Home Runs for Fujifilm!

My local camera shop, Service Photo, hosted a Fujifilm event today, and since I have some time on my hands right now, I decided to head on over to check out Fuji's latest and greatest offerings. I was most interested in getting a look at the X-E2s, but I also wanted to get a look at the X-Pro2 and some of the newer lenses. I was not disappointed. Fuji's rep brought all the toys at his disposal.

X-E2s

The first thing I picked up once at the counter was the X-E2s. It's the "logical" upgrade from my X-E1 when the time comes -- "when the time comes" being the operative phrase, because I'm still quite pleased with the camera I've got. I said the same thing back in October after spending the day with the then-new X-T10. But, the X-E2s is improved over the X-E1 in every way that it should be. Fuji have taken the "digital rangefinder" format of the X-E1, and managed to smoosh the innards and brains of an X-T1 into it.

The particulars on the X-E2s are on Fuji's web site, so I'll just give my impressions. First of all, it seems lighter than my X-E1, though the specs say it isn't. What is different is that the X-E2s is fast. And by fast, I mean really fast. I mostly played with the 35mm f/2, and with that lens, focus seemed nearly instant. The 27mm f/2.8 wasn't as impressive, but I neither have, nor want, one of those. I also mounted the new 50-140mm f/2.8, and was surprised that it didn't unbalance the camera too badly. But this is about the body. Lenses, later.

While the viewfinder has the same resolution, it's brighter and more responsive, with virtually no lag. The LCD display is completely new. It's now a 3" display with double the resolution of the X-E1 display, so by comparison, it's wicked sharp. That said, it's still only 920,000 pixels.

Like all of the new Fujis, the X-E2s has WiFi for real-time image transfer to an iPad, laptop, or other storage device.

I probably picked the X-E2s up about 5 times in the 25 or so minutes I was at the store. Like my X-E1, it just feels good, and the bottom line is that I want this camera once I have the funds available. The X-E2s is shipping now, and are in stock at Service Photo.

X-Pro2

It had been a long time since I've handled an X-Pro, and I was honestly take aback at how big a camera it is. But like every other Fuji I've handled, it's completely balanced and the ergonomics are fantastic. Every control falls right under the right fingers. The very coolest thing about the X-Pro is the hybrid viewfinder, and this version is improved vastly with the addition of an adjustable diopter built in.

The X-Pro2 also sports a new 24.3MP X-Trans sensor with half again as many pixels as its predecessor, and a new version of the X-Processor. Performance is blazingly fast, and there are a host of convenience features. Like the X-E2s, all the poop is on the Fujfilm site. The X-Pro2 will start shipping on March 23 in the US.

In short, it's really nice, but it's also way out of my price range at this point. Maybe someday, unless someone would like to gift me one...

X70

I have to admit that I don't understand this camera. It was supposed to be a lower-cost version of the X100-series, and I guess it is. But one of the cost-cutting measures was to remove the hybrid viewfinder. Sure, it got a tilting LCD, but there isn't even an electronic viewfinder in place of the hybrid one. It's kind of like an X-M1 (or what the X-M2 might have been), but with a 28mm f/2.8 fixed lens. Yeah it's cute and probably makes excellent pictures, but I don't understand where Fuji was going with this.

Lenses

Fujifilm have been really stepping up lately in their lens line with some truly pro-level glass. For pro wedding shooters, the 16-55mm f/2.8, 50-140mm f/2.8 zooms, and the 56mm f/1.2 prime make a perfect "trifecta" of lenses. It's also a great selection for portrait shooters. I think they're a little big on the X-E1 (or X-E2s) and X-T10, but they feel right at home on the X-T1. If I were considering going back to shooting weddings... I'd have to get really broke!

Fuji also now have a really nice lens for wildlife shooters. Their 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 is monstrous by Fujifilm standards, but when compared to comparable lenses like the new Canon 100-400mm, it is again about 2/3 the size and weight. What's not to love? Even the price is not too scary by comparison. For instance, B&H will be selling a kit that includes the 100-400 and the 1.4x tele-converter for less than the price of Canon's lens alone.

For us mere mortals, I still think the little 35mm f/2 is a great lens. Again, my first impressions article sums up my feelings about that lens pretty well, and includes some example pictures taken with the X-T10 under the less-than-ideal conditions of a convention floor. I'd like to see a less expensive 14mm lens -- something along the lines of the 35. For now, the option in my price range will be the Rokinon.

Flash!

Here's the bombshell takeaway from the day. It's generally known that Fuji is finally coming out with a new, pro-level flash. The rumor mill has been pretty quiet about this for a while. According to the Fuji rep on hand, the new flash will feature wireless slave functionality and ... wait for it ... high-speed sync! Finally! The rep did not know which cameras will support the HSS function, but it's a safe bet that the list will include at least X-T1, X-Pro2, and the X-E2s.

So That's That...

There wasn't much else exciting, as if the X-E2s, X-Pro2 and the 100-400mm lenses weren't enough. I came away with the new full-line brochure, and what's left of my wallet intact. For now.