Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fujifilm Announces New XQ2, XA2, S9900W and S9800, and XP80

Fuji is augmenting their presence in the consumer end of the spectrum with freshening of several lines. The XQ camera is a small compact camera with the 2/3” XTRANS CMOS II sensor, the XA2 is an updated entry level X mount camera with a bayer sensor, and the S9800 and S9900W are long zoom cameras with 50x lenses and wireless on the latter. The XP80 is a tough camera built for extreme conditions.

More from Fuji:


Two new versatile zoom lenses, XC16-50mm II and XC50-230mm II, also added to give users wide range of photographic possibilities

Valhalla, N.Y., January 15, 2015 FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the new FUJIFILM X-A2 compact system camera (CSC), an ultra-light, selfie-ready camera that gives users quick access to a 175° tilting LCD with face and eye detection for fast and fun pictures. The X-A2 is an affordable entry point into the X-Series line of digital cameras and delivers outstanding image quality using its large 16.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, easy operation and wireless image transfer for quick photo sharing.

Also new to the X-Series line is the FUJIFILM XQ2, a premium pocket-sized digital camera with a bright FUJINON F1.8 4x zoom lens, an advanced 12 Megapixel 2/3” X-Trans CMOS II sensor with phase detection, and the EXR Processor II that delivers the fastest autofocus speed in its category of up to 0.06 seconds.

FUJIFILM X-A2 faces forward for incredible shots


The FUJIFILM X-A2 ships with the newly-developed FUJINON XC16-50mm II (24-76mm) F3.5-5.6 OIS zoom lens and has a 175° tilting LCD with face and eye detection for candid and fun selfies. The X-A2 also features optical image stabilization of approximately 3.5-stops, making it easier to take telephoto and low light images.

The X-A2 uses a newly-developed Eye auto focus (AF), Auto Macro AF and Multi-Target AF to achieve easy and accurate auto focus performance, bringing premium image quality and performance of the X-Series to everyone.

The XC16-50mm II is a versatile lens that is ideal for a wide range of photographic subjects, including clear low-light scenes, beautiful portraits and vibrant landscapes. The lens consists of 12 all glass elements in 10 groups including 3 aspherical elements and 1 ED element. The lens features seven round-edged aperture blades, which offer 17 stops in 1/3 EV increments for precise aperture control.

FUJINON XC50-230mm II (76-350mm) F4.5-6.7 OIS

Also new to pair with the X-A2 is the improved FUJINON XC50-230mm II (76-350mm) F4.5-6.7 OIS lens that adds even more versatility by offering an expanded zoom range that delivers consistently outstanding optical performance throughout. The XC50-230mm II uses optical image stabilization to ensure superb performance and effectively reduces blur when shooting at longer focal lengths and in low light.

FUJIFILM XQ2 makes performance easier to carry


The FUJIFILM XQ2 uses the 12 Megapixel 2/3” X-Trans CMOS II sensor that is designed to control moirĂ© and false color generation by using an original color filter array with a highly randomized pixel arrangement. This technology removes the need for an Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) that degrades resolution. The image quality in the XQ2 is further enhanced by using a Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) for stunningly sharp pictures, as well as a 3.0 stop Optical Image Stabilization for shooting in low light situations.

The newly developed FUJINON F1.8 4x zoom (25-100mm) is constructed with 4 aspherical and 3 extra low dispersion lenses and each lens surface is coated with HT-EBC to reduce flare and ghosting. The XQ2 also has a wide sensitivity range from ISO100 to ISO12800 so you can take realistic and vibrant images even in low light.

The EXR Processor II in the new XQ2 more than doubles the processing speed of the previous generation, and it easily captures the information taken from over 100,000 phase detection pixels incorporated in the X-Trans CMOS II to deliver astonishing images.

FUJIFILM X-A2 key features list:
  • 16.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • EXR Processor II
    • Start-up time of 0.5 seconds
    • AF speed of 0.3 seconds
    • Shutter lag time of 0.05 seconds
    • Shooting interval time of 0.4 seconds
  • 3” (920K dot) high resolution LCD screen that can be tilted to 175°
  • Full range of ISO100 – ISO25600
  • Wireless image transfer
  • Q Menu shortcut button
  • In-camera RAW processing
  • Super i-Flash accurately controls light output according to individual scenes
  • NEW ‘Classic Chrome’ and other film simulation modes
  • Multiple Exposure mode to superimpose a second exposure on the first exposure
  • Full HD movie 1080P\30fps
  • Wi-Fi® enabled
  • Photos can be sent to the INSTAX Share Printer using the free INSTAX Share App (iOS and Android) SHARE Smartphone Printer
FUJINON XC16-50mm II (24-76mm) F3.5-5.6 OIS

· 24-76mm equivalent F3.5-5.6 lens

· Fully compatible with FUJIFILM X-Mount

· 12 all glass elements in 10 groups including 3 aspherical elements and 1 ED element

· Seven round-edged aperture blades, which offer 17 stops in 1/3 EV steps

FUJINON XC50-230mm II (76-350mm) F4.5-6.7 OIS

· 76-350mm equivalent F4.5-6.7 lens

· Fully compatible with FUJIFILM X-Mount

· 13 all glass elements in 10 groups including 1 aspherical lens and 1 ED element

· Optical image stabilization that minimizes blur at longer focal lengths and in low light

· A precision stepping motor for high-speed autofocusing

FUJIFILM XQ2 key features list:
  • 12 Megapixel 2/3” X-Trans CMOS II Sensor
  • EXR Processor II
    • Start-up time of 1.0
    • Shutter lag time of 0.015
    • Shooting interval time of 0.3
  • AF speed 0.06 seconds
  • F1.8-F4.9 4x optical zoom equivalent to 25-100mm in 35mm format
  • 4x Intelligent Digital Zoom (16X combined with optical zoom)
  • Lens Modulation Optimizer for improved image quality
  • 3” (920,000 dot) premium clear LCD (High contrast, High Brightness and Wide viewing angle)
  • Built-in Super Intelligent pop-up Flash
  • ISO100 – 12800
  • Full HD Movie and built-in stereo microphone
  • Wi-Fi® enabled
  • NEW ‘Classic Chrome’ and other film simulation modes
  • Photos can be sent to the INSTAX Share Printer using the free INSTAX Share App (iOS and Android) SHARE Smartphone Printer

The FUJIFILM X-A2 standard kit (XC16-50mm II) will be available in silver, white and brown in February 2015 for USD $549.95 \ CAD $599.95.

The FUJIFILM XQ2 will be available in black, white and black and silver in February 2015 for USD $399.95 \ CAD $449.95.


FinePix XP80 is Fujifilm’s toughest camera yet for extreme weather protection, while S9900W is the perfect long zoom do-everything Wi-Fi® camera

Valhalla, N.Y., January 15, 2015 FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the new FinePix XP80, the latest addition to the best-selling FUJIFILM XP-series. The new FinePix XP80 rugged digital camera is waterproof to 50ft./15m, shockproof from 5.8ft./1.75m, freezeproof to 14°F/-10°C and dustproof*,**. It features a 16.4MP CMOS sensor with a 28-140mm 5x optical zoom lens, Wi-Fi® connectivity for one touch transfers to smartphones and tablets, and captures full HD movies at 1080p, even underwater.

Remote shooting with instant image and movie sharing

The FinePix XP80 comes equipped with wireless functionality for remote shooting using the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app and dedicated Wi-Fi® button on the camera. In addition to remote shooting, wireless connectivity in the XP80 also allows users to select images or movies to be transferred to smartphones, tablets and computers.

Action Camera Mode

The FinePix XP80 offers an Action Camera Mode that turns the XP80’s lens into a fixed 18mm and enables hands-free shooting so the camera can be mounted on your body or a piece of sporting equipment to get right to the heart of the action. In Action Camera Mode, the rear LCD turns off automatically to preserve battery life and extend recording times.

FinePix S9900W (with Wi-Fi®) and FinePix S9800 (without Wi-Fi®)

Also new are the FinePix S9900W (with Wi-Fi®) and FinePix S9800 (without Wi-Fi®) that both feature a 16.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor with a maximum ISO sensitivity of 12,800, and deliver rapid focusing speeds for beautiful high resolution images. Both cameras also give users a bright F2.9-F6.5 lens that offers an amazing 50x optical zoom 24-1200mm optical range that can be boosted to an incredible 100x magnification with Fujifilm’s Intelligent Digital Zoom technology, while going all the way down to 1cm in Super Macro mode for extraordinary close up images.

High speed to capture every shot


The FinePix S9900W and FinePix S9800 give users the speed they are looking for to capture every shot they want. The cameras each have a startup time of just 1 second, autofocus in as little as 0.15 seconds, and are ready to take another shot in just 0.6 seconds. Those wanting to capture a burst of full resolution images in quick succession can do so using the continuous shooting speed of 10 frames-per-second (maximum 10.0 frames).

Shoot and share the wireless way



The FinePix S9900W (US only) offers remote shooting via a smartphone or tablet, and photos and movies can be easily sent to devices using the same wireless connectivity. Users can download the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app, then press the dedicated Wi-Fi® button for easy remote shooting and also zooming in or out to fine-tune compositions and shooting movies. Images are just as easily sent to smartphones and tablets where they can be viewed, posted to social media and backed up.

FinePix XP80 key features:

  • 16.4MP 1/2.3” CMOS sensor
  • Waterproof to 50ft./15m, Shockproof from 5.8ft./1.75m, Freezeproof to 14°F/-10°C and Dustproof
  • Complies with IP68 standards
  • 5x optical zoom with 28mm wide-angle setting
  • LCD with anti-reflection coating
  • Wireless connectivity for instant image and movie sharing
  • Action Camera mode
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Full HD movie capture at up to 60 frames per second
  • 480 frames per second slow motion mode
  • 11 Advanced Filters, including a new Sketch function
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) capture
  • Motion Panorama 360°
  • Available in Blue, Yellow, and Graphite with green accents

FinePix S9900W / S9800 key features:

  • 16.2MP 1/2.3” CMOS sensor
  • 50x optical zoom (24-1200mm)
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization system combines two-axis optical and three-axis electronic stabilization
  • 920k dot Electronic Viewfinder
  • WiFi® Remote Shooting mode (US only)
  • ISO sensitivity up to 12800
  • Continuous shooting at up to 10fps
  • Full HD movie capture
  • 200k dot LCD screen
  • 11 Advanced Filter effects
  • Motion Panorama 360°
  • High Dynamic Range capture
  • Wireless connectivity with smartphones and tablets (S9900W only)

The FinePix XP80 will be available in March 2015 for USD $229.95 \ CAD $229.95.

The FinePix S9900W / S9800 will be available in March 2015 for USD $349.95 and USD $329.95 / CAD $329.95, respectively.

* Waterproof and dustproof protection standards of products, stipulated by IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)

** Measurement method of MIL-Standard 810F Method5 16.5-Shock of the “MIL Standard”, a standard stipulating the durability of supplies procured by the American military, set by the United States Department of Defense

About FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Electronic Imaging

For more information, please visit, go to to follow Fujifilm on Twitter, or go to to Like Fujifilm on Facebook. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at

FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including: healthcare, with medical systems, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; graphic systems; highly functional materials, such as flat panel display materials; optical devices, such as broadcast and cinema lenses; digital imaging; and document products. These are based on a vast portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic, software and production technologies. In the year ended March 31, 2014, the company had global revenues of $23.7 billion, at an exchange rate of 103 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit:

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.


Matthew Schmidt
(914) 789-8529

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Merry New Year!

I am a week late on this, but what the heck.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter is Leave

The 5 days starting on Christmas Eve were remarkably tame. Cloudy for the most part, but warm. The snow meted at a staggering rate, and none has come to replace it. Today we had a gorgeous cloudless day, but the cold has returned with a vengeance.

So I went for a walk with some of my cameras to capture this late fall / late spring vista in the dead of winter. It is such a nice respite … Sophie even enjoyed a long walk today (before the photographic walk) because there was enough sun-warmed pavement for her to tolerate being out in the cold weather for half an hour.

The GX1 and Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye make a nice combination to capture my street a few houses down from my own yard. You can see my garage door and our cars at the far right edge.

The G6 with 14-140 sees the image like this …

And the GM1 with the 12-32 gets a bit wide, but still nowhere near the fisheye …

Considering that I accidentally left the GM1 set to 1000 ISO, I really like the tonality of that sensor. I think I will need to replace the GX1 with a GX7 one day.

Meanwhile, turning around we see the sun in the southwestern sky with the GX1, just over the houses. The sun never gets all that high in the sky at this time of year of course.

Facing east again, my yard has a yield sign that is warmed nicely by late afternoon sun. The G6 makes short work of subject isolation with the 14-140, here at 91mm (182mm EFL.)

A shot facing southeast with the moon hanging just above the trees. It will be hanging in a very nice location later thie evening. If I can stand the cold, I may pop out to get a few images. This G6 with 14-140 is at 78mm (156mm EFL) here.

The G6 again at 126mm EFL … as I said, it’s cold today.

The G6 once again … my neighbour’s Hydrangea looks great with the snow gone again. His new Blue Spruce makes a nice background.

Even though it’s only mid-afternoon, the shadows are long at 28mm EFL on the G6. But there is no snow at least Smile

The forecast calls for another lovely day tomorrow, albeit with a few clouds in the sky. But 2015 opens with snow on 3 of the first 4 days, with something like 15cm spread over those days. Can’t wait …

Monday, December 22, 2014

Battle of the Fast USB 3.0 Card Readers … Pretec P240 vs Kingston FCR-HS3

I have been frustrated with the Pretec P240 because I was unable to get really great speeds out of it. Or so I thought.

So I ended up ordering the Kingston from Future Shop, which turned out to be a nightmare where they sent it to the wrong address. I finally received it this week after a very long wait (more than a month) and was able to test it to see what real speeds looked like …

Only that’s not what I got from this device. In fact, it is just bloody awful. Let me show you what I mean …

First, allow me to mention that after performing a bunch of tests that the Kingston failed miserably, I decided that there must be a firmware update for it, and in fact I found one on their web site. So I updated the FW and reran the tests and, well, you’ll see …


This is the gold standard for testing disk speeds, but I found during this test that it gives you a peak throughout based on 5 iterations of each test and not the average throughput. So I don’t really trust it any more. Still, here are the results …

Note: I used two cards in my testing – the Transcend 8GB 600x card, which is a massive underperformer, and the Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB 45MB/s, which sometimes performs miles above its stated speeds but always performs very well.

The Transcend test was really poor on sequential read, although sequential write speeds are consistent and indicate good performance for high bit rate video and high continuous rates. But you have to be extremely patient when dumping the cards because the reader showed 4 out of 5 tests at terribly slow rates and only one at the speed that was recorded.

And after the firmware updated, things did not get much better despite the spectacular intervals (only one of five each) showing 56MB/s random read at 512k byte samples and 46MB/s sequential read. The test still took a while because of the really slow intervals. Note that I used the Sandisk card here, which performs much better than the Transcend in any given test, but the Kingston could only show a spark of performance here and there.

The Pretec reader on the Transcend showed excellent results that were perfectly consistent from sample to sample. No waiting … always fast.

Video File Copy

But since this test was so variable, and since the results so not show how poorly the Kingston performed, I decided to take matters into my own hands and simply copy huge files back and forth. I chose a 1.65 AVI capture from my Screenpresso folder as the test. I copied it from my documents drive – a 2GB drive that is pretty fast – to each card. Then I copied the file to my temp folder on my scratch drive, a super fast RAID 0 striped drive consisting of a pair of Caviar Black 7200rpm 1TB drives. This sucker really goes, so the card could go as fast as it wanted to …

These results are really fascinating … I used the Transcend for a read test only, but I used the Sandisk Extreme Pro for a full suite of tests, before and after the firmware update.

Transcend Ultimate 8BG 600x Read Test

First, the Kingston reader …

The valleys there show that the card frequently slows down to zero and simply waits. I have no idea what is happening, but I suspect that the card’s bus is resetting or something like that. It pauses for seconds … sometimes as much as 5 or more. To say this slows the copy is the understatement of the century.

Then I tried the same copy with the Pretec …

That’s much better. It goes pretty quickly and never pauses or slows down at all …

Now, I did not retest the Transcend after the firmware update, so let’s look at the Sandisk results next …

Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB 45MB/s write Test

First, the Pretec write results:

Reasonable, if not breathtaking. The card claims sustained 45MB/s and never quite gets there. But writing is smooth and fast once it ramps up, which takes a second or thereabouts.

Note that, after the FW update, there is no ramp up time. It is going like snot at a sustained 39MB/s right from the get go. If the reader’s read speeds could match its write speeds, it would be quite something. But as we are about to see … it is a real joke as a reader, which unfortunately is the only job we buy these things to perform … sigh.

Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB 45MB/s READ Test

The Kingston had the same pauses that we saw with the Transcend card, which made it agony to try to copy this file from it to a folder on a fast drive.

And after the FW update, things improved only slightly.

Instead of one fast burst, there were three. This did cut the time in half, but when compared with the Pretec, it is still a joke.

The Pretec did have one pause in the middle for a second or so, but the rest of the time it was breathtaking. It copied the entire file in the time it takes for the Kingston to get over one pause (of many) …

Yes, that is right … a 45MB/s card shows sustained copy speeds of over 100MB/s … OH … MY … GOD!

This was an old-fashioned annihilation of Kingston by Pretec. Wow …

So I no longer have reader envy. But I do have a paper weight from Kingston that cost me around 20 bucks, which was completely wasted.

Conclusion: Buy Pretec and avoid Kingston readers. I paid 20 bucks for the Pretec and 18 bucks for the Kingston.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Clipart … I am easily amused …

In preparing a document for a certain tax-related agency that has really screwed me this year by moving the office that processes a certain set of forms to a completely new location with no warning on the website (is that vague enough?) I ran across some really nice clip art to simulate stamps on forms. Very cool …

What do you think?

Note: When you paste these into a Word doc, you can immediately adjust them to float over or under text and get the effect you desire. I really like these.

I would have demonstrated here, but Word still does not play nice with (pathetic, really) and Writer does not have advanced formatting options (equally pathetic, really.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Lights at Extreme ISO

Ok, I admit to being lazy when I shot these … but I was walking the dog and carried the GM1 in my pocket just for the halibut …

My next door neighbor did a nice job of decorating his property …

Yes, you can see massive grain and some funky color because these are shot at ISOs like 12800 etc … but for snapshots they are ok.

A few houses down is the most brightly lit house on the street … I really like this look …

His next door neighbor also has quite a few decorations and they really complement one another.

This next one would suit Halloween more than Christmas … creepy …

It was shot at 25600 by the way …

I plan on walking around with the dog when we get a nice fresh blanket of snow in order to capture the lights at low ISO. Stay tuned …