Hands-On: FujiFilm Launches X100S In UAE At GPP 2013
Last year, FujiFilm revived themselves into relevancy with their new lineup of cameras that blended a very cool retro design that focused on the vintage and modern performance that photographers have come to expect from their cameras. One of those was the X100, a camera that got a lot of praise for doing things differently and having a unique style that backs up its image quality in a small form factor. But it wasn't a perfect camera, and even FujiFilm isn't denying that fact. In fact, they decided to ask photographers straight up for their feedback on the camera and noted down their criticisms including slow auto focus, some wonky button design and others. Now, at the Gulf Photo Plus 2013 exhibition yesterday at Dubai Knowledge Village, they proudly unveiled the new and improved X100S to the crowd. And they had two acclaimed photographers Zack Arrias and David Hobby to rave about it.
After the event, we managed to get Zack Arrias himself to demo the camera for a few minutes for us (see it embedded above), as well as some sample images we managed to nab out of the camera. You can check them out here.
Press release with the features below:
1. FUJIFILM X100S — Sensor performance comparable to full-frame output
The X100S features Fujifilm's newly-developed 16.3 million pixels APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor with a unique, highly randomised, color filter arrangement. The benefit of the new array is the elimination of the need for an optical low-pass filter; these are used in conventional sensors to reduce false color and moiré effects but they also reduce image resolution. The removal of the optical low-pass filter allows the X-Trans CMOS II sensor to maximise the light it receives directly, enabling users to capture much finer detail and optimise resolution levels as being proven by the X-Pro1 and the X-E1.
The camera uses Lens Modulation Optimizer to reduce optical effects such as lens diffraction, which occurs when light passes through a lens. Even when stopped down to F16, the X100S retains sharpness and texture in the smallest details, demonstrating the extent of the sensor and lens combination's capabilities, perfectly.
The excellent sensitivity of the X-Trans CMOS II sensor is coupled with the new EXR Processor II's advanced signal processing capacity which can reduce noise by more than 30%** compared to its predecessor. Even when shooting in low-light, at a high ISO setting, the FUJIFILM X100S will produce crisp images with minimal grain.
2. The World's fastest AF and High-speed Processing
With built-in Phase Detection, the X100S offers the world's fastest AF speed of just 0.08 seconds*. The Intelligent Hybrid AF can switch to Contrast AF, dependent on the demands of subject or scene, to ensure that the camera always auto-focuses quickly and with precision.
The EXR Processor II delivers processing speeds twice that of the previous generation processor*6. The fast responses result in an impressive start-up time of only approx. 0.5 seconds*4, and a shooting interval of 0.5 seconds. In addition the X100S delivers a burst shooting rate of up to 6.0 frames per second (max. 31 frames*7) at the full resolution of 16.3 million pixels.
Also, a shutter time lag is only 0.01 seconds, so you can capture the precise instant you wish to and enjoy a comfortable shooting experience.
3. Enhanced manual focus performance with the world's first*5 ‘Digital Split Image’ display
Making use of the in-built phase detection pixels for AF action, the X100S is the world's first*5 camera to offer a “Digital Split Image” feature, which displays dual images on the left and right to be lined up for manual focusing. This enables accurate focusing especially when working with an open aperture or macro shooting.
In addition, the X100S offers a handy Focus Peak Highlight function, which highlights high contrast areas of your subject. It provides the photographer with a guide, even in situations where it is difficult to tell focusing accuracy, allowing users to enjoy manual focusing comfortably however challenging the conditions.
4. Hybrid Viewfinder for easy image composition
Offering users freedom when composing photos and adaptability for a range of shooting conditions, the X100S's Hybrid Viewfinder combines both an Optical and an Electronic Viewfinder.
The electronic viewfinder uses a 100% coverage, extra high resolution, 2,360K-dot High Definition LCD panel. It shows depth-of-field during macro shooting, as well as white balance settings, allowing users to accurately compose their shot while continuously looking through the viewfinder.
The premium quality optical viewfinder offers an easy-to-see magnification of 0.5 at a 23mm focal length and a horizontal apparent field of view of 26 degrees. The all-glass construction uses high-refractive index glass to minimise chromatic aberrations and distortion.
While in the optical viewfinder mode, users can make adjustments to shutter speed, aperture, ISO and other settings without having to take their eye off the viewfinder. The shooting frame (Bright Frame) and text brightness automatically adjust according to the ambient light available to ensure that the information on the display is easy to see at all times.
The system features an OVF POWER SAVE MODE, which activates the power-saving function in the optical viewfinder mode to double the maximum number of images per full charge from 330*8 in normal operation.
With FUJINON's proprietary coating, the viewfinder cleverly resists fingerprints and can easily be wiped clean, so that users can enjoy the optical viewfinder's clear display without compromise.
5. FUJINON 23mm F2 lens offering premium image quality in a compact body
Specifically designed for this model, the FUJINON 23mm F2 Single Focal Length Lens has a fixed angle of incidence of light into the lens which facilitates optimum optical design. Taking full advantage of this, the X100S demonstrates advanced levels of image clarity, not only in the center of the image, but also through to the edges of the photo.
The versatile focal length of 35mm*9 delivers an angle of view ideal for a diverse range of subjects, scenes and whatever captures the photographer's eye.
The lens consists of 8 elements in 6 groups, and includes a high-performance double-sided aspherical element and highly-refractive converging glass elements, which deliver a high level of detailed performance with minimal aberration, excellent sharpness and beautiful color reproduction. Moreover, FUJINON's proprietary HT-EBC coating is applied to effectively control image flares and ghosting.
Other benefits of this lens are the beautiful, soft, round-shaped Bokeh that is produced from the 9 blade lens diaphragm. In addition the lens allows you to get as close as 10cm from your subject in macro mode for stunning close-up shots. And its in-built 3-stop ND filter enables blurring of the background in portraits, or applies a gorgeous creamy look to flowing water even in a bright setting.
6. Elegant design and sophisticated functionality
The front of the X100S proudly bares the letter “S” as confirmation of its extensive evolution from the FUJIFILM X100. Down to the tiniest detail, the premium build and feel of the X100 is continued in the X100S. Fujifilm's top quality Japanese engineering is evident from the high precision components used and the perfectly optimised body.
The X100S's top and base parts are made of magnesium alloy to achieve a lightweight, resilient, yet delicate design. A specially-formulated coating is applied to give its surface a steel look for an added premium feel. All the dials and rings have been milled from solid metal, with attention paid to the finer details such as finger grips and enhanced operability. The exterior is finished with synthetic leather, which is durable and resilient to the environment yet reproduces the texture of real leather, while still offering the practical benefits of additional grip and comfort.
The layout of the dials and rings allows users to operate the aperture ring on the lens with their left hand and the shutter speed dial and exposure compensation dial on the top panel with their right hand, meaning all the settings can be adjusted comfortably without having to take your eye off the viewfinder. And to make you feel even more at home, you can even customise your shutter sound by choosing between the four different sounds available: Lens Shutter, Focal Plane Shutter, Mirror Up and Silent Shutter.
The menu system has been also updated to incorporate a Q “Quick” button which allows you to quickly call up frequently-used menu items such as ISO setting and Film Simulation modes. In addition, the Fn (Function) button allows users to assign functions frequently used while shooting, for convenient use at the touch of the button.
7. Artistic photography
The X100S features Fujifilm's proprietary ‘Film Simulation Modes’. Users can choose from ten simulation options which replicate the results achieved by FUJIFILM color reversal films (Velvia / PROVIA / ASTIA), professional color negative films (PRO Neg. Std / PRO Neg. Hi), monochrome filters (MONOCHROME, Ye filter, R filter and G filter) and SEPIA.
Also available on the X100S is an Advanced Filter functions; Users can choose from 8 different artistic effects:
Pop Color — Great for boosting contrast and color saturation.
Toy Camera — Create shaded borders as if you were taking a photo on a toy camera.
Miniature — Adds top and bottom blur for a diorama or miniature effect.
Dynamic Tone — Create a fantasy effect by dynamically-modulated tonal reproduction.
Partial Color — Retain one selected original color and change the rest of the photo to black and white. Colors can be selected from red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple for dramatic effect.
High Key — Enhance brightness and reduce contrast to lighten tonal reproduction.
Low Key — Create uniformly dark tones with few areas of emphasized highlights.
Soft Focus — Create a look that is evenly soft throughout the whole image.
In addition a Multiple Exposure function enables users to combine two separate images together for special creative effects. And for greater artistic freedom, the aspect ratio can be selected from 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1 (square) to accommodate a wide range of photographic styles.
8. Full HD Movie Shooting
The X100S's Full HD Movie (1920 × 1080) can shoot at 60fps for very smooth movie capture. Shooting at the high bit-rate of 36Mbps results in reduced noise and enhanced image quality that reveals every detail from individual leaves in the trees to subtle changes in facial expression.
During movie recording, users have access to many of the additional modes available in still image capture; Film Simulation modes can be used, White Balance settings can be adjusted, you can even make the most of the fast lens to produce beautiful bokeh and also operate the Intelligent Hybrid AF for high-speed and high-precision focusing.
9. FUJIFILM X100S Key features list:
16.3 million pixels APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
EXR Processor II
Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF / EVF)
FUJINON 23mm F2 lens
Intelligent Hybrid AF (with the world's fastest AF speed of 0.08 sec.*)
Start-up time of 0.5 sec.*4
Shutter time lag of 0.01 sec.
Shooting interval of 0.5 sec.
High-contrast and wide viewing-angle 2.8-inch Premium Clear LCD (460K dots)
Super Intelligent Flash
Burst shooting rate of up to 6.0 frames per second at full resolution (max. 31 frames*7)
Focus Peak Highlight function
Digital Split Image display
Full HD movie recording (60fps / 30fps)
10. Premium Accessories available for the FUJIFILM X100S
Wide conversion lens WCL-X100 — designed specifically for X100 and X100S, shortens the lens' focal length from 35mm*9 to 28mm*9. It offers a broader field of view while maintaining the powerful performance equivalent to that of the main body's lens.
Leather case LC-X100S — Users can remove / insert a memory card and battery without having to take this case off. This is a practical ‘Quick Shot’ case, made of premium genuine leather.
Shoe Mount Flash — Three types of Fujifilm external flash are available, capable of the proprietary high-precision TTL auto flash control: EF-20 and EF-X20 with the guide number 20, and EF-42 with the guide number 42
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