Medium Format Digital Photography is in a Weird Place Right Now

Medium Format Digital Photography is at an evolutionary place right now

Photography in and of itself is in a spot where all digital sensors are incredible and it’s very difficult to tell apart a photo shot on APS-C from one on full frame. So to that end, medium format digital photography is also in a weird spot. For the first time, we’ve got some really amazing autofocus systems in a number of cameras. On top of that, we’ve got the obvious medium format quality that is available from these sensors. If you really pay attention though, you can see that the writing is on the wall–medium format is about to fundamentally change in big ways.

How big?

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Photo Tourism with a Fixed Focal Length


During two trips to Europe, I’ve decided to shoot primarily with a fixed focal length. During my first trip to Paris, I mounted a Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens on my Canon 60D and shot virtually all our travels with the equivalent of a 50mm focal length. For this trip to France, I have been shooting with a Fujifilm X100s which with its 23mm lens sports the equivalent of a 35mm focal length. Though I initially focused on the potential disadvantages, the reality was that working this simply has its benefits.

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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.

The Phoblographer’s Top Ten Stories of 2013


Wow, is it December already? Another year went by so quickly, it’s almost unreal. In retrospective, 2013 was a great year for The Phoblographer. We saw a couple of great new additions to our staff, while unfortunately we had to let go of others. But first and foremost, we saw our visitor numbers on the site as well as our facebook following grow exponentially, and for that we’re super thankful to you, our readers. Because without you, this site wouldn’t be what it is. And without you, what we do here at The Phoblographer wouldn’t have any meaning. So let’s take a look back at our ten most popular posts of 2013, which were in part responsible for our great visitor numbers this year. And if you haven’t already read them all, then we recommend you grab a cup of coffe, lean back, and enjoy!

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Five Fixed-Lens Cameras for the Prothusiast

Chris Gampat fujifilm CES 2013 announcements x20 and x100s (16 of 22)ISO 32001-140 sec at f - 1.4

The fixed-lens compact camera with a larger-than-average sensor is the prothusiast’s most valued companion. Why? Because it promises excellent image quality in a small and light package. Often equipped with lenses between 28 and 35mm, these cameras lend themselves to street photography and journalistic styles. Due to the success and popularity of this camera type, there is now a significant number of models on the market, which can make it difficult to decide which one to get. In order to make things easier for you, here are five fixed-lens compacts that The Phoblographer recommends.

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Zack Arias Declares DSLR to be Dead in a New Video

A while ago, Zack Arias did his own review of the Fujifilm X100s. And he loved it so much. He is now being featured in a brand new video from Fujifilm Middle East where he declares the same thing. Overall, the video has some wonderful photos from Arias, though some of them aren’t his strongest work. Some of the video work during the day isn’t the best either in the opening footage while the rest is positively beautiful. The video is worth a look to see what he captured while in Istanbul.

We also reviewed the X100s, and even though we found a couple of cons with the camera, we overall still declared it to also be quite excellent. However, we’re not quite ready to say that the DSLR is dead yet.

JB Camera Designs’ New Wood Grips for the Sony RX1 and Fujifilm X100s May Give You Wood

JB Wood Grip-28

JB Camera designs has been designing grips for a short time now, and the company’s most recent additions are lip-bitingly beautiful. They’re announcing a 1.3 oz wood grip for the Sony RX1 and one for the Fujifilm X100s as well. These ergonomic enhancements are crafted from Peruvian Walnut that has been hand sand and finished then multiple layers of a hand rubbed sealer are added to protect the wood. Over time, they’re saying that it will develop a distressed look.

The grips also sport a slight ‘bumper’ edge that extends around the sides of the camera help protects it from accidental bumps and scratches to the LCD if placed on its back. Admitedly though, we’re not sure how that may work out in terms of real life use. however, they insist that the curvature of the front grip was designed to allow the third and fourth fingers to lock on to a firm comfortable grip. On the bottom is an access port for your battery and SD card if needed. It connects to the camera via the tripod socket.

All of the products are made in the US. And the RX1 grip and X100s grip are available on Amazon for $79.95 at the according links. Also be sure to check out our review of the grip for the OMD EM5.

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Using the Fujifilm X100s for Street Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X100s for street product photo (1 of 1)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 5.0

We’ve been working on the Fujifilm X100s review for almost a month now, and we have to say that the camera is really quite the awesome piece of hardware. At first, I wasn’t so smitten for it but it has started to warm up to me after sticking around as a constant companion image taker. The company has truly made this an extremely capable camera and has indeed improved on some of the biggest problems that they faced with the X100–the camera’s predecessor.

I’ve been testing it in the streets of New York City–the perfect proving grounds for the audience that this camera is targeted towards. And despite some admirable performance and improvements from its first incarnation, the camera will still face some issues.

Editor’s Note: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE realize that this is not our review. We don’t want some schmuck from a forum coming in and accusing us saying that our review wasn’t thorough enough. Consider this a special report. The full review will come after the publishing of this piece.

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You Won’t Hear the Fujifilm X100s’ Shutter Over Obnoxiously Loud Party Goers

Chris Gampat fujifilm CES 2013 announcements x20 and x100s (16 of 22)ISO 32001-140 sec at f - 1.4

At CES 2012, we were able to get some personal fondling time with the new Fujifilm X100s. Indeed, it really is a minor upgrade, but what’s there is a vast improvement over the previous camera’s specs.

My buddy Brandon Remler now has the camera in his hands and has done a short video on just how quiet the shutter sound is. He compares it to the previous X100, traditional film mirror SLR cameras, pellicle mirror SLR cameras, and the X-Pro 1/ XE-1. However, his camera is much louder than mine. Check out his video showing off the sound after the jump.

You can check stock listings for the X100s at Adorama, Amazon and B&H Photo.


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First Impressions: Fujifilm X100s

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer CES 2013 Fujifilm X100s first impressions (1 of 5)ISO 16001-40 sec at f - 4.0

The Fujifilm X100s might have been the most exciting announcement at CES 2013; and perhaps every photographer out there may agree and thank Fujifilm for making the show a tad more exciting for the industry. Indeed, the X100s is the follow up to the highly revered and much used X100: which despite having many problems at first were mostly corrected with firmware. Indeed, very little has been changed on the outside. It’s the new 16MP X Trans II sensor and the new processor that have changed.

So how did Fujifilm improve on their award winning formula?


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Fujifilm Unveils the Long Awaited X20 and X100s

Chris Gampat fujifilm CES 2013 announcements x20 and x100s (22 of 22)ISO 32001-50 sec at f - 2.0

The successors to Fujifilm’s X10 and X100 has been running through the rumor mill for quite some time now, but at last, Fujifilm has officially released the X20 and X100s cameras at CES 2013. Touting an impressive “World’s Fastest AF” claim, Fujifilm has set their mirrorless shooters at quite the high standard right out the gate.

Head past the break for all the details.


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