Fujifilm Announces the X100T

Ivan Vanchev

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And now let us change course radically from MS SQL to the world of photography. While there is no way for the reader to know, I have been a happy X-E1 user for over a year now, so I was quite excited to hear a whole slew of minor and not so minor announcements today from Fujifilm. They came up with some cosmetic changes to their camera line and introduced a couple of very promising new lenses to their X-mount line.

First and probably backmost, they are now offering a new color option for the gorgeous X-T1, called graphite silver:

X-T1 Graphite Silver
Now, that looks very attractive indeed. I know some of you will say that the X-T1 would be even more attractive if Fujifilm slapped a full-frame sensor in it, but I am not sure that is a priority with them. It looks to me that they are quite happy with both the performance and reception of the X-Trans II sensor and are looking to transition into a more mature phase for their X-mount line.

In line with that, also announced today were a couple of new lenses - a fast \(56mm\) prime XF 56mm f/1.2 APD and a fixed-aperture telephoto zoom XF 50-140 f/2.8 WR. The first impressions from the \(50 - 140mm\) suggest that it will be an excellent addition for the telephoto shooters among us. With these two, the range of lens options availble for the X-mount line has increased to a respectable \(14\) with another \(4\) scheduled to be added throughout 2015. By closing the gap in availble glass for the X-mount line and maintaining an excellent image quality, Fujifilm is rightfully gaining ground in the photography world.

The last and perhaps most interesting piece of Fujifilm technology that was announced today was the update to the X100S, the X100T. That little T in the end will get you several minor yet surprizingly useful benefits over the older iteration. The third generation of the X100 adds:

  1. World's first Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder, complete with Electronic Rangefinder
  2. Increased operability with the 1/3 stop aperture ring, command dial, 4-way controller, and seven Fn buttons
  3. New Classic Chrome film simulation mode, developed through 80 years of photographic experience.
Apart from reducing lag, improving visibility of the EV, and increasing frame coverage to \(92%\), Fuji have also added the ability to display an enlarged view of the focus area on top of the optical image.
It looks to me like EVs are not only matching but surpassing the functionality and convenience of OVs. With recent leaps in screen resolution and lag reduction, electronic viewfinders' historic disadvantages are things of the past. I know I myself have never felt let down by my X-E1's EV.

Now, as many of those covering the announcement have pointed out, we don't see any improvements in the hardware of the X100S. The X100T still comes with the same sensor, lens, and body as its predecessor. While it is definitely a bit of a letdown that Fujifilm didn't show offany exciting new technology this year, I can certainly understand their approach as well. With the superior performance that the X-Trans II sensor provides, it can most definitely hold its ground against the competition, i.e. it produces fine images without a problem. You can take a look at some sample images here. It seems then that Fujifilm have instead decided to focus on polishing off the details of their camera line and providing their users with even more excellent lens options rather than betting on releasing truly new products.