Current Fujifilm X Camera Deals

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There are a number of great Fujifilm camera deals currently on Amazon. I wanted to pass these along in case anyone is interested in these cameras. As always, if you use my links to purchase something it helps to support this website.

Fujifilm X-H1 with grip is only $1,300!

Fujifilm X-E3 is $700.

Fujifilm X-T3 is $1,400.

Fujifilm X-T2 is $1,100.

Fujifilm X-T20 with 18-55mm lens is $1,000.

All of these are good deals, but the X-H1 and X-T2 stand out as the two best bargains, and I think it’s because of how well the X-T3 has been selling. The X-T20 is my top recommended camera, and it’s a good price with the 18-55mm lens. The X-E3 is pretty inexpensive, and it’s a very tempting option.

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My Fujifilm Camera Recommendations

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I’ve been asked several times lately which Fujifilm camera one should buy. People are looking for camera recommendations, and they’re interested in my advice. Since it’s December and Christmas is right around the corner this is something that’s on many people’s minds. I don’t necessarily like giving my opinion on this because everyone’s wants and needs are different, so what would be great for one person might not be for another, but I will do my best since it is a topic of interest for some of you out there.

Fujifilm makes many different cameras with many different features because the wants, needs and budgets of photographers can vary greatly. There is, however, one camera that’s easy to recommend, and that’s the Fujifilm X-T20. This is a great all-around middle-road offering that’s rich on features, not too expensive and a great choice no matter your skill or budget. The X-T20 is a camera that’s easy to suggest to anyone.

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Stark Salt – Wendover, UT

If you’re thinking that the X-T20 is not high-end enough for you, there are four great alternatives: the X-T2, the X-Pro2, the X-H1 and the X-T3. The X-T2 is the best bargain of the four, the X-Pro2 is my personal favorite of the four, the X-H1 is the only one with in-body-image-stabilization, and the X-T3 is the latest and greatest. If video capabilities are important, the X-H1 and the X-T3 are your best bets. If you want the very best, that’s probably the X-T3, although I’d argue that any of the four could be “best” for different reasons.

If you’re thinking that the X-T20 is too expensive, you have three good options: the X-T100, the X-A5 and the X-A3. These three cameras have a traditional Bayer sensor instead of an X-Trans sensor and have a more basic processor, but they are still good cameras that are capable of excellent image quality. The X-T100 is the best of the bunch, but even the X-A3, which is a couple of years old now, is a great low-budget option and perhaps the best choice for someone’s very first interchangeable-lens camera.

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Snake River Fog – Grand Teton NP, WY

There are a few alternatives to the X-T20 that I haven’t mentioned yet. The first is the X-E3, which is very similar to the X-T20 but with a different design and slightly different features. The X-E3 would be my second-place recommendation and is definitely worth taking a look at. Next is the X100F, which is a fixed-lens camera that is quite excellent and easy to love, but it might not be for everyone. Perhaps it is a good gift option for the photographer who has everything. Finally, there is the XF10, which is also a fixed-lens camera but is on the bargain end of things. It’s the smallest camera mentioned in this article (and one of the cheapest, too), yet it is capable of capturing beautiful pictures.

There, you have it! If you are camera shopping, look first at the X-T20, then decide from there if you need to move up to the more expensive models, move down to the cheaper models, or look at one of the other alternatives. You really can’t go wrong with any of the cameras, because they could all serve a purpose no matter who you are, but I think the middle is a good place to begin a search.

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Keyhole Monochrome – Salt Lake City, UT

Alternatively, buying an older model second-hand isn’t a bad idea at all. My first Fujifilm camera was a used X-E1, which I captured many great pictures with. It’s very much a capable camera today. There are a lot of great Fujifilm models that are a little older, but are still good quality cameras, such as the X-T1, X-T10, X-E2 (with or without the “s”), X-Pro1, X70, X100T, etc. You can get a used model that’s not quite as good as what’s brand new but not all that far from it either, for significantly less money.

You might be wondering about the photographs above. I purposefully didn’t label what camera they were captured with because I wanted it to be a surprise at the end. The picture Stark Salt towards the top was shot with a Fujifilm X-A3, which is an incredibly cheap camera right now because it’s not the latest model. The next image, Snake River Fog, which is one of my all-time favorites that I have hung on my wall at home, was captured using a Fujifilm X-E1. The last picture, Keyhole Monochrome, was shot using a Fujifilm XF10. These three cameras can be found for $500 or less, which demonstrates that even the cheapest options are still good options. It’s never about how expensive your camera is, it’s always about how you use what you have.

Fujifilm X Deals

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It’s December 1, and if you haven’t already started shopping for Christmas you will likely start very soon. I wanted to pass along some discounts on Fujifilm cameras that are currently being offered at Amazon. If you use the links below to purchase something, I will get a small amount from Amazon for referring you to them. This money will be used to improve the Fuji X Weekly experience. I know that some of you have already done so, and I want to say thank you! Expect some positive changes to come soon!

Current discounts being offered on Fujifilm X cameras: the Fujifilm X100F is $100 off and is now available in brown (yea!), the X-T100 is $100 off, the X-A5 with a 15-45mm lens is $100 off, the X-E3 is $100 off and there is a bundle option with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens plus extras for $1,150, the X-T20 is $200 off and there is a bundle option with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens plus extras for $1,000, the X-Pro2 is $200 off, the X-H1 is $250 off, and the X-T2 is $500 off, which is an incredible deal!

Current discounts being offered on Fujinon X lenses: the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 is $150 off, the XF 16mm f/1.4 is $150 off, the XF 80mm f/2.8 is $150 off, the XF 10-24mm f/4 is $150 off, the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 is $200 off, the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 is $200 off, and the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 is $200 off.

Current discounts being offered on Fujifilm Instax: the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera is $60 off, the Instax Mini 9 Instant Film Camera bundle is $57 off, the Instax Mini 70 Instant Film Camera is $40 off, the Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera is $38 off, and the Instax Mini Film 3-Pack is $22 off. My 11-year-old daughter loves her Instax camera.

Also, if you are looking for t-shirts, coffee mugs, iPhone cases and other items with Fujifilm and photography related designs, check out the Fuji X Weekly store! You’ll find several great gift ideas for photographers. I have ordered some of the items for myself, and they’ve all been good quality. I’m quite happy with how they turned out.

3 New Features On The Fujifilm X-T3 That I Find Fascinating

When Fujifilm announced the X-T3, the first camera to feature an X-Trans IV sensor, I only paid half attention to it because I’m not in the market for a new camera. I read a couple of articles about the differences in image quality between X-Trans III and IV sensors, and also the quickness of the X-T3, and left it at that. However, I failed to notice three new features that are quite fascinating. I stumbled across these new features pretty much by accident, and wondered why they haven’t received more press. Or maybe they did and I just ignored it. Whatever the case, I thought it would be worthwhile to share it with you.

The first new feature on the Fujifilm X-T3 that I find fascinating is the Color Chrome Effect. This is something that you can toggle on or off for any film simulation, and you can choose either weak or strong. What it does is increase the color saturation while also producing deeper colors so as to increase color gradation. They got the inspiration for this feature from the limited-run Fortia film, which was wildly saturated (more so than Velvia) yet maintained great color gradations. To be clear, Color Chrome is not a new film simulation, but something that can be added to any film simulation, which will give it a slightly different look, producing subtly different results. Fujifilm intended Color Chrome to be used in highly saturated scenes. It takes a lot of processing power, so it will slow down your camera a little and drain your battery faster, but I can definitely see the usefulness of it.

The next new feature on the Fujifilm X-T3 that I find fascinating is a monochrome adjustment that allows you to tone your black and white photographs, either warm or cool (+ or – 4). As long as the weakest adjustment is subtle, I would love to use this! I like to tone my monochrome photographs, something that I have done often over the last 20 years, including when I used to print my own pictures in a darkroom. You can infuse an emotional response into a photograph simply by how it’s toned. This is something that I have wished my X-Trans III cameras could do, so it’s great to see Fujifilm include it on the next generation.

The third new feature on the Fujifilm X-T3 that I find fascinating is D-Range Priority, which is a dynamic range setting that is in addition to the traditional Dynamic Range settings (DR100, DR200 and DR400). It flattens the image to retain highlight and shadow detail. It’s not something to be used all of the time, but in ultra high contrast situations it can be useful. I found someone who has had good success using D-Range Priority for sunset pictures. This actually isn’t a new feature, as the X-H1 also has it, but it’s not found on any camera that predates the X-H1.

I imagine that all three of these features will be included on all X-Trans IV cameras. Fujifilm could choose to include the last two in X-Trans III cameras through firmware updates, but they probably won’t. It sure would be nice if they did, though! Still, it’s good to see them on the new models. It definitely gives me camera envy, but it is reassuring to know that my current Fujifilm cameras are capable of capturing great images, and while I may want these new features, I certainly don’t need them.

Future Fujifilm X-Trans IV Cameras

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I’ve been asked to speculate on when future X-Trans IV cameras will be released. I don’t have any insider information whatsoever, so take whatever I say with a very large grain of salt. It’s just a guess, and just for fun.

The Fujifilm X-T3 is the first and only camera with an X-Trans IV sensor. This new sensor has a tiny bump in resolution (26-megapixels vs. 24-megapixels) and a tiny increase in high-ISO performance. From an image quality point-of-view X-Trans III and X-Trans IV are nearly identical, kind of like X-Trans I and X-Trans II were nearly identical. Where the X-Trans IV sensor shines is speed, made possible by less heat emission. X-Trans IV is significantly faster than any previous X-Trans sensor.

The Fujifilm X-T3 has been out for a month or so and it’s received raving reviews across the web. There is no doubt that it is an excellent camera. But not everyone wants the X-T3, as Fujifilm designs different cameras for different people. The question is, when will Fujifilm update the different models with the new sensor?

My guess is that next spring Fujifilm will release a new X100 series camera with the new sensor (perhaps called X100V), and an X-T30. Later next year an X-Pro3 and an X-H2 will come out. I’m going to speculate that an X80 (replacement for the X70) will be announced in the fall, and it will include an X-Trans IV sensor. Perhaps an X-E4 will be released in 2020 sometime, or maybe an X-E4 will never come out. Don’t be surprised if the X-E line goes dormant for a couple years, and perhaps is revived when the X-Trans V sensor is made. Maybe Fujifilm will even surprise everyone with a brand-new camera series, but I wouldn’t count on that.

I think 2019 will be the year of the X-Trans IV sensor. We’ll see many different models announced throughout the year. The next generation of X-Trans is already being worked on by Fujifilm, and don’t be surprised if in the second half of 2020 or the first half of 2021 the X-Trans V sensor is announced, and with it more new cameras will begin trickling out. There is always some new camera just around the corner.

What X-Trans IV really means for you is deals on X-Trans III cameras. Currently at Amazon the Fujifilm X100F is discounted $100 off, the Fujifilm X-E3 is $100 off, the Fujifilm X-T20 is $150 off, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is $200 off, the Fujifilm X-H1 is $250 off, and the Fujifilm X-T2 is $500 off. If you use these links to purchase those cameras, you’ll be supporting Fuji X Weekly. Also, as a quick update, Fuji X Weekly merchandise, including T-shirts, coffee mugs, cellphone cases and more, will be available very soon, so be on the lookout for that.

 

 

Pictures of Cameras

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Vintage Bolsey Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

I’ve been going through my recent photographs and organizing them into categories. I noticed that I have captured several photographs of cameras. This isn’t unusual because I will capture images of my photographic gear to include with articles on this blog. These photographs, however, fell through the cracks and never made it onto Fuji X Weekly. That is, until today.

I’m a gear junkie as much as the next guy. If I had the money I’d buy all sorts of different cameras. The fact is, though, that I have too many. Right now I own three digital cameras and, I don’t know, maybe eight or nine old film cameras. Most of them never get used. You can only use one camera at a time, and bringing along two with you is often too much. One camera is all that you really need, but sometimes having two is nice. More than two is unnecessary, but it can be fun to collect, as long as one understands that the extra gear is mostly going to collect dust.

A number of different cameras were used to capture these images, including a Fujifilm X100F, X-Pro2, X-E1 and X-A3. Most of them are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, while a couple received some post-processing. Enjoy!

Color:

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Yashica – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Meike 35mm

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Kodak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Meike 35mm

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Shutter Dial – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Automatic Shutter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & 16-50mm

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X-Pro2 & Industar – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & 16-50mm

B&W:

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Exposure Compensation – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Wollensak-Rochester – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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H Is For Handsome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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X100F & Stripes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 7artisans 25mm

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Digital & Film Rangefinders – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & 16-50mm

Fujifilm X-E3 Thoughts

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Fujifilm X-E1 & 15-55mm Lens

I’m trying to avoid talking about gear other than the Fujifilm X100F on this blog (because this site is about the X100F), but some of you know that my introduction to Fuji was with an X-E1, so I have been asked to share my thoughts on the X-E3. This new camera, which is the fourth generation in the X-E line, will be shipping soon.

I love the X-E line, and I loved my X-E1. It was a great camera that reignited my passion for photography like no other camera, with perhaps the X100F as the only exception. It was a joy to use. I particularly liked pairing it with vintage lenses. I was sad to let it go.

What’s great about the camera is the user experience. I was reminded of the film days, and shooting with a Canon A-E1 (one of the greatest cameras ever made, by the way). I appreciated the process of creating photographs with it. Image quality was great, too.

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Snake River Fog – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1

The only reason that I gave up the X-E1 is because, after I purchased the X100F, I stopped using it. It was a shame watching it collect dust on a shelf. I didn’t expect that the fixed-lens camera would downright replace it, but it did.

So what about the X-E3? Well, it’s a tad smaller than the previous X-E versions. It has the same 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor found inside the X100F. It has better auto-focus. It has Acros and film grain simulation. It has the ISO dial and focus joystick. It has a touchscreen and a simplified back.

The camera is an improvement over the previous models, I’m sure of it. There are definitely some advantages. I’m not sure that I would like the touchscreen, especially since many of the physical controls were moved to that–I can see it being both positive and negative.

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The Tetons and the Snake River, 2017 – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1

Here’s the deal: the X-E3 is 90% the same camera as the X-E2s, which is 98% the same camera as the X-E2, which is 95% the same camera as the X-E1. Each new generation is an improvement over the previous, but not by huge margins. The X-E3 over the X-E2s is the largest change from one model to the next, but it’s still not a massive jump. The X-E3 would seem significantly different than the X-E1, but that’s to be expected considering how many models they are apart.

If you purchased the X-E3 you will certainly be happy with that decision. You won’t regret the camera! If the MSRP is a stretch for your budget, consider one of the previous models instead, which can be found for not much money (you can find the X-E1 with a lens for under $300). I think you’ll enjoy any camera from the X-E line. If I were purchasing an interchangeable lens camera, I’d choose one of them.

Are the X-E3’s improvements enough to justify the higher cost? Maybe. I think if you routinely print poster-sized prints, or you shoot straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, or you shoot a lot of moving subjects, you may find the higher price of the X-E3 worth it. If you have an X-E1 with a lot of clicks on the shutter and you’re not confident that it will last you another couple years, perhaps it might be time to upgrade. Otherwise I’d strongly consider a previous generation X-E instead.

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Barn By The Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1

 

 

Digital Film – Why I Shoot JPEGs With The Fujifilm X100F

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I don’t shoot RAW with my Fujifilm X100F. I rely on camera-made JPEGs.

Wait! Don’t click the X in the corner! Let me explain.

Those who shoot JPEGs have been unfairly stigmatized. It’s kind of crazy. You will find on message boards, social media posts, and in the comment section of websites this argument that RAW is for pros and JPEG is for amateurs.

And it’s not true. Or not completely true. But it’s touted as if it’s common knowledge.

There are many professional photographers who don’t use RAW. Perhaps they don’t have time to mess with it (constantly off to new assignments or their photos are needed immediately). Maybe their clients demand straight-out-of-camera JPEGs (think photojournalists). Or they simply like the look of their camera-made JPEGs (mostly, this is Fujifilm users). Whatever the reason, there are many pros that prefer JPEGs over RAW. No, really, this is a fact.

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And vice versa. There are plenty of amateurs that shoot RAW because someone on the internet said that they should. They don’t know what they’re doing or why, but they’re doing it anyway because they don’t want to be thought of as amateurish.

So if professional photographers are using JPEG and amateurs are using RAW, what does this do for that argument that RAW is for pros and JPEG is for amateurs? It shows that it is poppycock–empty words by people who try to make themselves seem superior.

“But, really, you should learn how to use RAW,” someone is saying in their heads right now. If that’s you, here is something you should know: I’ve been shooting and editing RAW files for a decade. I’ve shot tens of thousands of RAW exposures. I know all about RAW. I might even have more experience with it than you. So stop.

It’s ridiculous that I have to qualify this before I even begin to type the rest of this article. But if I don’t, everything else that I want to say will be dismissed. People will tune out.

Digital Film

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Sitting Large – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

It’s been well known for several years now that Fujifilm has the best JPEG engine in the business. Yes, Canon and Nikon both make good JPEGs, but there is just something about those from Fujifilm cameras–that Fujifilm look!

With the X100F, Fujifilm has elevated the camera-made JPEG to a whole new level. They made several significant improvements. They added a new monochrome setting and film grain. This is a big deal!

Before I get ahead of myself, I want to talk a little about how Fujifilm rethought the whole camera-made JPEG concept. They approached it differently, and it shows in the results.

You are probably well aware that Fujifilm was a popular film manufacturer well before digital photography was big. They still make film. The soul of the company is analog film photography.

Fujifilm took their knowledge and experience with film and applied it to their digital cameras. They designed and programmed that analog soul into their modern cameras.

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Hair & Lips – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Instead of traditional JPEG settings, Fujifilm made Film Simulations, which mimic the look of different 35mm films. My favorites are Acros and Classic Chrome. They even have fake (yet convincing) film grain as an option. They tried to make their JPEGs look less digital and more film-like.

You can see this in how they process digital noise. It looks completely different on Fujifilm cameras. They did their best to make the noise look less digital and more organic, more like film grain.

Fujifilm also came up a neat little trick for maximizing dynamic range. Basically, the camera underexposes to prevent clipped highlights, then increases the shadows and midtones to the appropriate level. It’s very seamless, but the results are far superior to the narrow dynamic range found on typical camera-made JPEGs.

Because of things like that, Fujifilm JPEGs are better than everyone else’s. I call it Digital Film.

RAW Because You Have To

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KeyBank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Let’s face it, the reason that almost everyone who shoots RAW does so is because they have to, and not because they want to. Their cameras make JPEGs that aren’t good enough. If their JPEGs didn’t stink so bad, they’d certainly rely on them. But since they aren’t reliable, people choose RAW format instead.

But camera-made JPEGs don’t have to stink. Your camera could be programmed in such a way that the strait-out-of-camera JPEGs look like how you would make them look if you shot RAW and post-processed them on your computer. The technology exists. Camera makers just haven’t included it in their products.

If the JPEGs produced by your camera matched the look of your post-processed RAW files, why would you continue to shoot RAW? Why wouldn’t you save a whole ton of time and money and shoot JPEG instead?

The Fujifilm X100F is the first camera that I have ever used that I feel produces JPEGs that match how I would edit my RAW files. It creates in-camera the look that I want. That’s why I don’t shoot RAW. That’s why I am now a JPEG only guy.

Consistency

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Lightning Strikes Antelope Island – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

When I shot film (I still do occasionally), and I shot a lot of it, I had my go-to options. I used Velvia 50, Ektachrome 100VS and 100SW, and Kodachrome 25 and 64 for color. I used Ilford Delta 100 and 400 for black and white. I used plenty of other films over the years, but those were my main options.

When you shot film, you exposed a whole roll of it, typically 24 or 36 exposures. All of the images you captured had a consistent look because they were captured using the same film. When you embarked on a project, you used the same film for the entirety of that project.

Even thinking long term, my images had a consistent look because most were captured with one of a handful of different films. Over the course of years, even decades, there was a uniformity to the look of my pictures.

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

That’s a lot harder to accomplish digitally because there are so many options and ways to customize each image. For example, Alien Skin Exposure X2 has over 500 one-click presets that can be heavily customized. With so many choices, it takes some serious discipline and restraint to stick with just a few. Creating and applying an undeviating style to your RAW workflow is something that’s rarely realized.

I think it’s better to have a consistent look that you can easily recognize. Especially within projects. It shouldn’t be all over the place. It looks incoherent if its inconsistent.

By shooting JPEG and relying on the Film Simulations found in the X100F, I can get back to the consistent look that I achieved as a film shooter. I have a few custom recipes that I use, and because of that there is a uniformity that my pictures lacked for a long time.

Authenticity

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Haugen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There’s been a lot of controversy lately with photographer’s use of Photoshop. Some very big names have shown up in the news. There’s been many debates on how much editing is too much. It’s all subjective, and so the line will always remain grey. Besides, people have been manipulating pictures since the early days of photography.

But there is a point when a photograph loses its authenticity. Its not hard to move from photography into graphic design or digital artistry. Photography is less believable now than it used to be.

I get asked often, “Is that how it really looked? How much did you Photoshop this?” People look at photography as a mix of reality and fantasy. They don’t take it at face value anymore. It lacks truth, it lacks authenticity.

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Man In The Straw Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

It’s like the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I think people are tired of being fooled and tricked by pictures that have been heavily manipulated.

Many news outlets have begun requiring that only straight-out-of-camera JPEGs be submitted. There have been too many examples where some photograph in a big story turned out to be significantly edited. Now many news outlets want only what the camera captured, no manipulation please! This is to save the integrity of the genre, which has lost significant credibility.

Shooting JPEGs allows you to answer, “This is how the camera captured it. I didn’t use Photoshop or any other software. This is straight from the camera unedited.” This isn’t for bragging rights. There is value in creating authentic pictures, and this is becoming more true every day.

Conclusion

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Yashica Rangefinder & Fujicolor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Several weeks ago I was asked to photograph for someone, and he needed the pictures immediately. He paid me a higher premium for this service. I made my exposures and, using the screen on the back of my X100F, deleted the ones that weren’t good. After I was finished I uploaded the pictures directly to his laptop. From the moment that I arrived to the delivery of the finished pictures was about an hour–photoshoot completely finished and check in my hand.

As I was driving away, I thought that this is how it should be every time. In the past I would have spent a day post-processing the pictures. But since the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs look so darn good, I felt more than comfortable delivering them to the client unedited. And this person contacted me twice afterwards to tell me just how pleased he was with the pictures. “They were perfect,” he said.

I save so much time and money by not shooting RAW. There are plenty of good reasons to choose JPEG instead, all of which I laid out above. All of the photographs in this article that were captured using the X100F are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I just wish that there wasn’t such a stigmatic attitude towards it. But times are changing, and technology is advancing, and I think that the lowly camera-made JPEG will see new life in the upcoming years.

What Film Simulation Should Fujifilm Create Next?

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The Wonder of Film Photography – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

Fujifilm uses Film Simulations instead of traditional options for their JPEG settings. They use their vast experience with film to make their digital images look less digital (than other camera brands). Choose between Provia, Astia, Velvia, Acros and others. Essentially you are mimicking a film look with your camera-made JPEGs. If you shoot RAW, you can approximate this in post.

On the Fujifilm X100F my favorite Film Simulations are Acros for black-and-white and Classic Chrome for color. I use several of the other options occasionally, but I would be perfectly happy using only those two.

Fujirumors has said that Fujifilm is developing (or “investigating”) the next Film Simulation. Today Fujirumors asked what the next Film Simulation should be. What film should the Film Simulation emulate? By the way, if you don’t visit Fujirumors regularly, you should start doing so today–there’s a ton of useful information found there.

I thought it was an interesting question, so I’m going to explore it a little here.

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Kodacolor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

The Film Simulation options that Fujifilm has included in their current camera lineup are pretty darn good. They can be manipulated to simulate all sorts of different films. For example, if you wanted a look similar to Fujicolor Pro 800Z, you could start with Pro Neg Hi, increase the saturation by one and add a strong grain effect. You might have to shift the white balance slightly cooler. That would get you in the ballpark.

So I would want a Film Simulation that couldn’t be approximated by simply adjusting a few settings on a current option. And most films can. For instance, Classic Chrome is a great starting point for several Kodak films.

At the top of my list would be Fuji Velvia Cross Processed. It’s a fun experiment if you’ve never cross processed film. In the case of Velvia, which uses the E-6 process, you develop it using the C-41 process instead. The results are bold with high contrast, shifted colors and pronounced grain. It just looks cool and vintage.

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Ax & Ladder – Boron, CA – Fujifilm Velvia 50 Cross Processed

Another that I would like to see is Fuji 400H Overexposed. People would purposefully overexpose 400H film a couple of stops because the colors would turn pastel with a low-ish contrast. It just looks beautiful.

How about Acros Push Processed? It would have lots of contrast and grain. You can get close to achieving this by setting highlights and shadows to the maximum level and adding a strong grain effect, but it doesn’t quite get the look right. The contrast is a little wrong and the grain (the look of it) is a lot wrong. That’s why I suggest a whole new Film Simulation for this.

If Fujifilm does indeed develop a new Film Simulation, it’s unlikely that they’ll add it to the X100F. They could add it via a firmware update, and in the past they’ve done just that with a few cameras (when Classic Chrome came out). I really hope that they do.

Most likely it will only be included on cameras with the X-Trans IV sensor, whenever that happens, because each new Film Simulation has coincided with a sensor update. So the X100V (or whatever they call the next generation X100) most likely will have it, and those who really want it will have to spend a bunch of money to upgrade.

Fujifilm X100F vs. Sigma DP2 Merrill

My current camera is a Fujifilm X100F and I used to own a Sigma DP2 Merrill. Both of these are fixed-focal-length digital cameras that can fit into a large pocket. I thought it might be worthwhile to briefly compare the two. Perhaps someone right now is trying to decide which one to buy.

The Sigma DP2 Merrill was introduced in 2012. It has Sigma’s unique three-layer APS-C Foveon sensor with a whopping 46 megapixels (15.3 megapixels on each layer). It has a 30mm (45mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens permanently attached to the front.

The Fujifilm X100F was introduced in 2017. It has Fujifilm’s unique APS-C X-Trans sensor with 24 megapixels. It has a 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/2 lens permanently attached to the front.

Both the DP2 Merrill and the X100F have excellent image quality. They both have great lenses that have a few minor flaws. There are a lot of similarities.

Let’s take a look at a few example photographs from both cameras:

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Red Field, Green Field – Tehachapi, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Red Bicycle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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From The Past – Mojave, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Have A Seat In The Filth – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Desert Cross – Mojave, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Building Storm Over Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cheese – Big Bear, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Look What I Drew – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rangefinder & Film – Stallion Springs, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There’s a lot to love about both of these unique cameras, but which one is better? Which one should you buy? I’ll share with you my opinions based on my experience of using both.

Where the Sigma DP2 Merrill is better:

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Hall Loves You – Newberry Springs, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

The DP2 Merrill has a slightly sharper lens than the X100F. Even though the Sigma camera has almost 90% more megapixels, the actual resolution difference isn’t nearly so big, with the DP2 Merrill just winning out with perhaps a 10% advantage. The DP2 Merrill has a little bit larger dynamic range, particularly in the highlights.

At base ISO, the Sigma DP2 Merrill produces superior image quality to the Fujifilm X100F, but not by a large margin. Honestly, the DP2 Merrill at base ISO has the best image quality of any camera that I’ve ever used. But the X100F isn’t very far behind.

Where the Fujifilm X100F is better:

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Haugen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

The X100F has a five stop high-ISO advantage over the DP2 Merrill. The X100F creates far superior JPEGs. The X100F is much, much quicker. Everything “auto” on the camera is superior. The X100F has way better battery life (which is an understatement). It’s significantly better designed and better looking.

Basically, the Fujifilm X100F is a better camera in every aspect outside of lens sharpness, resolution and dynamic range, where the DP2 Merrill wins by a small margin.

Conclusions

Which one is better is for you to decide. I can’t choose for you which one you’ll like more. I will say this: some of my all-time favorite photographs were captured with a Sigma DP2 Merrill, but I love my Fujifilm X100F. The DP2 Merrill has enough negative aspects about it to make it a frustrating experience, but boy did it make nice-looking pictures! The X100F makes nice-looking pictures, too, without hardly any bad points.

One of the big differences for me, and the reason that I prefer the X100F, is time. My time. The time it takes to get a finished photograph. You have to shoot RAW with the Sigma camera, and you have to use their painfully slow software (maybe it’s better now) to process the RAW files. I would have to dedicate 15 to 20 minutes (and sometimes more) per exposure to edit the Sigma pictures.

The Fujifilm X100F files, on the other hand, are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. No editing. Just shoot and upload. My time is limited and precious, and I literally save hours and hours and hours by not having to post-process my photographs.

If you have lots of free time to spend sitting at a computer, the Sigma camera is a very good option. If not, I’d look at the X100F.