Fujifilm’s XF 35mm f1.4 Could See an Upgrade with Improved AF Speed This Month

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.

Fujifilm’s Imaging Business Cuts Losses Thanks to X-Series Sales

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’s MHG-XPro and MHG-XE Accessory Grips Promise Better Ergonomics for X-Pro and X-E Models

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.

Firmware Update Roundup: Fujifilm X-Series, Pentax K-3, and Sigma SD1

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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Cheap Photo: Save Up to $300 on a Fuji X-Camera + Lens Bundle at Adorama

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.

Is There A Budget X-A1 X-Series Camera Coming From Fujifilm Soon?

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.)

Fujifilm Releases More Details on the Upcoming X Series Firmware Updates

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X Pro 1 35mm f1.4 X Series lens review (7 of 7)ISO 1600

We’re giving away a Fujifilm X-E1 btw! Details here!

Not long ago, Fujifilm issued a press release detailing some exciting new enhancements that are coming via a firmware update to the X-E1 and X Pro 1. But today, they released a couple more details. Specifically, the company is adding in magnification improvements when trying to check critical focus. After the new update, it will cycle between 3x and 10x digital enhancements–kind of how the Canon system works. But they’re also trying to improve low light autofocusing with scenes that have horizontal stripes.

More than any other company out there, Fujifilm is showing a commitment to their products via loads of firmware updates.

You can read the entire changes list after the jump. Look out for a July 23rd release.

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Review: Fujifilm X-E1

The X-E1 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera is an interesting take by Fujifilm on the EVF cameras that have been dominating the mirrorless category for a couple of years now. Since the mirrorless camera by nature does not allow for a true through-the-lens viewfinder, if manufacturers wanted to put a viewfinder on the camera they had to used an electronic one. That is, until the Fuji X100 came along. (I’m leaving digital rangefinders out of this statement because they are not the same thing as a mirrorless camera although they are functionally similar).

While technically a compact professional camera, the Fujifilm X100 was such a game-changer that Fuji expanded upon that camera with a few more fixed lens models before finally releasing the Fuji X-Pro1 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera in 2012 based on that same innovative Hybrid Viewfinder that wowed so many of us in 2011. The combination of interchangeable lenses with that unique viewfinder proved to be a mighty force in the camera world and has proved to be a decent seller despite the apparently steep introductory price tag.

With so many people crying again for a better EVF for use in manual focusing and with legacy lenses, Fuji has responded promptly with the Fujifilm X-E1 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera. This is all very interesting of course, but the real question stands, does it hold it’s own against its predecessors and really compete with its contemporaries?

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Capture One Pro 7.0.2 Now Supports the X-Trans Sensor

2_fuji_xe1_f1_

This is good news for users of Fuji’s X-series cameras: Phase One has finally implemented support for the X-Trans sensor into the latest version of their Capture One Pro 7 workflow software. However, preliminary tests by dpreview show that the algorithm used isn’t much better at demosaicing the sensor’s unique color filter arrangement than the one used by Adobe, with many of the same problems emerging. This is disappointing, as theoretically the X-Trans sensor is able to resolve outstanding detail. However, much of it gets lost due to a lack of a proper demosaicing algorithm — unless you use out-of-camera JPEGs that is. (And this is precisely what has kept me personally away from the X system so far.)

Still, it’s a good thing that more and more RAW converters support the X-Trans sensor. Here’s to hoping that future algorithms will improve the situation.

First Impressions: Fujifilm X-E1 Mirrorless Interchangable Lens Camera

Even before I had a chance for a first impression, I really did not have great expectations for the Fuji X-E1 Mirrorless Interchangable Lens Camera. I like what Fuji is doing with their X-Series and I am really excited about the directions that the company is heading in the mirrorless market; but, when I heard that it would be an EVF only camera and completely ditch the hybrid viewfinder that made both the X100 and X-Pro1 so groundbreaking, I was less than ecstatic. How can an EVF camera ever hold it’s own against the kind of ingenuity and classic camera experience that the Fuji X-E1’s predecessors offer?
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Future Update to Capture One May Give Silkypix the Slow Painful Death it So Richly Deserves

CaptureOne users rejoice! According to Phase One Crew member Lionel12 on the PhaseOne/Mamiya Leaf forum, X-Trans support is on the way:

Let me be a bit on lim here, all you Fuji lowers – look for next Capture One release – real soon now.
-Lionel

Now if you translate that into decent English, this means that soon you will be able to process the X-Trans files quickly in one of the world’s most revered image editing and database software programs available. While Lightroom has been supporting the files for a while, CaptureOne has managed to beat Aperture to the growing Fuji party. The best part about all of this? Fuji’s amazingly terrible Silkypix software really has no excuse to keep existing. Now all we need is for Fuji to copy Leica a bit more and start including decent professional software with their cameras. It is a great time to be a Fuji lower.

We’re currently working on the Fujifilm X-E1 review, so stay tuned for that!

(via MirrorlessRumors.com)

Photokina 2012 Report — Part 2: Fujifilm and Samsung

The new Fujifilm XF1 retro compact comes with three distinctively colored leatherings.

As promised, here’s part two of our multi-part Photokina 2012 report. In today’s issue: the Fujifilm XF1 and X-E1, thoughts on the focusing speed of the new X series firmware with the X 35mm f1.4 lens, the new 18-55mm f2.8-4 X series lens and the Samsung Galaxy camera.

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Fujifilm X-E1 and 18-55 and 14mm XF Lenses Available for Pre-Order at B&H

Only hours after the announcement of the latest additions to Fuji’s acclaimed mirrorles X-System, the X-E1 camera and the 18-55/2.8-4 and 14/2.8 XF lenses, they’re already available for pre-order over at B&H. So if you fancy any of these new items and can’t wait until they hit the store shelves, or if you’re anxious they’ll sell out quickly after they become available, here’s your chance at being one of the first to own one. But remember, you’ll still have to wait until November before you actually get to hold them in your hands!

Pre-order links to B&H Photo:

Fujifilm X-E1 silver body

Fujifilm X-E1 black body

Fujifilm X-E1 silver kit w/ 18-55mm lens

Fujifilm X-E1 black kit w/ 18-55mm lens

Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 lens

Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 lens

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Fujifilm Updates the X-System with the X-E1 Camera and 18-55mm and 14mm XF Lenses

You probably heard of this camera already. Let’s not fool ourselves — which product isn’t leaked days or weeks before its official announcement these days? But let’s pretend you haven’t read all the pre-announcement leaks, and let’s pretend you’re as excited as if you first heard about this.

Fujifilm today announces the X-E1 digital camera, the latest addition to the company’s successful and acclaimed series of retro-styled cameras for the advanced enthusiast. Sporting the same 16 megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor as its bigger brother the X-Pro 1 (read our review here), the X-E1 is basically the same camera, sans the optical viewfinder, but with some additional tweaks that were made since the X-Pro 1’s launch (and user feedback.) Continue reading…