leatherette, among other things. Hasselblad lets you choose how overpimped you’d like your new Lunar or Stellar camera to be. And now it seems that Fujifilm has decided it was about time to offer custom design options for its X-series cameras.
On a new microsite, Fujifilm offers current owners as well as prospective buyers of select X-series models to have their camera equipped with a customized leatherette. There’s a vast selection of different colors and materials, including some with the names of animals in their designation–we assume that ‘Beige Lizard’ and ‘Black Croc’ merely describe the look of the leatherette, and not its actual provenance. However, judging from the price tag at which the customizations are offered, we’re not entirely sure.
Currently, it seems the program is only available in the UK, and if you’d like to get your X-series camera officially pimped by Fujifilm, then you can order a skin of your choice for as little as GBP 129.99–that’s US-$ 217 at current exchange rates. Quite honestly, we don’t think any of the (presumably) synthetic leatherettes look good enough to warrant such a high price tag.
In our humble opinion, you’d be much better off ordering a third party leatherette from eBay and applying it to your camera yourself. Not only does that give you many more (and nicer) options, it’ll also cost you less. And if you absolutely must spend that much money on a new skin for your camera, you can at least get one made from actual crocodile leather. Or better yet, leather from a python that recently devoured a crocodile. Yeah, that sounds very manly, doesn’t it.
As time progresses, it appears to become a worse and worse time for film lovers and users. Photo Rumors is reporting that Fujifilm Japan announced the discontinuation of Neopan 400 PRESTO in the 35mm format and Fujicolor 400 Pro in 120. The last bits of the film should be shipped around the middle of the year, which means that American retailers like B&H Photo and FotoCare are likely to stock up on the emulsions.
So what’s going to replace these two? Fujifilm is recommending ACROS 100 to replace Neopan and Pro 400H to replace the Pro film. And while these films may be missed by many, they don’t have the same impact that Velvia does on the photo world despite some discontinuations of that as well.
We’ve seen tons of film discontinued from Fujifilm in a relatively short amount of time:
It’s no secret that despite how hard manufacturers are trying to push mirrorless cameras, DSLR sales are still better. Recently, Amateur Photographer looked to investigate why this is. According to Mirrorless Rumors’ summation, it’s because mirrorless cameras are too small, have confusing category names, and DSLRs have more lenses, have become cheaper and also have more appeal because of the fact that consumers are holding onto Canon and Nikon’s glory days.
The interesting thing about the study though is that it only seems to have sampled the complaints of a small few and it doesn’t seem to be a worldwide test at all.
Sure, folks are really holding onto the glory days of Canon and Nikon, but let’s also face it: not many folks are as geekily into the camera world as most readers of this site. So they only go with what they know–and that means Canon and Nikon. For what it’s worth, let’s think about where you see ads for these companies: at baseball games, football games, hockey, etc. You barely ever see Olympus anywhere else besides in Tennis and I haven’t seen very much Fujifilm or Sony other places. Canon and Nikon both have television ads too. So maybe part of it is brand awareness. If I told my sister what brands make good cameras, she would probably say Canon immediately and might say Olympus because my mom taught us on Olympus cameras. But otherwise, there is very little customer education. She owns a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone but probably knows nothing about the company’s Galaxy Cam.
For what it’s worth too, lots of consumer tech websites also mostly focus on phones and laptops with very little going towards the imaging world. Cameras require special attention though–blending art and tech knowledge in order to give them their due.