Fujifilm X20 Announced

Fujifilm X20 Announced

Along with X100S, Fujifilm has also announced a new high-end compact camera. Replacing the very popular and attractively styled in recent Fujifilm X-series fashion, Fujifilm X10, the new camera retains all of predecessors’ strengths and gains a few more. With what X20 has to offer, it should end up as a very nice little camera for those who want a camera for simple occasions but with the usual flexibility of higher-end gear.

Fujifilm X20 Announced

Fujifilm X20

1) Commentary

Fujifilm X20 fits nicely into category first started with the Canon G series. It is a compact camera for advanced photographers. The things that make it different from ordinary point-and-shoot cameras is the amount of manual control available, high build quality, larger-than-average sensor for better performance as well as a bright, sharp, 28-112mm equivalent zoom lens with an aperture of f/2-2.8. X10 shared all of these features, but the new X20 further improves the camera’s capabilities. A new X-Trans sensor is present, which uses the same technology as larger sensors found in Fuji’s X-Pro1, X-E1 and X100S cameras. Employing a different, more random color filter pattern that traditional Bayer sensors, this one goes away without needing a low-pass filter, which results in better image sharpness. The new sensor has 12 megapixels, is 2/3 inch in size and is aided by a more powerful image processor.

Just as with X100S, the new sensor and processor are both dubbed “II”. X-Trans again contains phase-detect AF system in addition to the previous contrast-detect AF. As a result, hybrid AF should provide quicker and more reliable focus acquisition. But that is theory, of course. Canon M, which we reviewed very recently, also incorporates hybrid AF system, but its performance is disturbingly poor. We are yet to see how Fujifilm X100S and X20 stack up.

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Interview with Norman Koren of Imatest

Norman Koren

A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to visit Norman Koren, founder of Imatest, LLC. I have been fascinated by his software for a while now and after evaluating the software, decided to purchase it to use in our lens reviews. When I found out that his company is right here in Boulder, Colorado (where I lived for over 5 years), I gave him a call and asked if I could come over and interview him. Despite his busy and hectic schedule, he was able to accommodate me for an hour during his lunch time. Below is the text version of the interview.

Nasim: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to visit your office and learn more about you and your company. Let’s get started with your background, your company and how it all started.

Norman: You are most welcome Nasim. I grew up in Rochester, NY, about a mile from the George Eastman House, which I visited frequently. Both the technical and artistic exhibits made a deep impression on me—it was there that I first saw the beautiful prints of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. I had a long career in magnetic recording technology, where my job involved simulating the performance of read, write, signal processing and detection in disk and tape drives. It started back in 1967 at Honeywell in Boston. I then worked for a number of companies including, curiously enough, Kodak in San Diego. Kodak at the time— we are talking 1985— believed that very small tape drives would be used in digital cameras. Well, it didn’t turn out to be a winning technology, but I had an interesting 12 years there. At the same time, I’ve always been a passionate photographer.

Norman Koren

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The Future of Digital Cameras

Mirrorless vs DSLR

Ever since I got a taste of some of the latest compact cameras from Fuji, Sony and Nikon, I have been thinking more and more about where we are headed in terms of cameras and lenses. What is the future of digital cameras and where will we be in 5 or even 10 years? This question came up in my conversation with a fellow photographer, so after discussing this topic for a little while, I decided to put some of my thoughts together and come up with what I think the future of digital cameras will be like.

Mirrorless vs DSLR

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Bokeh on Point and Shoot Cameras

Point and shoot Bokeh

I get many emails from our readers asking me how they can get good bokeh out of their point and shoot cameras. I first thought about posting a short paragraph in a Photography FAQ post, but then decided to elaborate more on the subject and explain it in detail, rather than providing a short answer. Hopefully those who have point and shoot cameras will understand everything I say, since I will do my best to explain the subject in simple terms.

1) What is Bokeh?

As I explained in my “What is Bokeh” article, Bokeh is the quality of out-of-focus or “blurry” parts of the image rendered by a camera lens. The key word here is “quality”, since bokeh is not the second name for the blurry parts of the image. When you hear somebody say “the bokeh on that image is creamy and beautiful”, they are simply referring to the overall quality and feel of the out-of-focus area, not the out-of-focus area itself.

Creamy Bokeh

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DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera

Jade Portrait

Why would you pick DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera or vice-versa? As DSLRs are becoming more and more affordable, a lot of people are wondering if it is time for them to switch to a DSLR and toss their point and shoot cameras. Nowadays, point and shoot cameras have a long list of features and capabilities, compared to even slightly older versions. GPS, face-detection, smile detection and many other new technologies are making their way into the point and shoot market, over-saturating it with new cameras and making it more difficult for people to choose the right camera for their needs. A similar thing is also happening in the DSLR world, where manufacturers are dividing the market into multiple segments, trying to capture a range of potential customers: from entry-level to advanced professional. But one thing for sure – there are many people, who are stuck in the middle, trying to decide whether they want to stay with their point and shoots, or bite the bullet and switch to a DSLR.

DSLR vs Point and Shoot Camera

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