First looks: Fujifilm's X-series cameras for 2016

Fujifilm X-Pro2
PHOTO: Hardware Zone

Fujifilm's new camera barrage

Fujifilm has just had quite a major launch in conjunction with their celebration of the 5th anniversary of their X-series cameras, and no less than four cameras were announced, along with a new telephoto zoom lens and a new professional-level flash unit.

Here are our first impressions of three of the most interesting products launched.

Fujifilm X-Pro2

We've already covered a fair bit about the X-Pro2 here, but suffice to say this flagship camera is largely upgraded. While most of the improvements are internal, there are a few changes that we can show you.

First off, all the buttons have been shifted to the right of the LCD monitor, making the back of the camera cleaner so you no longer have to stretch to reach buttons. There's also support for dual memory cards now, which adds flexibility and the option to have immediate backups. We like the inclusion of a multi-directional joystick as the control dial. It's placed just within comfortable reach of your thumb, and makes shifting AF points faster than using a four-way directional pad.

Interestingly, the ISO dial has now been integrated with the Shutter dial, giving the camera a very retro approach. To adjust ISO, you simply lift up on the sides of the Shutter dial and turn. We were told the camera goes down an extended ISO range of 100 and up to a high of 25,600 or 51,200 (set in the menus).

You can switch between viewing modes on the Hybrid Multi Viewfinder using the switch, and there's an integrated diopter correction mechanism and a longer eye point so the finder is easier to look through.

In our brief time with the camera, we found that the viewfinder was certainly bright enough, and while the Hybrid view takes a little bit of getting used to, it can really help when you're trying to compose your image around a moving subject as you can see that bit more outside of your frame.

Autofocus certainly felt like it was fast, but without any proper subject to test it on, it's hard to say. From the large A3-sized prints that they exhibited in the Fujifilm (Tokyo) building, it certainly seems like there is plenty of resolution to be had from the camera. We can't wait to put it to the test.

Fujifilm X70

The X70 was deemed the younger brother of the X100T at the launch event, and it certainly shares quite a bit with the X100T, like the APS-C X-Trans II CMOS sensor and EXR Processor II image processing engine. What's different though, is that the X70 gains a wider 18.5mm f/2.8 lens, and some slightly different interface options, like Fujifilm's first 180-degree tilting rear LCD with touch, and a unique control ring around the lens that can be customised to different functions.

As you can see, the X70 is quite thin overall but still retains a hotshoe and two control dials. There's a dedicated button to change your drive modes, and you can just about see the control ring - it's the silver tab sticking out of the right side of the lens in this picture.

Somehow, Fujifilm has managed to fit the Playback and Delete buttons onto a thin sliver on the tilting LCD, but that now also flips up 180 degrees, making it the first camera from Fujifilm to do so. All the better for selfies we suppose?

Fujinon XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Now the longest lens in the X-series lens line-up, the XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a super telephoto lens that covers a 35mm focal length equivalent of 152-609mm. Throw on the 1.4x teleconvertor, and you have the reach of a 853mm lens with something that's only about the weight of a full-frame 70-200 f/2.8!

The lens itself weighs just 1.375kg, and while it's necessarily wide to allow for all the optics needed, it certainly felt comfortable in the hand. The image stabilization system certainly seems to live up to the 5.0 stop claim. And being able to take sharp images handheld at the maximum extents of 400mm was certainly impressive.

Maximum magnification is 0.19x, and the minimum focusing distance is 1.75m, so you can technically take telephoto macro images. The lens is also weather and dust resistant, and can operate in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. A lens plate that's compatible with ARCA Swiss tripods is also available as an optional extra.

Availability and Suggested Retail Pricing

All three cameras will be available in February and this is the local pre-order pricing:-Fujifilm X-Pro 2: S$2,799Fujifilm X70: S$1,199Fujinon XF 100-400mm lens: S$3099

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