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Following a flood of other announcements from CES last week, Fujifilm is letting the world know that the company is still very much on the cutting edge, with the release of a flagship X-Pro2 Mirrorless Camera, an updated X-E2S Mirrorless Camera, the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens, a high-end APS-C-format X70 Digital Camera, and a tough, waterproof FinePix XP90 Digital Camera.
Much desired and long-awaited releases seem to be a trend this year, since Fujifilm’s X-Pro2 has been dreamt of by X-series fans for a while, due to its compact rangefinder-like design and excellent APS-C image sensor. This model surely will satisfy many photographers with a brand new 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor, a world’s first Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, and the addition of more creative styles, including Acros monochrome film simulation. In addition to this mountain of improvements, the X-mount camera also implements the X-Processor Pro, which will ensure that images are of maximum quality and that the camera is exceptionally responsive and fast performing.
The key selling point of the X-Pro2 over similarly featured mirrorless cameras is the Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, which gives users access to both an optical finder, as well as a more contemporary 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder with a refresh rate up to 85 fps. This was first seen on the compact, fixed-lens X100 series but has been given a major upgrade with a Multi-Magnification function that adjusts the optical finder automatically, based on the lens in use, and there is also an Electronic Rangefinder capability that simultaneously displays the EVF on top of the optical finder. Another bonus is a Bright Frame Simulation function on the OVF so users can check the field of view of different focal lengths before they swap out a lens.
Regarding image quality, resolution has seen a major boost to 24.3MP with the latest APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor and, combined with the X-Processor Pro, the overall speed of the camera has been increased four times over, resulting in higher quality images with less noise at up to ISO 51200 and a greater perceived resolution. For operation, users will find a fast start-up time of 0.4-second, a shooting interval of just 0.25-second, and a shutter lag measured at 0.05-second. Compressed raw shooting is now an option, too, to ensure faster live view and the ability to save more images to a single memory card.
Operation speed is nice, but autofocus is where many photographers truly require it. Fortunately, the X-Pro2 delivers with an impressive 273-point hybrid AF system, of which 77 points are phase-detection based for focusing speeds as fast as 0.06-seconds. These phase-detect AF points cover about 40% of the image area that will help keep fast-moving subjects locked on. Additionally, the advanced processor has boosted contrast-based performance by 2x for the fastest system in an X-series camera.
Body design has seen a significant upgrade while still granting high weather resistance with 61 sealed points on the four-piece magnesium-alloy body. This makes it dust- and splash-proof with the added bonus of being able to work in freezing temperatures down to 14°F. Also, it has dual SD card slots, with one supporting the UHS-II standard, for extra space or having a secure backup in the field. The body still embodies the essence of classic film cameras and takes it up a notch with the addition of ISO sensitivity control to the shutter-speed dial, meaning users can view all their settings without turning the camera on.
Command dial position has been added to the exposure compensation dial, so when selected, it moves the exposure compensation operation to the front dial and expands the range to ±5 EV. The X-Pro2 offers a front and rear command dial for smooth, intuitive operation and they each gain a push function for additional control. Along with this, there are six function buttons for access to common settings and a new Focus Level allows for fast AF point selection.
The rear 3.0" 1.62m-dot LCD sports a revamped graphical interface with more categories to help users navigate the system. And to make the whole process even easier, My Menu and Q Menu are now available for users to select up to 16 items each for a total of 32 shortcuts. Other built-in functions include a variety of film simulation settings, including a new monochrome Acros option, a Grain Effect mode, and interval shooting for time lapses up to 24 hours and 999 frames.
Less talked about but worth mentioning is the X-Pro2’s video ability, including Full HD video at up to 60 fps with a moderate bit rate of 36 Mbps. It also supports 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p for a worldwide selection of video options. Additionally, it has built-in Wi-Fi that works with smartphones and tablets via the Camera Remote application, and images can be printed with an instax SHARE Printer using the instax Share App for iOS and Android.
Another early trend of 2016 has been mirrorless camera manufacturers’ desire to enter the super telephoto game. Fujifilm is no exception, with its announcement of the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens alongside the X-Pro2. It is a high-caliber, weather-sealed lens that provides an impressive 35mm equivalent focal length of 152-609mm. And if you consider the twin linear motors combined with the autofocus capabilities of Fujifilm’s latest cameras, this lens becomes near ideal for wildlife, sports, and action, among other subject matter.
It is a hefty lens, sporting 21 elements in 14 groups, including five extra-low dispersion elements and one Super extra-low dispersion element that help reduce chromatic aberrations. Also, it has built-in image stabilization that is rated for about five stops of shutter-speed adjustment, making handheld shooting possible by preventing camera shake from ruining images at long focal lengths. Benefitting image quality more is the use of a rounded nine-blade aperture for smooth out-of-focus elements.
The lens will hold up to adverse weather conditions with the use of 13 seals at 12 different points for preventing water and dust from entering the lens and enabling operation at freezing temperatures down to 14°F. Additionally, a fluorine coating on the front element will repel water and dirt for easier cleaning. For handling, this lens has multiple switches to dial-in performance, including an OIS on/off, a focus limiter, and a zoom lock to prevent lens creep. Another available switch is for aperture, allowing users to quickly switch between auto aperture/selection in-camera to manual aperture via the physical ring.
The included lens hood is full featured, as well, offering a sliding window for access to rotating filters such as polarizers, and it has a locking mechanism. One useful accessory is the XF 1.4x TC WR Teleconverter, which bumps the zoom range up to 140-560mm, equivalent to 213-853mm in 35mm terms, though at the cost of one f-stop of light. Furthermore, it has a rotating tripod collar and will accept the optional MLP-75XF Lens Plate for direct use with Arca-type compatible support systems.
Fujifilm has also unleashed a new competitor for the premium point-and-shoot market, the X70 Digital Camera, which is available in black or silver. Designed to create high-quality images in a super-compact body, the X70 features a large 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and an 18.5mm f/2.8 lens that is equivalent to 28mm. In addition to these excellent features, it is the first X-series camera to have a 3.0" 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD that can flip upward 180° for upping your selfie game.
The X-Trans sensor enables high-resolution image capture with low-noise performance throughout its sensitivity range, up to ISO 51200. It also features an impressive AF system with a speed of up to 0.06-second and offers a 49-point Single Point mode for precise selection, as well as Zone and Wide/Tracking options with an expanded 77-point area. The camera is capable of silent electronic shutter exposures at up to a lightning-fast 1/32,000-second.
Ensuring users will be able to squeeze maximum performance from the sensor, the premium 18.5mm lens has a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture and is made from seven elements in five groups, of which there are two high-performance aspherical elements to limit distortion and aberrations. Also, it has the HT-EBC coating to limit flare and ghosting and a nine-blade aperture for smooth bokeh. For moments when the 28mm equivalent focal length isn’t quite enough, it has a digital teleconverter function for shooting at 35mm and 50mm equivalent effective focal lengths.
Handling the small body is of the utmost importance, so in addition to the touchscreen, for intuitive control the X70 features milled aluminum dials, much like the X-Pro2. This includes aperture settings in 1/3-stop increments and an Auto Mode Switch Lever, among others. There are even eight function buttons, with one that is customizable. Of course, the touchscreen is a large point of interest and can be used for operation and playback. And, for those wearing gloves or who are preferential to physical controls, the panel can be quickly turned off in the menu.
As a bonus, this camera has the same video capabilities as the X-Pro2, including Full HD 1080p at up to 60 fps. It packs an interval timer for time-lapse sequences and the Classic Chrome Film Simulation mode, among other creative filters. Wi-Fi on board will connect with mobile devices and the instax printer.
Receiving an upgrade is Fujifilm’s mid-range, rangefinder-styled X-series body, now available as the X-E2S Mirrorless Camera in black or silver. It retains the 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor of its predecessor and the corresponding performance, as well as a very similar body design with 3.0" 1.04m-dot LCD and 0.5" 0.62x 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder. What has been added is an improved AF system, using 49 points in single-shot mode or a 77-point area with zone and wide/tracking. Also, a silent electronic shutter is available at speeds up to 1/32,000-second and the latest Classic Chrome film simulation.
Another update this year is the rugged FinePix XP90 Digital Camera, which sports the same 50-foot-depth waterproofing, 5.8-foot shock proofing, 14° freeze proofing, and IP68-rated dust proofing as its predecessors, but grows with the use of a larger 3.0" LCD with anti-reflective coating. The general specifications have also remained the same, with a 16.4MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor, a 5x optical zoom lens equivalent to 28-140mm, and Full HD movie capture at up to 60 fps. Another improvement comes in video with a fast 480 fps slow-motion mode, twice the speed of its predecessor.
Certain notable features of Fujifilm’s tough model included an Action Camera mode, optical image stabilization, interval timer, eleven advanced creative filters, HDR capture, and Motion Panorama 360°, among others.