A short one to address the massive announcements out of Fujifilm this morning: a revamped X-E3, new XF and GF lenses, Kaizen firmware updates...did I miss anything? Oh yeah: native RAW conversion software. I did say massive. You’ll find tons of info about all of this pretty much everywhere today, so I won’t repeat readily available details (my buddy Derek has an extensive overview). Here’s a quick personal take instead.
A (VERY) NEW X-E3
I’ve never been an X-E shooter but I know how important this is to some of you. Essentially this is a baby X-Pro2, eschewing the optical viewfinder for a smaller footprint. I’ve always seen this line as an interchangeable lens version of the X100 series—which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. The X-E3 however is breaking away from what we’ve known so far, opting for a simpler layout and an entirely new UX: put simply, the D-Pad is gone. Except, not really: the new touch screen replaces D-Pad functions with gestures. So you swipe right or left for white balance for instance—as opposed to clicking a button. And you can apparently do this without removing the camera from your eye. Now, this sounds seriously esoteric and I haven’t tried it, but my friend and KAGE colleague Jonas Rask has and he’s sold. I highly recommend his review if you’re interested in this camera.
Of course, the X-E3 gets 4K video. Which leads me to...
When the X-T2 was released I wrote a post titled On Flagships: X-T2 and X-Pro2. The gist of it was that we now had—for the first time in the history of the X-series—two flagship cameras, distinguished not by technology but ergonomics and approach. A rangefinder-type, a DSLR-type. But some differences remained between the two that, frankly, annoyed the hell out of me—namely 4K video and tethering. Not anymore.
The upcoming November update will be introducing those two features, bringing the X-Pro2 once again almost on-par with its brother (I say almost because some AF features are still tied to hardware). As an X-Pro diehard this makes me extremely happy.
The one thing I’m still holding out for? Software uniformity. We can name our presets in the X-Pro2 but none of the other cameras. I think this should be implemented across the board, if only to bring clarity. More importantly: I want the rear command dial on the X-Pro2 to be assignable for back-button focussing—like it is on the X100F, the X-T2 and the GFX 50S. Let’s just say I know for a fact it’s possible and I miss it terribly. Hopefully this gigantic update (across the line) will also iron out some of the disparities that have creeped in over the past year.
But hey: tethering :))
I have a lot of lenses. I’m trying to simplify my life. I want to add maybe two to my GFX setup (I only own the 63mm) but that’s it. And then someone a few weeks ago shows me images from the new 80mm. Crap. As always, I’m sure both newly announced lenses are going to be spectacular: the XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro and the GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR. Plus we have a new roadmap with a wider XF zoom and a longer GF telephoto on the horizon.
We ain’t out of G.A.S yet honey. In the immortal words of Michael Corleone: but they keep pulling me....ok you know, I don’t have to spell it out.
To top it all off, we got the following announcement from Profoto: