“…It’s best to think of the S1H as an S1 on steroids. Make no mistake though, unlike the S1 and S1R, the LUMIX S1H was designed and developed especially for film production.
The S1H is far from ready for consumers. Panasonic is only showing a prototype of the camera here at Cinegear. Just like they did with the S1 and S1R, this is more of a tease than anything else. The camera isn’t expected to be available until Autumn 2019….”
News Shooter is the first video production industry website to which I turn for detailed information about coming and newly released hardware and as usual they have done a fine job digging into the facts about the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H video camera, currently in development for release later this year.
One of the few disappointments about the S1H’s slightly older siblings, the S1 and S1R, is their lack of the fully-articulated LCD monitor upon which I rely on so much when shooting stills and video on Panasonic’s Lumix GH series cameras as well as my GX8.
It is so good to see, from the evidence of a photograph in this article shot by the News Shooter team at Cinegear 2019, that the S1H has such a monitor.
There’s no doubt that the Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 is a beautifully built lens. It’s also quite heavy, and at £1750 / $1900 it’s a pretty serious investment. Is the expense worth it? Chris and Jordan take to the hiking trails of Alberta to answer that question….
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR wideangle zoom lens on Fujifilm X-H1 with VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster Grip.
Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra wide-angle zoom lens is beautifully built and delivers beautiful results, but it may not be the best solution for everyone needing ultra-wide focal lengths.
Its size and weight demand mounting it on a vertical battery-equipped Fujifilm X-T3 at the very least with the now-discounted Fujifilm X-H1 providing better balance than the slightly smaller and lighter X-T3.
If the X-H1’s OIS-equipped replacement, the X-H2, is in Fujifilm’s production pipeline then it may be wiser to wait for that to appear sometime late this year or more likely early next if the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is an important lens in your gear kit.
My experience with the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 proves it to be an excellent solution for architectural photography where street furniture, trees and other buildings dictate using the widest focal lengths to get closer to your main subject and bypass non-removable visual noise.
I have used it successfully for documentary photography in the middle of dense crowds, though there were times I would have preferred the lens had optical image stabilization built-in for when the light dropped and slow shutter speeds were necessary to support deep focus via smaller apertures.
In bright sunlight, photographing landscapes was a pleasure and the lens lapped up fine detail but its lack of provision for attaching screw-on filters meant I was unable to try it out as a video lens and I am not in the market for large, heavy and expensive third-party filter adapters or even larger and costlier matte boxes.
If you need an ultra-wideangle for documentary photography and video then I highly recommend the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R which is small and light enough for use with an ungripped X-T3 and would work well on an X-Pro2 with a Fujifilm VF-X21 external optical viewfinder sitting on its hotshoe.
If a range of wide-angle focal lengths is necessary as well as portability and stabilization then I recommend the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens especially it is stopped down below f/5.6 and preferably f/8.0, and this lens will not eat into your savings anywhere near as much as the otherwise excellent Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.
“…We’re in Dubai, where Fujifilm is showing off pre-production and prototype samples of three upcoming lenses – the GF 50mm F3.5 – a compact, lightweight standard lens for medium format – the XF 16mm F2.8, and the XF 16-80mm F4 – both of which [were] designed for the company’s range of APS-C format X-series cameras.
Click through for an exclusive first look at all three, including detailed specifications….”
As time is inching towards the release sometime in the first half of 2019 of Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 “travel” zoom lens it is terrific to get some idea of its size and features and other it may provide a solution for own needs as a documentary photographer and videographer.
I am self-funded, only able to carry a small amount of hardware on each project, and must work within ongoing limitations – thanks for nothing, Australian banksters, for blowing our refinancing out of the water after you were found out for your crimes by the Royal Commission into banking.
I must be able to get the most out of the hardware I carry and it must be able to help me create good enough movies and videos without the benefit of cases full of equipment, assistants and crews, and the big budgets that I never had anyway when working as a magazine editorial and corporate photographer during the analog era.
Gaps in their offerings
As two relatively new camera and lens systems, Fujifilm’s APS-C sensor format X system and medium format G system still have gaps in their offerings, especially for documentary types like me who prefer to rely on fast prime lenses with all the manual controls that can be had.
Not to say that I do not appreciate zoom lenses now that their optical, mechanical and image quality are so good nowadays.
I also use and love Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras and Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro lenses, with my most-used lens being the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens and, had it been released at the time I bought my first Panasonic camera, I may well have chosen the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 OIS Pro zoom lens instead.
Slower zoom lenses are fine so long as you supplement them with moderately wide and moderately long fast aperture prime lenses for available darkness documentary work and portraiture, and Olympus offers three of them in its M.Zuiko Pro range at the moment, with more to come I hope.
Going fast to begin with
At the time I bought my first interchangeable lens Fujifilm camera, the company did not offer a standard zoom lens like those above made by Olympus or their Panasonic equivalents, so I invested in a Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R, well answering my fast aperture moderate long and wide needs.
Another longstanding need has been for a professional quality 18mm prime lens equivalent to 28mm in the 35mm sensor format and 14mm in the Macro Four Thirds sensor format.
With little sign of Fujifilm offering such a lens any time soon, I have had to consider other possibilities including adapting an EF-mount Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens to X-mount, but this solution is best suited to DSLR-style cameras like the X-T3 rather than the rangefinder-style X-Pro2 that is much more effective for hardcore immersive documentary photography.
My interest in the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom was piqued when I borrowed a Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 kit zoom lens for my first tryout of the X-T3.
I loved its 18mm widest focal length, rarely used the lens at 23mm and 55mm as I was also carrying my X-Pro2 equipped with either of those two lenses, and would have loved access to longer focal lengths than 56mm for those times I could not get close enough.
DPReview’s hands-on with the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom provides a reasonably reliable impression of the lens in its shipping form and confirms it has a marked, clicking aperture ring and weather resistance, though no manual clutch focus or, probably, no clickless option.
The X-T3’s firmware offers the ability to switch focus-by-wire from non-linear to linear so I will be giving that feature a tryout during my current X-T3 loan period over the coming days.
Two out of three
Two out of three ain’t bad for the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom.
As I am not a fan of the neither fish-nor-fowl 16mm focal length, equivalent to 24mm in the 35mm sensor format, the Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR “Fujicron” lens is not on my wishlist which is topped by the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R annual clutch focus prime lens to tackle the ultra wide end of things and has a 58mm filter diameter, meaning I can easily add a knurled brass Breakthrough Photography step-up ring for my neutral density filters when shooting video.
Although I would prefer to have a set of wide-aperture manual-clutch-focus primes for all my documentary moviemaking and photography, the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom would provide a range of my most-needed focal lengths – 18mm, 23mm, 27mm, 56mm and 70mm.
In 35mm sensor format terms, that is 28mm, 35mm, 40mm, 85mm and 105mm, and a limit of 120mm at the long end will account for those rare times my feet are unable to do the zooming.
Fuji Rumors has republished images and information about the northern hemisphere fall aka autumn 2019 (southern hemisphere spring 2019) release of the XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR including these from Japanese website capa.getnavi.
Many thanks to Fuji Rumors for the slide translation:
Fujinon XF 10-24mm R OIS, Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS X-Mount, Fujinon XF 14mm R and Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D for architecture and documentary
Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens.
Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R prime lens with manual clutch focus.
Fujifilm VF-X21 External Optical Viewfinder for Fujifilm X70, for use with 21mm and 28mm equivalent lenses such as the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R and XF 18mm f/2.0 R.
Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS X-Mount prime lens.
Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens with Fujifilm X-Mount.
I have a longterm project coming up where I need to document the construction of a house from greenfield to completion, and I need to expand my stills photography kit for that and a number of other upcoming stills and video projects.
Right now I have no idea what my budget will be, given the economy-wrecking predations of the Australian banks and real estate agencies over the past couple of years, but there are at least two options.
Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R with Fujifilm VF-X21 external optical viewfinder for my X-Pro2.
Fujifilm MHG-XT3 Metal Hand Grip
Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip
Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS
Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR
Breakthrough Photography 72-82mm knurled brass step-up ring x 2
Breakthrough Photography lens cap, 82mm x 2
Breakthrough Photography X4 UV filter x 2
Fixed or variable neutral density filters, 82mm diameter
There are other lenses available that receive good reviews and are suitable for architectural photography though they are too ultra-wide for documentary photography, the Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS X-Mount at 18mm equivalence and Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D at 13.5mm equivalence in the 35mm sensor format.
If only one lens it is to be, then the minimalist option makes sense as I rather like the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R’s 21mm equivalence for figures in landscapes, emotive close-up documentary shots, and architectural and cityscape work.
This lens will need Fujifilm’s VF-X21 viewfinder sitting on top of my X-Pro2 as a 14mm field of view falls outside the X-Pro2’s 18-56mm optical viewfinder bright frames and the X-Pro2’s EVF is not what I would like it to be.
Will the X-Pro3 improve upon that and other weak points?
If there is budget enough, then of course I would prefer the maximalist option camera and lens plus upgrading my ageing post-production facility.
The X-T3 plus grips and two zoom lenses, with the addition of my three current 23mm, 27mm and 56mm Fujinon prime lenses, makes a good Super 35mm video set-up combined with Fujifilm’s X-Trans 120-rollfilm quality stills.
The Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS is an ageing lens design, however, and lacks weather resistance and appears to be at its best optically speaking from f/8.0 rather than closer to f/4.0.
I want to see Fujifilm bring it up to current standards with a Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom that will make a great match with the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens, giving the equivalent of 15mm through to 120mm in the 35mm sensor format.
Thanks to Fujifilm Australia, I have been lucky enough to try out the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra-wide zoom in combo with the amazing Fujifilm X-T3 DSLR-style camera and its VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip.
My primary motivation in requesting the loan was so cinematographer/director Paul Leeming could use the X-T3 to shoot video footage in order to create a custom Leeming LUT Pro for it.
He did the same for my X-Pro 2 camera, and I am looking forward to eventually relying on Paul’s various Leeming LUT Pro 3D look-up tables to quickly and easily combine footage from those two cameras with video shot with my Panasonic cameras and, hopefully, Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.
At the moment I am using the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR for stills photography and for a self-funded independent documentary photographer and moviemaker I believe it is stills to which this lens is best suited.
Reason number one?
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR does not permit attaching circular filters.
Large and costly adapters are required in order to attach square or rectangular filters in front of the lenses convex front element, though someone may come up with a similar adapter for attaching wide diameter circular filters to it.
Another large and costly solution is to invest in a matte box, though which one may be best is beyond my current knowledge and experience.
As a budget-driven documentary video solo operator I need to keep my equipment load and expenses down so I rely on circular variable ND filters.
My current VNDs are built with ageing technology, and more recent ones are reportedly sharper, more colour-neutral and offer a greater range of filtration density stops for today’s sensors.
I want to find the best contemporary VND, need a great set of fixed density NDs for less run-and-gun style projects, and I want to upgrade from 77mm to 82mm to future-proof for coming bigger lenses.
All that aside, I absolutely love the results I have been getting with the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.
It balances well on a battery grip-equipped X-T3 whereas it is far too large and heavy for an ungripped camera.
I cannot comment on how it works with a gripped or ungripped Fujifilm X-H1 as I have yet to experience that particular camera.
I wish the X-T3 had the X-H1’s in-body image stabilization aka IBIS and optical image stabilization on the 8-16mm lens would have been terrific.
The X-T3’s ungripped body makes for a great companion camera to my X-Pro2 as I discovered during my first X-T3 tryout late last year, equipping the latter with a Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 alongside the former with my Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R attached.
Adding a Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip to the X-T3 turns it into a great handheld portrait camera with the addition of my Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R.
But I digress.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is the first Fujifilm Red Badge zoom lens I have tried, and so far it looks like it adheres to the common praise heaped upon the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R WR, that it is like having a set of top quality primes at your disposal but all in the one lens.
The widest lens I have ever used until now was the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, equivalent in 35mm sensor terms to one of my favourite focal lengths for immersive documentary photography and video, 21mm.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR goes well beyond that excellent and affordable little lens with a focal length range from 12mm through to 24mm in 35mm sensor terms, the latter not one of my preferred focal lengths by any means.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR’s focal range is particularly well-suited to cityscapes and ‘burbscapes, though it can handle documentary shots in a pinch provided you set it at 16mm and watch out for weird volume distortion of people and objects too near the corners of the frame.
Some of that corner volume distortion can be corrected in post-processing with DxO ViewPoint but that can also introduce other distortions in the centre of the photograph.
I would rather have a pro-quality 18mm lens for immersive documentary work, but Fujifilm has yet to update its current quirky 18mm offering or release the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.
In my analog days I often made architectural photographs with 4”x5” sheet film cameras as part of corporate photography assignments, and as it was a sideline rather than a speciality did not have the set of wide-angle large format view camera lenses I would have liked.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR gives me all of those focal lengths and more.
Shooting architecture with a small handheld camera is a very different dynamic than doing it with a tripod-mounted field camera.
The small camera’s fast and easy mobility means one feels free to dart all around the subject and the zoom lens makes it so fast and easy to try out plenty of alternative camera positions.
I often found myself using the lens at its widest focal length when street furniture, signage and random objects and people got in the way.
So long as you keep a keen eye on potentially detrimental volume and perspective distortions due to distance from and angle of view to the subject, you will do fine.
On the other hand, if you want radical perspective and even more radical near/far object size comparisons, select one of the lens’ wider focal lengths and distort to your heart’s content.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is possibly the sharpest lens I have ever used, with excellent resolution and micro-contrast.
Whether using Adobe’s Enhance-equipped Camera Raw 11.2, previous versions of Camera Raw or another raw processor or image editing application, its unsharpened raw files are impressive onscreen.
If adding sharpening in post-processing, go easy with it and you may also wish dial down your in-camera sharpening for certain subjects if you are a JPEG user.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR zoom lens makes for a superb addition to your Fujifilm lens collection if your work demands ultra-wide focal lengths, though its current high pricing will give some pause to stop, think and postpone purchase.
Many video-oriented users of Fujifilm APS-C/Super 35 cameras may be better off considering the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens for one or more of its most prominent differences – price, size, weight, optical image stabilization and not least the ability to easily mount circular filters of 72mm diameter or larger.
In terms of focal length, one loses 2mm at the wide and gains 8mm at the long end with the 35mm sensor equivalent of 15mm to 36mm, thus providing my preferred documentary photo and video focal lengths of 14mm, 18mm and 23mm or in 35mm sensor terms 21mm, 28mm and 35mm.
Add a medium-to-long zoom lens or some longer primes and you have most bases covered.
The Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens is reportedly not as sharp or as high-resolving as the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR and I have read complaints about its lack of corner sharpness at certain wider apertures, so I hope it will be one of the lenses Fujifilm considers for revision in the very near future.
If the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR meets your needs despite its inability to take a screw-on filter and lack of OIS, and its price is beyond your budget, wait for the discounts and sales seasons or for Fujifilm to substantially drop its price.
If price is no object and if I were a full-time architectural photographer, this would be my number one and possibly only lens for the job.
Gallery, Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR on Fujifilm X-T3
Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 16mm and 8mm
Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 16mm.
Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 8mm.
The XF 8-16mm f/2.8 for architecture with the X-T3’s 3D Electronic Level indicator
One of the great X-T3 features rarely if ever covered in the many reviews of the camera is its optional 3D level indicator that can be assigned to a function button.
I have long wished that all Fujifilm cameras had the same always-on 3D level indicator that Panasonic puts in its cameras so that levelling shots involving parallel verticals is made better than guesswork.
Without much if any fanfare Fujifilm has upgraded its electronic level function from just displaying a simple virtual horizon, and if one assigns Electronic Level to a function button then the function becomes even better, a 3D electronic level that displays roll and pitch indicators.
I assigned Electronic Level to the X-T3’s front function button and, when pressed, its 3D form appears onscreen as an overlay for a fixed period so you can quickly tilt your camera in 3D space to avoid what they used to call “keystoning” of buildings.
I found myself using the 3D Electronic Level all the time when photographing architecture and street views, though sometimes I would run my images through DxO ViewPoint after raw processing in order to further refine perspective and volume deformation.
DxO ViewPoint works as standalone software as well as a plug-in in Photoshop and Photoshop-savvy image editing software, as well as a plug-in in DxO PhotoLab which does not, regretfully, support Fujifilm X-Trans raw files.
I have been trying out a Fujifilm X-T3 loaded up with the latest firmware in order to shoot some HLG video footage and further try out the camera’s radically improved autofocus functionality which will reportedly be getting better again in a future firmware update, possibly in April this year.
Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens.
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens.
The first X-T3 I borrowed was half silver and half black while the current loaner is all black, and what an unexpected and pleasant difference that has made.
I made great use of the silver X-T3 in a two-day documentary photography project and shot quite a bit of footage with its Eterna and F-Log picture profiles, on location in available darkness and the brightest of high UV sunlight.
Each time, halfway through the day I would notice my eyes becoming sore and by day’s end the soreness would be unbearable, especially in my right eye.
I am ambidextrous and tend towards right eye dominance though that is not exclusive, and with DSLR-style cameras always use my right eye to view through their electronic viewfinders.
I had attributed the unaccustomed soreness to the slowly worsening eyesight of my ageing myopic eyes, and had feared the worst for my eyesight despite recent eye tests showing expected slow, steady but not marked deterioration in vision.
I wondered whether using an EVF camera might be the cause of the soreness given I own two Fujifilm viewfinder cameras, an X100 and an X-Pro2, and use their optical viewfinders in preference to their EVFs.
But then I also have two Panasonic Lumix EVF cameras, one viewfinder-style and the other DSLR-style, and have never experienced problems like this with either of them.
This week, after extensive use of the black X-T3 for shooting video and stills, I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that the silver X-T3 and its highly reflective silver-coloured magnesium upper body might be the reason for my previous and constant eye soreness.
I have had no eye soreness with the black X-T3 at all.
Of course, this observation about the difference between the two versions of the X-T3 is a deduction and not the result of any form of scientific test, but it is something worth thinking about when I am in a position to invest in my own X-T3 and the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.
I had been wondering whether my eye soreness was the product of the EVF in the X-T3, and was worried the problem might rule out investing in an X-T3 or any other DSLR-style Fujifilm camera, but the electronic viewfinder clearly is not the source of that problem.
I used the black X-T3 in a wide range of lighting conditions throughout the weekend, in bright high-UV sunlight, deep shade and in poorly-lit train stations and experienced none of the eye soreness that I had when using the silver X-T3.
“Fujifilm releases new mirrorless digital camera “FUJIFILM X-T30 ”
– Equipped with new image sensor and image processing engine into a compact and lightweight body for the ultimate image quality
– Highly-accurate AF performance across the frame and fast / silent continuous shooting of up to 30fps* to capture every decisive moment
– Fine and smooth 4K video with high-resolution audio, meeting the needs of full-scale video production
February 14, 2019
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is delighted to announce the launch of the FUJIFILM X-T30 mirrorless digital camera (X-T30) in late March 2019, the latest model to join the X Series, known for superior image quality delivered with the company’s proprietary color reproduction technology.
In its compact body that weighs just 383g, the X-T30 features the 26.1MP X-Trans™ CMOS 4 sensor** and the fast X-Processor 4 image processing engine to achieve the ultimate image quality. Furthermore, it offers highly accurate AF performance across the entire frame and silent continuous shooting capability of up to an impressive 30 fps*, ensuring that you would never miss a decisive photo opportunity in a variety of situations. The camera can also record 4K/30P*** video while applying “Film Simulation mode”, including the “ETERNA” with rich color grading, based on Fujifilm’s proprietary color reproduction technology. Its ability to record fine and smooth 4K video with high-resolution audio will meet the needs of those involved in full-scale video production.
The X-T30 inherits popular exterior design features of the current model, FUJIFILM X-T20 (X-T20), while providing excellent operability with a new grip design that enhances stable grip when holding the camera, a touchscreen panel display with improved response performance, and the “Focus Lever” that facilitates faster focusing operation. The camera is also equipped with the “Auto Mode Selector Lever” that allows you to instantaneously switch to a fully-automatic shooting mode, making it a perfect mirrorless digital camera for a broad range of users who want to enjoy premium-quality pictures.
*Only available when using the electronic shutter. The camera offers fast and silent continuous shooting of up to 30fps in a cropped frame equivalent to 16.6MP.
**X-Trans™ is a trademark or registered trademark of FUJIFILM Corporation. With the use of a proprietary highly aperiodic color filter array, the sensor minimizes moiré effects and false colors without the use of an optical low-pass filter.
***Capable of recording smooth 4K video at 30fps
1. Compact camera body that weighs just 383g and is equipped with the X Trans™ CMOS 4 sensor and high-speed X Processor 4 image processing engine to deliver ultimate image quality and versatile photographic expressions.
The X-T30’s compact camera body that weighs just 383g features the X-Trans™ CMOS 4 sensor (APS-C, no low pass filter) and high-speed X-Processor 4 image processing engine. Together, they deliver the class-leading 26.1MP resolution for digital cameras with an APS-C-size sensor, and achieve excellent noise-reduction performance. Furthermore, the sensitivity of ISO160, previously*4 available only as extended ISO, is now part of the normal ISO range. This is particularly useful when shooting in bright daylight outdoors or trying to achieve beautiful bokeh with a fast large-aperture lens.
The “Film Simulation mode”, which provides versatile color expressions with Fujifilm’s proprietary technology, now has the new “ETERNA mode”. This camera also offers “monochrome adjustments” for Film Simulation’s “ACROS” and “Monochrome” modes to achieve warm black and cool black.
The “Color Chrome Effect” produces deeper colors and gradation to broaden diversity in your photographic expressions.
*4 When compared to the X-Trans™ CMOS III sensor
2. Highly accurate AF performance across the entire frame and fast / silent continuous shooting capability of up to 30fps to capture a decisive moment in a wide range of situations
The X-Trans™ CMOS 4 sensor has 2.16 million phase detection pixels, about 4 times that of previous models*4, to expand the highly-accurate phase detection AF area to the entire frame (approximately 100%). When using the electronic shutter, the camera can deliver fast and silent continuous shooting of up to 30fps in a cropped frame equivalent to 16.6MP (1.25x crop). This means even a fast-moving subject, positioned away from the center of the frame, can be autofocused at an amazing speed and accuracy, ensuring that you will not miss a decisive shutter moment.
The X-Processor 4’s high processing speed and improved AF algorithm has boosted the camera’s capability to accurately detect human faces and eyes. The “Face Select function” has been also introduced to provide priority auto-focus on the face of a selected subject when multiple faces have been detected within a frame. The low-light limit for phase detection AF has been extended from +0.5EV on previous models*5 to -3EV, making on-screen phase detection AF available in very poor lighting such as at night or under a light source of limited luminosity, such as candlelight.
Evolved functionality of the “Advanced SR Auto mode” can be activated instantaneously with the use of the “Auto Mode Selector lever”, positioned on the camera body’s top panel. The camera automatically chooses the optimum shooting settings for a given scene out of 58 presets so that you can achieve the best image quality without having to worry about settings yourself.
*5 When compared to the X-T20
3. Newly-redesigned grip shape and the inclusion of the “Focus Lever” for outstanding operability
The X-T30 inherits popular exterior design features of the X-T20, while adopting a new grip design that makes the camera body sit comfortably in your hand. It also has the “Focus Lever”, replacing the “Selector Button”, to afford extra grip space at the rear. These design enhancements have created added hand-holding stability despite the camera’s compact and lightweight body, even when it is mounted with a large lens such as a telephoto zoom.
The rear LCD monitor uses a touchscreen panel display 1.3mm thinner than that on the X-T20. Its improved touchscreen response enables faster and more intuitive camera operations.
The X-T30 is available in the popular Black version the Silver version for a premium look with greater sheen, and the Charcoal Silver version*6, all representing a sense of high quality and robustness.
*6 Will be in store later than the Black and Silver version
4. Extensive video functions that meet the needs of full-scale video production
The X-T30’s new video features include the capability to record with high-resolution audio and track human eyes even during video recording. Smooth 4K/30P video can be recorded at 8bit 4:2:0 on an SD card, and also output to external storage media via the HDMI port at 10bit 4:2:2 to include more color information. The camera is also capable of F-log recording, which captures footage in wider gamut for later editing of color tones and luminosity. These extensive video functions cater to the needs of full-scale video production.
Video data, greater than what is required for 6K video, is scaled down to 4K to achieve advanced sharpness with minimal moiré. The camera supports recording in the DCI format (17:9 aspect ratio), used in digital cinemas, for dynamic video footage in high resolution.
The X-T30 can apply “Film Simulation mode”, popular for stills, while recording video, so that you can enjoy a diverse range of unique effects, including the “ETERNA” for rich color grading….”
Fujifilm X-T30 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS zoom lens.
Fujifilm X-T30 with Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR prime lens.
Fujifilm X-T30 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS zoom lens.
Fujifilm X-T30 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS zoom lens.
Fujifilm X-T30 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS zoom lens.
Fujifilm’s X-T30 DSLR-style APS-C premium compact hybrid camera has an impressive list of specifications that position it just below the amazing X-T3 and make it a more than suitable companion, backup or replacement camera depending on the demands of your project.
I have yet to try it or its predecessor the Fujifilm X-T20 out yet so cannot speak to the pros and cons of its smaller size compared to its larger siblings, but based on my experience of the X-T3 assume that the X-T30 may be better suited to Fujifilm’s smaller lenses at right than the company’s larger, heavier optics.
I also suggest looking out for hand grips and L-plates to fit the X-T30 in order to give it a little more heft when mounting larger lenses.
Fujifilm’s product page indicates that its Hand Grip MHG-XT10 metal hand grip will fit and as I use the company’s hand grips on several Fujifilm cameras can strongly recommend them.
Fujifilm is portraying the X-T30 as “The Little Giant” and from its specifications list alone it clearly lives up to that nickname.
“… FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) will release new firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T3 (“X-T3”) X Series digital camera in April.
[ FUJIFILM X-T3 Ver. 3.00: April 2019 ]
1．Strengthened the accuracy of face / eye detection AF performance
The AF algorithm has been improved along with the accuracy of face / eye detection AF. The ability to detect faces in the distance has been enhanced by approximately 30% and AF tracking is now more stable, even when an obstacle appears in the way. The improvements in AF are applicable to both still photos and video recording.
2．New Face Select function
The Face Select function has been introduced to provide priority auto-focus, tracking and exposure on a selected subject when multiple faces have been detected. The priority face can be selected by using the touch screen or focus lever.
3．Faster AF speed for subjects at a distance
Thanks to the improved AF algorithm, faster AF speed is achieved when shooting from short to long distances (or vice versa).
4．Intuitive operation of touch screen
A Double Tap Setting and Touch Function has been added to the touch screen settings*. The two settings must be set to OFF to provide a better touch screen response. These new settings allow a more intuitive touch operation when shooting, AF and focus area select.
*By default, Touch Screen Setting, Double Tap Setting and Touch Function are set to all OFF.
For improved touch screen response, Touch Screen Setting must be set to ON.”
Autofocus is a feature I had assumed would be nice to have rather than crucial when I first got back into moviemaking and photography with hybrid digital cameras.
As time passed, and as autofocus steadily improved on the gear I was using through firmware updates and new camera models, I have come to see the utility value of autofocusing for stills photography and now, with the X-T3 having the best autofocus functionality for video yet of all the mirrorless cameras I have tried, it looks like it will be getting better again with April’s coming firmware update.
Improved face and eye detection is particularly welcome given I am in the process of getting back into portrait photography and manual focus with longer lenses and moving subjects does not always cut the mustard, as it were.
“Brought to you live from Hamburg: The newest Olympus camera in professional photography! Watch here the playlist of the full show of the OM-D E-M1X release event. This clip summarizes the official Press Release Conference on January 23rd, 2019, with guests from Olympus Tokyo….”
For me, the Micro Four Thirds sensor format occupies the place that 35mm inhabited during the analog era and so it is well-suited to the photographic genres that were dominated by 35mm cameras such as sports, wildlife, photojournalism, some subgenres of documentary and specific approaches to fashion photography.
Other sensor formats occupy places once owned by larger analog formats, for example Fujifilm’s X-Trans APS-C has taken the place of some 120 roll film formats while Fujifilm’s G-Series Bayer sensor-equipped medium format cameras have taken the place of 4″x5″ sheet film and the company’s coming GFX 100 will likely match if not surpass the image quality of 8″x10″ sheet film cameras.
Similar analogies apply to other sensor formats such as 35mm where 20+ megapixels sensors amply match if not surpass the quality once obtained by medium format roll film and circa 50 megapixels sensors are inching on the door of sheet film’s house.
Complaints that MFT camera sensors may not be as sensitive as those of larger formats are silly given the mobility, weather resistance and smaller lenses with stellar performance the smaller format affords.
If you need larger sensor cameras, invest in them and let MFT be what it excels at just as one should allow cameras of other sensor formats and body types to be what they were designed to be.
Pretending otherwise is silly.
I am rather fond of the Micro Four Thirds format as it gave me access to the pro-quality video capabilities I could not afford at the time and its cameras proved to be rather good for documentary stills photography and photojournalism too.
If I were working for newspapers and magazines as I used to, MFT cameras and lenses would constitute my core daily working kit, supplemented by equipment in other sensor formats as projects demanded.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X would be in contention as would the excellent Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses.
The Micro Four Thirds sensor format is perfectly adequate for those genres and applications.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X with lenses and accessories
Olympus OM-D E-M1X Micro Four Thirds mirrorless digital camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens, equivalent in the 35mm sensor format to 80mm to 30mm.
The Olympus Lens Roadmap, February 2019
Olympus has been doing a great job of fleshing out its professional-quality M.Zuiko Pro lens collection but gaps remain in its prime and zoom lens offerings and rumours of new lenses, particularly new fast prime lenses, have appeared over the last couple of years without results.
I am rather fond of the M.Zuiko Pro lens series, with my most-used being the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro standard zoom, and I have been hoping that Olympus will add more prime lenses.
I chose the 12-40mm f/2.8 over what might have been the more logical choice given I use Panasonic cameras, Panasonic’s Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens, for several reasons:
Manual clutch focus – essential in my opinion for achieving fast, accurate, repeatable focus especially when shooting documentary video.
Longer focal length range – 24mm to 80mm in 35mm sensor equivalents, extending the long end into the realm of ideal focal lengths for portraiture.
Excellent optical performance – all throughout the lens’ focal length range.
Excellent mechanical and optical design and manufacturing.
Olympus’ release of its first three fast M.Zuiko Pro prime lenses was very pleasing, but I have long been hoping for the addition of 10.5mm and 14mm prime lenses, equivalent in 35mm terms to 21mm and 28mm, both of which are essentials for documentary photography and video.
While 10.5mm is available wit in the M.Zuiko Pro 7-14mm f/2.8 zoom, that lens requires the use of large, unwieldy and costly adapters for attaching neutral density filters when shooting video.
A 10.5mm M.Zuiko Pro prime lens is a much better choice and it does not need to be as fast as its M.Zuiko Pro siblings with their f/1.2 maximum aperture.
The same applies to an M.Zuiko Pro 14mm prime lens.
Both lenses would be perfectly fine with maximum apertures of from, say, f/1.8 through to f/2.8, though faster is always appreciated in available darkness.
One of Olympus’ new items in its February 2019 lens roadmap, “Bright Prime Lenses”, is encouraging and it appears to be placed somewhere between 10mm and 60mm.
I would love to see wide aperture prime lenses added in popular focal lengths such as the following, in their M43 and 35mm sensor equivalents:
10.5mm – 21mm
14mm – 28mm
37.5mm – 75mm
52.5mm – 105mm
Two other new items in the lens roadmap have me intrigued, “Wide Zoom Lens” and “Standard Zoom Lens”.
I would like to see Olympus take on Panasonic over the latter’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 fast zoom lens that was announced with scant details back in late 2018.
This lens may well be the one I had been looking for when I first bought into Micro Four Thirds, containing most of the focal lengths I need on a daily basis for documentary stills and video, and something similar coming from Olympus for its M.Zuiko Pro lens collection can only be a good thing.
When I was trying out Fujifilm’s X-T3 as a video camera, shooting footage at DCI 4K 10-bit 4:2:0 F-Log All-Intra 400 mbps and recording internally rather than onto an external monitor/recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V, I was gobsmacked at the quality of the images even though it was just a little short of the 10-bit 4:2:2 footage that external recording makes possible.
Although cameras that shoot raw or ProRes footage such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and the like are traditionally termed, well, cinema cameras, the X-T3’s footage is clearly more than good enough for many projects that independent documentary and feature moviemakers are likely to create.
It certainly is for me, and it certainly appears to be a step up from the reportedly excellent 10-bit 4:2:2 the Super 16-like Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S camera is cable of recording internally and that is apparently a step-up from the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5’s 10-bit 4:2:2 footage, also recorded internally.
We appear to now be living in the realm of ‘degrees of excellence’ and so image quality may no longer be the number one deciding factor when choosing how one may shoot a project.
Other factors such as colour science, camera size, shape, handholding ability, available lenses, rigging and more will become the deciding factors and that is no bad thing.
It is great to see what the Fujifilm X-T3 is capable of when shooting short features with it and Nick Thomas and his team have my thanks for kindly sharing their work here.