Review: Fujifilm X-E4 — The Little Camera That Can

The X-E1 was my introduction to the world of Fujifilm cameras. I love the X-E line—the nearly perfect combination of form, function, size and price—it’s easy to understand why people are passionate about it. Fujifilm just released the latest model in this series: the X-E4. This new iteration has received plenty of praise and criticism. Fujifilm made some significant changes to this model, but do they equate to a better camera?

The Fujifilm X-E4, which retails for $850 for the body or $1,050 when combined with the new 27mm f/2.8 lens, is the fifth X-E camera. Fifth? Isn’t the X-E4 the fourth? In 2012 Fujifilm released the X-E1 (X-Trans I), a year later the X-E2 (X-Trans II), in 2016 the X-E2s (also X-Trans II), in 2017 the X-E3 (X-Trans III), and now in 2021 we have the X-E4 (X-Trans IV). Beginning with the X-E2s, this series marks the end of a sensor generation, and most likely the X-E4 will be the last camera with the X-Trans IV sensor.

Fujifilm knows how to make a beautiful camera, and the X-E line is one of their best looking. The X100, X-Pro and X-E series are the epitome of modern-retro fusion camera styling. People will mistake it for a vintage film camera. The X-E4 is indeed one of the loveliest cameras made today! The X100 and X-Pro lines are more premium, while X-E is more mid-level. This camera is not weather-sealed, and there’s no IBIS, which will certainly cause complaints, yet the X-E4 is a wonderful camera that is well-built and well-designed—a solid offering by Fujifilm, no doubt—but it’s not a premium model, so expectations should be kept reasonable.

The X-E4 is Fujifilm’s smallest interchangeable-lens camera with a viewfinder. It’s tiny! Really, though, it’s not all that much more compact than the X-T30 or especially the X-E3, but it is slightly smaller nonetheless. It’s pretty darn lightweight, too. This is why I bought the camera: I wanted a smaller and lighter option for travel, and the X-E4 fulfills that nicely.

Fujifilm’s promotional slogan for this camera is “Make more with less.” It’s clear that the design philosophy for the X-E4 was minimalism, something that I appreciate. They attempted to “achieve simplicity” with it, and indeed they did! But did they go too far? There are a number of buttons, switches, and wheels that have been removed from the camera body. Aside from the Shutter Speed and Exposure Compensation knobs and the On-Off/Shutter-Release switch/button, there are now just seven buttons, a joystick, and the front wheel—and that’s it! I wish that the M/C/S focus selector switch had not been axed (probably the most controversial decision), but I’m alright with all of the other design choices. It would have been a nice touch if Fujifilm had included an ISO ring around the shutter knob, but it’s not a big deal that they didn’t.

The X-E4 has an X-Trans IV sensor, which has been around for about two-and-a-half years now; however, Fujifilm has refreshed the firmware in new models, so this camera feels like a different generation than the X-T3 and X-T30. It’s more similar to the X-Pro3, X100V, and especially the X-T4, yet Fujifilm tweaked it a little, so it’s not exactly the same as those cameras, either. One difference is that literally everything in the menu can be (or, really, must be) set in the custom presets. There are some advantages and disadvantages to this, and it definitely takes longer to set up (there are a couple of new tools to potentially help with this); overall I feel like this was a good change that I hope Fujifilm carries forward into future models.

One positive side effect of this firmware change is that it’s now possible to program eight film simulation recipes into the camera. Yes, eight! There’s still the C1-C7 custom presets that can be accessed through the Q Menu, but whatever is programmed into the IQ Menu is remembered separately from the custom presets. As you scroll through the C1-C7 presets in the Q Menu, you additionally have the IQ Menu settings, which are designated by a P, A, S or M, (depending on the shooting mode you are in) in the Q Menu. This eighth “custom preset” cannot be named, but it’s nice to be able to store another recipe in-camera. Also, the very confusing “Base” designation is now gone.

One negative side effect of the firmware change is that the focus mode, whether Manual, Continuous or Single, must be set from within the menu, and must be programmed with each custom preset. I shoot in Single-AF 80% of the time, so that’s what I have it set to, and most of the time this works well. But, when I need to change it (I have a button programmed to quickly access this), it’s not remembered by the camera, so when I adjust to a different custom preset it’s back to Single-AF, when maybe I want Continuous or Manual instead. When I’m shooting in something other than Single-AF, I find myself having to sometimes reset it to the focus mode that I want to use, which can be a little inconvenient and a bit frustrating. The X-E4 does have the ability to automatically save changes to presets, which is a potential solution, but I can foresee some possible problems with that, so I haven’t tried it. I’m hoping that I’m just overlooking some simple solution to the problem, and this will be a complete nonissue once I figure it out. This curious design choice might be the biggest reason why people don’t buy the X-E4, and the inclusion of a M/C/S focus selector switch would have avoided it altogether. It’s just unfortunate, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me because most of the time the camera operates just as I want it to. It’s only a problem every once in awhile.

The X-E4 has a flat design with no bulges for grips. You can buy an aftermarket grip and thumb rest, which is supposed to help with holding the camera, yet adds a little girth and weight. I have had no issues holding the camera, so I have no plans to use those. I might be in the minority with this opinion, but I actually prefer the flat design; however, some people won’t like it, and this might be a reason to avoid the X-E4, depending on your preferences.

The electronic viewfinder is plenty good enough for me—I believe it’s the same one found in the X-T30. The rear screen is a touch-flip. I actually have the touch capability disabled because accidentally touching it, which happens often, does annoying things. The flip ability is nice, but I have never moved it to the “selfie” position—only 90° for waist-level shooting. Maybe someday the full flip will come in handy.

Image quality on the X-E4, like all X-Trans IV cameras, is outstanding. I said about the X100V, and it’s just as true (if not more true) with the X-E4, is that it’s like shooting with an endless roll of film. Actually, it’s like shooting with up to eight endless rolls of film. You can capture as many frames as you wish on each roll, and change the film anytime you want. Amazing!

The video specs are pretty darn good on the X-E4. I’ve not used the camera much for video yet, but I have no doubts that it would be plenty good enough for most people and most purposes. Most likely it has a similar overheating issue as the X100V, but I’ve not heard any reports or experienced overheating myself. Plan to keep clips under five minutes in length, and give the camera a break every now and then, and it should not be a problem at all. If you are serious about video, I don’t think you’d want the X-E4 as your primary cinema camera, but I believe that it would make a solid second body.

With product reviews, people often look for recommendations. Should I upgrade from the X-E3? Should I choose the X-T30 or X-S10 instead of the X-E4? What should I buy? I can’t tell you what decisions you should make, but, for me, I really like the X-E4 as an interchangeable-lens companion to the X100V for travel. That’s where this camera makes the most sense to me, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if it makes sense for you and how you might want to use it.

For travel photography, I’m trying to go smaller, lighter, and simpler, and a key component to that is the Fujifilm X-E4. I really appreciate the redesign. It’s not perfect—no camera is—but it’s pretty darn close to perfect for what I want it use it for. The X-E4, along with a handful of compact lenses, such as the new 27mm f/2.8 that came with it, fits nicely into a small camera bag, right next to the X100V. The X-E4 really is the little camera that can, and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black + 27mm f/2.8    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver + 27mm f/2.8   Amazon   B&H

I captured the photographs below using my Fujifilm X-E4 on a recent trip to Arizona:

Sitting Above Horseshoe Bend – Glen Canyon Nat. Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pergear 10mm
Three Palms – Sun City West, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
That Way – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
SS At 35th – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Old Cars & Tires – Kamas, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Trash Cart – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
American Motorcycle – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Spring Seeding – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pentax-110 50mm
Lemon Tree – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Blossoming Red – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Dark Blossoms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & 7artisans 50mm
Hanging Light Bulb – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Roundabout – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Coffee – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Two Thirty – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 27mm

See also: My Fujifilm Gear Page

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Review: Fujifilm GFX-50S + Fujinon GF 23mm F/4

Fujifilm recently sent me a GFX-50S and Fujinon 23mm f/4 lens to borrow for a few weeks. I’ve been wanting to try GFX ever since it came out, but it’s expensive and well outside of my budget, so I never had the chance. Now, thanks to Fujifilm North America, I was able to give the GFX-50S a try—a dream come true! It was very difficult to mail the camera and lens back because I really wanted to keep it.

The Fujifilm GFX-50S is not a new camera. In fact, it’s four-years-old now. The model sent to me has been circulated to many other photographers and countless reviewers, and you’ve likely seen this exact camera before. So much has already been said about it. I want this review to be different than all the others, which will be a difficult accomplishment; I won’t go into all the technical details that are easily found online. Also, with the release of the GFX100S, I believe that the GFX-50S will likely be discontinued soon.

My perspective for this review is that I’m a JPEG-shooter who uses Fujifilm’s APS-C X-series cameras, something regular readers of this blog are well aware of. Shooting JPEGs on GFX might seem strange, but you might be surprised by the number of people who are doing just that. I’m quite happy by the image quality produced by Fujifilm’s smaller sensors, but I’ve been fascinated by Fujifilm’s medium-format line since this camera was announced. I was curious what the differences are between Fujifilm X and GFX, and whether the advantages are worth the significantly steeper sticker price that comes with the larger sensor.

In this review I want to cover are some myths regarding medium-format photography. There are some things circulating around the internet that are not true or are only partially true, so I think it’s important to discuss these and set the record straight.

Myth #1: You get a much more shallow depth-of-field with medium-format than APS-C. There actually is some truth to this myth, but it’s not completely correct. It’s a mathematical calculation related to crop factor, but essentially, all things being, um, equivalently equal, medium-format will have a more shallow depth-of-field than APS-C with the same aperture. But things aren’t always equal. Lets look at a couple examples. The GF 80mm f/1.7, which is full-frame equivalent to 63mm, cannot produce quite as small of a depth-of-field as the XF 50mm f/1, which is full-frame equivalent to 75mm; but if you compare that same GF 80mm lens to the XF 35mm f/1.4, which is full-frame equivalent to 52mm, the GF lens is capable of a smaller depth-of-field. So, yes, it is possible to achieve a more shallow depth-of-field with GFX, and, yes, it is possible to achieve a more shallow depth-of-field with X-Trans, just depending on the lenses being used; however, most GF lenses have a maximum aperture of f/2.8, f/3.5 or f/4, so if you’re trying to take advantage of the potential shallow depth-of-field advantage of medium-format, your lens choices are the GF 80mm f/1.7 or the GF 110mm f/2. I think, otherwise, the advantage disappears because there are number of XF lenses that have larger maximum apertures than their GFX counterparts, and can produce a similar or even sometimes smaller depth-of-field.

Myth #2: GFX is better for low-light photography. There definitely is a clear high-ISO advantage that the GFX-50S has over X-Trans. It’s at least one stop, probably more. But, as was discussed in Myth #1, GF lenses often have smaller maximum apertures than XF lenses, which means that you’re often going to be using higher ISOs with GFX cameras than X-Trans cameras in the same situation. In other words, it’s a good thing that high-ISO is better, because you’re going to need it.

Myth #3: The resolution advantage of GFX over X-Trans is massive. I’ve never used either of the 100MP cameras; however, the 50MP sensor on the GFX-50S is fantastic—full of fine, crisp details—and is basically double the resolution of X-Trans III and IV. It’s a pixel-peeper’s dream! But is there a practical advantage to all that resolution? I printed some pictures captured with the GFX-50S and some identical pictures captured with an X-T30 to see what differences there might be. What I discovered is that you need to print 24” x 36” to really notice, and even then it’s not a night-and-day difference, and without closely comparing the prints side-by-side it’s not obvious, as the X-T30 images held up pretty well. If you aren’t printing at least that big, or cropping deeply, the resolution advantage is essentially meaningless. Those who need 50MP know who they are, so if you’re not sure, it most likely means that you don’t.

This isn’t a myth, but worth noting nonetheless: the GFX-50S isn’t quick. There’s a pause, similar to using Clarity on newer X-Trans IV cameras, after capturing an exposure. It takes a moment for the camera to write an image to the card. The GFX-50S is a camera to take your time with. Despite the pause similar to using Clarity, the JPEG options on this camera are more similar to the X-T3 and X-T30, except that it does have the Classic Negative film simulation.

Something that I did really appreciate about the GFX-50S is the dynamic range. Highlights don’t look much different than X-Trans, but there’s a noticeable difference in the shadows. Shadows in X-Trans JPEGs are a little more like slide film, while shadows in GFX-50S JPEGs are a little more like print film. I very much enjoyed how the GFX camera renders pictures, even though it’s only subtly different than X-Trans.

I did mention that this was a review of both the GFX-50S camera and the GF 23mm F/4 R LM WR lens. This lens is ultra-wide, with a full-frame equivalent focal-length of 18mm. There’s some distortion, so don’t expect straight lines to be straight, especially toward the edges of the frame. It’s super sharp, as you’d expect it to be, and a great option for dramatic landscapes. I don’t imagine that this would be very many people’s choice for a first lens, but it definitely would be an excellent addition to the landscape photographer’s bag.

The GFX-50S is an excellent camera that I would love to own. The body retails for $5,500, and the 23mm lens retails for $2,600, bringing the total for this kit to $8,100, which is a lot. That’s well outside of my budget. If I often made large prints and my income came from those prints, this would likely be money well spent. Otherwise, my opinion is that the GFX-50S is overkill for most people and most purposes. Those who would benefit from this camera already know who they are. If I had thousands of dollars in my pocket to spend on gear and affording the GFX-50S was no problem, I still wouldn’t buy it, because I’d rather use that money on experiences than cameras. But if I did own the GFX-50S, I’d be very happy with it, because the images that it produces are so nice. I’m grateful that Fujifilm loaned me the camera and lens, and, while it was difficult to send back because I enjoyed it so much, it did make me appreciate even more just how good X-Trans cameras are. GFX is capable of better image quality, no doubt, but Fujifilm X is still quite excellent—almost as good as the GFX-50S—which is nothing short of amazing.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm GFX-50S  Amazon  B&H
Fujinon GF 23mm f/4  Amazon  B&H

Example photographs, captured with the Fujifilm GFX-50S and Fujinon GF 23mm F/4 R LM WR lens:

Lake Ripples – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Uncertain Road – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
The Causeway Road – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Tiny Niagara – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Reeds & Birds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Brown Among Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
January Forest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Forest Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Creekside Trail – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Backlit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Flasher – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Tunnel Silhouette – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Frozen Marsh Water – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Ice Tracks in the Reeds – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Marsh Ice Tracks – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Lookout Tower – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Marsh Boardwalk – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Reeds & Grass – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Winter Marsh – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Twisted – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Sky Railing – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Big Sky Over Yellow House – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm

See also: GFX Film Simulation Recipes

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Help Fuji X Weekly

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Fujifilm GFX100S

Fujifilm recently announced the 102-megapixel medium-format GFX100S. This camera is already making big waves because of the the high-resolution sensor and because of the “small” price-tag of “only” $6,000 (body only). A lot of people are talking about this upcoming camera—in fact, I visited a local camera store, and the GFX100S was a hot topic that was being discussed by those in the store.

Back in June I published an article, Shrinking Camera Market: What Fujifilm Should Do In 2021 & Beyond, and I suggested that Fujifilm should make a camera like the GFX100S (although I said it should be rangefinder-styled). I think it’s a good move for Fujifilm, and this camera will be highly successful. Already preorders have apparently exceeded expectations, and you might have to exercise some patience if you want to get your hands on one and you didn’t preorder on the day it was announced.

I don’t have a lot of experience with GFX cameras. Fujifilm recently loaned me a GFX-50S, which is four-years-old now and surely about to be discontinued. I’m grateful to have been give the opportunity to briefly try a GFX camera—a dream come true, really! For the most part the benefit of medium format is only truly realized if you crop really deeply or print very large. Still, I hope to one day try the GFX100S myself, although it won’t likely be anytime soon, and will likely only happen if Fujifilm lets me borrow one for a few weeks. The GFX100S, even though priced very low for what it is, is still significantly outside of my budget. I’m sure many of you can relate.

The GFX-50S that Fujifilm sent me has been used by so many other photographers. If you’ve read reviews of this camera or watched YouTube videos about it, you’ve probably seen this exact camera before. It’s difficult to know precisely who has used it—there are a lot of people who have reviewed it and probably a couple different bodies floating around—but I know for certain that Julien Jarry is one because he put a sticker on the bottom. Well played!

Julien is a talented photographer and videographer, and a friend of mine. I had the pleasure to photograph with him this last summer out at Antelope Island State Park, and you’ll notice him in a couple of pictures in the Kodak Portra 400 v2 film simulation recipe. It’s an honor to use the same gear that Julien used.

If someday Fujifilm loans me a GFX100S, you know that I’ll publish several articles about it on the Fuji X Weekly blog, and create some film simulation recipes, too! It might be a long time before that happens, if it ever happens. I hope it does, and I will be grateful for the opportunity, because I’m certain that the GFX100S is an amazing camera.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm GFX100S B&H

Fujifilm X-E4 Thoughts….

I wasn’t intending to write this article. I had other things that I wanted to talk about. There are a couple new film simulation recipes I’ve created that I plan to share. I want to give my thoughts on the new GFX100S. I want to talk more about the GFX-50S that Fujifilm sent me to use. There are a couple of lens reviews that I’ve been procrastinating on. The Android version of the Fuji X Weekly App is edging closer to being finished. But, the upcoming Fujifilm X-E4 has been turning inside my brain all day, so that’s why I’m writing about it instead.

I think a lot of people had high hopes and expectations for the Fujifilm X-E4, and nobody really predicted what it ended up being. It’s like when the X-Pro3 was announced, and everyone was scratching their heads. With the X-Pro3, even though so many didn’t understand it, I think there was a pretty large curiosity towards it, and a lot of people came around to it after awhile. The X-E4 has a similar lack of understanding surrounding it, but it doesn’t carry that same curiosity, so it will likely be fairly ignored. It’s already been overshadowed by other gear announcements.

There was a post I published back in July called Shrinking Camera Market: What Fujifilm Should Do in 2021 & Beyond. I suggested that Fujifilm should make a less-expensive 100MP GFX camera. Guess what? They did! Another thing I suggested is that Fujifilm should do more to differentiate the X-E4 from the X-T30 (and the eventual X-T40) because the X-E3 and the X-T20 were so very similar (aside from camera shape). Well, it looks like they did that, too. My apologies.

The question is: what was Fujifilm thinking when they designed the X-E4? What was their vision? That’s tough to know until the tell us, if they tell us, as they might not. Until then, we’re left guessing, and most of the guesses seems to be along the lines of, “They cheapened the X-E line.” I really don’t believe that was their intention.

As I’ve thought about this, I believe the X-E4 is intended to be a minimalist’s “just shoot” camera. Looking at all of the aspects of an X-E3, the designers asked themselves, “Is this necessary?” If the answer was yes, it stayed, perhaps repositioned or redesigned. If the answer was no, to the chopping block it went! I question if the rear wheel and focus-type-selector were really unnecessary, because I think they’re both quite handy. But someone obviously didn’t think so. An ISO dial on the shutter knob (like the X100V) would have been a great addition, but that didn’t happen, unfortunately. I do believe the design of the X-E4 was very intentional, and there was a purpose to the decisions, even if I don’t fully understand them myself.

Besides being a “just shoot” camera, I think the X-E4 was intended to be a smaller pocketable-ish camera, like the X100V or the X70. Remember the X70? It was the short-lived baby-brother to the X100T, with an 18.5mm fixed-lens. Sony suddenly stopped production of the X-Trans II sensor, which the X70 used, and that killed the camera. The X-Trans III sensor was too hot to place inside the small X70 body, so an X80 never happened. Is the X-E4 actually an interchangeable-lens X80? Maybe. Attach one of Fujifilm’s pancake lenses—the 18mm f/2 or 27mm f/2.8—to the X-E4 and it could pass as an X70 successor. It wasn’t very long ago that Fujifilm said there would be no X-E4, that the X-E3 was the end of the line, so maybe the initial vision of this camera wasn’t X-E at all. Just a thought.

Where I think the Fujifilm X-E4 makes the most sense is as a lightweight, compact, carry-everywhere camera. It could nicely complement the X100V. It might be a good option to replace an aging X70. Or, if you never purchased an X70 but always wanted to, this might be a solid alternative. Maybe the XF10 never interested you because of its sluggish performance, Bayer sensor, and PASM dial, but you’d love a compact X-Trans option. Well, now you have one.

My opinion is that if you can make peace with the minimalistic redesign, and you get yourself the 18mm f/2 and/or the 27mm f/2.8—maybe even use a wrist strap instead of a neck strap—this camera could be a very nice travel/street/have-with-you-wherever-you-go option. Is it perfect? No, but what camera is?

Like a lot of you, I’m disappointed that the Fujifilm X-E4 isn’t the camera that many of us thought it could or should be, but as I’ve pondered what it is exactly that Fujifilm created, I can see its place and it does make some sort of sense. If you embrace it for what it is, and perhaps think of it more as an interchangeable-lens X80 than an X-E camera, than I think the X-E4 could actually be a wonderful and fun option.

I say all of this, but I’ve never used or even held an X-E4, so this rant should be taken with a grain of salt. I was initially bummed by the camera because my expectations were off, but now that I’ve had time to dwell on it I’m actually beginning to warm up to it. I think the X-E4, like many of the X-E cameras that came before, will go under the radar and will be under appreciated, but for those who own one, it will be a joy to use.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only)   Amazon  B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 (w/27mm f/2.8)   Amazon  B&H

New: Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm just announced the brand-new X-E4. This will be the smallest interchangeable-lens camera in the X series, and comes in at a modest $849 (body only) price tag. Plenty has been said about it, and I wanted to add my own quick opinions.

The X-E4 is a camera that I am excited for. Why? Because my Fujifilm journey began with the X-E1, and I love the X-E line. I appreciate the size and design. The X-E4 is the X-Pro3’s and X100V’s little brother; sometimes little brothers get overlooked. I could be wrong, but I bet this will be last camera with the X-Trans IV sensor, and the next Fujifilm X camera will feature a new X-Trans V sensor.

This latest version of the X-E camera, which will be released on March 11, is the smallest. It’s also the first with a tilting screen. There are some curious design choices. I’m not surprised that the D-Pad was removed, but I am surprised that the back wheel and some other buttons have been taken away. Fujifilm really embraced a minimalist camera back, which I suppose fits a philosophy that helps to separate this camera from the X-T30 and X-S10, but I wonder if that was actually a good idea. I’m personally disappointed the shutter speed knob doesn’t have an ISO dial like the X100V. It’s still such a beautiful camera body!

The GFX100S, which was announced the same day and really has received most of the attention online, and perhaps deservedly so, was given a new film simulation, called Nostalgic Negative. Strangely, the X-E4 won’t have this new film simulation (but it will have Classic Negative and Eterna Bleach Bypass). This puzzles me because 1) my assumption is that the majority of GFX users shoot RAW and not JPEG (although there are certainly many who do) and 2) this could have been a selling point for the X-E4 and would have generated more excitement for the camera. It would have made more sense to me to have included this film simulation on both cameras, or if it was going to be on only one it should have been the X-E4. My guess is that we’ll start seeing Nostalgic Negative on whatever X series camera comes after the X-E4.

I haven’t preordered the X-E4, but I’m considering selling my X-T30 and replacing it with the X-E4. I don’t think that’s necessarily an upgrade (maybe arguably in some sense, and maybe arguably a downgrade in some other sense, but mostly roughly a lateral move overall), but I just love the X-E line. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do.

The X-E4 is a compact, lightweight Fujifilm X camera that embraces minimalism, simplicity and retro goodness. It seems like such a fun camera that’s especially great for travel or street photography. Introduced at the same time is the new 27mm f/2.8 pancake. This one is weather sealed (the X-E4 isn’t) and has an aperture ring (both are great upgrades!) yet with the same great image quality, so it’s a lens that I hope to add to my collection someday. You can buy the X-E4 bundled with the Fujinon 27mm pancake lens for $1,050.

If you’d like to preorder the camera, you can use the links below:

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only) Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 (w/27mm f/2.8) Amazon B&H

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

New: Fujifilm X-S10

It seems like everyone is talking about the newly announced Fujifilm X-S10, an upcoming mid-range interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera with in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This new camera will be released on November 19 for $1,000 for the body-only.

The X-S10 is a new line, not just a new camera. Fujifilm obviously didn’t listen to my advice (I highly doubt they ever saw it). Really, Fujifilm should have added IBIS to the X-T30 and called it the X-T40, at least that’s what I suggested. Instead they made a new camera from scratch (is that what the “S” stands for?). Internally, the X-S10 is an X-T4 (Fujifilm’s high-end model). Externally, this is an X-T200 (Fujifilm’s low-end model) with a grip (I assume the grip is for heat dispersion more than anything). It seems like they put a Porsche engine inside a VW Bug.

The X-S10 is the X-T4, except smaller, lighter, not weather sealed, with only one memory card slot, and in a body similar to the X-T200 (but with a hand-grip). You get a pretty darn solid camera for a pretty decent price. But, you also get a PASM dial instead of the shutter and ISO dials. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? On the inside the X-S10 is a great camera, no doubt about it!

I don’t like the name, though. Did Fujifilm put their hand in a Scrabble bag and pull out an S? What does the S stand for? When I think of S10, I think of cheap Chevy trucks with questionable reliability and presumably lots of rust. That’s not a good association! Of course, if you say the full name, it sounds like “Excess 10” which perhaps is appropriate but not necessarily great from a marketing point-of-view. Maybe the S stands for Sony-killer, which is what I think Fujifilm hopes that this camera becomes. It seems pretty obvious that the Fujifilm X-S10 and the Sony A6500 will be direct competitors. The A6500 is aesthetically uninspiring, so despite my misgivings about the X-S10’s body design, it still wins hands down over the Sony model, in my opinion. Most likely, the S stands for stabilized, as this camera joins a small list of Fujifilm cameras that have IBIS.

Interestingly, Fujifilm also announced a new 10-24mm f/4 lens, which is simply an update to a lens they’ve had for awhile. The new version is weather-sealed. There are a few other small improvements, but weather sealing is the big one. Apparently at some point you’ll be able to buy the X-S10 bundled with the new 10-24mm lens, but the X-S10 isn’t weather sealed, so you might be better off buying the old version of the lens instead, if you plan to use it with that camera.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-S10 Amazon B&H

Fujifilm X100V New Feature: Clarity

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The Fujifilm X100V has a new feature called Clarity. It actually first appeared on the X-Pro3, and it’s also on the new X-T4, but the X100V is the first camera that I’ve used with it. I’m always very happy whenever Fujifilm gives us new JPEG options, as it allows me to  more accurately achieve the look that I’m after in-camera. I can create better film simulation recipes when I’m given more tools, and the X100V indeed has some new tools.

If you’ve ever done RAW processing, you’ve probably seen a Clarity tool within your software of choice. Maybe you use it all of the time, maybe you’ve never touched it. What exactly Clarity does with each software is slightly different, but the gist of it is that it increases mid-tone contrast, while (mostly) leaving the highlights and shadows untouched. This makes the image appear more contrasty while not blocking up shadows or blowing out highlights. Because Clarity often adds micro-contrast (contrast to fine lines), it can make an image appear to be sharper and more finely detailed than it actually is. Some software programs include sharpening within Clarity. Too much Clarity can often make a picture look unnatural and “over baked”.

I like the idea of having a Clarity option on my Fujifilm camera, but I was really unsure of how it would look. Is it actually a good tool? Does it produce pleasing results? Where should I set it on my camera?

In the manual Fujifilm states that Clarity increases or decreases “definition” while minimally altering highlights and shadows. The camera has the options of -5 to +5, with 0 being the default setting. Let’s take a look at some examples to see what exactly this new feature does to photographs.

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Clarity -5

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +5

You can see from the photographs above that there’s a noticeable difference between Clarity set at -5, 0 and +5. There’s a significant contrast difference between the three pictures. Even highlights and shadows are affected. The first picture looks “soft” while the third picture boarders being “over-baked” with too much definition. Let’s take a closer look at some crops, and add -2 and +2 while we’re at it.

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -2

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +2

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Clarity +5

When you look closely, you can appreciate using minus Clarity for softening skin. At -2 there’s a small difference, but by -5 there’s a big difference. The X100V has a new lens, and it’s sharper, especially when wide open. Some people (myself included) appreciated the softness of f/2 on the old X100 series lens for artistic effect, but the X100V is tack sharp across the board at all apertures. However, -5 Clarity will give a similar softness at any aperture as the old X100 lens does at f/2. Portrait photographers might especially appreciate selecting a minus Clarity option, and somewhere in the range of -2 to -5 seems to be nice.

On the other side, +5 Clarity is definitely too much for some circumstances, particularly portraits. Even +2 might be pushing it in this case, although the results are acceptable in my book. I find that minus Clarity is better when skin is involved, but you can use plus Clarity for more dramatic portraits, although I’d limit it to no higher than +3, unless you’re trying to accentuate something like wrinkled skin and a greying beard, in which case up to +5 might be acceptable. Outside of portraits, I like adding Clarity, and I find that +2 or +3 is a good range for me.

Here are some more examples:

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -3

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +3

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Clarity +5

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -3

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +3

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Clarity +5

The difference between -5 and +5 Clarity is pretty significant, but the in-between differences aren’t huge. It’s difficult to notice a plus or minus one difference. Going up or down two spots is a bit more obvious, although if you’re not closely comparing side-by-side examples you might not pick up on it. I think you’re perfectly fine selecting any of the Clarity options, but for portraits I’d consider using minus Clarity, unless you’re want a dramatic portrait look. For everything else adding a little Clarity helps the picture to pop more. I personally like Clarity set at +2.

Because Clarity adds contrast and does affect highlights and shadows, if you go higher than +3 Clarity, consider decreasing Highlight and Shadow by one to compensate. Also, if you go lower than -3 Clarity, consider increasing Highlight and Shadow by one to compensate. The X-T4 can do .5 Highlight and Shadow adjustments (please, Fujifilm, update the X100V to allow this, too), and that’s probably closer to what you need to compensate for the increased or decreased contrast due to selecting the far ends of Clarity. Just be aware that when you change the Clarity setting, you are changing the picture’s contrast.

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+3 Clarity

Something that I need to point out is that when Clarity is set to anything other than 0, it takes the camera longer to save the file. Fujifilm actually recommends setting Clarity to 0 and adding it later by reprocessing the RAW files in-camera. If you need to shoot quickly, this might be a good option, but if you’re not in a hurry, I’d just set it to what you want it to be so that you don’t have to change it later. Yes, it does slow you down, but if you’re not in a hurry, it’s not a big deal.

In my opinion Fujifilm did a good job of implementing Clarity on the X100V. It’s a useful tool. Those who appreciated the softness of f/2 on the older models will appreciate using minus Clarity on the new model. Those who want to add just a little more punch to their pictures will like using plus Clarity. Each situation might benefit from a Clarity adjustment, and you’ll have to decide which setting is the best for the scene. Whether it’s adding or subtracting Clarity, this is a feature you’ll find me using often. Fujifilm’s inclusion of Clarity on the X100V is something that I’m extremely happy with.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

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World’s Smallest SLR: Pentax Auto 110 + Adapting Tiny Lenses to Fujifilm X Cameras

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The Pentax Auto 110 is the smallest interchangeable-lens single-lens-reflex camera ever produced. Never heard of it? That’s OK, I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago. This little camera was introduced in 1978, and the Pentax Auto 110 system was manufactured until the mid-1980’s. In all, there were two SLRs and six lenses made by Pentax, plus several accessories, so this was indeed a complete camera system.

The Pentax Auto 110 camera is extraordinarily tiny! It fits into the palm of my hand, and looks more like a toy than a real camera. You might think that it was intended for kids, but it wasn’t. What allows this camera to be so small is that it uses 110 film, which is quite a bit smaller than 35mm film. In fact, the frame is similar in size to a Micro 4/3 sensor. If you aren’t familiar, 110 film comes in a cartridge that’s easy to load and unload, designed for the novice. The tiny film allowed Pentax to design an extraordinarily small camera system.

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Kodak introduced 110 film in the early 1970’s. They didn’t intend for it to be for serious photographers, and only made cheap entry-level point-and-shoot cameras for it. Kodak never figured that anyone who had more than a basic understanding of photography would ever be interested in using 110 film. It was great for those who knew very little about photography, those who valued simplicity over quality. Pentax, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to create a miniature interchangeable-lens camera aimed at a more advanced user. Perhaps the compact size of the gear would be enough for photographers to overlook the inferior film format.

The Pentax Auto 110 was only moderately successful. It sold enough copies for Pentax to continue to market the system for seven or eight years. The first camera, the Auto 110, was replaced by the slightly improved Auto 110 Super in 1982. Initially Pentax made three lenses for the camera, all very tiny, and in the early 1980’s they introduced three additional small lenses. As the name implies, the camera was fully automatic, except for focus, which was manual. Around 1985 the system was discontinued, and not long afterwards forgotten.

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Two things gave the Pentax Auto 110 camera new life in recent years: the lomography movement and the ability to use old lenses on new cameras via adapters. As 110 film became less and less popular, it was discontinued altogether by major manufacturers. Around 10 years ago Lomography stepped in and began selling it, making 110 film somewhat trendy, which increased the popularity of cameras like the Pentax Auto 110. Because 110 film is similar in size to Micro 4/3 sensors, the Asahi lenses made for the Pentax 110 Auto became in-demand for use with Olympus and Panasonic MFT cameras.

When I saw the little lenses, I wondered if they could be adapted to Fujifilm X cameras. Could I even mount these tiny lenses to my X-T30 and X-T1? A quick search revealed that Fotasy makes an inexpensive Pentax 110 to Fujifilm X adapter. But would it work? Would the lenses cover the frame? After all, APS-C sensors are larger than a 110 film frame. Are the lenses any good? I wasn’t sure the answer to these questions, but I gave it a shot and purchased an adapter and a Pentax Auto 110 camera with three lenses.

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These three lenses, which are 18mm, 24mm and 50mm, all have an aperture fixed at f/2.8. You cannot stop down. It’s f/2.8 and be there! They are manual focus only. They’re pretty darn small, much smaller than any APS-C or full-frame lens that I’ve ever used! If you want something small and lightweight, these are the lenses for you! They’re absurdly and almost comically small when mounted to a Fujifilm X camera. The smallest of the three is the 24mm, which is likely the littlest lens in the world that you can attach to a Fujifilm camera.

I gave these lenses a chance. I attached them to my Fujifilm camera and went out to shoot. I wanted to put them to the test. One thing that stood out to me is that these lenses make the camera feel lighter and smaller, because it is! Even the largest, the 50mm, is smaller than other lenses I’ve used before. You can have one lens on the camera, plus two in a snack-size ziplock bag in your pocket, and you’ve got a three-lens kit. This setup is good for travel because it is out of the way, with the two spare lenses taking up almost no space in your pocket.

18mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 18mm f/2.8 was the lens that I was most excited about. I thought, of them all, this one has the most potential to be useful. Because of the fixed aperture, I knew that depth-of-field would be narrow on all of the lenses, but it would be largest on this lens because of its wide focal-length, which is full-frame equivalent to 27mm on Fujifilm X cameras. The further towards infinity that you focus, the larger the depth-of-field becomes. When focused at the close end, depth-of-field is indeed small, and I was shocked by just how good bokeh (the quality of the out-of-focus portion of the image) is on this lens.

Surprisingly, this 18mm has good coverage on the APS-C sensor. There’s some pronounced vignetting and corner softness, which you can easily crop out or leave for artistic effect. Sharpness is good at the center, but the lens becomes less sharp as you move away from the center. There’s some obvious chromatic aberrations and highlights tend to have an Orton-ish glow. This lens might be good for “dreamy” pictures. Overall, I didn’t like the 18mm nearly as much as I thought I might, and I didn’t use it as often as the other two lenses.

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Trees by a Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Seed Pods – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Blooms on a Branch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Tree Branch Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Countryside – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Mountain, Trees & Meadow – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Trail & Tall Trees – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Boys on Scooters – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Big Leaf – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

24mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 24mm f/2.8 is the smallest of the three lenses, and the smallest interchangeable lens that I’ve ever used. It’s unbelievably tiny! I doubt that you’ll find a smaller lens that can be attached to your Fujifilm camera. Because of the focal length, which is full-frame equivalent to 36mm, this lens has a narrow depth-of-field, especially when focused at the near end. Bokeh is great!

Like the 18mm, this lens covers the frame, but there’s some obvious vignetting and corner softness. Center sharpness is good, but the lens becomes less sharp as you move away from the center of the frame. There are some chromatic aberrations and highlights tend to glow, but neither are as pronounced as the 18mm. Overall I liked the 24mm lens more than the 18mm, but it didn’t impress me enough to want to use it all of the time.

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Rural Roofline – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Coca-Cola Machine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Mini Mart – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Corner Building – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Trail Parking – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Barbed Wire Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Country Thistle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Ball Flower in a Garden – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Lit Leaf – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f.2.8

50mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 50mm f/2.8 is the lens that I thought I’d like the least. Why? Because I already have several great 50mm (or near 50mm) lenses that I really like. Because of the focal length, which is full-frame equivalent to 75mm on Fujifilm X cameras, this lens has the most narrow depth-of-field of the three, especially when focused towards the near end, where it’s very thin. Once again, bokeh is great. Lens flare, if you like lens flare, can be downright amazing!

While there is some light falloff near the corners, this lens definitely has 100% coverage on APS-C sensors. It’s sharp in the center, and becomes less sharp towards the corners, although not quite as bad as the other two lenses. I did find some chromatic aberrations, but it’s pretty minor, especially when compared to the others. The 50mm lens was the most difficult of the three to use, but the results were the most rewarding. This was my favorite, and the one that I used most often. Of the three, this lens is the one that I can see using again and again. There’s something special about it.

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Ray – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Girl in Yellow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Boy & Lens Flare – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 100 50mm f/2.8

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Rainbow Flare & Kids – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Rainbow in the Woods – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Tree Flowers in a Forest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Reeds by the Woods – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Large Rocks & Yellow Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Rushing Waterfall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

Conclusion

The lens that I thought I’d like the most is the one that I liked the least, and the one that I thought I’d like the least is the one that I liked the most. The 18mm and 24mm lenses are certainly usable, but they have some serious flaws, and you’ll have to consider how to artistically use those flaws to your advantage. Because of the narrow depth-of-field, the 50mm lens was the most difficult to use, but it produced my favorite pictures.

While using these tiny lenses on my Fujifilm cameras was a bit strange, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I’ll definitely do this again sometime. I also plan to use the Pentax Auto 110, as I purchased three 110 film cartridges to use in it, and I’ll share the results when I do. I’m not afraid to do unusual things sometimes, like sandpapering a camera or taping cardboard to the front of a lens, and using little lenses intended for another camera is certainly unusual. If you’re looking to try something different, attaching Asahi Pentax 110 lenses to your Fujifilm camera is just that. For me it was a great experience, and these little lenses provided me with big fun!

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Analog Color Film Simulation Recipe


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Pentax – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Analog Color”

Sometimes accidents are happy, such as with this film simulation recipe, which I call Analog Color. I was attempting to make a recipe that mimics the looks of Kodak Portra 400 that’s been overexposed, but I was unsuccessful (at least for now); however, in the process I accidentally created this one. It was a mistake, but I liked how it looked, so I shot a bunch of pictures with it. This recipe reminds me of Fujicolor C200 or Agfa Vista 200, or perhaps even Kodak Gold 200. It’s in the neighborhood of ColorPlus 200, as well. But, it doesn’t exactly resemble any of those films perfectly. What I appreciate about this Analog Color film simulation is that it has a film-like quality to it, with a real color negative aesthetic, even if it’s not an exact match to any film that I’m aware of.

How this film simulation recipe looks depends on the light. This is true of all the recipes that don’t use auto white balance, but it seems especially so with this particular recipe. It can have a warm cast sometimes and cool cast other times, or even occasionally both a cool and warm cast within the same image. Perhaps this is one of the things that make it appear film-like. I do think that there’s something special about this recipe.

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Route Running – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Analog Color”

I like Color set to -1, but feel free to play around with that. If you want something more saturated, increase Color to 0 or +1. If you don’t like grain, set it to Weak or off. If you like lots of grain, keep the ISO high, perhaps no lower than ISO 1600. I think that this recipe will pair well with vintage lenses, and that’s something else you can experiment with.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +0
Color: -1
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Grain: Strong
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 1
White Balance: Daylight, -3 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-T30 Analog Color film simulation recipe:

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Red Window – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cut Strawberries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joshua Smiling – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Girl in a Blue Sweater – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Living Room Bass Pro – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Backlit Jon – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Succulent on a Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Time’s Fun When You’re Having Flies – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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46 Minutes to Ogden – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Empty Seats – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Bags We Carry – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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No Storage – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rain God Mesa – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tree In The Dirt – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monument Valley Afternoon – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monument Valley After Sunset – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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Announced: Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm just officially announced the upcoming X-T4, which replaces the not very old X-T3. The big difference between the two cameras is that the X-T4 is bigger and heavier because it now has in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The X-T4 also has the flip screen from the X-A7 and X-T200, improved auto-focus, and the two new film simulations: Bleach Bypass and Classic Negative. It has a new battery, with improved battery life.

The X-T4 has several flashy new features, but internally it still sports the same X-Trans IV sensor and processor as the X-T3. Don’t expect image quality to be any different. If you have an X-T3, or even an X-T2, unless you really need IBIS, I don’t see much reason for upgrading cameras. If you are deciding between the X-T3 and X-T4, if having IBIS is important to you, get the X-T4, and if not, save yourself some money and get the very fantastic and nearly identical X-T3.

The Fujifilm X-T4 will be released on April 30 with an MSRP of $1,700 for the camera body. It’s available now for pre-order.

Fujifilm X-T4 (Body Only) Black   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T4 (Body Only) Silver   B&H   Amazon

This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking my links.

Fujifilm Monochrome

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Mountains Dressed In Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Leica recently announced the M10 Monochrom, which is their third black-and-white only camera. It can’t capture a color picture because it doesn’t have a Bayer array. It only does black-and-white photography. Fujifilm should do something similar, even though most won’t buy it.

Believe it or not, there’s actually an advantage to a monochrome sensor. With a typical Bayer color array, only 50% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information, while the other 50% are recording color information. With an X-Trans sensor, 55% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information while 45% are recording color information. With a monochrome sensor, 100% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information. Because of this, you get a higher perceived resolution, as pictures will appear more richly detailed, and there’s more shadow latitude, which also improves high-ISO capabilities. You can also use color filters like with black-and-white film.

I think an X-Pro3-M, a black-and-white only version of the X-Pro3, or an X100V-M, a black-and-white only version of the upcoming X100V, would do well enough commercially. Yes, it’s clearly a niche product, as there’s only a tiny market for it, yet Leica found a way to make it profitable, and Fujifilm could, too. There are plenty of photographers who use their X-Pro or X100 series camera to only shoot black-and-white. A Monochrome version would make things simpler for them, while improving perceived resolution, dynamic range and high-ISO. And, Fujifilm has a cool marketing angle: call it the X-Pro3 Acros or X100V Acros. People would eat that up. Increase the price a couple hundred dollars and it would sell well enough to be profitable, in my non-expert opinion.

The flip side to this is that Fujifilm X-Trans cameras, particularly X-Trans III and IV cameras that have the Acros film simulation, are already fantastic for black-and-white photography. Would a monochrome-only camera really produce enough of an improved image to justify buying one? I think that’s a tough question to answer, but my guess is probably not for most people. Still, a monochrome-only camera wouldn’t be for “most people” as it would be for a very small crowd, and for those people the difference would indeed justify buying it. For most, your current X-Trans camera is a great black-and-white photography tool, and there’s no need to get a monochrome-only camera. Some, however, would absolutely love to have one, and I think there’s enough of those people that such a camera could be profitable for Fujifilm, if they ever wished to create one. I hope they do.

My Fujifilm X-T1 Arrived!

Fujifilm X-T1

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I purchased a used Fujifilm X-T1 for only $300. The condition of the camera said “low shutter count” and “in like-new condition.” When you’re purchasing things off the internet, my experience is that it’s rarely exactly as described. Oftentimes the condition is overstated. I wasn’t sure what I was going to find when the package arrived. Well, the packaged was delivered a couple days ago; I opened up the box with anxious curiosity and found inside…

…a near mint Fujifilm X-T1. Yea! It looked brand new except it was missing the sync cap. It really did appear unused! It even had the original firmware installed. I don’t know the story behind it, but it seems like maybe someone used it a couple of times and didn’t like it, so they boxed it up and it sat on a shelf for four or five years. It’s very difficult for me to believe that I snagged this beauty for only $300. This was a $1,300 camera not very long ago. I remember seeing the X-T1 on sale for “only” $1,000 and that was considered a bargain at the time. At $300, the camera’s a steal!

Fujifilm X-T1 Fujinon 35mm f/2

Fujifilm X-T1 Blog

Unfortunately, digital is disposable. People buy cameras and use them for a year or two or maybe three, and then they move on to whatever is new. It’s a byproduct of technology that advances quickly, and also habits formed when digital photography was new and not especially good. There were significant leaps when new camera models came out. There are still big leaps happening today, but we’ve reached a point of diminishing returns, and those leaps don’t mean as much in practical application.

My first SLR was a 20-year-old Canon AE-1, which I purchased over 20 years ago when I was in Photography 101 in college. I used the camera for a number of years. Can you imagine someone buying a 20-year-old digital camera today to use as their main camera? And using that camera for five or more years? That’s unheard of, but it used to be normal in the days of film. Roughly 10 years ago digital camera technology reached a point where people could keep it and use it for years to come because the quality was there. There’s no reason that a five-year-old camera can’t have 15 or more years of life in it as long as the mechanical components continue to work. People often don’t keep them around long enough to find out.

Fujifilm X-T1 Dials

Fujifilm X-T1 Blog

The Fujifilm X-T1 is downright fantastic! It’s plenty quick. The image quality is great. The camera is weather sealed and feels very solid. It’s a little smaller than the X-T2 and X-T3 and not all that much bigger and heavier than my X-T30. I do wish it had the focus joystick and some of the JPEG options that the newer cameras have, but it’s not a big deal that the camera lacks those things. It’s still a very good camera capable of capturing beautiful pictures.

The photographs below are the first images captured with my new Fujifilm X-T1. These are camera-made JPEGs. I don’t have any recipes yet, but you can rest assured that I will be creating some, and when I do I will share them on Fuji X Weekly. Even though the camera is five-years-old, I’m very excited to go out and shoot with the brand-new-to-me X-T1.

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Hardware Carts – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Americana Neighborhood – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Equal Rights – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Coffee Beans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Selfie – Unitah, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Cheap Fujifilm Cameras

Fujifilm X-E1 Camera Photography Blog

I’ve been searching the last couple of days for a new Fujifilm camera. Actually, a used camera. You might recall that back in September I posted that I wanted to buy a full-spectrum camera for infrared photography. I’ve had an interest in infrared photography for a long time, and I’ve been eager to try it, but the funds to buy such a camera have eluded me. I did get the green light to spend $300 or less on a used camera to eventually (maybe mid-2020) convert to full-spectrum. There are a few different companies that will convert your camera to infrared, and the going rate seems to be about $300, plus you still need to buy various filters, so it’s not exactly a cheap endeavor. I have been searching for a cheap Fujifilm camera that’s hopefully gently used, since I need to keep costs down in order to make this dream a reality.

When I looked at various places, such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, KEH, etc., I was surprised to see a lot of great options for $300 or less. I found some Fujifilm X-E1 bodies for under $200, one as cheap as $150. The X-E1, or “Sexy One” as it was once called, was my introduction to Fujifilm cameras, and is a solid choice. I saw an X-T10 that claimed to have a low shutter count but with some serious scratches for $200. There were several X-E2 bodies for around $250, and an X-E2s for under $300. I was surprised to see a few X-T1 bodies for $300. There were also some non-X-Trans Fujifilm cameras, such as the X-A3, X-A5 and X-T100, for under $300. I had a lot to choose from.

As I was looking at all of these cameras, I was reminded of some articles I’ve written. About a year-and-a-half ago I published Digital Is Disposable, which is about how we continuously buy the latest gear and don’t keep what we own for very long. It’s just as true now as it was then. People (myself included) upgrade their gear much too quickly, and cameras that are still excellent get tossed aside like an old moldy bag of tangerines just because there’s something else that’s brand new. Last week I briefly touched on this topic in my Photography Investments article, and just the other day in 5 Tips To Become A Better Photographer. It’s better to keep your gear longer and spend your money on experiences instead of upgrading your very capable and practically still new camera.

The flip side to this coin, however, is that if you want a cheap yet excellent camera, there’s plenty to pick from. Maybe you’d like a second camera body. Well, you can have one for $300 or less, maybe even as low as $150! Perhaps your kid or spouse has been begging for a camera, but you don’t want to spend a bunch of money. Why not buy something used and affordable instead of brand new and expensive? I’m just throwing this out there in case you didn’t realize that used Fujifilm gear is going for so little.

I purchased a Fujifilm X-T1 that claims to have a very low shutter count and is in like-new condition for only $300. That seems like a fantastic deal! Sometimes someone else’s description doesn’t match how I would describe it, so when it arrives I’ll see just how “very low” the shutter count is and just how “like new” it actually is. If it’s in halfway decent shape I’ll be happy. With any luck sometime in the coming six months or so I’ll be able to convert it to full-spectrum, something I’ve wanted to do for many years. One man’s junk is another’s treasure, as the saying goes, and I’m hoping this camera will prove to be a treasure for me.

Fujifilm Grain Settings

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Blue Winter Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Many of my film simulation recipes call for faux grain, in order to achieve a more analog aesthetic. The picture above was captured using my Kodachrome 64 recipe, which requires Grain set to Weak. Fujifilm cameras with X-Trans III or IV sensors have a faux grain option, which can be set to Off, Weak or Strong (the X-Pro3 has additional grain options). The Acros film simulation has built-in grain that increases as the ISO increases. I have often said that X-Trans digital noise is also grain-like in appearance. But all of this is hard to see, especially when viewed at web sizes, so it can be tough to know exactly what the different settings are doing to pictures. I thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at the grain on Fujifilm cameras. For this post I used a Fujifilm X-T30.

Let’s take a closer look at Blue Winter Sky, the picture at the top of this article. Here are some crops:

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ISO 640, Grain Off.

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Grain Weak

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Grain Strong

You likely can see the grain in the bottom crop, which has Grain set to Strong, but the middle one with Grain set to Weak is a little more difficult to notice. It’s subtly there, but the difference between Grain Off and Grain Weak isn’t huge by any stretch, and you have to look very closely to find it. Even Grain Strong isn’t particularly obvious, but it’s certainly noticeable upon close inspection.

Let’s look at some massive crops from another picture:

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ISO 640, Grain Off

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Grain Weak

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Grain Strong

This example is a little bit deeper of a crop, and so it’s also a little easier to spot the differences in grain. Still, there’s not a huge distinction between Grain set to Off and Grain set to Weak. Grain set to Strong stands out from the others, but again it’s still not especially obvious.

Can you spot the difference between Grain set to Weak and Grain set to Strong in the two images below?

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ISO 400, Grain Weak

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ISO 400, Grain Strong

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ISO 400, Grain Weak

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ISO 400, Grain Strong

I think if you study the crops above long enough, you can see that the bottom one has a stronger grain, but just barely. It’s not obvious whatsoever, even when viewed this closely.

Can you spot the differences between the two crops below?

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The top image is ISO 400 with Grain set to Weak. The bottom is ISO 6400 with grain set to Strong. You could probably tell that the top image is slightly cleaner and crisper, but it is very subtle, and not something you’d ever notice without closely comparing crops side-by-side.

Now let’s take a look at some Acros crops. Can you spot the differences?

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ISO 400, Grain Weak

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ISO 400, Grain Strong

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ISO 6400, Grain Strong

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ISO 6400, Grain Weak

There’s not much to notice, but there’s (once again) a subtle difference between ISO 400 with Grain set to Weak and ISO 6400 with Grain set to Strong, and you’re not likely to spot it without closely comparing crops. In real life, nobody does that.

The conclusion is that the faux grain options on Fujifilm cameras aren’t especially obvious without a close study. Grain Strong stands out much more than Grain Weak, but neither are particularly noticeable without a close inspection. Even the difference between ISO 400 and ISO 6400 (with or without grain) isn’t all that big, especially if you aren’t viewing the pictures large. The more you crop, the more you zoom into the image, or the larger you print, the more you’ll notice the differences. For internet viewing, you’ll have a tough time even noticing. It’s perfectly fine to set Grain to Off if you don’t like it. I personally enjoy seeing the grain, even if it’s not immediately apparent, because I first learned photography in the film era and I love grain. I look forward to someday trying out the new grain options that Fujifilm has included on the X-Pro3, and I hope it’s added to the X-T30 via a firmware update, but in the meantime I’m happy to use the faux grain that’s currently available to me in my camera.

2019 Fujifilm Gift Giving Guide

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I get asked frequently for my opinions on Fujifilm cameras. Many people are seeking advice on what to buy. Tomorrow is December 1, and the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. This article is intended for those wishing to gift a camera and are searching for tips on what to choose. My hope is that there’s some helpful advice here as you camera shop for your loved ones.

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

First Camera

If you are shopping for someone’s first interchange-lens camera, let’s say a teenage kid or spouse, I would recommend the Fujifilm X-T100. This is a low-budget entry-level model that is still very capable and will deliver high-quality pictures. You get a surprisingly large bang for a surprisingly few bucks. As of this writing, the Fujifilm X-T100 with a 15-45mm lens is only $400, which is an incredible bargain.

Fujifilm X-T100 w/15-45mm lens:   B&H   Amazon

Vlog Camera

Suppose that you are shopping for an aspiring vlogger. Maybe this person has been using their phone to do so, but is ready to upgrade to a more serious camera. My top recommendation is the Fujifilm X-A7. This camera is similar in a lot of ways to the X-T100 mentioned above, but with better video capabilities and an articulating rear-screen that makes it a better choice for vlogging. The Fujifilm X-A7 with a 15-45mm lens has an MSRP of $700.

Fujifilm X-A7 w/15-45mm lens:   B&H   Amazon

Good Camera

My wife wanted a camera. She had a Canon point-and-shoot, a GoPro, and her iPhone, but she wanted something better, something more capable, something good. She wanted a camera that could capture high-quality stills and video. So I bought her a Fujifilm X-T20, which has been my top recommended Fujifilm camera for over a year. This camera is a step up from the X-T100. It could be used as a vlogging camera, although the X-A7 might be a better choice for that. Because it’s not the latest model, it’s priced very well, and as of this writing the Fujifilm X-T20 with a 16-50mm lens is only $600, which is an amazing deal!

Fujifilm X-T20 w/16-50mm lens:   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T20 w/18-55mm lens:   B&H   Amazon

Second Camera

If you are shopping for someone who already has a Fujifilm camera and they’ve been hinting that they want a second camera body, you have several good options. The Fujifilm X-T3, which is at the high end, is currently $1,300, and the Fujifilm X-T30, which is mid-tier, is currently $800. The Fujifilm X-E3, which is also mid-tier, but doesn’t have the latest sensor and processor (yet is still great), is currently only $500. No matter if you have a large or small budget, you’ve got some good camera bodies to choose from.

Fujifilm X-T3 (Body Only):   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T30 (Body Only):   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-E3 (Body Only):   B&H   Amazon

Fun Camera

Those wanting to gift a camera that’ll be super fun for the receiving photographer have two great choices: the Fujifilm X100F or the Fujifilm XF10. Both of these are fixed-lens cameras that are an absolute joy to use, especially the X100F, which might be my personal all-time favorite camera. These are great for travel or street photography or even snapshots of the kids. The Fujifilm X100F is currently $1,100 while the Fujifilm XF10 is currently $450.

Fujifilm X100F:  B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm XF10:   B&H   Amazon

Has-It-All Camera

If you are camera shopping for the photographer who already has it all, the one camera that they might not have is the brand-new Fujifilm X-Pro3. This is a unique camera that delivers a unique experience. It’s the most expensive camera on this list with an MSRP of $1,800. Another option is the Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite Edition, which comes with a lens and is currently discounted at only $1,600.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 (Body Only):  B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite w/23mm f/2 lens:   B&H   Amazon

Kid Camera

For those with kids who have been begging for a camera, the one that I highly recommend is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. This is the camera that I got my daughter when she wanted one for Christmas, and she’s absolutely loved it! She’s had so much fun with it, and the “magic” of instant film is the same today as it was back when Polaroids were all the rage when I was young. Best of all, it’s super cheap.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9:   B&H   Amazon

Awesome Fujifilm X Deals!

Fujifilm X-Pro2 Blog

There are some really great deals on certain Fujifilm cameras right now. These aren’t necessarily “Black Friday” deals, but they are certainly great for holiday shopping or if you’ve been eyeing one of these for awhile. I want to bring special attention to the Graphite X-Pro2 with the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens, which has been deeply discounted, and you’re not likely going to find it for cheaper. Need a second camera body? The X-T20 and X-E3 are dirt cheap right now. The X-T100 is at a rock-bottom price. It’s what I would gift to a family member who has been asking for a camera. Heck, for the price, I might pick one up for myself!

This post contains an affiliate link, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my link.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 (Body Only) $1,300   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite w/23mm f/2 lens $1,600   B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-T20 (Body Only) $500 – $550   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T20 w/16-50mm lens $600   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T20 w/18-55mm lens $800   B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-E3 (Body Only) $500   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-E3 w/23mm f/2 lens $750   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-E3 w/18-55mm lens $800   B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-T100 (Body Only) $350   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T100 w/15-45mm lens $400   B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-T3 (Body Only) $1,300   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T3 w/18-55mm lens $1,700   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T3 w/56mm f/1.2 lens $2,000   B&H

Fujifilm X-T30 w/15-45mm lens $850   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T30 w/18-55mm lens $1,100   B&H   Amazon

See also: Fujifilm Gear

Review: Fujifilm X-Pro2 – Is It Still Relevant?


Fujifilm X-Pro2 Blog

The new Fujifilm X-Pro3 will be released on November 29, and there’s a lot of buzz around it, but what about the X-Pro2? Is it still relevant? Is it a camera that you should consider? Is it a good option even though it has the old sensor and processor? I hope to answer those questions in this review.

The X-Pro2 was released way back in March of 2016. It replaced the X-Pro1, which was the very first X-Trans sensor camera by Fujifilm. The X-Pro2 was the first camera to have the 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor. The X-H1, X-T2, X-T20, X-E3 and X100F would later share this same sensor and processor. The 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor, which is the same sensor found in the upcoming X-Pro3, was introduced with the X-T3 in September of 2018. The X-Trans III sensor inside the X-Pro2 is almost four-years-old, and perhaps a year out-of-date, but is it still good?

The main advantage of the fourth generation sensor over the third generation is heat. The new sensor runs cooler, which means it can be pushed further. It’s quicker, and the processor can be asked to do more. There’s very little image-quality difference between the two sensors. Pictures captured with the X-Pro3 won’t look much different than those captured with the X-Pro2. But the older camera won’t be as quick, especially regarding auto-focus, and it has fewer features. The X-Pro3 is loaded with new tools, which may or may not be useful to you. Even though the X-Pro2 isn’t as quick or feature-rich, it’s still sufficiently quick and feature-rich for most photographers.

The X-Pro line isn’t about quickness anyway. It’s about having a solid quality camera that’s a joy to use. It feels good to have in your hand and to hold to your eye. It’s something to take to the city and wait for just the right light and moment. It’s a photographer’s tool. And what a great tool it is!

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Fujifilm blog Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens

Something that I appreciate about the X-Pro2 is that it’s weather-sealed. Pair it with a weather-sealed lens, and you can use it in situations that you wouldn’t dare take another camera. For me that was the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, where the winds were whipping the sand, which pelted my skin. The X-Pro2 handled it like a champ, and I was able to “get the shot” that I was after.

Another thing that I really appreciate about the camera is the viewfinder. The X-Pro2 has a unique hybrid viewfinder that can be used electronically or optically. It’s a part of the experience of the camera. The X-Pro line isn’t about test charts or stat sheets, it’s about the user experience. Fujifilm calls it “pursuing pure photography” with “a body design that maximizes practicality.” While the X-Pro2 offers identical image quality and similar features to the X-T2 (and, really, the X-T20), what sets it apart is the experience of it, and the great viewfinder is a big part of that.

Even though the X-Trans III sensor is almost four-years-old now, it doesn’t come across as “old” in practical use. It offers more than enough resolution, dynamic range and high-ISO capabilities for most people and situations. The X-Pro2 is plenty quick and feature-rich to warrant consideration. It wasn’t designed to be your typical “throw-away” digital camera, which you own for perhaps two years, and then unload on eBay at a bargain basement price when the latest model is released. The X-Pro2 was intended as a camera that you keep for years. It’s a camera that you’ll still want to have around when it’s ten years old, and if it still has some clicks left in the shutter, perhaps longer.

The X-Pro2 is a beautiful camera! I think the only camera that’s better-looking in the Fujifilm lineup is the X100F, and only by a little. Fujifilm got the design right, and it’s cameras like this that have given Fujifilm a great reputation. Strangers will ask you about the camera around your neck, and fellow photographers will comment to you about the beautiful design. There’s a certain pride in owning one.

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I don’t want to dive deeply into the technical aspects of this camera. I’m not going to share stat sheets or show massive crops comparing the image quality to other cameras. You can readily find that information on the web. What I want to offer is my opinion of the X-Pro2. Is it a good camera to buy?

If you are in the market for a camera and are considering the X-Pro2, but you are unsure because it’s not the latest-and-greatest, I want to help you. You will love it! But with the caveat that the X-Pro series isn’t for everyone. If you are the type of person who has to have the newest, fastest and greatest, this might not be the best camera for you. If you find yourself constantly searching the internet for side-by-side crops to compare the tiny differences between cameras, this one might not be for you. If you are the person who buys a new camera every year, you might want to consider something else. If you’re the kind of person who likes to capture pictures at your own pace and in your own way, and you appreciate the way Fujifilm cameras render images, then the X-Pro2 might very well be a good choice. If you are after an experience that’s different from your typical digital camera, something with an analogue soul perhaps, the X-Pro2 is something you should strongly consider. It’s a great camera, even in 2019, and I’m sure still in 2026, and while it’s not for everyone, I do believe that most people would appreciate it.

You can buy the Fujifilm X-Pro2 here:  B&H  Amazon

These are affiliate links, which, when you purchase something using them, I get a small kickback. It doesn’t cost you anything, yet it helps to financially support this website. I would never ask you to purchase something that you don’t want, but if you found this article helpful and are planning to buy this camera, using my links to do so helps me tremendously. Thank you for your support!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs from my Fujifilm X-Pro2:

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Twisted Tree – Keystone, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Jacob’s Ladder – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Passerby – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Storm Over San Luis Valley – Alamosa, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Old Truck & Mt. Lindsey – Fort Garland, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Clouds Around Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Bells & Crosses – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Needle’s Eye Night – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Night Sky Over Needles Highway – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Securely In Father’s Arms – Mount Rushmore NM, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Red Leaves In The Forest – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Green & Blue Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Wasatch Spring – South Weber, UT – X-Pro2

See also: Fujifilm Gear

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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My White Balance Shift Solution


As you know, my film simulation recipes rely heavily on white balance shifts. Unfortunately, you cannot save white balance shifts with custom presets. You can only save one white balance shift for each white balance type in the White Balance Menu. In other words, whatever shift you set for auto white balance will be applied to all custom presets that use auto white balance. If all of your C1-C7 presets in the Q menu use the same white balance, one white balance shift will be applied to all of them. For many people, this means that whenever you change recipes you’re also having to adjust the white balance shift, which is a pain sometimes.

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 doesn’t have this problem from what I’ve heard. You can save unique white balance shifts with each preset in the Q menu. You can set it and forget it! There’s a decent chance that this ability will be added to the X-T3 and X-T30 via a firmware update at some point, but right now the X-Pro3 is the only camera that can do this. There’s an outside chance that X-Trans III cameras could also be given this feature, but most likely not. Don’t fret! I do have a solution. There’s a simple work-around that might make things much easier for you.

The issue is that only one white balance shift can be saved per white balance, but in that statement lies the answer! What you need are presets that use different white balances. Or you can have presets that use the same white balance and the same white balance shift. What do I mean?

So you have custom slots C1 through C7, right? Maybe you use all seven of them for color. Or maybe you set aside one or two for black-and-white, in which case white balance and white balance shift may or may not be important. For each color preset you simply use a film simulation recipe with a different white balance. If each recipe uses a different white balance, then you can set the shift for that recipe and you’re good to go. It will always be set to that unless you decided to change it.

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For example, you could have Kodachrome II, which uses auto white balance, set to C1, Kodacolor, which uses a kelvin white balance, set to C2, Kodachrome 64, which uses daylight white balance, set to C3, Lomography Color 100, which uses cloudy/shade white balance, set to C4, Color Negative, which uses fluorescent 1 white balance, set to C5, Fujichrome Sensia, which uses flurescent 2 white balance, set to C6, and Portra 400, which uses a custom white balance, set to C7. If you did that, since each recipe uses a different white balance, you wouldn’t have to adjust the white balance shift when going between different presets. Also, there a few recipes that share the same white balance and white balance shift as others, such as Kodachrome II and Ektachrome 100SW, so you could use both of those and never have to change the shift.

To make things easy for you, I’ve organized the color film simulation recipes by white balance. Choose one from each until all of your available presets are filled. It’s pretty simple. Unfortunately, you might not be able to use all of your favorite recipes, depending on exactly what the white balance and white balance shifts are. But I hope that you find enough options you like to fill your available presets.

Film Simulation Recipes that use AWB
Film Simulation Recipes that use Kelvin
Film Simulation Recipes that use other White Balances

Since I set up my custom presets this way on my camera, it’s made a world of difference to me. It’s so much easier moving between recipes! The user experience has been greatly improved. I hope that you find this just as useful as I did.

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Bargains: Fujifilm X-T2, X-T20 & X-E3

Fujifilm X-T20 Blog

For those looking for great deals on Fujifilm gear, X-Trans III sensor cameras have the best bargains currently. Cameras like the X-T2, X-T20 and X-E3 are priced pretty darn low, and they’re still excellent and worth owning. I know that the X-Pro3 has received much attention lately, but don’t overlook what’s available right now, and at such cheap prices, too!

Below are my affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using the links I will be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-T2 (Body Only) $800   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T2 w/35mm lens $1,200   B&H

Fujifilm X-T20 (Body Only) $600   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T20 w/16-50mm lens $700   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T20 w/18-55mm lens $900   B&H   Amazon

Fujifilm X-E3 (Body Only) $600   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-E3 w/23mm f/2 lens $850   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-E3 w/18-55mm lens $900   B&H   Amazon

Announced: Fujifilm X-Pro3

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Fujifilm just announced the upcoming X-Pro3! It will be released on November 29 with an MSRP of $1,800 (body only), or December 13 for the Dura versions, which will have an MSRP of $2,000. This new iteration of the X-Pro camera is much different than the previous two, at least on the inside and back. There are a lot of changes and new features, so let’s take a look at those.

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has an unusual tilt screen, which is mounted backwards and flips down for waist-level shooting. On the back of the screen, which faces out when the screen is closed, is a small screen that displays some exposure and film simulation information. The idea is that most X-Pro3 users will primarily use the viewfinder and not the LCD for composing. It’s also a way to further differentiate this camera from the X-T3. I think it’s either something you’ll love or hate, and I’m still on the fence with how I feel about it, but I’m leaning towards love. I haven’t had my hands on one to know for sure what I think about it.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Besides the unusual screen, Fujifilm did away with the four-way D-Pad on the back. They also re-arranged some of the buttons. The wonderful hybrid viewfinder has been improved. The camera is now made out of titanium. While the rear is clearly different, the front of the camera looks nearly identical to past models, and internally there are some big changes.

The X-Pro3 includes a new film simulation called Classic Negative. It’s supposed to mimic the look of Superia film. I’m pretty excited about Classic Negative, as I’m sure that I could create several great film simulation recipes using it. I think it might become one of my favorites, just looking at the sample images I’ve seen. There’s a good chance that it will be added to the X-T3 and X-T30 via a firmware update in the coming weeks or months, so I’m looking forward to that.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

There are a ton of other new features on the X-Pro3. The headline is improved auto-focus over the X-T3 and X-T30, although Fujifilm will likely give this new algorithm to the other two cameras soon. It’s supposed to be pretty darn excellent, but I already find the X-T30 to be excellent, so it’s hard to understand how much room for improvement there could be.

The X-Pro3 has a new HDR feature, which can combine and auto-align hand-held pictures. It has much more robust multiple-exposure options, for those who do double or triple (or now up to nine) exposures. There’s a new Clarity feature. There’s a new Curves option, but it’s my understanding that it’s simply a different way to see how Highlight and Shadow adjustments effect the image. B&W toning, instead of just the warm and cool slider found on the X-T3 and X-T30, is now more like white balance shift. On the X-Pro3 you can now change the size of the faux grain, not just the intensity. I hope that all of these new features will be added to the X-T3 and X-T30 in the future, but I don’t know if they will, or perhaps just some of them. It’s clear that the X-Pro3 has some great new options to help you achieve your desired look straight out of camera.

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My opinion is that Fujifilm gave the X-Pro line a nice update with the X-Pro3. It’s essentially an X-T3, but better looking, tougher, and with some interesting new features. They’ve made it clear that this camera is about the experience of using it. If you enjoy composing through a viewfinder and not an LCD, and if you use camera-made JPEGs, the X-Pro3 was designed with you in mind. Thanks to the titanium body, it’s tough, and made to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ and not even get scratched (if you upgrade to one of the Dura models). It’s a camera you’ll want to buy and keep around for awhile, and not dump as soon as the next model comes out. It’s an old-school photographer’s tool, but it’s certainly not for everyone.

If you’d like to pre-order the X-Pro3, please use my affiliate links below. If you make a purchase using my links, I will be compensated a small amount for it. Nobody pays me to write the articles you find here, so using my affiliate links is a great way to support this website.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Black:
B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-Pro3 Dura Black:
B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-Pro3 Dura Silver:
B&H   Amazon