Fuji XF23mm f/2 and new X-A3 consumer camera launched today
I greeted today's news of Fujifilm's new releases with mixed emotions. I freely admit that the announcement of the X-A3 has caught me out. Only a couple of weeks ago I wrote that I thought an X-A3 was unlikely because the X-Series had reached a level of maturity that removed the need for an entry-level model. Someone in Japan clearly has other ideas because today's announcement of the X-A3 shows that the line is still alive and kicking. The good bit is that it will have a 24MP sensor similar in resolution to those already seen on its pro-spec siblings, the X-Pro2 and X-T1. However, this is not an X-Trans sensor.
The not quite so good news is that it will only be available initially in kit form, combined with the 16-50 zoom. It's not a bad lens per se, but for those of us who would think about using it as a backup body it makes life awkward.
I'll not comment on it being available only from Jessops in the UK or on the fact that it can be ordered in black, brown or pink, save to say that I am confident that I am not the target demographic...
Of far more interest and significance for me is the release date for the 23mm F2 and a UK price of a reasonable £419 at introduction. I have been waiting for this lens since the announcement of the 35mm F2 - it is a logical partner and gives us the "Holy Trinity" of 23-35-60 or 35-50-90 in full frame terms, that was my core travel set of focal lengths for two decades of Leica M use. It's a bit porkier than the 35, and a tad longer but that is only to be expected. It is considerably smaller than the excellent 1.4 version—a lens, no matter how fine, that is too bulky to carry when travelling and is of limited use. It carries the WR designation as is now expected and will be an excellent addition to the range. Mine is on order already and I'll share my opinions as soon as I can.
Now, Mr Fuji, how about updating the 60mm...
Fuji releases for both products below:
Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR - Fuji press release
Expanding the compact, lightweight, stylish and high-performance lenses for the X Series, Fujfilm introduces the FUJINON XF23mmF2 R WR.
The XF23mmF2 is a compact, wide-angle lens that weighs just 180g and features fast AF for enjoying snapshots with ease. Weather and dust-resistant, it’s capable of operating at low temperatures.
Embargo: 25th August 2016
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that it will release a new FUJINON lens XF23mmF2 R WR, in late September 2016* to join the line-up of interchangeable lenses for the X Series of digital cameras. Fujifilm’s X-Series cameras are known for their outstanding image quality based on the company’s proprietary colour reproduction technology.
The new lens has a highly versatile focal length equivalent to 35mm (in the 35mm film format), covering a range of subjects from snapshots to landscapes and portraits. Its compact and lightweight design and high-speed AF capability allow users to enjoy taking snapshots spontaneously.
The XF23mmF2 R WR is a wide-angle lens with advanced image resolution, capable of drawing out the full performance of Fujifilm’s proprietary X-TRANS CMOS sensor. It has a similar size and design flair of the existing XF35mmF2 to make up a stylish collection of compact lenses. The inner-focus AF system uses a stepping motor ** to drive the focusing group of lens elements for silent and fast autofocus.
The metal exterior gives a sense of premium quality and robustness, and the aperture ring and focus ring have been designed for optimum operability. The lens is also weather and dust resistant and operates at temperatures as low as -10°C, making it an ideal choice for outdoor photography.
* Black model : Late September 2016, Silver model : January 2017
** The type of motor that rotates only at a fixed angle in response to an electrical pulse signal, and is used in precision positioning.
Advanced image quality
- The lens consists of ten elements in six groups, including two aspherical elements. The optimum positioning of the aspherical elements ensures flatness of the image plane for edge-to-edge sharpness.
- The aspherical elements are used as part of the focusing group to minimise performance fluctuations between different focal distances.
Compact, lightweight and stylish design for great operability
- The lens weighs just 180g.
- The metal exterior, modeled after the design of XF35mmF2 R WR, gives a sense of premium quality and robustness.
- The compact and stylish form factor almost completely eliminates mechanical vignetting*** when using the optical viewfinder on the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 and X-Pro1 cameras.
- The aperture ring and focus ring have just the right amount of clicking and torque for great operability.
*** Having part of the lens hood or lens barrel covering the corners of the view through an optical viewfinder
Fast and silent autofocus
- The inner-focus AF system*4 uses a stepping motor to drive lightweight focusing elements for silent and fast autofocus. When combined with the phase detection AF system of FUJIFILM X-Pro2, X-T2, the lens can focus in an astonishing 0.05 seconds*5.
*4 An AF system that moves relatively small lens elements in the middle or at the rear for focusing
*5 Using an internal measurement method compliant with the CIPA Guidelines, with the High Performance mode turned on
Weather and dust resistant, capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C
- The lens barrel is sealed to make it weather and dust resistant, and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C. When mounted on the weather and dust-resistant mirrorless digital cameras FUJIFILM X-Pro2, X-T1 and X-T2, you can shoot in light rain or a dusty environment with peace of mind.
- This lens can be used with the vented metal hood LH-XF35-2, which is also compatible with the XF35mmF2 R WR.
- Coinciding with the launch of the XF23mmF2 R WR, a silver version of the lens hood LH-XF35-2 will also be released, allowing users to choose an optional hood that matches the colour of the lens.
Fuji X-A3 - Fuji press release
Introducing the FUJIFILM X-A3, the stylish selfie-optimised mirrorless digital camera
Combining a new 24.2 megapixel sensor with the X Series’ signature skintone reproduction technology for advanced portraiture, the new slide and tilt mechanism on the rear LCD screen provides 100% visibility, even when the panel is tilted by 180 degrees
Embargo: 25th August 2016
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is delighted to announce that it will launch the FUJIFILM X-A3 in September 2016. Designed with the younger generation in mind, the X-A3 is perfectly suited to taking self-portraits thanks to an LCD screen that is not blocked by the camera when tilted by 180 degrees, thus helping to maintain 100% visibility. Other features such as Eye Detection AF are designed to improve self-portrait shooting even further, and the new Portrait Enhancer mode includes the option to brighten skintones. The camera can shoot approx. 410 frames per charge, and, when fitted with the supplied lens XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS II, it can focus on a subject at a distance of approx. 7cm from the front edge of the lens. It joins the X Series of mirrorless cameras that offer outstanding image quality with the company’s proprietary colour reproduction technology.
Combining a newly-developed sensor and colour-reproduction technology that has been refined over 80 years to deliver premium-quality portraiture
The X-A3 combines a newly-developed 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor with the image processing engine to achieve Fujifilm’s excellent photo quality. Combined with the supplied FUJINON lens which boasts ultimate image resolution, to deliver outstanding image quality, recording your subject’s texture, form and even the atmosphere of the scene. The camera excels particularly in reproducing skin tones, making it the best choice for capturing people, which account for around 40% of all subjects in general photography*1. The Film Simulation function offers 11 modes, including newly-added “PRO Neg.Hi” and “PRO Neg.Std.”
*1 According to Fujifilm data (X-A2 user survey)
180-degree slide-and-tilt LCD with 100% visibility for facilitating self-portraits
Even when tilted by 180 degrees, the LCD is not blocked by the camera, allowing for 100% visibility. The grip is shaped to accommodate both normal shooting and self-portraits. When taking a self portrait, users can focus and release the shutter by pressing the vertical command dial (located directly below the index finger), so as to minimise camera shake. Rotating the tilting LCD upward by 180 degrees activates the Eye Detection AF to automatically adjust the focus on the subject’s eyes. The Portrait Enhancer mode offers three-step adjustments with the new skin-tone brightening function so users can enjoy self portraits of premium quality, only possible with the X Series of cameras.
Stylish, retro design, enhanced texture and touchscreen LCD
The X-A3 sports a retro, stylish design that appeals to the younger generation. The retro feel gives a fresh and fashionable impression. The top cover, front plate and top dials are made of aluminium. The newly-developed faux leather has significantly enhanced the overall texture. The camera is available in silver, brown or pink. The LCD on the rear uses a touchscreen to enable Touch AF, Touch Shoot and Touch Zoom, in which you use the pinch-out finger gesture to use a prime lens as if it is a zoom lens.
Outstanding image quality, made possible by a combination of the newly-developed 24.2 megapixel image sensor, the image processing engine that achieves Fujifilm’s excellent photo quality, and the FUJINON lens that boasts ultimate image resolution
- Fujifilm’s colour reproduction technology, nurtured through the development of photographic film, reproduces accurate, warm skin tones, clear blue skies and lush green foliage in tones as you remember them in your mind.
- The X-A3 offers a total of eleven Film Simulation modes. Enjoy Fujifilm’s original expressions of tonality, such as the true-to-life colours of PROVIA (standard), the vibrant tones and saturated colours of Velvia (vivid), the soft tones of ASTIA (soft) or the documentary-style tones of CLASSIC CHROME. Monochrome and Sepia modes are also available.
- The APS-C sensor delivers beautifully smooth bokeh effects for portraiture and macro shots when using a shallow depth of field.
- The normal sensitivity range covers ISO200 to ISO6400, while extended sensitivity settings of ISO12800 and even ISO25600 can be selected when you want to minimise camera shake. The X-A3 produces clear images with astonishingly low noise, even on low-light nightscapes and indoor shots where high ISOs are essential.
- The Advanced Filters easily produce creative effects. A total of ten Advanced Filters are available, including the new Fisheye and Cross Screen as well as Toy Camera, Miniature, Dynamic Tone, Pop Colour, Soft Focus, High Key, Low Key and Partial Colour.
Five mechanisms for facilitating self portraits
- The rear LCD employs the slide-and-tilt mechanism so that it is not blocked by the camera body when tilted by 180 degrees to maintain 100% visibility. You can view the entire screen for precise composition.
- The grip is shaped to accommodate normal shooting and self-portraits alike. The final shape, based on ergonomic design, was decided through prototype testing involving hundreds of young photographers.
- When taking a self-portrait, you can focus and release the shutter by pressing the vertical command dial you can find directly below your index finger, so as to minimise camera shake.
- The Self Timer function newly offers Smile Detection, Buddy Timer and Group Timer modes. Even without having to press the command dial or release button, the shutter is released when subjects smile, when two people come close together, or when a specified number of people comes into the frame.
- Rotating the tilting LCD upward by 180 degrees activates the Eye Detection AF to automatically adjust the focus on the subject’s eyes.
- The Portrait Enhancer mode now offers three-step adjustments, using touchscreen operations. The addition of the skin-tone brightening function takes your portrait photography to a new level.
Retro design and sophisticated functionality
- The X-A3 sports a stylish, retro design that appeals to the younger generation. The design gives a fresh and fashionable impression.
- The top cover, front plate and top dials are made of aluminium. The newly-developed faux leather has significantly enhanced the overall texture
- The use of two Command Dials means the user can quickly and easily adjust aperture, shutter speed and exposure settings. Frequently used functions such as white balance, continuous shooting and the self-timer can be assigned to standalone function buttons, eliminating the need to go through the Menu screen.
- The LCD on the rear uses a touchscreen to enable Touch AF, Touch Shoot and Touch Zoom, in which a pinch-out finger gesture can be applied to use a prime lens as if it is a zoom lens.
Extended battery life of approx. 410 frames per charge
- The energy-efficient design has extended the battery life to a class-leading level, allowing the user to concentrate on shooting pictures without having to worry about remaining battery power.
- The supplied USB cable enables users to charge the camera directly from an AC adapter, computer or portable external battery.
Class-leading minimum working distance (approx. 7cm from the front edge of the lens) and Super Intelligent Flash
- When fitted with the standard lens, XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS II, the X-A3 can approach a subject up to the class-leading distance of approx. 7cm from the front edge of the lens to enable macro photography.
- The built-in pop-up flash supports the Super Intelligent Flash system that accurately controls light output according to individual scenes. When shooting indoor portraits in low-light, small items or food, the flash system reduces highlight clipping to produce images exactly as your eyes see them. Natural colours and brightness are also achieved when shooting backlit scenes or photographing a person under intense sunlight that casts strong shadows on the face.
Full HD video recording
- Press the dedicated Video Recording button on the rear to easily start recording full HD (1080/60p, 50p, 24p) video.
- The Film Simulation function, popularly used for still images, can also be applied to video recording for a diverse range of creative effects, which can be combined with smooth bokeh, made possible with the APS-C sensor and fast lens.
- Turning on the electronic image stabilisation function delivers the five-axis image stabilisation that combines optical and electronic stabilisation, significantly reducing a variety of camera shakes that could occur during video recording. This function allows you to record high quality video with reduced camera shake while walking around with the camera in your hand.
Enhanced Autofocus settings
- The focus switching lever at the front lets you instantly switch between AF-S (single), AF-C (continuous) and MF (manual focus).
- Choose any one of 49-point focus areas for AF in the Single Point mode. The X-A3 has been added with the Zone and Wide / Tracking modes, which use the 77-point focus areas to capture the decisive moment of a moving subject.
- Other new functions include “Release Priority / Focus Priority” and “AF+MF.
Versatile shooting functions including the electronic shutter with the maximum speed of 1/32000 sec
- When using the ultra-fast electronic shutter, even under clear skies or other bright conditions, you can use large aperture to achieve a shallow depth of field for smooth bokeh without over-exposing the image. You can capture a scene exactly as intended without having to use an ND filter.
- Due to popular demand, the X-A3 now features the Panorama and Time Lapse functions.
- Other new functions include the interlocking of Metering and AF areas, support for the Adobe RGB colour space, and choice of different colours in Focus Peaking for assisting MF.
Wireless communications functionality to enable remote shooting from smartphones and tablet devices*2
- Download the free FUJIFILM Camera Remote app to your smartphone or tablet device and use the Wireless Communications function so that you can transfer photos and videos to your device with a simple one-touch operation without having to enter ID or password. It is also possible to view and select photos and videos in your camera on your smartphone and import them to your smart device. You can even attach location information, obtained by your smart device, to your images.
- The Remote Shooting function lets you focus and trigger the camera release or even adjust exposure and other settings from your smartphone or tablet device. With Remote Shooting, the app not only offers basic operations such as Touch AF and shutter speed adjustment, but also lets you adjust a variety of shooting settings or initiate video recording. It is useful for group photos, self-portraits or even wildlife photography so that you can compose your shot from a distance.
- mages can also be sent directly from the camera to the Instax SHARE smartphone printer for instant printing.
- The camera is Wi-Fi® enabled*3 to easily back up in-camera data to your computer*4.
*2 AndroidTM smartphones and tablet devices as well as iPhones and iPads
*3 Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance®.
*4 The free FUJIFILM PC AutoSave software must be installed on your computer in advance.