Today, all of the original blog content is still very much valid. If you haven't read it, I suggest you first check it out here.
As an official X-photographer, I've been very lucky to work closely with the fine guys of Fujifilm Middle East and have done a large amount of reviews on new gear. The most important ones for me being:
- XF 18-135 mm f3.5-5.6 WR Fujinon lens
- Fujifilm X100T camera
- XF 50-140 f2.8 OIS WR Fujinon lens
- XF 16-55 f2.8 R LM WR Fujinon lens
- XF 23 f1.4 R
- XF 16 f1.4 R WR
- Fujifilm X-T10 camera
- XF 90 f2.0 LM WR Fujinon lens
Fujifilm is renown for regularly updating their existing cameras firmware and this way releasing functions that are only available on its newer cameras. These updates often go back to cameras that are several years old and create great loyalty to the company. A typical example is the complete overhaul of the X-T1 "autofocus system", which has just been updated to the brand-new X-T10 standard (review here). All of this by a simple firmware update, called 4.0 (released end of June 2015).
While other camera manufactures would launch a complete new camera model (Canon and Nikon, take note!), it really is like receiving a brand-new camera for FREE.
As I personally have not got enough exposure to the new autofocus system, I won't go into details but will rather refer the readers to a dedicated Fujifilm AF site explaining the new Autofocus! Click here for more info.
I am very excited about the new AF as it made a great first impression while testing/reviewing the X-T10. End of the month, I plan on attending the worlds largest Airshow in Oshkosh, WI (USA) and hope to put the new system through its paces.
IS IT ALL PERFECT?
Of course it isn't! I've always tried to be fair and honest in my camera and lens reviews and will continue to do so!
The good news is that after having used the X-T1 for over a year in harsh conditions; temperatures ranging from well below freezing to +50C, in sandstorms and downpours; the camera has not missed a beat.
I do however have some concerns about the quality of some of the plastic and rubber parts used; the left side-door has expanded somewhat and doesn't close properly anymore; not desirable for a weather sealed camera!
Secondly some of the rubber parts on the backside of the X-T1, are slowly letting loose. Both of these are probably the result of regularly operating the camera in very high temperatures and humidities, but will need to be addressed in future updates.
To be fair, all of my Nikon cameras (and lenses for that matter) had the same issues with the rubber getting loose but then again Fujifilm needs to do better! I'm presently looking into replacing some of the rubber parts with new ones which is more of an inconvenience rather than a cost. Having being exposed to the same environmental conditions, all of my lenses are still in a pristine condition.
Even though, Fujifilm is clearly listening to its customers and is giving them frequent new functionalities through firmware updates, there is always room for improvement... One of the main outstanding concerns for me, is the lack of decent "exposure bracketing"; Fujifilm Japan", we need a minimum of +2 and -2 stops (preferably 3) on the AE bracketing. Needless to say, I was very disappointed to see it wasn't included in the X-T1 4.0 update.
RAW FILES IMAGE EDITING: LIGHTROOM CC 2015 versus IRIDIENT DEVELOPER
The Fujifilm X-trans sensor and more specifically the newer X-Trans CMOS II sensor used on cameras like the X-E2, X-T1, X-T10, X100S and X100T, is revolutionary to say the least. The image quality through its non-standard pixel array, equals or even surpasses some of the full frame sensors. For more technical info click on the following link.
The problem is however that some of the RAW file converters are not really keeping up with the latest and greatest image sensor technology. Lightroom for example, was known to struggle with some of the more demanding Fujifilm RAW files.
For RAW files which contain a lot of foliage or other fine details, I do use Iridient Developer. This stand alone software made by a small company, is for me the best Fujifilm RAW file image editor.
There is however light at the end of the tunnel; both Adobe ACR and Adobe Lightroom (which are basically the same RAW file editors), have updated their RAW file converters in the latest CC (Creative Cloud) versions to be more compatible with the new X-Trans technology. Some files still show better detail in Iridient Developer but the gap is definitively closing...
Even though editing the RAW file in Iridient and then continuing the rest in Lightroom is not that hard, staying in a single application is obviously more desirable. Right now I tend to do about 80% of my RAW file image editing in Lightroom.
Overall I definitively have no regrets having made the move to Fujifilm. Not a single time did I miss not having a DSLR during the last 12 months.
Just like most Fujifilm shooters, I'm obviously interested in what the company will release next... Rumours seem to be predicting a possible 1.3 crop factor (closer to full frame) higher resolution camera (X-Pro2?) which will work with all amazing Fujinon XF glass. I guess time will tell!
To me it has never been a more exciting time to be a photographer.
Remember: "Life is like a camera, focus on what is important and you will capture it perfectly"