Unveiled: Fujifilm's photokina Camera and Lens Announcements
Making headlines at this year's photokina imaging fair, Fujifilm has just announced several new members of its esteemed X series of cameras and lenses, as well as a few new entrants to its increasingly popular instax series of instant film cameras.
X100T Digital Camera
Arguably one of the most respected lines of compact, fixed-lens digital cameras out there, Fujifilm has introduced the third iteration of its X100 series: the X100T. Available in Black or Silver, according to the announcement, this camera maintains a similar, tried-and-true form factor as the X100 and X100S and seeks to refine some of the technologies to invigorate the total user experience. This new version sees the inclusion of the same 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II, fast 0.01 second shutter lag time, full HD 1080p video recording, and 6 fps continuous shooting time, as well as the well-respected Fujinon 23mm f/2 fixed focal length lens, with internal 3-stop ND filter, which has graced each update of this series. The Intelligent Hybrid AF system is employed again, which blends phase- and contrast-detection focusing systems for AF performance that is both fast and accurate, despite difficult lighting conditions.
From here, however, the X100T takes a similar path in the manner that the X100S improved upon the X100, and focuses much of its attention on the viewfinder experience and focusing controls and capabilities. A revised Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder maintains the ability to select from both optical and electronic viewing means, but this version brings much of the update to the optical viewing side of the fence. Incorporating an electronic rangefinder function, the optical finder can now be used effectively for manual-focusing control, in addition to composition, using a traditional split and superimposed focusing method. The frame coverage of the OVF has also been increased to 92%, which, in conjunction with real-time parallax correction, avails the ability to both focus and compose within the same action, rather having to focus and re-compose for each shot.
In regard to the electronic viewfinder, new Shooting Effect Reflection settings help you to previsualize different camera settings, such as Film Simulation modes, and just as easily negate the effects of the camera and simulate a completely natural viewing experience. Benefitting manual focusing control with the electronic finder, Focus Peak Highlight and Digital Split Image functions can be utilized to gain a more objective system of determining critical focusing, akin to the new electronic rangefinder function on the optical side of the hybrid viewfinder.
Beyond the eye-level viewing experience, this new camera also sees the integration of a larger 3.0" 1.04m-dot LCD monitor for bright image review, menu navigation, and live view shooting. This larger screen is nestled next to an updated control scheme that includes a new command dial and four-way controller button for efficient access to the most oft-used settings. Seven customizable Fn buttons are also dispersed about the magnesium-alloy camera body to avail more personal settings configurations. Some other small, but impacting, refinements include an updated +/- 3 EV exposure compensation dial (up from +/-2 EV) and the ability to now set aperture values in 1/3 EV stops on the manual control ring. Enhanced knurling on the dials and rings throughout the camera system also ensure a positive grip.
In regard to sheer shooting performance, the X100T features an entirely electronic shutter, which can produce shutter speeds as fast as 1/32,000 second, silently, to capture subjects moving at nearly any speed. Additionally, for refining the look of imagery, a new Classic Chrome Film Simulation mode has also been added to list of other effects, and serves to deliver muted tones with deep, rich colors.
X-T1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Graphite Silver Edition
Not quite as much a technological overhaul as the X100T is, the Graphite Silver Edition of the X-T1 mirrorless digital camera is more of an update based on the unique surface finish, yet still incorporates some internal updates to differentiate itself from the original X-T1.
Beginning with the most visually apparent and visually compelling distinction, this new model features a triple-layer-coating finish that is both aesthetically intriguing and durable. With an antioxidant treatment for the magnesium-alloy body, a primer of a matte-black is applied that gives shadowy characteristics and serves to emphasize the gloss that is to come. The second part of this process is called Thin-Film Multilayer Coating Technology, which involves spinning the camera while applying thin coats of fine paint to develop a smooth Graphite Silver finish. Finally, the exterior receives a glossy clear coat to protect the three-part finishing process and to give a unique sheen to the body.
Beyond this superficial addition to the X-T1, this edition also incorporates the same electronic-shutter function as the X100T, and gains the ability to achieve shutter speeds as fast as 1/32,000 of a second. Additionally, the advanced viewfinder of this camera also includes new Natural Live View settings, which serve to mimic the use of an optical viewfinder by ignoring all camera settings and image preview functions.
X-T1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens
The last camera introduction within the X-series made by Fujifilm is the announcement of a new kit featuring the standard black X-T1 mirrorless camera and the XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens. This lens functions as the ideal companion to the X-T1, due to both tools having weather-resistant designations, enabling their use in inclement and severe conditions.
XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens
Following up on the announcement of the first weather-resistant X-series camera-and-lens kit, the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens is the second weather-resistant lens from Fujifilm and is also the fastest constant-aperture zoom for X-series cameras currently available. Providing a 35mm equivalent focal-length range of 76-213mm, reminiscent of the popular 70-200mm focal length, this telephoto zoom has a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture and unique Triple Linear Motor AF system for fast, near-silent focusing performance. An optical image stabilization system, with refined gyro sensor, helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake, and an inner focusing and inner zooming design work to maintain the overall lens length during use.
Regarding its optical design, the lens comprises 23 elements in 16 groups and includes five extra-low dispersion elements and one Super extra-low dispersion element to reduce chromatic aberrations and distortions throughout the zoom range. A newly developed Nano-GI (Gradient Index) coating has also been applied to lens elements to affect the refractive index in between elements to successfully suppress surface reflections, lens flare, and ghosting for increased contrast and clarity.
This lens is supplied with a tripod mount and also features 20 distinct seals around the lens barrel to render it dust- and moisture-resistant.
XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD Lens
The second lens announcement from Fujifilm, at photokina, is a unique one in that it is a new development based on the previously released XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens. The XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD lens distinguishes itself through the incorporation of an apodizing filter that is used to render unique and especially pleasing bokeh. Embracing the classic 85mm equivalent portrait-length perspective of the existing 56mm f/1.2 lens, this apodization feature pairs well with the fast maximum aperture and selective focus capabilities the lens innately possesses.
Beyond this unique controllable filter, designed for bokeh enthusiasts, the lens remains nearly identical to the other 56mm, including the 11-element-in-8-group design that includes one aspherical element, two extra-low dispersion elements, and three cemented elements. The combination of these low-dispersion elements helps to reduce color fringing and aberrations throughout the aperture range to realize a clean and clear quality. Furthermore, the HT-EBC coating helps to minimize lens flare and ghosting for increased contrast and maintained color fidelity.
INSTAX Wide 300 Instant Film Camera
Straying from the series of digital announcements, Fujifilm is also introducing a new member of its INSTAX line of instant film cameras: the INSTAX Wide 300. Accepting the larger of the two INSTAX film types—the Wide 86 x 108mm format—this camera features a 95mm f/14 lens with two-step motor-driven focusing for working with subjects as close as three feet away. An updated design from the INSTAX 210, this Wide 300 model features a more square profile and a 0.37x-magnification optical viewfinder with a target spot. A built-in automatic flash adjusts output levels depending on recognized subject distances, and programmed auto exposure control avails a range of shutter speeds from 1/64 to 1/200 of a second, along with +/- 2/3 EV exposure compensation. The Wide 300 is powered by four AA batteries, incorporates an LCD for viewing camera settings, and is equipped with a standard tripod socket for assured sharpness.
New Colors for the INSTAX Mini 8 and Mini 90 Instant Film Cameras
Lastly from Fujifilm is an announcement of new color options for two of its existing instant film cameras. The Mini 8, the colorful round-profiled camera featuring a 60mm f/12.7 lens, will now be available in Raspberry and Grape finishes. The INSTAX Mini 90 Neo Classic, the retro-inspired option also featuring a 60mm lens, will now be available in Brown.