Tag: Fuji

Changing the game at Photokina 2016

Photokina 2016 kicked off with something rather special. We held a press conference to tell the world about a little project we’ve been working on for a few years now.

The world’s press gathered in the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany in eager anticipation to see what we were planning to bring to the world of photography.

Toru Takahashi, Senior Vice President of Fujifilm Corporation, was welcomed to the stage to talk about our long history of launching amazing products at Photokina.

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Although Photokina started in 1950, Fujifilm’s first appearance was in 1966 and has attended the show, which runs every two years, for every show since.

  • 1968 saw us launch the FUJICA 690 medium format rangefinder.
  • 1978 was the launch of the “FUJINON W Series” of large format lenses.
  • 1988 saw the world’s first digital camera, the DS-1P.
  • 2010 saw the announcement of the X100 – the launch that combined our analogue legacy expertise with our digital future.

We hope that 2016 will be another historical landmark in our Photokina announcement history, as this was the year that we announced our new format – GFX – which will be available from early 2017.

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The FUJIFILM X Series is focused on the perfect balance of size, mobility and image quality and has brought back the joy of photography to many people.

GFX, with its large sized sensor, will provide the ultimate image quality, whilst also inheriting a lot of “X DNA”.

These two systems will complement each other perfectly. They are the two answers from Fujifilm for this era of photographic creativity.

Once the video finished playing, Toshi Iida, General Manager for Sales & Marketing was welcomed up onto the stage to explain more about this new camera format.


G FORMAT

“G Format” – the name comes from Fujifilm’s heritage of Medium Format cameras – the G690, GS645, GX680 etc…

The sensor that will be in the first G Format camera will be a huge 43.8 x 32.9mm in size. It’s 1.7x bigger than a standard 35mm sensor and the first generation sensor will record 51.4 million pixels. This means that if you compare it to a 35mm sensor of the same pixel count, each pixel is 70% larger which allows them to capture a larger amount of light.

Toshi went on to explain that the sensor is completely brand new. It has been designed and customised for the G Format. It has specially shaped micro lenses that will collect light very effectively and the silicon process has also been optimised to maximise resolution and widen dynamic range.

This new sensor will sit behind a newly designed mount called the “G Mount”. This mount will have a 4mm thick plate to ensure it is strong and stiff, and will be equipped with a 12-pin terminal to supply power to support the AF speed.

There is no mirror in the G Format system. One reason for this is mirror shock which affects image quality. Additionally, the mirror constrains lens design. The typical flange-back distance on a Medium Format SLR is about 70mm. This will be approximately 26.7mm which will give us more flexibility to design high quality, small lenses.

The back focus can be as short as 10mm so there is less drop-off on the light’s final part of the journey onto the sensor’s surface.

Toshi then spoke about the shutter. The mount is equipped with a focal plane shutter so the maximum shutter speed will be 1/4000th to allow capture of fast moving subjects or shooting in bright scenes with wide aperture settings.


GF LENSES

Moving onto lenses, Toshi introduced our new range – “GF Lenses”. This large sensor is going to need high quality lenses as without excellent glass, there is no point having such a large sensor.

The lenses should last many decades after launch. To ensure they are future proof they have been designed to confidently operate with sensors of up to 100 megapixels in the future.

We set ourselves new standards that the lenses must meet. Normally, MTF of 35mm lenses is measured at 30 and 10 lines per mm. When converted to 33×44 sensor, this would be the equivalent of measuring at 20 and 7 lines per mm. However, the MTF of GF Lenses will be measured at 40 and 20 lines per mm. All GF Lenses will have to exceed this standard.

All lenses will be designed to be sharp regardless of the aperture setting and thanks to a large sized sensor, the image will hardly be affected by diffraction at all..

Our philosophy for lens design has always been to minimise correction of signal processing. Our XF Lenses for X Series are a good example. This philosophy will be applied to the GF Lenses.

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The system will ideally be launched with the following lenses available:

  • GF63mm F2.8 Prime Standard
  • GF32-64mm F4 Zoom Standard
  • GF120mm F4 Macro

And the following lenses will hopefully be available before the end of 2017:

  • GF45mm F2.8
  • GF23mm F4
  • GF110mm F2

GFX DESIGN

G – Fujifilm’s Medium Format heritage
F – Film-look image quality
X – Design and operability of X Series

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The first GFX camera body will be the GFX 50S. With the weight of around 800g, it’s incredibly small and light compared to existing Medium Format cameras and even lighter and smaller than most 35mm DSLR cameras. With it’s tilting LCD you will be able to shoot at waist level.

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You can attach the Electronic Viewfinder that is included with the camera to shoot in an SLR style.

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You can even add a tilting adaptor between the EVF and the camera and can shoot in any angle with your eye on the viewfinder which helps with low-angle shooting.

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To allow you to precisely control focusing you can also use an optional external screen.

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Toshi finished his presentation by saying that GFX is here to re-invent Medium Format.

“We will look back on Photokina 2016 in the future and I believe we will say it was a game changing event.” – Toshi Iida, General Manager for Sales & Marketing

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Photokina 2016 is on until 25th September 2016 and the GFX camera and GF lenses can be seen behind a glass show case on our booth in Hall 4.2.

Photokina 2016 Microsite
GFX Special Contents


The Number One Focus Tip When Using a Rangefinder in Low Light

Creating beautiful scenes at night can be difficult and sometimes frustrating if you don’t have the experience needed to master your camera settings.

Knowing the correct focus settings, shutter speed, aperture and ISO does take the time to master, so hopefully this article provides you some clear insight into photographing at night or in low light.

Vivid Sydney 003Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – ISO 320 – 1/55 second at F2.8

To start with you need to understand what type of camera you are using because all cameras perform differently when capturing the same scene. For instance, is the camera a heavy digital SLR, premium compact camera or lightweight rangefinder?

Types of cameras

Based on what type of camera you are using many of the same settings apply, however, there will be variances in shooting technique due to the way the camera performs. An example of this can be found between a digital SLR and a rangefinder like the new Fujifilm X-Pro2.

Vivid Sydney 004Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – ISO 3200 – 1/210 second at F4

At the Vivid Festival in Sydney, Australia the light instalments attract large crowds and there are plenty of opportunities to photograph in low light. The problem is when there is little light falling on a subject, focusing can become a struggle. This wasn’t the case for the new X-Pro2 rangefinder though. Using one of the advanced features on the X-Pro2 it was easy to overcome the out of focus hurdles that many Digital SLR might have struggled with.

Vivid Sydney 009Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF56mmF1.2 R APD – ISO 320 – 1/250 second at F1.2

The Challenge

Photograph a low light scene from the festival with a shallow depth of field.

To achieve the shallow depth of field in low light shown in this photo above there were a few settings that needed to be set on the camera. The first was changing the camera to aperture priority and selecting F1.2 as the aperture. This would give a shallow depth of field. The second step was to select manual focus on the front of the X-Pro2.

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Now that manual focus was selected the attention turned to the rear of the camera to change the manual focus mode. To select the correct mode simply hold down the rear dial and ensure ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ is selected. If you don’t see this mode when you first hold down the rear dial, continue the process to cycle through the other modes until Focus Peak Highlight appears.

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Next, select your desired ISO setting based on the amount of light in the scene. Don’t be afraid to use high ISO likes ISO 2000 through to ISO 5000 or even higher as Fujifilm cameras are famous for their low noise at high ISO’s when photographing in low light scenes.

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At this stage make sure you are using the electronic viewfinder on the X-Pro2 as this will provide the huge advantage of being able to see in low light. If you are looking through the viewfinder found on a larger Digital SLR you won’t be able to see in the same lighting conditions because the optical viewfinder will not be able to gather enough light. This is one of the biggest advantages of low light photography on a mirrorless camera like the X-Pro2 over a Digital SLR.

The only way around this on a Digital SLR is to utilise the rear LCD screen as the ‘viewscreen’. This shooting setup almost always leads to a higher chance of capturing an out of focus image or a blurry photo due to the camera missing focus and not being as supported next to the photographer’s’ eye like a rangefinder camera would. Plus, you are bound to get a sore back from holding a heavy camera away from your body all the time!

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Finally, while looking through the electronic viewfinder adjust the smooth focus ring on the lens and you will be able to see areas within your frame ‘peaking’ (you can’t do this on a Digital SLR). What is peaking?

It means the camera will automatically add a thin white and black line around every object, and at the sharpest point-of-focus, these lines will suddenly ‘peak’. This peaking area equates to the area of sharpest focus in the frame. Therefore, if you nail the peaking on your subject, you will nail your focus every time!

As shown in the video below, you can also change the colour and contrast of the focus peaking lines to see them more clearly. The viewfinder shown in the video is from the Fujifilm X-T1.

Remember, photographing in low light can be a challenge and we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try a new setting. Practice the new setting when there is plenty of light and then master it before you attempt a low light scene. You should know where all your settings are without having to look at your camera. Master this and you will go far.

Introducing The New Fujifilm X-T2

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Imagine a camera that takes the best features of the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-Pro2 and combines them together to create the ultimate photographers and videographers tool.

Well, today we are excited to announce the combination of these cameras in the new Fujifilm X-T2!

The Fujifilm X-T2 is one of the most anticipated cameras in Fujifilm’s history. Not only will the impressive 24.3MP APS-C X Trans CMOS III sensor capture the joy of photographers around the world, but now with the addition of 4K and 2K video formats you will be able to film the emotion too!

Adding to this is a bundle of features that includes an electronic shutter with a limit of 1/32,000 second, an Intelligent Hybrid Phase detection AF, a robust weather resistant body, an impressive 3-way tilting 3.0” LCD and a 2.36 Million dots Electronic Viewfinder and dual SD UHS-II memory card slots that will capture up to 14 frames per second with the Performance Boost Mode turned on.

All of these features sound impressive (and they are), but the list of specs doesn’t stop there. As mentioned earlier the 4K video quality this camera now records is on par with some of the other professional cameras out there. When filming video you can expect excellent sharpness and low noise when recording up to a maximum of ISO 12800.

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Another important feature unique to videographers is the ability to choose a video frame rate. Fujifilm has liaised with various professionals and industry leaders to determine what settings best suit. Within the new Fujifilm X-T2 videographers will be able to select 29.97P, 25P, 24P and 23.98P when filming in 4K and if Full HD is selected; 59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 25P, 24P and 23.98P at a 100Mbps Video Bit rate.

There are also a lot of settings that can be changed once you press the record button. You will be able to change exposure in ⅓ stop increments, correct the colour and the angle of view. Added to this is the option to change the exposure via the external HDMI port, which is well suited for videographers using external monitors.

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When you first handle the Fujifilm X-T2 you will immediately feel the magnesium alloy chassis that has been redesigned based on photographers feedback. With weather resistant sealing to suit rugged outdoor conditions, this professional body is slightly larger than the Fujifilm X-T1 due to improved control dials that turn easily with or without gloves. The new lock buttons located on the shutter and ISO dials are easily pressed to turn on or off the action of selecting a new setting. Also the enlarged drive mode and photometry selection dials can easily be accessed due to this new ergonomic design.

As shown in the video (above) the 1.62 million-dot 3-inch LCD screen has been redesigned to suit photographers. Now with a 3-way tilting screen, the photographer can turn and rotate the screen to a visible position when holding the camera above their head in a portrait orientation. Previously on the Fujifilm X-T1 the screen was only visible in a horizontal orientation.

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The launch of the Fujifilm X-T1 saw photographers from many different genres switch over to Fujifilm due to the large range of Fujinon lenses available. Sports and wildlife photographers were among the newly acquainted, but this was not only due to the lens selection, but also the features on the Fujifilm
X-T1 like autofocus and UHS-II memory card compatibility. Learning from this the new Fujifilm X-T2 takes autofocus speed and memory card storage to the next level.

The Fujifilm X-T2 is slightly different in the way the camera focuses when compared to the Fujifilm X-T1. This is because of the new Intelligent Hybrid Phase detection autofocus. The new X-T2 will allow you to select up to 325 autofocus points allowing for precise focus. What this means is no matter whether the subject is within the frame, the camera will autofocus very quickly to pick up the subject.

Adding to the list of new features is also a dual memory card slot that is now capable of recording to two UHS-II compatible cards. What this means for photographers is they can record photos up to 14 frames per second (when Performance Boost mode and Electronic Shutter is selected), which will result in a total of 42 Jpeg frames or 28 RAW frames stored at Lossless compression. This option is only available when the VPB-XT2 grip is on the camera.

Not only does the optional VPB-XT2 (Vertical Power Booster Grip) increase frame rate, but it also will accommodate two additional batteries (NP-W126S) at the same time to boost in shooting interval, shutter release time lag and blackout time while extending 4K video recording to a maximum of 30 minutes.

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As mentioned, when you use the optional VPB-XT2 battery grip you can select different frame rates like 14 frames per second, however, if this is too fast 11 frames per second can also be selected.

When 11 frames per second is enabled 75 Jpeg frames or 30 RAW frames stored at Lossless compression can be captured. However, if you require more frames to be recorded before the cameras buffer fills, the frame rate can be dropped to 8 frames per second enabling 83 Jpeg frames or 33 RAW frames to be stored at Lossless compression. Finally, if you need to record an endless amount of Jpeg frames, 5 frames per second can also be selected.

The X-T2’s ISO range of 200 – 12800 (RAW shooting) is exactly the same as the Fujifilm X-Pro2. When recording at high ISO like 3200 or 6400 photographers will find images and video to be very clear resulting in smooth graduation and deeper blacks.

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Studio and wedding photographers will enjoy using the Fujifilm X-T2 as the camera can now act as a commander when firing off multiple flash units when using the newly announced Fujifilm EF-EX500 flash. Found within the camera’s menu is the ability to select ‘COMMANDER’ mode, which enables full manual control of up to three supported Fujifilm flash units. Each supported flash can be manual adjusted to ensure you get the best possible picture.

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It is Fujifilm’s hope to design a camera that will suit a photographer’s requirements and it is refreshing to see that the X-T2 does this. Something many were not predicting though was the ability to film in 4K. Having mentioned this, it is worth thinking about to expand upon your skills to embrace this chance. Not all photographers will embrace this addition and that is okay, but to those who wish to expand on their skills the feature is there for you to explore and the same can be said to videographers when it comes to taking photos.

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This article hasn’t covered all of the specifications nor the implementations of the Fujifilm X-T2, so we would encourage you to follow this global Fujifilm blog which is now supported by Fujifilm Australia, Fujifilm UK, Fujifilm USA and Fujifilm Canada. We also ask you subscribe to the global Fujiguys YouTube channel to learn more about the Fujifilm X-T2 from contributions around the world. Together we are one and together we are here to listen to you the photographer – and now the videographer too.

Understanding the Advanced Multi-Hybrid Viewfinder on the X-Pro2

When photographing different events under extreme lighting conditions it is good practice to understand how your camera works before the start date. The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is new on the market and therefore learning the advantages of the Advanced Multi-Hybrid Viewfinder is essential to great imaging success. Many new photographers starting out would bypass the viewfinder altogether and stick with the clear bright LCD, but there are many advantages to the different screen modes the camera offers.

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For starters, take this example at Sydney’s light festival – VIVID (below). When trying to photograph bright bursts of flames at 1/8000 second using the XF100-400mm at full extension – handheld, looking on the back of the LCD screen becomes almost impossible. This is because holding the camera away from your face will present some unwanted movement causing blur plus achieving focus in the pitch black becomes almost impossible, as the fireballs only appear for less than a second in different positions.

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To overcome this situation the X-Pro2 has a handy trick. Positioning your eye up to the viewfinder presents a welcome opportunity to either select the Optical Viewfinder (OVF) or the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). Both modes have advantages, but there are a few default settings that are worth changing to obtain the best results.

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The image above was captured while looking through the OVF with an electronic overlay over the optical image. What this means is when you look through the viewfinder you can see the focus point, but the rangefinder view (framing) doesn’t change – it stays at the widest point. The advantage of this is you can see what’s happening outside of the frame you will end up recording. The disadvantage is you won’t be able to see all of the frame due to the long XF100-400mm lens protruding into your optical view.

Using the X-Pro2’s amazing single point autofocus in this mode you can easily half-press the shutter button to obtain correct focus, all while seeing the subject in low light conditions. Of course with all things digital there are many ways to operate the camera to obtain the same result. The second way of going about taking the same photo is the far better option, however as mentioned previously, you will have to change a few default settings in the menu.

When you put your eye up to the viewfinder and turn the viewfinder selector clockwise (located on the front of the X-Pro2) you will notice that the screen changes from OVF to EVF. Now you can see what the final image will be. This is a fantastic mode to photograph in if you are in excellent lighting conditions.

The default setting for this mode is to show you exactly what the end result will be. If you are photographing a bright blue sky at 1/250 second then you won’t have any troubles, but if you are photographing at a high shutter speed like 1/8000 of a second the image you will see through the viewfinder will become dark, making it impossible to see anything and obtain focus on whatever you might be looking at.

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The camera will still work automatically of course and pick up focus (but the obvious thing is you can’t see anything). To obtain the same image you will need to change the default setting in the ‘SET UP’ menu.

Navigate to the following and turn each setting to ‘OFF’

SET UP > SCREEN SET-UP > PREVIEW PIC. EFFECT
SET UP > SCREEN SET-UP > PREVIEW EXP./WB IN MANUAL MODE

Turning off these settings will now reward you with the ability to see at a high shutter speed while using the EVF.

From what we hear, this seems to be one of the main frustrations many photographers face when trying to photograph using the EVF on the X-Pro2. Now that you know what to do to overcome the frustration, we encourage you to share this with your friends.