New Fuji Firmware Update for X-Pro1, X-E1, X-E2 and X100S

Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs X-E2

As we have mentioned before, Fuji planned to release a major firmware update to most of its X series cameras on December 19, 2013. Well, today is the 19th, which means that you can download the latest firmware and apply it to your Fuji camera! I am very excited about this release, because it brings very important and key features to the X-Pro1 and the X-E1 cameras that have been rolled to the X-E2 and X100S cameras. The first key feature is Auto Gain control. As I have mentioned in my Fuji X-E2 review, auto gain is something that controls the brightness of the LCD and forces it to always show average brightness, no matter what settings are set on the camera. In short, it is an inaccurate representation of the actual exposure. While the feature can be very useful in low-light situations or when working in a studio, it is not something that I personally like to use 90% of the time. With the new firmware, you can now turn Auto Gain off, which will show the correct exposure on the LCD!

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Fujifilm “Buy Together and Save” Rebates

Fujifilm Buy Together and Save

Fujifilm has joined the Black Friday rebate program with its own mirrorless cameras and lenses. It is a “Buy Together and Save” kind of program, which means you need to purchase either an X-E1, X-E2, X-Pro1 or X-M1 Fuji mirrorless camera along with a lens to receive a rebate on the latter. Savings range from $100 all the way up to $250. The more lenses you choose to purchase, the more you save, as savings for each lens stack up. If you were planning on investing into a Fujifilm X-series mirrorless system, this is a good time to do so. In general, due to the system’s premium (-ish) status, the lenses have been quite expensive, although well worth the price. Right now, with these rebates, they represent tremendous value. Even the newest and extremely sought-after XF 23mm f/1.4 lens is $100 off!

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Fuji X-E1 vs X-E2

Fuji X-E1 vs X-E2

Now that the new Fuji X-E2 is officially released (see our announcement post with a short preview), it is time to compare the camera to its predecessor and see what has changed. In this article, I will show feature differences between the Fuji X-E2 and the older X-E1, which we have recently reviewed (and really liked). And by the way, we are giving one away this December! Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and other comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Fuji X-E2 review.

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Fuji X-E1 Giveaway

Photography Life Fuji X-E1 Giveaway

We were so impressed by the Fuji X-E1 (see our detailed review) that we decided it is time to give one away. Once again, we are happy to announce yet another giveaway for our loyal readers. As before, this is a Facebook giveaway designed to increase our presence in social media. And as before, this giveaway is open to anyone, not just US residents.

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Fuji X-E1 Review

Fuji X-E1

This is an in-depth review of the Fujifilm X-E1 mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, which was released on September 6, 2012 right before the Photokina event in Cologne, Germany. After the success of the X100 line and the release of the X-Pro1 (which initially received a rather mixed review from us due to its poor AF performance), Fuji introduced the X-E1 – basically a lower-end version of the X-Pro1. It was not an unexpected move, given how quickly Fuji was growing in popularity, thanks to its amazing retro design and excellent image quality. Despite its autofocus flaws and other quirks, both the X100 and the X-Pro1 created a huge fan base and a healthy community of supporters. The X-Pro1 was an expensive camera aimed at professionals and enthusiasts, so the X-E1 was naturally targeted as a more budget version with less features. In this Fuji X-E1 review (based on Firmware 2.00), I will provide detailed information about the camera, along with some image samples, and compare it to other cameras from Nikon, Canon and Olympus.

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Fuji Gear is Here!

Fuji Cameras and Lenses

Our readers have been asking us about reviewing Fuji cameras and lenses. Since Fuji has been on the roll lately, releasing the X-E1, X-M1, X100s and a bunch of new lenses, we decided that it would be a good idea to review all of Fuji gear that is out there. Although I reviewed the Fuji X-Pro1 a while ago, I decided to update my review, because the new firmware addressed a lot of the issues that I talked about in the review, including some of the autofocus issues. Here is everything I received yesterday:

Fuji Cameras and Lenses

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Latest Fuji X-Series Firmware Updates Ready for Download

Fujifilm X-M1

Update: Fujifilm X-Pro1 has just received firmware update v3.01, which fixes movie mode bug present in the v3.00 version.

The amount of post-release support Fujifilm has been providing its X-series users is, quite frankly, staggering. Yet another major firmware update for the X-Pro1 (v3.01) and X-E1 (v2.00) cameras is now available for download. In a nutshell, the firmware further improves autofocus performance for both cameras with most Fujifilm X-mount lenses. In addition to that, a current must-have feature for all mirrorless cameras, focus peaking, has also been added.

Fujifilm X-E1 with 18-55mm lens

1) What We Think

I would have never expected a new compact system camera manufacturer to release perfect products right from the start. Of course, Fujifilm is far from being new to all-things photography. The company is well-known for its analogue cameras, high-end lenses and photographic film of all sizes. But when it came to digital consumer products, the most serious they tried before entering highly competitive and promising mirrorless camera market was digital point-and-shoot cameras. Let’s face it. Cheap point-and-shoot cameras are not something buyers are too picky about. Mirrorless and high-end, large-sensor compact cameras are a whole different story. And here, Fujifilm X-series cameras have been plagued with bugs, glitches and minor niggles likely more so than any other manufacturer. Autofocus speed and accuracy was likely one of the most talked-about shortcomings of X100 and X-Pro1 (click for our in-depth review).

Having said that, what I expected even less is just how persistent Fujifilm is at improving its existing cameras. Update after update, their cameras seem to transform with time into something much more capable and grown up. Even after new models are introduced, you are never left hanging with a product that could have been better had the manufacturer bothered to tweak the software and add much-needed functionality. When the X-E1 came out boasting improved AF algorithms, the X-Pro1 firmware update quickly followed with the same improvements.

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Fujifilm Brings X-E1 Mirrorless

Fujifilm X-E1 with 18-55mm lens

Ever since the often-mentioned X100, Fujifilm has been working very hard not to let their luck slip. Today, they made yet another step (actually – not one, but three steps) into winning over more customer hearts with the introduction of the second X series interchangeable lens camera, the X-E1, and Fujifilm has been bald again – the new baby X-Pro1 will surely attract many buyers, and likely even steal some from the (much) more expensive brother.

Fujifilm X-E1 - Front

What’s Different?

The new X-E1 is strikingly similar to X-Pro1 in both looks and functionality, and, while missing on a couple of features, they do seem to be compensated in other areas. The most notable omission is the loved optical viewfinder, first found in the X100. Instead, Fujifilm chose to focus strictly on EVF with this mid-range model. Many users will miss the optical viewfinder, and I am one of them, but Fujifilm has made sure the (new) OLED EVF is up to the task of pleasing even most demanding photographers by offering a very high 2.36 megapixel resolution, compared to 1.44 megapixel EVF found in X-Pro1. Also, leaving out the optical viewfinder has allowed Fujifilm to make X-E1 smaller and lighter than it’s bigger sibling. Also, the camera seems to be beautifully made, featuring die-cast megnesium front and top covers, and while the screen size has been reduced to 2.8″ (with 460k dots, down from 3″ 1.2 million dot screen of the X-Pro1), it’s unlikely to be of huge relevance for most photographers.

Fujifilm X-E1 - Rear

Other than that, and also dimensions, weight (350g with card and battery, compared to 450g X-Pro1) and price, X-E1 is identical to the older member of the X series camera system. It even features the same highly acclaimed APS-C sized, 16 megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor found in X-Pro1, and, as before, Fujifilm promisses Full Frame comparable sharpness and noise. We’ve already tested the sensor and you can read about it in our X-Pro1 review. One has to wonder – how good would a Full Frame X-Trans sensor be? So far, we can only guess.
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