Nothing to see here | X100 firmware update and D800 samples

I know, it’s a grouchy post title. But dems the breaks folks. Here goes.

Firmware update 1.12/1.13

No. Love.

Last night the Fuji Guys tweeted “Good night everyone. It’s a new day tomorrow. Hold DISP and turn ON”. Which of course sounded fairly exciting. Dreams of a new X100 menu system started dancing in my head. Auto ISO in the actual ISO menu (and available via FN button). Maybe the addition of the upcoming X-Pro1 film simulations. Something?

Nope. Here are the details of the update:

The firmware update Ver.1.12 / 1.13 incorporates the following issues: 1.Compatibility on Mac OS 10.7 When the camera is connected to Mac PC on Mac OS 10.7, the camera is effectively recognized. Additionally, compatibility on RAW FILE CONVERTER EX with Mac OS 10.7 has been confirmed. 2.When VIEW MODE is set to EYE SENSOR activated mode, the camera may be frozen after changing OVF/EVF at dedicated shooting condition. This unpleasant phenomenon is improved. 3.After shooting images at A mode, if mode dial sent to other mode and returned into A mode during data recording, shutter of the camera may not work properly. This unpleasant phenomenon is improved. Version 1.13 is effective for language selection menu for JP models, from 2 (JP / EN) to 35 languages. Just in case of worldwide model, there is no difference between ver.1.12 and ver.1.13.

The X10 however got this doozy:

1.New function for “RAW” button can be applied by customer’s preference By holding down RAW button for approx. 2 second or more, RAW button can be applied into new function similar to “Fn” button setting

Are.You.Kidding.Me? Any reason this wasn’t made available to the X100 as well? Any reason at all?

Move along.

Big a%$ files

In another tweet related story, Zack Arias - he now of the Phase clan - mentioned he wasn’t impressed with Nikon’s D800 sample images. I guess I wouldn’t be either if I’d just spent more money on a camera than a new car (!). But he’s a pretty straight up guy and as you know I’ve been verrrry curious about the company’s claims to medium format quality so off I went to the land of downloads. Opened the images in Aperture (JPEG obviously).

Well… they’re… really big. Gigantic.

Are they mind-boggling in their sharpness and detail? Not really. I wish they were, I really do but they’re… not. Also most of the images were shot at ISO 100, so there’s no way to gauge ISO performance. They were all shot at either f8 or f10 when I would love to see either very large or very small apertures to see how the sensor reacts. You can get the images from Nikon here.

In one - extremely dark - portrait, the focus seems to be on the lady’s frizzy hair instead of her eyes. And the only somewhat low-light picture was shot at ISO 100 with a 0.5s shutter speed (bibliothèque de l’Hotel de Ville). How about, oh! I don’t know: using a higher ISO instead and allowing us to see how that performs? There is 1 ISO 640 picture but I’m guessing it was more of a shutter speed choice and I’m guessing it wasn’t that dark. It looks fine. I’d sure hope ISO 640 would look fine.

The D800e samples do show a bit more detail. Medium Format detail and dynamic range? Not sure about that one. 

Ahhh well…. Sorry for the bummed out rant guys. I’ll be more cheerful next time around. Hopefully ;)

P.S If you haven’t read Zack’s weekend post on his Phase switch, check it out. Really interesting. And he’s started taking his new camera to the streets too.