FujiXfiles

FujiXfiles blog with tips & tricks and personal experiences with my Fujifilm X-Series cameras. Fuji X10, X100, X100S and X-Pro 1 and Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8, XF 18mm f2, XF 35mm f1.4 and Samyang 8mm f2.8 fisheye lenses.

Fuji X10 and Firmware 2.0 Review and Samples

One thing I really enjoy since I started using Fuji X cameras is that Fuji listens to us users and pushes out Firmware updates over time that don’t only improve speed and reliability, but also add features.

I have been enjoying the use of my Fujifilm X10 as my most compact “serious“ camera. I always take it along when I only have a coat pocket of space for a camera and I’m always amazed by the quality images I get from this small sensor camera. The awesome fast lens does work perfectly together with the EXR sensor. But the fast zoom lens comes at the price of a little bit bigger size. Unlike a Canon s95/S100 who’s lens retracts 100% into the body to give a small package that fits in your shirt pocket, the lens of the X10 sticks out too much for any shirt pocket that I own. But my coat pockets will hold the X10 comfortably.

I just returned from a 1 day business trip to Munich. I only had a little extra room in my bag and it was easily filled with the X10. Here are three quick photos that I snapped on the way:

As always, click on the image for a larger version

A cool looking subway station that is hidden in the south of Munich:

Spaceport Munich - Fuji X10 sample

And the very famous Marienplatz station that most Munich visitors come across:

Munich Marienplatz Station - Fuji X10 sample

The X10 has a great auto white balance even in this tricky yellowish airfield lighting and very good ISO 1600 quality for a small sensor camera

 Fuji X10 ISO 1600 AWB sample

Fuji X10 ISO 1600 AWB sample

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Firmware 2.0

Last Friday my almost one year old Fuji X10 received a 2.0 firmware update from Fuji. Two things were mentioned as changes in the release notes:

1. The “Q“ (Quick) Menu that I love so much on my X-Pro 1 was added to the X10 “RAW“ button. You now have the camera’s most important functions all on one detailed screen to quickly change them.

2. An “Advanced Filter” function has been added. Those filters can be activated in the Advanced Mode and give you the choice of 5 special filter effects (Toy Camera, Miniature, Pop Color, High-Key, Dynamic Tone and 6 individual color key (partial color) filters.

I have spend some time over the weekend to play with the new firmware functions. The added “Q“ Menu alone made the upgrade worth it for me. Although you need to be aware that you loose the option to program the “RAW“ key with a custom function. The Fn key can still be programmed with you favorite function, though.

The color filters are a nice add on, too. But to be honest, I’m not a big fan of these filters in general. I do, however, see why Fuji added them to the prosumer targeted X10 compact. The X10 is a very capable compact camera. And I enjoy the excellent image quality and natural color rendition of the original files straight out of the camera. But there are users who prefer a different style of look to their images that had to be applied outside the camera in a photo editor, untill now.

But now you can choose the filter style you like in the Advanced menu and preview the effect the filter will create live on the LCD. One click and the image has been captured in that style and is ready for upload via USB, SD-Card reader or Eye-Fi card.

Here are some examples of what some of the filters look like (out of camera):

The Miniature filter:

 Fuji X10 Miniature filter sample

Fuji X10 Miniature filter sample

The Dynamic Tone filter:

 Fuji X10 Dynamic Tone filter sample

Fuji X10 Dynamic Tone filter sample

The Partial Color Blue filter:

 Fuji X10 Partial Color Blue filter sample

Fuji X10 Partial Color Blue filter sample

And the High-Key filter:

 Fuji X10 High-Key filter sample

Fuji X10 High-Key filter sample

While it is convenient to have the camera bake the filter style automatically into your photo there is a drawback. Once the JPG is created, there is no turning back! The effects only work in JPG and don't work on your RAW files. So there is no way to neutralize your image file after the filter style has been applied. Therefore use the filter effects wisely!

While I tested the filter effects, I started to wonder if their use could be improved. I came up with the following suggestions/questions:

1. Why can't the filter effects be created from a RAW file inside the camera's RAW converter like the film simulations?

2. Why can't the filter effects be incorporated into the "Drive" function "Film Simulation Series"? This way I could choose one or two effects and still have the original Provia file.

3. Why can't the filter effects be accesed in the "Q" menu for quick changing?Maybe Fuji listens once again to our suggestions - and please Fuji, add the "Q" menu to the X100's Raw button, too ;-)

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Fuji X10 goes to Paris, too - and does cool panos

When deciding what gear to take to Paris this year my prime mission was to go light without sacrificing the image quality that I am used to from my DSLR cameras. My second companion camera to the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 was the compact Fujifilm X10!

A compact? Why? After owning the X100 for 6 month I eagerly awaited the X10 to hit the stores towards the end of last year. Just like I did with the X100, I ordered the X10 without ever phisically holding it in my hand. Buying without trying is a very untypical thing for me to do, but I was pretty certain that the X10 would be the compact camera that I would feel least limited with - compared to a bigger camera.

My main reasons for choosing the X10 were the fast high quality lens with f/2-2.8 at 28-112mm (35mm equivalent field of view), relatively large sensor, Fuji color JPG engine, in camera pano mode and an optical view finder for extreme bright situations.

The great lens comes with the draw back that it sticks out quite a bit compared to other compact cameras. But photography and image quality are about compromises and the size of the lens was the compromise I was willing to take.

I took the X10 along to Paris as a safety net for those situations where I wanted more zoom than the X-Pro 1 XF lens lineup currently offers. But the primary reason was the in camera panorama stiching program.

To me, this is one of the most overlooked quality features of this camera! At first it seemed like a consumer gimmick to me. But after using it for many month it gives me capabilities of a Hasselblad X-Pan panorama camera, just digital, smaller, cheaper and more versatile (BTW, the Hasselblad X-Pan was a rebranded Fuji TX-1 build by Fuji)

The X10 is capable of 120°, 180°, 360° sweep panoramas that are stiched in camera and saved as jpg. You will need some practice to max this feature out, but this is what it is capable of:

Not your typical l'Arc de Triomphe postcard photo - Fuji X10 vertical pano

Since I found out that vertical panos also work, this has been my main style I use this feature for. Not your typical Arc de Triomphe postcard photo, eh? ;)

The lone photographer above Paris - Fuji X10 panorama

And this is a traditional 120° horizontal pano sweep from to of the Arc de Triomphe

Not your typical Eiffel Tower postcard photo - Fuji X10 vertical pano

Still, the vertical panos are so much more fun and give a new perspective of the Eiffel Tower :)

Spaceship launch pad Paris - Fuji X10 panorama

I would have needed a wide fishe eye lens to get this 180° field of view without the pano mode

Rue Chappe stairs - Paris panorama - Fuji X10

The 180° vertical pano worked pretty well on the famous "Rue Chappe stairs", too

Bibliothèque nationale de France - Fuji X10 Pano

Without the pano mode I could not have captured the impression I got when standing in front of the huge Bibliothèque nationale de France

If you already own a Fuji X10 / X100 / X-Pro 1 take this post as an inspiration to play around with the pano functions, too. Don't get frustrated if your results aren't perfect on the first few tries. It'll take some trial and error to understand what works and what doesn't.

Post a comment below or tweet me @hamburgcam if you want me to write more on my experiences with the pano mode of the three Fuji X-Cameras that I use...

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)