Let’s talk about the upcoming Fujifilm X100Z

The Fujifilm X100V was an overnight sensation two-and-a-half years after it was released. Yes, it sold well for Fujifilm during those 30 months prior to the explosion in demand, but, beginning last fall, the X100V was suddenly the one camera model that everyone wanted, yet few could get.

Fujifilm couldn’t make enough copies of the camera to keep up with the newfound demand. The X100V was out-of-stock everywhere. The backorder list quickly grew long. A large camera store told me months ago that if there were no new orders, and at the current rate that Fujifilm was manufacturing the X100V, it would take them six months just to fulfill all of those backorders; however, the backorder list was growing faster than Fujifilm was delivering new cameras.

Some of those who did have an X100V—even a used one—were selling them at significantly inflated prices. I saw one listed at $1,000 above MSRP in one instance. And people were actually buying them! The price for older versions, such as the X100F, but going back all the way to the 12-year-old original X100, also increased and became more difficult to find. Even other Fujifilm series, such as the X-E line (and even Ricoh GR), saw a bump in demand as people looked for alternatives to the X100V.

Yellow Kayaks, White Trucks – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X100V – Superia Premium 400

It’s been about nine months since the craze began and it hasn’t slowed. The X100V has been an in-demand model during that time, but Fujifilm just can’t keep up with it, due to things like parts shortages and balancing manufacturing demands with the also-hot-selling X-T5. Ideally Fujifilm would have been able to truly capitalize on their fortuitous situation, but they really haven’t. Perhaps the only thing that Fujifilm has been able to do is continue to limp the manufacturing of this model a little longer than they originally anticipated, delaying the discontinuation date by as much as a year.

When you look at the history of the X100-series, a release pattern emerges. The X100S came out about two years after the original X100, the X100T came out about two years after the X100S, and the X100F was released about two years after the X100T; however, the X100V was released three years after the X100F, and we’re already beyond the three-year-mark since the X100V came out. I believe that Fujifilm would have liked to have announced the next X100-series camera, which I’ll call the X100Z, back in February, but that obviously didn’t happen. I anticipate that it will be February 2024.

Why didn’t it happen in 2023? The X100V is selling faster than they can be made. What’s the hurry in releasing a successor? I do believe the issues that plagued not only Fujifilm but also most of the tech industry are still problematic to an extent, and this gives Fujifilm more time to get their parts supply and manufacturing operations back on track. I bet Fujifilm is hoping to make just enough copies of the X100V to give a glimmer of hope that one can be obtained with enough patience—and that the buzz continues for a bit longer—but not so many that the demand is deflated when the X100Z (or whatever Fujifilm will call it) is announced in eight months or so. Honestly, Fujifilm should release one or two limited-run special-edition X100V versions between now and then.

Flare over a Log– Prefumo Canyon, CA – Fujifilm X100V – Fujicolor 100 Gold

The X100-series doesn’t change much with a new release. The improvements are just enough to make you desire the new model, but are never groundbreaking. There’s not going to be a redesign. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. What can we expect in an X100Z? What do I wish for?

I do believe the biggest “upgrade” will be the 40-megapixel X-Trans V sensor and processor. While I actually prefer the 26-megapixel sensor in general (as 40mp is overkill for most people), as I’ve thought about it, this sensor makes a lot of sense in an X100 because of the Digital Teleconverter, something I used far more frequently on my recent trip to California’s Central Coast than I had at any point in the two years prior. The X100V has 35mm full-frame-equivalent lens, and the Digital Teleconverter, which is a digital zoom with some smart upscaling, produces a 50mm-equivalent or 70mm-equivalent picture, adding versatility to the fixed-lens camera. There is a noticeable loss in quality when set to 70mm, but it’s still surprisingly good; however, the 40mp sensor would make this feature better and more practical for routine use. In fact, Fujifilm could even add 80mm if they wanted. The one thing I’d like Fujifilm to fix with regards to the Digital Teleconverter is scale the faux Grain, because Strong/Large Grain looks massive when using the 70mm option, but it should appear to be the same size as if the Digital Teleconverter wasn’t used.

The new sensor and processor will bring several improvements to the spec sheet for both stills and video. Autofocus will see a boost. In an age of diminishing returns, I don’t think any of that makes a big difference, but the marketing department will still use it to promote the camera and reviewers will still use it to get clicks and likes.

Playing with Waves – Cambria, CA – Fujifilm X100V – Kodak Tri-X 400

Will the X100Z have IBIS? Fujifilm has made some significant strides with their In-Body-Image-Stabilization, but I’d be mildly surprised if the new model has it. The argument is that the Ricoh GR III has IBIS, and it’s a much older and smaller camera, so why can’t the X100-series? First, IBIS isn’t really needed in the GR III and it’s pretty mediocre anyway, so it’s often overstated as a feature in that model. I do think it makes more sense in the X100-series than in the Ricoh, but if it makes the body larger or more expensive, Fujifilm will have to carefully consider the potential consequences of that. I think, with the higher-resolution sensor, a digital stabilizer for video would be sufficient.

What I would love to see in the Fujifilm X100Z are more film simulations and JPEG options. Of course that’s what I’d love to see, since I make Film Simulation Recipes. What I don’t think Fujifilm or the photography community in-general realizes is that the ability to get analog-like results straight-out-of-camera is what’s largely driving the interest in the X100V. While many long-time Fujifilm photographers purchased the X100V, for a lot of people the camera is (or would be if they could find one in stock) their first Fujifilm—whether they mainly shoot Canon, Sony, Nikon, etc., or it’s their first “real” camera—and it makes a lot of sense because it doesn’t require investing in a whole system. They can get their feet wet with something fun, and maybe later they’ll jump into the deep end. In the meantime, they’ve got a cool camera that doesn’t require sitting in front of a computer to get great results. Not only does this drive camera sales, but it is also a big reason why many end up sticking around and not moving onto something else.

Spooner Cove – Montaña de Oro SP, CA – Fujifilm X100V – Fujicolor 100 Gold

So what would I like Fujifilm to add to the X100Z? Obviously Eterna Bleach Bypass and Nostalgic Neg. will be included, but I think Fujifilm should strongly consider introducing a new film sim with this camera. Some ideas are Fujicolor Pro 400H (that with overexposure behaves similarly to the film), Fujicolor Pro 800Z (would make a lot of sense if they name the camera X100Z), Fujichrome Sensia, Fujichrome Fortia, cross-process, infrared, Instax, Neopan 400CN, etc.—there are still a ton that Fujifilm could and should do. Some JPEG options that I’d like to see are mid-tone adjustments (additional to Highlight and Shadow), black-point (a.k.a. fade, to lift blacks), split-toning (for both B&W and color pictures), more Grain options (Weak, Medium, Strong; Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large; plus maybe various patters?), and maybe even a tint slider for the major colors to tweak their rendering? I think Fujifilm has to be careful balancing new features with simplicity, so that the many options don’t become overwhelming—in other words, pick a couple of things to add and not everything, as much as I’d love to have everything.

The X100Z will be a very successful camera for Fujifilm, and for a lot of people standing in the long line for an X100V, this new model can’t get here fast enough. There won’t likely be a huge difference between the two versions—just the new sensor and some new features, but it will nonetheless be a nice refresh. While it might seem to be a long ways off, Fujifilm will announce this camera in the not-too-distant future, and it will be here before you know it. In the meantime, I’ve included below a video published today by Leigh & Raymond Photography that discusses this very topic.

The Fujifilm Experience

What’s different about Fujifilm cameras that make me want to pick them up and shoot with them? This is something that I was thinking about today. I concluded that the experience of shooting with the cameras and the images produced by the cameras are what makes me want to use them more than other brands.

What is the Fujifilm shooting experience? Is it the retro styling? The manual knobs and rings? The optical viewfinder on camera series like the X-Pro and X100? What-you-see-is-what-you-get, perhaps? I think yes to all of those, but even more it’s about the feeling in the moment. That’s a very abstract explanation, so let’s see if I can do better.

When I have a Fujifilm camera in my hands with the retro styling, tactile manual controls, perhaps even through an optical viewfinder or maybe via an EVF showing me exactly what the final picture will look like, the moment slows, and it’s just me and my gear for an instant. I feel the sense of possibilities (as Rush put it in the song Camera Eye). It’s not about quickness. It’s not about resolution—it’s not about any specs of any sort. It’s just that instant and how it feels and that’s all. It feels different with a Fujifilm camera (like the X-Pro1, pictured at the top) because the body is designed significantly dissimilar from most digital cameras. “If I like a moment,” as Sean O’Connell stated in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, “I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera.” I know I just took that quote completely out of context, but for me, Fujifilm cameras aren’t a distraction, but an extension of my creative self, something I cannot say about any other digital camera I’ve ever owned. Perhaps if Sean was shooting with a Fujifilm instead of a Nikon, he would have captured a picture of the cat (joking, of course).

The other aspect of Fujifilm cameras worth noting is image quality. Again, this has nothing to do with resolution, dynamic range, lens sharpness or any technical specs whatsoever. It’s about the feel of the pictures. Fujifilm has a long history with film photography, and they felt it important to somehow infuse some analog aspects into their digital images. You can get straight-out-of-camera pictures from Fujifilm cameras that look less digital and more film-like than other brands. In fact, I’ve seen Fujifilm pictures captured using Film Simulation Recipes trick unsuspecting film pros into thinking the picture they were viewing was shot on film and not digital (true stories!). And, yes, with software and manipulation, you can achieve this with most modern cameras, but I’m talking SOOC, as in unedited. Fujifilm cameras have gotten better at this with time—thanks to new JPEG options, film simulations, and improved processing—but even the early models were quite capable.

To the second point—that the JPEG output from Fujifilm cameras is unique, wonderful, and an important aspect of the experience—I feel that Fujifilm has been on the right track with this, and it’s been getting better and better with each generation. I think there’s a bit of that analog-esque quality going all they way back to the very beginning—every Fujifilm camera has that soul—but the newer models especially have it. I know that some of you might disagree with this assessment, but that’s my opinion.

To the first point, I feel that Fujifilm has taken a divergent path lately, and has pursued pure specs and popular designs over experience—or, at least the experience that I spoke of—with most of their recent models. That’s not to say the cameras aren’t good or that people won’t love them or that Fujifilm shouldn’t have made them, just simply that it’s not going to provide the same experience (which is true); whether or not that is better or worse depends on your perspective. I might mourn it and you might celebrate it, and that’s ok—we can still be friends.

Today I dusted off my 11-year-old Fujifilm X-Pro1, attached a TTArtisan f/0.95 lens, and shot with that combo today. I programmed the Ektachrome Film Simulation Recipe, but to give the images a little more film-like character, I lightly post processed them in the RNI App using the Fuji Astia 100F v3 filter set to 40% intensity (so as to not overly manipulate the original aesthetic… I didn’t want to lose all of the original look, only slightly change it) and Grain set to 25% strength. I don’t normally edit my pictures—in fact, I had to download the RNI App because it had been so long since I last used it—but sometimes I wish the old models had some of the JPEG options found on the new cameras. Funny enough, though, the edited pictures are actually pretty similar to my Reminiscent Print Recipe, so I probably should have just shot with that and saved myself some time. Oh, well—lesson learned.

Even though this camera is ancient compared to the latest models, I personally prefer the shooting experience with it over some of my other (newer) cameras. If the Fujifilm X-Pro1 was my one and only camera, I’d be happy with it. But since I have an X100V, X-E4, and X-T5, which are the three models I’m using the most right now (all of which offer the Fujifilm experience I mentioned earlier—the X100V in particular), the X-Pro1 spends most of the time on the shelf. I happily put it to use today! Below are the pictures:

Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95
Fujifilm X-Pro1 & TTArtisan f/0.95

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

TTArtisan 35mm f/0.95:  Amazon   B&H

Telling Stories with Your Fujifilm Camera

Free Spirit – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4Pacific Blues Recipe

Photos tell stories.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words—a lot can be nonverbally communicated through an image. But what exactly is storytelling photography? How do we effectively become storytellers with our cameras? Those questions and so many others will be discussed at length in the next SOOC Live broadcast, which is THIS Thursday, April 6th, at 10 AM Pacific Time, 1 PM Eastern. Mark your calendars now! I hope you can join us live!

For those who don’t know, SOOC Live is a bimonthly broadcast where Nathalie Boucry and I discuss Film Simulation Recipes, give tips and tricks for achieving the results you want straight-out-of-camera, and answer your questions. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow. On the first Thursday of each month we introduce and discuss a theme—the theme for March was Street Photography—and the fourth Thursday of each month we look at the photographs captured within the theme using the Recipes, talk about lessons learned, and answer any and all of your questions. It’s an interactive show, and your participation is what makes it great!

Last Thursday was the Q&A broadcast. If you missed it when it was live, you can watch it now (see below). We had some very good discussions about street photography, so be sure to play it if you haven’t seen it yet!

Also, check out the Viewer’s Images slideshow! It was so great to see your wonderful pictures—they were quite inspiring to me—and I appreciate everyone who shared—thank you! Take a look!

Be sure to follow SOOC Live on YouTube if you don’t already, so that you don’t miss any broadcasts. I look forward to seeing you in just a few days as we talk about Storytelling! This will be an especially insightful episode, I think, so you won’t want to miss it. See you on Thursday!

How to Know Which Film Simulation Recipe to Use?

Tunnel Silhouette – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S – “Classic Negative Industrial

I posted last week that the Fuji X Weekly App contains 200 film simulation recipes for Fujifilm cameras! A question that I frequently get asked is, “How do I know which film simulation recipe to use in a specific situation?”

If you crossed out the words “simulation recipe” from that question, you’d have a very common inquiry from the film era. Back then, at any given time, there were just as many (if not more) film choices as there are film simulation recipe choices today—especially at the height of film in the late-1990’s and early-2000’s. Over the years there have been hundreds and hundreds of emulsions, maybe over a thousand. How does one know which film to use?

It’s a little easier today because there are far fewer film choices (but there’s still a lot!). Do you want color or black-and-white? That’s where I always started. What’s the lighting going to be? That helps decide the ISO that will be needed. Also, if color, will I need daylight or tungsten balanced? What filters might I need? Those are important factors to consider. Do I want low contrast or high (although how I shoot and develop factors significantly into this)? If color, low saturation or high? These questions and more, which are asked before the camera is even loaded, helps determine the film choice.

Grandmother & Grandson – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100

The two biggest factors, however, for my film choice decision were usually these: availability and experience. While there were hundreds to choose from, I might only have five or six different emulsions in the refrigerator at any given time. If I was going to buy some film before heading out or in preparation for it, I would be limited by the availability of the store, and that might be 10 emulsions or 100, depending on the place. A lot of times it would come down to what I’d used in the past and had success with. After awhile you figure out which options work for you. I liked to try different films just to see what I might get, but I often found myself returning to the ones that I really liked, which explains those five or six in the fridge.

With film simulation recipes, some of the same factors that determined which film to use can also help to determine which recipe to use. Color or black-and-white? Daylight or tungsten? High contrast or low contrast? High saturation or low saturation? A big difference is that you are not limited to “the stock in your fridge” or what a store might carry. And maybe you don’t have a lot of experience with them to know which recipes might work well in a specific scenario. The more experience you get, the more you’ll know, but that takes time, perhaps years, of using different recipes in various situations.

My hope in the coming year is to do a lot more to help with this. I want to make it easier for people to determine which recipes might be good options in whichever photographic situations that they find themselves in. This, of course, is a pretty monumental challenge, not only because there are so many recipes (and always more in the works!), but because there are more potential photographic situations than there are recipes. This is something that books could be written about. Even so, I will do my best with this project, because I want it to be easier for you to determine which recipes to use when.

Twisted Tree – Keystone, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Acros

That’s great for the future, but what about now? What resources are available today to determine which recipe to program into your Fujifilm camera for whatever it is that you’re about to shoot?

The Fuji X Weekly App is a good starting point. If you are not already, become an App Patron so that you can unlock the ability to filter. Select your camera or sensor, then choose color or black-and-white, or a specific film simulation if you know that you want an aesthetic a certain film simulation produces. You can also filter by White Balance, which can potentially be helpful if you have an idea of the lighting conditions you’ll encounter, or Dynamic Range, which can potentially be helpful if you know how harsh the light will be. These tools help to determine which recipe to use by filtering out the ones that might not be good options.

Otherwise, my Film Simulation Reviews page and the SOOC video series are two other resources that might be helpful. Film Simulation Reviews are articles that show specific recipes in specific situations, so if you find yourself in a similar situation you can know how that recipe will do (whether good or bad). It’s not nearly as robust of a library as I’d like it to be, but it might be helpful nonetheless. In the SOOC videos, not only is a specific recipe discussed and used, but, in the “Special Occasions” segment, recipes for specific scenarios are suggested. Be sure to visit YouTube.com/c/FujiXWeekly to find those videos.

Flying Seagull – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Velvia v2

Of course, the sample pictures within the recipes are intended to give you a clue if it might be a good choice or not. I can’t provide sample pictures captured in every photographic genre and every lighting condition, but I try to provide a good mix to help you know whether it might work well for you or not. If you haven’t spent much time viewing the sample images, it might be worth your time to look longer at them. If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, when you encounter a recipe that you think might work for you based on the sample pictures, use one of the Star colors to mark it, so that you can revisit it whenever you’re ready to program a recipe into your camera.

Much like with film, perhaps the best way to know whether a recipe will work well for your specific photographic situation is with experience. If you try it and it does well, now you know. And if it doesn’t, now you know. Program seven recipes into your C1-C7 Custom Presets, and see how they do. You can use the colored Stars in the App to help you keep track of which ones you especially like (maybe use green stars) and which ones you especially don’t (perhaps use red stars). After that, try another seven recipes.

I wish that I had a more helpful response to, “How do I know which film simulation recipe to use in a specific situation?” There are as many potential photographic situations as there are film simulation recipes to choose from, and it’s not always easy to determine which ones are best for what. The Fuji X Weekly App has some great tools that can help, and there are other resources, too, but the best answer is that it takes experience, which you’ll get as you try them out in various scenarios. The more you shoot with them, the more you’ll know which ones are good options for whatever situation you’re in. In the coming year I want to do more to help with this, so that there’s a little less trial-and-error involved on your part, and those with little or no experience don’t have quite as steep of a learning curve to climb. I have a long ways to go, but I am determined to make this website a better resource for those trying to figure out which recipes to program into their Fujifilm camera.

How To Use The Fuji X Weekly App (Videos)

I’ve been asked a few times recently to demonstrate through video how to use the Fuji X Weekly App. How do you get the most out of it? Some people are visual learners, and seeing it done makes much more sense than reading about it. If that’s you, this post is intended to help you.

I don’t currently have any videos that demonstrates this, as my two (below) only give a brief glimpse. They’re promotional videos and not how-to, although you can likely glean the gist of how it all works from them. I’m not really a “video guy” (just lightly dabble, I guess), so it’s not easy for me to whip something up real quick. However, I hope this article is helpful to you, as I share what is on YouTube regarding this. There are several great resources out there.

The SOOC series is a good starting point. For those who may not know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different film simulation recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

As a part of this, Nathalie and I discuss and even demonstrate aspects of the Fuji X Weekly App. So if you are trying to understand how to use the App and how to get the most out of it, you without a doubt want to watch these episodes! They’re quite long, so under each video I’ve put a time that you should skip ahead to if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

Skip to 48:43 & 1:06:30
Skip to 32:32
Skip to 23:58
Skip to 42:46 & 49:43
Skip to 21:00 & 29:20

Those SOOC episodes are great resources, and if you have the time I recommend watching them in their entirety. But if not, just skip ahead to those times under each video. Be sure to tune in on December 9th to catch Episode 06, as we will certainly discuss the App even more!

While I don’t have videos that show how to use the Fuji X Weekly App, other people have made some great videos that demonstrate how to do it! Yea! You’ll find these below—I’m sure they’ll be helpful to you.

Hopefully those above videos are great resources to you and will help you understand how to use the App. For those who prefer written words, check out these articles:

How To Add Film Simulation Recipes To Your Fujifilm Camera
Fuji X Weekly App: Filtering by Camera or Sensor?
Why You Should Become A Fuji X Weekly App Patron
Current 10 FXW App Patron Early-Access Recipes
Sneak Peek At The Fuji X Weekly App Update

The Journey Is The Destination, Part 2: Time to Eat

Empty Diner – Reno, NV – Fujifilm X100V – “Xpro ’62” – 4/21/2021

Part 1: Getting Gas Part 3: Lodging Locations

I love road trips! Given the choice to drive or fly, I’ll pick drive every time. Unfortunately, when I’m trying to get somewhere by car, I’m often trying to get there, wherever “there” is, and I don’t spend enough time enjoying the in-between. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously stated, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” Dan Eldon shortened it to, “The journey is the destination.” What makes a road trip special is not where you’re going, but the experiences along the way.

This photoessay series is entitled The Journey is the Destination, and includes pictures of those in-between places. Each article in this series will have a different theme. This one is called Time to Eat, and it features photographs captured at food stops while on some adventure somewhere. I’m usually pretty eager to photograph when on road trips, so even breakfast, lunch or dinner gets the attention of my camera lens.

You won’t see any pictures of my food—that’s not the point of this article—these are simply photographs that I captured at these restaurant stops. If I had started out with this series in mind, I probably would have approached it a little differently. Still, when placed together, these otherwise unrelated images tell a story. I hope that you enjoy!


Rural Diner – Tremonton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 1600” – 7/2/2020
Available Building – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100” – 7/2/2020
This Restaurant is Closed – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100” – 7/2/2020
Lunch Date – Polson, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Agfa Vista 100” – 7/8/2020
Cigarettes – Reno, NV – Fujifilm X100V – “Xpro ’62” – 4/21/2021
Wall Harley – Reno, NV – Fujifilm X100V – “Xpro ’62” – 4/21/2021
Kitchen – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F – “Cross Process” – 8/2/2018
McTaos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II” – 7/27/2018
McDiner – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II” – 7/27/2018
Steaks & BBQ – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – “Classic Chrome” – 3/14/2018
Neon Pink – Glendale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Velvia” – 5/11/2019
Grease Work – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell” – 7/2/2020
Drive Thru – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell” – 7/2/2020
Out of Order – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell” – 7/2/2020
Frostor – Ashton, ID – Fujifilm X100F – “Classic Chrome” – 9/13/2017
Lunchtime Rain – Lynnwood, WA – Fujifilm X100F – “Classic Chrome” – 11/16/2017


9:30 – Tremonton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400” – 7/2/2020
Gamers Cafe – Butte, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400” – 7/11/2020
Kitchen Window – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Agfa Scala” – 8/6/2018
Man in the Hat – Polson, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400” – 7/10/2020
Knead & Feed Cafe – Coupeville, WA – Fujifilm X100F – “Acros Push-Process” – 11/17/2017

I’m on the FujiLove Podcast!

FujiLove Magazine has a podcast, and on their latest episode I’m the special guest! If you have 45 minutes to spare and want to listen to a conversation about Fujifilm, film simulation recipes, and the Fuji X Weekly App, be sure to check it out!

This is a big deal because they’ve had some really big names, not just in the Fujifilm community, but the photography community, on their show. You’ll find episodes with Pete Souza, Kevin Mullins, Jack Graham, Adam Gibbs, and many, many more. I’m very honored and humbled. Thank you, FujiLove, for having me on your show!

My Fujifilm JPEG Journey

Hidden Church – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T200

I didn’t always shoot JPEGs. I used to shoot RAW. Now with Fujifilm cameras I am a JPEG guy, and I’m inspiring many others to shoot JPEGs, too.

This is my journey.

I learned photography in the film era just before digital photography became a big thing. I didn’t like digital photography in those early days—I could spot a digital picture pretty easily. I resisted buying a digital camera for about 10 years. Technology changes quickly, and digital camera technology advanced to a point that it made sense for me to jump in. I’ve been primarily shooting digital for a little over 10 years now; I still shoot film, although since using Fujifilm cameras I’ve shot a lot less of it.

When I started in digital photography, I took the advice that is often given to newcomers: shoot RAW. JPEGs are terrible, so if you’re serious, shoot RAW. I didn’t initially heed this advice as the learning curve for RAW editing software is steep, but I quickly learned a tough lesson. I was in Sedona, Arizona, at Red Rock Crossing at sunset with a clearing storm, photographing the iconic Cathedral Rock with the Oak Creek in the foreground. It was incredible! I shot it with the camera set to JPEG. Later, when I reviewed the pictures on my computer, I discovered that the JPEGs were simply awful! I tried to “fix” them in software, but it was simply a missed opportunity. That’s why you shoot RAW.

One of the problems with RAW is that it can take a lot of time to edit, or really develop, the images. Some pictures can be quick, but some can take hours. I once had a particular brand of camera with a unique three-layer sensor, and it would often take 30 minutes to an hour or more to get a finished picture from a RAW file. It was painfully slow! I spent a lot of time sitting at the computer editing pictures. I tried to find shortcuts to speed up the process, but editing still took up a significant chunk of my time.

Blue Mountain Lake – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X-T30

My first Fujifilm camera was an X-E1 that I purchased used. I immediately loved it, but I did not understand how great the JPEGs were. I was still a RAW shooter. I did some RAW+JPEG with that camera, and I was impressed that the JPEGs actually looked pretty good. Several months later I purchased a Fujifilm X100F. While shooting RAW+JPEG on the X100F, I began to notice that the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs looked an awful lot like the RAW images that I had spent time post-processing. It was a lightbulb moment.

I began to experiment with the different JPEG settings and I realized that I could achieve in-camera different looks that I liked. I’m not 100% sure where the term “recipe” came from—if it was something that I invented or if someone else came up with it first—but I began to create film simulation recipes (sets of JPEG settings) for my X100F. The very first recipe was simply called “Acros” and I published it on August 27, 2017. It was the fifth post on this blog. My “Classic Chrome” film simulation recipe was published later that same day. I stopped shooting RAW and relied entirely on camera-made JPEGs.

I thought it truly amazing that high-quality pictures that looked like post-processed RAW images could come straight-out-of-camera. It felt good to not spend hours and hours sitting in front of a computer editing pictures. What was most meaningful to me is the time that shooting JPEGs saved me. Suddenly I had a lot more free time, which I spent on two things: my family and photography. My family life improved while my photography simultaneously became significantly more productive. It may seem like hyperbole to state that it changed my life, but it really did!

Time went on and my film simulation recipes were noticed by others. They spread by word of mouth, and more and more photographers began to use them. The more that I experimented, the more creative I got with the settings. I began to get requests to create different film looks. I collaborated with others on some settings. People began to create their own recipes, sharing them on social media. Film simulation recipes are now more than just JPEG presets, they bring people together, the foundation of community.

The way that the world is being captured today is in part through the filter of the film simulation recipes on this website. People across the globe, from new-to-photography to experienced-pro, are using these settings. I’m honored and humbled to influence photography in this way. I cannot tell you how many times people have told me that these recipes have had an impact on their photography, either rejuvenating their passion or saving them time (or both).

Forsaken – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X100V

When I was in Photography 101 in college, my pictures weren’t as good as some of my classmates, and I wondered if I’d ever amount to anything as a photographer. Through various photographic failures that I’ve endured over the years, I wondered if I should keep pressing forward. When I began this blog three years ago, I wondered if anyone would even read it. There’s no need to wonder anymore, except perhaps to where all this might lead.

I don’t consider myself an influential photographer, but there’s no doubt that I’m influencing photography. The stigma attached to the camera-made JPEG is changing (in part) because of me. The aesthetic of today’s pictures is (in part) the recipes from this website. My reach on this website is worldwide and the audience much larger than I could have ever dreamed.

I still primarily shoot JPEGs, but I discovered along the way that film simulation recipes are much easier to create when you can reprocess RAW files, either in-camera or with X RAW Studio. Instead of strictly being a JPEG-only photographer, I use RAW+JPEG, but I still only use camera-made JPEGs. That’s what works for me.

Really, it’s about finding what works for you and your photography. RAW might work best for one person, RAW+JPEG for another, and JPEG-only for another. There’s no right or wrong way to do things. There’s advantages and disadvantages to each. Nobody should say that everyone should do things one way, or put people down for doing it different than them.

For myself and a growing group of photographers, using film simulation recipes on Fujifilm cameras is the preferred method. I’m a JPEG guy, or, really, RAW+JPEG. I get the pictures that I want straight-out-of-camera without the need for editing, except for minor cropping and occasional small adjustments, which I do on my phone. You won’t find me sitting at a computer fiddling with files. There’s no need to. That’s why I love Fujifilm JPEGs.