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Take flight over Australia: aerial photos by Scott McCook

Take flight over Australia: Aerial photos by Scott McCook

Originally a tailing pond image, I have created a fictional piece of work to convey a story about Australia riding the mining boom, Boddington Western Australia

Scott McCook is a native Australian and an award winning landscape photographer with a serious passion for aerial photography. All of the images that you see in this article were shot from the skies high above remote areas of Australia and New Zealand. His goals are to not only highlight the beauty in areas that are remote and far removed from the public eye, but also to illustrate the impacts that industry can have on the world around us.

To see more of his work, check him out on Facebook and Instagram.

What inspired you to begin your aerial work?

Big Lagoon Shark Bay, an isolated birrida, these birridas are gypsum clay pans that used to be saline lakes

I have two main sources of inspiration, the first of which is my drive to photograph what hides in plain sight. This started many years ago with astrophotography, which was something I pursued in my earlier days of landscape photography. The idea of something so beautiful hiding above cities and street lights every night with many people never even seeing the Milky Way with their own eyes drove me to the dark spots of Western Australia (of which there are many) to capture the incredible beauty of the Milky Way and show people here in Western Australia what’s in their backyard every night.

This concept of showing people, via my imagery, what hides just below the surface (or above your head) is what fanned my obsession for aerial photography. It’s the very same principals, the idea that these beautiful and sometimes abstract landscapes that we see every day from the ground can explode into life from the air.

My second source of inspiration is to show people the impact of mankind on nature, as in the case of my mining aerial imagery. It’s showing people areas that they would never normally be able to see on that scale. It has the possibility to empower people to make their own opinion on these landscapes and how far man will go to chase our precious resources.

I should also mention that there are a number of truly amazing landscape photographers based out of Australia that inspire me on a daily basis. The collective of landscape photographers from ND5 put life back into the aerial genre here in the last 10 or so years and their work sparked my interest in what our beautiful country has to offer from the air. Photographers like Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher and Peter Eastway have not only supplied inspiration over the years but have been great mentors for myself and many other budding landscape photographers here in Australia.

What’s your favorite aspect of aerial photography?

Shark Bay Western Australia, coastal floodplain

It really comes down to two questions: Is it the unique photography? Or the thrill of being in a plane or chopper?

I think it’s the pure thrill and enjoyment of flying that keeps bringing me back and then it’s the excitement of having no idea what incredibly unique moment or landscape you’ll capture from the air. Often with aerial photography, it feels like you’re an early explorer, going over uncharted territory, the feeling is quite amazing because often we are lucky enough to be the first people shooting a location from the air.

This is often the case because you can travel to very remote locations in a short amount of time. You can really feel the excitement come over you when you know you’re shooting something completely new. So let's go with 50% the thrill, 50% the photography, how’s that for a safe answer?

What lenses and equipment do you normally shoot with?

Perth, Western Australia. Alcoa Tailing Ponds

Everything!!! Would be my short answer, but the slightly extended answer is as follows:

My Full-frame Go to Kit:

  • Nikon D810
  • Nikon 24-70 F2.8
  • Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VR2
  • Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art

My Medium Format combo:

  • Phase XF + IQ150
  • 80mm blue ring Shnieder
  • Mamiya 35mm

When it comes to aerial photography I have found shooting large sensor MF images really helps with not only print but the editing process, but the extra data can make all the difference to your creative vision and post processing.

How do you go about composing a shot from that high up in the sky?

Useless Loop salt farm, the different colors coming from varying stages of the process and product, Western Australia

You often have a very small window space to shoot from and you’re traveling 160km an hour at around 1500 ft, so the ground is going fast, very fast! This means you need to be on your game, with the camera settings tuned into something you would possibly find in sports photography: high shutter speeds, high ISO and looking for that sweet spot aperture.

Research using Google Maps is the key to this scenario – often I will know what is coming up, so I’m preparing myself physically (putting my arms in positions thought not humanly possible) and mentally as well, thinking 'What orientation do I want this area in?' Then in a matter of seconds your shooting window comes and before you know it, it’s gone. You can ask the pilot to lock into a loop pattern over the area, but time is money and I find if you can nail it first go, you can be onto the next location and maximize your shooting time and minimize your wallet taking a beating.

How much planning goes into a single aerial photography trip?

Southern Alps, New Zealand, this is an image of the ice that feeds the Fox Glacier in the South Island

Weeks or months. I did two very different aerial expeditions last year which I’ll touch on because of the difference in planning. The first was to Shark Bay Western Australia, a World Heritage Listed area and a location that is totally mind-blowing from the air. I spent around four weeks using Google Maps (My Maps) to scan areas of Shark Bay to shoot. Once I found a potential location I would run a screen grabbed image through Lightroom and the de-haze filter, along with some minor color balance adjustments – this helps me envision what I will be shooting when I arrive to the location.

The satellite images provided by Google are pretty good but with a little tweaking you can really get some detail from them and this helps me know what I’ll be coming across when we’re in the air. I would then save these screen grabs along with the location drawn onto a map, these will then be loaded onto my iPad and used when I’m discussing the flight plan with the pilot. This is extremely helpful because it allows our pilot to see exactly what we want to shoot and where it is, allowing him/her to be more precise.

The other shoot I did was in the Southern Alps of New Zealand in May last year. This was from a Hughes 500 Helicopter with all the doors off. Now, this shoot was different because using Google Maps to do reconnaissance is very limited. Why? Well because it’s a mountainous region it’s a lot harder to use the aerial perspective for a gauge on what you’re going to see. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the snow in such areas is highly reflective, meaning large areas of Google Maps data can be blown out.

Being in a chopper allows us to hover and hold locations, so there's no need to try and capture that one moment in a split second. We can now spot an amazing location and tell our awesome pilot (thanks Michael from Mountain Helicopters Fox Glacier, complete legend!) to head on over and bank the chopper in just the right spot. This type of aerial expedition feels far more like exploring on foot, just with the added bonus of a multi million dollar piece of machinery giving us the gift of flight wherever we want.

Okay, so slightly different than traveling by foot but I have to admit it’s an incredibly beautiful experience when you fly with all the doors off in such a location.

How do you think drones will impact aerial photography?

Shark Bay, Western Australia

How do I think drones will impact aerial photography? EVERYWHERE! That happened fast didn’t it? I’m still waiting on drone delivery of alcohol in bars, so I feel they haven’t quite achieved their full potential yet.

On a more serious note it’s impacting photography right now, the whole aerial genre has exploded in the last few years. The effect I think is largely positive, if anything it’s sparking the passion of photography in more and more people. I notice many drone operators will start off just wanting to fly drones as their primary objective and in time they develop a love for photographing the world from above, and proceed to learn the photography side of things properly.

On the not-so-positive side I’ve seen it very rapidly develop a bad name in some areas due to pilots breaking the rules and flying dangerously. This puts a bad spin on aerial photography, and in most cases the actions of very few are ruining the potential for some amazing shots for many people. But in general, I think drones are having a positive impact. Do I fly drones? Not yet, I still need my buzz! Looking at the world fly past via an iPad or iPhone just doesn’t quite do it for me yet, I like to be up there experiencing it.

What’s your favorite aerial image to date and how did you go about getting the shot?

Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia. Coastal Sand Dunes, spot the Kangaroo tracks coming in from top of frame

It's really hard to pick just one image, but I’m going to have to go with an image I captured near Dirk Hartog Island Western Australia. It was around 7:30am in the morning on our 5th and last day of shooting the an area called Shark Bay. Paul Hoelen and I had decided that we would burn some fuel and head over to a remote strip of sand dunes. This particular area wasn’t shot often because you had to spend a fair bit of time and money to just get there so we were pretty excited about finding some untouched landscape.

Upon our arrival we found what we were after, beautiful clean dunes, we shot the location and both nodded to each other in appreciation of our gamble paying off. We then spoke to our pilot Ryan and said lets head south then home, as we made our way down the coast something happened, Paul can barely contain himself, he’s just waving his arm and pointing down “Scott, Scott, Scott!!! Down, look down!”, I look over and this gorgeous half moon shaped sand dune just appears from nowhere. It was so out of place in relation to the rest of the landscape, like mother nature had just created the most stunning sand dune possible then placed it hidden away for Paul and I to find.

I haven’t got to the really cool bit yet, so after shooting this mind blowing sand dune, we get back to our motel that night and load up the images, I go straight to the sequence of this stunning half moon dune and start looking at the images, I zoom in 50% and suddenly spot tracks, it’s kangaroo tracks! This perfect set of Kangaroo tracks is cutting into my composition and up the spine of the sand dune. I couldn’t believe it, the chances of all those things lining up were incredibly rare and it’s why I love photography so much. Yes it’s skill and creativity, but it has equal doses of luck.

How do you keep yourself inspired?

The Salt Farms of Useless Loop Shark Bay, Western Australia

I get much of my inspiration from the amazing, kind-hearted and adventurous landscape photographers I’ve made friends with along the way. It’s so cool in this amazing field we’re in, the community is a place you can draw many things from and inspiration is available everywhere. Beyond that I gain much inspiration from the people who have come before me, I read a lot and attempt to piece together the past as it helps pave the road to my future in this craft.

What are your aerial photography goals for 2017?

Arteries of coastal floodplains pump across the land, Carnarvon, Western Australia

Push the aerial genre to new heights, pardon the pun! I love aerial photography, I am well and truly hooked. I look at 2017 as my chance to challenge myself within this genre, I enjoy story telling via my aerial imagery and look forward to sharing that this year.

Behind the Scenes

This is the Hughes 500 Helicopter with all the doors taken off that was used for the flight over the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Huge thanks to Michael from Mountain Helicopters Fox Glacier!

The below video was shot when I snagged my favorite image to date. It gives you a great idea of the feverish pace at which you are taking images while shooting aerials in a plane.  

... Pubdate: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 11:00:00 Z

Pete Souza captures Obama's final day in the White House

Pete Souza, the official photographer for now-Former President Obama, posted a series of photos on his Instagram account showing the Obama's final departure from The White House. Like the Former President, Souza plans on taking some time off, sleep late and 'do whatever the wife wants me to do.'

All of the photos Souza took during his eight-year tenure as White House photographer are archived here.

 

Another view of President Obama leaving the Oval Office for the last time this morning (taken with remote camera).

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

 

Farewell.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Homepage photo by Susan Sterner

... Pubdate: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 09:00:00 Z

Samsung virtual assistant rumored to use camera for object identification

In its upcoming flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 Samsung is expected to implement a Siri or Google Assistant style virtual assistant named Bixby. According to sources of SamMobile, Bixby will include visual search capabilities and be able to analyze a photograph and identify objects within the frame. The system will also perform optical character recognition on visible text. Users will be able to launch the service via the camera app or a dedicated button on the side of the device. 

We have seen apps with similar functionalities before, for example Google Goggles, but Bixby is reportedly aiming to take things to the next level by offering a higher degree of interchange with other applications installed on the phone. For example, users will be able to use detected objects or text to order on shopping apps or perform searches.  

The Bixby technology is likely to have come from Viv Labs, a startup created by former Apple employees and Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Bringham. Viv Labs was acquired by Samsung last October. It's not quite clear at this point when the Galaxy S8 will be revealed to the public. It could be at the Mobile World Congress at the end of February or on a dedicated event as late as April. In any case, we're looking forward to the camera being used in innovative ways on the new Samsung. 

... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:49:00 Z

TwoEyes VR stereoscopic camera simulates human vision

Another VR camera has launched on Kickstarter, but this one does things a little differently: TwoEyes VR features two horizontally-oriented cameras spaced 65mm apart that record footage in a stereoscopic arrangement. The resulting 3D video simulates the way someone would see the subject with their own eyes.

TwoEyes VR features two F2.0 180-degree lenses spaced 65mm apart, which is said to be the average distance between human eyes. The two cameras (CMOS 1/2.3” sensors), when used together, can record 3D videos in both 180 and 360 degrees, while recording with just one camera results in 360-degree non-3D footage. The camera also supports generating red-cyan 3D footage.

Content is stored to an internal 128GB drive, while other camera features including a 4K image processor, 2,000mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band WiFi, WiFi Direct, and a gyro sensor. The related Android and iOS mobile apps offer users live video previews from the camera, two-button shooting controls, and a post-processing tool for generating either 3D, VR, or 360 videos. 

The team behind TwoEyes is seeking funding on Kickstarter, where they have raised more than double their $40,000 goal with 36 days remaining in the campaign. A ‘Kickstarter Pack’ is offered to backers who pledge at least $239 — it includes the camera and global shipping. Shipments to backers are expected to start this upcoming August.

Via: Kickstarter

... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:22:00 Z

Ambassadorship and $24,000 of kit up for grabs in broncolor’s Gen Next contest

Picture by David Sheldrick, one of the winners from last year's contest

Broncolor is looking for its next generation of young ambassadors and has opened the entry process for this year’s Gen Next contest. The competition is aimed at flash users between the ages of 18 and 30 who inspire the judges and who represent what they see as the next generation of photographers. Winners will receive $24,000 worth of broncolor flash equipment and will have their photography promoted for two years through broncolor’s activities around its ambassador program.

The contest has been running for three years already and on each occasion the company has picked five young photographers to promote. Submissions should include three images that involve some use of flash, though the company doesn’t specify that its equipment has to have been used. As ambassadors the winners will be required to actively promote their use of the broncolor equipment that they won, and will be expected to produce posts for the broncolor blog – but they will also get 20% off purchases and free loans for approved projects.

Entry closes on 6th March. For more information see the broncolor Gen Next website.

Press release

The Gen NEXT program from broncolor seeks young photographers with exceptional talent and creative vision to become Gen NEXT Ambassadors.

For a chance to become a Gen NEXT ambassador, share three of your most inspiring images to the official contest website at gennext.broncolor.com. The contest is open to image makers worldwide, between the ages of 18 and 30, looking to push their career to the next level. Entries are accepted between January 16th and March 6th, 2017, with winners announced the following month by April 26th.

Selected winners will be named as Gen NEXT ambassadors and outfitted with $24,000 (USD) of broncolor equipment. For the next two years, their work and journey as growing photographers will be featured on the Gen NEXT website. With stunning images, behind-the-scenes content, and insight on the photographer’s artistic decisions, Gen NEXT gives an inside look at the creative growth, while promoting the ambassadors’ work to broncolor’s global audience.

First launched in 2014, Gen NEXT features 15 outstanding young photographers representing a wide range of interests in the world of image making. Through their impressive work, the current Gen NEXT ambassadors have already received considerable worldwide attention and continue to lead the way with inspiring images.

First Generation
Gen NEXT ambassadors from the inaugural 2014 group of five include Benjamin Von Wong (CAN), Dustin Snipes (USA), Jason Jia (CHN), Lara Jade (USA) and Manuel Mittelpunkt (GER).

Second Generation
Gen NEXT’s 2015 group features Anita Anti (UKR), Cristina Otero (ESP), Gonzaga Manso (ESP), Lauri Laukkanen (FIN), and Yulia Gorbachenko (UKR).

Third Generation
The latest group from 2016, adds five more ambassadors; David Sheldrick (UK), Jvdas Berra (MX), Justin Lister (USA), Lara Zankoul (LB), and Natalia Evelyn Bencicova (SK).

To find out who will follow in their footsteps, stay tuned on gennext.broncolor.com and on our social media channels Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube.

Welcome to the future of photography. Welcome to broncolor Gen NEXT.

... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 17:56:00 Z

Dear Nikon: Please let us keep the 20mm F1.8G, Love, Dan

An open letter to Nikon 

Dear Nikon, 

Dan Bracaglia here from DPReview.com. It’s been brought to my attention (mostly due to the nagging of coworkers) that the Nikkor 20mm F1.8G lens you’ve loaned us needs to be returned to Nikon ASAP. I guess this makes sense, seeing as we’ve had it for about 20 months now. But perhaps I can convince you, beyond a reason of a doubt to allow us just a little more time with it. I ask because I truly love this lens. And here’s why:

There’s no such thing as a perfect lens, but a lens can certainly be the right tool for a specific job, and to that extent, it’s perfect. Your 20mm F1.8G is just that for me.

I first moved to Seattle about five months before you shipped DPReview the lens. I’d previously been living in New York City and photographing live music. Back then I largely shot with a 17-35mm F2.8 (the lens motor has since died) and an on-camera flash. It was the perfect setup for the rowdy punk rock shows I frequented.

ISO 12,800, 1/160 sec at F2. Edited to taste in Lightroom.

But, after moving I realized I was going to have to switch up my music rig. I became aware that shows in small and mid-size venues in Seattle were well-documented, but shows happening in less traditional spaces, like friends’ basements, living rooms or art/community centers were often not photographed (despite being well-attended). So I launched a photoblog with the goal of documenting my local music community.

Out of respect for these intimate environments, I vowed to leave my flash at home and shoot available light only. And what could be better for documenting in the dark than fast primes? 

When shooting shows with available light, three things matter most to me in a lens: its size/weight (too large = too intrusive), it’s brightest aperture and its focus speed. Your 20mm, Nikon, is a perfect balance of all these things. A look at the Sigma 20mm F1.4 to gives an idea of how big and cumbersome a brighter 20mm lens could be.

And when paired with my D750, the combination is fast-to-focus (using the center area) even in conditions that are often too dark for me to physically see. This is incredibly impressive and useful. Even if I can’t tell whether or not my subject is in focus, I need to be able trust that my camera and lens can. Simply put, when used together the D750 and 20mm F1.8G sing.

ISO 12,800, 1/160 sec at F1.8. Edited to taste in Lightroom.

I've been mostly shooting it alongside your marvelously cheap 50mm F1.8D, which was actually my favorite Nikon lens (shocking!) before I got my paws on the 20mm 1.8G. I use the 50mm for detail shots and the 20mm to capture the tone of the room. Both are coat-pocketable and don't add much bulk to the D750. Moreover both are sharp enough for me by F2.2 and fast-to-focus. The only thing I don't like about the 20mm against the 50mm is the price, which is much more than the quintessential fast 50. 

That’s where the loan comes in. I know, I know, I’m lucky to be able to have access to loaner gear (we do ALSO use the lens for camera testing and sample image shooting), it’s just hard to justify spending $800 on a lens that will likely be soaked in beer within two weeks of my purchase (not that it's ever happened to your 20mm...). I suppose I should be grateful for having had the chance to use a piece of gear and fall in love with it before buying it. After all, the inherent danger of using loaner gear from any brand, is getting attached.

At the the end of the day, maybe I should look at the $800 price tag as less about the cost of the lens and more about the price of being able to continue to document something I love, without drawing much attention. And to that regard, I owe it to myself, my community and you, to pony up and buy one. 

I'll do that, but maybe after just one more loan extension?

Sincerely,

Dan Bracaglia

P.S. Anyone at Nikon want to purchase a slightly busted 17-35mm F2.8 for $800?

... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:00:00 Z

Here's the first known photo of a US Presidential Inauguration

When James Buchanan was sworn into office on March 4, 1857, John Wood made history by making the first known photograph of a US Presidential inauguration. 

Wood was hired by Montgomery C. Meigs, an engineer managing the expansion of the US Capitol which added wings for the Senate and House. According to Robert O'Harrow's The Quartermaster, Meigs was an early days photography enthusiast. As prints became easier and more affordable to produce, he saw the value in using photography to make copies of architectural plans and hired Wood.

For the inaugural photo, Meigs constructed a small stage so that Wood could capture the scene. The crowd of more than 20,000 mostly stood on a platform Meigs had built to hide construction debris. His journal mentions that Wood was able to make the inauguration exposure in 4 seconds, as he had been experimenting with a 'photography process of great speed,' referring to the wet collodion process that was being widely adopted at the time. The image that resulted is an albumen print, resulting from a method of making prints that used a substance found in egg whites and table salt to bind photographic chemicals to paper. 

... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 08:01:00 Z

Meitu: harmless selfie app du jour or data mining scheme?

Meitu is an Android and iOS app made by China-based developer Xiamen Meitu Technology Co., Ltd. The app adds cartoonish embellishments and facial feature distortion reminiscent of Japanese anime to selfies, and for some reason, became widely popular with Western users this week. Meitu is by no means new – it's been around since 2008. But if you went to sleep last night blissfully unaware of its existence, chances are you saw someone's Meitu selfie somewhere on the internet when you woke up.

Meitu brings a couple of things to the table. First, you can use the app as it's intended and apply effects to your own selfies. Take a selfie, add a silly filter, post to Facebook and everyone has a good laugh about it. But Meitu's effects can also be applied to other photos – cue much merriment and silliness on the internet. You can even keep feeding it the same image and re-applying filters until it no longer recognizes a human in the picture, which raises all sorts of existential questions.

But as quickly as it came into the spotlight, spoil sports put the brakes on when they looked closely at the app's code. CNET published an article cautioning users against downloading the app, citing privacy concerns. Twitter user and self-described 'security pessimist' @FourOctets posted an alarming message that the app was sending each user's unique phone identification number to a server in China. Jonathan Zdziarski, a security researcher, also tweeted some of his findings after combing through the iOS version of the app.

It all sounds pretty alarming, but Zdziarski doesn't actually see anything particularly malicious about Meitu. Or at least, nothing unique.

Another Twitter user theorizes that the app's maker is just complying with new Chinese laws.

So what do you think? Is Meitu nothing more than a data-mining scam? Or are you comforted by the fact that all of your other apps are spying on you anyway, so what's the difference? Let us know in the comments.

... Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:30:00 Z

GIMP seeks funding for future advanced features

Open source image editing application GIMP has always been free, but the work required to continue building and improving the software doesn't come without cost. In a recent post, the team asks GIMP's users to lend financial support to Øyvind Kolås, the man behind the Generic Graphics Library (GEGL) and 42% of its commits.

Kolås is responsible for numerous improvements to the graphics engine GEGL, as well as the pixel data conversion library babl. Thanks to this work, in part, GIMP 2.10 will offer numerous notable features including the previously announced 16-bit and 32-bit color channel processing. However, some requested features are still missing, including CMYK and spot colors support, additional filters, better GPU usage and more. 

To help get the ball rolling on those features and others like them, GIMP is pointing users toward a Patreon page for Kolås, where he explains, “GIMP does not redistribute donations to developers/contributors — and I am currently living off savings…” Thus far 186 patrons have lended a total of $793/month support for Kolås. Support options for prospective patrons starts at $2/month, and ranges up to $128/month or higher for institutions.

Via: GIMP

... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:58:00 Z

Nokia Lumia 1020 used as microscope in low-cost DNA sequencer

The Nokia Lumia 1020 was launched back in 2013, but with its large 41MP sensor and innovative down-scaling algorithms is by many still regarded as one of the best smartphone cameras today. 

Now, a team of researchers from the University of California, Sweden's Stockholm University and Uppsala University has used exactly that camera to design a smartphone-based low-cost DNA sequencer and molecular analyzer. A $500 3D-printed attachment turns the Lumia camera into a microscope that can then be used by health workers in developing nations and remote locations to find genetic mutations that cause diseases without analyzing samples in a lab. Usually, the equipment needed for this task costs tens of thousands of dollars. 

When testing, tissue samples are placed in a small container. The Lumia and optical attachment are then used to record multi-color fluorescence and bright-field images. The captured image data is fed into an algorithm for analysis in order to find any possible mutations. The teams says the design can detect even a small amount of cancer cells or other genetic mutations within a large amount of normal cells. 

Given the Lumia 1020 has been out of production for quite some time it's good news that the optical attachment can be adapted to work with more recent smartphone models. 

... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:48:00 Z

Throwback Thursday: Fujifilm X100

The X100 wasn’t the first compact camera to include a truly large sensor: Sigma gets the credit for that, but it was the first to get enough right to really grab the attention of photographers.

We’d been asking manufacturers to build a small camera with a big sensor for a number of years, so you can imagine the buzz in the office when Fujifilm showed up in London with a pre-production X100 and asked ‘Is this what you meant?’

The company had recognized that its most successful niche (the S-series superzooms) was becoming a commodity market, with most customers caring more about how many ‘X’ the zoom range was, rather than which brand name was printed on the front. So it set out to build a product to appeal to serious photographers.

Its response was to create a retro-looking camera that recreated the look and concept of the fixed-lens rangefinders cameras that sold so well throughout the 60s and 70s. But the X100 wasn’t a rangefinder, instead incorporating a clever ‘hybrid’ viewfinder that let you switch between an optical and digital preview, depending on what you were trying to shoot. And photographers loved it.

The X100's fixed 35mm equivalent lens, relatively small size and easy-to-access external controls make for an exceptional 'walk around' second camera. Photo by Carey Rose

The camera’s size and styling meant it immediately caught the photographic imagination. The fixed lens design meant that users of other system didn’t have to worry about lens compatibility or changing systems, it was another tool that did a different thing, which helped it find space in the camera bags of all kinds of photographers.

In the wake of this success, we’ve seen several other manufacturers try to burnish their photography credentials by introducing large sensor, prime lens cameras. Sony went full frame with the capable but quirky RX1, Nikon followed Fujifilm’s lead and stuck its consumer compact branding on the 28mm-equiv Coolpix A and Ricoh gave its GR series a new lease of life by putting an APS-C sensor inside, but none of these have hit the combination of features, price, capability and downright desirability that the X100 achieved.

Stumbling start

That said, at launch, the camera was more cool concept than polished product. It was slow, it was full of maddening quirks and it needed to be switched to Macro mode at exactly the focus distance you wanted to use it at. In fact it was so far from the level of refinement that we were used to that we included a whole page listing the bugs, quirks and idiosyncrasies at the end of our review.

And, to its credit, Fujifilm listened. In a series of firmware updates the company not only smoothed-over a host of the camera’s most annoying rough edges, but then went about adding features.

It’s hard to remember, now, but as recently as 2010 it was very rare for camera makers to do anything beyond fixing critical bugs with firmware. A combination of not wanting to acknowledge any shortcomings and of wanting to divert development resources to the next project meant that cameras didn’t tend to get much better after launch.

Even in the troubled early days, the files - and especially the colors - from the X100 were as handsome as the camera itself. Photo by Carey Rose

Fujifilm rode-out the internet sniping about ‘releasing unfinished products’ and established a model of mid-life improvements and updates that is being increasingly adopted across the industry. More than three years after the X100’s launch, Fujifilm continued to offer not only autofocus improvements but also additional features such as focus peaking that hadn’t even been considered at the camera’s original launch.

And there are some aspects of the camera that firmware could never fix. The manual focusing remains vague and fussy, the lens’ otherwise excellent performance drops off significantly at close distances and the focus mechanism, which moves a relatively large, heavy focusing group, is never going to be ‘snappy.’ Yet the X100 and its successors remain versatile, likeable cameras.

A camera to love

Our original (initial firmware) review concluded that ‘the X100 is too flawed to quite earn our outright recommendation, but if you're prepared to tolerate its foibles as the price to pay for its superb image quality, it's a camera you can easily grow to love.’

And it’s that last sentiment that captures the X100 perfectly. In spite of all of its flaws, several members of DPR staff went out and bought the camera and there’s barely a member of staff since who hasn’t owned at least one camera from the X100 series.

Onward and upward - though Fujifilm has been busy keeping the X100 line up to date, we'll always have a soft spot in our hearts (and for some of us, a space in our camera bags) for the original. Photo by Carey Rose

In the six years since the launch of the original X100, retro design has become commonplace, large sensors in small cameras have become ubiquitous but the X100’s combination of concept, capability and style still help it stand out. For all its faults, its status as a classic, rather than a camera designed to resemble one, looks assured.

Do you own any X100-series cameras? Will you be buying the new X100F? Let us know in the comments!

Original Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sample Gallery

Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page).

We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it. Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution.

Note: Please click through for full-size images from this legacy gallery.

... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:00:00 Z

Photographer captures stunning Aurora Borealis time-lapse from airplane

If you're seated next to a window on a flight to Iceland, it's a good idea to keep your camera close. Landscape photographer Aryeh Nirenberg did, and was treated to an incredible show from the Aurora Borealis at 35,000 feet. With an empty row and his camera nearby, he created an impromptu rig to stabilize the camera and record the time-lapse above.

Whatever works, right? Nirenberg's D810 is braced against the window with a tripod, and a blanket cuts glare from the cabin lights.

Nirenberg propped his Nikon D810 against the window using his tripod, and wrapped a blanket around the lens to cut the glare from cabin lighting. We think the effort was well worth it for a unique view of one of nature's best light shows.

Check out Aryeh Nirenberg's Instagram to see more of his work.

... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:00:00 Z

F is for '4th': Hands-on with Fujifilm X100F

Hands-on with Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm has announced the fourth in its series of X100 rangefinder-style cameras: the X100F. The X100F features an updated sensor, revamped autofocus system, larger battery and tweaked ergonomics. We met with Fujifilm recently and got our hands on a pre-production sample. Click through for a quick product tour.

Hands-on with Fujifilm X100F

Superficially very similar to its predecessor, the X100F is a clear evolution of the X100-series lineup in terms of design. The most obvious difference between the two cameras from the front is the X100F's new front control dial, which brings the total dial-count to three.

Hands-on with Fujifilm X100F

Here's a closer look at that dial, and next to it the viewfinder mode selector lever, which toggles the hybrid finder between optical and electronic viewing modes. The 23mm (35mm equivalent) F2 prime lens is the same design as the X100T (and X100S and X100) and can accept the same telephoto and wide-angle adapters.

However, new 'Mark II' versions of these adapters have been released alongside the X100F. We understand that the Mark II versions are optically identical but feature electronic contacts which match contacts on the X100F camera body, meaning that the camera can recognize when an adapter has been fitted and respond accordingly.

Hands-on with Fujifilm X100F

The X100F's rear control layout has been simplified compared to the X100T, and the controls have been slightly rearranged. The LCD screen is the same, but controls are now arranged on the right of the display, with an AF selection joystick added at upper-right. Essentially the same control that we've seen added in the X-Pro2 and X-T2, this should make changing AF points much easier than it was been in previous X-series models. 

The AF system has been revamped, too. The X100F now features 91 user-positionable AF points (which can be more finely divided into 325, if you prefer), with 40% of the imaging area covered by a hybrid phase-detection autofocus array, and focus should be responsive down to -3EV.

Hands-on with Fujifilm X100F

Another change, but arguably a less impactful one is the addition of an integrated ISO dial to the shutter speed dial on the X100F's top-plate. This matches the same dial on the X-Pro2. It looks nice, but we suspect that for many users it will stay locked on the 'A' position most of the time.

This view also shows off the expanded exposure compensation range of +/-3EV on the dedicated exposure compensation dial (upper right). The 'C' position allows exposure compensation of up to +/-5EV, using the camera's control dials.

Hands-on with Fujifilm X100F

The X100F gains a new battery – the same NP-W126S that's used in the X-Pro2, X-T2 and X-T20. Battery life is rated at between 270 and 390 shots (CIPA) depending on whether you mostly use the electronic or optical finder. As always, these figures only give a value that can be compared between cameras; in real-world usage you'll probably get more than this.

The bigger battery means a slightly deeper camera, and this increased size makes the X100F feel a little more solid and businesslike compared to the previous models.

Hands-on with Fujifilm X100F

The X100F will be available in silver or black, shipping next month for $1299.

... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:30:00 Z

Feisty upstart: Hands-on with the Fujifilm X-T20

A great looking camera

Our first impression of the X-T20: 'that's going to generate a lot of comments.' And there's one simple reason for that: the X-T20 is an awful lot of X-T2 for a lot less money.

This probably shouldn't be a surprise: the X-T20 has the same relationship to the X-T2 as the X-T10 did to the X-T1. The only difference is how quickly the smaller camera has followed on its big brother's heels.

The sixteen month gap between the launch of the X-T1 and X-T10 softened the blow of Fujifilm offering much of the T1's spec at a lower price. But X-T2 owners are likely to flinch slightly at the sight of a camera with such similar spec announced only four months after the T2 hit the shelves, and the knowledge that it'll be another month before anyone can get hold of one is unlikely to ameliorate the sting.

What don't you get?

There certainly are differences between the T2 and T20. Just like their respective predecessors, the more expensive model features a larger viewfinder. The X-T2 uses a larger OLED panel with better magnification (0.77x vs 0.62x, which is more than 50% larger) and a more distant eye-point, meaning you can see the whole panel from further away. The smaller camera doesn't have any weather sealing, either.

There's no battery grip option for the X-T20, so you can't get the reassurance of the 1000 shot-per-charge CIPA rating that the X-T2 has with access to three batteries. Similarly this means there's no way to extend the T20's video longevity, nor to add a headphone socket. Video makers will also note the lack of Log output from the new camera.

Other differences

The X-T20 doesn't offer dual card slots or support for UHS-II cards, which is likely to mean it can only capture sugnificantly shorter bursts of images, making it a considerably less attractive camera to anyone whose interests extend to sports shooting.

The X-T20's 4K video is taken from the full width of the sensor, unlike the X-T2, meaning more lenses will be able to offer a wide-angle view while video shooting. However, this is achieved by line skipping, rather than capturing, demosaicing and then downsampling, so the resolution capture won't match the X-T2.

The X-T20 also lacks the clever dual tilting screen that we liked so much about the T2. The X-T20's rear LCD tilts up and down, meaning you can still shoot stills or video from waist level, but it doesn't adapt itself as well to portrait-orientation shooting.

So what's the fuss?

That's settled, then, they're totally different cameras, right?

Well, no, not really. The most significant similarity is the move to a 24MP sensor (an X-Trans CMOS III, to use Fujifilm's terminology). This was always likely to be part of the X-T20's spec but that doesn't mean we should overlook just how much of an improvement this will offer, compared with the existing 16MP chip.

It's not clear whether it's purely the higher resolution or more sophisticated processing, but the 24MP chip is much less prone to the paintbrush-esque artefacts or 'waxy' skin texture that could occur with the earlier X-Trans cameras. Either way, just the inclusion of the 24MP sensor should have existing X-mount owners studying their bank balances.

Performance/processor

The X-T20 also gains the same processor as the X-T2 so just about every aspect of the T20's performance should be similarly snappy.

The autofocus speeds, shutter lag time, shot-to-shot time and startup delay are all comparably rapid, meaning the X-T20 should be a pleasantly responsive camera. The only detail that's unclear is whether the X-T20 will share the X-T2's 'Boost' mode that increases EVF refresh rates from 60 to 100Hz.

The use of the same NP-W126S battery as the X-T2 means the X-T20 can offer a CIPA rating of 350 shots per charge; a 10% improvement on the camera's predecessor. As with all CIPA numbers, real-world usage is likely to last much longer than this, but the figure should be comparable between cameras. The X-T20 will charge over its USB 2.0 socket.

AF system (inc customization)

The X-T20 gains its autofocus system wholesale from the X-T2, not only providing direct access to up to 325 selectable AF points (up from the X-T10's 49), but also gaining the sophisticated continuous AF fine-tuning. The development of this system for the X-T2 helped that camera offer hugely improved C-AF and tracking results when paired with fast-focusing lenses.

The X-T20 doesn't offer a customizable C-AF preset (option 6 in X-T2's menu, shown above), to allow fine-tuning of the system's behavior, so you need to choose between the 5 available presets.

Touchscreen

The X-T20 doesn't have the X-T2's AF point joystick but it does, instead, have a touch-sensitive rear LCD. We've not had a chance to try the production-ready X-T20 touchscreen experience, so can't be sure exactly how well it will work (and we'll be updating this story very soon, once we have).

The camera lets you set the focus point, set focus point and initiate focus, or set focus point, initiate focus and fire the shutter. The ability to move the focus point during movie shooting is also promised, which is a huge bonus. The touchscreen isn't active when you're shooting with your eye to the viewfinder.

The touchscreen also has a role to play in playback mode, allowing swiping between images, pinching to zoom in and out, and double-tapping to jump to a magnified view of the focus point used. Our initial experiences with a pre-production model suggest it isn't the most responsive touchscreen system, but we'll have to wait for the final samples to be sure.

Ergonomics

Comparing side-by-side, the X-T20's ergonomics are very similar to those of the T2. Like the X-T2, the T20 has a dedicated movie-shooting mode, freeing up a button on the top plate for customization and meaning you can preview the video angle-of-view prior to shooting. However, the camera loses the Fn button that the X-T10 had it its rear panel, so you don't end up any better off, overall.

The handling isn't quite the same, of course: the smaller camera doesn't have a front-plate Fn button, its shutter button is rather smaller and the top-plate Fn button isn't quite as conveniently located. The X-T20 also misses out on an ISO dial, but the ability to cycle between three Auto ISO presets probably makes up for that (and is more effective than the pretty-but-unusable combined shutter speed/ISO dial used on the X-Pro2 and X100F).

On the camera's right shoulder is an exposure comp dial that extends from +3 to -3EV and also features a 'C' position that hands-off control to the camera's command dial, extending the available range of compensation out to +/-5EV. There's also a lever to engage full auto mode if you need to hand the camera to your grandma.

The X-T20 also gains the improved menus offered on the X-T2, including a custom 'My Menu' tab.

Kit and caboodle

Best of all, Fujifilm offers the X-T20 in a series of kits. For existing X-mount users there's a body-only option ($899). For budget buyers who need a lens, there's a kit with the XC (no aperture ring) 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS ($999): a perfectly standard kit zoom. But the combination that stands out to us the the kit with the 18-55mm F2.8-4 OIS ($1199): one of the best kit lenses on the market and a great way to minimize the need to upgrade.

This much camera and lens for the list price of an X-T2? Even if it does upset some people, the X-T20 looks likely to make a lot of photographers very happy.

... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:30:00 Z

Fujifilm medium-format GFX 50S to ship in late February for $6500

Back at Photokina in September, Fujifilm took the wraps off of its new mirrorless medium-format camera, the GFX 50S. Today they're released all of the details, including price and ship date.

The GFX 50S uses a 51.4MP 'Fujifilm G Format' medium-format sensor (43.8 x 32.9mm), which is 1.7x the area of a full-frame sensor. The lens mount is known as G-mount and, like all medium-format cameras, it has a 'reverse' crop factor of 0.79x, so that new 63mm F2.8 lens is equivalent to 50mm. The camera has a 117-point contrast-detect AF system, and users can set the focus point using the touchscreen or a joystick on the rear plate. Its NP-T125 lithium-ion battery is rated for 400 shots on a single charge (meaning you'll probably get many more in most real-world usage).

The weather-sealed body is made of a magnesium alloy and weighs just 825g/43oz with battery and memory card installed. It has a 3.2" dual-tilt touchscreen LCD display and a 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder, to which you can add a 'tilt adapter' allowing it to tilt upward by 90° and rotated left or right by 45° (that's a lot of tilting). On the top plate is a 1.28" LCD which displays current shooting settings. There are two SD card slots, both of which support high-speed UHS-II media.

The GFX 50S has Fujifilm's Film Simulation modes, including a new Color Chrome Effect option. It can capture Full HD video at up to 30p, with a bit rate of 36 Mbps. As one would expect from a camera in this class, the GFX 50S supports tethered shooting from a PC. Optional accessories include a battery grip, H-Mount adapter for use with classic Fujinon HC lenses and a 'View Camera Adapter G' that lets you use the GFX as a digital back.

Along with the GFX come three new lenses, with three more to follow by the end of the year. The initial trio of lenses including a 110mm F2 (equivalent to 87mm), 23mm F4 (18mm equiv.) and 45mm F2.8 (35mm equiv.).

The GFX 50S will ship in late February at an MSRP of $6499/£6199.

GROUNDBREAKING FUJIFILM GFX 50S MEDIUM FORMAT MIRRORLESS CAMERA DELIVERS ULTRA-HIGH IMAGE QUALITY

FUJIFILM GFX 50S combines an extraordinary sensor, processor and design with FUJINON lenses to give users the ultimate photography experience

Valhalla, N.Y., January 19, 2017 – As the leader in innovation for photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announces the FUJIFILM GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera that will launch late February, 2017 with an initial selection of three FUJINON lenses - the GF63mmF2.8 R WR, the GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR, and the GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro. These lenses encapsulate the design philosophy of FUJINON lenses that are renowned by photographers around the world.

The innovative GFX system utilizes a Fujifilm exclusive 43.8 x 32.9mm (FUJIFILM G Format) 51.4MP CMOS sensor. The GFX 50S combines the heritage of over 80 years of imaging and the innovative award-winning functional design of our X Series digital camera system in the relentless pursuit of image quality.

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S Revealed

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S mirrorless digital camera uses the new 51.4MP FUJIFILM G Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor with approximately 1.7x the area of a 35mm sensor. In addition to the camera are three new FUJINON GF Lenses that will be followed by three additional lenses later in 2017.

The GFX 50S 51.4MP sensor shows its true potential when making large format prints, capturing majestic landscape photos or reproducing historical documents. Compared to a full size sensor with equivalent megapixels, both resolution and sensitivity are dramatically better due to the larger size of each pixel. As a result, the sensor captures great textures and subtlety of tone that is unique to large size sensors. The texture and tone combine to give a unique three-dimensional effect creating extremely high quality photography. Images captured can be reproduced down to the smallest detail, conveying the texture of the subject, a three-dimensional feeling, and the atmosphere of the scene.

For flash photography in the studio or outdoors during the day, the GFX 50S sensor has a native ISO of 100. The sensor can also be adapted to various aspect ratios, including 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, 65:24, 5:4, 7:6, all of which are available in large and medium format film cameras.

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S uses the X Processor Pro (also used in the X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras) and allows photographers to use Fujifilm's proprietary Film Simulations with a Medium Format sensor. The camera supports Full HD recording at 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p. Users can enjoy high quality video with no post-processing required by using Film Simulation modes just like they would with a still image. The GFX 50S introduces a new Color Chrome Effect feature that reproduces subtle tones in highly saturated subjects.

Ultimate Performance in a Compact Body

With a compact and lightweight body constructed from magnesium alloy, the FUJIFILM GFX 50S weighs approximately 43 ounces when paired with the FUJINON GF63mmF2.8 R WR, and weighs approximately 60% of a medium format DSLR camera equipped with a sensor of the same size. When compared to a full frame, the weight is almost identical. Overall camera body height and width have also been minimized for maximum flexibility, overturning the common perceptions regarding the mobility of medium format digital cameras.

Bright, Crystal Clear Viewfinder and Large Touchscreen

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S gives users a 3.69M dot organic EL electronic viewfinder and 2.36M dot touchscreen LCD back panel for easy viewing. The EVF is detachable to allow for flexible operation. Users can attach the accessory EVF-TL1 EVF tilt adapter (sold separately) to allow the finder to be tilted to 90° vertically and swung ±45°. A 3.2 inch, 2.36M dot touch panel is used for the rear monitor, with touch operation for the menu, focusing points and image playback. A three-directional tilting LCD screen improves operability and makes viewing images and checking focus even easier.

FUJINON Lenses Guarantee Image Perfection

As part of the GFX system, Fujifilm is launching newly developed, ultra-high resolution FUJINON GF lenses. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system’s structure, the G Mount has a short flange back distance of just 26.7mm that reduces the back focus distance as much as possible. This prevents vignetting and achieves edge-to-edge sharpness. All FUJINON GF Lenses have been designed to support sensors of over 100MP.

GFX lens barrels feature an aperture ring in the same manner as FUJINON XF lenses, for intuitive operation. A new C (Command) Position has been added to the aperture ring, allowing users to change the aperture with the camera’s command dial. The A (Auto) Position and C Position feature a locking button installed on the aperture ring that must be disabled to implement changes.

Built for the Professional, and the Enthusiast

Just as with the flagship X Series models, the FUJIFILM GFX 50S features dedicated dials to independently set aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, the important factors in determining exposure.

Aperture and ISO feature a C (Command) and the shutter speed dial has a T (Time) Position. Setting the dial to this position allows the user to change exposure settings using the command dials on the front and rear of the camera body. The user can choose between these two operation methods according to their preference, ease of use, and the shooting environment.

The GFX 50S is equipped with a 1.28 inch LCD sub monitor on the top of the body. Important exposure data such as aperture and shutter speed is displayed on this screen. This display is extremely useful when shooting on a tripod or tethered to a computer.

A 117-point (9 x 13 / maximum of 425 points when miniaturized) contrast AF system is used on the GFX 50S. High-precision AF on the imaging sensor dramatically improves focusing accuracy with the shallow depth of field produced by medium format lenses. First adopted in the FUJIFILM X-Pro2, focus point selection can be performed by using the Focus Lever, which allows intuitive movement of the focus point. Alternatively, users can select the focus point from the touch panel LCD screen.

Initial Lens Lineup Will Include the Following Three FUJINON Options:

  1. GF63mmF2.8 R WR (equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format)
  2. GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR (equivalent to 25-51mm in 35mm format)
  3. GF120mmF4 Macro R LM OIS WR (equivalent to 95mm in 35mm format)

FUJINON GF63mmF2.8 R WR

The optical system features a construction of 8 groups and 10 elements, including 1 ED lens element. This lens construction is the most suitable for high resolution in compact and stylish design, the external form of this small and lightweight lens has a diameter of just 84.0 x 71.0mm with a weight of only 14.2 ounces \ 405 grams. Using the front group for the focus, aberrations due to focus distance are suppressed, achieving high resolution performance even when wide open from the center to the edges of the lens.

FUJINON GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR

The FUJINON GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR features a construction of 11 groups and 14 elements, 3 aspheric elements, 1 ED lens and 1 super ED lens, allowing this lens to achieve image quality rivalling prime lenses. As a result, the lens demonstrates extremely high performance from the center all the way to the edges. The lens uses internal focusing, reducing the weight of the focus lens and achieving fast and silent AF by driving focus using a linear motor.

FUJINON GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro

The FUJINON GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro has a construction of 9 groups and 14 elements, including 3 ED lens elements. By adopting a floating focus method using a linear motor, silent high-speed autofocusing is achieved while aberrations are corrected, dramatically increasing the resolution. Furthermore, by arranging the ED lenses properly, chromatic aberrations are also properly corrected, contributing to high quality images. In designing this lens the quality of the out of focus area both in front and behind the plane of focus were considered, giving this lens beautiful bokeh. This lens is equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS) effective up to 5.0-stops, making this lens perfect for handheld shooting in low-light situations.

Three Additional FUJINON GF Lenses to be Announced Later in 2017:

  1. GF110mmF2 R LM WR (equivalent to 87mm in 35mm format)
  2. GF23mmF4 R LM WR (equivalent to 18mm in 35mm format)
  3. GF45mmF2.8 R WR (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format)

GFX 50S Accessories (sold separately)

  1. Vertical Battery Grip VG-GFX1 – high-performance battery grip is designed to place the release button, dials, and function buttons in the same positions when shooting vertically. The battery grip can be loaded with one NP-T125 dedicated battery, lowering the frequency that batteries need replacing. Also, by connecting the AC-15V accessory (sold separately), it is possible to charge the battery within the grip in approximately 2 hours.
  1. EVF Tilt Adapter EVF-TL1 – mounting this accessory between the camera body and EVF, the angle of the EVF can be changed to angles from 0°〜90° vertically and from -45°〜+45° horizontally. Doing this allows the user to shoot at various angles while using the viewfinder, greatly increasing the versatility of the finder for different subjects.
  1. H Mount Adapter G – allows you to use SUPER EBC FUJINON HC interchangeable lenses developed for the FUJIFILM GX645AF medium format film camera (discontinued). By attaching this adapter to the GFX 50S, a total of 9 SUPER EBC FUJINON HC interchangeable lenses and 1 tele-converter developed for the GX645AF can be used. While the focusing method will be limited to manual focusing, the lens aperture can be changed using the command dial on the camera body, and shooting with the leaf shutter built in to the lenses is also possible. Using this lens shutter will allow high speed flash synchronization up to a maximum speed of 1/800 sec.

    Also, the adapter is equipped with electrical contacts that can communicate with the camera body, independently creating, saving, and applying correctional data for each lens. The adapter supports Manual and Aperture Priority AE exposure modes.

*A removable tripod foot is included to mount the camera with a heavy or long focal length lens.

  1. View Camera Adapter G – allows the GFX 50S to be used as a digital back. The view camera adapter allows the GFX 50S to be mounted to the standard universal-type back of a view camera. This allows the use of FUJINON large format camera lenses, such as the CM-W FUJINON lens series. The camera or lens shutter can be triggered, allowing the user to choose the optimum method. The large image circle and the bellows of the view camera can be used with tilt, shift and swing movements, effective for product and architectural photography.
    *There may be instances in which the adapter cannot be mounted depending on the shape of the view camera.
  1. Tethered Shooting Solutions – We have the following tethering solutions for photographers, including: X Acquire to transfer images from the camera to a hot folder on your computer for use with your preferred imaging software, Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® and HS-V5 for Windows (sold separately).

    By connecting the GFX 50S to a PC via USB cable and using this software, it is possible to transfer photographed images directly to the PC, as well as control the camera from the PC. Also, by using the Control Panel Window newly added to Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, additional camera functions become available.
  1. RAW FILE CONVERTER EX2.0 – powered by SILKYPIX (free of charge) RAW development software and Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® / Adobe® Photoshop® CC (sold separately). RAW development software is used for detailed corrections and advanced image processing that isn't supported by the in-camera RAW conversion. Both software support Fujifilm's "Film Simulation" modes, allowing creation of image data that is extremely close to Fujifilm’s advanced color reproduction.

FUJIFILM GFX 50S Key Features:

  • 51.4MP Medium Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor for superior sharpness and image quality for all photographers
    • Adaptable to various aspect ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, 65:24, 5:4, 7:6
  • FUJIFILM G Mount with short flange back distance of just 26.7mm
  • X-Processor Pro imaging processor
  • Detachable electronic viewfinder
  • Weather and dust resistant; operation to as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius
  • File formats include three different JPEG settings (SUPER FINE, FINE, NORMAL), as well as two different RAW settings (uncompressed, compressed). TIFF output is also possible with in-camera RAW development
  • Full HD for Movie Mode: 1920x1080 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 36Mbps, in Film Simulation modes
  • Light body weighs approximately 43oz. \ 825g (including battery and memory card)
  • Uses SD Cards (UHS-II recommended)
    • Equipped with dual slots
    • Supports three different types of recording methods, "Sequential," in which recording can be continued according to shooting order, "Backup," which records the same data on two cards simultaneously, and "Sorting," which records RAW and JPEG data on separate cards
  • Uses newly developed NP-T125 high capacity battery for approximately 400 photos (with Auto Power Save ON)
  • All FUJINON GF Lenses are dust and weather resistant, built to withstand operation at temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius allowing photographers to take them outdoors with confidence in challenging weather conditions.
  • The new FUJINON GF Lenses feature an aperture ring, a popular feature in the X Series, and have a new C (Command) Position on the ring to enable aperture adjustments with the Command Dial on the camera body
  • A Fluorine coating applied to the front lens element creates a hydrophobic coating that repels moisture.

The GFX 50S and FUJINON GF lenses culminate to create a new camera system capable of creating the world's highest level of photographic expressions by combining the thorough incorporation of knowledge regarding camera operation, optical design, image capture, and image processing.

Availability and Pricing

The new FUJIFILM GFX 50S Medium Format Camera Body will be available Late February, 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $6,499.95 and CAD $8,499.99.

Also available in February, 2017 will be the first three FUJINON GF lenses. GF63mmF2.8 R WR for USD $1,499.95 and CAD $1,899.99, GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR for USD $2,299.95 and CAD $2,999.99, and GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro for USD $2,699.95 and CAD $3,499.99.

Fujifilm GFX 50S specifications

Price
MSRP$6499/£6199
Body type
Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution8256 x 6192
Image ratio w:h1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2
Effective pixels51 megapixels
Sensor sizeMedium format (44 x 33 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorX Processor Pro
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-12800 (expands up to 102400)
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW + TIFF
JPEG quality levelsSuper fine, fine, normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (14-bit RAF)
  • TIFF (via Raw conversion)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points117
Focal length multiplier0.79×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2
Screen dots2,360,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeOLED
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.85×
Viewfinder resolution3,690,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed360 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync terminal)
Flash modesAuto, standard, slow sync, manual, off
Flash X sync speed1/125 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer
  • Remote
Continuous drive3.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (dual slots, UHS-II supported)
Connectivity
USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via cable or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-T125 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)400
Weight (inc. batteries)740 g (1.63 lb / 26.10 oz)
Dimensions148 x 94 x 91 mm (5.83 x 3.7 x 3.58)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone
... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:30:00 Z

Fujifilm releases first round of G-mount medium-format lenses

You're going to need some lenses to go along with that new Fujifilm GFX 50S, and the company announced a trio of them.

First up is the GF 63mm F2.8 R WR, which is equivalent to 50mm when mounted on the medium-format GFX 50S. It's small and lightweight, features nine rounded aperture blades and is sealed against dust and moisture (as are the other two lenses announced today). It will be available in February for $1499/£1399.

For those seeking a zoom, there's the GF 32-64mm F4 R LM WR. This lens is equivalent to 25-51mm and has aspherical, ED and Super ED elements and a linear motor-powered internal AF system. The zoom will set you back $2299/£2199.

The final lens is a tele-macro model with optical image stabilization rated to 5 stops. The GF 120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro is equivalent to 95mm and has 3 ED elements, a linear AF motor and a minimum focus distance of 45cm/18in. The 120mm is priced at $2699/£2599.

Three additional lenses will be released by the end of the year, including a 23mm F4, 45mm F2.8 and 110mm F2. 

GROUNDBREAKING FUJIFILM GFX 50S MEDIUM FORMAT MIRRORLESS CAMERA DELIVERS ULTRA-HIGH IMAGE QUALITY

FUJIFILM GFX 50S combines an extraordinary sensor, processor and design with FUJINON lenses to give users the ultimate photography experience

Valhalla, N.Y., January 19, 2017 – As the leader in innovation for photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announces the FUJIFILM GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera that will launch late February, 2017 with an initial selection of three FUJINON lenses - the GF63mmF2.8 R WR, the GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR, and the GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro. These lenses encapsulate the design philosophy of FUJINON lenses that are renowned by photographers around the world.

The innovative GFX system utilizes a Fujifilm exclusive 43.8 x 32.9mm (FUJIFILM G Format) 51.4MP CMOS sensor. The GFX 50S combines the heritage of over 80 years of imaging and the innovative award-winning functional design of our X Series digital camera system in the relentless pursuit of image quality.

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S Revealed

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S mirrorless digital camera uses the new 51.4MP FUJIFILM G Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor with approximately 1.7x the area of a 35mm sensor. In addition to the camera are three new FUJINON GF Lenses that will be followed by three additional lenses later in 2017.

The GFX 50S 51.4MP sensor shows its true potential when making large format prints, capturing majestic landscape photos or reproducing historical documents. Compared to a full size sensor with equivalent megapixels, both resolution and sensitivity are dramatically better due to the larger size of each pixel. As a result, the sensor captures great textures and subtlety of tone that is unique to large size sensors. The texture and tone combine to give a unique three-dimensional effect creating extremely high quality photography. Images captured can be reproduced down to the smallest detail, conveying the texture of the subject, a three-dimensional feeling, and the atmosphere of the scene.

For flash photography in the studio or outdoors during the day, the GFX 50S sensor has a native ISO of 100. The sensor can also be adapted to various aspect ratios, including 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, 65:24, 5:4, 7:6, all of which are available in large and medium format film cameras.

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S uses the X Processor Pro (also used in the X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras) and allows photographers to use Fujifilm's proprietary Film Simulations with a Medium Format sensor. The camera supports Full HD recording at 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p. Users can enjoy high quality video with no post-processing required by using Film Simulation modes just like they would with a still image. The GFX 50S introduces a new Color Chrome Effect feature that reproduces subtle tones in highly saturated subjects.

Ultimate Performance in a Compact Body

With a compact and lightweight body constructed from magnesium alloy, the FUJIFILM GFX 50S weighs approximately 43 ounces when paired with the FUJINON GF63mmF2.8 R WR, and weighs approximately 60% of a medium format DSLR camera equipped with a sensor of the same size. When compared to a full frame, the weight is almost identical. Overall camera body height and width have also been minimized for maximum flexibility, overturning the common perceptions regarding the mobility of medium format digital cameras.

Bright, Crystal Clear Viewfinder and Large Touchscreen

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S gives users a 3.69M dot organic EL electronic viewfinder and 2.36M dot touchscreen LCD back panel for easy viewing. The EVF is detachable to allow for flexible operation. Users can attach the accessory EVF-TL1 EVF tilt adapter (sold separately) to allow the finder to be tilted to 90° vertically and swung ±45°. A 3.2 inch, 2.36M dot touch panel is used for the rear monitor, with touch operation for the menu, focusing points and image playback. A three-directional tilting LCD screen improves operability and makes viewing images and checking focus even easier.

FUJINON Lenses Guarantee Image Perfection

As part of the GFX system, Fujifilm is launching newly developed, ultra-high resolution FUJINON GF lenses. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system’s structure, the G Mount has a short flange back distance of just 26.7mm that reduces the back focus distance as much as possible. This prevents vignetting and achieves edge-to-edge sharpness. All FUJINON GF Lenses have been designed to support sensors of over 100MP.

GFX lens barrels feature an aperture ring in the same manner as FUJINON XF lenses, for intuitive operation. A new C (Command) Position has been added to the aperture ring, allowing users to change the aperture with the camera’s command dial. The A (Auto) Position and C Position feature a locking button installed on the aperture ring that must be disabled to implement changes.

Built for the Professional, and the Enthusiast

Just as with the flagship X Series models, the FUJIFILM GFX 50S features dedicated dials to independently set aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, the important factors in determining exposure.

Aperture and ISO feature a C (Command) and the shutter speed dial has a T (Time) Position. Setting the dial to this position allows the user to change exposure settings using the command dials on the front and rear of the camera body. The user can choose between these two operation methods according to their preference, ease of use, and the shooting environment.

The GFX 50S is equipped with a 1.28 inch LCD sub monitor on the top of the body. Important exposure data such as aperture and shutter speed is displayed on this screen. This display is extremely useful when shooting on a tripod or tethered to a computer.

A 117-point (9 x 13 / maximum of 425 points when miniaturized) contrast AF system is used on the GFX 50S. High-precision AF on the imaging sensor dramatically improves focusing accuracy with the shallow depth of field produced by medium format lenses. First adopted in the FUJIFILM X-Pro2, focus point selection can be performed by using the Focus Lever, which allows intuitive movement of the focus point. Alternatively, users can select the focus point from the touch panel LCD screen.

Initial Lens Lineup Will Include the Following Three FUJINON Options:

  1. GF63mmF2.8 R WR (equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format)
  2. GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR (equivalent to 25-51mm in 35mm format)
  3. GF120mmF4 Macro R LM OIS WR (equivalent to 95mm in 35mm format)

FUJINON GF63mmF2.8 R WR

The optical system features a construction of 8 groups and 10 elements, including 1 ED lens element. This lens construction is the most suitable for high resolution in compact and stylish design, the external form of this small and lightweight lens has a diameter of just 84.0 x 71.0mm with a weight of only 14.2 ounces \ 405 grams. Using the front group for the focus, aberrations due to focus distance are suppressed, achieving high resolution performance even when wide open from the center to the edges of the lens.

FUJINON GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR

The FUJINON GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR features a construction of 11 groups and 14 elements, 3 aspheric elements, 1 ED lens and 1 super ED lens, allowing this lens to achieve image quality rivalling prime lenses. As a result, the lens demonstrates extremely high performance from the center all the way to the edges. The lens uses internal focusing, reducing the weight of the focus lens and achieving fast and silent AF by driving focus using a linear motor.

FUJINON GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro

The FUJINON GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro has a construction of 9 groups and 14 elements, including 3 ED lens elements. By adopting a floating focus method using a linear motor, silent high-speed autofocusing is achieved while aberrations are corrected, dramatically increasing the resolution. Furthermore, by arranging the ED lenses properly, chromatic aberrations are also properly corrected, contributing to high quality images. In designing this lens the quality of the out of focus area both in front and behind the plane of focus were considered, giving this lens beautiful bokeh. This lens is equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS) effective up to 5.0-stops, making this lens perfect for handheld shooting in low-light situations.

Three Additional FUJINON GF Lenses to be Announced Later in 2017:

  1. GF110mmF2 R LM WR (equivalent to 87mm in 35mm format)
  2. GF23mmF4 R LM WR (equivalent to 18mm in 35mm format)
  3. GF45mmF2.8 R WR (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format)

GFX 50S Accessories (sold separately)

  1. Vertical Battery Grip VG-GFX1 – high-performance battery grip is designed to place the release button, dials, and function buttons in the same positions when shooting vertically. The battery grip can be loaded with one NP-T125 dedicated battery, lowering the frequency that batteries need replacing. Also, by connecting the AC-15V accessory (sold separately), it is possible to charge the battery within the grip in approximately 2 hours.
  1. EVF Tilt Adapter EVF-TL1 – mounting this accessory between the camera body and EVF, the angle of the EVF can be changed to angles from 0°〜90° vertically and from -45°〜+45° horizontally. Doing this allows the user to shoot at various angles while using the viewfinder, greatly increasing the versatility of the finder for different subjects.
  1. H Mount Adapter G – allows you to use SUPER EBC FUJINON HC interchangeable lenses developed for the FUJIFILM GX645AF medium format film camera (discontinued). By attaching this adapter to the GFX 50S, a total of 9 SUPER EBC FUJINON HC interchangeable lenses and 1 tele-converter developed for the GX645AF can be used. While the focusing method will be limited to manual focusing, the lens aperture can be changed using the command dial on the camera body, and shooting with the leaf shutter built in to the lenses is also possible. Using this lens shutter will allow high speed flash synchronization up to a maximum speed of 1/800 sec.

    Also, the adapter is equipped with electrical contacts that can communicate with the camera body, independently creating, saving, and applying correctional data for each lens. The adapter supports Manual and Aperture Priority AE exposure modes.

*A removable tripod foot is included to mount the camera with a heavy or long focal length lens.

  1. View Camera Adapter G – allows the GFX 50S to be used as a digital back. The view camera adapter allows the GFX 50S to be mounted to the standard universal-type back of a view camera. This allows the use of FUJINON large format camera lenses, such as the CM-W FUJINON lens series. The camera or lens shutter can be triggered, allowing the user to choose the optimum method. The large image circle and the bellows of the view camera can be used with tilt, shift and swing movements, effective for product and architectural photography.
    *There may be instances in which the adapter cannot be mounted depending on the shape of the view camera.
  1. Tethered Shooting Solutions – We have the following tethering solutions for photographers, including: X Acquire to transfer images from the camera to a hot folder on your computer for use with your preferred imaging software, Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® and HS-V5 for Windows (sold separately).

    By connecting the GFX 50S to a PC via USB cable and using this software, it is possible to transfer photographed images directly to the PC, as well as control the camera from the PC. Also, by using the Control Panel Window newly added to Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, additional camera functions become available.
  1. RAW FILE CONVERTER EX2.0 – powered by SILKYPIX (free of charge) RAW development software and Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® / Adobe® Photoshop® CC (sold separately). RAW development software is used for detailed corrections and advanced image processing that isn't supported by the in-camera RAW conversion. Both software support Fujifilm's "Film Simulation" modes, allowing creation of image data that is extremely close to Fujifilm’s advanced color reproduction.

FUJIFILM GFX 50S Key Features:

  • 51.4MP Medium Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor for superior sharpness and image quality for all photographers
    • Adaptable to various aspect ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, 65:24, 5:4, 7:6
  • FUJIFILM G Mount with short flange back distance of just 26.7mm
  • X-Processor Pro imaging processor
  • Detachable electronic viewfinder
  • Weather and dust resistant; operation to as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius
  • File formats include three different JPEG settings (SUPER FINE, FINE, NORMAL), as well as two different RAW settings (uncompressed, compressed). TIFF output is also possible with in-camera RAW development
  • Full HD for Movie Mode: 1920x1080 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 36Mbps, in Film Simulation modes
  • Light body weighs approximately 43oz. \ 825g (including battery and memory card)
  • Uses SD Cards (UHS-II recommended)
    • Equipped with dual slots
    • Supports three different types of recording methods, "Sequential," in which recording can be continued according to shooting order, "Backup," which records the same data on two cards simultaneously, and "Sorting," which records RAW and JPEG data on separate cards
  • Uses newly developed NP-T125 high capacity battery for approximately 400 photos (with Auto Power Save ON)
  • All FUJINON GF Lenses are dust and weather resistant, built to withstand operation at temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius allowing photographers to take them outdoors with confidence in challenging weather conditions.
  • The new FUJINON GF Lenses feature an aperture ring, a popular feature in the X Series, and have a new C (Command) Position on the ring to enable aperture adjustments with the Command Dial on the camera body
  • A Fluorine coating applied to the front lens element creates a hydrophobic coating that repels moisture.

The GFX 50S and FUJINON GF lenses culminate to create a new camera system capable of creating the world's highest level of photographic expressions by combining the thorough incorporation of knowledge regarding camera operation, optical design, image capture, and image processing.

Availability and Pricing

The new FUJIFILM GFX 50S Medium Format Camera Body will be available Late February, 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $6,499.95 and CAD $8,499.99.

Also available in February, 2017 will be the first three FUJINON GF lenses. GF63mmF2.8 R WR for USD $1,499.95 and CAD $1,899.99, GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR for USD $2,299.95 and CAD $2,999.99, and GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro for USD $2,699.95 and CAD $3,499.99.

Fujifilm GF 63mm F2.8 R WR / 120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro specifications

 Fujifilm GF 63mm F2.8 R WRFujifilm GF 120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro
Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size645
Focal length63 mm
Image stabilizationNoYes (5 stops)
Lens mountFujifilm G
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.8F4
Minimum apertureF32
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesRounded blades
Optics
Elements1014
Groups89
Special elements / coatings1 ED element3 ED elements
Focus
Minimum focus0.50 m (19.69)0.45 m (17.72)
Maximum magnification0.17×0.5×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeLinear Motor
Full time manualYes
Focus methodExtending frontInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight405 g (0.89 lb)980 g (2.16 lb)
Diameter84 mm (3.31)89 mm (3.5)
Length71 mm (2.8)153 mm (6.02)
SealingYes
Filter thread62.0 mm72.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo

Fujifilm GF 32-64mm F4 R LM WR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format size645
Focal length32–64 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountFujifilm G
Aperture
Maximum apertureF4
Minimum apertureF32
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesRounded blades
Optics
Elements14
Groups11
Special elements / coatings3 aspheric lenses, 1 ED lens, 1 Super ED lens
Focus
Minimum focus0.50 m (19.69)
Maximum magnification0.12×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeLinear Motor
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight875 g (1.93 lb)
Diameter93 mm (3.66)
Length116 mm (4.57)
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockUnknown
Filter thread77.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo
... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:30:00 Z

Fujifilm X100F steps up to 24.3MP, adds AF joystick

Fujifilm is taking the wraps off the X100F, the fourth generation of its popular enthusiast-focused compact series. It updates the house that the X100 built with a 24.3MP X-Trans III APS-C sensor and X-Processor Pro image processor borrowed from the X-T2.

The number of autofocus points has been increased from 49 to 91, and Fujifilm claims an improved fastest AF acquisition time of 0.08 seconds. Fuji also claims faster overall performance for the X100F, quoting a startup time of 0.5 sec and 0.2 sec shutter release.

Changes can also be seen on the top and rear panels of the camera – notably, an AF joystick makes its first appearance on the X100 series. Other controls have been shifted to the right of the LCD, and up top the shutter speed dial has been modified to include ISO controls. A front control dial has also been added. The hybrid viewfinder has also been updated, and now offers image magnification when using the electronic rangefinder mode.

Other updates include the addition of a C setting on the exposure compensation dial, which enables adjustments using the command dial, expanding the range to +/- 5 stops. ACROS is can now be in the X100F's roster of film simulation modes, as well. The WCL-X100 wide-angle and TCL-X100 tele-conversion lenses have also been updated to 'Mark II' versions. They offer electronic contacts so that the camera will automatically recognize the conversion lenses when they're attached and apply distortion correction. 

The Fujifilm X100F will be available February 16th in black or silver for $1299/£1249.

Press release:

FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES NEXT GENERATION X100F FROM THE SERIES THAT STARTED A REVOLUTION

X100F features improved Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder and the latest 24.3MP sensor and processor

Valhalla, N.Y., January 19, 2017 FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the FUJIFILM X100F, the new premium rangefinder style compact digital camera featuring a unique Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder that allows users to switch between an optical viewfinder and electronic viewfinder. The new X100F is the fourth generation release from the series that introduced the first hybrid viewfinder camera for ultimate flexibility, style and premium image quality.

Featuring the latest 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C image sensor, high-speed image processing engine and a high-performance FUJINON 23mm F2 lens, the X100F delivers outstanding color reproduction and gradation of tones in both stills and videos, while providing photographers with increased mobility and an unsurpassed user experience. 

Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder with Quick Response and Enhanced AF Performance

The FUJIFILM X100F uses an Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder that combines the features of an Optical Viewfinder (OVF) with an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) for enhanced performance and convenience. While in Electronic Rangefinder mode, users can now change the magnification, shown as EVF in the optical viewfinder, for greater accuracy when checking focus. The small EVF window can display 100% field of view as well as 2.5x and 6x magnifications, and the EVF frame rate has been increased to 60 frames per second.

To provide users with perfect framing and focus while using the Manual Focus mode, the Real Time Parallax Correction function is applied to the focus area in addition to the guide frame. Photographers can also now check exposure and white balance in the EVF window, making it the ultimate viewfinder while providing all the benefits of the EVF while shooting through the OVF.

The new X100F has enhanced AF performance with improvements to basic response time specifications to ensure the camera operates exactly as the photographer intends. Making it perfect for quick snapshots, the X100F has a startup time of approximately 0.5 seconds, a shooting interval of 0.2 seconds, shutter release time lag of 0.01 seconds and AF speeds as fast as 0.08 seconds. The X100F gives users six AF modes including Single Point mode, Zone mode and Wide/Tracking mode for both AF-S for stationary subjects and AF-C for moving subjects. 

The number of focus points in the X100F has been dramatically increased to 91 (up to 325 points), up from 49 in previous models, with approximately 40% of the imaging area covered with phase detection to form a fast and precise AF area that can be used in a variety of scenes. By combining these features with a greater ability to autofocus on points of light and low contrast objects, the X100F captures beautiful detail in pictures with fine and delicate textures, helping to reproduce images just as photographers remember.

New ACROS Film Simulation

The Film Simulation function now features ACROS mode for even more artistic photos. Using X-Processor Pro's advanced processing capability, the mode offers smooth gradation, deep blacks and beautiful textures to create stunning monochrome images. The X100F also features the Grain Effect function for reproducing distinctive graininess seen in photographs taken with film cameras. The function is available in a Strong and Weak setting, and can be combined with any of the Film Simulation modes. Photographers can now easily achieve the creative effect of film-based photos, notable especially when the image is printed out.

Sophisticated Camera Body with Intuitive Control and Superb Feel

To provide photographers with an extraordinary experience, the rear face of the FUJIFILM X100F has been redesigned to concentrate most of the frequently used functions on the right-hand side. This allows users to change camera settings quickly while holding the camera firmly and without having to take an eye off the viewfinder.

The Focus Lever positioned on the rear side of the camera allows users to use joystick-type operations in eight directions to easily select a focus area. The X100F also now features a built-in ISO Dial that is incorporated into the Shutter Speed Dial for further ease of use. This enables the user to easily check ISO and Shutter Speed, in addition to aperture and exposure compensation, from a glance without having to power on the camera. There is also a also features a Focus Lever on the rear of the camera body that to instantly move the focus area, and a completely silent electronic shutter capable of exposures up to 1/32000 seconds. The external surface of the X100F is finished with synthetic leather that provides high durability and excellent resistance to the elements while providing photographers with the benefit of slip resistance and a comfortable hold.

FUJIFILM X100F Key Features:  

  • 24.3MP APS-C size X-Trans CMOS III sensor
  • Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF / EVF) equipped with an Electronic Rangefinder
    • Intelligent Hybrid AF in 0.08 seconds
    • Fast start-up time of 0.5 seconds
    • Shutter time lag of 0.01 seconds
    • Shooting interval of 0.2 seconds
  • FUJINON 23mm (35mm in 35mm format Equivalent) F2 lens in 8 glass elements in 6 groups with FUJINON's proprietary HT-EBC coating
  • ND filter equivalent to 3 stops of aperture
  • High-definition 1.04M-dot 3” LCD
  • NEW ‘ACROS’ film simulation mode
  • Focus Peaking function and Digital Split Image display even in the OVF
  • Extended full HD Video Recording
  • Full HD video can be recorded at 59.94 fps, 50 fps, 29.97 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps and 23.98 fps, and with Film Simulation effects
  • Six AF Modes
    • Single Point, Zone and Wide/Tracking for both AF-S for stationary, and AF-C for moving subjects
  • Intelligent Hybrid AF: switches between Phase Detection AF and Contrast AF according to scene
  • Digital Teleconverter function
    • Choose angles of view equivalent to 50mm and 70mm in addition to built-in lens’ 35mm
  • Advanced Filter Functions
    • Pop Color, Toy Camera, Miniature, Dynamic Tone, Partial Color, Soft Focus, High Key and Low Key
  • Interval Timer Shooting: available in intervals of one second to 24 hours with no limit on frames, for time lapse photography
  • Manual focus available during video recording
  • Free FUJIFILM Camera Remote application and Wireless Communication function allows users to remotely shoot images from smartphones and tablets via WiFi
  • Photos can be sent to the INSTAX Share Printer using the free INSTAX Share App (iOS and Android) SHARE Smartphone Printer
  • Output for Stereo Microphone
  • Interval timer shooting (1 second to 24 hours up to 999 frames)

FUJIFILM X100F Accessories:

  • Leather Case LC-X100F: user can change the battery and media card while the case is attached to the camera.
  • Wide Conversion Lens WCL-X100 II: dedicated wide conversion lens that multiplies the fixed focal length by approximately 0.8x, converting it to 23mm (35mm format equivalent) for capturing broader views when shooting in tight spots or landscapes.
  • Tele-Conversion Lens TCL-X100 II: dedicated tele-conversion lens for narrowing the field of view by multiplying the fixed focal length by approximately 1.4x, converting it to 50mm (35mm format equivalent) for shooting portraits or close-up photography from as close as approximately 5.5in / 14cm.

Availability and Pricing

The new FUJIFILM X100F Digital Camera (Black and Silver) will be available in February 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $1,299.95 and CAD $1,699.99.

Fujifilm X100F specifications

Price
MSRP£1249
Body type
Body typeLarge sensor compact
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorX-Processor Pro
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayX-Trans III
Image
ISOAuto, 200-12800 (expands to 100-51200)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • RAW (RAF format)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)35 mm
Maximum apertureF2–16
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (Digital Tele-Converter: 50mm, 70mm)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range10 cm (3.94)
Number of focus points325
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic and Optical (tunnel)
Viewfinder coverage92%
Viewfinder magnification0.5×
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program AE
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual exposure
Built-in flashYes
Flash range4.60 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, commander
Continuous drive8.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)
FormatH.264
Modes
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 60p / 18 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 50p / 18 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 18 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 25p / 18 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 23.98p / 18 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with smartphone control
Remote controlYes (via cable release or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion W126S rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)390
Weight (inc. batteries)469 g (1.03 lb / 16.54 oz)
Dimensions127 x 75 x 52 mm (5 x 2.95 x 2.05)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone
... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:30:00 Z

Fujifilm X-T20 arrives with new 24MP sensor and 4K video capture

Fujifilm has announced the X-T20, a mid-priced sister model to the enthusiast X-T2. The X-T20 gains many of the T2's features, including the 24MP X-Trans sensor and its advanced autofocus system. The X-T20 can also shoot UHD 4K video at up to 30 fps.

Much like its predecessor, the X-T20 has a 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder with 0.62x magnification. It also retains Wi-Fi and the same level of external control as the X-T10.

The X-T20 misses out on the X-T2's weather sealing, AF point joystick, ISO dial, Log output and battery grip option but gains a touchscreen that works in stills, video and playback modes, along with a built-in pop-up flash.

The X-T20 will be available from late February 2017 and will come body-only or with a choice of a 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens or the more expensive 18-55mm F2.8-4 OIS. The body will cost around $900/£799, $1000/£899 with the basic zoom and $1200/£1099 with the premium zoom.


Press Release:

FUJIFILM X-T20 UPS PERFORMANCE AND ADDS TOUCH CONTROLS FOR ENTHUSIAST PHOTOGRAPHERS; NEW COMPACT FUJINON XF50MM F2 R WR PERFECT TRAVEL COMPANION LENS

Valhalla, N.Y., January 19, 2017 – As the leader in innovation for photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the new FUJIFILM X-T20 interchangeable lens camera that joins the award-winning X Series digital camera lineup. The X-T20 is the successor to the FUJIFILM X-T10 and builds on its outstanding image quality, intuitive design, and versatility with a new APS-C sized 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine. The updated sensor and processor, along with an improved AF algorithm, boost the camera’s startup time and AF performance, dramatically improving its ability to track moving subjects for their best pictures to date. The X-T20 also has a large tilting touchscreen LCD monitor for multi-angle shooting and responds to quick gestures for a variety of efficient controls and picture review.

Also announced today is the new FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR, a compact, mid-telephoto lens adding to the X Series lineup of interchangeable lenses known for their outstanding image quality. The lens features a focal length equivalent to 76mm (in the 35mm film format) and a maximum aperture of F2.0 for beautiful bokeh. The compact and stylish optic also offers high speed AF and weighs just 200g.

Advanced Imaging for the Discerning Enthusiast
The FUJIFILM X-T20 improves on the X-T10 with a 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and a new Video option to the Drive Dial to enable instantaneous switching from still photo shooting to the video recording mode. The Exposure Compensation Dial now has the C position for exposure compensation up to ±5 stops, while the LCD monitor uses a tilting touchscreen panel for intuitive operation at almost any angle. The X-T20 is also equipped with an Auto mode selector lever for selecting the fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode where the camera chooses the optimum settings for a given scene.

The new sensor’s enhanced signal processing technology has even greater control over digital noise with an improved ISO sensitivity of ISO12800 available as a regular ISO option. At ultra-high ISO settings, the camera produces low-noise images, with deep blacks and smooth tones, delivering beautiful images even in low light conditions.

The FUJIFILM X-T20 also has a Grain Effect function for reproducing distinctive graininess seen in photographs taken with film cameras. The function can be set to Strong or Weak, and can be combined with any of the Film Simulation modes. You can easily obtain the look of film-based photos, with the effect most obvious when the image is printed out.

Photo enthusiasts will find the very best image results made possible by Fujifilm's proprietary color reproduction technology, developed through producing photographic films, that helps to reproduce warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green foliage, just as you remember seeing in real life.

Compact and Lightweight Body Makes Photography Fun and Easy
With the FUJIFILM X-T20, users will find a compact body that is both strong and light and made from magnesium alloy. The top plate features three precision-milled aluminum dials which give the X-T20 a premium feel and allow users to easily adjust the aperture, shutter speed and shooting functions while concentrating on picture taking.

The X-T20 features a 3.0 inch 1.04M-dot tilting TFT color LCD touchscreen monitor for both above head and close to the ground shooting. By combining the Touch Shot function with the tilt LCD monitor, you can get even more creative. Place the camera on the ground and use Touch Shot for a child’s face or a pet’s eye view, or hold it above a crowd of people or an obstacle for high-angle shooting.

Easy Touch, Swipe and Pinch Controls
The LCD monitor in the X-T20 uses a capacitive touchscreen panel to facilitate high-angle shots, taken from above a crowd of people or an obstacle, as well as low-angle shots simulating the ground level perspective.

Users can also opt to use the LCD monitor as a touchscreen to easily access shooting and playback modes. When shooting with the X-T20, you can use the touchscreen to select the focus area, focus on a specific point, and combine the actions of focusing and shooting in succession.

For playback, users can enjoy swipe to scroll through images, double-tap to enlarge, drag the image once enlarged, along with pinch-out and pinch-in sizing.

Improved AF Performance for Moving Subjects
The FUJIFILM X-T20 has an expanded number of focusing points, up from 49 in the previous model to 91 (up to 325 points). Approximately 40% of the imaging area (the center area containing 49 focusing points) is covered with phase detection AF pixels to form a fast and precise phase detection AF area that can be used in a variety of scenes.

By redesigning the AF algorithm from the ground up, the X-T20 can now autofocus more accurately on points of light, low-contrast objects and subjects with fine details such as bird feathers and animal fur. The read speed of the Contrast AF system has been doubled compared to the previous model to enable faster and more accurate autofocusing. During video recording, the AF point transitions smoothly to track a moving subject to create natural looking footage.

Users can choose from a Single Point mode, useful when accurate focusing on a subject is required, and a Zone mode that allows them to select a 3x3, 5x5 or 7x7 zone out of the 91-point AF area. The centrally positioned 3x3 and 5x5 zones, in particular, deliver fast focusing thanks to the on-sensor phase detection AF. The Wide/Tracking mode is a combination of the Wide mode (during AF-S), in which the camera automatically identifies and tracks the area in focus across the 91-point AF area, and the predictive Tracking mode (during AF-C), which uses the entire 91-point area to continue tracking a subject. This feature enables continuous focusing on a subject that is moving up and down, left and right or towards and away from the camera.

The X-T20 features an AF-C Custom setting, which enhances focus tracking performance when shooting in the Continuous AF (AF-C) mode. In the AF-C Custom setting, users can choose from five AF presets, including:

  • Preset 1 (Standard Setting for Multi-Purpose) is a standard setting that can be applied when shooting moving subjects as a whole. It is similar to the conventional AF-C setting, and is selected by default when no AF-C Custom setting is specified.
  • Preset 2 (Ignore Obstacles & Continue to Track Subject) is suitable when obstacles are likely to come into a selected focus area, blocking a subject.
  • Preset 3 (For Accelerating / Decelerating Subjects) is best suited to situations such as motorsports, which involves a subject that makes major speed changes including rapid acceleration or deceleration. It is particularly effective when using linear motor-driven lenses capable of high-speed AF.
  • Preset 4 (For Suddenly Appearing Subjects) gives focusing priority to a subject closest to the camera in the selected focus area, so as to swiftly focus on a subject that suddenly comes into the frame.
  • Preset 5 (For Erratically Moving & Accelerating or Decelerating Subjects) is suitable for shooting field sports in which subjects accelerate or decelerate rapidly, and also move erratically.

FUJIFILM X-T20 Key Features:

  • 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor
    - X-Processor Pro
    - Start-up time of 0.4sec
    - Ultra-fast AF speed of 0.06sec
    - Offers 5.0fps live-view shooting
    - Shutter time lag of 0.050sec
    - Shooting interval of 0.25sec
  • 3.0 inch 1.04M-dot tilting TFT color LCD touchscreen monitor
  • 0.39 inch 2,360K-dot OLED color viewfinder
  • Live View Display to preview pictures where you can
  • New ACROS Film Simulation mode
  • AF-C Custom Settings with five AF-C presets
  • 4K video can be recorded at [3840 x 2160] 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98P, 100Mbps
    - Continuous recording: up to approximately 10min
  • Full HD video can be recorded at 59.94 fps, 50 fps, 29.97 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps and 23.98 fps, and with Film Simulation effects
    - Video can be outputted to external monitor via the HDMI port and input audio from an external microphone
    - Easily connect to external HDMI monitor and turn on HDMI Rec Control to automatically enable a clean HDMI output when the camera’s shutter release button is pressed
    - Touch AF to change the focus area and refocusing according to subject movement functions in video recording
  • 24 high-performance FUJINON X-mount lenses for ultimate versatility
  • Integrated pop-up flash with Super Intelligent Flash to automatically adjust light output
  • Unique Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) image processing technology to deliver the best possible image quality
    - LMO corrects optical defects such as diffraction to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness and a realistic three-dimensional effect
  • Nine Film Simulation modes (including ACROS) and Advanced Filter functions for eight different artistic effects
  • Multiple Exposure function combines two separate subjects into one photo
  • Interval timer shooting for time lapse photography
    - intervals of one second to 24 hours, and up to infinity frames
  • Completely silent electronic shutter capable of exposures up to 1/32000 seconds.
  • Digital Split Image for precise manual focusing and Focus Peaking to highlight high-contrast areas of the subject
  • Eye Detection AF function for automatically detecting and focusing on human eyes
  • Auto Macro function automatically activates the Macro mode while maintaining AF speed, eliminating any need to press the Macro button to capture a close-up
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for shooting from your smartphone or tablet devices
  • Free FUJIFILM Camera Remote app for Remote Control function
    - Photos can be sent directly from the camera to the Instax SHARE Smartphone Printer for instant Instax prints
  • Wi-Fi® Transfer is supported, enabling wireless backup of the data to a computer

FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR Lens
The new XF50mmF2 R WR is a mid-telephoto lens that is designed to deliver the very best results from Fujifilm’s unique X-Trans CMOS sensor. The XF50mmF2 R WR, perfect for any type of travel photography, is compact and lightweight, and features 9 elements in 7 groups, including one aspherical ED lens, and has an inner focusing system, driven by a stepping motor for fast and silent autofocusing. The premium XF50mF2 R WR is made of metal and glass for a stylish, robust design with a premium feel, while the aperture and focusing rings have been designed to be comfortable and easy to use. The lens is also weather and dust resistant, and operates in temperatures as low as 14°F\10°C, making it ideal for shooting in a variety of weather conditions.

FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR Lens Key Features:

  • FUJIFILM X-Mount is compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Weather-sealed at ten points around the barrel for weather and dust resistance; operates as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius
  • 9 lens elements in 7 groups including one aspherical ED lens
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighs just 200g
  • Aperture and focusing rings feature precise click stops and smooth damping for easy operation
  • Inner focusing AF system uses a stepping motor to drive lightweight focusing elements for a fast, silent autofocus performance
  • Super EBC (Super Electron Beam Coating) ensures high performance by reducing both flare and ghosting

Availability and Pricing
The new FUJIFILM X-T20 Body (Black and Silver) will be available in February 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $899.95 and CAD$1,199.99. The X-T20 Body with XF18-55mm Lens Kit will be available for USD $1,199.95 and CAD $1,599.99; the X-T20 Body with XC16-50mm Lens Kit will be available for USD $999.95 and CAD $1,299.99.

The FUJIFILM XF50mmF2 R WR (Black and Silver) will be available in February 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $449.95 and CAD$649.99.

Fujifilm X-T20 specifications

Price
MSRP$899/£799 Body Only, $999/£899 w/16-50 F3.5-5.6, $1199/£1099 w/18-55 F2.8-4
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorX-Processor Pro2
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayX-Trans III CMOS with primary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 200-12800 (expands to 100-51200)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
File format
  • JPEG (Exif 2.3)
  • Raw (RAF format, 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points325
Lens mountFujifilm X
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots920,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD (RGBW)
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.62×
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.00 m (ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe or wireless)
Flash modesAuto, forced flash, slow synchro, flash off, rear-curtain synchro, commander
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous High
  • Continuous Low
  • Bracket 1
  • Bracket 2
  • Double Exposure
  • Panorama
  • Advanced Filter 1
  • Advanced Filter 2
  • Movie
Continuous drive8.0 fps
Self-timerYes (10sec. / 2sec. Delay)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (+/- 1 to +/- 3)
Videography features
Resolutions3840 x 2160 (29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98p), 1920 x 1080 (59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 60p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 50p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 25p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 24p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 23.98p / 36 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI Micro (Type D))
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via smartphone, cable release)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-W126s lithium-ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)383 g (0.84 lb / 13.51 oz)
Dimensions118 x 83 x 41 mm (4.65 x 3.27 x 1.61)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (Setting: Interval, Number of shots, Starting time)
GPSOptional
GPS notesvia smartphone
... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:30:00 Z

Fujifilm expands weather-resistant lens selection with XF 50mm F2 R WR

Fujifilm has announced a new weather-resistant prime: the Fujinon XF 50mm F2 R WR. It sits alongside the XF 35mm F2 and 23mm F2 as another compact, lightweight yet sturdy lens for the X-system. Offering dust and water resistance, the 50mm F2 is freezeproof to 14°F/-10°C.

On Fujifilm's APS-C cameras the 50mm F2 offers a 76mm equivalent view. The lens comprises 9 elements in 7 groups with one aspherical ED element, and uses a stepping motor for autofocus. The whole package weighs in at 7oz/200g.

The Fujifilm XF 50mm F2 R WR will go on sale in February for around $450/£450.

Press Release

FUJIFILM X-T20 UPS PERFORMANCE AND ADDS TOUCH CONTROLS FOR ENTHUSIAST PHOTOGRAPHERS; NEW COMPACT FUJINON XF50MMF2 R WR PERFECT TRAVEL COMPANION LENS

Valhalla, N.Y., January 19, 2017 – As the leader in innovation for photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the new FUJIFILM X-T20 interchangeable lens camera that joins the award-winning X Series digital camera lineup. The X-T20 is the successor to the FUJIFILM X-T10 and builds on its outstanding image quality, intuitive design, and versatility with a new APS-C sized 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine. The updated sensor and processor, along with an improved AF algorithm, boost the camera’s startup time and AF performance, dramatically improving its ability to track moving subjects for their best pictures to date. The X-T20 also has a large tilting touchscreen LCD monitor for multi-angle shooting and responds to quick gestures for a variety of efficient controls and picture review.

Also announced today is the new FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR, a compact, mid-telephoto lens adding to the X Series lineup of interchangeable lenses known for their outstanding image quality. The lens features a focal length equivalent to 76mm (in the 35mm film format) and a maximum aperture of F2.0 for beautiful bokeh. The compact and stylish optic also offers high speed AF and weighs just 200g.

Advanced Imaging for the Discerning Enthusiast
The FUJIFILM X-T20 improves on the X-T10 with a 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and a new Video option to the Drive Dial to enable instantaneous switching from still photo shooting to the video recording mode. The Exposure Compensation Dial now has the C position for exposure compensation up to ±5 stops, while the LCD monitor uses a tilting touchscreen panel for intuitive operation at almost any angle. The X-T20 is also equipped with an Auto mode selector lever for selecting the fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode where the camera chooses the optimum settings for a given scene.

The new sensor’s enhanced signal processing technology has even greater control over digital noise with an improved ISO sensitivity of ISO12800 available as a regular ISO option. At ultra-high ISO settings, the camera produces low-noise images, with deep blacks and smooth tones, delivering beautiful images even in low light conditions.

The FUJIFILM X-T20 also has a Grain Effect function for reproducing distinctive graininess seen in photographs taken with film cameras. The function can be set to Strong or Weak, and can be combined with any of the Film Simulation modes. You can easily obtain the look of film-based photos, with the effect most obvious when the image is printed out.

Photo enthusiasts will find the very best image results made possible by Fujifilm's proprietary color reproduction technology, developed through producing photographic films, that helps to reproduce warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green foliage, just as you remember seeing in real life.

Compact and Lightweight Body Makes Photography Fun and Easy
With the FUJIFILM X-T20, users will find a compact body that is both strong and light and made from magnesium alloy. The top plate features three precision-milled aluminum dials which give the X-T20 a premium feel and allow users to easily adjust the aperture, shutter speed and shooting functions while concentrating on picture taking.

The X-T20 features a 3.0 inch 1.04M-dot tilting TFT color LCD touchscreen monitor for both above head and close to the ground shooting. By combining the Touch Shot function with the tilt LCD monitor, you can get even more creative. Place the camera on the ground and use Touch Shot for a child’s face or a pet’s eye view, or hold it above a crowd of people or an obstacle for high-angle shooting.

Easy Touch, Swipe and Pinch Controls
The LCD monitor in the X-T20 uses a capacitive touchscreen panel to facilitate high-angle shots, taken from above a crowd of people or an obstacle, as well as low-angle shots simulating the ground level perspective.

Users can also opt to use the LCD monitor as a touchscreen to easily access shooting and playback modes. When shooting with the X-T20, you can use the touchscreen to select the focus area, focus on a specific point, and combine the actions of focusing and shooting in succession.

For playback, users can enjoy swipe to scroll through images, double-tap to enlarge, drag the image once enlarged, along with pinch-out and pinch-in sizing.

Improved AF Performance for Moving Subjects
The FUJIFILM X-T20 has an expanded number of focusing points, up from 49 in the previous model to 91 (up to 325 points). Approximately 40% of the imaging area (the center area containing 49 focusing points) is covered with phase detection AF pixels to form a fast and precise phase detection AF area that can be used in a variety of scenes.

By redesigning the AF algorithm from the ground up, the X-T20 can now autofocus more accurately on points of light, low-contrast objects and subjects with fine details such as bird feathers and animal fur. The read speed of the Contrast AF system has been doubled compared to the previous model to enable faster and more accurate autofocusing. During video recording, the AF point transitions smoothly to track a moving subject to create natural looking footage.

Users can choose from a Single Point mode, useful when accurate focusing on a subject is required, and a Zone mode that allows them to select a 3x3, 5x5 or 7x7 zone out of the 91-point AF area. The centrally positioned 3x3 and 5x5 zones, in particular, deliver fast focusing thanks to the on-sensor phase detection AF. The Wide/Tracking mode is a combination of the Wide mode (during AF-S), in which the camera automatically identifies and tracks the area in focus across the 91-point AF area, and the predictive Tracking mode (during AF-C), which uses the entire 91-point area to continue tracking a subject. This feature enables continuous focusing on a subject that is moving up and down, left and right or towards and away from the camera.

The X-T20 features an AF-C Custom setting, which enhances focus tracking performance when shooting in the Continuous AF (AF-C) mode. In the AF-C Custom setting, users can choose from five AF presets, including:

  • Preset 1 (Standard Setting for Multi-Purpose) is a standard setting that can be applied when shooting moving subjects as a whole. It is similar to the conventional AF-C setting, and is selected by default when no AF-C Custom setting is specified.
  • Preset 2 (Ignore Obstacles & Continue to Track Subject) is suitable when obstacles are likely to come into a selected focus area, blocking a subject.
  • Preset 3 (For Accelerating / Decelerating Subjects) is best suited to situations such as motorsports, which involves a subject that makes major speed changes including rapid acceleration or deceleration. It is particularly effective when using linear motor-driven lenses capable of high-speed AF.
  • Preset 4 (For Suddenly Appearing Subjects) gives focusing priority to a subject closest to the camera in the selected focus area, so as to swiftly focus on a subject that suddenly comes into the frame.
  • Preset 5 (For Erratically Moving & Accelerating or Decelerating Subjects) is suitable for shooting field sports in which subjects accelerate or decelerate rapidly, and also move erratically.

FUJIFILM X-T20 Key Features:

  • 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor
    - X-Processor Pro
    - Start-up time of 0.4sec
    - Ultra-fast AF speed of 0.06sec
    - Offers 5.0fps live-view shooting
    - Shutter time lag of 0.050sec
    - Shooting interval of 0.25sec
  • 3.0 inch 1.04M-dot tilting TFT color LCD touchscreen monitor
  • 0.39 inch 2,360K-dot OLED color viewfinder
  • Live View Display to preview pictures where you can
  • New ACROS Film Simulation mode
  • AF-C Custom Settings with five AF-C presets
  • 4K video can be recorded at [3840 x 2160] 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98P, 100Mbps
    - Continuous recording: up to approximately 10min
  • Full HD video can be recorded at 59.94 fps, 50 fps, 29.97 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps and 23.98 fps, and with Film Simulation effects
    - Video can be outputted to external monitor via the HDMI port and input audio from an external microphone
    - Easily connect to external HDMI monitor and turn on HDMI Rec Control to automatically enable a clean HDMI output when the camera’s shutter release button is pressed
    - Touch AF to change the focus area and refocusing according to subject movement functions in video recording
  • 24 high-performance FUJINON X-mount lenses for ultimate versatility
  • Integrated pop-up flash with Super Intelligent Flash to automatically adjust light output
  • Unique Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) image processing technology to deliver the best possible image quality
    - LMO corrects optical defects such as diffraction to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness and a realistic three-dimensional effect
  • Nine Film Simulation modes (including ACROS) and Advanced Filter functions for eight different artistic effects
  • Multiple Exposure function combines two separate subjects into one photo
  • Interval timer shooting for time lapse photography
    - intervals of one second to 24 hours, and up to infinity frames
  • Completely silent electronic shutter capable of exposures up to 1/32000 seconds.
  • Digital Split Image for precise manual focusing and Focus Peaking to highlight high-contrast areas of the subject
  • Eye Detection AF function for automatically detecting and focusing on human eyes
  • Auto Macro function automatically activates the Macro mode while maintaining AF speed, eliminating any need to press the Macro button to capture a close-up
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for shooting from your smartphone or tablet devices
  • Free FUJIFILM Camera Remote app for Remote Control function
    - Photos can be sent directly from the camera to the Instax SHARE Smartphone Printer for instant Instax prints
  • Wi-Fi® Transfer is supported, enabling wireless backup of the data to a computer
  • Weather and dust resistant; operates as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit \ 0 degrees Celsius

FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR Lens
The new XF50mmF2 R WR is a mid-telephoto lens that is designed to deliver the very best results from Fujifilm’s unique X-Trans CMOS sensor. The XF50mmF2 R WR, perfect for any type of travel photography, is compact and lightweight, and features 9 elements in 7 groups, including one aspherical ED lens, and has an inner focusing system, driven by a stepping motor for fast and silent autofocusing. The premium XF50mF2 R WR is made of metal and glass for a stylish, robust design with a premium feel, while the aperture and focusing rings have been designed to be comfortable and easy to use. The lens is also weather and dust resistant, and operates in temperatures as low as 14°F\10°C, making it ideal for shooting in a variety of weather conditions.

FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR Lens Key Features:

  • FUJIFILM X-Mount is compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Weather-sealed at ten points around the barrel for weather and dust resistance; operates as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius
  • 9 lens elements in 7 groups including one aspherical ED lens
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighs just 200g
  • Aperture and focusing rings feature precise click stops and smooth damping for easy operation
  • Inner focusing AF system uses a stepping motor to drive lightweight focusing elements for a fast, silent autofocus performance
  • Super EBC (Super Electron Beam Coating) ensures high performance by reducing both flare and ghosting

Availability and Pricing
The new FUJIFILM X-T20 Body (Black and Silver) will be available in February 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $899.95 and CAD$1,199.99. The X-T20 Body with XF18-55mm Lens Kit will be available for USD $1,199.95 and CAD $1,599.99; the X-T20 Body with XC16-50mm Lens Kit will be available for USD $999.95 and CAD $1,299.99.

The FUJIFILM XF50mmF2 R WR (Black and Silver) will be available in February 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $449.95 and CAD$649.99.

Fujifilm XF 50mm F2 R WR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format sizeAPS-C / DX
Focal length50 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountFujifilm X
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2
Minimum apertureF16
Optics
Special elements / coatings1 ED element
Focus
Minimum focus0.39 m (15.35)
Maximum magnification0.15×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeStepper motor
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight200 g (0.44 lb)
Diameter60 mm (2.36)
Length59 mm (2.32)
MaterialsMetal
SealingYes
ColourBlack, silver
Filter thread46.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo
... Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:30:00 Z

Video: Leica M10 First Look

The new Leica M10 is an attractive combination of classic styling and modern specifications. Check out our quick video overview for a rundown of some of its key features.

Read our First Impressions Review

... Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 23:02:00 Z

The M U want: Leica M10 First Impressions Review and Samples

The Leica M10 is a 24MP, full-frame, manual focus camera with an archaic coupled rangefinder focusing system, a tunnel-type optical viewfinder, no video mode and not even so much as a USB socket. And it's absolutely lovely.

Leica M10: Key Features

  • 'Newly developed' 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 1.04 million-dot rear LCD (with Corning Gorilla glass)
  • 5 fps max continuous shooting for up to 30 Raw frames
  • ISO 100-6400 (extendable to 50,000)
  • Center-weighted (RF), spot and 'multi-field' (LV) metering modes
  • Revised menu system (including customizable 'favorites' menu)
  • Automatic lens corrections with 6-bit coded lenses
  • Compatible with 'Visoflex' 2.4m-dot EVF for eye-level live view shooting
  • ~210 shot battery life (CIPA)
  • Built-in WiFi

Leica is a refreshingly unusual company in the modern camera industry – weird, wonderful, gleefully anachronistic but never, ever, boring. As such, Leica is one of those companies that I've always enjoyed writing about.

In fact, the very first camera that I ever reviewed right at the beginning of my career was a Leica. This was more than ten years ago, around the same time that the M8 was released, but I wasn’t (yet) trusted with such a prestigious product. The camera that I was handed to review was one of those rebadged Panasonics that the German company still officially maintains in its lineup, but doesn’t really talk about anymore. I forget the exact model, but it wasn’t particularly good. I seem to remember high noise levels, lens aberrations and clumsy, detail-destroying noise reduction being the main areas of complaint, all of which were enough to take the (figurative) shine off what was physically a beautiful camera, and all of which I dutifully reported in my review.

This is the kind of picture that generally, I don't take. But being handed a Leica to review spurred me to make a bit more effort to get 'street' shots on a recent trip to New York. I used live view to capture this waist-level image without drawing attention to myself.

35mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH. F2.8 (ish), ISO 500. (Converted from Raw)

While the camera was forgettable, more than a decade on, that review still sticks in my mind. It was shortly after filing my draft that my editor at the time pulled me over, the printout in his hand, to explain that ‘there are certain words we do not use about Leica’. Apparently, 'disappointing' was one of those words, indicated (ironically) with large red rings of ink, wherever I had used it.

My draft was massaged accordingly, and I didn’t review another Leica camera for a long time.

For a great many years, there really was a kind of ‘reality distortion field’ around Leica, and to some extent there still is. With some exceptions (the Q being one of them), the company specializes in high-cost nouveau-classic products with few objective advantages over their competitors. It’s all about the look. It’s all about the feel. It’s all about the magic. It's all about Das Wesentliche1.

When on occasion Leica has tried something genuinely new, like the brushed-aluminum touch-sensitive experiment that was the Leica T2, it typically hasn’t made quite the same impact on the group psychology of photographers and photography writers as its M, R and (more recently) S-series.

'The Leica Effect'

I’m not immune to the ‘Leica effect’ myself. I owned and used an M3 for years, and wildly impractical as it was (considering I was attempting to make a career as a 21st Century music photographer3) I’ve always regretted selling it. There’s just something about the M series, some intangible magic when compared to the average mass-produced camera, regardless of whatever new and wonderful technologies they might lack by comparison.

I still maintain that if you can accurately focus on a human subject with a fast Leica prime wide-open, you’ve earned the right to call yourself a photographer. It’s not easy - and that’s the point.

It's been a long time since I shot live music, too. I didn't expect much when I took the M10 to a rock concert, but apparently my focusing gets better after a couple of beers. 

35mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH. F2 (ish), ISO 3200. (Converted from Raw) 

For all that, I’ve never really enjoyed the digital M-series models. The M8’s APS-H sensor felt like a compromise, and both that camera and the full-frame M9 always felt a little bloated, their shutters a bit too loud, their images a bit too noisy. Things got better - the Typ 240 and Typ 262 are very good cameras, and the Monochroms are fun - but neither they nor their predecessors ever really truly felt like a continuation of the classic film models. Leica claims that adding a movie mode to the Typ 240 was in response to demand from its customers, but the idea of shooting video on a rangefinder always seemed a bit silly to me.

The M10 can’t shoot video - let’s just get that out of the way. If you really need video in an M-series body, the Typ 240 is still available.

Personally, as you might be able to tell, I like the M10 a lot more than the Typ 240 and 262. There’s no single major change which makes all the difference, but rather a raft of little tweaks which add up to (in my opinion) a more attractive product than the the digital Ms which came before it. 

First Look: Leica M10


1. Which roughly translates as 'The pure / the essential / the heart / the bits that really matter'.

2. With original firmware, I should make that clear. It got better.

3. Ask me how that worked out. 

... Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:00:00 Z

Leica Boss: Hands-on with new Leica M10

Hands-on with new Leica M10

The new Leica M10 is slightly slimmer than its predecessor, a bit lighter, faster and (we think) a little more sensible. This 24MP full-frame rangefinder can't shoot video and there's not a even a USB jack, but for all that it's surprisingly modern, thanks to built-in Wi-Fi and a very usable live view implementation, among other things.

We've had access to a pre-production camera for a few days - click through for a quick tour.

Hands-on with new Leica M10

From the front, the Leica M10 looks a lot like the Typ 240 and Typ 262 that came before it. Unlike earlier M-series cameras though it lacks a frame-line illumination window. The frame-lines are illuminated with an internal LED. The small black lever allows you to preview the (approximate) frame coverage of other focal lengths, when you have a lens mounted. 

Hands-on with new Leica M10

The 24MP CMOS sensor in the M10 is 'newly developed', but we don't know exactly what this means. Although we haven't yet completed our full range of studio tests (we'll have to wait for a final shipping camera before we do that) our initial impressions of image quality are extremely positive. Detail resolution is high across the M10's standard ISO range of 100-6400, and noise is well-controlled even at high ISO sensitivity settings.

The M10 also incorporates an upgraded processor, the 'Maestro II' (first seen on the Leica SL), along with 2GB of buffer memory. This allows the camera to shoot at up to 5 fps for 30 Raw files (~100 JPEGs).

Hands-on with new Leica M10

Physically, the M10 is slimmer than previous M-series digital cameras, and very slightly lighter. It's slightly taller than the film-era M6 (and previous models) but has basically the same footprint. Although the size reduction is relatively subtle, the M10 definitely feels like a more compact camera than the Typ 240.

Hands-on with new Leica M10

New in the M10 is a physical button for ISO adjustment, which occupies previously wasted space on the upper left of the digital M-series. ISO can be adjusted in full stops from 100-6400, plus a user-assignable 'M' setting. A very practical Auto ISO setting is also available, which offers automatic maximum shutter duration options based on focal length (with 6-bit coded lenses) as well as user-assignable settings.

Hands-on with new Leica M10

The M10's on/off switch is simpler than it was in previous digital M-series cameras, and no longer provides access to continuous and self-timer shooting modes. Whether this is a good thing depends on how much you use continuous and self-timer, but on balance we prefer it. These modes are now accessed via the M10's menu system. 

Hands-on with new Leica M10

Speaking of which, the M10's menu system has been simplified, and now includes a customizable 'favorites' menu, which appears by default on the first press of the 'menu' button. The full menu appears on the second press. The M10's 3" rear screen is coated in Corning 'Gorilla Glass' for scratch resistance and offers a resolution of 1.04 million dots. 

Hands-on with new Leica M10

An optional ($545) 'Visoflex' electronic viewfinder can be attached to the M10 for live view shooting. This isn't as silly as it sounds - shooting in live view ensures accurate framing, and accurate critical focus, and also allows you to use spot and 'multi-field' metering. The Visoflex Typ 020 offers a resolution of ~2.4MP and includes a GPS module.

Hands-on with new Leica M10

The Visoflex can tilt up to 90 degrees, which is handy for close-up work and candid photography.

Hands-on with new Leica M10

Some things will never change though, and one of those things is Leica's insistence on retaining the film-era removable baseplate. This made sense (sort of) a few decades ago, but does seem increasingly silly in the digital age. Supposedly it helps keep the camera dust and water-resistant (to some extent at least - Leica doesn't say exactly how much) but removing the bottom of the camera to change a memory card is a bit of a pain - especially if you're working on a tripod. 

The slimmer body has necessitated a smaller battery, which offers a capacity of 8.2Wh, which carries a CIPA rating of ~210 shots - increasing to ~500 if the camera is used in rangefinder mode (i.e, not live view). This isn't particularly impressive, but as usual, in normal use (with Wi-Fi turned off) we've found that a single charge can be expected to last for much longer, assuming minimal 'chimping'.

Hands-on with new Leica M10

This view gives you a good idea of the M10's generally uncluttered control layout, which will look familiar to anyone who has ever used an M-series camera at any point in the last 60 years.

The Leica M10 is available now, for a body-only price of $6595. What do you think?

... Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:00:00 Z

Leica announces M10 with new sensor, slimmer design

Leica has announced the M10, the latest in the company's venerable M-series line of cameras. At first glance, the M10 looks - unsurprisingly - similar to any other M camera, but there are some major updates both inside and out.

Much of the bulk that came with the M-series' transition to the digital age has been shed, with the M10 measuring just as thin as a film-era M4 and coming in 20 grams lighter than the previous M Typ 262. The trade-off? A smaller, less powerful battery, and a lack of any I/O ports of any kind. 

Other key updates include an all-new 24MP sensor, an external ISO dial, a new Maestro II image processor, 5fps max shooting, a scratch-resistant 1.04M-dot rear LCD, a larger viewfinder, some environmental protection seals and built-in Wi-Fi. 

The Leica M10 will begin shipping this week for a price of $6595/€6500.

M as in Milestone: Leica Camera Introduces the New Leica M10

The M-series’ latest addition impresses with more compact dimensions, improved performance and even more intuitive handling

January 18, 2017 - The iconic camera system sets new standards yet again. The perfect balance of long-established traditions and the latest technical innovation, the Leica M10 embodies the essence of photography like no other camera before. All of its functions have been adapted and updated to meet the precise needs of contemporary photography, while preserving the essential principles of the legendary M-System. Every single component and every technical feature concentrates uncompromisingly on this goal. With its more compact dimensions, improved performance and even more intuitive handling, the Leica M10 sets a new milestone in the ongoing history of Leica M photography.

The form factor: analog dimensions enter the digital age

Many photographers who appreciate the dimensions of analog M-Models, due to their ideal ergonomics and perfect fit in hand, expressed wishes that this carry over to digital M-Cameras. Leica has now brought these dream dimensions to reality – with a top plate depth of only 33.75 millimeters, a whole four millimeters (1/8”) thinner than that of its predecessor, the Leica M (Typ 240). The Leica M10 is now the slimmest digital M of all time.

The rangefinder: a precise window on the world

The rangefinder has always played an extremely important role in the storied heritage of the Leica M-System. A number of important aspects of this legendary focusing technology have now been further optimized in the Leica M10. To improve the view of the subject, the field of view has been enlarged by 30 percent and the magnification factor has been increased to 0.73x. Eye-relief – the optimum distance of the eye from the viewfinder eyepiece – has also been considerably increased. Thanks to a 50 percent increase in this distance, the viewfinder is much more comfortable to use, particularly for photographers who wear glasses.

The sensor: the digital canvas

The key component of the Leica M10 is the all-new 24 MP, full-frame CMOS sensor developed specifically for this camera. Its new technology leads to significant improvements in all parameters relevant to imaging performance: impressive dynamic range, excellent contrast rendition, exceptional sharpness and the finest resolution of details. Its unique pixel and microlens architecture enables optimum results at all apertures, particularly wide open – even rays of light arriving at the sensor from oblique angles are precisely captured by its photodiodes – further improved in comparison to the previous generation. The glass cover plate of the sensor acts as an infrared cut-off filter and thus also avoids undesirable refraction of incoming light by additional layers of glass. The omission of a low-pass filter also ensures that the Leica M10 delivers maximum sharpness. This leads to significantly better imaging results, especially in the case of wide-angles and fast-aperture lenses.

Thanks to the new design of the sensor of the Leica M10, the ISO sensitivity range has been expanded. It now allows exposures at values between ISO 100 and 50,000 with considerably improved noise characteristics at higher ISO settings. The Leica M10 opens up new areas of photography and delivers exceptional imaging performance even in difficult lighting conditions.

Image processing electronics: the next level of quality

The latest-generation Maestro II image processor of the M10 showcases state-of-the-art advanced processor technology. In combination with the equally new 24 MP sensor, this ensures that all exposures captured stand out with exceptionally brilliant image quality. Thanks to a 2 GB buffer memory and continuous burst shooting at up to five frames per second at full resolution, photographers will never again miss the decisive moment. The Leica M10 is the fastest M-Camera ever made.

In addition to this, the faster processor allows the loupe function in Live View mode to be freely positioned anywhere in the frame for even better assessment of sharpness. This new function can be used not only on the camera’s LCD monitor, but also in conjunction with the Visoflex electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2.4 MP of resolution. The viewfinder features a swivel function for shooting from unusual angles and an integrated GPS module that can be switched on for geotagging image files.

The operating concept: intuitive and reduced to essentials

Since the beginning, Leica M-Cameras have stood for concentration on essential functions. This principle has been conscientiously pursued in the Leica M10, which sets new standards in terms of intuitive handling and rapid access to the settings relevant to photography. For instance, the controls on the back are limited to the directional control and just three buttons for Play, Live View and Menu. The importance of particular settings varies according to personal preferences and photographic needs. In light of this, the Leica M10 also offers a freely configurable Favorites Menu for defining a custom profile of personally relevant functions.

One of the most distinctive new features of the Leica M10 is the ISO setting dial on the top plate. For the first time in a digital Leica M, all essential shooting parameters such as focusing, aperture, shutter speed and ISO value can be selected manually without using the menu – or even switching on the camera. This concept allows for the fastest, most precise control yet seen in a digital camera and enables the photographer to be even less obtrusive when shooting.

The Wi-Fi module: memories are there to be shared and shown

The Leica M10 is the first M-Camera with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity. This enables fast, wireless transfer of pictures to Apple mobile devices (with Android shortly to follow), where they can be edited and, for instance, posted and shared on social networks. The Leica M-App also enables the direct transfer of RAW files in DNG format to mobile devices for further processing with suitable apps from iOS Version 10.2. The Leica M10 can also be remotely controlled via Wi-Fi from a smartphone or tablet. This makes it easy to shoot perfect pictures from unusual angles or avoid camera shake when shooting with longer shutter speeds.

Leica M10: A further step towards perfection

“The Leica M is the heart, the backbone and the soul of Leica Camera. The Leica M10 unites state-of-the-art technology and exceptional optical performance with a conscious focus on the traditional advantages of the unique Leica M rangefinder system. In this, the innovative camera and its concentration on the functions essential to photography set new standards, while its exceptionally lean handling concept takes us a further step towards absolute perfection. Made in Germany by Leica – the Leica M10 stands as an outstanding brand statement for the finest arts of engineering, highest quality and craftsmanship,” explained Oliver Kaltner, CEO, Leica Camera.

“The new M, the M10! Not a camera for everyone – but increasingly a camera for people who love a system that is built for the future while maintaining consistent compatibility with its past. The rangefinder system lets me frame and compose my pictures. The rangefinder system lets me tread in the footsteps of the world’s greatest photographers. The rangefinder system lets me create photographs with my own visual style. The new M10 and the wealth of present and past Leica M-Lenses are products that awaken and fulfil the desires of every photographer,” emphasized Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera.

Availability

The Leica M10 will be available from Leica Stores, Boutiques and selected Dealers starting January 19, 2017.

Leica M10 Specifications

Price
MSRP$6595
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution5952 x 3992
Other resolutions5952 x 3968 (JPEG, 24MP), 4256 x 2932 (12MP), 2976 x 1984 (6MP)
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorMaestro II
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-50000
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
File format
  • JPEG
  • Raw (DNG)
Optics & Focus
Manual focusYes
Lens mountLeica M
Focal length multiplier1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots1,036,800
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.73×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed8 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Interval
  • Exposure bracketing
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
Videography features
MicrophoneNone
SpeakerNone
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
HDMINo
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Remote controlYes (via cable trigger)
Physical
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBP-SCL5 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)210
Weight (inc. batteries)660 g (1.46 lb / 23.28 oz)
Dimensions139 x 39 x 80 mm (5.47 x 1.54 x 3.15)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSOptional
GPS notesvia optional Visoflex EVF
... Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:00:00 Z

Seattle convicts drone operator whose UAV knocked a woman unconscious at a parade

Seattle drone operators are in the news again, and that's not a good thing. A man whose drone struck a parade-goer in 2015 has been convicted of a gross misdemeanor – which may signal what's to come for another drone operator who recently flew his drone into the Space Needle.

In 2015, a woman attending the Seattle Pride Parade was struck by a drone that fell after crashing into the side of a building. Drone operator Paul M. Skinner was charged with gross misdemeanor at the time, and has now been convicted following a four-day trial. This marks the first time Seattle's Attorney Office has charged someone with the public mishandling of a drone.

The victim was struck in the head by the drone and suffered a concussion as a result, while an unnamed man suffered a ‘minor bruise,’ according to The Seattle Times. Skinner faces up to a $5,000 fine and up to 364 days in jail; his sentence will be issued on February 24.

... Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:53:00 Z

Demand for CMOS image sensors projected to increase

According to industry publication DigiTimes, we should expect demand for CMOS image sensors, particularly high-end units, to increase in the short and medium term. This is mainly due to the increased popularity of dual-camera modules in high-end smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, LG G5 or Huawei P9, and growing demand for imaging applications in the automotive and security industries. 

Approximately 70% of all available sensors currently go into mobile devices which remains the largest application. With dual-cameras slowly but surely becoming standard even on lower-end devices the demand from this sector is expected to grow further.

Demand from those sectors is putting more pressure on already tight CMOS sensor supplies. Of course, that is good news for those camera manufacturers that are also in the sensor business and increased demand should mean more research and development and therefore better products in the long run.

(Photo: 'Image Sensor' by Bengt Nyman / Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC license)

... Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:29:00 Z








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