Booray Perry: Why I WON’T be switching to the Fuji XT-3. REAL WORLD TEST!

I’ve had a week to shoot with the Fuji XT-3 and I love this camera… but I WON’T be buying it because there is just one think I can’t get past. Maybe it doesn’t affect you but it’s the one thing that is holding me back. This video will walk you through the things I love and explain in detail why I just can’t make the leap to the Fuji XT-3.

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens.: bigger and easier-to-grip dials meaning far less diving into the multi-level menu system.

Wedding photographer Booray Perry recently tried out a loaner Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera and decided that, though he likes much about the camera and the image quality from its APS-C sensor, he will not be investing in a higher-end Fujifilm camera just yet, especially given he relies on on and off-camera flash and long lenses for much of his professional work.

I have been trying out a Fujifilm X-H1 camera body lately in combination with my own and a couple of loaner Fujinon XF prime lenses, and I agree with much of what he says including that the X-T3 produces excellent images in general.

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens: although the much-improved NPW-126S lithium battery delivers more stills shots than its predecessor, video drains the battery faster so I recommend the vertical battery grip for its two extra batteries.

I have used some of the larger Fujifilm zoom lenses on loaner X-T3 cameras, as well as a number of Fujicron and non-Fujicron prime lenses, and have concluded that the X-T3 benefits from almost permanently attaching a Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip to it whether shooting documentary stills, documentary video and especially portrait photographs.

My preferred Fujifilm camera form factor for documentary photography remains that of the X-Pro2 digital rangefinder given my extensive background with analog rangefinders of all film formats, but have found that the X-T3 makes an excellent on-location documentary companion camera when using wider focal lengths than 18mm and longer focal lengths than 56mm.

But not too long.

Ungripped, the X-T3 is about the same size as the X-Pro2 and fits neatly with the latter into a small shoulder bag with four or so lenses, aiding in retaining a large degree of invisibility.

Passers-by rarely if ever take any notice of either camera and I have shot stills and video extremely up-close in a way I would ever have gotten away with if using larger cameras such as my Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

The X-T3 has proven to be an excellent handheld portrait camera, benefitting from its tilting LCD monitor, small size in the hand whether gripped or ungripped, and however large the lenses used on it.

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Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip. The 3×4 aspect ratio of Micro Four Thirds is much better than the 2×3 aspect ratio of APS-C and 35mm sensors for vertical portraits and is close to the aspect ratio of magazine pages. We need 4:3/3:4 added to aspect ratio choices in all APS-C and 35mm sensor cameras via firmware, and possibly also the A4 aspect ratio.

For all-day work on location or in the studio, though, I found the X-T3 more fatiguing in whichever grip and lens configuration than my X-Pro2 and I would much prefer a camera of the shape and size of the Fujifilm X-H1 for that type of work.

The X-H1 has a surety of grip and a smooth shutter release button that I would love to see on the X-T3, and there is nothing so reassuring as always having the option of the X-H1’s in-body image stabilization given that none of my current Fujinon lenses come with optical image stabilization.

The X-T3 outstrips the X-H1 in every processor and sensor-based firmware feature, hardly surprising given the X-H1 contains previous generation internals as well as firmware features moviemakers and photographers have been requesting for ages now.

The lack of IBIS on the X-Pro2 and X-T3 will soon be met with up to six stops OIS on the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens, easing my trepidation when needing to shoot in available darkness but I am keen to see what the X-H2 offers when it hopefully appears sometime early in 2020.

And then there is the X-Pro3 reportedly coming later this year and whatever new features may appear thereon.

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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens with up to six stops of stabilization, equivalent in 35mm sensor format terms to 24mm through to 120mm focal lengths.

If the X-H2 matches and preferably outstrips the X-T3 in its internals, then it will be a shoo-in for professional video production, studio stills and large lens work on location as well as documentary work in available darkness.

If the X-Pro3 gains the features I have long been wanting to see in Fujifilm’s digital rangefinder cameras, especially in a radically improved electronic viewfinder, then I will be glad to add one to my documentary stills kit.

Meanwhile the X-T3 is a fine candidate for top-quality non-raw Super 35 video in HLG or F-Log, and an excellent stills camera for portraiture and as a second available-light documentary camera whose APS-C X-Trans sensor matches as near as damn it to the image quality from my 5D Mark II and subsequently released DSLR cameras.

Fujifilm X-Pro2, X-T3 and X-H1 APS-C/Super 35 mirrorless hybrid cameras and lenses at Compact Camera Meter

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Footnote

The term “Fujicron” refers to the Leica Summicron-like compact prime lenses made by Fujifilm including the Fujicron XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR, XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR, XF 35mm f/2.0 R WR and XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR. Fujifilm needs to release a Fujicron version of its XF 18mm f/2.0 R prime lens in response to the longterm barrage of requests from the army of documentary photographers who rely on its 28mm equivalent focal length in the 35mm sensor format, but who find the operational speed and other quirks of the current, ageing 18mm lens irksome to say the least.

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Fuji Rumors: Fuji Guy Billy: APS-C Crop Factor Cheating? :: f/2 X Mount Zoom Lenses? :: Fast G Mount Lenses Potentially Coming :: And More

https://www.fujirumors.com/fuji-guy-billy-aps-c-crop-factor-cheating-f-2-x-mount-zoom-lenses-fast-g-mount-lenses-potentially-coming-and-more/

… XF16-80mm f/4

  • XF16-80mm f/4 is going to be an all in one beautiful lens, great for stills and video
  • coming later this year [September]…
  • Billy loves images with blown out background, and subjects to stand out, hence he brings prime lenses. Prime lenses also are sharper
  • Often Billy does not bring a zoom lens
  • Slowing down with primes, gets him more keepers
  • with zoom lenses he tends to get too lazy, just stand, zoom, and snap images
  • He would sacrifice primes to get 1 zoom for long hikes or so
  • He looks forward to XF16-80. Sharp lens, great all-rounder…
  • Zoom lenses can make things “easy”, but if you stick to constantly choose the frame, to work on the picture, you can get great images with zooms
  • If you struggle to find your frame, set your zoom to one focal length, and shoot only with that, so you start to take pictures more consciously…
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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.

Commentary

Although I am primarily a prime lens user in whichever camera system and sensor size, zoom lenses containing just the right focal lengths are invaluable when the two-camera, two-primes solution or swapping prime lenses from camera to bag and back again is out of the question when shooting documentary video and stills in fast-moving and intensive, highly immersive situations.

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Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 with Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric wide to standard zoom lens.

The Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR for Fujifilm’s APS-C/Super 35 cameras and the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric for M43/Super 16 cameras including those made by Blackmagic Design, Olympus and Panasonic are two such zoom lenses and both have been highly anticipated since their in-development announcements a while ago.

Fuji Guy Billy is a respected in-house commentator on Fujifilm’s hardware and firmware, and it is reassuring to read his own assessment of the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS W, supported by videos featuring photographers working in different genres while using the lens.

I look forward to the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS W’s arrival in-store and into the hands of well-qualified independent reviewers soon.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR

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  • FUJIFILM XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR LensB&H

News Shooter: Panasonic S1H full-frame mirrorless 6K 24p (UPDATED)

https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/06/01/panasonic-s1h-full-frame-mirrorless-6k-24p/

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H 35mm mirrorless camera with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 Macro OIS zoom lens.

“…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….”

Commentary

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Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 with 8Sinn cage and Scorpio handle and rod riser. Like camcorders, the GH5’s fully-articulated LCD monitor can be positioned exactly where you need it to be.

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.

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Panasonic Global: Panasonic Develops a New LUMIX S1H Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera With Cinema-Quality Video and the World’s First 6K/24p*1 Recording Capability [Press Release]

https://news.panasonic.com/global/press/data/2019/06/en190603-2/en190603-2.html

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H 35mm mirrorless camera with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 Macro OIS zoom lens.

Panasonic Develops a New LUMIX S1H Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera With Cinema-Quality Video and the World’s First 6K/24p*1 Recording Capability

Osaka, Japan – Panasonic Corporation announced today the development of the LUMIX S1H, a new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera equipped with a full-frame image sensor. It is the world’s first camera capable of video recording at 6K/24p *1 (3:2 aspect ratio), 5.9K/30p (16:9 aspect ratio), and 10-bit 60p 4K/C4K.*2 *3 Combining the professional-level video quality and high mobility of the mirrorless camera, Panasonic will release the LUMIX S1H to world markets in fall 2019.

Since starting the development of video recording technologies for digital cinema in the 1990s, Panasonic has produced a host of innovative technologies for impressive cinematic imagery, such as 24p video recording, slow motion video using a variable frame rate, and the wide dynamic range and color space of V-Log/V-Gamut. Panasonic has been working with film creators for over a quarter of a century to design and develop a number of cinema cameras, which has resulted in stunningly high video performance. The LUMIX GH1 made its debut in 2009 as the world’s first Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera capable of full-HD AVCHD video recording.*4 The LUMIX GH4 was launched in 2014 as the world’s first Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera*5 capable of 4K video recording. And in 2017, the LUMIX GH5 was released with the world’s first 4K/60p, 4:2:2 10-bit 4K/30p recording capability.*6 The LUMIX GH5 is highly acclaimed by film creators for its high performance, excellent mobility, and superb versatility in film production.

The new LUMIX S1H has been designed and developed by applying the vast expertise and technologies accumulated in the cinema cameras of the LUMIX S Series of full-frame mirrorless cameras. It packs all of these technologies, especially in the field of digital signal processing and heat dispersion, into a compact, lightweight body to achieve both high performance and nimble mobility. It opens the door to creative film production in ways that conventional, bulky camera systems simply could not do.

The main features of the new LUMIX S1H are as follows:

1. High resolution up to 6K for multiple formats
Maximizing the use of the pixels in the full-frame image sensor, the LUMIX S1H, as a digital camera, has achieved 6K/24p (3:2 aspect ratio) or 5.9K/30p (16:9 aspect ratio) video recording for the first time in the world.*1 It is also the world’s first full-frame digital interchangeable lens system camera*1 to enable 10-bit 60p 4K/C4K *2*3 video recording. It accommodates a variety of recording formats, including 4:3 Anamorphic mode, to meet professional needs. Its high-resolution data can also be used for creating 4K videos with higher image quality or for cropping images in 4K.

2. Rich gradation and a wide color space virtually equal to those of cinema cameras.
The LUMIX S1H features V-Log/V-Gamut with a wide dynamic range of 14+ stops, which are virtually the same as those of the Panasonic Cinema VariCam, to precisely capture everything from dark to bright areas. The color and even the texture of human skin are faithfully reproduced. Designed under consistent color management, the S1H’s recorded footage is compatible with V-Log footage recorded by VariCam or V-Log L footage recorded by LUMIX GH5/GH5S.

3. High product reliability that allows unlimited video recording.*7
In every S1H recording mode, video can be recorded non-stop under the certified operating temperature so the user can concentrate on shooting.
Panasonic now offers three innovative models in the LUMIX S Series of full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras – the S1R, the S1, and the new S1H. The LUMIX S1R is ideal for taking high-resolution pictures, the LUMIX S1 is an advanced hybrid camera for high-quality photos and videos, and the LUMIX S1H is designed and developed especially for film production. With this lineup, Panasonic is committed to meet the demands of every imaging professional by challenging the constant evolution of the photo/video culture in today’s new digital era.

The LUMIX S1H prototype will be exhibited at the “Cine Gear Expo 2019.”*8

Notes:
*1. As a digital interchangeable lens system camera, as of May 31, 2019 (U.S.). Panasonic research.
*2. As a full-frame digital interchangeable lens system camera, as of May 31 May, 2019 (U.S.). Panasonic research. In Super 35mm-equivalent size.
*3. Corresponding to 4K (4096×2160) as defined by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI).
*4. As of March 25, 2009, as a digital interchangeable lens system camera. Panasonic research.
*5. As of March 25, 2014, as a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera. Panasonic research.
*6. As of January 25, 2017, as a digital interchangeable lens system camera. Panasonic research.
*7. Recording time varies depending on the battery capacity and memory card capacity. When the camera’s temperature rises above the specified operation temperature, the camera may automatically stop video recording to protect it from heat damage.
*8. Cine Gear Expo 2019 is the premier annual event for professionals engaged in the technology, entertainment and media industry to be held at Paramount Studios in Los Angles, U.S., through May 30 to June 2.
– Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

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DPReview: Open letter to Panasonic: Innovations in manual focus could make Lumix S a winner for cinematographers

https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/3202272540/open-letter-to-panasonic-long-overdue-innovations-in-manual-focus

“Jack Lam is a cinematographer based in Beijing and Hong Kong. His body of work includes TV commercials, seasonal TV drama series and theatrical feature films. His commercial clients include Cathay Pacific, Lenovo, Airbnb, Alibaba, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. He also works with DJI as a design consultant for their cinema products….

… As a working cinematographer, I am super excited by Panasonic’s announcement of the Lumix S mirrorless camera system. The Panasonic GH5 is so well-designed, it has become a reliable workhorse for many video shooters. I have no doubt a full-frame version of it will be amazing, and everything I read about the S1/S1R confirms that.

However, Lumix S has the potential to become much greater that what we see in this product launch. With this brand new camera system, Panasonic has a unique opportunity to create the perfect small camera system for professional cinematographers. But doing so requires Panasonic to address a long-standing problem that is overlooked by all other camera makers, as well as some rethinking of conventional ideas on camera design.

This missing feature – one that can become a potential killer feature for Panasonic – is good manual focus control for video….

… I want MF control that is simple, accurate, reliable, repeatable, predictable, measurable and ergonomically sound. It should also be wireless-capable and highly integrated as part of the camera (so that we can keep the camera small and don’t need to add six other accessories just to pull focus). Do you know of any small (DSLR/mirrorless) camera in the market that fulfills all of the above requirements? I have found none.”

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 35mm sensor mirrorless camera with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS standard zoom lens.

Commentary

olympus_m.zuiko_primes_square_17_25_45_1024px_60%
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro professional prime lenses with manual clutch focusing, brilliant for shooting video or stills where accurate focus is absolutely critical.

Please note that Jack Lam’s open letter was written late 2018 before the official launch of the Panasonic S1 and S1R cameras and lenses, before detailed specifications were released.

The elephant in the room of mirrorless and DSLR hybrid cameras is manual focusing, and it is pleasing that Mr Lam has addressed it in depth.

The autofocus capabilities of modern mirrorless cameras have been steadily improving for use in stills photography, but I often find myself flipping over into manual focus whenever starting off with autofocus when shooting video, no matter how much innovation has gone into each camera’s video autofocus functions.

The problem of manual focusing limitations in cameras is further compounded by the manual focusing and focus pulling limitations of the lenses that are made for them, with their reliance on non-linear focusing control rings or lack of focusing rings altogether.

Whenever possible I invest in lenses that have manual clutch focus mechanisms and hard stops at each end of the focussing scale, but these lenses can be far and few between in any camera system.

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Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R prime lens with manual clutch focus, equivalent to 21mm in the 35mm sensor format.

Lenses manually focused via control rings are more common, whether the option of switching from non-linear to linear operation is offered in cameras’ firmware or not.

Given a choice, I will always select a manual clutch focus lens over autofocus-only or control ring-only lenses, but then there is another factor, the all-too-common lack of an aperture ring.

The ideal lens for me has both, with a switch for clickless and clicked operation of the aperture ring being the best option for riding exposure in variable light.

I write about this stuff as often as I can but I am nobody and no camera manufacturer pays attention to what I have to say.

It may be a different matter for Jack Lam.

I hope that Panasonic is not the only camera and lens maker that may read Mr Lam’s open letter.

I want Blackmagic Design, Fujifilm and Olympus to read it and act positively upon it too.

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Olympus O-MD E-M1X camera with fully-articulated LCD monitor. I relish having fully-articulated monitors on my Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and use them constantly for photography and video. I am not so enamoured of the two-way, three-way and non-articulating monitors that have been appearing on recent cameras by other manufacturers including Fujifilm, Sony and now Panasonic in its S Series cameras. Full articulation, please, camera makers. 

Manual focus and focus-pulling for video with mirrorless hybrid camera should not have to suck.

I am beyond tired of it sucking on the cameras that I try out and consider for purchase.

I am tired of having to mention it all the time in my articles in the hopes of things changing for the better.

I am sure that my contacts at the camera and lens companies are tired of me and reportedly many others asking them to lift their game.

Mr Lam makes a number of other excellent suggestions on page two of his article as published by DPReview, or you may wish to read it at source, at Mr Lam’s The Right Lens web log below.

For good measure, here is his list of other necessary features, all of which I agree with:

Other Good-to-have Features

While we are at it, here are some good-to-have features that I’d like to see in the Lumix-S system. But they are not nearly as important as a good focus control system.

– GH5-style Flip-out Screen. It is already so good. Don’t change it.

– High-bright Screen. Make it viewable under sunlight. I know it eats battery and heats up quick. But it really is super useful outdoor.

– Internal ND

– 4K 10-bit Log 60fps

– Build-in Video Transmitter or make it an add-on module that is highly integrated with the camera. Monitoring thru WiFi isn’t reliable enough. (I know I am getting greedy…)

– Sturdy, Positive-locking Lens Mount. For the time when we do use a cinema lens. (Just like the mount upgrade option on the Canon C300 MK2)

– Ergonomics. For the video-centric pro model, please, don’t make it too large, otherwise the whole talk about small cameras getting good focus control becomes moot. At least give us one video-centric model with DSLR-like form factor. And please, for god’s sake, don’t make it shaped like the Canon C100 / C300. They have the worst ergonomics.

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Fujifilm Global: Fujifilm releases new mirrorless digital camera “FUJIFILM X-T30 ”

http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n190214_01.html

“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….”

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR “Fujicron” prime lens. Photograph by Jonas Rask for Fujifilm.

Fujifilm X-T30

Commentary

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Fujifilm’s “Fujicron” fast, compact prime lens collection as of February 2019 comprising the Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR, Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR, Fujinon XF 35mm f/2.0 R WR and Fujinon XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR lenses. These lenses are particularly suited to Fujifilm’s smaller cameras, while the Fujinon XF 27mm f.2.8 prime and Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/.28-4.0 R LM OIS are also well worth considering for use on the X-T30 and its compact siblings as well as larger Fujifilm cameras.

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.

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Wide Angle Zoom Lens, Heir to Leica’s Tri-Elmar-M MATE and WATE Prime-Quality Stepped Zooms

During the run up to photokina 2018 after the first rumors about Panasonic working on a 35mm sensor hybrid camera system, dismay at the possibility that Panasonic may be planning to abandon the Micro Four Thirds sensor format flowed thick and fast. 

M43 aficionados who love the format for its affordability, its small and light cameras and lenses and their ability to make photographs or videos in public without drawing undue attention are well used to copping criticism from 35mm fanboys for not using real cameras and lenses, for their lack of devotion to “full frame” or “full format”, both highly inaccurate terms for 35mm that have, alas, become deeply embedded in the popular imagination. 

Was Panasonic about to jump the fence and side with M43’s detractors, demanding that its current customer base fork over the high prices customarily demanded for 35mm hardware and start carrying bulky, heavy 35mm cameras and lenses wherever they go? 

“Oh my aching back and aching wallet,” was the cry. 

And then at Panasonic’s photokina 2018 press conference, we discovered the fear of Panasonic abandoning M43 was unfounded. 

https://creativityinnovationsuccess.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 with Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric zoom lens. Swap this lens for Panasonic’s in-development Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 zoom lens and you have the perfect 5-focal-length lens set in one for documentary photography and photojournalism. Add a fast telephoto lens to taste, such as the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Aspheric Power OIS prime lens.

The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 zoom lens  appears…

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… followed by Pulitzer Prize winning Australian photojournalist Daniel Berehulak…

Daniel Berehulak uses his Panasonic Lumix cameras and lenses photographing in some of the most challenging conditions on the planet, telling stories about some of the most heartbreaking events such as the Ebola crisis.

… and Panasonic shares its Lumix brand growth strategy…

The Lumix 35mm (I refuse to use the silly term “full frame”) and Micro Four Thirds camera and lens systems “will co-exist and grow simultaneously”.
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Leica worked out the best prime lens focal length line-up for documentary photography and photojournalism in 35mm years ago and it remains the benchmark and role model for other lens makers to this very day. The only focal length missing from this lens collection is 40mm, which Leica made for the Leica CL rangefinder camera which was later taken over by Minolta as the Minolta CLE with 40mm standard lens as well as a 28mm and 90mm lens. Too many contemporary lens makers leave out 28mm and 75mm lenses and their equivalents for other sensor formats. Why? Both these focal lengths are amongst the most essential for documentary photography and photojournalism.

The announcement of a brand new lens for Panasonic’s Lumix G M43 cameras was wholly unexpected, and was the best sort of confirmation that Panasonic will be continuing with its Micro Four Thirds lines for the foreseeable future.

Personally I cannot see myself buying and carrying a full two-camera, multiple-lens 35mm sensor format camera kit to create the sorts of agile, immersive documentary photographs I want to and so will be using Panasonic’s G System cameras for some time to come, provided at least one of them will be a professional rangefinder-style camera with tilting electronic viewfinder like my Lumix DMC-GX8.

Details about the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 are scant and are limited to the press release lower down this page due to it being in-development and not ready to release just yet.

While watching Panasonic’s press conference livestream I was struck by how the lens was spoken of as being, in essence, five lenses in one – 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm and 50mm in 35mm sensor equivalent – or  10mm, 12mm, 17.5mm and 25mm in M43.

I would add 21mm and 40mm to that list because for me, Leica got it so right years ago with their classic rangefinder camera M-System lens line-up illustrated above.

Thus if this lens works well at 21mm, 28mm, 35mm and 40mm and, to some degree, 50mm, then I will be well pleased as they are the focal lengths I most use for the work I do.

I would add a 75mm equivalent prime lens for documentary work and an 85mm or 90mm prime lens for portraiture and that would be a complete two-prime, one-zoom documentary photography or photojournalism lens kit for those of us who relish getting up close and personal.

Some commentators are wondering whether Panasonic came out with this lens in response to the common practice amongst indie moviemakers of defaulting to Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art zooms and other such lenses adapted to M43 with Metabones EF-to-M43 Speed Boosters on their Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, DC-GH5 or DC-GH5S cameras.

Quite possibly.

Sigma’s Art wide aperture zoom lenses, popular for adapting to Panasonic Lumix M43 cameras with Metabones Speed Boosters

I like to think that the even closer ties between Leica, Panasonic and Sigma established via the L-Mount Alliance have led to cross-fertilization between old and new, zooms and primes, and that Leica’s amazing Tri-Elmar lenses past and preset have influenced Panasonic’s decision to collaborate on a zoom lens that may well share some Tri-Elmar traits.

Leica’s legendary MATE and WATE Tri-Elmar-M prime-quality stepped zoom lenses

Leica’s MATE and WATE lenses appear to have been merged into what I might start referring to as Panasonic’s WAMAVS lens, standing for Wide and Medium Angle Vario-Summilux.

I hope we will hear more about the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 as time goes by.

Will it have optical image stabilization aka OIS and Dual IS in conjunction with cameras like the GH5, the GX8 and the G9?

Will its focusing ring have a manual clutch focus mechanism like the excellent Olympus M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lens collection?

Will Panasonic add the choice of linear or non-linear focussing to its focus-by-wire control ring via firmware?

Is this lens the first of a series that may come closer to the sorts of lenses I have been wanting for my M43 cameras all this while?

Press release

Panasonic develops fast wide-angle LEICA zoom lens

  • Professional LEICA DG 10-25mm zoom lens (35mm camera equivalent: 20-50mm)
  • The world’s first full-range F1.7 wide zoom lens (as of 25 September 2018)
  • The ultimate photo/video-hybrid digital interchangeable lens
  • Constant aperture ensures harmonic depth of field while zooming

25th September 2018 – Panasonic is pleased to announce the development of the LEICA DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25mm / F1.7 wide zoom digital interchangeable lens (35mm camera equivalent: 20-50mm). It is the world’s first* F1.7 wide-angle zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system.

Taking full advantage of the MFT system standard, the new LEICA DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25mm / F1.7 lens is both bright and compact. It is the first interchangeable lens to be introduced to the market featuring a full-range F1.7 high-speed aperture.

Integrating a click-less aperture ring that provides seamless aperture control, the new LEICA DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25mm / F1.7 lens aims to be the ultimate photo/video-hybrid digital interchangeable lens.

The zoom range of the VARIO-SUMMILUX covers 10-25mm: starting from a wide angle and reaching to the natural perspective of human vision. It is  designed and developed to fully support photography as well as video recording on a professional level.

LEICA DG lenses are designed to exceed the stringent LEICA quality standards and boast excellent optical performance. The new LEICA DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25mm / F1.7 is no exception, achieving exceptional imaging performance over the entire zoom range, empowering users to capture precise details and expressions.

Panasonic is committed to further expand the camera and lens line-up for the MFT system to meet customer demands and needs.

* As of September 25, 2018
• Details of the product specifications, the date of release and the price are yet to be advised.
• Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
• SUMMILUX is a registered trademarks of Leica Camera.

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SmallRig Has Two Fujifilm X-T3 Cages in Pre-Order, One for the Camera with Battery Grip and One Without. First 100 Orders Get 30% Off.

Camera accessories maker SmallRig is quick off the mark with not one but two camera cages for the Fujifilm X-T3 APS-C/Super 35 hybrid mirrorless camera to take advantage of the X-T3’s radically boosted video capabilities. 

My experience with a range of Fujifilm cameras indicates that almost all of them benefit at least from metal hand grips and more so from vertical battery grips for better, safer handholding and extra power. 

It is pleasing to see that SmallRig has acknowledged this by adding extra gripability to its cage for the X-T3 minus vertical battery grip. 

Both camera cages are currently available under SmallRig’s Pre-Order scheme at 30% off an already low regular price and the estimated shipping date is October 11, 2018, well-timed for the official release of X-T3 production models. 

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens.

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Fuji Island, Picture Perfect Paradise [Special offer time-limited until December 7, 2018]

https://www.fujiisland.com.au/

“Ever wondered what life would be like on your own private island? Or dreamt of whiling away your days as a travel blogger?

Fuji Island is the ultimate luxury escape for photography lovers….

… Created by FUJIFILM, the island comes with the latest camera equipment – including FUJIFILM’s brand new X-T3 mirrorless camera, world-famous lenses and a range of other photography goodies. You even have your own personal photographer on call….”

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 cinema zoom lens. Photograph by Jonas Rask, courtesy of Fujifilm.

Fuji Island picture gallery, images courtesy of Fujifilm Australia

Commentary

This sounds like an interesting concept, and I am looking forward to seeing participants’ photographs made on Fuji Island at a Fujifilm event that was apparently held there last week, the week of 3rd September 2018.

Although the Fuji Island web page states “Experience  Fuji Island  for USD $2,200 per night for up to two people (minimum two night stay)”, it appears that the island resort is capable of accomodating at least sixty-three people as that was the number of guests invited to the event.

Fuji Island seems to be a time-limited phenomenon rather than a permanent one:

Fuji Island is available for private hire and overnight luxury stays until 7th December 2018.

If you wish to take up Fujifilm’s special offer then make your booking fast, before southern hemisphere vacationers book up all available places!

Meanwhile we have received further information about another Fujifilm Australia event associated with Fuji Island.

Fujifilm Australia held “the XT-3 launch event on the mainland of Fiji where guests were staying (The Marriott in Momi Bay). The following day, we took everybody out by boat to Fuji Island. The launch event was held on the 6th September, and Fuji Island on the 7th.”

“There were 60 people in total attending the event. It was a mix of Fujifilm retailers, partners, staff and media.”

“We don’t have control over when media will publish articles, but we have already started receiving coverage.”

Further on Fuji Island, “Fuji Island is supposed to be an island paradise people can book. On the private island, there will be a host of FUJIFILM equipment, including an X-T3 that people can try out and take amazing holiday photos with.”

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Fujifilm Small Eyecup EC-XT S: might this be a good choice for eyeglasses wearers?

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