Using the experience gained from their DSLR system, Fujifilm entered the mirrorless interchangeable-lens CSC market in February 2012 with the 16.3-MP X-Pro1. This is a beautifully crafted model with magnesium-alloy components and a retro design with metal-milled dials that hark back to the era of the 35-mm rangefinder cameras. It’s also the only camera to feature a unique dual-magnification hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. Since then, Fujifilm has introduced several 16.3-MP models including the more affordable X-M1 and the very slim, lightweight, entry-level X-A1, both without a viewfinder and with more “typical” controls plus built-in Wi-Fi.
More recent entries include the gorgeous X-E2, with most of the larger X-Pro1’s features, but with a larger LCD, new Dual Hybrid AF system, improved X-Trans II CMOS sensor, a super fast EXR II processor and several extras including built-in Wi-Fi. While it’s equipped with a conventional (2.35-million-dot) electronic viewfinder, the X-E2 is probably even more desirable than its predecessor and it includes built-in flash. Resembling a small, retro DSLR with mechanical controls, the water/dust/freeze-resistant Fujfilm XT-1 and the newer Graphite Silver edition offer most of the larger X-Pro2’s numerous features and technology, including Wi-Fi. A small flash unit is included in the kit. Let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy aspects of technology available with the X-series CSCs.
X-TRANS CMOS SENSOR
Fujifilm’s proprietary 15.6 x 23.6 mm sensor features an innovative colour filter array that reduces the generation of moiré and false colours, and eliminates the need for the internal optical low-pass filter. This enables the XTrans and X-Trans II sensor to provide maximum per-pixel sharpness. (For the effective focal length, multiply by 1.5.) The entry-level X-A1 employs a conventional CMOS sensor.
Used by all the cameras—with an improved version II in the X-E2 and X-T1—this engine provides a burst speed of 5.6 fps (7 fps with the X-E2 and 8 fps with the XT-1) and features such as Multiple Exposure and Panorama modes, in-camera processing of Raw photos, a series of specialeffect digital filters, dynamic range expansion and Film Simulation modes. Version II also provides a Lens Modulation function that optimizes the performance of any lens.
This technology automatically moderates flash output in certain types of scenes, including close-ups to minimize the risk of blown-out highlights.
Most of the cameras employ contrast-detect AF with a multi-point sensor but the Hybrid AF system in the X-E2 and X-T1 can also use phase-detect AF for even faster, more reliable autofocus.
FULL HD MOVIE MODE
The Fujifilm X-cameras can record 1080p videos with stereo sound and autofocus. The basic overrides can be pre-set before recording.
Available with four of the cameras, Wi-Fi allows for wireless transfer of images and movies to a smart device running the free Fujifilm app.
LENSES AND ACCESSORIES
You can choose from 14 Fujinon lenses plus an adapter that allows for using M lenses. All are equipped with a manual focus ring; some feature a built-in OIS stabilizer; the WR models are weather resistant, and the XF series is equipped with an aperture control ring. The company’s “roadmap” indicates that the XF 90 mm f/2 R, XF 16 mm f/1.4 R XF, 16-55 mm f/2.8 R WR and a super telephoto zoom will be released in 2015. Independent manufacturer Zeiss also markets AF lenses for the X-series cameras: the Touit 12 mm f/2.8, 32 mm f/1.8 and the Makro- Planar T* 50 mm f/2.8. Fujifilm offers a series of accessories for each of the cameras, such as external flash, leather cases, handgrip, remote release and filters as well as an M-mount adapter for using Leica M-mount (manualfocus) lenses.