X-T1 Firmware 4.0: AF-C + Zone mode = WOW!!

This blog has been quiet for a long time. The reason is both that I've been busy with other stuff than photography and because, in my opinion, there haven’t been that many exciting news from Fujifilm this spring. They have launched a couple of new lenses, but the awaited flash system is still on hold and it is still uncertain when X-Pro2 and a new generation of X-trans sensor will be ready.

But that was until they launched the X-T10 and the upcoming Firmware 4.0 for the X-T1. It's not really that much exciting news with the X-T10. Hardware-wise, there's not really anything new. It is the same familiar sensor and parts from X-E2 and X-T1 in a new house. The result looks very good and it's become a camera that I really fancy and that I would be glad to trade in my X-E2 for. But the big news is in the software. Fujifilm launched a firmware with a new autofocus system that should be able to focus under far worse light conditions and not least two new autofocus modes to improve focus tracking that has been a challenge with the X-series cameras. According to the first tests of X-T10, it looks like the new autofocus modes work very well.

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Review: One Week With the Fujinon XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR

I must admit that living with the X-series as my only system has been more challenging than I both hoped and thought before I changed my system. I was in love with the X-T1 from the moment it was announced and the previews started to appear online. As with every new love one are blinded by all the positive aspects and tend to overlook the negative ones. But after a while the first crush starts to fade and the negative aspects start to reveal themselves and the situation gets much more nuanced.

From the day I received my Fujifilm gear I have had to compromise and work around issues that even my 10 years old fullframe cameras just did right. Some issues like the lack of High Speed Sync and IR AF assist light when using flash, I didn't even consider before I switched. High Speed Sync and proper AF assist light had been around for so many years that I took for granted that Fujifilm's external flashes had this. I have probably in almost every post on this site written about something that a pro DSLR just do right , but that you have to work around in some kind of way when using the X-series. Often this is just small things, but the X-series is still kind of immature and still lacks important pro features like a usable flash system. Ninety percent of the time my Fuji gear work brilliantly, but the 10 percent where you have to compromise are in best case annoying.

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Lightroom 5.7 with Classic Chrome Profile for X-T1

Shot with Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF 56mm at f/8, 1/180s and iso 400. Raw file developed in Lightroom with Classic Chrome Profile.

Today Adobe released Camera RAW 8.7 and Lightroom 5.7 with added support for X100T, X30 and Graphite X-T1. The biggest news for me personally is that they added the Classic Chrome camera profile for X-T1. This is really a nice looking profile and I understand why this profile has gotten so popular among jpeg shooters.

The sad news is that this profile is unfortunately not available for X-E2 and other older models. Hopefully Classic Chorme profile will be available for these cameras later.

Shot with Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF 56mm at f/10, 1/180s and iso 400. Raw file developed in Lightroom with Classic Chrome Profile.

Anyway, a very cool update indeed:-D!

Check it out here:

http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2014/11/lightroom-5-7-now-available.html

 

Regards

Tor Martin

E-Book Reviews: X-Photographer David Cleland - 'The Long Exposure' and 'Shooting Shallow'

David Cleland is an official Fujifilm X-photographer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is best known for his landscape and documentary photography which has featured in a number of photographic exhibitions. His solo exhibition, an exploration of the decay of a 400-year evacuated mill received critical acclaim. David’s work has been accepted by Getty Images and been published in a number of national publications and used in numerous book covers.

David runs a very nice website about photography were you can find lots of Fujifilm related stuff.

David has written a couple of very nice and inexpensive e-books about two important topics of photography, namely depth of field and long exposure photography. Both books are written with with the beginners in mind, but there are probably alot of relevance for enthusiasts and professionals as well. Personally I find it very useful to read different interpretations and angles on stuff that I already know, because I always pick up a thing and two and I broaden my understanding of the subject.

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Shooting an Ironman Race with Fujifilm X-T1, X-E2 and the Zoom Lenses

My hometown, Haugesund on the west coast of Norway, has for the last three years been hosting an Ironman 70.3 race as part of the Ironman European Tour. This is a major happening for the Haugaland district (the area around Haugesund) and the first race was held in July 2012. It was then the first Ironman race that was held in Scandinavia. The race has grown from a little over 400 participants on the first race to almost 1600 participants this year. The people in the Haugesund area has embraced this race. More than 400 volunteers are doing a fantastic job to make the race a terrific experience for both participants and spectators. The course of this race is truly unique and spectator friendly. It is probably one of the most scenic courses of any of the current Ironman races.

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A Day Out With the Fujifilm X-E2 and the XF 27mm, Yeah I Love my Pancake

When I jumped ships from Canon to Fuji, I was in doubt if I should order the XF27mm or not. All the Fujinon lenses were on sale when I ordered, but when ordering both the XF23mm, the XF56mm and the zooms the package became expensive even if the equipment were on sale. I bought the xf 18-55mm which covers the same focal length. Also the brilliant XF23mm is pretty close to the XF27mm in focal lenght and it is a much faster lens. So I dropped the pancake lens.

After I received my equipment I kind or regretted that I had dropped the pancake lens because, even if the X-series cameras are much smaller than my former canon gear, the lenses are kind of big. I missed having a camera that could fit in my pocket. So a couple of weeks ago when I was ordering a couple of lights from Adorama  and I found that the XF27mm was on sale, I grabbed the opportunity and ordered the pancake lens as well.

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Capture One Pro 8 Released

Today Phase One released Capture One Pro 8, a new version of their well regarded raw converter. Capture One Pro comes with lots of new and exciting features like film grain tool, clone and heal layers and local adjustment of noise reduction and white balance.

This is great news and means that that Capture One Pro 8 got many of the features I missed when I tested Capture One Pro7.

Screenshot of Capture One Pro 8

Capture One Pro 8 costs €229  and one can also choose to subscribe €8 per month.

Best part, exciting Capture One Pro and Capture One Express customers can upgrade to Capture One Pro 8 for only €69:-).

Capture One is my favorite raw converter for files from the Fujifilm X-series cameras and I am really excited about this new release. Looking forward to try it out.

Check out this new release and download a fully functional 60 days free trial here.

Regards

Tor Martin

The Fuji Guys Confirms that Electronic Shutter will be Part of The Firmware Update Coming for The X-T1 in December

In this video the Fuji Guys confirm that the electronic shutter with shutter speeds up to 1/32000s that was announced with the silver version of the X-T1 will be available in the upcoming firmware update for the "old", black, X-T1 that is supposed to come in December.

This is great news! Being able to use shutter speeds up to 1/32000s will give us 3 stops more of headroom when shooting in bright light and will probably eliminate the need to use ND-filters to shoot with narrow depth of field in daylight. This has been one of the big drawbacks for me with the Fujifilm X-series and I have earlier written about it here. With the electronic shutter we will get almost the same headroom and depth of field when shooting with wide open primes that we get with 2.8 telezooms on traditional full frame DSLR's:-)!

Also electronic shutter means no moving shutter curtains and a dead silent camera when needed:-). The X-T1 is very silent even with the mechanical shutter, but if you shoot wedding ceremonies, in museums or in theaters and so on, the dead silent shutter will be a welcomed feature.

There are some rumors that the electronic shutter will only be an option when shooting with the fast XF primes meaning the XF23mm, XF35mm and XF55mm. Using fast primes in daylight are probably where you will need the electronic shutter with it's higher shutter speeds the most. But I really wish that it will be an option for all lenses.

No moving shutter curtains means that it should be possible to sync flash at a much higher shutter speeds. At least up to the same speeds as the leaf shutter in the X100 series. I am crossing my fingers that the firmware update will bring faster flash sync speeds when using the electronic shutter. Fujifilm, if you guys are reading this, please let us have higher sync speeds with this update!

Also no mechanical shutter curtains means that there is no reason not to get live image between frames when shooting sports and action in continous shooting mode:-D!! This is a major issue for me!! I'm crossing both fingers and toes that this will be fixed with the upcoming firmware.  Again, Fujifilm, if you are reading this, please let us have live image between frames when shooting in continuous shooting mode. Of course we need this with all lenses, not only the fast primes.

Also the Fuji Guys are showing us the new XF 56mmAPD, a lens I'm surprised to see coming so close to the release of the first XF56mm, and the highly anticipated XF 50-140 2.8. I am really curious about the XF 50-140mm. I do miss my EF 70-200 2.8 IS II at quite a few occasions.

With the Photokina 2014 exhibition just around the corner, these are exciting times for fuji fans!

Equipment mentioned in this post:

Fujifilm X-T1 16 MP Compact System Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Graphite Silver)

Fujifilm X-T1 16 MP Compact System Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD 

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 APD Lens

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 Camera Lens

Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 Lens

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Wide-Angle Lens

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens

Tor Martin

Fujifilm X30 Announced with Some Very Welcome Features

Image from www.fujifilm.com

Yesterday on the 26th of August Fujifilm announced Fujifilm X30, a new edition of their premium compact camera that follows in the line of the X20 and X10 before it. On paper this camera might not look all that exiting. At first look the biggest change seems to be that the OVF from the X20 is replaced with a high quality EVF and there is a new film simulation named CLASSIC CHROME. The sensor is mostly the same and so is the lens. At first look and on paper I must admit that this camera doesn't excite me that much and it is probably not a camera that I am going to buy.

But what excites me a lot is what Fujifilm has done on the inside! It's like Fujifilm has read my mind or our blogposts because they have fixed our biggest objections with the X-T1:

  1. Live image between frames in Continuos Shooting mode! This has been my main complaint about Fujifilm X-T1, so this is great news!
  2. Spotmetering that follows the AF point! This is also great news. I have mentioned it in earlier posts that i wished we could link spot metering to the ative AF-point. That is a very valuable feature in some shooting conditions. Bravo!
  3. Opportunity to change the size of AF-frame in MF mode. This is great when using back button focusing in manual mode. Makes back button focusing in MF just like using normal AF.

These are the 3 most important features that really caught my eye when reading the first look review at fujirumors.com. And these features gives me high hopes for the upcoming firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-T1 that is rumored to be released later this autumn. If the rumors saying that the same firmware update will bring max shutter speed up to 1/32000s, which will alter most of my complaints about having to use ND-filters with the XF 56mm to be able to shoot it wide open at daytime, is true we have exciting times ahead!

I believe the X30 is going to be a fantastic compact camera. And if X-T1 can inherit these features in the upcoming firmware update it will take big step towards being a true professional  alternative. I have all of my fingers and toes crossed.

Take a look at the first look review of the Fujifilm X30 here.

Equipment mentioned in this post:

Fujifilm X30 12 MP Digital Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD

Fujifilm X-T1 16 MP Compact System Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD 

Tor Martin

Review: Capture One Styles, Film Styles for Capture One

We are living in digital times where digital still image and video quality is better than ever before. The cameras of today are getting closer to perfection for every new release. We now have noise free high iso in cameras that can almost see in the dark. Dynamic range within the newest cameras is incredible and we can pull highlights and raise shadows almost to the level of what we see through the human eye. But is image quality getting to good? Because what do we do with  images from these fantastic cameras? We have paid thousands of dollars for noisefree iso 6400 and the sharpest lenses available and we take those perfect images and try to make them look like film images from the good old days. We even, after cleaning up every bit of high iso noise, add grain to get them to look more analog:-). it sounds almost contradictory and is actually kind of funny. But, as every photographer knows, photography is not about telling the truth, it is about conveying moods and feelings. There isn't much exciting about an ordinary snapshot even if it has 30 megapixcels and are noise free. We want images that stand out.

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Shooting a Wedding with Fujifilm X-series Cameras and Fujinon Lenses

At the end of June I was second shooting on one of my fellow fujiboy, Tomin's wedding assignments. Our plan was to shoot a video of using Fujifilm X-cameras on a wedding shoot. But Tomin is still relying heavily on his Nikon gear to get the job done when shooting weddings and with limited time on hand we didn't get to shoot much video. Instead I mostly second shot and assisted Tomin. 

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Godox Wistro AD360, Fujifilm EF42 and Other new Toys

Being a Canon shooter you have the luxury to choose between almost all lightning equipment available. Every light manufacturers make light compatible with Canon and you get great 3rd party flashes for little money. When I had my Canon gear I used great and inexpensive flashes from Yongnuo with ETTL, high speed sync, ETTL and HHS triggers. I sold my Canon specific flashes along with the rest of my Canon gear and just kept two of the great Yongnuo YN560II manual flashes and some rf-603 triggers. The YN560II works like a charm with my Fujifilm cameras, but two flashes is a little too few...

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Moments from June 2014 Shot With Fujifilm X-series

With June comes summer time and the last effort in all areas before summer vacation. This year we have been blessed with very nice weather on the usually cold west coast of Norway. There are always lots of things happening in June. End of spring season for lots of activities so there are lots of soccer cups, bike races and lots of graduation parties in the last weeks before school vacation.

June was a hectic month. There were happenings and trips every weekend and not much time to sit down and relax. 

I'm on a quest for a good flash system to be used with the X-series. So June brought a Fujifilm EF-42 and orders on lots of cool lighting stuff that now has started to arrive.

The Fujiboys ended June with shooting a wedding together. We had lots of fun and the happy couple was very happy with the results.

Here are some moments from the month of June captured with the Fujifilm X-series...:

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Raw Converter Review: Capture One Pro 7 for Processing Fujifilm X-trans Raw Files

If you do a quick Google search on "Best raw converter" you will se that Capture One is mentioned in almost all hits on the first page. Today there are three big multiplatform raw converters, Lightroom, Capture One and DxO Optics Pro. Lightroom is probably the most used, Capture One is known for it's very high image quality with lots of "punch" and DxO Optics Pro excels in lens and perspective correction. Often raw converter showdowns are between those three. Often the conclusions are that Lightroom offers the most complete and flexible package with great image browser/library, excellent local adjustment opportunities, great printing module and so on, but both Capture One and DxO Optics Pro offer superior image quality.

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New Firmware Updates Available for multiple Fujifilm camera models

Firmware updates to improve the Fujifilm X-T1, X-Pro1, X-E1, X-E2, X-M1, X-A1, XQ1, FinePix S1, FinePix XP70 and FinePix XP200 are now available to download from the Fujifilm Global website. Firmware adds compatibility for the new XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6R OIS WR to X-T1, X-E2, X-PRO1 and X-E1. XQ1, X-A1 and X-M1 get direct Instax Printer support.

More details about the new firmware updates can be found here:

http://www.fujifilm.eu/eu/news/article/news/new-firmware-updates-available-for-multiple-fujifilm-camera-models/

Tor Martin

Lightroom 5.5 with Bugfixes for Fujifilm X-T1 released

Lightroom.jpg

This week Adobe launched Lightroom 5.5. An update to their well regarded raw converter with support for new cameras, new lens profiles and some bug fixes. For Fujifilm X-T1 Adobe has fixed an issue with Fujifilm X-T1 raw images appearing too bright at high ISO settings when using Dynamic Range 200% and 400%.

I am curious to see if they have addressed the issues with detail smearing, foliage and watercolor effects on Fuji X-trans rendering.

Check it out here:

https://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2014/06/lightroom-5-5-now-available.html

Inexpensive Replacement for Missing PC-sync Terminal Cap on Fujifilm X-T1

Like many other Fujifilm X-T1 owners I lost my PC-sync terminal cover on my X-T1. I don't know when or where it got lost, but discovered that it was missing some time ago. At that time there was no spare cover available from Fujifilm, but a cover kit was announced to come.

I covered my PC-sync terminal with electrical tape as a temporary solution and ordered inexpensive Nikon Caps from E-bay as a replacement. I ordered a set of 10 for the price of 9$.

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A Day at the Viking Festival 2014 with Fujifilm X-T1 and the XF Zooms.

I live on the main land of Karmøy on the west coast of Norway, which is in the middle of the Homeland of the Viking Kings. The area is known to be Norway's birthplace and Avaldsnes on the island of Karmøy is Norway's oldest throne. Avaldsnes is historical ground and on Bukkøy, a little island in Avaldsnes, they have buildt a Viking settlement based on archeological findings in the area.

In June an annual Viking festival is held on Bukkøy. The festival gathers Viking enthusiasts from all over Europe and is also very popular localy. On the festival there are a big viking market, storytellers, theater, vking games, game shows, viking boats and so on. This year the festival had fantastic weather and there were probably set a new record in visitor numbers. 

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Shooting a MTB-Race with Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF 55-200mm

Localy we have an annual MTB-race called Hårfagrerittet that has been quite popular among bike riders on all levels. This was the forth edition of the race that was first held in 2010. Because of problems with the course the race was not held last year, but was back in business this year with a new and slightly longer course. I raced the first 3 editions of this race with very decent results and the race was my main goal for the 2012 season. Unfortunately it was the day almost everything went wrong. I had a fall, and finished the race full of wounds, with a torn bike shorts and a wry handlebar. I didn't reach the goal that I had been training for and the race was a big disappointment. Didn't help at all that I actually did pretty decent by becoming number 60 something out of almost 2000 participants...

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Moments From May 2014 Captured with Fujifilm X-series

May is the month of celebrations and happenings in Norway. 17th of May is our National day and is a true fest for children in all ages. This year was kind of special because we were celebration the bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution.

After a long winter May is always green, lush and comes with longer days and a taste of summer. May is the peak season for bands and children's activities before the summer begins in June.

May came and went in a heartbeat and here are some of the moments my Fuji gear managed to capture:-).

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