Fujifilm Announces X-A2, XF2, and Updated Kit Lenses

Fujifilm X-A2 Front with Tilted LCD
In the doldrums that is right in-between CES and CP+, Fujifilm has announced a series of minor updates to some of their products. I know, it is not the most exciting thing, but look at it this way: The possibility of other announcements is still there. Normally manufacturers announce the less exciting products away from peak announcement period to avoid getting drowned out by other, more interesting products.

First up is the X-A2. As the entry level camera to the Fujifilm X system, the X-A2 now has a flip-up LCD screen for selfies. The 16 megapixel standard CMOS sensor is still the same, as is the rest of the camera.

Next up is the XQ2, which adds Classic Chrome film simulation mode. Yes, that is the only change from the XQ1. I am guessing Fujifilm wants to have another go with the XQ camera as the first camera got a lukewarm reception, even though it was competitive with Canon’s Powershot S120. It has the same 2/3″ X-Trans sensor along with a 25-100mm equivalent f/1.8-4.9 lens.

Finally the two XC kit lenses, the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 and the 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 have also been given modest updates. The 16-50 focuses closer to 30cm, down from 40cm, and the 50-230mm has slightly improved OIS. Fujifilm also claims better build quality for both of them, though it looks like the lens mounts are still going to be plastic.

The X-A2 will be available in February for US$550 with the 16-50 II, while the XQ2 will be available in February for US$400.

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Samsung Announces NX30 and Two Interesting 16-50mm Lenses

Samsung NX30 with NX 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 Lens

 

Here is the first announcement of 2014! Samsung’s been one of the earliest players in the mirrorless segment, after the Micro Four Thirds crowd, but they have never caught on, despite the impressive hardware. The NX30 is an example: Take the NX300’s 20 megapixel sensor with phase detect autofocus capability, put it in a bigger body with more controls, a fully articulated three inch 720×480 OLED screen, a large XGA EVF that can be pulled back and tilted upwards, 9 FPS frame rate, full HD video at 60 FPS, and improved WiFi and NFC connectivity. Samsung mentions that the NX30 will have the capability to directly upload to Dropbox and Flickr in some regions. Direct Dropbox upload is a really neat idea, as I have used Dropbox as either an intermediate or final step for client deliverables before, and I can see how it would benefit a photographer working on a tight deadline. I also really enjoyed the automatic uploads over WiFi from my smartphone, and if Samsung are smart, they will include a deal that bundles increased Dropbox storage, just like they do with their high end Galaxy phones. Finding a free WiFi hotspot or a data plan that can deal with the uploads will be left as an exercise for the photographer.

Then there are the lenses. It is not widely known, but Samsung actually make some great lenses for the NX line. Continue reading Samsung Announces NX30 and Two Interesting 16-50mm Lenses

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Fujifilm Announces X-M1 Mirrorless Camera, Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Lens and XF 27mm f/2.8 Lens

Fujifilm X-M1 in Brown, Black and Silver with 27mm f/2.8 and 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6mm lenses.

Fujfilm probably thought that they needed to compete with the small camera crowd like the Panasonic GF cameras or the Sony NEX cameras, so they have gone ahead and released the X-M1. At first glance, it seems to be more of an extreme version of the X-E1; where the X-E1 reduced the size by getting rid of the bulky optical hybrid viewfinder mechanism, the X-M1 in turn excises the EVF completely and makes the photographer rely solely on the 3″ VGA screen. It’s not all bad news, as the screen now tilts, and there’s also Wi-Fi for wireless sharing. There is also focus peaking (which is also coming to the X-Pro1 and X-E1 via a firmware update, in some good news for existing users). The camera retains the same 16 megapixel X-trans array sensor found in the X-Pro1 and X-E1.

Continue reading Fujifilm Announces X-M1 Mirrorless Camera, Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Lens and XF 27mm f/2.8 Lens

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