Marco Secchi Blog

Photojournalist in Slovenia and Hungary

Posts Tagged ‘fuji

Fujifilm XE-2 Firmware update ver. 4.0

with 3 comments

Fuji had always promised they were going to issue a firmware update for the nearly 3 years X-E2, mid-range mirrorless camera, to bring it in line with the XT-1 but after the release of the new camera X-E2s many were dubious.

On February 4th Fujifilm has released the new firmware update which adds a host of feature and operational improvements, including the AF upgrades, also a revised user interface and multiple Auto ISO settings. The update brings the camera into line with most of the latest X-series models and continues Fujifilm’s habit of supporting existing users.

This is one of the reasons why I moved from DSLR professional Nikon to Fujifilm. Just thinking at myXE-2 that I had since the very beginning in October 2013 I believe that thanks to the Fujifilm supportI have had a new camera probably 2/3 times with major updates in those 28 months and for sure it is is not something I was used to.
I am always surprised that not many camera brands release updates as phones, computers, tablets etc.   In my view extending the functionality with updates or fixes is always a good thing and would make for more the reason to purchase oftheir brand, especially as these cameras become more computer like and sophisticated.

 

Improvements and function enhancements with this firmware 4.0 update

New AF System
(1) New AF system with Zone and Wide/Tracking modes for effortless capture of moving subjects
(2) Improvement of AF accuracy
(3) Eye Detection AF
(4) Auto Macro mode
(5) AF improvement in the Movie mode
Function enhancements
(6) High-speed electronic shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32000sec.*
(7) White Balance Bracketing
(8) Enhanced ISO Auto Setting to AUTO1/AUTO2/AUTO3
(9) Exposure Compensation control in Manual.
(10) Natural Live View function is just like the naked eye.
(11) Finer lines on the framing grid enhances visibility
(12) New Video Frame rates (50P / 25P / 24P)
(13) Manual Shooting in Video mode
(14) Phase detection AF support for Instant AF
(15) Expansion of shutter speed in Program Shift mode
Operability improvements
(16) The new user interface
(17) Improved Shutter Speed Dial operation
(18) Name of Silent mode changed to avoid confusion
(19) Direct selection of AF area
(20) Unlocked AE-L / AF-L Buttons
(21) Variable Focus Area during MF
(22) Q. Menu customization
(23) Interlocking of Metering and Focus areas
(24) Movie Recording
Other changes with the update
(25) Supports focus limiter function for XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
(26) “BACKGROUND COLOR” menu
(27) The maximum number of images taken in the continuous shooting mode

After this update, I really feel my XE2 ismuch faster and it added many useful things that will help my workflow

What I was really hoping with this update was to get

-Autofocus brought inline with X-T1 speeds, especially continuous focus
-Electronic shutter option
-Auto Macro Mode

I got them all

PRO
Autofocus – Single, Fixed subject isfor sure an impressive upgrade. Works in a fantastic way and really seems a new camera.
Autofocus – Single, Moving subject a great improvement
Autofocus – Continuous + Tracking again asubstantial improvement on continuous focus and very happy with it
Auto Macro mode will save time and makes life easier
Electronic shutter for still subjects it’s a dream, 1/32000th in the daylight wide open and completely silent is superb.

This new firmware is very very good, make sure you update your camera right now, these added functions bring the X-E2 in line with X-E2s and XT-1

New Firmware 4.0 can be found here

CONS
Grrrr….Why did the firmware not include 36 megapixel upgrade, tilt-able screen, IBIS, and the possibility to make an Espresso?? That was mean.
Just Joking of course.

Thanks Fujifilm! You’ve shown that the most important factor are (we) the end users.

 

This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Advertisements

Written by msecchi

February 25, 2016 at 8:31 am

FUJIFILM XF100-400MM WR Lens Quick Review

leave a comment »

If you are the proud owner of a Fujifilm X-series camera and you’re looking for a super zoom lens, now you are in luck with the new XF 100-400mm. Thanks to some good friend I managed to briefly try one on my XT1  and on the new XPRO2

What is the  FUJINON XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens? For those unfamiliar with the Fuji X terminology, this lens is a 400mm which on a cropped sensor equates to 600mm,  comes with optical image stabilization OIS that definitely  is handy to keep photos from being blurry due to camera shake. Finally “WR”  means that it is weather resistant, as several other Fuji lenses and the XT1 for example.

 

FUJINON XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR key features:

Uses 21 elements in 14 groups, and 5 extra-low dispersion elements and 1 super extra low dispersion elements
Rounded 9 blade aperture
1/3 EV (15 steps)
Water-repellent fluorine coating
Weather-sealed with 13 water and dust resistant seals at 12 points
Included lens hoods features a sliding window for accessing a polarizing filter and locking mechanism
Compatible the XF1.4X TC WR teleconverter (140-560mm F6.3-8 or 213-853mm in 35mm equivalent)
Compatible with optional lens plate (MLP-75XF) and optional ARCA SWISS tripods

I compare it with my 50-140 and  difference is 100-400 1,375 grams,  the 50-140, 1,093 grams.  The diameter is in keeping with the filter size, 50-140 – 72mm, 100-400 – 77mm.

The  side controls are: the focus limiting switch that allow you to choose full range or 5 meters to infinity.  The Program or Aperture Priority switch and finally the Optical Image Stabilization on and off switch.  Between the zoom ring and the aperture ring is the Lock switch for keeping the lens locked in the 100mm position.

I was surprised then when the lens extends out to 400mm it only grows slightly less than 2.5 inches!  

Comes with an amazing 5.0-stop image stabilization system and twin linear motors for speedy autofocus that makes it perfect for shooting fast-moving subjects. I was able to get a good percentage of sharp images with shutter speeds as long as 1/30th second at an effective focal lengths of 600mm handheld that is quite remarkable.

This lens is tack sharp.  I did not have the time to try it adding the Fuji’s XF 1.4X Teleconverter but was told that even with the teleconverter image sharpness is superb and there’s no appreciable drop in sharpness.

Let me state the obvious. This is a large lens and it seems clear that at Fuji at this stage they have no intention to make a full 35mm sensor camera. Having said that I think can fit anyway in the spot of my 50-140 inside my bag. It also felt quite light which helps maintain a decent balance with the X-T1 mounted as long as you properly support the lens by hand or with a monopod. Of course I would have loved to see it as a smaller lens but I am sure there are optical rules and I’m confident this was the smallest and lightest, Fujifilm could make this high quality telephoto! 

Pros:

  • Excellent sharpness 
  • Strong Image Stabilization
  • Excellent close focus distance
  • Long focus throw for precise manual focus adjustments
     

Once again, it is very hard to find negatives for this lens…probably the only issue is the fact that the lens-foot is not Arca-Swiss compatible from the start. But do I often use a tripod…???  No for the type of work I do. I see it more as an issue for other photographers

For sure there will be  the usual comments  ” Hey this lens is not sharp!”…. As I was saying you need a very good  handholding technique or a monopod that are anyway essential to get good results at 600mm effective focal length! 🙂

The Bokeh, quality of the out of focus areas, is nice and soft. Being not a very fast lens when it comes to maximum aperture, one could think it would be hard to throw the background out of focus. However because of the long focal length  the effect is very much present, even at f 5.6.

Lastly, will I be buying the new XF100-400? More than likely yes, is the short answer! I know that is a relative big and  heavy lens and goes against one of my primary reasons for switching from Nikon to Fujifilm, but I am sure I will need it and I have the feeling that after all it is still lighter than the Nikkor 70-200 I use to carry around every single day!

This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by msecchi

February 17, 2016 at 10:36 am

Posted in My Job

Tagged with , , , , ,

Fuji Xpro2 my take!

leave a comment »

Fujifilm X-Pro2

The most awaited upgraded premium camera finally arrives!

During the last couple of months I was lucky enough to try the Fuji X Pro 2 thanks to Fujifilm Slovenia! I used to own the original Xpro1 and I shoot on a daily bases with 2 Leica and I use 2 XT1 and  1 XE2 with an array of fuji lenses so was really looking forward to try this new gem.

The Fujifilm has released the long-awaited modern, advanced model, the Fuji Xpro2 compact system camera. It is one of the coolest, hippest and most desirable APS-C cameras available in the market today.

 

The details and Capability

The Fuji Xpro2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with a Hybrid Viewfinder system that incorporates both electrical and optical viewfinders. It has an ultra advance image sensor, X-Trans III technology, for a remarkable image quality and sharpness similar to full-frame DSLRs: brand new 24.3 megapixels. It features a Hybrid AF system with 273 points, of which 77 are phase-detection and cover about 40% of the frame, while the rest is covered by contrast-detection areas for accurate focusing from edge-to-edge.

When paired with the X-Processor Pro, the sensor is delivering clean image quality with minimized noise value, along with a sensitivity range of ISO 12800 that can be expanded to ISO 51200. Besides benefitting the low-light performance, the sensor contributes to faster overall performance, including shutter lag time of 0.05 seconds, AF speed of up to 0.06 seconds, start-up time of 0.4 seconds and shooting interval of 0.25 seconds. The mechanical shutter speed is up to 1/32,000 seconds, with an enhanced flash sync speed of about 1/250 seconds, and a new X-Processor Pro that brings extraordinary improved response time for superior performance. It simply delivers the best ever result from Fuji X-Series camera.

Body and Interface Design

Fuji Xpro2 has a robust, weather-resistant body to meet the unique needs of any professional photographer in a touch shooting area. Its chassis is made of four pieces of magnesium alloy, which are sealed with more than 60 points, making it a splash-proof, dust-proof and even capable of operating at low temperatures. Besides, it features two SD card slots for reliable video and image storage.

The exposure compensation dial, shutter speed dial and finder switching lever are milled from high quality aluminum for a comfortable feel and premium look. It also features water and dust resistance command dial on both the rear and front of the camera, plus a push function that are easy to use. Its design also includes various customizable function buttons together with a 3.0″ 1.62m-dot rear LCD for live view shooting, image playback and menu navigation. The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to share images wirelessly to mobile devices, or remotely control the camera from your Smartphone.

What I think

The X-Pro2 is something special, the performance and capabilities of the X-Pro2 make it my instant go-to camera during my travels. The X-Pro2 excels everywhere, the camera is starting to focus before I even decide to take the shot and with the speed, accuracy and amazing colour rendition I found all I had to do was focus my attention on composition. I do not need to shoot anymore in Raw I can simply use jpg.  Put simply the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a joy to use, it is a phenomenal upgrade to an already superb camera.

The camera will officially be sold in the market in February 2016 for £1,349.00, so get ready for a new world of photography.

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Written by msecchi

January 17, 2016 at 8:20 am

My Fuji X Series Cameras & Lenses

leave a comment »

little fuji
My fav. at present is The Fujifilm XT1After starting at the top-end with its X-Pro1, Fujifilm has been steadily expanding its X-series mirrorless camera to appeal to a broader audience. With its X-T1, Fujifilm has moved back towards the high-end, offering a fully-loaded mirrorless camera in a weather-resistant, SLR-style body. There’s plenty more where that came from – the X-T1 has one of the largest EVFs we’ve ever seen, numerous manual control dials and, for the first time on an X-series camera, an optional battery grip.

The ‘guts’ of the X-T1 are very much like those found on the recent X-E2. This includes the 16 megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor (with on-chip phase detection), EXR Processor II, built-in Wi-Fi, and full HD video recording. The main differences between the X-T1 and X-E2 are the LCD (tilting vs fixed) and EVF (in terms of magnification), the maximum burst rate (8 vs 7 fps, now with focus tracking at full speed), a flash sync port and, of course, the design.

The Fuji X series walk-around cameras that can be adapted for wedding work, editorial work heck, even commercial work.

With these cameras I feel unstoppable. Invincible. I no longer need to carry  heavy bulky DSLR around all day – with these cameras I am able to carry an entire kit in a shoulder bag and never tire. With these cameras I rarely miss a photo because I have always have a camera with me.

With these cameras I am stealthy, quick, unobtrusive, silent, a rocket for recording the extraordinary in the mundane of the everyday. My photography changed!

The Fujifilm X-Series range of digital cameras consists of the company Fujifilm’s high-end digital cameras and is aimed professional and keen enthusiast photographers. It is part of the larger range of Fujifilm’s digital cameras. X-Series itself is not unified by a common sensor size, technology or a lens format. Its main differentiating feature is the emphases on the controls needed by an advanced digital camera user.

I have owned or own at present the following Cameras

  • Fujifilm X100: prime lens digital camera that uses a custom APS-C sized CMOS sensor and Hybrid Viewfinder, and fixed 23mm F2.0 Fujinon lens. Announced at Photokina, September 20, 2010, the X100 launched globally in March 2011. Succeeded by Fujifilm X100S. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X10: advanced compact featuring a 2/3-inch 12-megapixel EXR-CMOS sensor and a high-definition F2.0 wide-angle and F2.8 telephoto Fujinon 4x manual zoom lens (28-112mm). Announced September 1, 2011. Succeeded by Fujifilm X20 SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-Pro1: Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera that uses the “X-Trans CMOS” sensor and the Fujifilm XF-mount system of lenses. It was announced in January 10, 2012, and launched in March 2012. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-E1: Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera which is a slimmed-down version of X-Pro1. The modifications include removal of expensive hybrid finder replaced by an upgraded electronic viewfinder. New EVF uses a 2.36M dot OLED unit, out-speccing the X-Pro1’s 1.44M dot LCD finder. It was announced on September 6, 2012. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X20: is an the replacement of X10 enthusiast compact camera featuring 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II and a new advanced optical viewfinder. It was announced onn January 7, 2013.
  • Fujifilm X100S: a redesigned version of the X100 with new sensor-based phase detection, same sensor as Fujifilm X-E2. It was announced January 7, 2013. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-E2: successor to the X-E1, featuring X-Trans CMOS II sensor, larger (3″) screen with higher resolution (1.04 M), Digital Split Image technology, Wi-Fi. Announced on October 18, 2013.
  • 2 Fujifilm XT1 a new camera with a weather-sealed body featuring X-Trans CMOS II sensor and tilting LCD screen. It was announced on January 27, 2014. Also the first X-series camera with an optional battery grip, and the first camera from any manufacturer to fully support UHS-II SD cards.

I have the following Lenses

  • Fujinon XF18mm F2 R18mm focal length (27mm equivalent) F2.0-F16 aperture SOLD
  • Fujinon XF35mm F1.4 R35mm focal length (53mm equivalent) F1.4-F16 aperture
  • Fujinon XF60mm F2.4 R Macro 60mm focal length (91mm equivalent) F2.4-F22 aperture SOLD
  • Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS 18-55mm focal length (27-83mm equivalent) (F2.8-F4)-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF14mm F2.8 R14mm focal length (21mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 apertureSOLD
  • Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R OIS55-200mm focal length (83-300mm equivalent)
  • Fujinon XF23mm F2.0 R 23mm focal length (35mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF27mm F2.8 R 23mm focal length (41mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR: A weather-resistant fast telephoto zoom with image stabilization, covering focal lengths equivalent to 75–210mm on full-frame. Officially announced on September 10, 2014.
  • Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5–5.6 R LM OIS WR: A weather-resistant, image-stabilized superzoom, covering focal lengths equivalent to 27–202.5mm on full-frame. Officially announced on June 16, 2014.
  • Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR: An enthusiast-level standard zoom, covering focal lengths equivalent to 24–82.5mm on full-frame, featuring weather-resistant construction. This lens was originally expected to be available in mid-2014, but has been delayed. Officially announced on January 6, 2015 during CES 2015.

Written by msecchi

February 18, 2015 at 8:54 am

Fuji X Custom Settings

leave a comment »

Today arrived the new firmware for most of the Fuji X series cameras.  When you update all the custom settings are wiped out as well as cache memory and frame number
Here are more or less my latest  custom settings.

Name ISO Dynamic Range Film Simulation White Balance Colour Sharpness Highlight  Shadow  Noise 
Standard AUTO DR100 Provia (standard) Auto 0 0 0 0 0
Landscape Normal 200 DR100 Astia (soft) Auto -1 +1 -1 -2 0
Landscape  High Contrast 400 DR200 Astia (soft) Auto -1 +1 -1 -2 0
Portrait Neutral 200 DR100 Pro-Neg Standard Auto 0 0 0 0 0
Portrait Neutral Higher Contrast 400 DR200 Pro-Neg High Auto 0 +1 -1 -2 0
B&W Landscape 800 DR100 Mono+Red Auto 0 +1 0 0 0
B&W Portrait 800 DR100 Mono+Green Auto 0 +1 -1 -1 0

 

I have set them according to the subjects I tend to shot so I can change a whole group of settings with a push of the “Q” menu button and a quick turn of the dial.   Finer tweaks to color and highlight/shadow tone were done from experience of using the camera and the above are what I  eventually arrived at after some months of use.

I tend to play quite a bit with Highlight Tome, Sharpness and Shadow Tone so I change them often. For the ISO thee are times when I like to have in AUTO with Standard 200, Max 3200 and min shutter speed at Focal length I am using x1.8

While I like the more saturated colors and higher contrast in Astia (soft) for landscape generally, I found it tended to clip into the shadows too easily so I somewhat reduced the contrast there by making a -2 adjustment.

For portraits the Provia (standard) or Pro-Neg film simulations work well as they are rather neutral and subdued in colour, so render skin tones well.  The Pro-Neg Hi gives the same colours but more contrast.  I reduced the contrast at the shadow end as I found it was clipping to black too readily.

The dynamic range settings work really well and allow the camera to record more detail in highlights and shadows than in a normal exposure.  For the higher DR setting (DR200 is all I have needed) the camera needs to be set to ISO 400 but the sensor/processor is so effective that there is no discernible noise penalty.  It isn’t an HDR feature….my understanding is that it works like many other similar features and the camera basically underexposes the image then processes in an exposure and tone curve that avoids clipping at each end.

The Jpeg output is so good on this camera that I shoot Jpeg almost all the time, whereas I only shoot RAW on my Nikon DSLRs.  Images from the X-E1 print superbly and have amazing pixel level sharpness.  The camera seems to resolve beyond what its 16MP sensor should, probably due to the absence of the anti aliasing filter.  Strangely, when 100% images are viewed on a computer monitor, detail can look somewhat mushy due to the unusual colour filter layout of the X-Trans sensor, but images view nicely at normal sizes and print in a very natural way, giving what I would describe as an organic look to textures that look real enough to touch and bitingly sharp.

 

Written by msecchi

November 6, 2014 at 11:06 am

Fuji X100s for street photography

leave a comment »

I am often asked what settings I use for street photography. First, let’s make sure you have everything you will need, extra batteries and extra memory cards. A fast memory card is essential when shooting raw. …do not forget your camera!
 (Marco Secchi)

Here are my settings for street shooting:
Auto ISO: 200-3200
Min. Shutter speed limit: 1/125
Focus AF-C mode

Drive Mode S or C: most of the time I am in s mode, c-mode if the situation really calls for it.
While in AF-C mode , always awake/never sleep doesn’t work, keep half pressing the shutter from time to time, especially when you spot a potential shot, make sure the camera is not asleep
Shutter priority at 1/250 or higher in regular light
Optical Hybrid finder vs EVF: depending on the scene, if it is a context or overview shot, OHVF works, however, I found the EVF preferable for precise positioning of the af point since there is no time to reframe/refocus.
Develop a solid grip on your camera, experiment, strap around the neck or wrist strap. Learn to change +- dial with out looking at your camera, the same goes for shutter speed, keep your eyes on the street.

Use your x100s a lot, that’s it!

Fuji X Custom Settings

leave a comment »

Today arrived the new firmware for most of the Fuji X series cameras.  When you update all the custom settings are wiped out as well as cache memory and frame number
Here are more or less my latest  custom settings.

Name ISO Dynamic Range Film Simulation White Balance Colour Sharpness Highlight  Shadow  Noise 
Standard AUTO DR100 Provia (standard) Auto 0 0 0 0 0
Landscape Normal 200 DR100 Astia (soft) Auto -1 +1 -1 -2 0
Landscape  High Contrast 400 DR200 Astia (soft) Auto -1 +1 -1 -2 0
Portrait Neutral 200 DR100 Pro-Neg Standard Auto 0 0 0 0 0
Portrait Neutral Higher Contrast 400 DR200 Pro-Neg High Auto 0 +1 -1 -2 0
B&W Landscape 800 DR100 Mono+Red Auto 0 +1 0 0 0
B&W Portrait 800 DR100 Mono+Green Auto 0 +1 -1 -1 0

 

I have set them according to the subjects I tend to shot so I can change a whole group of settings with a push of the “Q” menu button and a quick turn of the dial.   Finer tweaks to color and highlight/shadow tone were done from experience of using the camera and the above are what I  eventually arrived at after some months of use.

I tend to play quite a bit with Highlight Tome, Sharpness and Shadow Tone so I change them often. For the ISO thee are times when I like to have in AUTO with Standard 200, Max 3200 and min shutter speed at Focal length I am using x1.8

While I like the more saturated colors and higher contrast in Astia (soft) for landscape generally, I found it tended to clip into the shadows too easily so I somewhat reduced the contrast there by making a -2 adjustment.

For portraits the Provia (standard) or Pro-Neg film simulations work well as they are rather neutral and subdued in colour, so render skin tones well.  The Pro-Neg Hi gives the same colours but more contrast.  I reduced the contrast at the shadow end as I found it was clipping to black too readily.

The dynamic range settings work really well and allow the camera to record more detail in highlights and shadows than in a normal exposure.  For the higher DR setting (DR200 is all I have needed) the camera needs to be set to ISO 400 but the sensor/processor is so effective that there is no discernible noise penalty.  It isn’t an HDR feature….my understanding is that it works like many other similar features and the camera basically underexposes the image then processes in an exposure and tone curve that avoids clipping at each end.

The Jpeg output is so good on this camera that I shoot Jpeg almost all the time, whereas I only shoot RAW on my Nikon DSLRs.  Images from the X-E1 print superbly and have amazing pixel level sharpness.  The camera seems to resolve beyond what its 16MP sensor should, probably due to the absence of the anti aliasing filter.  Strangely, when 100% images are viewed on a computer monitor, detail can look somewhat mushy due to the unusual colour filter layout of the X-Trans sensor, but images view nicely at normal sizes and print in a very natural way, giving what I would describe as an organic look to textures that look real enough to touch and bitingly sharp.

 

Written by msecchi

December 19, 2013 at 12:06 am