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Tuesday, 30 August 2016


Why would a company make such a nice looking product and forget to put a viewfinder or EVF on it? What a waste...

[I think that's the role of the X-E2, which hasn't gotten the "3" update yet however...all in good time. --Mike]

No v/f is a major no-no

Eight years.... a tech lifetime.

If you'd like my Nikon D1h you cave that $4500. (That camera still has pretty high ISO noise. Which is good because I think it started at about 800iso.)

This is clearly not a camera designed for the camera-to-the-eye generation. This is a camera designed for the ever-growing frame-on-a-screen / selfie genation.

I still really like the look of Nikon's old CCD sensors, when you can work around the noise and dynamic range issues.

I may be missing something, Mike, but that strikes me as a tad desperate - the Fuji is a Leica lookalike (a Leicalike?) because both are (very) high-spec cameras and both are available in (very different shades of) brown?

A better Leicalike is the Panasonic LF1. Although, as the Leica C is a version of the LF1, maybe that makes it a Panasonic lookalike?

I would love a series on HOW the sensors are so much better these days. Are there hardware improvements or cleverer software?

Also, I always enjoy your OT posts, on any T!

To answer the question in the first comment, for the millions of users (including me) who don't need and maybe even don't want an EVF in this kind of camera.

Different people have different shooting styles. Let's just be grateful that the manufacturers cater to both EVF and non-EVF camps.

Heh. and Arrr, matey (to keep with the pirate metaphor). I am full of rue. I too am rueful about my dollars trapped in digital gear. It goes way beyond depreciation. It is devaluation, and the current photo universe is built on it. I wonder whether a competent economist could measure the amount of consumer value that has evaporated over the last 10 years due to cameras' speedy obsolescence. For fun, I would include phones in the number, as they contain cameras and seem to lose value even faster.

Because I am an incompetent economist, I would do the calculation this way. I would take all of last year's sales figures of both industries and assume that 50% of that number had evaporated. Then I would take the year prior's retail sales numbers and assume that 66% of that number had gone buh-bye. Then take add an additional 10% per year until I had gotten to 10% and then make an asymptote at 3% or so. Then add together all the evaporated money and shock the world with my brilliant findings.

Of course the above is imperfect. Consumer level equipment on the camera side of things costs less than pro gear, but appears to lose its value more quickly. A Nikon D4 (2012) sells used from KEH at $2,699-2,899 and new from B&H for $5,996, a D3s (2009) for $1,953 compared to $5,896 new (from an Amazon affiliate). But it feels to me sometimes like we have heated our house with a furnace that burns wads of cash.

Of course, viewed as an entertainment expense, the number takes on a different significance. You wouldn't look at the money you had spent going to the movies over the last 10 years and claim that it had depreciated to zero. Still, the cameras are things and can be transferred or sold in a way that entertainment experiences can't. So to some extent, the camera devaluation number, whatever it is, must stand. What do we call it? Evapo-ware? Fun-depreciation? Cam-lusionary value? Or just "consumer electronics," with the emphasis on the consumption.

Canon Rebel XT for $72 with a warranty from KEH anyone?

I love my XM-1 (same form factor but with the 16mp transx sensor). Picked it up for about £120 second hand and it lives with the unfairly maligned 18mm f2 (£170 second hand) on it for both paid work and is my carry all the time fun camera. Super small, takes awesome BW jpegs, responsive enough, the 18mm is fast enough at F2 both wide enough and corrected enough that you can get some nice closeups with actual bokeh without everything going all semi-fisheye.

I do love my XE2's and the viewfinder etc but I seem to spend most ofmy time with the XM-1 either above me, below or at waist level TLR style with the flip screen.

I do keep meaning to get a refurb XT10 so I get all the AF upgrades, classic chrome etc with the tilt screen but it's never top of the list... Would totally recommend this form factor. For some reason it feels so much more like "a camera" to me than the Sony A's etc even though the image quality is probably pretty much a wash. Wait till they settle in price and get a second hand one for the giggles and fun.

PS this also might end up being the cheapest way to get good video out of the Fuji line.... remains to say how well they implement it.

I like the colors from the Fuji's, but I'm not sold on the rendering of the xtrans sensors. Things seem "off" in a way I can't quite put into words (which I know may be due to poor RAW processors). I'm happy to see Fuji is again offering a traditional Bayer sensor. Too bad they left the viewfinder off as that precludes me from even considering the camera.

Mike, May I suggest you go back and reread some of the posts you wrote on the A900 from way back? You didn't buy the camera because of specifications. You bought it because of the full package of features, capabilities and the look-and-feel of the images. None of that has changed. The A900 still produces distinctive images and has a color response which is unique.

These are things that go beyond anything that DxOMark measures. It's kinda like Kodak Tri-X. For all measurables, it is nothing more than dog vomit today. But we still shoot or mimic it because of the things that cannot be easily measured.

Just like my Olympus E-1, the Sony A900 has a "signature" look which goes far beyond the specifications.

I acquired a secondhand Canon 6D several weeks ago. While it beats EVERYTHING else in my equipment closet by a country mile in every measurable way, the images just lack the soul that I'm used to.

I have developed a lot of comfort now shooting my X-Pro 1, tripod mounted, using the rear LCD, so this new cutie should work just fine for me with the wonderful 18-55 stabilized zoom.

However, what especially excites me about this, coming relatively quickly after the X-Pro 2 and XT-2, is that Fuji will be going to 24MP with the other models as fast as it can. My hope! So an XT-10 with 24MP is what I'm waiting for. Maybe Photokina is helping to speed things up too.

The X-A3 has a 'hot-shoe' to put a finder on. Good.
I use a Voigtlander mini-finder 28/35 on my Ricoh GR.

Fujifilm missed some opportunities with the X-A3. They should have provided options for reflecting the LCD preview image vertically and horizontally.

1) Set it to reflect in both directions, stick the camera on a tripod, attach a black cloth to the top, and pretend it's a view camera.

2) Set it to reflect horizontally, put a hood on the LCD, tilt the LCD up, hold it at chest-height, and pretend it's a TLR.

For the colored-camera aficionado, may I suggest the Pentax Q color simulator:


I'm thinking my subjects will be much be pleased when I turn up with the cream-and-burgundy colored Q.

And much cheaper than the Fuji.

You mention the X in your post. It is a funny thing: I would dearly love to have a Fuji version of the X, especially with interchangeable lenses, but Fuji simply refuses to put the small focus confirmation light- like the X has- near the hot-shoe. The feature makes the X a joy to use with optical viewfinder. It seems such a simple, and obvious thing. The new Fuji compact (I forget the model name) has the same problem....Well, PROBLEM, from my perspective.

Fujifilm use a 24Mpx Bayer sensor so they can buy the "regular" sensor in bulk from Sony at better prices.

I'm sure these are much cheaper than the customized Sony sensors (identical except for custom color filter array and custom metallization for PDAF pixels) they sell in the XTrans cameras.

Once again, I am so pleased that I've hung on to my original X100!

It's such an amazing bit of work and I adore the files that come out of it.

Kenneth Tanaka: "This is a camera designed for the ever-growing frame-on-a-screen / selfie generation."

Or for the ever-dwindling frame-on-a-screen Rollei generation!

@Robert Fogt: Acht! An inspiration from your comment. I wonder if viewfinderless cameras might attract some older buyers by implementing a "TLR mode" display --- that is upside-down and reversed?

Ken Tanaka pretty much nailed it on this one. It's target audience is not the camera to eye generation. Also, adding a viewfinder to this camera would have driven the COGS up to a point where it would have been as expensive as the X-T10. Those viewfinder subassemblies that Fuji developed are NOT cheap.

IIRC, the XA-series have been one of if not the best-selling cameras in SE Asia, where they have been a very big hit for Fuji. Apparently their installed base of users like using them with the cool little Instax printers.

Ed Waring's comment is on-point, too. Using a waist-level LCD is great for candid street photography.

I had the original XA-1 that I used extensively with the little Fuji 27mm pancake, and it was a killer combination. Image quality from the XA-1s Bayer sensor was superior to my Oly OM-D E-M5/E-M1 on a number of levels.

I don't think the rate of progress is anything like it was pre-2012. You can buy a camera now and it will pretty much keep up for the next few years until the new organic or quantum film sensors come along to mess with the status quo.

Can't store any more photons on silicon, can't reduce read noise any further, can't do anything about shot noise. Silicon's done.

Buy new and enjoy, but sell all that old junk before anyone notices...

Count me in on the 'frame-on-a-screen' generation. I learned photography on TLRs and view cameras and prefer from the LCD - especially with a tilt or articulated screen. However a finder is nice in bright light when it is hard to see the screen.

What I originally intended to say was I understand about the A900. I just sold my A99 last week. Much as I loved the image quality I could never get with the handling and the limited autofocus. Should have sold it years ago when it was worth more, but still got a little better than half my money back. Digital can be expensive but it has been some years since I felt a need to have the latest and greatest. Most of my gear these days is bought at discount and close-out price, and even though I don't upgrade as often as I used to most of it still brings decent money when I sell. On the whole for me digital is cheaper than what I used to spend on film, paper and darkroom supplies. (I do still print, but only a small number of exhibition prints so the overall cost is low.)

Why does Fuji still bother with XTrans? The whole point was to eliminate moire. Pentax, Sony, Nikon, Canon, Leica all just make normal sensors without AA filters and moire isn't an issue. Even if ACR is better at XTrans than it was before, its still even better at processing standard files. Fuji could save themselves a bunch of money by ditching this mix-bag sensor design...but then of course they wouldn't have special marketing language. Which I suppose is what it's really about.

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