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There’s a lot of hype around a camera that Sony just announced: the a9 III (such an inspiring name, right? When will camera makers come up with more memorable—and, in turn, marketable—names?). What’s special about this camera is that it’s the world’s first full-frame stacked CMOS global shutter camera.
Global shutter? What’s that? Specifically, we’re talking electronic shutter, and not mechanical. Typically, CMOS sensors are read line-by-line, and not every line at once, which can cause problems like rolling shutter effect. This makes the electronic shutter less useful, as it’s more limited than the mechanical shutter; however, there are also several advantages to an electronic shutter, so sometimes it is preferable. With a global shutter, all the light sensitive sensor elements are read at the same time (not line-by-line), eliminating the disadvantages of the electronic shutter.
This is a significant step forward in camera technology, and I don’t want to diminish that, but at the same time the hype is a bit overhyped. Let me explain why.
One of the big advantages touted by those who are especially excited for this new technology is that it eliminates the need for flash sync speed. Use whatever shutter speed you desire for flash, including ultra-fast. Interestingly enough, this limitation doesn’t exist for leaf shutters, which are a mechanical shutter type found in some cameras, namely the Fujifilm X100-series. If you have a Fujifilm X100V and you are using the mechanical shutter, there’s no need to worry about flash sync speed. Granted, most cameras don’t have a leaf shutter, and leaf shutters are mechanical and not electronic; however, I found it interesting nonetheless that the global shutter solves a problem that isn’t always a problem, depending on your camera. If you don’t have $6,000 to shell out for a new camera, but you already own an X100-series model, you don’t have to worry about missing out, and you can let the FOMO rest for awhile.
Did you notice all of the qualifiers for the “world’s first” designation? Specifically, full frame and stacked CMOS global shutter. Why do you think those needed to be added? Well, the first full frame camera with a global shutter was the Contax N, way back in 2002 (it was developed in 2000, but it took awhile to come to market). The first camera with a global shutter, in theory, was developed by Kodak in the 1970’s. You see, CCD sensors, which were common before CMOS, were technically global shutter sensors. They became outdated before advancements in camera technology allowed photographers to take advantage of that aspect of them, but, technically speaking, global shutters are far from new, they’re only new to CMOS. Actually, Panasonic made a global shutter CMOS sensor back in 2018; however, the technology is newly coming to the market just now.
The promise of the global shutter is that the disadvantages of the electronic shutter are eliminated, and the need for a mechanical shutter is reduced or eliminated. The mechanical shutter has served photography pretty well over the last 150-ish years, so it’s not exactly a high-priority item to replace (in my humble opinion), but perhaps having fewer moving parts in future camera models will extend the life of those bodies (maybe). If you have a leaf shutter camera, the advantages of a global shutter is much less significant, but if you don’t, it’s a bigger deal for sure. Of course, global shutters bring their own disadvantages (most namely, it takes more processing power to read and store everything all at once). I think it’s just a matter of time before global shutter sensors are common, and perhaps as a result mechanical shutters will be much less common in future cameras.
I’m not saying that the need for improved electronic shutters doesn’t exist, or that significant advancements in the technology shouldn’t be celebrated. I’m simply stating that what’s old is new. That the hype is a little overhyped. For most people, the Sony A9 III won’t be a game-changer, or a milestone model remembered for decades and decades to come (as some are suggesting). I’m certain it will be a great camera that many will love and it will sell quite well for Sony, but for the majority of people, the differences between global and non-global electronic shutters will make little or no practical difference to them and their photography. For some, however, it will be a big deal, and for those folks, it’s worth noting and celebrating. Don’t be surprised if the X-H3 or X-T6 has this technology (I have no idea, I’m just speculating). If you have a leaf shutter camera, such as the X100V, you’re already enjoying the benefits, at least when it comes to flash sync speed and (nearly) silent operation.
When you think of dramatic displays of Autumn colors, you probably don’t think of Arizona. It’s easy to miss that Arizona has a significant amount of mountainous terrain, with extensive forests and even snow-capped peaks in the winter. In autumn, some of these trees change color as the leaves prepare to drop. The fall foliage in Arizona can be impressive!
Two days ago I drove up north to the slopes of the San Francisco Peaks just outside of Flagstaff for an autumn hike. The trail is called Aspen Corner Trail, which sits right below the Snowbowl ski resort. Interestingly, I was looking for the Aspen Loop Nature Trail, but I didn’t quite go far enough, and didn’t realize until later that I wasn’t even on the intended path. I had never been on any trails in this area before; I saw all of the cars and the many photographers, and just figured I was in the right place.
It was an easy hike, with very short sections that might be considered moderate (maybe). I didn’t go anywhere close to the end, just perhaps a quarter mile down where the thick forest opened to a large meadow, then back to the car as the sun was beginning to dip below the horizon. The place was nothing short of stunning!
I had my Fujifilm X100V with me. I picked seven Film Simulation Recipes—some because I knew they’d do well, and others because I wasn’t sure how they’d do and I wanted to find out. The Recipes that I chose for my C1-C7 are The Rockwell, Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Portra 400, Reggie’s Portra, CineStill 400D v2, Fujicolor Superia 100, and Fujicolor NPH. I’ll discuss each briefly below, providing some thoughts on how well they did. One more note: I used a 5% CineBloom filter with all of these pictures.
For those who don’t know or remember, the way I’m currently using my X100V is the rear LCD is turned off, and the hybrid viewfinder is set to OVF. That means that I don’t know how the pictures turned out until later when I review them. This is intended to replicate a film-like experience, in a way. Since I don’t know what I’m getting, I try to take a little extra care to ensure that I get it right. Also, I really enjoy reviewing all of the photos at once, not knowing how exactly it all went; there’s a certain thrill when one is especially great or unexpectedly interesting. This process has been a good exercise for me.
Now, let’s take a look at the seven Film Simulation Recipes that I used to photograph fall colors on my Fujifilm X100V!
This Recipe produces bright and colorful pictures. If you want to really show off a vibrant scene, The Rockwell will do it! The flip side is that it can be over-the-top sometimes—too bold, too colorful, too crisp. I was confident that this would be a good option, and I was right. If you want to emphasize the vivid colors of autumn, The Rockwell will deliver just that. I used this Recipe more than any of the others.
I don’t shoot with the Kodak Ektar 100 Recipe all that often, so I thought this would be a good opportunity. It’s warm and vibrant, and seemingly a good match for autumn photography. After reviewing the pictures, my regret is not using this Recipe more! The image above, for example, is one of my favorites of the outing. I’m going to keep this one programmed into my camera for awhile longer.
Kodak Portra 400 v2 is one of the Recipes that I typically use the most—definitely Top 5, maybe Top 3—so I thought I’d try the “v1” Kodak Portra 400 Recipe instead on this trip. I just don’t shoot with it often enough. After reviewing the pictures, this is another one that I wish I had used more. While it doesn’t emphasize the colors like the two Recipes above, it does produce an analogue-like rendering that’s easy to appreciate.
Another Recipe that I didn’t use a lot was Reggie’s Portra, although it certainly did quite well. In retrospect, I probably didn’t need to have both Kodak Portra 400 and Reggie’s Portra programmed into the camera. Personally, I prefer the aesthetic of Kodak Portra 400 just slightly more (although, overall, they’re pretty similar), but Reggie’s Portra is more versatile, so it can be the better choice if the light might be something other than sunny daylight. If I were to do this again, I’d choose either Kodak Portra 400 or Reggie’s Portra and not both.
This is a Recipe that I suspected might be very good for fall foliage photography, but I wasn’t certain. I’m now convinced that it is! Upon reviewing the pictures, CineStill 400D v2 was one of my favorite Recipes that I used, and another that I wished that I used more. Very beautiful results, perhaps the best of these seven for the light and colors on this particular adventure. I really liked this one!
Fujicolor Superia 100 was my second-most used Recipe (only behind The Rockwell), and I chose it because I wanted a Fuji color-negative film look, plus I thought this might be a good option for autumn images (although I wasn’t sure). While the picture at the very top of this article, which was captured with this Recipe, was one of my top favorites of this trip, overall I was a tad disappointed with Fujiclor Superia 100. It wasn’t a bad choice for fall colors, but it wasn’t as good as some of the others that I used less often. So, basically, Fujicolor Superia 100 was great sometimes and mediocre at other times, depending on the exact light and colors.
I wondered how a Recipe with a bit more green in it might fare in the fall. I knew there’d be some pines, and figured that the Fujicolor NPH Recipe might render those well. I think the results were interesting—and definitely different than the others—but this was my least favorite of the seven. That’s not to say that it was bad, but only I preferred the other six more. It has some potential, though—for example, the very last picture has an obvious similarity to some prints I have in a photo box in the closet. But, overall, I think there are better Film Simulation Recipes for autumn photography.
See also: 10 Film Simulation Recipes for Fall
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According to Fujirumors, there will not be another X-series camera announced in 2023. Apparently, whatever camera was thought to be coming is not… at least not until sometime after New Years. The next Fujifilm camera to be released will, then, be the X100V successor, which will likely be announced in late-January or early-February.
The name most thrown around for the X100V successor is X100R, where “R” stands for Roku, which is six in Japan; however, I’d be surprised if Fujifilm did this just because Roku is such a recognizable brand name. Can you imagine the fun, though, that someone like Omar Gonzalez or Kai Wong could have with this? I can already see the gags about the X100Roku… plug it into your TV for streaming made easy! Catch the latest videos from your favorite YouTubers right on the X100Roku! I don’t know what Fujifilm will name it, but I propose X100Z, which makes the most sense to me.
Other than a new lens, not much is known about the X100V successor. I think it will have the 40mp X-Trans V sensor. Nothing else has leaked, as far as I’ve seen. We’ll just have to wait and see.
A lot of Fujifilm models have been discontinued, and we’re now in the last quarter of 2023, so I thought I would take this opportunity to briefly discuss what the X-series lineup currently looks like.
This, of course, is the one model that everyone wants but nobody can get. It’s the most in-demand camera that Fujifilm has ever made. With a backorder list that’s months-long, new orders are being placed for the X100V faster than Fujifilm can manufacture new copies. Hopefully, the X100Z (or whatever Fujifilm will call it) will help alleviate this issue, but it might just exacerbate it. I wonder if those who have been on backorder lists for months will be made first in line for the new model, or if they’ll have to jump into a whole new line? Fujifilm will have to be careful with how they handle the transition. The X100V is currently the only rangefinder-style model being offered by Fujifilm. Oh, and good luck finding one!
The latest in the often-celebrated X-T line is the X-T5, which is truly a photographer’s camera. It is one of four fifth-generation X-series models, and one of only two with the 40mp X-Trans V sensor. It’s also the only SLR-styled camera with the traditional tactile controls being offered by Fujifilm at this time.
Fujifilm X-H2 / X-H2s
These two cameras are Fujifilm’s flagship models designed to competitively contend with some full-frame offerings by Canikony brands. They’re the most expensive in the lineup, offering the best-of-the-best features, but in a body dissimilar from most that Fujifilm has previously released for X cameras. They’re largely intended to bring photographers into the Fujifilm fold from other brands, and not necessarily satisfy the desires of those who have been with the brand for many years. The X-H2 is the 40mp high-resolution version, while the X-H2s is the 26mp performance option.
The X-S20 is the more budget-friendly and compact version of the X-H2/X-H2s. It’s like their little brother. It’s also more intended to bring in folks from Canikony brands than to sell to long-time Fujifilm users. Despite having the old sensor, it’s Fujifilm’s newest X-series model.
The X-S10 is the predecessor to the X-S20. Even though the new iteration has been out for several months, Fujifilm hasn’t discontinued the X-S10. I’m not sure if it’s because they still have a lot of copies sitting around, or if it’s just selling so well that they’ll keep it around awhile longer. Fujifilm did something similar with the X-T3—continued to manufacture it well after the X-T4 was released—because it was still doing well for them. The X-S10 is Fujifilm’s cheapest offering, and currently the best value in my opinion.
That’s it! That’s the full X-series lineup currently. It looks a lot different than it used to—boy, have times changed!
Cameras that have been discontinued that still might see a successor are the X-T30 II, X-E4, and X-Pro3. My guess is that an X-Pro4 will be announced in late-spring or early-summer, and will be the first to follow the upcoming X100-series model. I’m not certain if we’ll get an X-T40 (maybe they’ll call it X-T30 III or X-T50), but it would make a lot of sense to offer it, as that line has always done well for Fujifilm, and a budget-friendly camera with the traditional tactile controls is curiously and sadly missing. If Fujifilm does eventually make an X-E5, if past releases are any indication, it will be sometime in late-2024 or even in 2025, I think, just before X-Trans VI; however, the X-E4 had a lot of demand and a long backorder list before being suddenly discontinued, so it would make a lot of sense to release an X-E5 before then. I’m not convinced that Fujifilm will offer both an X-T00 and X-E model simultaneously, and it’s possible that one of those two lines is gone for good. We’ll see.
My guess is that we’ll see three X-series cameras in 2024. The first will be the X100Z, then the X-Pro4, then either the X-T40 or X-E5 later in the year. The X100V successor is the only one that’s for certain, the rest is speculation.
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I’m not a wedding photographer, although I have photographed a few weddings in the past as a favor to family and friends. Since I’m always carrying a camera around, I’m occasionally asked to capture someone’s wedding, but it’s not my thing. While I have a lot of photography experience, I have limited experience as a wedding photographer.
I don’t envy those in this genre, because it’s a lot of work. The wedding photographer is often one of the first to arrive at the venue, and one of the last to leave, because every moment—from setup to reception’s end, and especially every instance in-between—is worth recording. There are so many memorable moments throughout the day, and the photographer’s job is to capture as many as possible, including every single of the big ones. Then there’s all the culling and editing. I would estimate that for every hour spent capturing pictures, I’d need two to three hours at the computer to edit the images. If I photographed for 12 hours, that would mean 24 to 36 hours of post-processing. Yikes!
Because Film Simulation Recipes can save you a whole bunch of time, it’s not surprising that I’ve been asked a number of times which ones might be good for wedding photography. Whether you’re a professional, or just doing it as a favor, or as a guest, Recipes are much more efficient, and cutting the culling and editing down to a reasonable time is highly appealing. I haven’t photographed a wedding since I began using Recipes, so it’s been difficult to recommend specific ones. Without personal experience, I’ve only been able to guess which ones might do well.
Last month I was invited to Marisa and Sahand Nayebaziz‘s wedding in Laguna Beach, California. Sahand is an app developer—if you’ve ever used the Fuji X Weekly App, Ricoh Recipes App, or RitchieCam App, you’ve seen his handiwork. His own app is called Details Pro, and if you are familiar with SwiftUI, you’ve probably heard of and maybe even used his app. Anyway, I’ve worked with Sahand for three years now, and he has been a significant part of the Fuji X Weekly story. He shoots with Fujifilm cameras and uses Film Simulation Recipes, so naturally we have developed a friendship. It was a real honor to be invited to Marisa and Sahand’s marriage ceremony.
The wedding was incredibly beautiful! Aside from the breathtaking location and the perfect weather, the event was decorated so well. It was literally like nothing I’d ever seen before. It was like a movie, except it was real!
My wife and I were guests. I brought my Fujifilm X100V—with a 10% CineBloom filter on the front—and did my best to stay out of the way. I wanted to photograph the wedding, but there’s nothing more annoying to the wedding photographer—and perhaps also the bride and groom—than to get in the way by being pushy with the camera. It’s much better to just blend into the crowd. I wasn’t the wedding photographer, and was quite satisfied with that arrangement; however, I still wanted to capture some images. Funny story, the wedding photographer, who was using a couple of Leica models, asked me several questions about my X100V; apparently he’s interested in buying one for his personal photography. Although I tried to blend in, my camera caught his attention, but I think in a good way.
My approach was to focus on things that I thought the wedding photographer might overlook. Of course, I had no idea what the photographer would or wouldn’t capture, but I know how easy it is to miss small things when your attention is on big things. I did my best to photograph those potentially missed pictures, while drawing as little attention to myself as practical. Also, I think the perspective of the guests can be a little different than that of the wedding crew, so I approached it as such.
The Fujifilm X100V is a great camera, but the fixed-focal-length lens is limiting. That’s not always a bad thing, but it did make it challenging in this case because I was sometimes further away than I needed to be to get the shots that I wanted. The digital teleconverter was utilized more often than usual—in a pinch it works well, but I avoid it when I can.
I had two Film Simulation Recipes in mind for the wedding, but I wasn’t sure until I got there if they would be good choices. It was a daylight outdoor wedding, and for those pictures I used my Kodak Portra 400 v2 Recipe, which is a favorite of both Sahand and myself, so it made a lot of sense to try it. That Recipe worked excellent, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. For the indoor reception pictures, I used the Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled, which is soft and versatile—perfect for the situation.
Kodak Portra 400 v2 is a Film Simulation Recipe that I’m now happy to recommend for outdoor daylight wedding photography. Some others to consider are Kodak Portra 400, Reggie’s Portra, Timeless Negative, Reala Ace, Fujicolor Reala 100, Fujicolor Superia 100, Fujicolor C200, Fujicolor Pro 400H, and Fujicolor Natura 1600. I’m sure many others could work, too. Of course, which one you should choose will depend on the exact light condition and the aesthetic you desire. Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled is a Recipe that I’m happy to recommend for indoor wedding photography. Fujicolor Super HG v2, Eterna v2, Reggie’s Portra, Reala Ace, and Timeless Negative are some others to consider. You might notice that a few Recipes are in both categories, and that’s because they’re more versatile. In fact, Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled could also be a good option for sunny daylight situations. Kodak Tri-X 400 would be my top choice for black-and-white.
I just picked two Recipes, but if I was the photographer (and not a guest), I would have seven options ready to go in my C1-C7. I would select two for sunny outdoors, two for indoor, two for versatility, and one B&W. Something like Kodak Portra 400 v2 and Fujicolor Superia 100 for outdoors, Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled and Fujicolor Super HG v2 for indoors, Reggie’s Portra and Reala Ace for versatility, and Kodak Tri-X 400 for monochrome. Then, I’d test each one at the venue, and decide at that point which ones I want to use—perhaps just three or maybe four of them—and stick with those few, unless the light changed and an adjustment was needed.
The photographs in this article are about 1/3 of the total that I gave to the bride and groom. Because I used Film Simulation Recipes and didn’t edit (aside from some cropping), the culling and post-processing took minutes, and not hours and hours. These were bonus pictures for them, hopefully complimenting the wonderful photographs that the actual wedding photographer captured. Marisa and Sahand seemed to like them. If you are considering using Film Simulation Recipes at an upcoming wedding, I hope that this article provides you with some direction. If you’ve used Recipes at a wedding, let me know in the comments which ones you used and how they worked out.
This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.
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According to Fujirumors, who is rarely wrong, the upcoming Fujifilm X100V successor will have a new lens. The camera is expected to be announced sometime in early 2024, most likely late-January or early-February. I think that Fujifilm will name it X100Z, but that’s just a guess.
What’s interesting about this is that the lens was redesigned not long ago for the Fujifilm X100V, but the four prior versions—X100, X100S, X100T, and X100F—all shared the original lens. While Fujifilm improved the lens, it wasn’t a huge change. The main thing that Fujifilm addressed was corner sharpness when using a large aperture. At f/2, the old lens was a bit soft (something some people liked and others didn’t), but the new one on the X100V doesn’t have that issue. Beyond that, the update was rather insignificant.
The question is, why will the next X100-series model have a different lens than the X100V? There are a few main ideas that I think could explain it. One is that the X100Z (or whatever Fujifilm will call it) is likely to have the 40mp sensor found in the X-T5 and X-H2, and perhaps the current lens isn’t sharp enough to take full advantage of the resolution. Another idea is that, since the lens isn’t fully weather-sealed without a filter across the front, maybe Fujifilm has figured out how to fully seal it. A third possibility is that Fujifilm will include IBIS, and the lens needs to be adjusted slightly to accommodate. A final idea is that the lens redesign is to simply accommodate an improved leaf shutter. It could be a combination of those reasons or perhaps others not considered.
There are also some wild ideas that are much less likely to be the case, but you never know. One is that Fujifilm will increase the maximum aperture to f/1.7 like the Leica Q3. Another is that Fujifilm will change the focal length to be more wide—perhaps 18mm (27mm-equivalent) or 20mm (30mm-equivalent)—or more telephoto—maybe 25mm (37.5mm-equivalent), 27mm (40.5mm-equivalent), 30mm (45mm-equivalent), or 33mm (50mm-equivalent). A third idea is that Fujifilm is working to make the next iteration more pocketable, and the lens will be slightly slimmer. The wildest idea might be that the X100Z will have a zoom lens instead of a prime (while some might like that, overall I think it would start a riot…). With how things have been going in Fuji-land, it could even be that the shutter dial and aperture ring will be removed in favor of a PASM dial. A final idea is that the redesign will remove the IR hotspot, and Fujifilm will offer a full-spectrum version. I don’t think any of these will be the case, but I’ve certainly been wrong before.
An interesting thought is that the X100V won’t actually be replaced, per se, especially since it is currently so popular, but that Fujifilm will simply introduce an alternative version with a different focal-length lens. In other words, Fujifilm could manufacture the X100V for another few years (and maybe introduce a firmware update to make it more fresh), and offer an 18mm or 20mm version that is otherwise identical. Sigma had [three or] four versions of their DP cameras, which were identical except for the focal-length of the lens: 14mm (21mm-equivalent), 19mm (28mm-equivalent), 30mm (45mm-equivalent), and 50mm (75mm-equivalent) options. Ricoh has two versions of the GR III: 18.3mm (27.5mm-equivalent) and 26mm (39mm-equivalent). Maybe Fujifilm could do something similar? Perhaps have two or three X100V options, each with a different focal-length lens? I highly doubt that Fujifilm will do this, but it would be intriguing if they did.
Time will tell what exactly the lens redesign is, but I don’t anticipate it being anything particularly revolutionary. I think it will be a mild refresh to what is already an excellent lens. Most likely it will be made a hair crisper so that it can fully resolve the 40mp sensor. At this point, though, anything is possible, so it’s fun to consider what it could be, no matter how unlikely.
Fujifilm will be announcing the upcoming X100V replacement in early 2024, according to Fujirumors. What will be different on the new model is unknown, but most likely it will be nearly the same, and will probably be a little more expensive. It will be interesting to see what exactly Fujifilm changes and what they keep the same. Will it have a 26 or 40 megapixel sensor? XPan aspect ratio? IBIS? NP-W235 battery? Anything is a possibility right now, but historically the X100-series doesn’t change a whole lot with each new iteration.
I hope that Fujifilm—and it would be really smart for them to do this—introduces a brand-new film simulation with this model. Yes, it will have Eterna Bleach Bypass and Nostalgic Neg., but it should have one more fresh film sim. I have no idea if that’s in the plans or not, but it should be.
Probably the least important aspect of any new camera—from a usability perspective—is the name; however, from a marketing perspective, the name is fairly important. If the camera is called something awkward or uninspiring, it might mean fewer sales, while if it is called something catchy and cool, it could increase camera sales. Fujifilm likely has a shortlist of potential names written on a board in Japan right now, and they’re trying to decide which one to pick.
Fans of Fujifilm are—just for fun—also contemplating the new name. I correctly picked the name of the X100V well before it was announced, and I’m hoping to go 2-0 with the upcoming version. It’s not important in the scheme of things, but I do enjoy guessing. Others have taken a stab at it, too. Let’s discuss some of the potential options.
My best guess is that Fujifilm will name the new model X100Z. Why Z? First, it sounds cool (think Nissan 350Z). Second, “Z” (Zeta) is the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet, and this will be the sixth iteration of the camera. Third, Fujifilm used Z in some of their film emulsion names, such as Fujicolor Pro 800Z (if they did introduce a new film simulation, it could be based on Pro 800Z and called PRO Neg. Z). It makes a lot of sense to me, and seems to check a lot of boxes that I imagine Fujifilm has for any potential name.
In the original X100 naming system, S stood for Second, T for Third, and F for Fourth. Once number five came around, the naming system no longer worked, so Fujifilm jumped to Roman Numerals for the current model. V not only means Five, but there’s also a V in the word. Some people think that Fujifilm will continue with Roman Numerals, and the next version will be X100VI. This is likely high on Fujifilm’s list of possibilities, but it just seems so Sony, and not so much Fujifilm; however, Fujifilm has been trying to be more like Sony lately, so maybe they’ll go this route. I personally would be surprised if Fujifilm uses another Roman Numeral until the tenth model, which will surely be called X100X, but I have no doubts that this option is on their list.
Another possibility—and this one seems to be the most popular among Fuji fans—is R, because that’s the sixth letter in the Japanese alphabet. The letter is pronounced Roku, which you might recognize as a well-established brand name for streaming television. If Fujifilm went this route, surely there will be plenty of jokes (for example, watch your favorite YouTuber right on your camera…). I could see Omar Gonzalez or Kai Wong having a field day with this! I would think that Fujifilm would avoid this option simply for the name association, but they could say that R stands for Rangefinder or Resolution (if they choose the 40mp sensor), but of course we’ll all know what it really means: plug the X100Roku into your TV for streaming made easy!
Some have speculated that Fujifilm will start over, going with X200 (followed by X200S, X200T, etc.). I don’t think this option makes much sense. I imagine that a full-frame X100 model would be called X200, but I don’t see Fujifilm completely renaming an established and popular line. If they were to go this route, the X200 would have to be significantly different than the X100V to justify such a dramatic name change, and I don’t see that happening.
If Fujifilm keeps everything pretty much the same and only makes minor modifications to the new model, I could see X100Vs (like the X-E2s, or if they use the stacked sensor of the X-H2s) or X100V II (like the X-T30 II) as the name. I think a lot of people will be disappointed that the new camera is pretty much the exact same thing as the (at the time of the new announcement) four-year-old X100V; however, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? So if not much changes, X100Vs and X100V II are both possibilities, but I imagine that enough will be different that Fujifilm won’t choose these options.
Another one I’ve seen floated around is X100H, where H stands for Hex, which means Six in Latin. It also means curse in English, so I’d be really surprised if Fujifilm made a bewitched model. I think this one will be avoided like the plague!
Of course, the one I’d really like to see is the X100-Acros, a monochrome-only version. I think there would be a lot of buzz surrounding that, and would be a “wow” camera. I hope that Fujifilm is at least considering such a version—I’d be first in line to buy it!
Now it’s your turn: what do you think Fujifilm will name the sixth edition of the X100-series? Let me know in the comments!
Someone asked me for advice: should they sell their Fujifilm X100V (plus the wide and tele conversion lenses) and buy an X-T5 (plus some f/2 Fujinon lenses), or just keep the X100V? They really like the X100V, and it works well for their photography, but they think the X-T5 might be better. I was going to answer this question personally, but I can’t find the email or DM (sorry); instead, I will answer the question publicly, and hope they find it. Maybe it will also be helpful to some of you considering a similar scenario.
Because there is so much demand for and so little supply of the X100V, they’re selling for an inflated price right now. If a camera like the X-T5 is financially out-of-reach, yet you can get a good amount for your X100V, now the X-T5 is a possibility. But is it worth it?
I have a Fujifilm X100V. It was a birthday gift from my wife over three years ago, and it’s been my favorite camera ever since. Even though my X100V is far from new, it is still such a great camera, and I use it all of the time. I feel like it is the perfect tool 90% of the time, 8% of the time it’s not ideal but can be made to work, and 2% of the time it is just the wrong tool for the job. That’s for my photography. You might find it to be perfect 100% of the time for yours, or only 50%, or something else entirely. Each person is different. My opinion is that, while the X100V is my favorite camera, it is best when you have an interchangeable-lens option for those situations when it is not ideal.
I have a Fujifilm X-T5. I purchased it when it was announced so that I could try the new Nostalgic Neg. film simulation. The X-T5 is such a great camera, too—very wonderful! Fujifilm did an excellent job with this one. But I don’t like it nearly as much as the X100V. If I put the two models next to each other, most of the time I’d grab the X100V and not the X-T5. Let me give you five reasons for this.
Before I do—just real quick—I want to make it clear that this article is not about bashing the Fujifilm X-T5 or any other camera. I’m sure for some of you the X-T5 is your all-time favorite model, and you’ve never been happier. It could be that if you purchased it, you’d find the perfect camera for you. Each person will have their own preferences because we’re all different, and we have some excellent options to choose from. I’m simply speaking about my personal experiences and preferences.
First, the Fujifilm X-T5, while still fairly small and lightweight, is bigger and heavier than my X100V. This matters a lot to me, because the X100V rarely gets in the way, while the X-T5 can and sometimes does. After awhile of carrying around, the X-T5 gets tiring a lot quicker than the X100V. Also, I have a travel kit that I really like, and the X100V fits really well in it, while the X-T5 doesn’t.
Second, the Fujifilm X100V has some features that I find especially useful, such as the built-in fill-flash that works incredibly well (thanks to the leaf shutter and Fujifilm’s programming) and a built-in ND filter. The X-T5 has IBIS, which is also a useful feature, so this isn’t completely lopsided in favor of the X100V, but I use the fill-flash and ND filter fairly frequently, while IBIS is only occasionally useful for me—you might find the opposite to be true for you.
Third, the Fujifilm X-T5 is designed like an SLR, and the viewfinder is in the middle; the X100V is designed like a rangefinder, and the viewfinder is on the corner. When I use the X-T5, my nose gets smooshed against the rear LCD, and often leaves a smudge. With the X100V, my nose sits next to the camera completely unsmooshed (did I just make up a new word?), and the rear LCD remains smudgeless (another made-up word?).
Fourth, the X100V has more manageable file sizes than the X-T5. The 26-megapixel images from the X100V are plenty for me. I’ve printed 2′ x 3′ from straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, and they look great. I don’t print larger than that, so I don’t really need the extra resolution. If I needed to crop deeply I could with the X-T5, but since it’s an interchangeable-lens model, I’d simply change the lens as my first option. The X-T5’s 40-megapixel pictures fill up an SD card and my phone’s storage noticeably quicker. Sometimes more resolution means more problems.
Fifth, the Fujifilm X-T5 is subject to dust on the sensor. Technically, it’s possible to get a dirty sensor on the X100V (and that would be a big problem), but it would take a combination of a crazy scenario (I’m thinking haboob) and mishandling (no filter attached). I’ve never had a single dust spot (knock on wood) on my X100V, but it’s a constant battle with my X-T5 (and my other interchangeable-lens models).
So my recommendation is to keep the Fujifilm X100V, and not sell it to fund the purchase of an X-T5. That’s my advice, but it is up to each person to determine what is most appropriate for their unique situation. What’s best for me may not be what’s best for you.
With that said, I do think it makes a lot of sense to have an interchangeable-lens option to go with the X100V. I have a Fujifilm X-E4 that I especially love, and I use it more often than the X-T5. Yes, you heard that correctly: the X100V is my most used camera, the X-E4 is number two, and the X-T5 is in third place right now. They’re all wonderful options, and you should be happy with any of them. In the specific situation I was asked about, I do believe that cost is a significant consideration, and I’d look into a used Fujifilm X-E3 as a companion to the X100V, since the X-E4 might be too expensive or difficult to find.
This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.
A lot of people are interested right now in achieving a 1990’s film look. If you’re unfamiliar, the specific aesthetic is that of cheap 35mm point-and-shoot and disposable cameras. You know, the 4″ x 6″ prints from the 1-hour photo lab that’s in your (or your parent’s) photo album or picture box. If you are older than 25 (and maybe as young as 20) there might be some nostalgia associated with this look. If you own a Fujifilm model, it’s not too difficult to achieve the ’90’s film aesthetic straight-out-of-camera.
While Kodak was king of film, a surprisingly significant extent of this aesthetic was influenced by Fujifilm. There are a few key reasons for this.
First, Fujifilm’s QuickSnap disposable cameras were a huge hit, and Kodak was often playing catch-up with their FunSaver line. While both were really popular, odds are that if you are looking at a disposable camera picture, it was captured on a QuickSnap, which often used a Fujicolor Superia film.
Second, for those pictures captured on reloadable point-and-shoot cameras, while Kodak sold more film, Fujifilm sold a heck-of-a-lot, too. The majority of pictures were likely shot on Kodak emulsions, but a very large chunk were captured with Fujicolor film.
Third, a lot of 1-hour photo labs used Fujifilm’s machines, chemicals, and paper. Even if the film was Kodak, Fujifilm still had an influence in the final picture aesthetic. The majority of snap-shooters in the 1990’s in the U.S. were dropping their film off at cheap labs inside drug stores or box stores, such as (for example) Walmart. Because Fujifilm sold their photo development equipment and supplies at a slightly lower price than Kodak, many of these labs went with Fujifilm over Kodak. Also, if you had the film scanned by the 1-hour lab (and placed on a CD), it was likely done with a Frontier scanner by Fujifilm.
If you want to recreate this ’90’s film aesthetic on your Fujifilm camera, the best starting point is the Classic Negative film simulation, because it is closely based off of Fujicolor Superia film. Any Film Simulation Recipe that uses Classic Negative as the base is going to get you halfway there. For those who own a Fujifilm camera that doesn’t have Classic Negative (X-Trans III and older, plus X-T3 & X-T30), look for Recipes with Classic Chrome (such as Kodak Gold 200 and Kodacolor) for a retro Kodak look or PRO Neg. Std (such as Fujicolor Superia 800 and Fujicolor 100 Industrial) for a Fujicolor look.
I shot with 10 different Film Simulation Recipes that use Classic Negative as the base for this article. As of this writing, there are over 45 Recipes that use Classic Negative, so there are many more to choose from—just because I didn’t use a particular Recipe here doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t work well or that you shouldn’t try it (finding Classic Negative Recipes on the Fuji X Weekly App is easy for Patron subscribers). I do think these 10 are all good options, and they produce a variety of characteristics. Some are more contrasty and some less. Some are more warm and others more cool. Some are more vibrant and some less so. Take a look at each, and if you are drawn more to the pictures in a particular Recipe, give that one a try for yourself.
10 Film Simulation Recipes
We discussed Film Simulation Recipes before talking about gear because choosing the right Recipe is more critical than the gear you use. With that said, gear is important, too. One critical component is flash. While not all ’90’s film snapshots were captured using a flash, a lot were, and so it has become associated closely with the aesthetic. I used flash in all of the Recipe example pictures above.
The Fujifilm X100V has a great fill-flash built into the camera, making it an ideal choice for this style. It also has a leaf shutter, which makes flash photography much easier. There are other Fujifilm cameras that also have a flash and leaf shutter, such as the X100F, X70, and XF10 (to name a few), but the X100V is the only one that also has Classic Negative.
One problem with using the X100V is that the fixed lens is too good. It’s not really believable as a ’90’s point-and-shoot (although there are some examples that have high-quality glass). To tone it down a little, I used a 10% CineBloom diffusion filter, which helps to produce a more analog-like rendering.
When using the Fujifilm X100V, choose the Classic Negative Recipe of your preference, screw a diffusion filter onto the lens (you’ll need an adapter if you don’t have one already), and turn the flash On (TTL). You’re now good to go!
Fujifilm X-E4 + Lens + Flash
Of course, you don’t need a camera with a built-in flash to do this. My Fujifilm X-E4 doesn’t have a flash, for example, but by attaching an external unit, such as my Godox Lux Junior, to the hot-shoe on top of the camera, I can now do flash photography. This is a lot trickier than using the X100V, and takes some practice if you don’t have experience with a flash, but it is certainly one way to do it.
What I do appreciate about this approach is that the camera is interchangeable-lens, which means you can use a more lofi option, such as the 7Artisans 18mm f/6.3 II. This is softer glass with strong vignetting, and perhaps not one you’d use much for other purposes; however, for replicating the aesthetic of a cheap point-and-shoot it is great!
Combining the Fujifilm X-E4 with the 7Artisan 18mm f/6.3 II lens and using the Godox Lux Junior flash is an affective way to replicate a ’90’s film aesthetic. All of the Fujicolor Analog and Agfa Ultra 100 examples above were captured with this combination, as well as some of the other pictures. If you don’t have a built-in flash on your Fujifilm camera, this is a good way to achieve the look.
While the picture quality from cheap point-and-shoot and disposable cameras were not considered great, this is how many important memories and ordinary life moments where captured in the 1990’s. Many people look back with fondness on these photographs. The image aesthetics conjure up nostalgic feelings, so it should not be too surprising that this look is currently in-style. You can achieve it yourself on your Fujifilm camera without much fuss—it’s mostly just choosing the right Film Simulation Recipe and turning the flash on.
Fujirumors is reporting that the Fujifilm X100V successor, which I’m calling the X100Z, will be announced in early 2024 (and they’re almost always right). Going by previous models, that means Fujifilm will announce the camera in either late-January or early-February, and it will likely ship in late-February or early-March.
That’s good news, especially if you’ve been trying to get an X100V but just can’t. Reinforcements are coming soon enough, and the wait will be over before you know it.
Here are some issues, though. If you’ve been patiently waiting for an X100V, and you’ve been on a backorder list for months and months—are you going to be happy when your X100V ships just a little prior to the announcement of the new model? The X100V is great, so I hope that the timing won’t sour your opinions or experience, but it might. Or this: will those on the waitlist for the X100V be given priority for the X100Z? Let’s say you’ve been waiting six months for your X100V and it hasn’t shipped. Suddenly the X100Z is announced. Will the store offer to bump you to the top of the preorder list for the new model? I know of one store that told me this will be their plan. Is it fair to those who don’t have an X100V on backorder but who preorder the X100Z within minutes of its announcement, but can’t get their camera shipped timely because others jumped the line from the X100V? It could be that you’ll have to cancel your long-awaited order and place a new one for the new camera, getting in a whole different line, possibly not at the top. Is that fair? I don’t have any answers, I’m just posing the questions—it’s something that Fujifilm and camera stores will have to carefully consider and tread lightly with.
I don’t know what Fujifilm will call the next X100-series model, but I’m betting on X100Z. Why? First, it sounds cool. Second, “Z” (Zeta) is the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet, and this will be the sixth iteration of the camera. Third, Fujifilm used Z in some of their film emulsion names, such as Fujicolor Pro 800Z. It makes a lot of sense to me, so that’s why I think it’s what they’ll choose. But I have no idea.
I don’t believe Fujifilm will bring very many changes to the new model. The X100-series doesn’t evolve much. I do believe it will include the 40-megapixel X-Trans V sensor and processor. Some want the 26mp stacked sensor of the X-H2s, and some want the X-Trans IV sensor of the X100V. While anything is possible, I would be pretty darn surprised if it isn’t the 40-megapixel sensor. Due to the fixed-focal-length limitation, having more resolution offers more versatility. Also, Fujifilm could give us the X-Pan 65:24 aspect ratio (Fujifilm: hint, hint)….
Speaking of that, the Digital Teleconverters will benefit from the 40mp sensor, and Fujifilm could even include a third option, something like 80mm or possibly 85mm. I hope, though, that they fix the problem of the faux Grain not scaling. As it is now, the Grain appears huge when using the 70mm Digital Teleconverter; however, it should scale so that it is the same size as when not using the Digital Teleconverter.
Another potential benefit of the 40mp sensor would be digital image stabilization for video. Some sort of hyper-smooth digital cropping that still renders 4K would make the camera more useful for videography. I know that a lot of people want IBIS, but I’d be surprised if Fujifilm put it into this model. Who knows, maybe they will (and it would certainly make the new model an upgrade), but if I were betting money, I’d say that the X100Z doesn’t have IBIS.
I think bringing back the four-way D-Pad on the back would be a nice touch. I believe that Fujifilm was trying to move away from it, but there was a lot of outcry from the community. That’s something Fujifilm could do to differentiate the X100Z from the X100V and make a lot of people happy.
I suspect that whatever part or parts Fujifilm was having difficulty securing in order to manufacture more copies of the X100V, will be replaced by some alternative(s) that will more easily be available. How that affects the camera, I have no idea. Maybe a slightly different rear LCD? I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I’d actually prefer no rear screen, or maybe just the little box-top rear screen like on the X-Pro3. Maybe a slightly different viewfinder? Whatever it is, I’m sure there will be something different that allows the camera to be more readily produced.
The most obvious thing that Fujifilm could do—and they absolutely should do—with the X100Z is introduce a new film simulation. I don’t know if Fujifilm realizes just how important film sims and Film Simulation Recipes are for camera sales and customer retention. If they do end up naming the camera X100Z, then a Fujicolor Pro 800Z-inspired (maybe called PRO Neg. Z) film sim would make a lot of sense; otherwise, Fujicolor Pro 400H (that with overexposure behaves similarly to the film), Fujichrome Sensia, Fujichrome Fortia, cross-process, infrared, Instax, and Neopan 400CN are a few other ideas. Obviously, Eterna Bleach Bypass and Nostalgia Neg. will also be included in the new camera.
Beyond that, I don’t think there will be a whole lot of differences between the X100V and X100Z. They will be much more alike than dissimilar. I said, though, that we were going to dream, so let’s throw some wild ideas out there, and see if any of them happen to come to pass.
My first wild idea is that Fujifilm uses an APS-H sensor instead of APS-C. I have no idea if the camera’s lens has APS-H coverage—my guess is that it does not—but if by chance it does, I believe that the current 40mp chip cut to APS-H size would be about 60mp (that may not be accurate… let me know if I got my calculation wrong). The 1.3 crop factor would make the lens 30mm full-frame equivalent. On paper the X100Z would be more similar to the Leica Q3, but at a fraction of the cost—it would be the Q3 killer!
Next, an interesting idea someone suggested was that the IR filter, which normally is directly on the sensor, could be moved next to the ND filter, and—like the ND filter—it could be enabled and disabled. In other words, with the push of a button, your X100Z could convert to full-spectrum! The lens has, apparently, an IR hot-spot in the center, but maybe it’s something Fujifilm could correct in-camera (similar to vignetting). It’s a crazy idea, but would be super cool!
I mentioned IBIS already, stating that I don’t think it’s likely to happen, but if Fujifilm can include it on the X100Z with minimal effect on size, weight, heat, and cost, that would be amazing! I hope they can, but I doubt they will. We can dream, though, right?
Of course, I’d love to see a monochrome-only version. If Fujifilm doesn’t do it with an X100-series body, they should do it with an X-Pro model. In other words, Fujifilm should definitely make an Acros-version of one of their cameras, and the X100 is a logical option.
How about three different versions, each with a different focal length? Sigma did something like this with their DP line. There could be 18mm, 23mm, and 33mm options, each identical, except for the focal length.
Fujifilm could also make special edition models, like Dura Silver or brown leather or something like that. It would have to be really well done and not cheesy. Charge a little extra for these variations.
That’s all I have. What crazy ideas can you think of for the upcoming X100Z (or whatever Fujifilm will call it)? Let me know in the comments!
July 4th is an American holiday, often celebrated with family, fireworks, watermelon, and barbecues. I chose to document the day with my Fujifilm X100V loaded with seven Film Simulation Recipes, each picked for a specific reason. I made a point to try all seven throughout the day, and especially during the fireworks show. Let’s take a look at how that worked out!
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In Issue 20 I describe how I used my Fujifilm X100V to replicate the aesthetic of small Kodak negatives. It includes 26 pictures (including the cover) spread across 20 pages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 4, Part 1 — June 8, 2023 — Prefumo Canyon
I’m not a morning person. When my alarm sounded and it was still very dark outside, I didn’t want to jump out of the warm bed that I was comfortably resting in. I knew this was going to be a fun, memorable, and photographically productive day, so I wiped the sleep from my eyes and began to get ready. I was finally going to meet Ken Rockwell and Dave Wyman, and all the others who also signed up for the Central Coast of California tour, and I did not want to be late.
Everyone knows who Ken Rockwell is. His longstanding website has been one of the most popular in photography for decades. Dave Wyman is perhaps less well-known, but he has been teaching photography, leading tours, and publishing books for a long, long time—an incredible talent who deserves to be a household name in photography circles. I was very excited for the opportunity to meet them both in-person.
The tour began at a hotel in San Luis Obispo, where we all met up and decided who would be driving and who would be riding in which car. There were twelve of us total, including Ken and Dave, which means there were 10 attendees, including myself. Interestingly, I found out that seven were repeat customers, and had participated in at least one of Ken and Dave’s tours before.
After everyone had their gear loaded up, and as the sun was rising, we carpooled and caravanned to Prefumo Canyon, which is a mountainous area in-between San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach. It’s not a place anyone would likely stumble upon, unless they were purposefully exploring back roads that few ever take. But Dave knows these hidden gems very well thanks to the research he did for his first two books: Backroads of Northern California and Backroads of Southern California. While Dave does take his tours to the iconic locations that everyone photographs, he also goes to places almost nobody else does because virtually no one else knows where they are. Prefumo Canyon is one such spot.
Dave Wyman is the tour organizer and leader, while Ken Rockwell is brought along as a subject matter expert. They are both available during the trip for any questions or advice that anyone might have. There’s no classroom portion of the tour—it’s all “en plein air”—so any and all education is done in-the-field. One can learn as much or as little as one wants to, and it is up to the attendees to ask any questions that they might have. Both Dave and Ken make themselves available throughout the tour; however, the information and advice that they provide is limited until questions are asked. If anyone is considering joining one of their tours in the future, my advice is to think about what you want to learn, and have a list of questions written down in advance. Also, don’t be afraid to approach Dave and Ken, as they’re both eager to help.
We spent much of the morning in Prefumo Canyon, photographing in a few different locations before moving on to Avila Beach. Thankfully the sun was shining—this would be the only non-dreary day of the entire trip! I did so much photography at this spot that I decided to separate Day 4 into two parts.
The camera gear that I used on the first part of Day 4 (you can read the entirety of the gear that I brought with me in my Ultimate Travel Compact Camera Kit article) was a Fujifilm X100V with a 5% CineBloom filter, a Fujifilm X-E4 with a Fujinon 18mm f/2, Fujinon 90mm f/2, Pentax-110 24mm f/2.8, and Pentax-110 50mm f/2.8, and the RitchieCam App on my iPhone 11.
For this part of Day 4, the Film Simulation Recipes that I used on my Fujifilm cameras (which can be found in the Fuji X Weekly App) were Kodak Tri-X 400, Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra 400 v2, Kodak Ektachrome E100VS v1, Fujicolor 100 Gold, Superia Premium 400, Pacific Blues, The Rockwell and Vintage Color. For the iPhone, I used my Vintage Kodak, Classic Color, and B&W Fade filters on RitchieCam.
The photographs below are in order of when they were captured. The picture at the top of this article, Bench with a View, fits in-between Retro Yellow and Dave with Rolleiflex. The second image, Light in the Woods, fits in-between Light in the Dark Forest and Ken & Distant Moon. Otherwise, the order is correct. I hope that you enjoy these pictures!
I finally figured it out! I now have a compact travel kit that I’m very happy with. This is something I’ve been working on for over two years, and I think I’ve got it—or at least I’m really close. Perhaps it will get a tweak or two, but I’m quite satisfied with it as-is. I used this kit while on a week-long roadtrip to California’s central coast, and it worked out really, really well.
In 2020 I traveled to Montana, and I brought the entirety of my camera and lens collection with me. I wasn’t sure what I might need, so I wanted to be prepared for anything. I think I had five camera bodies and about a dozen lenses (I don’t remember the exact number). After returning, I realized that lugging around everything was absurd, as I only used three cameras—but mostly just one—and the majority of the lenses stayed in the camera bag the entire trip, completely ignored. I didn’t need to bring so much, but since I did, all that unused gear just got in the way.
Previously, I had taken a couple of trips with just one camera and lens, and that was overall a better experience, but there were also times that I wished I had more options. I would have liked to have had more versatility, but didn’t. Oftentimes less is more, but sometimes less is just less.
What I needed was balance. A small kit that was Goldilocks: not too big and heavy with excessive gear that would go unused, and not too simple with limited versatility. Robust, yet small and lightweight. I set out to create a travel kit that didn’t contain too much or too little camera gear. It took some time to work it all out, but I finally did!
Let’s take a look at this ultimate travel compact camera kit piece by piece.
I’m listing the camera bag first because it’s key to this kit. The one I chose is the National Geographic NG2344 Earth Explorer Shoulder Bag. The dimensions are roughly only 8″ x 7″ x 6″, yet I can fit everything that I need into it. It’s no big deal to carry around—I went on several short hikes with it last week, in fact, and it wasn’t terribly uncomfortable by the time I returned. The bag doesn’t get in the way or take up much space; interestingly, it fits perfectly into the middle console compartment of my car, allowing easy access to my gear while staying completely concealed.
I take the two velcro inserts and form a “+” in the middle, subdividing the large main compartment into four small compartments: two on the top level and two basement level. I’ll get to where exactly everything fits in a moment, but you can see in the photo above that both my Fujifilm X100V and Fujifilm X-E4 with a pancake lens fits quite comfortably in the upper two compartments.
The National Geographic NG2344 Earth Explorer Shoulder Bag has just enough space for all the gear I need when I travel. Because it is small, it never gets in the way. I’ve had this bag for more than two years and it’s been great—best camera bag I’ve ever owned. And it’s not very expensive. Currently they’re selling for $50, but I paid only $40 for mine.
The Fujifilm X100V is the ultimate travel camera, in my opinion. It’s compact (pocketable if you have large pockets). It has amazing image quality. It’s weather-sealed to an extent. It’s fun. It’s surprisingly versatile for a camera with a fixed 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) lens. What more could you want?!
If I could only take one camera with me when I travel, this is the one I’d pick. In fact, last week I used the X100V for about 50% of all the pictures I captured (more on the other cameras in a moment). Occasionally it’s not wide-angle or telephoto enough, so it’s good to have options, but most of the time the X100V is all I want or need. It sits in the upper-left compartment of the camera bag.
If you are lucky to already own a Fujifilm X100V, you’re well on your way to completing your travel kit. If you don’t own one, they can be difficult to find, and often at an inflated price. My copy was a birthday gift from my wife a couple of years ago when they were newly released.
The X100 series is great, but I’ve felt for a long time now that you really need an interchangeable-lens option to go with it. Most models are larger than the X100 series, but the X-E line is a similar size. In particular, I really like the Fujifilm X-E4, which was my most-used camera in 2022.
When paired with the Fujinon 27mm pancake lens, the X-E4 fits comfortably in the upper-right compartment of the camera bag. There are some other lenses (I’ll get to them soon) that can also be attached to the camera and it will still fit in the bag, but it is a little more snug than with the 27mm, so I prefer to pair the X-E4 with the 27mm.
The Fujifilm X-E4 isn’t weather-sealed. It doesn’t have all the features that the X100V has. It’s a minimalistic design, and sometimes a little too much so, but I feel that approach works well for travel where less is often more. The X-E4 is my second favorite Fujifilm camera. I used it for about 40% of my photographs on the coastal trip.
Like the Fujifilm X100V, the Fujifilm X-E4 can be difficult to find and it might be at an inflated price. I preordered my copy on the the day it was announced, and I’m glad that I did. Unfortunately, Fujifilm recently (and inexplicably) discontinued the X-E4, which might make it even more challenging to get your hands on one. The Fujifilm X-E3 is a good alternative if you don’t mind buying used.
Ricoh GR III
The Ricoh GR III was included in the kit simply because it fit—in fact, the GR models are the smallest APS-C cameras you can buy. The GR III is a one-trick-pony, but it does that one trick very well. When I needed a wide-angle option, the GR III was in my pocket eager to go.
I laid the X100V and X-E4 camera straps across the top of those two models in the camera bag, and placed the Ricoh GR III on the straps to protect from scratches. The camera is so small that the bag still zippered, no problem. Whenever I stopped somewhere to capture photographs, I simply shoved the tiny camera into my pants pocket, where it easily fit. The GR III is one that you can carry everywhere and it’s never in the way or uncomfortable.
I would have preferred my Fujifilm X70 over the GR; although it is quite small, it was just a hair too big for the bag. I probably could have forced it to work, but the Ricoh GR III did so quite comfortably, so I went with it instead. Even though I had the GR III with me more than any of the other cameras, I only used it for about 5% of my pictures; however, I was happy to have it when I needed it.
The Samsung ST76 is a tiny point-and-shoot digicam from 2012. I paid $18 for mine about six months ago. Despite being old and cheap, I actually like the ’60’s and ’70’s color film vibe from this camera when using the Retro filter, which reminds me of old prints I’ve seen in my grandparent’s photo albums. It was a last-minute decision to add it to the camera bag.
The Samsung ST76 is so tiny that it fits into the bag without any problems. I could have placed it most anywhere, but I put it into the lower-right compartment. I only used it for about 1% of my photography on this trip. If I had left it at home I wouldn’t have missed it, but I did capture a couple of images that I was happy with, so I’m glad to have included it.
That’s it for cameras, now let’s talk glass!
Fujinon 27mm f/2.8
My favorite and most-used lens is the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 pancake. Because it is so small and lightweight, it’s especially perfect for travel photography. This is the lens that I typically keep on my Fujifilm X-E4 as my everyday-use glass, and I only replace it with something else when I need to. When I do take it off the camera, I simply place it in the bag where I took the other lens from, which will either be bottom-left or bottom-right, and then place it back on the camera when I’m done.
The 27mm f/2.8 is slightly wide-angle, but, with a 40mm full-frame-equivalent focal-length, it’s pretty close to a “standard” lens. While the maximum aperture is not impressive, I only occasionally find it to be a hinderance. I like the way this lens renders images, and that’s what matters most.
Fujinon 90mm f/2
My second favorite Fujinon lens is the 90mm f/2. It just renders pictures so beautifully! It also gives me a solid telephoto option for when I need a longer reach.
Because it has a 135mm full-frame-equivalent focal-length, it can be challenging to use sometimes; however, the bigger challenge is fitting it into the travel camera bag, since it is a larger lens. The trick is to take the lens hood off and place it backwards over the lens body, which allows it to fit into the bag. I kept it in the lower-left compartment underneath the X100V. I used the Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens frequently on this trip. Did I mention that I love this lens?
Fujinon 18mm f/2
The Fujinon 18mm f/2 is Fujifilm’s “other” pancake lens, although it is larger than the 27mm. It’s not my favorite option (although I do like it), and the Ricoh GR III made it less necessary, but including it in this kit seemed like an obvious choice since it is small.
I didn’t use the 18mm f/2 nearly as much as I did the 27mm and 90mm, but I did use it on several occasions. I placed it in the bottom-right compartment underneath the X-E4 with another lens and the tiny Samsung camera.
Meike 35mm f/1.7
The Meike 35mm f/1.7 is a cheap all-manual lens with some good character similar to some vintage lenses. This one is especially small (similar in size to the Fujinon 18mm f/2), which makes it ideal for travel photography. The 52.5mm full-frame-equivalent focal-length is slightly telephoto, but still pretty much a “standard” lens, which means that I have two lenses (this and the 27mm) to serve that purpose. The advantages to this one are a slightly longer reach and a significantly larger maximum aperture, which does occasionally come in handy.
The Meike 35mm fits in the same bottom-right compartment with the Fujinon 18mm f/2. The Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4 does fit in lieu of the 18mm and 35mm, and could be an alternative, but I personally prefer primes over zooms.
Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye
I included the Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye because it fits so easily into the bag, it would be a shame not to bring it. I don’t use it often, but every once in a blue moon it comes in handy. Plus, it’s sometimes just a fun lens. I barely used it on this trip, but I did use it. I kept the lens in the front zipper compartment of the bag.
Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye — Amazon
Xuan Focus Free 30mm F/10 Body Cap
The Xuan Focus Free 30mm f/10 Body Cap lens is actually a Kodak Funsaver disposable camera lens that’s been attached to a Fujifilm body cap. It produces soft dream-like pictures that you might either love or hate. For a retro lofi rendering, this is the lens to use! I brought it, keeping it in the front zipper pocket next to the Pergear 10mm, but I barely used it.
Xuan Focus Free 30mm F/10 — Amazon
Pentax-110 50mm f/2.8 & 24mm f/2.8
Just because they fit, I included in the bag my vintage Pentax-110 50mm f/2.8 and 24mm f/2.8 lenses, which are actually the smallest interchangeable lenses ever mass produced. They were made for Pentax Auto 110 cameras in the late-1970’s through the mid-1980’s, but, with an adapter, will surprisingly work on Fujifilm X cameras. They’re oozing with great character, but are challenging to use because the aperture is fixed at f/2.8.
While the 24mm is redundant, the 50mm lens does provide an option that’s in-between the 35mm and 90mm lenses, and so it does have a practical purpose, even if just barely. These lenses are fun and I love to use them, and that’s why I included them in the kit. They also fit into the front zipper compartment.
The Other Stuff
Of course, cameras and lenses aren’t the only things in the bag. Attached to my Fujifilm X100V was a 5% CineBloom diffusion filter. I had two spare Fujifilm NP-126S batteries, which conveniently fit into the upper-right velcro pocket. My favorite battery charger, a Nitecore FX1 USB charger, nicely fits into the upper-left velcro pocket. In the front zipper pocket, along with the four lenses mentioned above, I fit two spare SD Cards, a short USB-C cable, a Lightning SD Card Reader, and some lens wipes. Yes, all of that fit!
The one camera that I didn’t mention is my iPhone. I never put it in the camera bag, but I always had it with me. I used my RitchieCam iPhone camera app. Approximately 4% of my pictures on this trip were captured with my iPhone (just a few less than the Ricoh GR III). Although it was not a part of my camera bag, it was a part of my travel photography, so it’s worth mentioning.
Into such a small package I was able to include so much!
A few of the lenses were perhaps excessive, but they’re so small and lightweight that it didn’t make any real difference. I think excluding the Ricoh GR III and the lenses in the front zipper pocket would simplify the kit and it would still be equally as functional, but it would probably be a little less fun (and fun is important). I could have also replaced two of the smaller lenses—perhaps the two Fujinon pancakes—with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 zoom, but I’ve always preferred primes over zooms. Ideally I’d replace the Meike 35mm with a 50mm, but I haven’t found one small enough that I like—if I find one, I might just do that. Otherwise, I’m very happy with this compact camera kit for travel photography, and I don’t think that it could be improved upon by a whole lot; however, I’m sure I’ll continue to refine it and make it even better—even if just a little—as I take more roadtrips.
To simplify the kit, if you want an even smaller setup, you could travel with just a Fujifilm X100V, Ricoh GR III (or Fujifilm X70), and your cellphone. The X100V would hang around your neck, and the other two would fit in your pockets. No camera bag needed! Keep your few accessories—spare batteries, cords, etc.—in the glove box of your car. That would cover most of your needs, and for the rest, you could simply use the limitation to take a creative approach to the scene.
But if you would like to have at least some gear options when you travel, the “ultimate” kit that I used last week, which I described above, worked very well for me. Perhaps something similar will work for you, too.
A couple of weeks ago I had this realization that I hadn’t been using my Fujifilm X100V as much as I would have liked to or normally would have. I was grabbing some of my other cameras, like the Fujifilm X-E4 and Fujifilm X-T5, instead. But I really like shooting with my X100V—it’s my “desert island” camera; if I could only ever shoot with one for the rest of my life, it would be the X100V.
While having the realization that the camera was collecting more dust than usual, I also noticed that the light was changing and becoming favorable for photography. I snatched the X100V, set it to my Vintage Vibes Film Simulation Recipe, and headed out the door, in search of an interesting picture opportunity nearby.
Just as the sun was nearing the horizon, I found a spot in the desert with some pops of late-spring color. I decided this was my opportunity, so I began capturing images. The light didn’t last long, and the bugs were becoming a nuisance; nevertheless, I was able to snap a few interesting pictures before heading home.
Perhaps more important than the images, I used the camera that I love most. I dusted it off, put it in my hand, took some steps outside, and pressed the shutter release button. Whether or not the pictures turned out was less critical than the act of actively using it. Yes, pictures are important, but so is the experience—actually, the experience is probably the most important. If you haven’t used your beloved gear much lately, be sure to get it in your hands ASAP and take some pictures!
I shot a 36-exposure roll of Fujichrome Fortia 50 on my Fujifilm X100V.
Right now you are thinking one of a few things. What is Fujichrome Fortia 50? Fortia was discontinued a long time ago, and is well expired now and difficult to find. Anyway, you can’t shoot film in a Fujifilm X100V! There’s not a Fujichrome Fortia 50 Film Simulation Recipe, is there? All of that and more will be explained in this article!
Can you use Artificial Intelligence to create Film Simulation Recipes for Fujifilm cameras? Does AI even know what that is? If so, would those Recipes be any good? Those questions and more have been rattling around inside my head for the last few months.
Back in January I asked Open AI‘s Chat GPT what a Film Simulation Recipe was and it didn’t know—it couldn’t differentiate a Film Simulation Recipe from a Film Simulation, but only went so far as to acknowledge that Film Sims could be customized. It also didn’t know much about Fuji X Weekly. It didn’t take long for things to change.
Last week Open AI announced the new-and-improved GPT-4, and so I put it through the same test. To my surprise, it not only knew what a Film Simulation Recipe is, but could even create one! The AI also provided the reasons why it chose the settings it did, and they seemed logical. However, I noticed that some required parameters were missing, so I asked it to add those settings to the Recipe, and it did. I also asked Chat GPT to give the Recipe a name. The AI created Recipe turned out to be pretty good, and I used it for some photography in southern Arizona, but I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll get back to this in a moment, but let’s talk about some other things first.
I wanted to find out how Chat GPT knew how to create a Film Simulation Recipe. Obviously the software has never used a camera, so where was it getting its information? I asked, and the software deflected, telling me where I could find further information on Fujifilm cameras and Film Simulation Recipes. To my surprise, Fuji X Weekly was listed as a potential resource. I wasn’t satisfied with the answer, so I kept asking, rewording the question, until the software admitted that it gathers information from (among other things) websites, such as Fuji X Weekly, One Camera One Lens, Dan Bailey, and Ted Forbes. I was a little surprised on the last two, especially Ted who I’m pretty certain doesn’t use Recipes or out-of-camera JPEGs. Maybe it just threw out some names associated with Fujifilm gear. My conclusion is that the software searches the web for resources and attempts to make sense of what it finds, and it borrows heavily from the work of others (but, thankfully, doesn’t outright copy).
I had Chat GPT make a total of seven Film Simulation Recipes for the Fujifilm X100V. Not once did it provide me with all the necessary parameters on the first try, and I had to ask it to add the missing fields. It always chose Auto White Balance (once it did not provide a WB, so I had to ask it to do so), and only provided a White Balance Shift once on the first try; for the other six Recipes, when I asked it to provide me with a WB Shift, it never ventured beyond +/- 2 for Red and Blue. In fact, only once did the software suggest that any setting go beyond +/- 2, so I think it takes a conservative approach, perhaps not understanding why anyone would want to go wild with the JPEG options.
On the first try I was provided with Color Chrome Effect and Color Chrome FX Blue settings: Off on both. For the next five attempts Chat GPT didn’t list either option, so I had to ask, and it chose Off each time. With the final Recipe attempt, it listed Color Chrome Effect set to Strong, but didn’t list Color Chrome FX Blue; when I asked it to give me a Color Chrome FX Blue setting, it (surprisingly) stated that Color Chrome FX Blue isn’t an option on the Fujifilm X100V. I think the software struggles to understand what these settings do and why someone would choose them, and also struggles to understand what specific settings are available on each Fujifilm model.
Two settings that the software never provided on the first try are Grain size and Clarity. It would list Grain strength (Off, Weak, or Strong) but never size (Small or Large). When asked about size, it suggested Large four times, Small twice, and Standard once (there is no Standard option). With Clarity, it typically suggested a positive number, and only gave me a negative number once, zero once, and Off (which I suppose is the same as zero) once. As with the other settings, it never ventured beyond +/- 2.
I asked it to mimic the look of a certain film stock, and Chat GPT provided a Film Simulation Recipe that (in my opinion) wasn’t a great match. I then asked it to mimic the look of a different film that just so happens to be the same exact emulsion just sold under a different brand name (to see if it would provide similar or identical settings), and the second Recipe was much different than the first. It’s clear that the AI isn’t analyzing pictures from film to create its Recipes, but instead finds descriptions of the stocks and suggests which Fujifilm settings could logically match the descriptions. “Vibrant” means Velvia and “soft” means PRO Neg. Std, which makes sense to a point; even though one film can produce many different aesthetics based on how it was shot, developed, printed and/or scanned (among other things), I believe you’d be hard pressed to find a single emulsion that could be emulated by both Velvia and PRO Neg. Std, but that’s what the software did.
I also asked Chat GPT to create a Recipe that I already have a Film Simulation Recipe for. I wanted to see if it would just copy my Recipe, but thankfully it didn’t. It was actually significantly different. For now, at least, the software isn’t outright plagiarizing anyone (that I’m aware of), and I hope it stays that way. Finally, using a different account, I asked Chat GPT to create a Recipe with an identical request to one of the seven, just to see if it would give me the same answer, and it didn’t. I repeated this test once more, and it once again provided a different result. While it tries to come across as “intelligence” it appears to be more like a roll of the dice.
Based on this test, I believe that AI is about 60% of the way there to being a useful tool for creating Film Simulation Recipes. It struggles to know which parameters to provide. It doesn’t understand the nuances between camera models. It seems to take a rather predictable and conservative approach to creating Recipes. While I think it tries to be logical with its choices, it is basically just taking a guess and giving random settings, which might produce good results sometimes and might not other times. The amazing thing, though, is that just a couple months ago the AI didn’t even know what a Film Simulation Recipe was, so it has made significant strides in a short period. I think eventually—and it might not even be that far out—the software will be able to analyze an image and provide settings for your Fujifilm camera that will be a reasonably close match to that image. For now, though, AI isn’t a particularly good way to get a Recipe.
I promised that I would get back to the first Film Simulation Recipe that I asked Chat GPT to create for me to use on my Fujifilm X100V. I asked the software to create a Recipe that would be good for an urban environment at night. It provided me with everything except for Grain size, White Balance Shift, and Clarity, so I asked it to give me those settings, too. Then I asked it to name the Recipe—it gave me five choices, and I went with the first: Urban Dreams.
I found Urban Dreams to be a pretty decent and versatile Recipe. I didn’t get a chance to use it much in an urban environment at night, but the results were good in the few opportunities that I did have. It seems to do well in sunny daylight, dreary overcast, nighttime, indoors, outdoors, landscapes, street, still-life, portraits, etc., so this could be one’s go-to Recipe for everyday photography. It reminds me a little of Kodachrome 200, a high-ISO slide film introduced by Kodak in the mid-1970’s and discontinued in 2006. It’s not completely “right” for Kodachrome 200, but can be surprisingly close sometimes, and this Recipe is probably the closest to it that I’ve seen.
This Urban Dreams Film Simulation Recipe is compatible with most X-Trans IV cameras: the X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II. For X-Trans V and newer GFX, you can use this Recipe, but it will render slightly different (try it anyway). For the X-T3, X-T30, X-Trans III, and older GFX, simply ignore Clarity and consider Sharpness set to 0; the results will be very similar (only slightly different).
Dynamic Range: DR400
Noise Reduction: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red & +2 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Urban Dreams Film Simulation Recipe on a Fujifilm X100V:
Find this Film Simulation Recipe and nearly 300 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App! Consider becoming a Patron subscriber to unlock the best App experience and to support Fuji X Weekly.
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Street photography is a very popular genre, and I get asked fairly frequently what my favorite gear is for it. While I do dabble in street photography, it’s not my most common photographic subject; however, I’ve done enough street photography that I feel comfortable giving gear recommendations for it. In this article I’ll tell you what I use and why.
While there is no definitive explanation, street photography is best described as pictures of chance encounters in public places. It often takes place in urban environments (such as downtown city centers), but it is certainly not limited to that. Some will say that humans must be included in the pictures for it to be street photography, but others will argue that the effects of humanity within the environment is acceptable, and some believe that any urban image fits within the genre. It is commonly understood that street photography involves candid (unstaged) pictures, but some will state that it is the chance encounters that are most important, and it is okay to provide some direction to that randomness in order to create a stronger picture. In other words, there’s no universal answer to what exactly street photography is, but most of the time you recognize it when you see it.
If you’ve never done street photography but want to try, the first place to start is understanding the laws and customs of the place you are photographing. Each country is different, and it may even vary from specific location to specific location. You want to understand your rights as a photographer in a public location, and the rights of those potentially being photographed. Besides the legal question, there is the ethical one: should you? While something might be legally ok, it does not necessarily mean that it is moral. These are all things that you should consider before attempting any street photography. Research the local laws. Consider what you are comfortable photographing and why, and what you are not comfortable photographing and why not. I cannot emphasize this step enough, and I encourage you to spend some time on these questions before heading out with your camera.
After that, the next step is to go to a public place and capture some candid images. The most common location is an urban environment, such as the center of a large city, but it can be anywhere where people are. If you don’t have easy access to a large downtown, consider what is nearby where you live. Even if you live in a small town or a rural location, I bet there are opportunities nearby if you look hard enough.
Now, let’s discuss gear. To be clear, you can use any camera. I’ve done street photography with most of my gear. There are a few tools that I do prefer over others, but if you don’t have these don’t worry too much about it, because whatever gear you currently own is good enough. The list below is simply the cameras that I personally prefer for street photography.
This is my favorite camera for street photography. Actually, it’s my favorite camera, period. The Fujifilm X100V is my “desert island” model—if I could own only one camera for the rest of my life, it would be this. There are a few things that make it especially good for street photography.
First, it’s pretty small. It’s good for carrying as you walk around for awhile, and people don’t often get intimidated by it like they would with a larger body. Second, the leaf shutter is basically silent, and allows you to be more stealthy. Yes, electronic shutters are silent, too, but they do have a couple of drawbacks that might affect your photography (situationally dependent), so a silent mechanical shutter is an excellent feature. Third, the optical viewfinder allows you to see outside the frame to better anticipate the decisive moment. There are many other things that make the camera great, such as the build quality, weather sealing, traditional tactile controls, built-in ND filter, etc., etc.; this isn’t a review of the X100V, just some reasons why it is my favorite tool for street photography.
Perhaps the top thing that makes the Fujifilm X100V great for street photography are all the Film Simulation Recipes that you can program into the camera. Almost no matter the aesthetic you want to achieve, there is a Recipe that will allow you to get the look straight-out-of-camera, no editing needed. This can make street photography more fun, while saving you time and frustration later.
Ricoh GR III
The Ricoh GR III is a super small and compact camera that you can literally carry with you everywhere, since it fits so easily into a pocket or purse. If you own a Ricoh GR III, there is no excuse for not having it with you. Since photo opportunities aren’t always planned, it’s important to have quick access to a camera at all times, and this model makes it easy. I try to carry my GR III with me whenever I go out, even if it is just to the grocery store.
There are a few reasons why I like the GR III for street photography in particular. Since it is so small and unassuming, most people won’t figure you to be a photographer; if they even notice that you have a camera, they’ll likely think you are a snap-shooter or tourist, and will often disregard you. The 27.5mm (equivalent) lens gives a wide view, which can be good for showing context. Like the X100V, the GR III has a nearly silent leaf shutter. If you don’t want to be noticed, this camera is probably the best bet. There are certainly drawbacks to the GR III (no model is perfect), but for the size and weight it is pretty darn excellent.
There are Recipes for the Ricoh GR III, although not nearly as many as there are for the Fujifilm X100V. If you want to skip picture editing (called one-step photography), the GR III is a solid option that should be strongly considered. In fact, the Fujifilm X100V and the Ricoh GR III compliment each other, and can coexist comfortably in your camera bag.
Since you always have your phone, you always have a camera. If you accidentally left your “real” cameras at home, no worries! Your cellphone camera is a perfectly capable photographic tool. My current cellphone is an iPhone 11. I don’t think your cellphone make and model matter much—any cellphone camera will suffice—but I personally prefer Apple, since I can use the RitchieCam camera app, which is only available for iOS (click here).
The iPhone is great for street photography because nobody thinks twice about seeing someone with their phone out. Even if you do get “caught” capturing a picture, you can easily fake that you are taking a selfie or texting someone or some other typical phone action. Many cellphones have multiple focal length options, so they’re surprisingly versatile. My favorite accessory is the Moment Tele 58mm lens.
While I do use my phone for photography, I also use it for another important reason: Apps! Specifically, the Fuji X Weekly App (Android, Apple) and the Ricoh Recipes App (Android, Apple). In my opinion, those are essential tools to accompany your Fujifilm and Ricoh cameras.
Let me show you a few more street images that I captured recently.
The three above pictures, despite being pretty different overall, all have something in common (besides being street photography). If you want to know what it is, you’ll have to tune into SOOC Live on March 2. Nathalie Boucry and I will be discussing the theme of street photography, including things like gear and Film Simulation Recipes and such. Mark your calendars now! Be sure to subscribe to the SOOC Live YouTube channel so that you don’t miss out on all the great upcoming broadcasts.
What is the best travel camera? My opinion, and the opinion of many other photographers, is the Fujifilm X100V.
The Fujifilm X100V is a great travel camera because of its compact size, versatility, and image quality. It features a fixed 23mm lens, which provides a classic 35mm equivalent focal length, and a bright f/2 maximum aperture. The camera has an intuitive retro design and advanced features, such as a hybrid viewfinder, leaf shutter, built-in ND filter, and weather sealing. The 26-megapixel APS-C sensor produces exceptional image quality, and, when paired with Film Simulation Recipes, is ideal for street and documentary photography. The X100V has solid build quality, yet is small enough to easily carry around, making it an excellent choice for capturing your adventures.
One travel adventure that I recently returned from was a day at Legoland (a Lego themed amusement park) in Carlsbad, California, for my son Joshua’s 9th birthday. Because his birthday is so close to Christmas, he typically gets the short end of the celebration stick, so this year we wanted to make it extra special, and a Black Friday deal made it more affordable. To capture the experience, I brought along my Fujifilm X100V programmed with the Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe. This recipe produces a nostalgic slide film aesthetic similar to the images found in National Geographic, Arizona Highways, and other magazines from my childhood. I used a 5% CineBloom filter, which I prefer for its subtle diffusion effect, for this outing.
The day started out with thin overcast sky, which gave way to midday sun before thick clouds and light rain moved in for the rest of the adventure. The X100V with the Kodachrome 64 recipe handled the changing light quite well—I even got a couple good pictures after sunset under artificial light. This camera and recipe combo is my top option for color travel photography, including a family outing to an amusement park. Because I used a Film Simulation Recipe and shot JPEG, when I returned home I only had to download the pictures from my camera to my phone, crop or straighten if necessary, and upload to my cloud storage. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Find this Film Simulation Recipe and over 250 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!
The Fujifilm X100V is a popular camera with social media influencers—so much so that it’s become hard to find and expensive. One of the main reasons why social media influencers love the camera is its retro design, which gives it a timeless and stylish look that stands out in a sea of modern and generic-looking camera bodies. The X100V’s sleek and compact form factor also makes it easy to carry around, which is ideal for influencers who are often on the go and need a camera that they can take with them wherever they go.
Another reason why the X100V is popular with social media influencers is its image quality. The camera is equipped with a 23mm f/2 lens, which produces sharp and detailed images. The X100V also features a 26-megapixel APS-C sensor that, thanks to the X-Trans array and processor, delivers excellent low-light performance and a wide dynamic range. These features, combined with Fujifilm’s renowned color science, produce images that are rich and vibrant with a film-like quality that is highly sought after by influencers.
The X100V is also popular with influencers because of its advanced manual controls. Unlike most compact cameras, the X100V provides users with the ability to effortlessly manually adjust settings—such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO—giving them more creative freedom and control over their images. This makes the X100V an ideal camera for influencers who want to take their photography to the next level and produce professional-looking content.
And, of course, Film Simulation Recipes allow social media influencers to quickly get finished photographs straight-out-of-camera that are ready to share the moment that they are captured. This not only makes photography easier (and perhaps more fun), but it also saves a lot of time over post-processing RAW files. While there are literally hundreds of recipes that you could use, below are five Film Simulation Recipes that every influencer should try on their Fujifilm X100V.
Kodak Portra 400 is one of the most popular film stocks available today, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipes are some of the most popular. Of these, Kodak Portra 400 v2 is my personal favorite. One film can produce many different looks depending on a host of factors—including how it was shot, developed, and scanned—and this recipe closely mimics the aesthetic of one photographer’s Portra pictures—feel free to also try Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Portra 400 Warm, and Reggie’s Portra. This Kodak Portra 400 v2 recipe produces bright and warm images, and is particularly great for portraits and golden hour photography. Use it in daylight natural light situations for best results.
The Pacific Blues recipe mimics the aesthetic of Lucy Laucht‘s Spirit of Summer series, particularly the Positano Blues photographs. It is especially well suited for a summer day at the beach, but it is also great for many other situations, including shade, fog, and even night photography. It’s a bold recipe, yet is still good for portraits. Use it for travel, or even just snapping pictures around the house.
Kodachrome is such an iconic film that once graced the covers of National Geographic, Arizona Highways, and most travel magazines. Sadly it has been long-discontinued; however, thanks to Fujifilm cameras, you can still shoot a reasonably close facsimile of the film today! Kodachrome 64 is one of my favorite recipes for travel photography, producing results reminiscent of classic images from the ’70’s, ’80’s and ’90’s.
“This is an artist’s recipe!” That’s what I said of the Vintage Color Film Simulation Recipe. It produces painterly results that are reminiscent of famed Hudson River School painter Albert Bierstadt, particularly his Yosemite paintings. While not modeled after any film stock, it does have a vintage film-like quality that’s easy to appreciate. It’s best suited for sunny daylight situations, yet it is also a good option for shade or overcast.
Kodak Tri-X 400 is probably the most well-known black-and-white film stock, so it should be no surprise that the most popular black-and-white recipe is Kodak Tri-X 400. While color recipes tend to be much more popular than monochrome, if you want to emulate a classic photographic aesthetic, this recipe should be one of your top considerations. Producing moody images, Kodak Tri-X 400 allows you to focus on the elements within the frame without the distraction of color. In one word, Timeless is how I would best describe this recipe.
Find these Film Simulation Recipes and over 250 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!