Fujikina Toronto 2017

Earlier this week I attended an event put on by Fujifilm Canada in Toronto called “Fujikina”, a name I initially snickered to myself at, but after a moment of reflection, decided it’s actually quite appropriate, given how much Fuji stole the photography show at CES this year.

They had everything on hand to try and hold, so I got a good amount of time with the GFX in particular. Here’s what I learned at the event.


My GFX coverage has become a little more extensive than I anticipated at this stage, so I decided to break it out into it’s own Pre-Review. Much more detail will be added as I test this new camera more.

Graphite (Not Silver)

By all accounts, there won’t be anymore lenses in the “Graphite” finish to match the X-Pro2 Graphite. Only the XF 23mm F2 WR will be offered in the X-Pro2 Graphite Kit.→


I’m not quite as enthusiastic for an evolutionary step in the X100 series of cameras only because I’m still so infatuated with the X-Pro2 and XF 35mm F2 WR, my preferred focal length. For anyone who likes 35mm though, they are going to want an X100F a lot.

Upgrading from an X100S to and X100T wasn’t a cut and dried decision, upgrading from any other X100 camera to the X100F will likely be a no-brainer for fans of the camera. The jump in quality and usability is huge.

Getting back to the details, the X100F shutter sound seems to be a little different; more robotic than previous cameras. It’s entirely possible that is restricted to the demo unit I tried, but it was a final production unit, so should be indicative of what we’d get when buying.

The wide angle and teleconverter are in fact optically identical to the first iterations. Good news. The difference is that, when paired with an X100F, the camera will automatically detect the converter and make the changes in camera that once needed to be done manually. This should all but eliminate accidentally capturing photos with comical distortion.

Fuji’s own employees can only speculate how the camera not only detects the converter, but which one. The current guess is some sort of magnet.


The X-T20 has seen a huge spec bump, but otherwise remains pretty close to its predecessor. It’s not a camera for me, but for entry level or folks who just want the smallest interchangeable body in a DSLR style they can get their hands on, it’s fantastic, and is made that much better with the new imaging chain.


No news on the EVF-only rangefinder-style body getting the X-Trans III treatment. If I remember right though, I got my X-E2 in around November along with the XF 23mm F1.4 when they were both released.

XF 50mm F2 WR→

Not much more to say about this lens. It handles as nicely as the XF 35mm F2 WR, just with a wider manual focus ring. I really like the size and operation of the new WR F2 lenses, but it’s unlikely either will replace the XF 16mm F1.4 WR or XF 90mm F2 WR for me. The focal length spread just doesn’t have enough coverage.

In Other News

That’s it for the event, however, I do believe I have finally sorted my computer crisis after having returned the 2016 MacBook Pro I’d been waiting months for. That has hindered my progress on this site a bit, but thankfully ought to be behind me soon. I’ll have more to say on that front in another post shortly. X-T2 review and comparisons coming soon!

Busy Month

It’s been an action-packed month in the land of Fujifilm. From new finishes to new formats, Fujifilm are on a tear we haven’t seen in some time. Let’s take these in order:

CES; Fujifilm in Graphite

Outside of another rugged point and shoot, Fujifilm’s CES showing has consisted of the announcement of a “Graphite Silver Edition” of the X-T2, and, for the first time in this form factor, a “Graphite Edition” of the X-Pro2. Note the missing “Silver” on the X-Pro2. I noticed a difference in the finish of these two models immediately, but it took me a while to realize the names were actually different.

I prefer the Graphite finish over Graphite Silver myself,1 but it is curious that yet another “colour” has been added to Fujifilm’s roster. We now also have lenses in 3 different finishes, black, non-graphite silver, and graphite. Graphite is seemingly exclusive to the XF 23mm F2 for now, and is only available as part of an X-Pro2 bundle.

Can we expect more lenses to become available in Graphite? The XF 35mm F2—my preferred lens to pair with the X-Pro2—seems like a prime2 candidate, along with the next announcement:

XF 50mm F2 WR

Rounding out a nice compact set of weather sealed primes at f/2, the XF 50mm F2 WR is a 200g 76mm equivalent that sadly doesn’t share the same 43mm filter size as the XF23mm F2 WR and XF35mm F2 WR. Strangely, or perhaps tellingly, this new prime is also not currently available in the darker Graphite finish.


One of the quickest iterations, the X-T10 has been superseded by the X-T20, which sees improvements as large as the X-T1 saw with its successor, the X-T2. This isn’t the form factor for me, but man, talk about a feature-rich little camera.


Number Four. Everyone’s favourite fixed focal length photographic device finally gets the not-so “New AutoFocus System,” and ACROS. It also gets new teleconverters, presumably better optimized for the new sensor. As someone who owns both of the original teleconverters, this certainly isn’t my favourite part of Fuji’s announcements.

(Almost) All 24.3 MP X-Trans III/X-Processor Pro

Every currently available form-factor but one, the X-E2(S) is once again available in Fuji’s latest sensor and processor. Pretty soon our camera body buying decision will once again come down to body size and handling preference without compromising image quality. I loved it when every camera was X-Trans II. This is Fuji at their best.

Medium Format

I’ve been pretty quiet about the GFX 50S. Not for lack of excitement, more for trying to figure out if this new format is something I’m going to be able to get my hands on and add as part of the content of this site. At $6,499 for just the body, I suspect it will be out of reach for many, if not most of my readers, but I sure would like one.

The Big Event

Yours truly has been invited to a Fujifilm Canada Media Event late tomorrow afternoon that I plan to attend with the opportunity to do some interviews and ask questions. If you have any burning questions of your own, feel free to pass them along and I’ll do my best to get them answered.

  1. It would have gone great with the MacBook Pro I returned. Pity. ↩︎
  2. See what I did there? ↩︎

Fuji X-T1 Firmware Update

With the announcement of the Graphite Silver X-T1 and its enhanced feature-set, Fuji has once again done the honourable thing by promising existing owners of the X-T1 a firmware update that will include all these new features. The nicest thing about this announcement is when I heard about the new features, I wasn’t the least bit concerned that my X-T1 was going to be out of date. I knew Fuji would take care of me. I can’t think of another camera company with customers who can feel more at ease.

The upgrade is going to be a big one, with a combination of user-requested features, and some other added niceties. Let’s do a quick rundown with some commentary. One of the features I’m most excited for hasn’t received a lot of press that I’ve seen.

Main Features

Electronic shutter, max speed of 1/32,000 second

This is a big one for me. It’s going to be really nice to not have to worry about neutral density filters in order to shoot my faster lenses wide open, even in broad daylight. I might be even more excited by the silent shutter. I’m occasionally conflicted about whether to bring the X-T1 or X100 with me exclusively because that silent leaf shutter on the X100 is so nice. Soon we’ll be able to take ultra covert pics of unsuspecting street subjects (don’t be creepy) without any concern that the shutter will be heard.

Classic Chrome Film Simulation mode

Some people don’t care about this feature. Others are gushing and hash-tagging about it like there’s no tomorrow. One thing’s for sure, I’m looking forward to testing it out for an extended period of time. I did have some time with it in the X30, but not enough to really gauge if it will become my go-to. I’m still finding new uses for the current Film Simulations, the latest being cranking the Shadow Tone to +2 with PRO Neg. Hi. As I’ve mentioned before on this site, it’s nice that Fuji are being so selective with these Film Simulations and not spamming users with endless presets. I guess it helps when your business model isn’t based on selling presets.

Natural Live View

This would have come in really handy just the other day. I was looking to preserve the highlights in my RAFs while shooting landscapes, but I also wanted to capture a Velvia JPEG. The LCD and resulting photo/histogram would show highlight clipping based on the Velvia Film Simulation, and that resulted in me being much to conservative and underexposing a few images. Natural Live View should give us a more accurate idea of how far we can push things when exposing to the right. Great feature.

“Further Improvements”

1. Direct selection of AF Area

“The update will let users select the focus area using the 4-way controller, without pressing the Fn key.”

Lots of users will be excited for this feature. I would guess that RAF shooters in particular who need frequent fast access to their AF point will love this addition. I say RAF shooters because JPEG shooters likely need at least a couple more controls immediately accessible. This is what I was familiar with in my DSLR days, but after trying it out, I miss being able to use the D-pad for quick access to other features. Perhaps once I have more time with it, and I’m able to move the items I want access to into Q menu I’ll give it another try. For now, focus and recompose is fine for quickly grabbing a shot and when things are slower, I have time to tap the AF selection button.

2. Unlocked AE-L/AF-L buttons

“The function of the AE-L/AF-L button is currently locked, but will be interchangeable, depending on the user’s preference.”

These aren’t buttons I use a whole lot so I can’t say I’m particularly excited about being able to switch them. I probably should have learned to use the AE-L button more given my gripes about how spot metering used to work (more on that below, they fixed it!), but using the AE-L button has always felt somewhat cumbersome for me, and I’m just as happy to go full manual.

When it comes to the AF-L button, Fuji now need to add an option to decouple autofocus from the shutter release so the AF-L button can be used exclusively for acquiring focus, the shutter release button exclusively to release the shutter, without the AF-L button being held. A lot of DSLR owners use their cameras this way, particularly for fast action shooting.

UPDATE: A Fuji vs. Fuji reader wrote in to point out that this can already (mostly) be done.

Menu > Tab #4 > AE/AF-LOCK MODE > set to "AE&AF ON/OFF SWITCH" (default is "ON WHEN PRESSING")

Clearly I need to spend some more time hunting around in the menus. More good, if old news for X-T1 owners, however it still isn’t quite the same as my DSLR days. The difference is in this mode, a second press of the AF-L button doesn’t reacquire focus, rather it merely unlocks the focus, and another press is needed to refocus. It’s debateable whether or not this way of doing it is actually better as I’ve had readers write in to say it is, and others to say it’s not. I’ll leave that for you to decide. For complete decoupling of autofocus from the shutter release, X-T1 owners need to switch to manual focus. More on that in #8.

3. Variable focus area during manual focus

“When working in manual focus mode, the update will enable changing the size of the focus area during Instant AF with the AF-L button.”

A nice addition for manual focus shooters looking to ensure ultra-precise focus on an isolated part of their composition. Again, I can’t say that I struggle with how things are now.

4. Direct selection of Macro mode

“In auto focus mode, the update will enable the Macro function to be turned on or off, without accessing the pop-up menu screen.”

This one is nice. Macro mode is accessible via two quick presses of the Macro button on X-E cameras and the X100(S), but with the advent of user-configurable buttons on the X-T1 and X100T, we lose that functionality. Soon we’ll be able to turn Macro mode on and off with just one button press. This could result in accidental changes to macro mode, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off.

5. Q Menu customization

“To make the Q Menu (used for quick access of frequently-used items) even more efficient, the update will allow its items and layout to be changed to the user’s preference.”

The level of customization offered in Fuji’s cameras now is really impressive. This is something I imagine I’ll leave at the defaults for the most part, and supplement with Function buttons. I don’t want my cameras to operate too differently, and I haven’t heard of these changes reaching back to the X-E2 or X100S yet.

What I was really hoping for, and I’m actually astounded we haven’t got yet, is reversible Q Menu operation. In Western countries, turning the dial to the right should increase the settings effect, whereas turning the dial left should decrease it. As it stands, I’m still constantly having to stop and think about which way to turn the dial to get the setting to change the way I want to. It’s probably the most frustrating part about shooting Fuji cameras for me, and it seems like it would be a fairly simple change.

6. New video frame rates:

“As well as the existing 60fps and 30fps selections, 50fps, 25fps and 24fps options will be available with the update. 50fps and 25fps allow video editing in the PAL regions, such as Europe, without converting the frame rate. 24fps offers a cinema-like view.”

Videographers rejoice! Me? I don’t do video much. I rather configure the record button to behave like another Function button.

7. Manual shooting in Video mode:

“The update will enable ISO sensitivity selection prior to shooting videos, as well as the ability to adjust aperture and shutter speed during movie recording.”

Videographers rejoice! Me? I don’t do… wait. Seriously though, I can’t imagine even attempting to shoot much video without these features. It’s great they’ve been added.

8. Phase Detection AF support for Instant AF

“In Instant AF mode, which is operated by pressing the AF-L button during manual focusing, the update will enable Phase Detection AF, providing faster focusing speeds.”

Even more reason for Fuji to add an option for the shutter release to not trigger autofocus, even without the AF-L button pressed.

UPDATE: See update to item #2, but I’m a little unsure about the whole user experience of this as when a lens with a manual focus collar is mounted, the AF-L button doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot. A complete DSLR-style decoupling of AF from the shutter release button while in autofocus would address this.

9. Interlocking of metering and Focus areas

“Users will be able to interlock the AF area position with the metering area when Spot Metering mode is selected.”

Outside of the lightning fast and silent electronic shutter, this is the feature I’m most looking forward too. This is how Nikon does it and how it should be, in my opinion. Having your AF point and spot metering point independent of each other makes absolutely no sense to me.

10. Expansion of shutter speed in Program Shift mode

“In the current Program Shift mode, the slowest-speed setting is 1/4sec, but this will increase to a maximum of 4secs.”

I haven’t shot in P mode in years, but this strikes me as an odd change. P mode is typically used by novices and is great for people who are just starting out in photography. I started there too. If you’re at the stage of capturing exposures that are 4 seconds in length, you’re likely not a novice any longer and should be fairly comfortable in aperture priority, shutter priority or full manual modes. In any event, if you’re the sort of photographer who likes to set everything but ISO to “A,” you’ll now be able to override the camera-chosen shutter speed to as slow as 4 seconds.


This is shaping up to be a nice upgrade. December is going to feel a little like getting a new camera, and for free. This isn’t a reason why I switched to Fujifilm in the first place—I had no idea they had this firmware strategy—but it’s a big reason why I recommend them. No other camera company adds this kind of functionality to a camera. Most expect you to just buy another camera. I wrote above that I pretty much expected we’d see improvements to the X-T1 like this; that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.

Thanks, Fuji.

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