This past weekend, Fujifilm celebrated their 5 Year Anniversary of the X Series camera system with a flurry of new product launches, photography exhibitions and dealer events, which, as I heard, included some karaoke.
Of course, the whole party centered around the unveiling of the long awaited, X-Pro2, which, in just days, has already become one of the top selling cameras of any brand, and the #1 top selling mirrorless camera– and it’s not even out yet!
With an exterior design that’s very like the original, that sexy black box sports a number of big advancements inside, including a brand new X-Trans CMOS III 24MP sensor and brand new image processor.
In addition, it has an all new Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder that offers both optical and electronic view, an 1/8,000 sec mechanical shutter, a new Compressed RAW file format, new BW “Arcos” film simulation, a totally upgrade Autofocus system, and a weather resistant body.
The new focusing system is built around a grid of 273 focus points and a small thumb focus lever joystick for navigation around the frame. Approximately 40% of the frame is covered by 77 Phase Detect AF pixels, which means that your fastest focusing is not limited to just the center area of the viewfinder. This is a huge advancement, and one that I would hope gets brought to future versions of the X-T1 and X-T10.
Fuji’s new X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor offers even higher resolution, with 24.3MP, a wider array of phase detection pixels and high ISO sensitivity performance. With a max ISO of 12,800, (extendable to ISO 51,200) the X-Pro 2 can produce extremely high resolution imagery with minimal noise.
Quality and performance is also enhanced by Fuji’s new X Processor Pro image processing engine. With increased processing speeds and a higher buffer memory, shutter blackout time has been reduced by nearly half, as has display performance when shooting moving subjects.
One of the things photographers love about the X Series cameras is the retro style look and feel, which includes metal function dials on the top deck.
Improving design even more, the X-Pro2 sports a dual function dial for shutter speed and ISO. Nice.
It also has a front command dial, which can be used to set shutter speeds to 1/3 stop increments. I use this all the time on my X-T1 and X-T10.
Another cool feature on the X-Pro2 is the Dual Card Slot, which can be configured to record as sequential, backup or RAW/JPEG. Nice.
A number of photographers have been testing the X-Pro2 for the past couple of months, and from everything I’ve seen, people are simply blown away by this camera. I’m not surprised. It offers such a high degree of performance, usability and image quality, that many top editorial, assignment and portraits shooters like David Allan Harvey, David Hobby and Zach Arias, pretty much feel that this one is the game changer for them.
The X-Pro1 has garnered such a fanatical user base that has almost bordered on the extreme. In some ways, it’s been funny to read all the forums and see people’s response to all the new cameras Fuji has released in the past few years. No matter what Fuji has come up with, their answer is always, “I’m waiting for the X-Pro2.”
Sometimes I laugh at this, but in the end, it just means that people LOVE their X-Pro1 so much that they can’t imagine shooting with anything but the upgraded version, not matter how long it took to emerge. To that, Fuji deserves credit for building cameras that have longevity and that inspire love, loyalty and confidence from their users. From that standpoint, I guess I understand, because I feel the exact same way about my X-T1.
The X-Pro2 will be available in late February- You can preorder it from B&H Photo or Amazon, or just wait for your local Fuji dealer to get stock, although I imagine that many stores will sell out pretty quickly.
It’s pretty amazing that the X Series has only been around for five years. I remember when the original X100 was announced, it definitely struck a chord in the industry, but to have invented a camera system from scratch that has such a huge impact in the world of photography in only five years- a world that has been dominated by DSLRs- that’s huge.
One of the things I really like about Fujifilm is that they develop their cameras and lenses with the Japanese philosophy of “Kaizen“, which refers to the concept of continuous improvement. Rather than simply release a new product and make the previous one obsolete, they strive to build cameras that they can keep improving with firmware updates.
Today, Fuji released a major firmware update for some of the cameras in the X-Series. The X-T1 gets the biggest update by far. This update adds some amazing new features, including a high speed electronic shutter that has a maximum speed of 1/32,000 sec. This function was built into the X-T1 Special Graphite Silver Edition, and now it’s available to the regular X-T1.
The X-Pro1, X-E2 and X-E1 also see some improvements as well, although not nearly as many as have been given to the X-T1. Consider them early Christmas presents that make your X cameras even better. If you have any of these models, I highly recommend downloading and installing the update. You can find all the appropriate files and instructions on the Fujifilm website.
In all, there are 27 new features for the X-T1 that increase the power of this amazing little camera even more. Here are some of the updates that v.3.0. adds.
Single-button direct AF activation: you no longer have to press a Fn button first.
The new Classic Chrome film simulation: reportedly a tribute to vintage Kodachome film.
Natural Live View Mode: this shows you the scene “as is” in the EVF, regardless of what film sim you’re using.
Unlocked AE-L/AF-L buttons
Seamless AF+MF manual focusing
New video frame rates: 50p/25p/24p
Manual shooting in video mode
Additional options for Fn button settings: Flash compensation, shutter type, preview picture effect and more.
Lock Mode: Prevents accidental changes to cameras settings.
In just a few short years, Fujifilm has built an impressive camera system from the ground up. Starting with the introduction of the X100, which they launched in September 2010, they’ve since expanded their lineup to include a number of highly advanced interchangeable and fixed lens compact cameras that have completely stirred up the photography world.
Shooters of all styles and levels have fallen in love with their compact, classic body styling and with the remarkable image quality that these cameras produce. So much so that an increasing number of amateurs and pros alike have replaced their entire DSLR rigs with Fuji X camera systems and haven’t looked back. I’m one of those people.
Even straight JPEGS from these cameras look awesome, which has prompted many people to rethink their RAW-only shooting style. The images are incredibly sharp and combined with Fuji’s image processing technology, color reproduction is stunning. The built-in film simulations and different shooting modes offer wide creativity and the resolution of the APS-C X-Trans sensor which is found on most of the models is certainly good enough for any pro work.
Here’s a quick comparison between all of the current Fuji X cameras in the lineup to see which one is right for you. (Updated April 2018)
1. Fujifilm X-H1
The new Fujifilm X-H1 is the latest X Series camera. Featuring an even more rugged all-metal body and a brand new 5-axis, 5.5 stop stabilized sensor, this is the first model in the lineup to have In-Body Image Stabilization.
Built to be an all-professional camera in every way, the X-H1 has a larger pronounced grip, a 25% thicker chassis, and the same 24MP X-Trans sensor found in all the other X Series cameras.
In addition, the X-H1 has been designed as a high-end video camera. It offers DCI-4K shooting at 200 Mb/s, which is double the bit rat of the X-T2, and it shoots beautiful slow motion in Full HD at up to 120 fps. It also features F-log recording right to the SD card, separate camera settings for shooting stills and video, and it has the brand new cinematic ETERNA film simulation.
Using the same 325-piont AF system found on the X-T2, the X-H1 has upgraded AF algorithms, which allow for even better AF tracking when using AF-C mode. It also has the highest resolution electronic viewfinder of any X Series camera, with a full-time refresh rate of 100 fps.
The biggest design difference on the X-H1 is that instead of the EV +/- dial, the camera has a new top deck LCD. It’s very similar to the layout of the GFX. With a total of 13 Fn buttons/controls and the optical Vertical Power Booster Grip, the X-H1 is a true powerhouse, and with it’s familiar look and feel, it should appeal to DSLR users who have been X curious for awhile, but have been waiting to pull the trigger.
Earlier this summer, Fujifilm announced the X-T2. Featuring the new 24MP X-Trans III sensor and a much more powerful image processor, the X-T2 has been refined for maximum performance in every way, and it produces incredible high resolution imagery.
With a body design that’s almost identical to the X-T1, the “2” features a few tweaks, like dials that lock and unlock, and a new +/- EV control that lets you adjust by up to 5 stops. The camera also has the new AF joystick
Inside, the X-T2 has a brand new, vastly upgraded, 325-point AF system that will track moving subjects at up to 8 frames per second, and with the optional battery grip in “Boost” mode, the camera will shoot and track at 11 frames per second.
In addition, the X-T2’s new processor allows for improved color accuracy, considerably shorter blackout time, higher EVF refresh rate, and it allows the use of Fuji’s ACROS black and white film simulation. ACROS is built around a more complex grain structure and it produces image with deeper, finer tonal gradation.
With its performance enhancements, the new Fujifilm X-T2 is a stunning evolution of the X Series It’s a professional grade camera that will outperform just about any camera in its price range, and compete with many DSLRs that cost even more.
Who’s it for? The X-T2 is designed for photographers who want maximum performance in a lighter weight, smaller body. It will no doubt attract DSLR shooters who are tired of carrying heavy gear, but who have sat on the sidelines, waiting for a mirrorless camera that will give them the same quality and speed they’re used to. The X-T2 is likely going to be the camera that causes many photographers to finally switch from DSLR to mirrorless. Read my full review of the Fujifilm X-T2 here.
Your advice on lenses and on why you switched to the Fuji have helped make my decision to continue investing in the system. I do a lot of hiking, mountain biking and skiing, but at first was a little apprehensive on committing to the system. Your review of the X-T2 was very helpful.
I have just bought an X-T2 so your articles on the Fuji X system have been very useful.
Your review of the Fujinon 18-135mm lens helped me decide to include it in the minimal, lightweight system I wanted to shoot with ( I decided to go with just that and the 10-24mm - so far, anyway!).
3. Fujifilm X-Pro 2
The Fuji X-Pro 2 is the co-flagship model of the X Series. It’s a professional grade interchangeable X camera that offers traditional styling, maximum quality imagery with the APS-C 24MP X-Trans III sensor, the new X Processor Pro engine and an innovative “Hybrid Multi Viewfinder.” Combining the best features between optical and electronic viewfinders, the X-Pro 2 lets you switch between OVF mode and EVF mode. Both modes contain a variety of shooting data and change magnification depending on your lens choice.
The X-Pro 2 features a similar set of features as the X-T2, including the focus lever joystick, Q-Menu, an upgraded autofocus system with 77 phase detect points, no apparent shutter lag, and all the gorgeous looking film simulations. It’s also weather sealed.
The X-Pro 2 does not have a built-in flash, but it’s compatible with any of the dedicated Fuji flashes, as well as other third party brand units.
The other big difference between is that while the X-T2 has an SLR inspired look and feel, the X-Pro 2 has a rangefinder design, which appeals to a great number of shooters. Where the X-T2 feels like an old trusty manual Nikon body, the X-Pro 2 feels like an old Leica or Contax.
Who’s it for? The X-Pro 2 is a favorite with commercial, wedding and portraits shooters, as well as street photographers. Basically anyone who loves the rangefinder look, who wants weather sealing, fast AF tracking and wants a high quality, beautifully styled camera for general shooting, travel, people or landscape photography. Check out the dedicated X-Pro 2 info site here.
4. Fujifilm X-E3
The X-E3 is a sweet little camera! It’s marketed as the little brother/sister rangefinder model in the series, but it’s actually a very powerful model. It has the new AF joystick/selector that’s found on all the higher end models, and it also has a number of settings that are only found on the top-end X Series cameras.
In fact, there are at least a couple of settings that are only found on the X-T2 and X-E3. It’s a great performer, and it has such a svelte, sexy design. In order to make the camera even smaller, the X-E3 doesn’t have the standard “Thumb Pad/OK Button” array on the back.
Instead, it features a new, innovative touch screen that allows for “swipe gestures” up, down, left and right. These gestures operate as Function buttons, since the four D-Pad Fn buttons are gone.
The X-E3 also has the same 24MP X-Trans sensor, image processor and autofocus system as the X-T2 and X-Pro2, so it’s a very capable camera for shooting all kinds of subject matter. In addition, it shoots 4K video, it allows for continuous shooting of up to 14 frames per second, and has an extended ISO range of up to 51200.
The only thing the X-E3 is missing is a tilting LCD screen. Otherwise, it’s definitely one of the most powerful budget mirrorless camera on the market. Check out the X-E3 special site here.
5. Fujifilm X-T20
The Fujifilm X-T20 is the little brother to the X-T2, and many of the features are the same as those found on the X-T2. It has the same APS-C 24MP X-Trans sensor, a tilting LCD scene and the same updated, high performance predictive autofocus system that will track moving subjects at up to 8 frames per second. (14 fps with the electronic shutter.) Essentially, you get the same image quality and most of the same performance as the X-T, but for $700 less.
It also has a very similar rugged SLR-style body design like the X-T1, but with a few slight design tweaks. The main thing is that it’s smaller and lighter, which makes the X-T10 an ideal travel and outdoor camera. It hardly weighs anything, and yet under the hood, it’s a real hot rod.
It has WiFi sharing, a built-in flash, all the same film simulations, including Classic Chrome, 8 programmable Fn buttons, and although it’s not weather sealed, the X-T10 is a tough little camera that would be great for just about any kind of use.
Who’s it for? The X-T20 is a very capable camera, and with an attractive price point of only $899, it’s an excellent introduction into the Fuji X camera lineup. With fully updated technology, it’s ideal for any kind of shooter, and since it’s very similar in design and operation, the X-T20 is an ideal backup or second camera for X-T2 users. You can also check out the dedicated X-T10 site here.
6. Fujifilm X-E2S
Note: The X-E2S is now available. Essentially, it’s the X-E2 with updated firmware that dramatically improves the camera’s autofocus system, and increases performance in a number of areas.
The Fuji X-E2S is very similar to the X-Pro 1, except that it does not have the Hybrid Viewfinder. It only has an electronic viewfinder, but the with the latest firmware update that Fuji put out, the X-E2 now has an even better EVF than it did before. It also has a built-in flash, as well as a hot shoe.
Featuring the same APS-C 16MP X-Trans sensor as the other models, a max shooting rate of 6 fps, and a greatly improved Hybrid AF system over the X-E1, the X-E2 now has the same AF speed as the X-T1. However, it does NOT have the same predictive focus tracking system, so it will not not be able to track moving subjects and freeze action over multiple frames like the X-T1.
Nonetheless, the X-E2 is an awesome rangefinder-style camera that has the same image quality as the other cameras in the line, the same film simulations, the same creative shooting modes, and the Wi-Fi button that allows you to transfer images from the camera to your smartphone or tablet. However, you cannot control the camera with your device like you can on the X-T1.
I shot with an X-E1 during a bike trip through the Alps last summer, and I found it to be an enjoyable camera to use. The X-E2 offers the same quality with an improved package.
Who’s it for? Since it uses the same lenses as the other X cameras, the X-E2 makes a great general camera for pros and amateurs alike. It works great for portraits, travel, landscapes and even commercial work, but keep in mind, it’s not weather sealed, so it may not be the best choice for heavy outdoor use. Still, it’s lightweight, compact, it packs a lot of features, and makes gorgeous looking images. Here’s the dedicated X-E2 info site.
Note, the X-E1 is still available, and it’s a really good price. The EVF and AF aren’t as good as they are on the X-E2, but image quality is the same. If you don’t need super fast AF, and if you do most of your composing with the LCD screen, then the X-E1 is an awesome camera of the money. It would be a good choice for beginning to intermediate photographers, or someone looking for a great travel camera that takes great photos.
7. Fujifilm X100F
When it was announced in 2010, the Fuji X100 took the world by storm. It offered uncompromising image quality in a gorgeous, all metal, rangefinder-style body. The latest version, which is the Fuji X100F, offers an even better 24MP X-Trans sensor, the new X-Processor Pro image processing chip, the new AF Joystick/Selector lever and an even better viewfinder and improved AF performance over the original version.
The X100 is really an amazing little camera. It’s got a fast fixed 23mm f/2 lens, (35mm view) a shooting rate of 6 fps, 10cm macro and it also features the same switchable Hybrid EVF/OVF Viewfinder that’s found on the X-Pro 1.
It also sports a built-in flash and features a leaf shutter that allows for ultra high speed flash sync. For this reason, the X100F is the camera of choice for heavy flash shooters like Strobist™ David Hobby. Another really nice feature is the built-in 3 f/stop ND filter, which allows you to shoot slower shutter speeds in brighter light.
People also love the X100 cameras because of it’s sheer simplicity. Small body, one view, on-board flash, and all the quality and creativity you’d ever need. Also, the 23mm is a great angle of view for many subjects. It’s not super wide,but it’s kind of a sweet-spot focal length for shooting just about everything from landscapes to travel, low light, city scenes and environmental portraits. There are also conversion lenses (35mm and 50mm) that make the X100 even more versatile.
Who’s it for? Anyone, really. It offers a perfect solution for going light, fast and simple with your photography, which is why it’s a favorite of many street photographers. It also makes an ideal companion/backup camera for your interchangeable system whether you shoot Fuji or not. Lots of Nikon and Canon shooters have these things too because they’re awesome. The Fuji X100 is truly a modern classic that will be remembered of a very long time in the history of photography gear. Check out the dedicated X100F info site here.
8. Fujifilm X-A5
The brand new Fujifilm X-A5 is the budget-friendly consumer X Series camera. It’s less expensive, and while it has some stepped down features, it does not necessarily have stepped down quality. The X-A5 has a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor. Combined with the updated image processing engine, the X-A3 delivers excellent quality images. (Note- The X-A5 is the only X Series cameras that uses a CMOS sensor instead of the X-Trans sensor.)
With the X-A5, you get the versatility of interchangeable lenses and DSLR image quality in a very small and compact package, but with the useful advantages that mirrorless camera offer. Fuji also introduced a line of smaller, less expensive lenses for this camera to make it even lighter and more affordable. It comes with the XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, but you can actually use any of the XF lenses on this body as well. This makes it even more versatile when you improve and want to step up your system.
The X-A5 features a a compact, lightweight, reto-style look that’s characteristic of the X Series, and it has a touch-screen tilting LCD panel. The screen actually flips all the way up into “selfie mode.” It has an ergonomic grip, and wi-fi connectivity that works with the Fujifilm Camera Remote app so you can download your photos right from the camera to your mobile device. And it comes in three colors- Black, brown and red.
With a built-in flash, 77-point AF system, including manual focus, most of the creative modes and film simulations found on the higher end models, video, a host of creative shooting and auto modes and EV+/- at your fingertips, the X-A3 offers a lot of options in a bargain package. And it’s tiny. Seriously. It’s even smaller than some fixed lens compact cameras, especially when you put on the XF 27mm pancake lens.
Who’s it for? The Fuji X-A5 is definitely designed with consumers in mind. It’s a great introduction into the Fuij X Camera system, and would make a great all around camera for any beginning to intermediate photographers. As with any of the X cameras, it’s a viable alternative to a DSLR because it still gives you impressive image quality and resolution, but in a much more compact package. It’s great for just about any kind of shooting. Read more about the X-A3 here.
9. Fujifilm X70
The Fuji X70 is truly the little brother to the X100T. It’s a non-interchangeable compact camera, with a fixed 18.5mm f/2.8 lens that offers a traditional 28mm angle of view.
The big thing with the X70 is that it has the same APS-C sized 16MP X-Trans sensor, so you get the same image quality as all of the higher end models in a tiny little package. Seriously, the X70 is so small for how big the sensor is, it’s probably the best quality camera for its size. I’ve gone on 10 mile runs and carried this little camera in the palm of my hand.
By comparison, the pocket-sized Sony RX100 series only uses a 1-inch sensor, whereas the pocket-sized X70 produces the same image specs as the X-T1, X-Pro 1 and X100. I use the older X20 and I’ve sold photos for professional reproduction that were taking with this camera. With its non-bayer RGB array, the X-Trans II sensor produces incredibly high resolution photos, even on a camera this small.
The X70 doesn’t have an optical viewfinder, but it does have a brand new tilt screen LCD electronic viewfinder that features touch screen technology. It’s the first Fuji X Series camera with touch screen focusing, firing and image review. Also, the screen flips all the way up so you can shoot selfies with it, or shoot over your head and behind you back.
Like the X30, the X70 has an aperture-style dual ring that you can use to quickly adjust any number of parameters, including aperture, shutter speed, film simulation and manual focus. You can also use it to zoom in, as the X70 has a built-in digital teleconverter, which lets you shoot no only with a 28mm angle of view, but also at 35mm and 50mm. Essentially it’s just digital zoom, but with some special pixel wrangling, so it’s better quality than most digital zooms you find on small cameras. It also has a built-in flash that you can use to trigger other flashes.
The X70 has all of the same film simulations, advanced shooting mode as the other X Series cameras, and very fast performance. Combined with an extremely compact size, classic styling, RAW shooting and focusing down to 10cm, the X70 is an extremely capable and portable camera that’s very fun to use.
Who’s it for? Anyone. For pros, it makes a great, inexpensive second, “walk around” camera, or one you can use for extremely lightweight trips. For non-pros, it’s good enough to be your only camera. With no interchangeable lenses, it’s small, compact and easy to use, even with one hand. Here’s the dedicated X70 info site.
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