New Instax camera, new instax frames

Some new Fujifilm Instax.

The boring:

Instax Mini 40 is just another Instax Mini camera. A look reminding us of the Instax Mini 90 more than the other Instax Mini, but with little settings (4). For CAD$130 it’s on the higher end price range. Still, nothing in sight for more serious photographers ; I see no reason to get one while I have a Mini 90.

The thing I can get behind:

Fujifilm also announced a new frame design for Instax Mini film. Frames are the novelty part of Instax Mini where you have frames around the picture that are not white. Black borders have been around, as well as other novelty for which I might not be their target demographics. This new contact sheet frame brings contact sheet film-like border, something the various “effect” phone apps have had. No sprocket holes, but the film name and a frame number printed in yellow. For once I can really get behind this novelty.

The latter come bundled with the former in a CAD$140 bundle.

To be released April 21st 2021

Fujfilm X-Pro3

Without much surprise, Fujifilm announced the X-Pro3 in late October.
It is an evolution of the X-Pro2. The main distinguishable feature is the LCD screen: by default it is hidden, with a smaller visible screen limited to show settings, and a picture of the currently used film emulation. The screen then flip out to be viewed and make the viewfinder harder to use. It is a bit like the Leica M-D: taking a photography approach where one doesn’t chimp on the screen after taking the picture.

I haven’t had my hands on it, so I can’t really tell whether I’d like it or not.

Fujifilm X-T3 firmware 3.00 update

Firmware 3.00 for the Fujifilm X-T3 has been released.

Here are the changes according to Fujifilm:

1. Strengthened the accuracy of face / eye detection AF performance
The AF algorithm has been improved along with the accuracy of face / eye detection AF. The ability to detect faces in the distance has been enhanced by approximately 30% and AF tracking is now more stable, even when an obstacle appears in the way. The improvements in AF are applicable to both still photos and video recording.
2.New Face Select function
The Face Select function has been introduced to provide priority auto-focus, tracking and exposure on a selected subject when multiple faces have been detected. The priority face can be selected by using the touch screen or focus lever.
3.Faster AF speed for subjects at a distance
A Double Tap Setting and Touch Function has been added to the touch screen settings*. The two settings must be set to OFF to provide a better touch screen response. These new settings allow a more intuitive touch operation when shooting, AF and focus area select.
4.Intuitive operation of touch screen
A Double Tap Setting and Touch Function has been added to the touch screen settings(*1). The two settings must be set to OFF to provide a better touch screen response. These new settings allow a more intuitive touch operation when shooting, AF and focus area select.
*1:By default, Touch Screen Setting, Double Tap Setting and Touch Function are set to all OFF. Touch Screen Setting must be set to ON to use the touch screen function.
5.Focus frame when EYE DETECTION SETTING
When using EYE DETECTION SETTING, only focus frame on eye is displayed.
6.Improvement of AF/AE area tracking when using EVF
When using the EVF, tracking function for AF/AE area movement by touch screen is improved.
7.Push function of the Focus stick when INTERVAL TIMER SHOOTING
The push function is disabled when INTERVAL TIMER SHOOTING.
8.FLICKER REDUCTION function
The options are changed from ON/OFF to ALL FRAMES/FIRST FRAME/OFF. And when choosing FIRST FRAME, the speed of CH countinuous shooting is imroved.
9.Message when IMAGE TRANSFER ORDER
If there is no image of TRANSFER ORDER when turing on a camera, no message appears.
10.Fix of slight defects.

There is a documentation update (PDF file, English) for the new features.

I haven’t installed it yet.

Previously

Flickr and the commons

Last year, Flickr new owners changed the terms for free accounts. The new policy would lead to the deletion of user content. A lot of criticism ensued.

Creative Commons worked out with Flickr new owners to make the proposal better for the commons. The new policy from Flickr, published a couple of weeks ago, confirms that CC licensed images, as well as other public licenses, don’t count towards the maximum. They also added in-memoriam account, read-only account of deceased people, part of an effort of preservation.

Fuji X-T30

Fujifilm just announced the Fujifilm X-T30, the less expensive version of the X-T3. A few notable differences are for example 4K video being limited to 30fps (60 on the X-T3), the rear screen that just tilt up and down. For USD 900, it looks like a very good alternative if you don’t have the budget for the X-T3.

They also announced the XF 16mm f/2.8 WR. At USD 400, it is a much more affordable and compact wide angle than the 16m f/1.4. Dpreview has a sample gallery. To be available in March 2019.

Canon EOS RP

Canon is doubling down on full-frame mirrorless and just announced the Canon EOS RP, a smaller and less expensive RF mount body to be available end of February. Probably the cheapest full frame mirrorless camera on the market. With the 6D MkII sensor it is a lower resolution as the EOS R. There is also an optional extension grip. In video, it still is a cropped 4K mode. In short it is really a less expensive version of the EOS R, a bit like when Canon released the first Digital Rebel (300D) as a cheaper version of the 10D. The price will be USD 1300.

But, and there is a but, it doesn’t come in a kit with a less expensive RF mount lens. The kit options are either the EF 24-105mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM with the EF adapter, or the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM. The premium for the kits are respectively USD 700 or USD 1100. Mindboggling.

DPReview experience is better than they were expecting.

Also¸ Canon announced 6 new RF lenses due later in 2019. No price yet.

  • RF 85mm F1.2 L USM
  • RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS
  • RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM

The 70-200 is supposed to be super compact (short). And there don’t seem to be less expensive lenses that would match the EOS RP, unlike 15 years ago when the 300D was released.

Panasonic S1

The now anticipated full frame mirrorless Panasonic S1 and S1R cameras, whose L-mount is shared with Leica, have been unveiled:

  • S1R: USD 3,699
  • S1: USD 2,499

Also some new lenses with the label “S Pro”:

  • 50mm f/1.4: USD 2,299
  • 70-200mm f/4 OIS: USD 1,699
  • 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS: USD 1,299

Panasonic says it’s planning to design and develop at least 10 S PRO lenses by 2020 to expand the S Series lens lineup.

CineStill powdered film developer

CineStill has announced a powdered version of their film developers, one for Black & White and one for colour C-41.

Beyond saving on shipping, the price of the kits themselves are more affordable. The Df96 monochrome development kit costs $16.99, while the Cs41 color development kit costs $24.99, $3 and $1 cheaper than the liquid versions, respectively.

The price difference is small, but Living in Canada I can’t easily order liquid film chemistry from US retailers. So should make it easier to ship.