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Fujifilm X-Pro1

When the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 cameras were first introduced, the Fujfilm XF 35mm f1.4 instantly became a favorite with users of the X-mount system, and remains to this day. The only gripe that many have with the lens is its autofocusing speed which, compared to other contemporary lenses, is mediocre at best. In this regard, the XF 35mm f1.4 reminds us a bit about the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, which is equally famous with Micro Four Thirds users despite its comparatively slow AF.

However, good times could lie ahead for users of Fujifilm’s X-mount cameras, because unlike Panasonic who merely gave its 20mm f1.7 lens a new body when they updated it, Fujifilm will reportedly introduce a new version of the XF 35mm f1.4 with a quicker focusing motor this month. Depending on what you’re going to use this lens for, faster AF might indeed make a huge difference. As an added bonus, for those of us who don’t need the super quick AF, get ready for used prices to go down when the new lens arrives.

According to Fuji Rumors, the updated XF 35mm f1.4 could be introduced this month. Let’s keep our thumbs pressed on this one.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 product images for review (1 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 3.5

The Amateur Photographer reports that Fujifilm’s imaging business was able to cut its losses in the last three months of 2013 by more than 60%, thanks to great sales of its X-series cameras such as the X-Pro 1, X-E2 and X100S. In the same period in 2012, Fujifilm’s imaging business generated losses of JPY 3.9bn (US-$ 38.3m,) which the company managed to reduce to JPY 1.5bn (US-$ 14.7m) in 2013.

The internal report (PDF file) stating these figures had already been published in late January, but has only now received attention by the media. According to the report, besides cutting losses in the imaging division, Fujifilm was also able to raise its overall operating income by more than 50%, from JPY 65.4bn (US-$ 642m) to JPY 99.6bn (US-$ 978m.)

Besides the X-series cameras, the report also names instant cameras as responsible for the raise in revenue, as well as optical devices such as camera modules for smartphones and projector lenses. While Fujifilm’s imaging business is still not making any profits, it is at least on a good way, and the decision to focus on higher-end products seems to be paying off.

Fujifilm MHG-XPro accessory grip

Here’s one we missed when it was originally announced: Fujifilm recently introduced a pair of accessory grips for its X-Pro and X-E models, called MHG-XPro and MHG-XE respectively. The grips attach to the bottom of the camera and provide a new tripod mount that is positioned on the lens axis. Access to the battery compartment is possible while the grips are attached.

In addition to extra comfort when holding the camera, the grips also provide an extra bit of height, so that larger lenses don’t get in the way of a tripod head. The MHG-XPro and MHG-XE’s frames are milled from aluminium and sit right on top of the camera’s integrated grip, providing the same textured pattern.

Both grips are available now for prices of US-$ 150 (MHG-XPro) and US-$ 130 (MHG-XE) respectively, according to dpreview. However, we couldn’t find them with any of the regular retailers as of yet.

Nikon-Distortion-Control-Data-firmware-update-1.009

This week has seen a number of firmware updates being announced, not all of which we were able to report on in a timely manner. So in order to keep you all in the loop, here’s a roundup of what’s been going on. Fuji has added new functionality to its X-series mirrorless cameras, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has gotten the ‘Black’ treatment with DNG raw file support,  the Pentax K-3 was given some general improvements, and Sigma’s SD1 models have received some bugfixes. Full breakdown after the jump.

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X-E1_silver&black_P2&P3

Good news for fans of Fuji’s X-system–and especially for those who’ve been thinking about getting into the system. Adorama is starting a promo today that will save you up to $300 on select Fuji X-camera + lens combos. Purchase an X-Pro 1 or X-E1 camera via Adorama’s promo page and add any of the lenses in the list below to your shopping cart to benefit from the instant savings:

Description

MAP

Price After Instant Savings

Consumer Savings

18mm*

$599.95

$299.95

$300.00

27mm*

$449.95

$299.95

$150.00

35mm*

$599.95

$449.95

$150.00

60mm*

$649.95

$399.95

$250.00

18-55mm**

$699.95

$499.95

$200.00

 *Only one lens each may be added to a single camera purchase (ie. Customer may not purchase two (2) – 35mm lenses but may buy one (1) each of all lenses listed).

**The 18-55mm lens promotion can only be combined with a body only sale of the X-E1 or the X-Pro1.  It may not be combined with the X-E1 Hard Bundle Kit that already includes the 18-55mm lens.

xm1For several days now rumors have been floating around the internet about an upcoming X-A1 entry-level X-mount camera that Fuji might present soon. Now it seems these rumors are no longer rumors, since the name has reportedly been registered with the South Korean Radio Research Agency. Fujifilm has only recently introduced the budget-friendly(er) X-M1, which is positioned below the X-E1, and a new XC 16-50mm kit lens that comes without a manual aperture ring, hinting at more entry-level X-series items to come.

This isn’t actually a bad move. digital compacts are hopelessly out of fashion these days, and most people step up to a mirrorless camera right away when they find their smartphone pictures don’t do the job anymore. By offering entry-level cameras and lenses for their X-system, Fuji automatically gains potential users of the more advanced lenses and cameras. Starting out with the X-A1 and the low-end kit lens, users will either step up to better lenses, more advanced bodies or both, but they need not change their entire system to do so.

Well played, Fuji, well played! (Btw, we’ve seen the same with Micro Four Thirds: both Olympus and Panasonic are offering entry-level cameras and lenses as well as higher-end products, so the idea itself isn’t actually new.)