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Millions of people have visited this website in 2023, and the year isn’t even over yet!
I never imagined that Fuji X Weekly would grow so popular—I’m shocked by it, actually. It’s a real honor to be helpful to such a large number of photographers across the world, and I feel like I’m only getting started. It’s amazing to me just how far this thing has come, and I can’t wait to see where it all goes.
I’ve been digging through the Fuji X Weekly website analytics, which I do from time-to-time (but probably not nearly as often as I should), and I discovered a few interesting points. Some of you might find this intriguing, too, while others might not (and I apologize for that). For those who are interested, let’s dive into the stats!
During the month of October two milestones were reached: 1) near the beginning of the month, Fuji X Weekly total page views for 2023 exceeded that of 2022, and 2) by the end of October, Fuji X Weekly surpassed two million unique visitors!
Page views is a pretty straight-forward statistic. Between the homepage, blog page, blog posts, Film Simulation Recipe articles, etc., etc., etc.—across the entirety of the Fuji X Weekly website—all of the various pages have been viewed a total approaching 9,000,000 (last year was just over eight million; this year is on track to top 10 million). That’s an absolutely unbelievable number to me! In 2023, I’m averaging 4.3 page views per visitor, which (from what I can tell) is a good number. I’ve read that 3-4 page views per visitor is average. One person might only ever open one article, while someone else might view seven, and between the two of them they had eight page views, with an average of four. Some websites—such as many e-commerce—have more page views per visitor, while some have less, and some much less. There are several very popular photography websites (I won’t mention them by name, but trust me that they’re highly recognizable) that average less than two page views per visitor.
Surprisingly, the more convoluted statistic is unique visitors. Near the very end of October, Fuji X Weekly surpassed two million unique visitors. Or did it? What constitutes a unique visitor, anyway?
If you visit this website from the same device multiple times, you’ll typically be counted as only one visitor. There are some exceptions, depending on your security settings, how often you delete cookies, if you change internet providers or move to a new home, and things like that—but, by-and-large, if you visit this website (say) 20 times over the year, you are counted as only one unique visitor. However, if you use multiple devices—say, your desktop, laptop, work computer, cellphone, and tablet—you could be counted as five unique visitors. Unless, that is, you are logged into your WordPress account (if you have one) on each of those devices, then you’ll only be counted once and not five times. It’s impossible to know how many unique visitors there actually are, since it’s likely that many people are being counted more than once. I cannot know just how many are being counted more than once, or how many times they’re being counted. For sure, two million different people have not visited Fuji X Weekly so far in 2023, but whatever the real number is, it’s still a heck of a lot.
Let’s talk bounce rate, which is the number of people who visit a website only once, and view only one page, and never come back (they bounce). The average bounce rate across all websites is about 40.5%, but it varies significantly based on website type. Blogs, for example, are in the highest category, with an average bounce rate of 65%. My bounce rate is 50%, which is really good for the type of website that it is. It means that half of the visitors read only one article and leave, never to return. They probably followed a link from some other website or a social media post, or Fuji X Weekly came up in a Google search, and they either found exactly what they were looking for and had no need for further reading, or (more likely) they weren’t all that interested in what was published, so they left. That accounts for one million visitors (and, in turn, one million page views), which leaves the other million as people who are either repeat visitors, or someone who visited just once but viewed more than one article before leaving. For that second group of one million, they averaged almost eight page views per person.
Of that one million who didn’t bounce right away, it’s impossible to know just how many are repeat visitors, or how many were counted more than once (one individual counted as multiple unique visitors). As best as I can tell from the data I could find, making some assumptions based on averages, I believe that around 500,000-ish people have visited Fuji X Weekly in 2023 more than once, and around 80,000-100,000 are regular readers. Someone who is a “regular reader” isn’t necessarily someone who reads everything that’s published, but perhaps checks in every now and then (probably opening many of the Film Simulation Recipe posts that pertain to their particular camera model, but maybe not a lot of the other content). Those who read the majority of the articles published on this website is a much smaller number, around 4,000 to 5,000 I think. Those who read literally everything—the true diehard fans—is likely less than 500, and maybe as little as 200.
We started with millions—two million, to be exact—which is an impressive number; however, we dwindled that down a whole bunch. First to one million, after subtracting those who quickly bounced; then to 500,000-ish, for those who likely visited more than once this year; next to 80,000-100,000, which is the rough number of those who do (at least somewhat) regularly read this website; then to 4,000-5,000, for those who are enthusiastic, and read much of what’s published; and finally to as little as 200—the truly devoted followers of Fuji X Weekly, who read literally all of the articles. Of those numbers, I’m most happy by the smaller ones. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am by those who visit this website often—you are why I continue to publish content and new Recipes frequently. Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, you really mean a lot.
You might be curious which pages and articles have been viewed the most on Fuji X Weekly so far this year. For the top five, the homepage is obvious the most-viewed, followed by the X-Trans IV Recipe page, then the Film Simulation Recipe page, then the X-Trans III Recipe page, and finally X-Trans V Recipe page. The most-viewed article is How To Add Film Simulation Recipes To Your Fujifilm Camera. The top five Film Simulation Recipe posts (in order from most to least viewed) are Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra 400 v2, Kodak Portra 400, Vibrant Arizona, and Vintage Kodak. Aside from the one already mentioned, the top five non-Recipe articles (in order from most to least viewed) are A $400 Alternative to the Fujifilm X100V, X-E4, and X70, Report: Fujifilm X100Z to be Released in Early 2024, Which Film Simulation Recipes, When? — Part 1, How to Solve Fujifilm’s Cam Remote App Not Connecting to iPhone, and Let’s talk about the upcoming Fujifilm X100Z. Film Simulation Recipe articles tend to get a lot more views than the non-Recipe posts.
I’m not really sure how to conclude this, but just to say one more time a big “Thank you!” to everyone who visits this website, reads the articles, maybe shares them with others, and perhaps is even a Creative Collective subscriber. I also want to express my great appreciation to those who have downloaded the Fuji X Weekly App (and/or the Ricoh Recipes App and RitchieCam App), and especially to those who have become Patrons. This wouldn’t continue to exist without your support. I really appreciate you!
The November issue of FXW Zine is out now! Creative Collective subscribers can download it today. Not a Creative Collective subscriber? Join to gain access to this issue plus all pervious issues of FXW Zine and the many bonus articles.
Issue 24—yes, the 24th issue!—has two articles. The first is about fall foliage photography, with its brilliant displays of color. The second is a brief look back at the previous 23 issues of FXW Zine. There are 34 pictures (including the cover) over 24 pages. Enjoy!
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The cost of a second-hand Fujifilm X-E4 is completely out of hand!
Before we get to that, let’s rewind this all a bit. Fujifilm released the X-E4 in late-February 2021. I preordered my copy, which arrived in early March. The X-E4 was the fifth in the X-E line, which began in 2012 with the X-E1, Fujifilm’s second interchangeable-lens X-series model (the X-Pro1 was the first). The X-E2 came out only one year later, and the nearly identical X-E2s was released three years after that. The X-E3 was released in 2017, and rumors floated around that it might be the last X-E camera.
The X-E line is much beloved by those who own them. It’s a combination of beautiful rangefinder styling, diminutive size, simplicity, and affordability, while producing images that are equally as good as the bigger and more expensive models. But sales have always been so-so. The X-E3, in particular, was a slow-mover, and it was possible to buy a brand-new copy for less than MSRP as recently as last year. Two years ago the X-E3 was on sale for $560. This is to say that the X-E line is niche, even within Fujifilm, which is itself sort of a niche brand; however, it’s a much loved series by many who have had the pleasure to use them. The X-E1 was my gateway into Fujifilm; today the X-E4 is my second-favorite camera, only behind the X100V.
With the X-E3 not moving particularly quickly, Fujifilm seriously considered discontinuing the X-E line. But with the discontinuation of the low-budget X-A and X-T000 cameras, plus a vocal outcry from their customers, I believe Fujifilm had a change of heart, so the X-E4, with its minimalistic design, was born. However, between the global parts shortage and the expected so-so sales, Fujifilm didn’t produce as many copies as other cameras. My guess is that they were concerned that unsold boxes of the X-E4 would be sitting around for years like with the X-E3 (and, to an extent, the X-E2s before that, and the X-E2 before that, and the X-E1 before that), so Fujifilm made the decision to discontinue the X-E4, and divert manufacturing resources to other cameras, like the X100V, X-T5, and X-S20.
What Fujifilm did not anticipate is that the sudden success of the X100V—thanks to social media and Film Simulation Recipes (to a degree)—would spill over to the X-E4. Since it became so hard to get a copy of the X100V, and new orders were being placed faster than Fujifilm could manufacture the camera—with backorder lists six months long—people began to look for alternatives. The X-E4, especially paired with the 27mm pancake, was a top alternative suggested for those who wanted an X100V but couldn’t get one. The X-E4, which was already hit-or-miss to find, was now sold out everywhere, and Fujifilm couldn’t manufacture new copies nearly fast enough.
Even though the X-E4 was suddenly super successful, Fujifilm inexplicably discontinued it back in March of this year, just two years after it was initially released. I believe that Fujifilm had already decided to discontinue it, and cease manufacturing at a certain point—not secure the necessary parts to make more copies—and they followed through with their plan despite the increased demand. In my opinion, this was a big mistake. Apparently, Fujifilm may have also planned to quietly discontinue the X-E line with the X-E4. My hope is that they change their minds and create an X-E5, but I’m not holding my breath, because it probably won’t happen. Maybe articles like this will convince them otherwise.
Since the X-E4 was discontinued while demand was high, the prices of used copies has skyrocketed, as reported by Fujirumors. I began this article prior to Patrick publishing his, but got busy with other things before finishing it, then I saw his post on the subject. I questioned if it was even worth publishing, but, after thinking about it, I decided to finish this article. I believe that I have a divergent-enough take on this topic that it’s worthwhile to publish anyway.
Used copies of the X-E4 are being listed for sale for 50% to 100% more (and sometimes higher!) than the camera cost when brand new. Crazy! It’s simple supply and demand. There’s a lot of demand, and Fujifilm didn’t manufacture nearly enough supply. So now, if you want an X-E4 you’re going to pay through the teeth. Even the X-E3 is selling for more than it was, although it still seems pretty affordable—if you can’t find an X-E4, buy an X-E3 instead. I love my X-E4, but I wouldn’t recommend buying one for these prices. What it really shows is that Fujifilm should make an X-E5, or start manufacturing more X-E4 bodies. It’s a wasted opportunity.
Below are some screenshot examples I found of the insanely inflated X-E4 prices. If you are trying to buy one, I sincerely wish you the best of luck finding one for a reasonable cost.
See also: The Current Fujifilm X-Series Lineup
According to Fujirumors, there will not be another X-series camera announced in 2023. Apparently, whatever camera was thought to be coming is not… at least not until sometime after New Years. The next Fujifilm camera to be released will, then, be the X100V successor, which will likely be announced in late-January or early-February.
The name most thrown around for the X100V successor is X100R, where “R” stands for Roku, which is six in Japan; however, I’d be surprised if Fujifilm did this just because Roku is such a recognizable brand name. Can you imagine the fun, though, that someone like Omar Gonzalez or Kai Wong could have with this? I can already see the gags about the X100Roku… plug it into your TV for streaming made easy! Catch the latest videos from your favorite YouTubers right on the X100Roku! I don’t know what Fujifilm will name it, but I propose X100Z, which makes the most sense to me.
Other than a new lens, not much is known about the X100V successor. I think it will have the 40mp X-Trans V sensor. Nothing else has leaked, as far as I’ve seen. We’ll just have to wait and see.
A lot of Fujifilm models have been discontinued, and we’re now in the last quarter of 2023, so I thought I would take this opportunity to briefly discuss what the X-series lineup currently looks like.
This, of course, is the one model that everyone wants but nobody can get. It’s the most in-demand camera that Fujifilm has ever made. With a backorder list that’s months-long, new orders are being placed for the X100V faster than Fujifilm can manufacture new copies. Hopefully, the X100Z (or whatever Fujifilm will call it) will help alleviate this issue, but it might just exacerbate it. I wonder if those who have been on backorder lists for months will be made first in line for the new model, or if they’ll have to jump into a whole new line? Fujifilm will have to be careful with how they handle the transition. The X100V is currently the only rangefinder-style model being offered by Fujifilm. Oh, and good luck finding one!
The latest in the often-celebrated X-T line is the X-T5, which is truly a photographer’s camera. It is one of four fifth-generation X-series models, and one of only two with the 40mp X-Trans V sensor. It’s also the only SLR-styled camera with the traditional tactile controls being offered by Fujifilm at this time.
Fujifilm X-H2 / X-H2s
These two cameras are Fujifilm’s flagship models designed to competitively contend with some full-frame offerings by Canikony brands. They’re the most expensive in the lineup, offering the best-of-the-best features, but in a body dissimilar from most that Fujifilm has previously released for X cameras. They’re largely intended to bring photographers into the Fujifilm fold from other brands, and not necessarily satisfy the desires of those who have been with the brand for many years. The X-H2 is the 40mp high-resolution version, while the X-H2s is the 26mp performance option.
The X-S20 is the more budget-friendly and compact version of the X-H2/X-H2s. It’s like their little brother. It’s also more intended to bring in folks from Canikony brands than to sell to long-time Fujifilm users. Despite having the old sensor, it’s Fujifilm’s newest X-series model.
The X-S10 is the predecessor to the X-S20. Even though the new iteration has been out for several months, Fujifilm hasn’t discontinued the X-S10. I’m not sure if it’s because they still have a lot of copies sitting around, or if it’s just selling so well that they’ll keep it around awhile longer. Fujifilm did something similar with the X-T3—continued to manufacture it well after the X-T4 was released—because it was still doing well for them. The X-S10 is Fujifilm’s cheapest offering, and currently the best value in my opinion.
That’s it! That’s the full X-series lineup currently. It looks a lot different than it used to—boy, have times changed!
Cameras that have been discontinued that still might see a successor are the X-T30 II, X-E4, and X-Pro3. My guess is that an X-Pro4 will be announced in late-spring or early-summer, and will be the first to follow the upcoming X100-series model. I’m not certain if we’ll get an X-T40 (maybe they’ll call it X-T30 III or X-T50), but it would make a lot of sense to offer it, as that line has always done well for Fujifilm, and a budget-friendly camera with the traditional tactile controls is curiously and sadly missing. If Fujifilm does eventually make an X-E5, if past releases are any indication, it will be sometime in late-2024 or even in 2025, I think, just before X-Trans VI; however, the X-E4 had a lot of demand and a long backorder list before being suddenly discontinued, so it would make a lot of sense to release an X-E5 before then. I’m not convinced that Fujifilm will offer both an X-T00 and X-E model simultaneously, and it’s possible that one of those two lines is gone for good. We’ll see.
My guess is that we’ll see three X-series cameras in 2024. The first will be the X100Z, then the X-Pro4, then either the X-T40 or X-E5 later in the year. The X100V successor is the only one that’s for certain, the rest is speculation.
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Peter McKinnon’s recent YouTube video entitled The Valley really struck me. It was highly relatable, and not just because it was filmed in Arizona and Utah. There were several interesting takeaways, and a lot that could be discussed. For now, I want to focus on one thing in particular: the wrench.
I think it’s important to feel a little uncomfortable sometimes. “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations,” Orson Welles famously stated. Oftentimes restricting ourselves in some way will propel us forward or allow us to achieve what we otherwise could not, as we have to approach the situation differently than we are comfortable doing. That perspective shift is where growth happens. Wrenches are good.
If you haven’t yet seen the video, go ahead and watch it now.
“I mentioned I’ve been shooting for 20 years,” Peter McKinnon states at about the eight-minute mark. “Digital gets a bit—maybe not even digital, it’s not even the way to say it—just photography itself just gets a bit monotonous after two decades. There’s a formula that you can follow, and it works—you’ve got a style and you’re used to it and you’re used to everything. So it’s nice to throw a wrench into that mix, and that wrench—for me—that’s film. Really needing to understand what feels like an entirely new craft in so many ways with so many facets to it—it really puts you on your toes. It takes you out of the comfort zone and forces you to see the world through a new perspective.”
“There’s something that connects you with nature,” he continues. “There’s something that connects you to the landscapes you’re standing in when you’re out there loading a roll of film that you’re going to shoot [but] that you can’t see after. There’s something that just feels like true photography. And that feeling I plan on chasing for as long as I can.”
Initially, I saw this through the eyes of a long-time film photographer. Yeah, there is something about loading the roll of film and not knowing what you’ve got until much later that connects you with the scene. But then I saw it through my eyes when I neared the 20-year mark (there’s something about that date…), which was a handful of years back. I desperately needed a wrench, as I was feeling burnt out and uninspired. That wrench for me was Film Simulation Recipes. Shooting straight-out-of-camera was the limitation that I needed to be propelled forward. It’s what rejuvenated and inspired me (still does!), and what I plan to chase as long as I can. For Peter it’s film, for me it’s JPEG Recipes—which, incidentally, do have some similarities.
Of course, Peter McKinnon still edits his film photographs. He spot-removed the horse poop, for example. He very obviously used masks to brighten up the subjects. Nothing wrong with that, as it’s his art. For me, though, post-editing just sucks the life out of me. It’s just not my thing anymore, after having done it for so long without any enjoyment. Thankfully, using Film Simulation Recipes allows me to not worry about editing, and focus more on capturing.
I also saw Peter’s video through my current eyes. For several months now I have been feeling that I need some new limitation—a brand new wrench—to force myself to see through a new perspective. And this video was the aha moment. I grabbed my Fujifilm X100V, turned off the EVF so that it was just the optical viewfinder (no image preview), and turned off the rear LCD. Then I determined not to review my pictures until later, sometime after I was done photographing. This would emulate to an extent that film experience Peter talked about, and that I kind of miss (now that I don’t shoot much film anymore). Doing this, I load the Film Simulation Recipe that I want to use into the camera (or, choose one of the seven that I already have saved), capture some photographs, and then I don’t know what I have until sometime later. It’s definitely a different approach than what I’ve been doing, but so far so good. I think I’m going to appreciate this new wrench.
I just started doing this. Below are a few of the first handful of exposures captured using this technique. The Recipe is one that’s not yet been published, but is coming soon, so stay tuned for that. I can only do this on my X100V and X-Pro1, and not my other models, since it requires an optical viewfinder. Maybe this will be a good excuse to buy the X-Pro4 whenever Fujifilm decides to release that someday in the future. In the meantime, this is how I will approach photography whenever I’m out with my X100V. I think it’s the wrench I need right now.
The announcement of the Nikon Zf seems to have rekindled an old adage: full frame is better than APS-C. Some are saying that full frame cameras have the minimum sensor size necessary for serious photography, and APS-C and smaller are for amateurs. But is this actually true? Is full frame superior to APS-C? Can APS-C cameras be just as good or perhaps even better than full frame? Does the size of the sensor actually matter all that much? Why even buy a Fujifilm APS-C camera now that Nikon has the full frame Zf?
At the core is the physical size of the sensor. Full-frame is 50% larger than (most) APS-C. The size of a full frame sensor is the same as a 35mm film frame, while the size of an APS-C sensor is the same as an Advanced Photo System Classic film frame. In the film days, no respectable pro or enthusiast photographer used Advanced Photo System cameras. Why should they in the digital age?
Back in the early days of digital, when dynamic range and noise control were much more critical than nowadays, full frame had a clear advantage, as one needed to squeeze the absolute most out of their files and full frame allowed that. APS-C was more affordable and smaller, so it was popular with amateurs and enthusiasts on a budget. This is where the stigma originated that APS-C is not for those who are serious, and to an extent it unfortunately remains to this day, despite so many incredibly talented and successful photographers utilizing APS-C models.
Since APS-C sensors are smaller than full frame, there is less physical room for light sensitive sensor elements (pixels). There are two options: smaller pixels or fewer pixels. Smaller pixels will allow for increased resolution, but at the expense of low-light capabilities and dynamic range. Fewer pixels allows for better low-light capabilities and dynamic range, but at the expense of resolution. Resolution is resolution, and 24mp on full frame is the same as 24mp on APS-C, yet the pixels on the APS-C will be smaller than those on the full frame sensor. 61mp on full frame is more resolution than 40mp on APS-C, yet their pixels are similarly sized. It’s easy to see the advantage of full frame! Except that most photographers don’t actually need 40mp of resolution, let alone 61mp. It looks good on paper, and it’s great for pixel-peeping and bragging rights, but in practical use, the majority of photographers don’t actually need more than 20mp, and everything above that is overkill. Yes, there are some who do need more, because they crop deeply or print huge, but most people who say they need that much resolution don’t actually need it. Megapixels sell cameras, though, so camera makers keep pushing higher and higher. My argument is simply that there is plenty of real estate on an APS-C sensor; while the increased room on full-frame sensors does offer advantages, those advantages find themselves on a diminishing returns segment of an inverted U curve.
Improved dynamic range and high-ISO are often overstated on full frame. The dynamic range of, say, the APS-C Fujifilm X-T5 and the full frame Canon EOS 5DS R are quite similar, and not much different at all in real world use. There are some APS-C cameras with more dynamic range and some with less dynamic range than the X-T5; likewise, there are some full frame cameras with more dynamic range and some with less dynamic range than the 5DS R. But even if we’re talking about an APS-C camera with less and a full frame with more, in practical use, that difference is fairly insignificant (outside of some extreme circumstances). Same with digital noise. Full frame might be cleaner with less noise—particularly as the ISO climbs—but a camera like the X-T5 has a film-grain-like rendering to the digital noise that is much more tolerable than the noise from the 5DS R. In other words, the more noisy X-T5 might be preferable to the less noisy 5DS R at the same ISO. For the most part, full frame does have the advantage with both dynamic range and high-ISO, but it isn’t nearly as big nowadays as many might think.
Now let’s talk crop factor, which is often given as a reason to choose full frame. Because full frame sensors are 50% larger than APS-C, there is a 1.5x crop factor for APS-C focal lengths. For example, a 50mm lens on an APS-C camera will have the same focal length as a 75mm lens on a full frame camera. If you are trying to reach far, it’s a little easier on APS-C than full frame, and if you are trying to go wide, it’s a little easier on full frame than APS-C; however, there are plenty of long telephoto and ultra-wide lens options for both sensor sizes. Crop factor also affects depth-of-field, as f/2 on APS-C has a larger depth-of-field than an f/2 on full frame. If you want a shallow depth-of-field, it’s a little easier to achieve on full frame than APS-C, but if you want a large depth-of-field, it’s a little easier to achieve on APS-C than full-frame; however, it’s still very much possible to get a small depth-of-field on APS-C and a large depth-of-field on full frame. One often-overlooked advantage of APS-C is that, to achieve that shallow depth-of-field, you’re likely to use a larger aperture, allowing more light to reach the sensor, which means shooting at a lower ISO.
Perhaps the biggest advantages that APS-C has over full frame—and likely the main reasons why most choose APS-C instead of full frame—are size and price. APS-C cameras are often smaller and weigh less than full frame. Smaller gear can be preferable, especially when traveling, and it can potentially provide a better user experience. Because the sensor is smaller, the price is often lower, sometimes much lower. Your money often goes further with an APS-C system than full frame.
While APS-C cameras can have some advantages over full frame, and some of the strengths of full frame can be overstated, bigger sensors obviously do allow for more and/or bigger light sensitive sensor elements, which generally speaking is better. My point is not to diminish full frame, because they serve important purposes, and can be preferable; instead, my point is only that the stigma that APS-C is “less than” and isn’t for serious photographers is outdated and inaccurate. Full frame has advantages, and APS-C has advantages, and you might find one more preferable than the other, but they are both very capable sensor sizes. My personal preference is Fujifilm X-Trans APS-C, as it works quite well for my photography. You have to decide for yourself what works best for you. I just hope that the stigma can finally be put to rest, as it’s simply not true.
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I have to admit that the announcement of the Nikon Zf has given me G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). The camera looks stunning! And it seems to be nicely equipped, spec-wise.
There are some who will say that the 24mp sensor is unimpressive—and, yes, it’s not—but it’s all that most will ever need. Some cars have a powerful turbocharged V8, but do you really need it? It might be a whole lot of fun on occasion, but not likely a necessity, unless you’re towing something heavy or maybe on a raceway. That fuel-efficient V4 is a lot more practical, and probably plenty for your purposes. Similarly, the 24mp sensor in the Zf is more than enough resolution, unless you plan to crop deeply or print posters. On Fujifilm, I actually prefer the 26mp X-Trans IV sensor to the 40mp high-resolution X-Trans V sensor, just because more resolution is more cumbersome and can create storage issues, and I simply don’t need that much resolution. I think, for most people and purposes, the 20mp to 30mp range is ideal, and 24mp to 26mp seems like a sweet spot. More than that is overkill for the majority of photographers.
The problem, though, with the Zf is fundamental: there’s no aperture ring on Nikkor Z lenses. Because the lenses don’t have an aperture ring, Nikon was forced to include PASM. Just like the Zfc, the Zf has a shooting mode (a.k.a. PASM) switch, which enables and disables the knobs on top of the camera. For example, if the switch is set to A, the shutter knob doesn’t do anything, and is there only for looks. Of course it makes sense that it does this, but if designed correctly, the step of moving the switch to the correct position in order to activate the knob so that the shutter speed can be adjusted is unnecessary. Also, it’s unintuitive. No aperture control on the lens means that it can’t be set when the camera is powered off. Oftentimes, when I am photographing a scene, as soon as I see what it is that I’m going to capture, I have an idea what I want the aperture to be, and I’ll set it even before I power on the camera. Can’t do that on the Zf or Zfc. Just like the Zfc, the Zf makes the most sense when used in Manual mode, and especially when paired with a third-party lens with an aperture ring.
If you want the full Fujifilm experience, you’d better get a Fujifilm, as the Zf won’t deliver that. The Zfc couldn’t match it, and the Zf won’t be able to, either. That doesn’t mean the Zf isn’t an excellent camera, because I’m certain that it is very good, maybe one of Nikon’s best ever (I’m saying this having never used it personally). I would certainly love one myself, just because I’m a sucker for beautifully designed digital cameras that look and handle retro-like. I think the Fujifilm X-T5 and Nikon Zf will be compared very closely by reviewers and YouTubers, and, in my opinion, the X-T5 wins for several reasons, including size, weight, price, JPEG output/Film Simulation Recipes, and user experience (no PASM); however, the Zf will have strengths that beat Fujifilm, so it depends on what’s most important to the user as to which one wins, as I think they’re very comparable. If you’re in the Fujifilm system, you’re not likely to jump ship for the Zf, but if you’re in the Nikon system, the Zf will be quite tempting, and maybe it will convince you to stay with Nikon instead of switching over to Fujifilm, if you were considering that.
I want the Nikon Zf, but $2,000 could fund a nice weekend getaway somewhere. I think experiences matter much more than gear, and oftentimes it’s better to invest in using what you have in an epic way than to buy something new and miss out on the adventure. G.A.S. is an unfortunate problem, especially when combined with F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out); however, the best way to overcome it is to accept that what you have is plenty good enough—simply use it to the best of your ability whenever the opportunities come, and see what happens.
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Apparently, Nikon is about to announce a new retro-style full-frame camera called the Zf. The phrase “Fujifilm killer” has been floated around as if this camera will strike at the heart of Fujifilm’s market share. Let me give you a few reasons why this won’t be the case.
Before I begin, I want to applaud Nikon for creating a new retro-style camera. I believe the Zfc—their APS-C retro-looking model—has been a commercial success. I own one, although I almost never use it (the last time was on a trip to Sedona in May). Nikon hopes to build on the success of the Zfc with the upcoming Zf. Most camera companies don’t have the guts to create a beautifully designed body, so it’s great to see Nikon do it. I probably won’t buy a Zf personally (Nikon, if you want to send me one, I won’t say no!), but I’m sure it will be a very tempting camera for many.
Supposedly, the Zf will be a 24mp full-frame model with two memory card slots (one SD, one Micro-SD). It will be less plasticky than the Zfc, but it is unknown if it will be weather-sealed. Apparently, it will have IBIS and even pixel-shift. While I’m sure the Zf will generate plenty of excitement, it won’t be a “Fujifilm killer” for a few reasons.
First—and this is Nikon’s mistake—is there aren’t any Nikkor Z-mount lenses with aperture rings. I do believe that some of their lenses can be customized to make the manual-focus ring an (unmarked) aperture ring, but then you don’t have a manual focus ring. That’s not an ideal setup. Because the lenses don’t have aperture rings, Nikon will likely include a PASM dial or switch (like on the Zfc) to toggle on-and-off the knobs on the top plate, which is awkward and seemingly unnecessary. The best solution is to use a third-party lens that has an aperture ring and shoot in manual mode. Nikon should released a series of prime lenses with aperture rings along with the Zf (or, even better, back when they announced the Zfc), but I don’t think that will happen. This oversight means that you’ll have a really hard time replicating the Fujifilm shooting experience; if you want that, you’d better buy a Fujifilm camera instead.
Another important piece of the puzzle that Nikon lacks are JPEG Recipes. A lot of people buy Fujifilm cameras for Film Simulation Recipes, which can save you a lot of time and frustration while providing a more enjoyable experience. There are some Recipes for Nikon Z cameras (here, here, and here), but nothing like what’s available for Fujifilm. A community has even sprung up out of these Recipes, with photographers that are often extremely kind and welcoming. I don’t think there’s a better community in all of photography!
A number of people have said, “If only Fujifilm made a full-frame camera!” With Fuji, there’s either APS-C or medium-format, but not full-frame. At one time APS-C was for amateurs or hobbyists, while full-frame was for professionals and advanced enthusiasts, but that time has come and gone (yet the stigma doesn’t easily disappear, despite being outdated). Nowadays, there are tons of amazingly talented photographers who shoot with APS-C cameras.
The advantages that a 24mp full-frame sensor provides over Fujifilm’s 26mp or 40mp APS-C sensors are improved high-ISO performance and increased dynamic range, but it should be noted that Fujifilm’s cameras are quite excellent at high-ISO and dynamic range, so it only matters in extreme circumstances—and even then, only a little. People will mention depth-of-field (due to the crop factor), but that’s a bit overstated, as it depends on the lens focal-length and aperture—it’s possible to get a narrow depth-of-field on APS-C similar to full-frame, but not with identical focal-lengths and apertures.
This isn’t to say that APS-C is just as good or better than full-frame. There are some advantages and disadvantages to both sensor sizes, but overall those advantages and disadvantages aren’t huge. In my opinion, the advantages of APS-C (which are size, weight, and cost) outweigh the advantages of full-frame, but each has to determine what makes the most sense to their unique desires and needs. My only point is that full-frame isn’t massively better (if better at all) than APS-C, so just because Nikon offers a similarly-styled model with a full-frame sensor doesn’t mean that Fujifilm should be quaking in their boots.
A fun side-by-side experiment would be the Fujifilm X-T5 with the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 and the Nikon Zf with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8. The Fujinon lens is 2/3-stops brighter, while the Nikkor has about 1/3-stop less depth-of-field (f/1.4 on APS-C has a depth-of-filed more similar to f/2 on full-frame, everything else being equivalently equal). Both offer the same field-of-view. While the Zf is full-frame, on paper the X-T5 has several spec-sheet advantages. The X-T5 is smaller, lighter, and cheaper; however, since the Fujinon lens is more expensive, the cost of these two kits will be similar. The “winner” of this experiment would likely depend on the photographer (one might lean Fujifilm while another might lean Nikon), but I bet it would be a very close call.
The yet-to-be-announced Nikon Zf will certainly be an excellent camera, and I think it’s smart for Nikon to make it. I don’t believe it will have any significant impact on Fujifilm sales. In fact, if it does well enough, it could even boost Fujifilm’s sales (similarly to how the X100V’s success has caused a spike in Ricoh GR III sales). Most of those who buy the Zf will likely be those already in the Z system. There might be some disgruntled Sony or Canon shooters who are considering switching brands who could be attracted to Nikon by the Zf. There might even be some Fujifilm X-T3 owners who are peeved that Fujifilm left their camera on an island who take a long look at the Zf. Overall, though, I don’t think the Zf will be a “Fujifilm killer” because—while it might have some lovely retro styling similar to what Fujifilm has become known for—it doesn’t offer the same shooting experience, due to the lack of an aperture ring, the inclusion of a PASM switch or dial, and the small number of JPEG Recipes available for it (plus the community built around that). The Nikon Zf will certainly be a popular model, but so is the Fujifilm X-T5—they both can exist simultaneously, and not step on each other’s toes.
Fujicolor Reala 100 was Fujifilm’s first Superia film, even though initially it did not have Superia in the name. Superia films shared Fuji’s “4th layer technology” and Reala was the first to have it, but Reala was marketed towards “pro” photographers while Superia was marketed towards “consumer” photographers. Eventually Fujifilm added Superia to Reala’s name. There were several different versions of Reala manufactured, including a high-ISO Tungsten one made for motion pictures, but Reala 100 was the most popular. Reala was very similar to Superia, but Superia was intended for “general purpose” photography while Reala was intended for portrait and wedding photography. Colors are rendered a little differently between the two films, especially blue, which is deeper and more saturated on Reala, despite Reala being overall slightly less saturated than Superia 100. Fujifilm discontinued Reala in 2013.
When I read that Reala would be the name of the new film sim, I wondered how Fujifilm would differentiate the rendering of it from Classic Negative, which is closely modeled after Superia emulsions. Would it be a slight tweak with deeper blues and slightly lower vibrancy? After given it some thought, I believe that the Reala film simulation won’t be an accurate facsimile of Reala film, but something else entirely.
Some film sims are meant to be somewhat accurate reproductions of specific emulsions, such as Classic Negative and Acros. Some are meant to be general representations of certain groups of films but not accurate to any specific, such as Classic Chrome (Kodak slide film) and Eterna (motion picture emulsions). Others are just brand names, and aren’t meant to accurately replicate the films they’re named after, such as Provia and Astia; in the case of Astia, Fujifilm says it renders the ideal of the emulsion—what the film would have looked like if they could have done it—but not the actual aesthetic. In the case of Nostalgic Neg., it’s meant to replicate an era of American film, and not any specific stock. Eterna Bleach Bypass emulates a darkroom process.
I have zero inside knowledge, so I can only speculate what the new Reala film simulation will look like. Come September 12th, we’ll have a much better idea. What I think you can expect is a neutral rendering. I believe that it will be low-contrast with accurate-yet-muted colors.
A few weeks ago, a Fujifilm manager stated, “…it’s important for us that we have an image that is very clean. Because of course for editing in post-production, you can do anything, right? As long as the original image is very clean and has the best image quality.” The interviewer responded, “I guess my ideal would be if the camera could even save, say, an ‘undisturbed’ JPEG. It’s kind of funny thinking of a JPEG as some sort of a RAW format.”
That’s what I think the new Reala film sim will be: a very clean, “undisturbed” look as a foundation for editing. Maybe Eterna-like low-contrast toning with PRO Neg. Std-like colors, and maybe even more muted than that. From there, you can manipulate the file however you wish using your software of choice. I know there are people who want that, but probably most of those who read this website regularly will be disappointed if it’s true. I’ll hold out judgement until I see it, but I’m crossing my fingers that the Reala film simulation will be a tweak of Classic Negative that will more closely mimic Reala emulsions. If it does not end up replicating the film, I’m sure I will still be able to make some interesting Film Simulation Recipes with it, no matter how it looks. But… I’m sure it won’t be given to any currently existing cameras, only those models that come after September 12th, so it will likely be awhile before I get a chance to try it.
According to Fujirumors, Fujifilm plans to introduce a new film simulation on September 12, the same day they will announce the upcoming GFX100 II camera. It’s assumed that the new film sim will be found on the new GFX camera, although the rumor doesn’t state that outright.
I’m always excited when Fujifilm introduces a new film simulation, which should be pretty obvious. But I do wonder why Fujifilm has decided to introduce new film simulations on GFX models. Let me explain.
From the data I have, only a small number of people shoot Film Simulation Recipes on GFX cameras. The vast, vast majority do so on Fujifilm X-Trans cameras, not Bayer (GFX or APS-C). Most do so on X-Trans III or newer models, with the majority on X-Trans IV. While some people use film simulations on GFX cameras, most keep it in Provia/STD and adjust the color profiles in Lightroom to whatever they want. The film simulations are mostly for JPEG photographers (yes, Lightroom, Capture One, etc., have their own versions of them), and most GFX owners are not shooting straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, but instead are RAW editing.
Fujifilm introduced the Nostalgic Neg. film simulation, which is the latest film sim, on the GFX 50S II, and Fujifilm used it to promote that camera. Nostalgia Neg. didn’t become available on X-series models until the X-H2S, which was released a whole year later, and it wasn’t even mentioned in any of the promotional material for that camera or the one that followed. It was barely mentioned in the promotions for the X-T5, but at least they talked about it a little. By far, most of those using Nostalgic Neg. are doing so on the X-T5, X-H2, X-H2S, and X-S20, and only some are using it on the GFX 50S II and GFX100S.
Even though Fujifilm didn’t really use the new film sim to promote the X-Trans V models, I know that it was a significant reason why many have purchased and love the new cameras. Obviously it’s not the only reason or probably even the main reason for many, but an important reason nonetheless. The new film sim—despite Fujifilm doing so very little to get the word out about it—has been a fairly significant selling point for those buying X-Trans V cameras. Similarly, Classic Negative was a big selling point for many X-Trans IV models.
The lesson here is that new film simulations don’t do a whole lot to promote GFX camera sales because, for the most part, GFX owners don’t care about them. Obviously not all, but definitely the majority. On the flip side, new film sims are an important aspect of X-Trans buying decisions, as many X-series photographers use them regularly, yet Fujifilm ignores this potential opportunity. It just makes no sense to me, and I think it’s a pretty significant mistake by Fujifilm.
I don’t know what this new film simulation will be. I have many ideas on what it could be, but I have zero inside information on what it will be. It could be PRO Neg. Z, based on the Fujicolor Pro 800Z film stock. Another idea is PRO 400H, based on Fujicolor Pro 400H, which should produce pastel colors when overexposed like the film does. How about a super vibrant option based on Fortia 50? Or a film sim that replicates IR? Cross process? Instax? There are a lot of potential options.
I do hope that Fujifilm will give this new film simulation, whatever it is, to the current X-Trans V lineup via firmware updates, but I don’t think they will. They absolutely should, though. My guess is that the X100Z (or whatever they will call it) or X-Pro4—whichever model comes next—will be the first X-series camera to get it.
What do you hope the new film simulation will be based on? What are some good ideas for future film sims? Let me know in the comments!
I just became aware that Fujifilm Middle East is currently conducting a photography contest just for straight-out-of-camera pictures! Use either the factory-default film sims or Film Simulation Recipes. No editing allowed, only camera-made JPEGs.
The rules, which can be found on Fujifilm’s website, are simple enough:
Third prize is a $500 coupon for Fujifilm gear, second prize is a $1,000 coupon, and first prize is a $2,000 coupon… enough for a Fujifilm X-T5 or X-H2! If you reside in one of those 11 qualifying countries, definitely consider entering this competition.
One of the judges is Fujifilm X-Photographer Bjorn Moerman. If you’ve ever watched any of the SOOC Live YouTube videos, you’ll instantly recognize him, as he regularly tunes-in and participates in the show. You’ve likely seen several of his phenomenal pictures; a few are found in the latest Viewers’ Images slideshow published just today! Many of his amazing photographs are straight-out-of-camera using Fuji X Weekly Film Simulation Recipes (including all of those seen in the SOOC Live videos). Sometimes in photography competitions you have to wonder about who the judges are and if they’re actually qualified for that role, but not in this case, especially since Bjorn is one of them.
I love the idea of this competition, and I hope that it catches on. Shooting straight-out-of-camera JPEGs is becoming a more and more popular approach, and Fujifilm photographers are on the leading edge of it. Fujifilm North America should definitely do a SOOC photo contest, too—I think it would be a huge hit, while also spreading the word that Fujifilm cameras are capable of capturing incredible pictures that don’t require editing. For many people, that realization is a game-changer, making photography more enjoyable, more efficient, and more accessible.
Today marks two very big milestones: I just published the 300th Film Simulation Recipe in the Fuji X Weekly App, and Fuji X Weekly began six years ago today!
Kodachrome Blue, which is a Patron Early-Access Recipe—meaning, it’s available right now to all those who subscribe to the Fuji X Weekly App—is the 300th Film Simulation Recipe. I never imagined that I’d publish so many—it only took six years! The next handful are already well in the works, so I’m far from finished creating them.
It’s shocking to me how many photographers are using Film Simulation Recipes on their Fujifilm cameras. I don’t know exactly how many, but from the data I have, I would estimate that it’s at least 100,000 people worldwide. I would guess that tens of thousands use Recipes regularly. The way photographers approach the craft is shifting, as the one-step philosophy has been catching on, especially over the last two years.
One-step photography is simply the elimination of the editing step. The process was initially invented by Edward Land, co-founder of Polaroid, who said, “…by removing most of the manipulative barriers between the photographer and the photograph, it is hoped that many of the satisfactions of working in the early arts can be brought to a new group of photographers.” He added, “All that should be necessary to get a good picture is to take a good picture, and our task is to make that possible.” The term one step photography was coined by Ansel Adams (yes, the legend himself!), who stated that Polaroid instant film cameras were “revolutionary” for both amateurs and professional photographers. He wrote a whole book about it called Polaroid Land Photography, and dedicated an entire chapter to the one-step approach. Film Simulation Recipes are having a similar revolutionary affect on modern photography. I’m really honored and humbled to have had a hand in that.
It began six years ago today, when I published the very first Fuji X Weekly article. This website was originally a Fujifilm X100F journal—essentially, a long-term review of that particular model. I said in the first post, “If nobody ever reads this, I’m OK with that.” I also stated, “I want this to be a treasure for those who find it and are truly interested in its content.” People came—a lot of people, far more than I ever thought possible—as word of it spread, almost entirely organically.
Things took a completely different turn in the months and years to come. The focus shifted from one specific camera to all Fujifilm models. Film Simulation Recipes were initially only a small part of this website, but later became its primary focus. Then the App came. It’s really unbelievable how far all of this has come. And it’s thanks to you! Without your regular readership and continued support, Fuji X Weekly would have probably vanished awhile ago. I’m so very grateful to all of you!
Perhaps six years in the future we’ll look back, and today’s huge milestones will seem small in comparison. I can feel the tide building, and bigger things are on the horizon. I don’t know what exactly, but I can feel it. I hope that you’ll continue this journey together with me, and we’ll collectively see where it all goes, because it is indeed going somewhere. Thanks for being a part of Fuji X Weekly!
Now let’s all grab our Fujifilm cameras, head out the door, and capture some wonderful pictures using one or more of the Film Simulation Recipes in the Fuji X Weekly App. Not sure which to try? The Which Recipes When series is intended to help you with that. Still not sure, try the Random Recipe selector, and let the App choose for you!
Don’t have the Fuji X Weekly App on your phone? Download for free today, and consider becoming a Patron to unlock the best App experience and to support this website.
In my Will there be a new Fujifilm X camera announced in September? article I mentioned that Fujifilm should include an XPan 65:24 aspect ratio as an option on the X-Pro4, whenever that camera comes out. GFX models already have this, but Fuji hasn’t given the XPan ratio to any X-series cameras. The X-Pro4 seems like a logical place to start, especially if it is given the 40-megapixel sensor, which has plenty of resolution to support the crop. But, should Fujifilm make a “real” XPan camera, and what would that look like?
XPan was a collaboration between Fujifilm and Hasselblad in the late-1990’s and early-2000’s. XPan cameras were 35mm interchangeable-lens rangefinders that produced panoramic pictures across two film frames—the pictures were twice as wide as normal 35mm images. The cameras were also capable of capturing regular 35mm frames, should the photographer not wish to create panoramic pictures. Two XPan cameras were made; Hasselblad called them XPan and XPan II while Fujifilm named them TX-1 and TX-2. The X100-series models have a striking resemblance to XPan cameras.
I don’t think it would be all that difficult for Fujifilm to make a true XPan camera. It would require two APS-C sensors placed side-by-side, or—probably more preferably—one chip cut to the same size as two. The lens would be the big issue, since X-Series lenses wouldn’t offer enough coverage. Either Fujifilm would make it a fixed-lens camera (like the X100V, but with a different lens that has coverage), or they’d need lenses that would cover the wide frame. If they decided on the interchangeable-lens concept, GF-mount lenses from the GFX series would have enough coverage, so it would make sense to use them. In other words, the XPan camera would technically be GFX, but in an X-series body and with an X-Trans sensor.
Even though the TX-1 and TX-2 looked more similar to the X100V, I think using an X-Pro body would be a good option to build it on. Call it the TX-Pro4 or X-Pan1 or something like that. The hybrid viewfinder would need to be modified to accommodate the wider frame, but otherwise the camera wouldn’t need a whole lot of changes.
There are three different sensors that Fujifilm is currently using in the X-Trans V generation of cameras: 40-megapixel (X-H2, X-T5), 26-megapixel stacked (X-H2s), and 26-megapixel X-Trans IV (X-S20). Which would they put into the XPan camera?
If they chose the 40-megapixel option, which would actually be 80-megapixel, that would be the most marketable, since megapixels sell. On the 100-megapixel GFX cameras, the XPan aspect ratio reduces the resolution to 50mp, while the 50-megapixel models reduces the resolution to 25mp; 80mp would be much more than either! The disadvantage would be the processing power required and heat dispersion necessary, which would be a huge challenge for Fujifilm, so I don’t think this is a likely option.
The other two are both 26-megapixel sensors, which would equal 52mp on an XPan model. This would be the same resolution as using the XPan aspect ratio on the 100mp GFX cameras. The new stacked sensor is great for speed but is much more expensive, while the older X-Trans IV sensor is still good yet affordable. Of the two, the stacked sensor is the most intriguing; however, it would likely raise the price of the camera by around $800-$1,000 over using the X-Trans IV option. As the X-S20 demonstrates, pairing the X-Trans IV sensor with the X-Trans V processor is a viable option, and probably what Fujifilm should choose.
Basically, I’m suggesting that Fujifilm modify the (eventual) upcoming X-Pro4 with two 26mp X-Trans IV sensors (instead of the presumably 40mp X-Trans V sensor that the regular X-Pro4 will have), utilizing X-Processor 5. This would give the camera 52mp of resolution when shooting the XPan aspect ratio, or 26mp when shooting in 3:2. The XPan camera would have over 2.5-times more resolution than shooting a 40mp sensor cropped to the XPan aspect ratio.
Who would buy this camera? Wouldn’t it be super niche? It would indeed be niche, but it would also be a “wow” product that a lot of people would talk about. Where I think it would get a lot of unexpected attention is with cinematographers, since some of the ultra-wide aspect ratios (think Ultra Panavision) could be shot in 4K, 6K, and possibly even 8K. Also, it would provide a bridge between the X-series and GFX, since those with GFX models could use their existing lenses on this camera, and those not in the GFX system could eventually jump in after buying a couple lenses for their XPan model.
Will Fujifilm make this camera? Probably not. I’d be pretty shocked. Should they? I think so. I believe it would sell well enough that it would be worthwhile for Fujifilm. I’d definitely buy one! Would you?
Fujifilm will be announcing some new gear on September 12; Fujirumors is reporting that it will be GFX cameras and lenses, including a GFX100 successor (which, apparently, wasn’t the GFX100S), GF 55mm f1.7, GF 30mm f/5.6 tilt-shift, and GF 110mm f/5.6 tilt-shift. A rumor has floated for awhile now that two X-series cameras would be released in 2023. The first was the X-S20. What will the second be? And will it be announced in September?
We know that the X100V replacement won’t come until next year, so which one will be next? There’s been a lot of speculation that it could be the X-Pro4 because it’s long overdue; however, if it is, something would have likely already leaked about it, so I’m marking it as unlikely. How about an X80? Fujifilm absolutely should release this camera, but I think that ship has sailed in their minds, and it’s not even on the list of potential future models. X-A8 or X-T300? Those lines have been discontinued, so no. It’s much too soon for an X-H3 or X-T6 or X-S30. What does that leave? The X-E5 or X-T40 (which they might call X-T50). Let me give a few quick reasons why I think it will and won’t be each of those models.
It will be the X-E5 because the X-E4 was a hot commodity just before being surprisingly discontinued (presumably so that manufacturing efforts could be diverted to the X100V). It was backordered everywhere and even sometimes selling for more than MSRP. There’s still quite a demand for it, but so very little supply. It was strange that Fujifilm axed an in-demand model, but if they were preparing to release a successor, it makes a lot more sense.
It won’t be the X-E5 because Fujifilm will probably only offer one base-level camera going forward (due to shifting markets), and between the X-T00 and X-E lines, it’s more likely the X-E that’s not renewed. Besides that, historically, the X-E line comes at the very end of a sensor generation, not towards the beginning or middle.
It will be the X-T40 (or X-T50) because this line is long overdue for an update. The X-T30 was released over four years ago. The X-T30 II was an extremely minor upgrade, mostly just a firmware update that should have been given to the X-T30. Both the X-T30 and X-T30 II have been discontinued, so it makes sense that a new version is about to come out. Besides, the X-T00 line has been a good seller for Fujifilm, and the current lineup is in desperate need for a camera of its class.
It won’t be the X-T40 because the X-T30 II was released only two years ago. While it sold well, it wasn’t as in-demand or trendy as the X-E4. Aside from that, Fujifilm is clearly focusing more on higher-end models, and not entry-level.
What’s my opinion? I think, if an X-series camera is announced on September 12, it will be the X-T40. I don’t think the X-T40 will likely be a major upgrade, so including it on the same day as the GFX150 (or whatever the new GFX camera will be called) makes sense. Just as likely, no X-series models will be announced on September 12; perhaps the next camera will be the X-Pro4 in November (that’s just speculation, I have zero inside information).
The X-T40 will probably be the exact same thing as the X-T30 II, except with the X-Processor 5, which brings improved autofocus and video specs, along with the Nostalgic Neg. film simulation. I suspect that it will have the same X-Trans IV sensor and the same NP-W126S battery, and be 95% the same camera. I don’t think it will be revolutionary; however, it will be Fujifilm’s sub-$1,000 option, which I think is still important to offer. Don’t be surprised, if Fujifilm does decide to eventually release an X-E5, that the X-T00 and X-E lines aren’t available at the same time. In other words, they might manufacture the X-T40 for a year or two (depending on how it sells), and then discontinue it as they prepare to release the X-E5. Once that’s been on the market for a year or so, it’ll get discontinued in time for the next X-T00. I think Fujifilm sees these two models as competing against themselves to some degree. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if one of these two lines was simply (and quietly) discontinued.
In my opinion, I think Fujifilm has been secretly working on the X-Pro4, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it was released in November (like the X-T5 was last year). I think it would make a ton of sense. They’ll probably readdressed the rear screen somehow. I do believe it will have the 40mp sensor, and don’t be surprised if it is the first X-series camera with the XPan aspect ratio as an option. This would be a smart move, I think, and it would fall within Fujifilm’s shift towards focusing more on higher-end cameras and less on lower-end.
What do you think? Will an X-series camera be announced on September 12? Which model will it be? What do you hope for? Let me know in the comments!
“I seem to have trouble loading your site and posting comments… Most comments never got through.”-TheCameraEatsFirst
I’m not a web designer. I’m not an IT expert. I’m not a programmer. Yet, here I am, playing each of those roles.
I’m a photographer. That’s what I want to spend as much of my time as practical doing. I’m also a writer to an extent, which is something else that I enjoy doing. The Fuji X Weekly website is my outlet for both. I like helping other photographers, and am truly honored that my Film Simulation Recipes have had such an impact on so many and even the industry at large—it’s far more than I ever imagined!
Sometimes, though, I have to set my camera down, and be the Fuji X Weekly webmaster. Who came up with that name, anyway? Webmaster sounds so dramatic. Was it on Peter Parker’s shortlist, and after a coinflip he went with Spiderman instead? Surely it was an IT guy—his office was probably in a dark corner of a basement and he felt really under-appreciated for all his hard work maintaining some large company’s website—who coined the term, so that he might get more respect and maybe a pay raise.
When I first enrolled in college many, many years ago, I didn’t really know what I wanted my career to be. A lot of adults advised me to major in a technology field, like coding or engineering. So that’s what I did. In the very first semester I took this class called Computer Basics, which was mostly about how to use Word and PowerPoint and the internet, which was fairly young at that point—DPReview wouldn’t launch for several more months, and Ken Rockwell wasn’t even on the scene yet. The final project for that class was to write a simple DOS program, something like if you prompt it to answer 1+1 it would give you 2. I struggled so much, and passed the introductory-level class with a C. The very next semester I changed my major to photography.
Problems with the Fuji X Weekly website have been ongoing since it first launched on August 21, 2017. I’ve had to learn how to design a website, and to an extent how to code. I was suddenly a webmaster. I didn’t feel much like the master of the web, and I still don’t. I’ve learned so much about it over the years; however, I’m far from an expert. Mostly, I limp along, and hope that Google has the answer to whatever problems I’m trying to solve. YouTube University has been invaluable!
Lately, though, the problems have grown. It started several months back when I needed to upgrade hosting, because I was pushing the upper limits of the plan I was paying for. Unfortunately, what should have been a seamless switch wasn’t, and I was suddenly experiencing both small and big issues. Next, because my expenses expanded—for both the website and apps—I brought back ads, but through a different company that promised a better experience. That’s been a huge headache, and it hasn’t exactly gone well. I’m fighting to get the ads to be minimal, unobtrusive, relevant, and appropriate (yet cover the expenses)—it’s been a battle, and we’re still not there. I’m on the fence on how I’ll move forward with this. I’ve almost pulled the plug several times on the ads—and I still might—but I’m hoping to get it right at some point soon. I appreciate your patience with this.
Some of the website problems are definitely significant. Probably the biggest one is that some people are experiencing an error, and the page won’t load. The message is “too many attempts” or “too many redirects” or something like that. I haven’t found the root of this issue, but clearing the cache and cookies has sometimes resolved it (so try that if you’re experiencing this problem). I don’t know why some people get this error while most don’t, or why clearing the cache is sometimes the fix. If any of you know the answer, please reach out to me, because I’d love to fix it.
Another issue that just recently came to my attention is that a lot of comments aren’t coming through. There are two aspects to this. First, I moderate the comments. Someone who has never commented before, or who has included a link to a website, will often get flagged for moderation. I get a lot of troll and spam comments that I don’t want published because it ruins the experience for everyone, so moderating these are important. This is my website, so I have the authority—and, really, obligation—to do this. Comments held for moderation haven’t changed as far as I can tell. The second aspect is that WordPress will flag obvious spam comments as spam. I get probably 100 of these type of comments each day, sometimes much more than that. Unfortunately, many non-spam comments are getting flagged as spam for some reason. I dug through the spam folder, and found intermixed with all the spam comments a handful of clearly not-spam comments, some by regular readers who have commented many times before. There are so many spam comments that it’s not practical to go very far back looking for the few non-spam that got flagged, but I know that I need to dig through it daily now. I’m really sorry if your comment didn’t come through. I don’t know why this happened or even when, but hopefully I’ll be able to find and approve all of the non-spam and non-troll comments going forward.
Are there other issues that I’m not aware of? I hope not, but I’m certain there are. Whenever I put on my webmaster cap, I do my best to fix them, but I cannot fix what I’m not aware is broken. If you’ve experienced some sort of issue, don’t hesitate to let me know—it’s greatly appreciated whenever someone does. And if you know how to fix the problem, please share with me the answer! I might technically be in the IT field, and I’ve certainly learned a heck-of-a-lot over the last six years, but I’m still in over his head on some of this stuff. Besides, I’d rather be out with my camera, capturing photos for next Film Simulation Recipe—especially during golden hour, when the light can be magical.
I saw an article on PetaPixel today about a particular wedding photography trend. Entitled The Demand for Instant Images is Upending Wedding Photography, the post is based off of a lengthier Associated Press piece called Wedding photographers adapt to couples who want instant images and less tradition. I don’t want to get into the details of either, but the summary is this: customers want a quicker turnaround so they can share pictures and videos of their big event more timely.
I’m not a wedding photographer. I’ve photographed a couple of weddings in the past—many years ago—and I have no desire to jump into that genre. Good wedding photographers are sometimes the first there and last to leave. It’s not uncommon to work 12, 14, or even 16 hours on the big day. Then there are thousands of exposures to cull through, and then edit. That might be an additional 24, 28, or even 32 hours of work! That’s not my cup of tea. For others, though, this is their thing, and they love what they do. Their passion is capturing incredible memories of other people’s weddings.
The shift to a faster turnaround must be frustrating for many in the industry, but it’s actually an opportunity. The article states that some wedding photographers are trying to get some social media type content into the hands of their customers within 48 hours. But why that long? Why not much quicker? Why not as the wedding is happening? If you can do that, you have a huge leg-up on your competition.
I cohost a live YouTube series with official Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry. She does a lot of business photography. Recently she was hired to photograph a corporate event, but they wanted to have the pictures available to share on their social media platforms immediately, in real-time as the event was happening. How did she do this? First, she used Fujifilm gear combined with my Film Simulation Recipes, and shot JPEGs. The pictures looked good straight-out-of-camera, and no editing was needed. Every so many minutes she downloaded the pictures off the camera and uploaded them onto a cloud drive that the customer had access to. Within 10 or 15 minutes of the pictures being captured, the customer was able to share them across the world. This went so well that a week later she was hired to do it again for a different corporate event. I do believe this is the future of event photography, including wedding photography.
Maybe real-time photo sharing isn’t something you’re ready to offer, but if your pictures look great straight-out-of-camera, and further manipulation isn’t needed (or only lightly needed), you can speed up your turnaround significantly. Instead of providing the client with a small batch of photos within 48 hours for social media sharing while they wait up to six weeks for the rest, you can deliver the whole wedding the next day or maybe two. This is, of course, in theory. I’m not aware of anyone who is actually doing this right now. A few different wedding photographers have told me that they are using my Film Simulation Recipes on their Fujifilm cameras, and delivering some of the pictures either same-day or next-day to the client, while providing the rest of photographs at some point later on. I do think, if you’ve got good settings dialed into your camera, and you’re especially careful to get everything right at the time the pictures are captured, that delivering unedited JPEGs of the wedding to the couple is possible, and nobody will be the wiser that you didn’t actually spend hours post-processing RAW files.
This is something I’ve talked about before. Back in December I published Want to be a Wedding Photographer? Your Opportunity Awaits! and earlier this month I posted The Future of Photography is Unedited, where I touched on this topic. I keep bringing it up because I see this shift happening, and those who already have a simplified workflow using Film Simulation Recipes are ahead of the curve, and are primed for success in this changing environment. I want to make sure that you are aware of it, in case you want to take advantage of the opportunity.
I don’t do wedding or event photography, but there are still plenty of advantages to shooting JPEGs. Despite having way more photographs to cull through and share, I was able to publish my pictures of the Central Coast of California tour much quicker than Ken Rockwell did, because my workflow is much quicker than his. That’s a pretty meaningless example; I don’t have a lot of strict photographic deadlines. Perhaps a better case is this: on December 8th of last year, Nathalie, myself, a group of guests, and those who tuned-in, created a Film Simulation Recipe during the Let’s Get Festive holiday-special SOOC Live broadcast—this is the first and (as far as I’m aware) only time a Fujifilm Recipe has been made live on YouTube. Within minutes of its creation, I (and others) had captured a picture using the new Film Simulation Recipe and shared it with all those watching. The very next day I published the Recipe, which the live audience named Mystery Chrome, on this website (and the Fuji X Weekly App), complete with 24 example pictures. That’s my best quick-turnaround example.
Even though I don’t have the need to publish pictures immediately after they’ve been captured, I do sometimes share a photo quickly through text or social media, which is never a problem because I don’t post-process my images. What’s more meaningful to me is that I don’t spend hours and hours sitting at a computing fiddling with files, which saves me a ton of time, making me more productive, while also freeing up time for other things (such as writing blog posts and spending time with my family). It’s changed my life, no hyperbole. I think it can and will change event photography and even wedding photography. It will just take some pioneer photographers to give it a try, which could be you.
Not post-processing your pictures is called one-step photography, a term coined by Edwin Land and perpetuated by Ansel Adams in his book Polaroid Land Photography. “The effect of one-step processing on both amateur and professional creative photography,” Adams stated, “has been revolutionary.” With film, step-one is capturing the picture in-camera and step-two is developing and printing it in a darkroom; however, Polaroid cameras removed the second step, creating a one-step process, which greatly simplified the photographic workflow. With digital, step-one is capturing the picture in-camera and step-two is post-processing in software like Lightroom; however, Film Simulation Recipes remove the second step, creating a one-step process, which greatly simplifies the photographic workflow. “The process has revolutionized the art and craft of photography,” Adams concluded. It still is, for those who embrace the one-step approach.
Someone asked me for advice: should they sell their Fujifilm X100V (plus the wide and tele conversion lenses) and buy an X-T5 (plus some f/2 Fujinon lenses), or just keep the X100V? They really like the X100V, and it works well for their photography, but they think the X-T5 might be better. I was going to answer this question personally, but I can’t find the email or DM (sorry); instead, I will answer the question publicly, and hope they find it. Maybe it will also be helpful to some of you considering a similar scenario.
Because there is so much demand for and so little supply of the X100V, they’re selling for an inflated price right now. If a camera like the X-T5 is financially out-of-reach, yet you can get a good amount for your X100V, now the X-T5 is a possibility. But is it worth it?
I have a Fujifilm X100V. It was a birthday gift from my wife over three years ago, and it’s been my favorite camera ever since. Even though my X100V is far from new, it is still such a great camera, and I use it all of the time. I feel like it is the perfect tool 90% of the time, 8% of the time it’s not ideal but can be made to work, and 2% of the time it is just the wrong tool for the job. That’s for my photography. You might find it to be perfect 100% of the time for yours, or only 50%, or something else entirely. Each person is different. My opinion is that, while the X100V is my favorite camera, it is best when you have an interchangeable-lens option for those situations when it is not ideal.
I have a Fujifilm X-T5. I purchased it when it was announced so that I could try the new Nostalgic Neg. film simulation. The X-T5 is such a great camera, too—very wonderful! Fujifilm did an excellent job with this one. But I don’t like it nearly as much as the X100V. If I put the two models next to each other, most of the time I’d grab the X100V and not the X-T5. Let me give you five reasons for this.
Before I do—just real quick—I want to make it clear that this article is not about bashing the Fujifilm X-T5 or any other camera. I’m sure for some of you the X-T5 is your all-time favorite model, and you’ve never been happier. It could be that if you purchased it, you’d find the perfect camera for you. Each person will have their own preferences because we’re all different, and we have some excellent options to choose from. I’m simply speaking about my personal experiences and preferences.
First, the Fujifilm X-T5, while still fairly small and lightweight, is bigger and heavier than my X100V. This matters a lot to me, because the X100V rarely gets in the way, while the X-T5 can and sometimes does. After awhile of carrying around, the X-T5 gets tiring a lot quicker than the X100V. Also, I have a travel kit that I really like, and the X100V fits really well in it, while the X-T5 doesn’t.
Second, the Fujifilm X100V has some features that I find especially useful, such as the built-in fill-flash that works incredibly well (thanks to the leaf shutter and Fujifilm’s programming) and a built-in ND filter. The X-T5 has IBIS, which is also a useful feature, so this isn’t completely lopsided in favor of the X100V, but I use the fill-flash and ND filter fairly frequently, while IBIS is only occasionally useful for me—you might find the opposite to be true for you.
Third, the Fujifilm X-T5 is designed like an SLR, and the viewfinder is in the middle; the X100V is designed like a rangefinder, and the viewfinder is on the corner. When I use the X-T5, my nose gets smooshed against the rear LCD, and often leaves a smudge. With the X100V, my nose sits next to the camera completely unsmooshed (did I just make up a new word?), and the rear LCD remains smudgeless (another made-up word?).
Fourth, the X100V has more manageable file sizes than the X-T5. The 26-megapixel images from the X100V are plenty for me. I’ve printed 2′ x 3′ from straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, and they look great. I don’t print larger than that, so I don’t really need the extra resolution. If I needed to crop deeply I could with the X-T5, but since it’s an interchangeable-lens model, I’d simply change the lens as my first option. The X-T5’s 40-megapixel pictures fill up an SD card and my phone’s storage noticeably quicker. Sometimes more resolution means more problems.
Fifth, the Fujifilm X-T5 is subject to dust on the sensor. Technically, it’s possible to get a dirty sensor on the X100V (and that would be a big problem), but it would take a combination of a crazy scenario (I’m thinking haboob) and mishandling (no filter attached). I’ve never had a single dust spot (knock on wood) on my X100V, but it’s a constant battle with my X-T5 (and my other interchangeable-lens models).
So my recommendation is to keep the Fujifilm X100V, and not sell it to fund the purchase of an X-T5. That’s my advice, but it is up to each person to determine what is most appropriate for their unique situation. What’s best for me may not be what’s best for you.
With that said, I do think it makes a lot of sense to have an interchangeable-lens option to go with the X100V. I have a Fujifilm X-E4 that I especially love, and I use it more often than the X-T5. Yes, you heard that correctly: the X100V is my most used camera, the X-E4 is number two, and the X-T5 is in third place right now. They’re all wonderful options, and you should be happy with any of them. In the specific situation I was asked about, I do believe that cost is a significant consideration, and I’d look into a used Fujifilm X-E3 as a companion to the X100V, since the X-E4 might be too expensive or difficult to find.
Fujirumors is reporting that the Fujifilm X100V successor, which I’m calling the X100Z, will be announced in early 2024 (and they’re almost always right). Going by previous models, that means Fujifilm will announce the camera in either late-January or early-February, and it will likely ship in late-February or early-March.
That’s good news, especially if you’ve been trying to get an X100V but just can’t. Reinforcements are coming soon enough, and the wait will be over before you know it.
Here are some issues, though. If you’ve been patiently waiting for an X100V, and you’ve been on a backorder list for months and months—are you going to be happy when your X100V ships just a little prior to the announcement of the new model? The X100V is great, so I hope that the timing won’t sour your opinions or experience, but it might. Or this: will those on the waitlist for the X100V be given priority for the X100Z? Let’s say you’ve been waiting six months for your X100V and it hasn’t shipped. Suddenly the X100Z is announced. Will the store offer to bump you to the top of the preorder list for the new model? I know of one store that told me this will be their plan. Is it fair to those who don’t have an X100V on backorder but who preorder the X100Z within minutes of its announcement, but can’t get their camera shipped timely because others jumped the line from the X100V? It could be that you’ll have to cancel your long-awaited order and place a new one for the new camera, getting in a whole different line, possibly not at the top. Is that fair? I don’t have any answers, I’m just posing the questions—it’s something that Fujifilm and camera stores will have to carefully consider and tread lightly with.
I don’t know what Fujifilm will call the next X100-series model, but I’m betting on X100Z. Why? First, it sounds cool. Second, “Z” (Zeta) is the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet, and this will be the sixth iteration of the camera. Third, Fujifilm used Z in some of their film emulsion names, such as Fujicolor Pro 800Z. It makes a lot of sense to me, so that’s why I think it’s what they’ll choose. But I have no idea.
I don’t believe Fujifilm will bring very many changes to the new model. The X100-series doesn’t evolve much. I do believe it will include the 40-megapixel X-Trans V sensor and processor. Some want the 26mp stacked sensor of the X-H2s, and some want the X-Trans IV sensor of the X100V. While anything is possible, I would be pretty darn surprised if it isn’t the 40-megapixel sensor. Due to the fixed-focal-length limitation, having more resolution offers more versatility. Also, Fujifilm could give us the X-Pan 65:24 aspect ratio (Fujifilm: hint, hint)….
Speaking of that, the Digital Teleconverters will benefit from the 40mp sensor, and Fujifilm could even include a third option, something like 80mm or possibly 85mm. I hope, though, that they fix the problem of the faux Grain not scaling. As it is now, the Grain appears huge when using the 70mm Digital Teleconverter; however, it should scale so that it is the same size as when not using the Digital Teleconverter.
Another potential benefit of the 40mp sensor would be digital image stabilization for video. Some sort of hyper-smooth digital cropping that still renders 4K would make the camera more useful for videography. I know that a lot of people want IBIS, but I’d be surprised if Fujifilm put it into this model. Who knows, maybe they will (and it would certainly make the new model an upgrade), but if I were betting money, I’d say that the X100Z doesn’t have IBIS.
I think bringing back the four-way D-Pad on the back would be a nice touch. I believe that Fujifilm was trying to move away from it, but there was a lot of outcry from the community. That’s something Fujifilm could do to differentiate the X100Z from the X100V and make a lot of people happy.
I suspect that whatever part or parts Fujifilm was having difficulty securing in order to manufacture more copies of the X100V, will be replaced by some alternative(s) that will more easily be available. How that affects the camera, I have no idea. Maybe a slightly different rear LCD? I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I’d actually prefer no rear screen, or maybe just the little box-top rear screen like on the X-Pro3. Maybe a slightly different viewfinder? Whatever it is, I’m sure there will be something different that allows the camera to be more readily produced.
The most obvious thing that Fujifilm could do—and they absolutely should do—with the X100Z is introduce a new film simulation. I don’t know if Fujifilm realizes just how important film sims and Film Simulation Recipes are for camera sales and customer retention. If they do end up naming the camera X100Z, then a Fujicolor Pro 800Z-inspired (maybe called PRO Neg. Z) film sim would make a lot of sense; otherwise, Fujicolor Pro 400H (that with overexposure behaves similarly to the film), Fujichrome Sensia, Fujichrome Fortia, cross-process, infrared, Instax, and Neopan 400CN are a few other ideas. Obviously, Eterna Bleach Bypass and Nostalgia Neg. will also be included in the new camera.
Beyond that, I don’t think there will be a whole lot of differences between the X100V and X100Z. They will be much more alike than dissimilar. I said, though, that we were going to dream, so let’s throw some wild ideas out there, and see if any of them happen to come to pass.
My first wild idea is that Fujifilm uses an APS-H sensor instead of APS-C. I have no idea if the camera’s lens has APS-H coverage—my guess is that it does not—but if by chance it does, I believe that the current 40mp chip cut to APS-H size would be about 60mp (that may not be accurate… let me know if I got my calculation wrong). The 1.3 crop factor would make the lens 30mm full-frame equivalent. On paper the X100Z would be more similar to the Leica Q3, but at a fraction of the cost—it would be the Q3 killer!
Next, an interesting idea someone suggested was that the IR filter, which normally is directly on the sensor, could be moved next to the ND filter, and—like the ND filter—it could be enabled and disabled. In other words, with the push of a button, your X100Z could convert to full-spectrum! The lens has, apparently, an IR hot-spot in the center, but maybe it’s something Fujifilm could correct in-camera (similar to vignetting). It’s a crazy idea, but would be super cool!
I mentioned IBIS already, stating that I don’t think it’s likely to happen, but if Fujifilm can include it on the X100Z with minimal effect on size, weight, heat, and cost, that would be amazing! I hope they can, but I doubt they will. We can dream, though, right?
Of course, I’d love to see a monochrome-only version. If Fujifilm doesn’t do it with an X100-series body, they should do it with an X-Pro model. In other words, Fujifilm should definitely make an Acros-version of one of their cameras, and the X100 is a logical option.
How about three different versions, each with a different focal length? Sigma did something like this with their DP line. There could be 18mm, 23mm, and 33mm options, each identical, except for the focal length.
Fujifilm could also make special edition models, like Dura Silver or brown leather or something like that. It would have to be really well done and not cheesy. Charge a little extra for these variations.
That’s all I have. What crazy ideas can you think of for the upcoming X100Z (or whatever Fujifilm will call it)? Let me know in the comments!
Because I’m one of the more knowledgable people in the Fujifilm community when it comes to the ins and outs of camera settings, I’m constantly asked how-to type questions. I’m always happy to help, but I have to say, most of the time the answers are easily found in the owner’s manual. You mean that boring technical book packaged with my camera? Yes, exactly. Thankfully, Fujifilm has made them available online, and most of the manuals are easily navigated and even searchable. Digging into the owner’s manual for your camera has never been easier. Can’t find the answer with a Google search? I bet you can find it in the manual pretty quickly and painlessly. That really should be everyone’s starting point.
Not everyone will look through the manual, or maybe you did and still can’t find the answer. I decided to take this opportunity to answer the 10 most common how-to questions that I receive. Maybe you are searching for the answer and Google brought you here. My hope is that this article will be helpful to some of you as you’re trying to figure things out on your Fujifilm camera.
1. How to program a Film Simulation Recipe
I’m most known for Film Simulation Recipes—I have published pretty darn close to 300, which you can find on this website and the Fuji X Weekly App—so it shouldn’t be surprising that I’m asked about it the most. Programming Film Simulation Recipes into your Fujifilm camera is easy, once you’ve done it once or twice. While the process is similar across the range, not every camera is exactly the same, so you’ll want to review the Image Quality (IQ) Menu section of your manual, and also Edit/Save Custom Settings (not all Fujifilm cameras have this, but most do).
More than two years ago I published an article explaining how to program Film Simulation Recipes into your Fujifilm camera. That might be a good place to start, but not everyone learns well by reading. You might be just as confused afterwards as you were before. Thankfully, Scott Dawson made a video walking you through the process of programming a Recipe. Between my article, Scott’s video, and your camera’s manual, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with this one.
Sometimes that’s not enough, so here’s the quick answer: if your camera has C1-C7 (or C1-C4) Custom Presets (most models do, but the Bayer models and a couple of the really old cameras don’t), press the Q-button, then press-and-hold the Q-button, and the Edit/Save Custom Settings Menu will appear (except on a couple of the really old models). That’s where you can enter the parameters (or most of the parameters) of a Recipe. Alternatively, and for those cameras without C1-C7, you can enter the parameters by pressing Menu/OK, then adjusting the appropriate settings, which are found in the IQ subset.
You should now be good to go. Once you’ve done it a few times, it will be a piece of cake.
2. How to resolve Clarity greyed out
This is simple: the drive mode must be set to Single frame (S) in order to use Clarity. Your camera will disable Clarity for any continuous shooting (burst) mode, HDR, or bracket. If you find Clarity greyed out, set your camera’s drive mode to Single frame (S).
3. How to fix DR200 or DR400 not available
This is another simple answer: the Dynamic Range options are ISO dependent. If DR200 and/or DR400 are not available, simply increase the ISO. For X-Trans III and older, a minimum ISO of 400 is required for DR200 and a minimum ISO of 800 is required for DR400. For X-Trans IV, ISO 320 is required for DR200 and ISO 640 is required for DR400. For X-Trans V, ISO 250 is required for DR200 and ISO 500 is required for DR400. Make sure the minimum ISO threshold has been met for the Dynamic Range setting you are attempting to use.
4. How to set Highlight & Shadow with D-Range Priority
This one can be a little confusing. In my Recipes, D-Range Priority should always be set to Off unless otherwise stated. Most Recipes do not use D-Range Priority, but a few do. Sometimes D-Range Priority is confused with the Dynamic Range settings (DR100, DR200, DR400), but they are two separate things. When you enable D-Range Priority, it is in lieu of Dynamic Range, Highlight, and Shadow, so those three options will not be available to select. In other words, you can either use Dynamic Range (such as DR200) and the Tone Curve (Highlight and Shadow) or you can use D-Range Priority, but you can’t do both options simultaneously. Also, like Dynamic Range, D-Range Priority is ISO dependent.
5. How to set a White Balance Shift
This used to be the most asked question, but not so much lately. I wrote an article about it almost three years ago, so if you are stuck, be sure to check it out (click here). The simple answer: find the White Balance submenu in the IQ menu subset, highlight the desired White Balance option, then arrow-to-the-right to open the White Balance Shift menu for that particular WB type. Cameras older than the X-Pro3—X-Trans I, II, III, and the X-T3 & X-T30—cannot save a WB Shift within the C1-C7 Custom Presets, but the X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30 II, and X-Trans V can. If you have a model that cannot save a WB Shift within the Edit/Save Custom Settings Menu, I did publish a solution that you might find helpful (click here). Models that can save the WB Shift offer a much improved experience.
6. How to get less yellow pictures
Like film, many Film Simulation Recipes are intended for use in a particular light, mostly sunny daylight. When used in the “wrong” light, you might not get desirable results, and your pictures could come out yellow. My best advice is to use the right Recipe for the lighting situation that you find yourself in, or pick an Auto White Balance Recipe, which are usually more versatile.
7. How to shoot with a manual lens
I like manual lenses, whether it’s classic film gear or inexpensive third-party glass. They often have great character, which is missing in most precision-engineered modern lenses. Fujifilm has a weird quirk where you have to find Shoot Without Lens in the Menu (and it’s not always in an easy-to-spot location), or else the camera won’t let you capture a picture with one of these lenses attached. Once enabled, you can use manual lenses, but if disabled, your camera won’t capture a picture. If you cannot find it, look for Shoot Without Lens in your camera’s owner’s manual, and it will instruct you where to find it.
8. How to set Exposure Compensation
I’m surprised by how often this question comes up, and I think it’s because each Recipe lists a typical exposure compensation, usually with a range, such as +1/3 to +1. First, the suggested exposure compensation is simply meant as a starting point and is not a rule; each exposure should be judged individually, and you might need to use an exposure comp that’s outside of my recommendation. Second, if you are shooting full manual, think about how much you might need to increase or decrease the exposure over what the light meter is telling you in order to achieve the desired results—you aren’t using the exposure comp dial, so you’ll be manually doing it yourself with the aperture/shutter/ISO triangle. Third, you cannot set an exposure comp range or save exposure compensation to the C1-C7 Custom Presets. Fourth, Exposure Compensation, with rare exceptions, is found on a dial on top of the camera: +1 equals one f-stop, and the dots in-between equal 1/3 stops.
9. How to use older Recipes on newer models
X-Trans III Film Simulation Recipes can indeed be used on X-Trans IV models. For the X-T3 and X-T30, simply set Color Chrome Effect to Off; for the X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II, additionally set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0, and choose a Grain size (either Small or Large)—do this also for adapting X-T3/X-T30 Recipes to the newer models. X-Trans IV Recipes can technically be used on X-Trans V, but, because blue renders more deeply on some film simulations, you should make an adjustment to Color Chrome FX Blue: if the X-Trans IV Recipe calls for CCEB set to Strong use Weak on X-Trans V, and if it calls for Weak use Off. This is for Recipes that use Classic Chrome, Classic Negative, Eterna, and Eterna Bleach Bypass; for the other films sims, no adjustment is needed.
10. How to resolve the Clarity pause
Most of the Film Simulation Recipes made for the newer models use Clarity; however, if Clarity is set to anything other than 0 it will cause a storing pause. I use this pause, which is about the same amount of time as advancing to the next frame on a film camera, to slow myself down, which I think is beneficial. If you are in a hurry, this pause can be annoying, and you might want to avoid it. So what are your options? You could forget Clarity and just accept the results for what they are. Switching to a burst mode, such as Continuous Low (CL), will disable Clarity; if you shoot RAW+JPEG, you could reprocess in-camera (or X RAW Studio) and add Clarity after the fact (this is Fujifilm’s recommendation). If a Recipe calls for minus Clarity, you could use a diffusion filter, such as CineBloom or Black Pro Mist, to produce a similar effect (5% CineBloom and 1/8 BPM are roughly equivalent to -1 & -2 Clarity, 10% CineBloom and 1/4 BPM are roughly equivalent to -3 & -4 Clarity, and 20% CineBloom and 1/2 BPM are roughly equivalent to -5 Clarity); however, there is no substitution for plus Clarity.
Those are the 10 most common how-to type questions I get asked. Hopefully this article will be helpful to a few of you who are searching for answers. Don’t be afraid to ask if you are still stuck with whatever issue you’re facing with your Fujifilm cameras. I don’t work for Fujifilm so I can’t guarantee an answer, but I’ll try to help if I can. I just ask that you attempt to find the answer in your camera’s owner’s manual first, because you probably don’t actually need my help; however, if you do, I’m happy to try.
Fujicolor Superia 100 was a daylight-balanced color negative film produced by Fujifilm between 1998 and 2009. It replaced Fujicolor Super G Plus 100, which, honestly, didn’t look all that much different. Superia 100 had improved grain, sharpness, and more accurate color under florescent light; under normal conditions, and without a very close inspection, the two films looked nearly identical. Superia 100 was a “consumer” film that was widely found in drug and convenient stores. It was regularly used for family snapshots, but was also popular among photojournalists, as well as portrait and wedding photographers. Superia 100 was marketed as a “general use” low-ISO color film. Like the film, this Fujicolor Superia 100 Film Simulation Recipe could serve as a general-use option.
This isn’t a new Recipe, but an adaption of the X-Trans IV version of Fujicolor Superia 100 for use on X-Trans V cameras. Because X-Trans V renders blue more deeply on Classic Negative (and some other film sims), a slight tweak is needed for my X-T5; specifically, Color Chrome FX Blue should be set to Off instead of Weak. That’s the only difference between the X-Trans IV and V versions of Fujicolor Superia 100.
This Film Simulation Recipe has fairly low contrast—but not too low—and produces very nice colors. It has a nostalgic quality to it, since the film that it’s based on was widely used for family snapshots in the 1990’s and 2000’s. You can use it for portraits or street photography or landscapes—really, it’s good for most situations. Like the film, in indoor artificial light it will render especially warm, which you might or might not appreciate. This Recipe is compatible with X-Trans V cameras, which (as of this writing) are the Fujifilm X-T5, X-H2, X-H2s, and X-S20. For newer GFX models, you can use either version, but I’m sure it will look slightly different than an the X series.
Film Simulation: Classic Negative
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome FX Blue: Off
White Balance: Daylight, 0 Red & -1 Blue
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
High ISO NR: -4
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Fujicolor Superia 100 Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-T5:
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