Fujifilm has just announced two new members of its X-series line of digital cameras: the X-E2 Mirrorless Digital Camera and the XQ1 Digital Camera. The X-E2 is an updated and refined successor to last year's X-E1 and improves upon it through the integration of a new sensor, new focusing capabilities, a larger LCD monitor, and built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. The XQ1, on the other hand, marks the beginning of a new series of highly compact point-and-shoot cameras designed to meld the quality expected from the X-series with pocket size and intuitive operation.
Building upon the acclaim of the X-E1, the X-E2 utilizes a similar design and implementation of imaging tools and adds several updates to enhance overall efficiency and performance. A new 16.3 megapixel APS-C-sized X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II have been incorporated into the design to produce high-resolution imagery with expandable sensitivity to ISO 25600. Making use of the unique X-Trans sensor design, the X-E2 requires no optical low-pass filter due to the randomized pixel array, and as such can achieve supreme sharpness, clarity, and color rendition.
Additionally, Lens Modulation Optimizer factors are taken into consideration and are automatically compensated for through aberration and diffraction blur correction, in order to draw the greatest sharpness from any lens in use. The processing power of the EXR Processor II also contributes to overall speed throughout the camera system, including a top continuous shooting rate of 7 fps, startup time of 0.5 seconds, shutter-lag time of 0.05 seconds, and a shooting-interval time of 0.7 seconds.
Adding to this sensor's unique imaging structure is the Intelligent Hybrid AF system that utilizes both phase- and contrast-detection focusing methods to acquire focus precisely and in as little as 0.08 seconds in a wide variety of lighting and shooting situations. When working in manual focus mode, two new focusing aids have been implemented to extend accuracy and efficiency for critical homing of selective focus. Digital Split Image technology, first seen in the Fujifilm X100S, uses the on-chip phase-detection sensors to present four striped focusing aids which, when aligned, represent an in-focus image. This method is similar to a traditional rangefinder focusing method and represents a valuable and quick tool for comparative and selective focusing. Also available is Focus Highlight Peaking, a tool commonly used during video recording, which highlights sharp edges and lines of contrast once they are recognized to be in focus.
Like the X-E1, the X-E2 maintains a key balance between form and function and imparts both an intuitive physical control layout as well as an easily navigable menu system that is accentuated by four customizable buttons, as well as the Q Menu button, for direct access to some of the most oft-used camera settings. Physical shutter speed and exposure compensation dials work well with the manual aperture ring found on many XF lenses for simplified adjustment of the crucial exposure settings.
The retro-inspired body design also incorporates both a 2,360k-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and a 3.0" 1,040k-dot LCD screen for live view monitoring, image playback, and menu navigation. Additionally, another new feature found in the X-E2 is built-in Wi-Fi connectivity that enables wireless transferring of up to 30 images at a time, as well as HD video files, to Android and iOS mobile devices using the Fujifilm Camera App. Access to wireless sharing is expedited through the integration of a dedicated Wi-Fi button that can be pressed and held in order to immediately begin transferring of files.
In addition to sound still image capabilities, full HD 1080p video recording is also supported in 60p or 30p frame rates with a high bit-rate of 36Mbps. Full-time AF with subject tracking is available during recording to ensure maintained focus on moving subjects and +/- 2 EV exposure compensation can also be used for quick exposure adjustment. An HDMI port accommodates high-definition playback to an HDTV and a 2.5mm input is available to support the use of an external microphone for enhanced sound quality.
While Fujifilm shows major advancements in the digital imaging realm, they also embrace their vast history of producing high-quality negative and transparency films through the implementation of Film Simulation modes. These selectable modes enable key characteristics of some of their classic film types to be applied to imagery to enhance and adjust the overall look and feel of both photos and movies. Transparency film stocks like Velvia, Provia, and Astia are available as well as two negative film types: Pro Neg. Std. and Pro Neg. Hi. For modifying the look of black-and-white imagery, a series of monochrome modes mimics the look of traditional yellow, green, and red contrast filters, and a sepia setting can also be used.
The Fujifilm X-E2 is available as a body only in black or silver. Additionally, it is also available in a kit with the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens, also in black or silver finishes. This versatile mid-range zoom lens covers wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives and provides a 35mm equivalent focal-length range of 27-84mm. Integrated four-stop image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake that is normally inherent to low-light conditions and with longer focal lengths; a linear motor-drive autofocus mechanism ensures fast performance that is equally precise. Three aspherical elements and one extra-low dispersion element are integrated into the optical design to minimize chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range and a Super EBC coating has been applied to lessen lens flare and ghosting for higher contrast and color neutrality.
The XQ1 Digital Camera is a new and unique point-and-shoot that reaps much of X-series imaging prowess and combines it with a highly compact form factor that enables its use in all situations. Revolving around a large 12 megapixel 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II, the XQ1 is capable of producing high-resolution still imagery and full HD video with notable low-light sensitivity to ISO 12800. Like the X-E2, the EXR Processor II also affords a wealth of speed throughout the XQ1, including a top continuous shooting rate of 12 fps, startup time of 1 second, shutter lag time of 0.015 seconds, and a shooting-interval time of 0.3 seconds. Also similar to the X-E2, the incorporation of an X-Trans CMOS II sensor, and its randomized pixel array, alleviates the need for an optical low-pass filter and, in turn, is capable of producing high overall image sharpness and clarity.
Complementing the imaging assets of the camera is a versatile built-in Fujinon 4x optical zoom lens, which provides a 35mm equivalent focal length of 25-100mm, covering wide-angle to short telephoto perspectives. This range of focal lengths is accentuated by an f/1.8-4.9 maximum aperture for enhanced low-light performance at the wide end of the zoom range and, additionally, a three-stop-equivalent lens-shift type image stabilization system also benefits working with longer focal lengths and slower shutter speeds. Four aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements are integrated into the lens's optical arrangement and work to reduce chromatic aberrations and improve overall image sharpness while a multi-layer HT-EBC (High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating) minimizes lens flare and ghosting for more contrast-rich and color-neutral photos and videos.
Intelligent Hybrid AF combines both phase- and contrast-detection autofocus types in order to achieve focus in as little as 0.06 second with high accuracy and subject-tracking capabilities to suit working with fast-moving subjects. This advanced focusing system carries over and proves to be especially beneficial when recording full HD 1080p video at up to 60 fps with full stereo sound. In regard to manual focusing control, Focus Highlight Peaking is available to provide a more objective means for ensuring critical focus, which is especially useful for selective-focus applications. Use of both optical image stabilization and the optical zoom lens is supported during movie recording, too.
Maintaining the sleek and familiar look for which X-series cameras have become known, the XQ1 features a minimal overall design with aesthetic textured accents, a physical mode control dial, a Super Intelligent pop-up flash, and a large 3.0" 920k-dot LCD monitor with a wide 170-degree viewing angle. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables instant sharing of image files from the camera to iOS and Android mobile devices using the Fujifilm Camera App and dedicated Wi-Fi button. Additionally, Film Simulation modes and Advanced Filters are also available for use in the XQ1 in order to creatively enhance imagery based on predefined filmic looks or other unique effects.
The XQ1 is available in either black or silver. Additionally, complementing the design of the XQ1 is a Bottom Leather Case, available in black or brown, that has a form-fitting design to offer protection to the camera while still enabling full shooting functionality. A Waterproof Case is also available, which enables the XQ1's use underwater to a depth of up to 131.2'.