Fuji announces new firmware for X-E1, X-E2 and X-T1 and new macro extension tubes
Let me just give you a brief introduction to the main news of this post – new Fuji firmware releases.
We’ve met few great people in the local – Prague Fuji office, and we spent some valuable time talking to them. In comparison to Sony, Fuji people are much more passionate about their products and it’s not just a learned marketing pose, but rather healthy self confidence in the company and brand values. This is for me always indication of friendly and consumer oriented company culture, that can make a huge difference in building long term customer relation and most importantly, in giving customers feeling, that they won’t end abandoned with sudden changes in marketing plans.
In our Lobotory here, we have huge respect and sympathy for this.
Few days later, I had a chance to try Fuji X-T1 with Fujinon XF 35/1.4 R in a small workshop session, while we are eagerly waiting for announced X100T to fall in our Lobohands soon.
We will not get back to review this obviously very interesting camera, but let me tell you one related short story…
On above mentioned promo workshop, instead of 10 people originally planned and registered, there were 24 hungry photographers, ready to jump on the poor model as soon as lector say – go take few shots. I knew, that if I don’t manage to be among first ones, I am most probably going to shot zombie, if I even get a bit of empty space to push the lens through. So, I had virtually 5 minutes, to learn how to set-up X-T1 camera for taking shots of the model on set. I am used to very specific manual settings, because I like to have full control of exposure and I had camera for the very first time in my hands. Fuji X-T1 passed this 5 minutes set-up test as the only mirrorless camera that I ever used. This is the highest appreciation, and very rare one, that I can give to user interface. It’s not about me, I am sure that anyone who ever used SLR or DSLR cameras before, will have quite similar positive experience. One have to think, why some other companieS (you know who I mean, don’t you), design their interface inspired by video games instead of photographers…
Anyway, here is one image of still fresh and cute young lady from the workshop 🙂
Now the big news!
Today, Fuji announced new firmware for X-T1 and XT-1 Graphite Silver Edition and it’s not just one of those – bug removal firmware updates. Quite in contrary, one of the features drew my attention and even more curiosity!
Taken from the official firmware update page – http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n141120_01.html
1. High-speed electronic shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32000sec.* **
The FUJINON XF Lens series lineup includes a number of fast fixed focal length lenses which boast very high sharpness with the aperture wide open, producing excellent out of focus “bokeh”. However, fast apertures are difficult to use if the light is too bright, so to ensure users can create shallow depth-of-field effects, the camera is now equipped with a fully electronic shutter offering a maximum shutter speed of 1/32000sec. The mechanical shutter will not operate at all when any speed for the electronic shutter is selected, which also delivers a completely silent shooting experience; perfect for shots of sleeping children, pets, weddings, and more. In addition, it is possible to set the electronic shutter in 1/3 steps from a range of 1sec to 1/32000sec.
The shutter sound can be muted if desired. Use the new “SHUTTER SOUND” and “SHUTTER VOLUME” options in the setup menu to choose the type and volume of the sound made when the shutter is released.
* This functionality has been installed on the X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition.
** The Electronic Shutter may not be suitable for fast-moving objects. Flash can not be used.
I don’t want to get technical, but full electronic shutter at 1/32000s is something we could only dream of, not even a year ago. Of course, there are serious limitations due to the way how this speed is accomplished and thus it can’t be used for fast moving subjects, neither for flash sync, but it still can help for shallow depth of field when desired/needed, with a fast and super fast lenses in a bright light conditions. This was original feature of announced X100T, but it is also available for X100s and those cameras, having leaf shutter (with all positives and negatives that comes with it), are going to profit even more. (Leaf shutter is rather limited in its maximum speed at approx. 1/1000s but it can be flash synchronized at much higher speed than focal plane shutter).
Fully electronic shutter also means – fully silent shutter… no more offensive looks in the theater when you try to capture Emily Browning taking off her Hunger Games warrior coveralls, no more baby (followed by wife) crying at home because of the loud clikc-bum-da-bum when you are trying to memorize those cutest fingers on earth, no more hunting by mad home-less who didn’t like you taking his sleeping portrait in the tram. Just imagine what blessing this is for all us voyeurs and LOBOCENSORED!
Ok. You got the picture.
Only this firmware upgrade, worth almost like a new camera, so it makes Fuji X-T1 even more attractive now, but there are many more new features and improvements that this firmware delivers. To see the full list of new features and to download and install new firmware, here is the official link once again – http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n141120_01.html
As stated in the title, there is also firmware update for X-Pro1, X-E1 and X-E2 cameras. There are also few neat new features with – interval timer, being my fave. With that feature you would be able to shot those amazing time lapses, almost like Ron Fricke in Koyanisqatsi. Well, almost almost… BTW, that was so great movie that reminds me two things – it’s not the equipment that creates master piece and… damn, I am so freaking old…
If you have, or consider to buy (and I certainly encourage you to do so using our friendly affiliate links bellow, because I might earn for cup of coffee for me and one beef bone for my dog) X-Pro 1, X-E1 and X-E2, please check this official firmware upgrade link – http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n141120_02.html
But that’s not all! (This is probably my favorite sentence in all tele-shopping shows)
If you decide to buy Fuji now, Fuji will offer you also special macro extension tubes!
What are macro extension tubes? (No they don’t do, what you might hope for guys 😥 )
If you don’t know what they are, you probably never looked at the fly eyes from close enough.
Even better though – check this official announcement – http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n141120_03.html
They can make from your “normal” Fuji XF 55-200 lens a powerful microscope for very close encounters of third kind. While doing so, you’ll keep all (un)important functions, such as AF, OIS and full EXIF, for the fraction of the price of dedicated macro lens. Where is a trick? You’ll loose infinity focus with extension tube, but that shouldn’t bother you much, because the hottest and most sexy subject in recent photography trends, doesn’t stand further than at your arm length anyway.
Here is how would such a selfie look from my fly friend.
Once again – your link to the official announcement page for Macro Extension Tubes MCEX-11 and MCEX-16 – http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n141120_03.html
But that’s still not all!!!! (My dear Horst Fuchs, has always some nice surprise)
If you buy Fuji camera now, download latest firmware with silent shutter among other goodies, and buy those hot Macro Extension Tubes, Fuji will add – Tethered Shooting Software “HS-V5 for Windows® Ver. 1.0!
In short- with all above, you can use this software to silently operate your camera using computer via USB 2.0 from the distance, while shooting delicate macro scenes, that otherwise won’t be possible!
Of course, you can use tethering shooting for much more sense full images too. Check it here on the Fuji official announcement page – http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n141120_04.html
This was Verybig first LoboFuji article, but Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship… We are looking forward to explore Fujifilm more in depth in the near future.
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The extension tubes don’t get you to 1:1:
not even with the 60mm macro lens.
I personally sold the Fuji XT1, because I didn’t like the control layout (buttons too small, takes to much time to change ISO, shutter speed etc.). Initially it didn’t bother me, but after I while, being used to DSLR control schemes it was a pain for me. I will go with the new A7ii instead.
Thanks for the comment HF. Don’t forget that you can stack the tubes and thus increase maginication further. I liked X-T1 from that brief encounter but that is always subjective of course. Good luck with A7II. After owning A7, A7r, A7s, A6000, NEX 7 and NEX 5N for many years, I feel a bit tired of my role of guinea pig. Their PSP like user interface doesn’t make me happy either, but they have great sensors for sure.
For me the A7ii is my leisure camera, to play around. We have the D810 and D610 for the rest, both working flawlessly with a plentora of lenses and accessories. I like using the OMD for hand-held macros, but noise often becomes an issue if flash is not allowed (e.g. in botanic gardens). The A7ii with upcoming 90mm macro wi very nice in this respect.
We have similar set-ups. For the macro, it all depends in my opinion on the desired magnification. 16mpx on MFT represents highest pixel density among those system cameras, except for the Nikon 1 and maybe Pentax Q. But putting those “smaller” sensors aside, MFT might give the largest magnification to resolution ratio, but at the same time lowest SNR. It mean that up to the ISO 200-400, you might have most detail from OMD in some occasions.
A7ii will be most probably good camera, but I expected Sony to first consider some improvements that some users were asking for – such as uncompressed RAW, better senosr topping coating to reducse sensor reflection, minimum shutter speed settings (in A mode e.g.), AF from A6000, etc. before they introduce new technologies such as IBIS. Weak battery life will now be even worse, and IBIS is not magical technology anyway. It also might involve some early application problems, and I am really curious to see how it will work in combination with OSS lenses.