And the gods of Fuji giveth to the lowly pilgrims, the food which they for so long coveth… covetedeth…. Coveted?? Ok screw it. I can’t do old english. I mean I am french for Pete’s sake - Cut me some slack ;)
But man OH! man does this one deliver in spades: Fujifilm have just announced an upcoming firmware update for all the X-Series cameras. It’s set to land on December 5th (UPDATE: that's for the X-Pro1, for the other cams it's the 19th) and it includes…. Drum roll please… Minimum shutter speed in AUTO ISO! Cue the band, cue the choir of angels and Merry Christmas To All!
In case you don’t shoot with the X-Pro1 or X-E1 here’s a quick recap: the X100 has always had a minimum shutter speed function for Auto ISO which, combined to its stellar high ISO performance, made it an essential and highly productive feature of the camera. So when the X-Pro1 and then X-E1 were released with even better ISO performance we all assumed we’d be using them the same way. But noooo. For some obscure reason the minimum shutter speed option wasn’t part of the Auto ISO settings on these cameras. A glaring omission you say? Of course. A quick fix forthcoming? Obviously.
I don’t know why it took this long (and believe me I’ve asked time and time again) but here it is. And it doesn’t just plainly add the function, it also mimics the X-E2’s implementation i.e up to 1/500sec minimum shutter speed. Fan-frickin-tastic. I can’t wait to use this.
Now on it’s own this would be enough of an update to be ecstatic. But it doesn’t stop there. Here’s the list of improvements:
Improve the cover range and accuracy of the bright frame in the OVF.
The cover range of the bright frame displaying the shooting area in the optical viewfinder has been improved so that a field of view closer to the actual image can be checked. By maintaining the position of the bright frame with parallax compensation during AF lock, the shooting area can be checked even when letting go of the shutter release.
This sounds great but it’s something I’ll have to try to fully appreciate.
See the exposure setting in live-view and histogram.
The images and histogram will reflect current exposure levels (with the shutter speed and aperture set during manual exposure also displayed on the image). In scenarios where the live view and the final shot will appear differently, eg: when using flash, this setting can be turned off.
Wow. That’s the feature I mentioned in my X-E2 review, the one I was apparently responsible for. I loved this on the X-E2 and can’t wait to use this on the X-Pro1.
Aperture and shutter speed can be changed once AE lock is selected.
The aperture or shutter speed can be changed while maintaining exposure (EV value) with the AE lock button. The photographer has the ability to tweak settings down to the very last moment before shooting.
This is new and sounds too good to be true. I assume it’ll work only in priority modes… The way I understand it we’ll be able to lock exposure, tweak say the aperture and the camera will compensate on its own (shutter speed, ISO) to keep that same exposure value. I’m really curious to see this in action.
The default and maximum sensitivity and minimum shutter speed can be set when ISO AUTO is selected.
When selecting “AUTO” in the ISO setting, users can also set standard ISO, Maximum ISO and a low-speed shutter limit. The Low-speed shutter limit has been extended to 1/500 seconds.
New functionality allowing you to edit image filenames.
An image filename (DSCF*) is automatically allocated to each picture when shooting, this can now be changed to your filename of choice. This added functionality is useful when organising the images after shooting, and sorting the images into groups. It can be changed to a 4-letter filename when selecting “sRGB” and a 3-letter filename when selecting “Adobe RGB” for the color space.
I could do this on my Nikons. It’s a small detail but I’m happy to see it added. But I won’t be using it much since I already change the filenames on import as part of my workflow.
Change of numbering for images shot using continuous shooting.
When shooting using continuous shooting, only the first image is currently displayed in full screen and subsequent frames are displayed in small on the bottom right, and the file number was set as “S+7-digit number”. With the new firmware, all frames in continuous shooting are displayed as full screen shots in playback. The file number has also been altered to follow numerically as per standard single shots, thereby allowing uniform management of images after shooting.
YESSSSS!!!! I could never understand the way this had been implemented. The X-E2 finally changed that behaviour and now we all get the same benefits. I don’t shoot bursts all that often but when I do I need to see the resulting images. Very happy about this.
Improvement of RAW file conversion function.
When developing RAF images in-camera using the built-in RAW file converter, the firmware upgrade improves the flow by taking you back to the original RAF image once the conversion has been done, whereas before it left you with the converted JPG file on screen and the user had to go back to the next RAF file manually.
Ok, this may seem trivial. But the ability to convert raw files in-camera is actually interesting; it’s like having a mini lab in your hands. I’ve used it in the past just to test different film simulations after the fact and more recently had to use it when I mistakenly shot some of the X-E2 images raw-only before the camera was released (and I couldn’t decode the RAF files). This new behaviour fixes the one thing that made no sense in this feature. Like I said, small detail but nice improvement.
So once again, Fuji is bringing the features found in its latest models to the previous generation. Canon? Nikon? Hello? Yeah… I didn’t think so (snark alert). The strange image below has nothing to do with any of this, other than the fact that it was shot with the XF 60mm on the X-Pro1. I know it's weird. I get weird sometimes.
Yes those are pliers. Moving on....
It’s also Thanksgiving in the US and while this doesn’t mean a thing to us Canadians, we’re close enough to feel those Holiday tremors up north. So in the spirit of the upcoming season, I thought I’d quickly share a couple of things that might be of interest:
- Atomic Canary: This looks awesome. A space dedicated to creative learning, shooting, exhibits… I’m hoping to make my way to Baltimore eventually. If you’re in the area check it out.
- TOMEN: If like me you’re a fan of Thomas Menk’s Scoop.it page you may be interested in knowing he now has a Flipboard magazine you can subscribe to.
- The KAGE COLLECTIVE MAGAZINE: Great minds think alike… We also launched our own Flipboard magazine this week. It features everything we’ve published so far as well as anything else we find inspiring. Subscribers welcome :)
- VSCO: The guys at VSCO are celebrating their two year anniversary with a 15% rebate on the entire store (which you can combine to your loyalty rebate as always).
- Totally Rad: I reviewed Totally Rad’s Replichrome a few months back. If you’re interested now’s your chance to get it at 35% off during their Black Friday sale.
- All about ISO: a comprehensive guide for beginning photographers.
- And a total plug to end the post: I released my very first eBook yesterday entitled 1EYE, ROAMING. What a nice gift that would make… ;)
A lot of of us aren’t celebrating it but hey… there’s never anything wrong with a party: Happy Thanksgiving guys :)