Archive | September 2010

FinePix X100 wins “photokina STAR 2010” Award

[compiled by KopiOkaya]

The new FinePix X100 has won the “photokina STAR 2010” award sponsored by PHOTO PRESSE and digit! magazines traditionally awarded at Photokina. The photokina STAR award honors products and concepts that stand out for their innovative nature and their trendsetting technologies.

You can read the news article HERE.

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR impressions

[written by KopiOkaya, edited by Bluffname]

In April 2010, my friend and fellow F.U.N. member Lee Hin Mun gave us a field report on his HS10. Since then, there was nothing new from Fujifilm to excite our members until August 2010, when the company launched the “initially-thought” successor to its best-selling F200EXR – the FinePix F300EXR. To my utmost surprise, Fujifilm Singapore says the F300EXR is NOT to replace the F200EXR. Instead, it is a stand-alone model to fill the gap between F80EXR and F200EXR. Fujifilm explained the F300EXR uses a much smaller 1/2-inch SuperCCD EXR sensor than F200EXR’s 1/1.6-inch SuperCCD EXR sensor. Therefore,  it can never supersede the latter. I am sure many people, like me, had the same thought due to the perpetuating camera model number. We were wrong!

For this review, I was given the opportunity by Fujifilm Singapore to try out a production set for a week. My special thanks to Fujifilm Singapore!


GENERAL REMARKS
Upon collecting the camera from the “green building” (the Fujifilm HQ in Singapore) I could not wait to open the box and test drive the F300EXR. When I picked up the camera, I noticed a slightly longer and heavier body than the F200EXR. It felt more solid too. The design is slim, slick and modern – resembling the Canon S90/S95 more than any of the past FinePix compact cameras.

[photo: KopiOkaya]


[photo: KopiOkaya]


[photo: KopiOkaya]


[photo: KopiOkaya]

[photo: KopiOkaya]

[photo: KopiOkaya]

Full HD Photo/Movie HDMI MICRO connector output

[photo: KopiOkaya]

[photo: Bluffname]

The F300EXR felt very comfortable in my hands, not edgy like my F31fd. The design features a non-slip rubber for better camera handling. In short, it looked and felt good for a start. This will please those who are looking for form rather than functionality.

[photo: KopiOkaya]

The F31fd felt more “square-ish” (notice how my index finger bends in an awkward angle)

[photo: KopiOkaya]

Now comes the part which, I feel, is a bad design. I loaded the NP-50 battery, pressed the ON/OFF button and the camera sprang into action immediately. The flash popped up and got in the way of my left hand. I tried to push it down but it just stayed put. I thought I could disable the pop-up flash in the menu, but nothing could be done about this. Again, this function resembles that of the Canon S90, which many reviewers had expressed displeasure over. I don’t understand why Fujifilm wants to follow suit. Anyway, I can get used to this little annoyance.

The F300EXR features a ½ -inch SuperCCD EXR sensor. This new SuperCCD EXR sensor comes with built-in Phase Detection Pixels for faster AF detection speed. Fujifilm calls this technology Hybrid AF and claims its response to be as fast as that of digital SLR. The F300EXR packs a 24mm to 360mm 15x zoom lens that uses 12 lens elements molded from extra-low dispersion glass. The image stabilization system has improved too. The new Intelligent I.S. is said to be much better than the one used in F70EXR and F80EXR.. Other new features include Motion Panorama 360 which automatically stitches images into a 360 degree panorama, and baby Auto Shutter which, detects faces and automatically releases the shutter.

I was particularly interested in the Pro Focus Mode which uses multi-frame technology to create a one-touch narrow depth of field (bokeh), as if the image is taken using a professional portraiture lens.

Pro Focus Mode comes in three softness settings:

[photos: KopiOkaya]


STRENGTHS

  • Very fast and responsive 24 mm to 360 mm zoom lens. The 24mm end is extremely useful for capturing extra wide scenes. Quality/sharpness is good throughout the zoom range.

24mm zoom to target (red box)

Target at 360mm

[photos: KopiOkaya]

  • With Hybrid AF, the camera locks in focus instantaneously. It feels almost like using a Nikkor AF-D lens. It does hunt a bit on the tele end.
  • The new Intelligent Image Stabilization (I.S.) works like a charm. A far cry from Fujifilm’s older I.S. systems BUT… (see WEAKNESSES)
  • I noticed a slight improvement in dynamic range compared to previous EXR models.
  • Improved ergonomics. The camera feels very comfortable in my hand.
  • Big, bright and contrasty 3″ LCD screen.
  • The rotary Command Dial is a great added feature. It makes menu selection and picture viewing a lot faster than previous models.
  • The new and improved Mode Dial gives off an assuring “click” sound and dial locks in place. No more accidental mode switching.

[photo: KopiOkaya]

  • HD Video is very good for a compact camera. Furthermore, video zoom is possible BUT… (see WEAKNESSES)
  • Audio quality is loud and clear.
  • Microphone is sensitive.
  • Fast photo and video read/write speed with Class 4 or higher (high speed) SDHC card.
  • Price at SGD$429 {about US$325) [from MS Color, Singapore] is very attractive.

WEAKNESSES

  • Battery life is STILL short. However, I managed to squeeze 268 pictures from a fully-charged NP-50 battery after some minor adjustments to the camera settings.

This is what I did:

  1. Turns OFF Face Detection
  2. Turns OFF Continuous AF
  3. Turns ON Silent Mode
  4. Turns OFF Image Display
  5. Reduce LCD Brightness to -3
  6. Turns OFF AF Illuminator
  7. Set the Power Management to Power Save
  8. Set Auto Power Off to 2 min
  9. Set to SUPPRESSED FLASH
  • The pop-up flash is especially annoying. I kept pressing on the flash with my left index finger. When I switched on the camera, my left index finger again got in the way of the flash.
  • From 10X to 12X zoom (focal length 240mm to 288mm), the aperture drops to f6.2 but eventually returns to f5.3 at 13X zoom.
  • Zoom hunts quite a bit when shooting at the telephoto end.
  • The new Intelligent I.S. is not much help when shooting above 10X.
  • Auto focusing is very slow when using video zoom.
  • As expected, smaller sensor = noisier pictures. At ISO 1600, most images are soft and blotchy. There was noticeable chroma noise in the shadow areas at ISO 400. At ISO 3200, most images are unusable.
  • Auto white balance is not accurate. Images have the tendency to look too warm or red.
  • Purple fringe exists.
  • Audio recording sounds bit bass heavy or “boomy”, making it less ideal for vocal reproduction.
  • Due to longer shape, the PVC case provided by Fujifilm is a tight squeeze for the camera. The Velcro flap keeps coming loose.

[photo: KopiOkaya]

[photo: KopiOkaya]

  • Included hand strap does not come with a restrainer (red arrow). When fasten to the wrist, this restrainer can prevent accidental camera drop or theft.

[photo: KopiOkaya]

SAMPLE IMAGES

Click images to enlarge.


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 200
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/105 sec
Aperture: F5.3
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 66 mm (360 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR
Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 100
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/55 sec
Aperture: F3.9
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 6 mm (33 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Purple fringe spotted!!!

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 100
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/800 sec
Aperture: F3.5
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 4.4 mm (24 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 400
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/180 sec
Aperture: F5.3
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 66 mm (360 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 400
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/120 sec
Aperture: F5.9
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 57.5 mm (314 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 400
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/90 sec
Aperture: F5.3
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 66 mm (360 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 800
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 200%
Shutter speed: 1/100 sec
Aperture: F5.9
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 57.5 mm (314 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 400
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/900 sec
Aperture: F7.1
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 4.4 mm (24 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 400
White Balance: Shade
Dynamic range: 200%
Shutter speed: 1/90 sec
Aperture: F5.2
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 17.3 mm (95 mm)



[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 2,816 X 2,112 px (Medium 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 1600
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: Auto
Shutter speed: 1/75 sec
Aperture: F6
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 36.4 mm (199 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 2,816 X 2,112 px (Medium 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 800
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: Auto
Shutter speed: 1/50 sec
Aperture: F4.2
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 8.3 mm (45 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 2,816 X 2,112 px (Medium 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 800
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: Auto
Shutter speed: 1/100 sec
Aperture: F4.1
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 7.6 mm (41 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 400
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/40 sec
Aperture: F3.6
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 4.4 mm (24 mm)


[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 400
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/40 sec
Aperture: F3.9
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 6.4 mm (35 mm)

[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 2,816 X 2,112 px (Medium 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Advance (Pro Low-Light Mode)
ISO: 1600
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: Auto
Shutter speed: 1/15 sec
Aperture: F5.3
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 66 mm (360 mm)

[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 2,816 X 2,112 px (Medium 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: EXR (High Sensitivity and Low Noise)
ISO: 1600
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: 100%
Shutter speed: 1/50 sec
Aperture: F6.2
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 45.8 mm (250 mm)

[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 2,816 X 2,112 px (Medium 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: EXR (High Sensitivity and Low Noise)
ISO: 1600
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: 100%
Shutter speed: 1/4 sec
Aperture: F3.5
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 4.4 mm (24 mm)

120° Panorama [click image to enlarge]

[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 2,560 x 720 px
Shooting Mode: Advance (Panorama 120°)
ISO: 200
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: Auto
Shutter speed: 1/450 sec
Aperture: F8
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 6 mm (33 mm)

240° Panorama [click image to enlarge]

[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 5,120 x 720 px
Shooting Mode: Advance (Panorama 240°)
ISO: 200
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: Auto
Shutter speed: 1/420 sec
Aperture: F3.9
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 6 mm (33 mm)

360° Panorama [click image to enlarge]

[photo: KopiOkaya] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 7,680 x 720 px
Shooting Mode: Advance (Panorama 360°)
ISO: 800
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: Auto
Shutter speed: 1/480 sec
Aperture: F3.9
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 6 mm (33 mm)

Bon Jovi’s “Always” performed by All Of The Above (AOTA)

Itacho Sushi at ION Orchard

Comparing F300EXR and F200EXR

F300EXR

[photo: Andikong] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 1600
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/50 sec
Aperture: F6
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 36.4 mm (199 mm)

F200EXR

[photo: Andikong] Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 1600
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/50 sec
Aperture: F6
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 28 mm (123 mm)

F300EXR

[photo: Andikong] Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 1600
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/15 sec
Aperture: F3.5
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 4.4 mm (24 mm)

F200EXR

[photo: Andikong] Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

Image size: 4,000 X 3,000 px (Large 4:3) Fine
Shooting Mode: Program
ISO: 1600
White Balance: Auto
Dynamic range: 400%
Shutter speed: 1/15 sec
Aperture: F3.3
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Metering mode: Pattern
Focal length: 6.4 mm (28 mm)

using multi-frame technology to create a one-touch narrow depth of field (bokeh), as if the image is taken using a professional portraiture lens.

Infrared (IR) Photography with FinePix IS Pro

[written and compiled by KopiOkaya]

I found a very interesting article on the FinePix IS Pro by UK-based photographer David Kennard and hope to share it with everybody. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the IS Pro, it is basically a FinePix S5 Pro with the UV/IR cut-off filter removed. The IS Pro utilizes Fujifilm’s Super CCD Pro and Real Photo Processor Pro technology to see light from the ultraviolet (UV), visible and infrared (IR) portion of the spectrum (approx. 380nm – 1000nm).

[photos: Fujifilm.com]

The IS Pro was originally intended for specialist markets like forensic investigation, medical, museum and fine art. FujiFilm generally restricts the sale of these cameras to professional users in these and similar fields, thus very few have ever gone on open public sale. Nonetheless, some were made available via dealers at closeout prices in the late 2010.

You can read the article HERE.

FinePix X100 Size Comparison

[compiled and written by KopiOkaya]

The FinePix X100 has become talk-of-the-town since its announcement on September 20th. Many photo websites have compared the X100 with Leica X1 (probably due to the relatively same outlook). One such website is Enticingthelight.com which compared the size of X100 against others, including the Leica M9 and X1. Check this out…

Click image to enlarge.

[photo: http://www.enticingthelight.com]

FinePix X100 expected to ship in March 2011

[written and compiled by KopiOkaya]

News from Engadget.com reports the FinePix X100 is anticipated to ship worldwide for around US$1,000  in March 2011. You can read and watch the video HERE.

This camera has already surfed-up a wave of online discussions. Mostly positive but a few had strike some displeasure about the non-zoom lens. This report explains Fujifilm’s motives using the fixed focal length lens.

Fujifilm unveils development of FinePix X100, a 12MP APS-C CMOS Professional Compact Camera

[written and compiled by KopiOkaya]

Amazing… Fujifilm has just announced a professional compact camera that can’t stop photographers and rangefinder enthusiasts from talking. What’s more, it looks absolutely stunning!

The new FinePix X100 comes with a 12.3 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor, a 35mm equivalent Fujinon lens that opens up to f/2, and 720P HD video recording. This camera has analog controls and a state-of-the-art hybrid viewfinder that can be used as both electronic viewfinder or optical viewfinder.

The official press release  for this camera is HERE.

Click image to enlarge.

Overview

12.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor

Hybrid Viewfinder

23mm F2 Fujinon (Aspherical) Lens

[photos: Fujifilm.com]

Be sure to check out the following weblinks:
Dpreview’s Press Release
FinePix X100 mini-site
PDF brochure