New: Fujifilm GFX100

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Fujifilm just officially announced the highly anticipated 100-megapixel medium-format GFX100. This camera is most certainly a beast designed for professional photographers who need a beast camera. It has it all, including ridiculous resolution that’s far beyond what the majority of people need. It’s an all-around amazing camera, as it should be for the $10,000 price tag. While that price might seem high, it’s actually not when you consider that a 100-megapixel Hasselblad costs nearly 50 thousand dollars and a 100-megapixel Phase One costs around 30 thousand. The Fujifilm GFX100 undercuts those by a significant amount, an understatement if there ever was one. Heck, I remember when the 40-megapixel Pentax 645D was introduced, and it was celebrated as the cheapest medium-format digital camera ever made, with an MSRP of “only” $10,000. While the GFX100 is by far the most expensive camera in Fujifilm’s lineup, it’s actually quite a bargain for those who can afford it.

This new camera is clearly intended for a small number of photographers. For the vast majority of people, the GFX100 is extreme overkill. There are people that do need this tool, and those people know who they are. Fujifilm hopes to entice them to buy into their system. My guess is that Fujifilm won’t make much, if any, money from this camera, but they’re hoping to sell some lenses, which is where the real profit margin is. The question is whether or not this camera is worth the extra price over the GFX50R or GFX50S, which can be had for much less and are nearly as good. I personally would love to have any one of them, but they’re well outside of my budget.

Something interesting that I wanted to share (that’s remotely relating to all this) is this last weekend I saw some beautiful large prints of amazing landscapes, such as the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier. Many of these prints were 2′ x 3′, some were a little larger. They looked great! When I stepped close to examine the pictures, say within 18″ of the prints, they were noticeably soft. From three feet away they looked amazing. Most people wouldn’t take the close look that I did and they’d never notice the softness. I have no idea what gear was used to capture those pictures. What I do know is that images captured from cameras like the Fujifilm X-T30 wouldn’t even be soft at those print sizes, unless I used a lesser lens or poor techniques. It makes me wonder how many people really need 50-megapixels of resolution, let alone 100-megapixels. Surely there are some who make wall-sized prints that will be viewed closely and they need a camera like the GFX100, but by far most do not. Most photographers would get pretty much the same exact results from the Fujifilm X-H1, since they’ll never print large enough to take advantage of the extremely high resolution sensor. Still, different people have different wants and needs, and this camera will fulfill that nicely for that small group. If you are one of those in that group, June 27th, which is when the GFX100 will be released, will be a great day for you.

Pre-order the Fujifilm GFX100 from Amazon here.

The Ultimate Fujifilm X Kit?

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What would be my ultimate Fujifilm X camera and lens kit? What would I have in my camera bag if money was no issue? I have been asked these types of questions several times, and I don’t really like to answer them because, like many of you, my resources are limited and I’ll probably never own an “ultimate” kit. Some of you might have the money, so perhaps you’re trying to assemble such a thing and are seeking advice, so this will be my attempt to answer the question of the ultimate Fujifilm X kit. Hopefully my opinion will be useful to someone.

I’m going to limit this to APS-C Fujifilm X, and not the medium-format GFX system. In all honesty, if I were independently wealthy, I’d likely own a GFX camera. That would be amazing! My best hope for that, perhaps in five or six years, is to buy one that’s used and is being sold at a bargain basement price. I can always dream, right?

What cameras would be in my bag? Well, probably the Fujifilm X-T3, which is the ultimate X camera right now (I know, an argument could be made that the X-H1 is the top X camera). Later this year the X-Pro3 should be released, and I’d prefer that over the X-T3, but it’s a close call between the two, and since the X-T3 is available right now, that’s the camera that I would own. I would have a backup interchangeable-lens camera, one that’s smaller and lighter and better for walk-around and travel, and that would be the Fujifilm X-T30, which is a camera I already have, so I suppose that’s a start to my ultimate kit. I would also own a compact fixed-lens camera for travel and street photography, and that would be the Fujifilm X100F, which is an incredible camera for that purpose. The X100F is not essential, but it is an extraordinarily enjoyable camera, and so it would definitely be in my ultimate bag.

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I would have a number of different lenses to go with those cameras. My choice for Fujifilm primes would be the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4, Fujinon 35mm f/2, Fujinon 56mm f/1.2, and Fujinon 90mm f/2. I would also own the Rokinon 12mm f/2. I would have a telephoto zoom, probably the Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8, and maybe even a wide-angle zoom, perhaps the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4. I prefer primes over zooms, but occasionally zooms are preferred for their versatility, so having a couple of them would be important.

All of those cameras and lenses are going to add up to a lot of money. This would not be a cheap kit! Of course, that’s the point, as this would be a money-is-no-object situation. Most people, myself included, are on a tight budget with limited resources. So I will give alternative suggestions for a more budget-friendly ultimate kit. Maybe this will be helpful to some of you.

If you still want an “ultimate” Fujifilm X kit but the suggestions above are out of budget, I would choose instead the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-T20, which will save you several hundred dollars right off the bat, and will get you essentially the same exact thing. If that’s still too much, get the X-T20 and the Fujifilm X-T100, or skip having a second camera body altogether. You could skip the X100F and purchase the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens and get similar results to that camera without actually owning it, which will save some money. Alternatively, if you really want the X100F, buy one used or get the X100T, or even choose the Fujifilm XF10 instead.

For lenses, you could save money by choosing the Fujinon 16mm f/2.8 lens over the 16mm f/1.4, and the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 instead of the 56mm f/1.2. Or just skip those lenses altogether, and get the Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8, which would cover those focal lengths pretty well. If you chose carefully, you could have an almost-as-good ultimate kit for probably half the price as my suggested ultimate kit. There are certainly options for those on a small budget. And don’t be afraid to buy a lens here-and-there when you can, slowly building your glass collection. Nobody says you have to buy everything all at once.

Current Fujifilm Deals at Amazon

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There are some great deals on a few Fujifilm cameras currently at Amazon. As you may know, I’m an Amazon affiliate partner, which means that I get a small kickback from Amazon whenever you order something through my links. Nobody pays me to write the content you find on this blog, such as my film simulation recipes or my review of the Fujifilm X-T30. If you find these articles helpful and you want to support this website, ordering something that you were already intending to purchase using my links is a great way to be a part of this. I would never want to pressure anyone into buying anything, so please only order something if you were already planning to do it. I hope that making you aware of these sales is a service to some of you.

The X-T30 lens bundle deal is pretty nice. I ordered mine with the 35mm f/2 (review coming soon). The X-T2 body for only $900 and the X-T20 body for only $500 are just incredible bargains! If you were considering a new body, I’d go with one of those because you’re not going to find a better value. I have no idea how long these deals will last.

Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 15-45mm + 50mm f/2 $1,150
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 15-45mm + 50mm f/2 $1,150
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 18-55mm + 50mm f/2 $1,450
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 23mm f/2 $1,050

Fujifilm X-T2 (body only) $900!!
Fujifilm X-T2 with 18-55mm lens $1,300

Fujifilm X-H1 (body only) with power grip $1,300

Fujifilm X-T20 (body only) $500!!
Fujifilm X-T20 with 18-55mm lens $800

Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 is $300 off

Review: Fujifilm X-T30 – Better JPEGs?

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Is this camera for me? That’s the number one question those searching the web for camera reviews are hoping to find the answer to. Usually you wait until the bottom of the article to find the reviewer’s opinion. To save you time, I’m placing my answer to the question right at the top: the Fujifilm X-T30 is indeed the camera for you! Or, really, any of the X-T00 series, which also include the X-T10 and X-T20. These cameras combine the right design, features, usability, image quality, build quality, size, weight and price to be appealing to anyone, no matter your skill level. This could be a great option for a beginner’s first interchangeable-lens camera, and this could be a great option for a pro’s take-anywhere camera or backup body. This series is the Goldilocks of cameras, and it is no wonder that it’s Fujifilm’s best-selling line. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s move onto the rest of the review.

The Fujifilm X-T30 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with design inspiration from classic film-era SLRs. It has an APS-C sized 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor. The advantage of X-Trans, aside from not being susceptible to moire pattern distortion, is that it contains more green-light sensitive sensor elements (which is where luminosity information comes from) than an equivalent Bayer-pattern sensor with the same pixel count. Because of this, X-Trans has a slightly higher apparent resolution, a larger dynamic range, and better high-ISO performance than a Bayer-pattern sensor. Of course, “slightly” is the key word in that last sentence, but every bit counts, so it’s worth mentioning for those who might not know. X-Trans takes more processing power, and the big challenge that Fujifilm has faced is heat dispersion. This new X-Trans IV sensor, which is back-side illuminated, runs cooler, and that allows Fujifilm to crank up the speed of the camera. Quickness is the advantage the new sensor.

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I want to make my point-of-view for this review clear, which is probably a little different than most. I’m an experienced Fujifilm user and a JPEG shooter. That’s the lens from which my opinions are coming through. There are things about the X-T30 that other reviewers might focus on that I won’t, and there are things that I will talk about that might not get much attention from others. You can expect this review to be a little different than many others that you’ll find on the internet. Hopefully this will be useful to some of you, as I suspect there are others with a similar point-of-view as myself.

This last weekend I went to Moab, Utah, and made almost one thousand exposures with the Fujifilm X-T30. I kept about 25% of the pictures. The time it took me to post-process the trip, from reviewing to editing to transferring to storing the images, was less than three hours total. That’s actually quite amazing, and it’s all thanks to Fujifilm’s wonderful in-camera JPEG engine. Before using Fujifilm cameras, I used Sony and Nikon for a little while and shot RAW. With those cameras it would have taken me a minimum of eight hours to finish post-processing that amount of exposures. Five years ago I had a Sigma Merrill camera that would have taken me eight hours to finish only half of the exposures! I’m thrilled with all of the time that I save by using Fujifilm and shooting JPEGs.

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Red Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Rock Castles – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

One thing that I have noticed with the X-T30, and I have not seen much discussion on this, is the improved sharpening that the camera is applying to JPEGs. Fujifilm has programmed a better sharpening algorithm into the X-T30 than the X-T20. On X-Trans III cameras, such as the X100F, X-Pro2 and X-T20, all of which I have used, I felt that +2 was the highest Sharpness setting that one should use, and even at +2 there were occasionally artifacts and weird side-effects of over sharpening. Eventually I settled on 0 as my standard Sharpness setting for those cameras. On the X-T30, which has the new X-Trans IV sensor and processor, I can go all the way to +4 Sharpness, and I’m not experiencing artifacts or weird side-effects. Besides that, the amount of sharpening that’s being applied at each setting is slightly more heavy-handed on X-Trans IV than on X-Trans III. For example, at +1, it’s noticeable to my eyes that the X-T30 is applying a slightly stronger amount of sharpening to the file than the X-T20, yet without negative consequence. The outcome is a crisper, more detailed picture. I wonder if this stems from the collaboration between Fujifilm and Phase One.

Between the improved sharpening and the extra 2-megapixels of resolution, JPEGs from the X-T30 appear more crisp, rich and detailed than those from the X-T20. There’s a noticeable difference. I saw it but didn’t say anything about it to my wife (who is the actual owner of the X-T20), and when I showed her some of the pictures that I had captured with the X-T30, she spotted it pretty quickly and commented, “This is more clear than what I get with my camera, like I’m actually there!” The out-of-camera JPEGs from the X-T30 remind me of post-processed RAW files from a Sigma Merrill captured at low ISO, which is saying a lot if you know anything about the Sigma Merrill cameras. I would bet that the JPEGs from the X-T30 can hold their own against post-processed RAW files from older full-frame cameras like the Nikon D610, or even newer full-frame cameras like the Canon 5D IV. I’m not going to do any side-by-side comparisons, but simply state that I believe the X-T30 delivers fantastic JPEGs that go beyond anything from any other APS-C camera (except for the X-T3, which it is equal to since they share the same sensor and processor).

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Horse & Girl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Massive crop from the above photo. I printed this crop and it looks surprisingly good.

So far I have only made a few prints from X-T30 exposures, but I do believe that 24″ x 36″ prints will look great even when viewed up close, and 40″ x 60″ prints will look good at a normal viewing distance but will show a some softness and pixelation when viewed up close. It seems like, if you use ISO 800 or less, set Sharpness to +4, set Noise Reduction to -4, use a sharp prime lens and don’t crop, the sky is the limit for printing sizes. The photographs from the X-T30 look great even when you pixel-peep.

While Fujifilm has clearly improved sharpening on the X-T30, I don’t feel the same about noise reduction, specifically at the higher ISOs. At ISO 3200 and below there’s no difference in noise between the X-T20 and X-T30, but above that there is, and I prefer the X-T20 when it comes to high-ISO color photographs (for black-and-white it doesn’t matter). In fact, I don’t really like ISO 12800 for color images on the X-T30 (which I found usable on the X-T20) as there are blotchy colors that just don’t look good. However, for grainy black-and-white photographs I find that ISO 25600 is good on the X-T30, which I didn’t find usable on the X-T20. My opinion is that high-ISO has worsened by one stop on the X-T30 for color photographs and improved by one stop for black-and-white.

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Bolsey Brownie – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – ISO 25600

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Church Seats Empty – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – ISO 12800

The X-T30 has several new JPEG features, including D-Range Priority, B&W toning, Eterna Film Simulation and Color Chrome Effect. They are all good tools for better achieving your desired look in-camera. I don’t know if any of them are particularly useful to the RAW shooter, but for the JPEG shooter you might appreciate these new features. I will give a short synopsis of each, but you can click on the links above for a more detailed explanation.

D-Range Priority is essentially a step beyond DR400. It produces a flat image to help combat high contrast scenes. The options are Weak, which might remind you of DR400 with both Shadow and Highlight set to -2, and Strong, which is appropriately titled. In very harsh lighting situations, this allows you to maximize the dynamic range of the sensor for your JPEGs beyond anything Fujifilm has offered before. It works, but it requires the right situation to work well. I’ve actually used it more than I thought I would, but it is definitely an every-once-in-a-while type thing.

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Green Tree On Red Cliff – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – D-Range Priority Weak – captured in harsh midday light.

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Clouds Over Canyonlands – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – toned +1 warm

The ability to tone your black-and-white images, either warm or cool, is a highly welcomed feature. I love it! It’s something I suggested awhile back, and now Fujifilm has included it on the X-T30. This is one of my favorite new features of the camera!

Eterna is the lowest saturated and lowest contrast color film simulation option on the X-T30. It’s the antithesis of Velvia. It has a lovely quality to it, but requires the right subject and light to be effective. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with it.

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Eating Crackers – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Color Chrome Effect Strong

Color Chrome Effect, which can be enabled for any film simulation, deepens the shade of bright colors so as to retain tonality. It’s intended for highly saturated scenes and pairs well with Velvia. There are two options, Weak and Strong, and they’re both pretty subtle, especially Weak. It’s a neat trick, but it’s not a big difference maker for many photographs.

For those who use camera-made JPEGs, the X-T30 is a better camera than the X-T20. Between the improved sharpening and the new features, I appreciate the results more on this camera than the old model. It’s not a night-and-day difference, but there is indeed a difference! Since the image is whats important, I’m thrilled with the upgrade. Fujifilm already had the best JPEG engine in the business with X-Trans III, and X-Trans IV is even better.

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Dead Desert Tree – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rock Castles – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

There are, of course, other changes, some of which are improvements and some are not. The focus joystick on the X-T30 is nice sometimes, but so is the D-Pad on the X-T20. I’m still undecided which I prefer, but I’m leaning towards the D-Pad. The best setup is both a joystick and D-Pad, but you’ll have to go with a higher-end model, such as the X-T3, to get that. The location of the Q button, which is now on the thumb grip, is also nice sometimes, and not so nice other times. I have accidentally pushed it more than I can count, but on the flip side it’s easy to find without looking.

What everyone has been talking about regarding the X-T30 is focus speed. It’s fast! It’s much quicker in dim-light situations than the X-T20. Fujifilm has improved focus tracking and facial recognition, as well. The X-T30 is undoubtedly better at auto-focus, but I never found the X-T20 to be lacking in this department. If your subject or style requires super quick auto-focusing, the X-T30 is the camera for you. If not, then the improved auto-focusing is more gee-whiz than anything that’s especially practical.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the X-T30 and X-T20 is video capability and quality. The X-T30 is a highly capable video camera that can be used by serious videographers. I’m not a video guy myself, so this upgrade doesn’t matter much to me, but for those who might use this camera for video, it’s a pretty big deal. If that’s you, you will definitely want to choose the X-T30 over the X-T20. I made a short test video just to demonstrate the quality.

There’s a lot more that I could talk about. I could discuss all of the different menu changes. I could give a rundown of everything on the stat sheet. I could add some graphs that show this or that. However, that’s not my style, so I won’t bore you. I want to give you my impressions of actually using the camera. In real world use, the Fujifilm X-T30 is an impressive little camera. Is it as good as the X-T3? No, but it’s not very far from it, and yet in a smaller, lighter and less expensive package. Is it better than the X-T20? Yes, in most regards, it is better, but is it worth the upgrade? If you already own an X-T20, unless you just need the improved video or auto-focus capabilities, I would not recommend upgrading. Use the money for a new lens or a photographic adventure instead. Are you trying to decide between the X-T20 and X-T30? If you rely on camera-made JPEGs, need super fast auto-focus, or shoot a lot of video, the X-T30 is the camera to get, otherwise save yourself a little money and buy the nearly as good X-T20.

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Desert River – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Water & Stone – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

To conclude, the Fujifilm X-T30 is a rare Goldilocks camera that anyone could be happy using. It’s not perfect, as no camera is, but it is very good. It has a lot of attractive features and delivers beautiful images. It’s a great example of just how far camera technology has come! The X-T30 has a very reasonable MSRP of $900 for the camera body. I have no doubt that it will be successful for Fujifilm, just as the X-T10 and X-T20 were before it. If you decide to buy the X-T30, I’m sure you’ll be quite happy with it. You can purchase the Fujifilm X-T30 from Amazon by clicking here, which helps to support this website. I hope that you found something in this review that has been useful to your camera purchase decision.

Below are example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using the Fujifilm X-T30.

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Balance Rock Evening – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Castles To The Sky – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Hill – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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River Colors – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Fresh Neighborhood Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Snowfall In Downtown Park City – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Castle Spire – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rock Balanced – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

B&W

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Monochrome Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Two Pots – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Collecting Rain – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Piano Wire – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Microwave – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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It’s Lit – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Storm Beyond The Frozen Lake – Echo Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Tree – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Color Chrome Effect

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Something that Fujifilm introduced on the X-T3 and included on the X-T30 (and is also found on the GFX line) is Color Chrome Effect. This is not a new film simulation, but an effect that can be added to any film simulation. What exactly is this new feature? How does it change your photos?

The inspiration for Color Chrome Effect came from one of Fujifilm’s films: Fortia 50. Fortia was a short-lived color reversal (slide) film that was basically Velvia on steroids. It had more saturation and more contrast than Velvia 50, which is saying a lot because Velvia is known for its saturation and contrast. What the engineers at Fujifilm did to create Fortia was deepen the color shades so as to retain tonality in highly saturated areas. That’s essentially what Color Chrome Effect does.

Take a look at these pictures to see how Color Chrome Effect changes the image:

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Color Chrome Effect Off

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Color Chrome Effect Weak

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Color Chrome Effect Strong

I don’t think that Color Chrome Effect is actually adding saturation or contrast (if it is, it’s only a little), but by deepening the colors and retaining color gradation, it appears to be doing just that. It’s a neat trick, especially when you have bright colors in a scene. It’s definitely useful, and I find it pairs with the Velvia film simulation particularly well. I like to also use it with Acros+R when shooting landscapes with a blue sky.

There are two Color Chrome Effect options: Weak and Strong. I like Strong more, but occasionally it is too strong, so I will go with Weak instead. I find that Weak looks nice with Classic Chrome, and so I have been using it with that film simulation. Each picture and shooting situation should be looked at individually to determine if Color Chrome Effect will benefit the photograph, and if Weak or Strong is the better choice.

While Color Chrome Effect is a slick feature, it’s not a game-changer. It’s not something that I imagine I will use with every image, but more when the situation calls for it. And perhaps the beauty of this effect is the subtle way it changes a picture. There’s not a dramatic difference between Off and Strong, let alone Off and Weak or Weak and Strong. I appreciate that. I’m still trying to decide how Color Chrome Effect might change any of my film simulation recipes. Once I figure that out I will let you know.

Below are some photographs I captured using Color Chrome Effect:

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Snowfall In Downtown Park City – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Hill – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Balance Rock Evening – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rock Castles – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monochrome Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Dead Desert Tree – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also:
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: D-Range Priority
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Eterna
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: B&W Toning

Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: B&W Toning

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One great new feature found on the Fujifilm X-T30, which first appeared on the X-T3, is the ability to tone black-and-white photographs in-camera, either warm or cool. Back in the days of film, in the darkroom you would dip your prints into certain chemicals to tone them. You could make them warm or cool or any number of different colors, including split toning, depending on the exact process and chemicals. I’m glad that Fujifilm has finally created the option to tone black-and-white photographs in-camera.

The reason you might want to tone a photograph is to add emotion to it. A warm image will give a different feel than a cool image. It’s part of the nonverbal communication of the photograph. In the days of film there may have been other benefits, such as archival, but that won’t apply to a digital image. I used sepia quite frequently myself, both for the warm tone and the archival benefit.

The X-T30 has the option to tone from +1 through +9 for warm, and -1 through -9 for cool, with 0 being not toned. I find that +9 and -9 are both much too much, and that +5 and -5 are the limits for my tastes. I think that plus or minus one is often enough, and plus or minus two is more than plenty for most pictures. Subtlety is often preferred when it comes to black-and-white toning. Below is an example of +5, 0, and -5:

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Toned +5 (warm)

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Set to 0 (not toned)

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Toned at -5 (cool)

It’s easy to see how toning an image changes how it feels. It’s also easy to see that plus or minus five is quite pronounced, and you can imagine how going beyond that would be even more so. My opinion is that the beauty of the toning that Fujifilm offers on the X-T30 can be found in the weaker application of it, such as plus or minus two or less. But everyone has different tastes, so you might prefer different settings than me.

Below are a few more examples of toned black-and-white photographs that I captured with the X-T30.

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Snow Falling Gently On The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wasatch Rain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Storm Beyond The Frozen Lake – Echo Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Piano Wire – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Filmed In Black & White – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Two Pots – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also:
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: D-Range Priority
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Eterna
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Color Chrome Effect

Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Eterna Film Simulation

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The X-T30 has Fujifilm’s latest film simulation: Eterna. The only other cameras that have Eterna are the X-H1 and the X-T3. This film simulation mimics the look of actual Eterna film, which was a motion picture film that also had a very limited run for still photography. You’ve likely seen movies and television shows that were captured on Eterna and just didn’t know it. I’ve never shot this film myself, so I have no personal experience with it.

I was quite excited to try the Eterna film simulation. It is the lowest contrast and lowest saturated color film simulation that Fujifilm offers, kind of the antithesis of Velvia. It definitely has a cinematic quality to it. It makes lovely pictures that have a softer feel, but I think it requires the right lighting and the right subject to really work. Below you’ll find a few images that I created using the Eterna film simulation. At some point, once I’ve played around with it more, I’ll make a film simulation recipe that uses Eterna.

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Johanna Eating A Cracker – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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What Do You Want? – Layton, UT – Fujifim X-T30 – Eterna

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Empty Church Pews – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

Last year I made an Eterna film simulation recipe, but one that doesn’t use Eterna. Instead, it uses PRO Neg. Std, and it’s designed for X-Trans III cameras that don’t have Eterna. It’s “Eterna” for those who don’t have Eterna. It was a guess, since I had not used the actual film or the film simulation, but had only seen some samples online. Now that I’ve had a chance to use the Eterna Film Simulation, I can say that it was close but not quite right. Below you’ll find my updated faux “Eterna” film simulation recipe:

PRO Neg. STD
Dynamic Range: DR400
Hightlight: +2
Shadow: -2
Color: -3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red and 0 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3

Here’s a comparison of real Eterna and fake Eterna:

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Eterna Film Simulation

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Faux “Eterna” using PRO Neg. Std

I debated about the Highlight setting. I feel that +2 is too much but +1 is not enough (if only there was a +1.5 option). I went with the brighter option, but +1 is a legitimate choice, so you’ll have to decide which you like better. I also debated on the Color setting, as -3 is almost not saturated enough, but I felt that -2 was too saturated, so there’s another choice that you’ll have to make. Another thing I went back and forth on was the White Balance Shift, as I think -1 Blue or even +1 Red and -1 Blue could be justified, so there’s another thing to consider. There are different settings that can be fine-tuned to taste, but I think overall this is pretty close to actual Eterna for those who don’t have Eterna.

See also:
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: D-Range Priority
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: B&W Toning
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Color Chrome Effect

First Quick Fujifilm X-T30 Impressions

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Fujifilm X-T30

My brand-new Fujifilm X-T30 showed up at the door yesterday evening, a whole day early. That was a pleasant surprise! I haven’t had a chance to use it a lot yet, but I have made some exposures and have some quick impressions that I wanted to give ahead of the full review and host of other articles that will begin to appear in the coming weeks and months. I know that some of you are interested in this camera and are eager to learn more about it.

The first thing that I noticed, which is the only real change to the body, is the focus joystick. This has been well-publicized and I don’t want to talk too much about it now, but I will say that there are both positives and negatives to this setup. I don’t love it or hate it. It is what it is, I guess. I know that I’ll get used to it quickly and I won’t even think about it anymore. I did want to mention that the placement of the Q menu button on the thumb grip, which is similar to how the X-E3 is designed, is a bit frustrating, as I have accidentally pressed it a number of times already.

I have not yet used the X-T30 for video, but between the impressive stat-sheet and extended menu options, it is clear that Fujifilm designed this camera to be a more serious option for videography. If you do a lot of video, the X-T30 is clearly an upgrade over the X-T20.

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Warm Light On A Cold Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

I wasn’t anticipating being overly impressed with the improved auto-focus system because I never found the X-T20 to be lacking in this area. It was plenty sufficient for my photography. However, the X-T30 is noticeably faster and tracks moving objects better, in the small tests that I have put it through so far. There’s a definitely a difference, and if you need fast auto-focus, the X-T30 is the camera you want to get. I would say that all-around the new camera is snappier than its predecessor.

If you shoot RAW, Fujifilm included several new features that won’t matter to you whatsoever. But if you shoot JPEG, these new features will help you get the polished look you want right out of camera. One is Color Chrome Effect, which I’ve been impressed with right from the start. It deepens colors and makes them more vibrant. It’s something that I want to play around with more, and it might be a feature that I use routinely. Another is toning black-and-white images, making them either warm or cool. I really appreciate this new addition and I’m glad that Fujifilm included it on the X-T30.

There are a number of other new things. The camera’s menu is noticeably longer. There’s a lot that I have yet to try. Heck, I’m still trying to set up the camera! While the outside of the X-T30 is quite similar to the X-T20, the inside has a lot of additions. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. This new model is an upgrade over the previous one, no doubt about it, but if you don’t shoot video, don’t require a super fast auto-focus system, and don’t rely on camera-made JPEGs, there’s not a lot here to justify choosing this camera over the X-T20. For me and my photography, I can immediately see the benefit of the X-T30. It’s a darn good camera, and I’ve only just begun to use it.

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Snow In The Bowl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Strongs Peak In The Distance – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Surviving Succulent – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Neon Red – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wasatch Rain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wasatch Front In March – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Arrival – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X-T30 Now Available

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I received an email last night that my Fujifilm X-T30 is on its way! The tracking information states that it will arrive sometime on Friday. Needless to say, I’m excited! You can expect many articles in the coming weeks and months regarding this camera and the X-Trans IV sensor.

If you didn’t pre-order, you might have a hard time getting this camera right away. Amazon has a limited quantity left, and they’re currently on back-order for the prime lens bundles (which, by the way, I understand that this great discount won’t last much longer). The charcoal version will be released on June 30.

Fujifilm X-T30 Body-Only Black $900
Fujifilm X-T30 Body-Only Silver $900
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 15-45mm + 50mm f/2 $1,150
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 15-45mm + 50mm f/2 $1,150
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 18-55mm + 50mm f/2 $1,450
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 23mm f/2 $1,050