CP+ 2015

It’s that time of year again.

Japan’s annual photography convention sees all of the big players in the photography market under the huge roof of the Pacifico Convention Centre in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo. Obviously the reason I’m here is because Fujifilm have once again put on an amazing stand, showing off all aspects of the business.

In 2014, we took a bit of a gamble by placing four European photographers on a stage and asked them to tell the Japanese public what they did. The talks were in English and then translated into Japanese by the lovely Hiroe Kubuki from Fujifilm Tokyo. This meant that the photographers were not able to talk as freely and as flowingly as they would normally like and we were not sure how the crowds at CP+, which is a very Japanese show, would take to this.

It turns out they took to it incredibly well. Large crowds, lots of questions at the end, laughs at the jokes throughout, and rapturous applause at the end helped us see that the gamble paid off.

Fast forward twelve months and we’ve done it again.

The Fujifilm X Photographer stage

Issaque Foujita talking ay CP+
Issaque Foujita talking at CP+

CP+ opened today and the X-Photographer stage has proved extremely popular. The program kicked off at 13:00 with Japanese photographer Issaque Foujita taking the audience through a number of his favourite shots, explaining the thought process both technically and artistically that went into each.

Chris Weston on the CP+ stage
Chris Weston on the CP+ stage

At 14:00, Switzerland-based wildlife photographer Chris Weston introduced himself with this video on the large screen, before giving some great advice about telling stories with your images.

Masaaki Aihara standing next to one of his prints on the CP+ stage
Masaaki Aihara standing next to one of his prints on the CP+ stage

Japanese professional photographer Masaaki Aihara took to the stage at 15:00 and spoke about his natural, minimalist approach to photography.

Finally, Japanese photographer Shinichi Hanawa presented the last talk of the opening day and explained his style of photography and how he uses Fujifilm X system to help him realise his vision.

Friday’s stage schedule includes Japanese photographers Tsutomu Endo, Yukio Uchida, Rei Ohara and Yoshihiro Enatsu along with Swedish photographer Knut Koivisto and British photographer Damien Lovegrove.

On Saturday, Polish reportage photographer Tomasz Lazar will be joined by Japanese photographer Sachi Murai. Chris Weston, Tsutomu Endo, Yukio Uchida and Rei Ohara will also make a second appearance on the stage.

The show will wrap up on Sunday with Sachi Murai, Masaaki Aihara, Issaque Foujita, Tomasz Lazar, Knut Koivisto and Damien Lovegrove all making their second appearances.

Interviews

Mr Soga, the man behind the product planning team for X mount lenses
Mr Soga, the man behind the product planning team for X mount lenses

I’ve been lucky enough to interview each of the photographers, plus a few other key members of staff from Fujifilm Japan, and I’ll look to getting all of these interviews and more images posted online soon. We’ve also recorded all of the talks so we’ll try to get these up as quickly as possible so you can watch them and be inspired.

What else is happening on the Fujifilm stand?

Following the lens roadmap announcement earlier this week, we displayed mock ups of the new XF35mmF2, the XF100-400, the XF120mmF2 Macro and the XF1.4x tele converter.

The new XF35mmF2 lens, as modelled on my X-T1
The new XF35mmF2 lens, as modelled on my X-T1
The new XF120mmF2 Macro
The new XF120mmF2 Macro
The new x1.4x Tele Conversion adaptor
The new x1.4x Tele Conversion adaptor

Fujifilm “touch and try” let’s members of the public try out our new products. Lots of interest in the XF16-55mmF2.8

Testing an X-T1
Testing an X-T1
Testing an X-T1
Testing an X-T1
Something to test the cameras and lenses on
Something to test the cameras and lenses on

 

XT1A0141
The X User Gallery showed off some great images taken by real X users, captured and printed using Fujifilm products.

 

The Quick Maintenance service, that was amazingly popular at Photokina 2014, makes another appearance, much to the delight of many Fujifilm camera owners that were able to get a free sensor clean and camera check-up.
The Quick Maintenance service, that was amazingly popular at Photokina 2014, makes another appearance, much to the delight of many Fujifilm camera owners that were able to get a free sensor clean and camera check-up.

Get more from your photography – Live talks with X-Photographers at The Photography Show

The Photography Show is our annual excuse to talk all things camera, and to add to the excitement we have an expert line-up of pro X photographers who will be sharing their hands-on experience with you throughout the show.

Bert Stephani

bert_stephani__headshot_186x280Bert is a professional photographer from Belgium who spends most of his time shooting creative portraits for editorial, commercial and private clients. He believes in sharing knowledge with other photographers by teaching workshops around the world, blogging and producing educational videos.

 

The Beauty of the Imperfection

Here you will learn tips and tricks for shooting creative portraits with simple camera & lighting equipment. Bert will also talk about the importance of subject interaction.

Date: Tuesday 24 March 2015
Time: 11:30 – 12:00
Stage: Live Stage

Date: Monday 23 March 2015
Time: 11:30 – 12:00
Stage: Live Stage

Twitter: @bertstephani
X-Photographer

Kevin Mullins

kevin_mullins__headshot_webKevin Mullins is a Wiltshire-based award winning wedding photographer who specialises in telling stories, through pictures, of weddings. The style of wedding photography he uses is known as documentary wedding photography, or reportage wedding photography and he is passionate about photographing weddings authentically, sympathetically and responsibly.

 

Reportage Photography for Weddings

Explore reportage photography from a wedding and social documentary point of view. Learn how to get close to your subjects without disrupting the event and how to look for humour and emotion in a scene.

Date: Monday 23 March 2015
Time: 13:00 – 13:40
Stage: Behind the Lens theatre

Twitter: @kevin_mullins
X-Photographer

Paul Sanders

paul_sanders_headshot_webPaul became a professional photographer in 1984, and moved into newspapers in 1991, eventually becoming Picture Editor of The Times. In 2011 he left The Times to pursue his love of landscape photography and to launch a project for young children to develop visual and creative awareness through photography.

His work conveys the emotional and spiritual responses he has to the landscape in front of him. His journey from news photographer to landscape photography began as a form of therapy to help deal with the stress of his job. Through photography he was able to express himself where words failed him.

Connecting with your Landscape

Learn a mindful approach to landscape photography and how to connect with your subject. Paul will also show you the importance of equipment that doesn’t get in the way of your vision.

Date: Monday 23 March 2015
Time: 17:00-17:40
Stage: Behind the Lens Theatre

Twitter: @wiggys
X-Photographer

Matt Hart

matt_hart__headshot_186x280Matt Hart is a black and white Street and Event Photographer based in Liverpool. He is an official Fujifilm X Photographer; a Formatt Hitech featured Artist and the founder of The Fujiholics Social Media Group.

Matt is passionate about Street Photography, he has developed the skill to observe and be virtually invisible, letting the world carry on around him without affecting the scene. The subject is unaware. Matt keeps the system and process as simple as possible so as not to over complicate the task. This is why he has chosen the Fuji X system for his professional work which helps him to achieve his style.

Street Life

Here you will learn Matt Hart’s modern street style and how to be invisible when shooting street photography. You will also be shown street camera techniques that Matt uses to maximum effect.

Date: Saturday 21 March 2015
Time: 12:00-12:30
Stage: Streetscape

Date: Sunday 22 March 2015
Time: 15:00-15:30
Stage: Streetscape

Twitter: @matt6t6
X-Photographer

All shows listed above are free of charge (as long as you have purchased a Photography Show entry ticket) – the show recommends that you arrive 15 minutes early to ensure a seat.

We look forward to seeing you all there very soon!

 

The gear that keeps on giving

The above image was taken with the X-T1 which had recently had a firmware update to make it compatible with the XF18-135mm lens which was used to obtain this shot, via the remote control feature and a monopod.

I remember when I first approached Fujifilm UK with the idea of testing their equipment in the jungles of Borneo. My intention was to rely on the X-Series to document my trip, which had a heavy focus on nature. Unfortunately at the time the X-Pro1 and X-E1 weren’t quite up to the speeds I required to use this system exclusively. If I had done this trip in 2014, oh how things would be different. Not purely because of the wonderful X-T1 but because of the firmware improvements made to the X-Pro1 and other cameras.

These firmware updates are so much more than simply updating cameras to optimise their usability with lenses launched more recently. If you look at this link you can see the timeline of improvements made to the X-Pro1, from large improvements like auto focus performance and better “single-hand” settings operability to extra functions being added like focus peaking for manual focusing. Below shows a screen grab with some of latest firmware updates for the X-Pro1.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 12.48.48

It wasn’t just the flagship model which gained firmware upgrades; the X-E1 had much the same improvements and the X100 had an autofocus improvement that meant that it was in fact the ongoing firmware updates that were the most spoken about thing of this camera, instead of the previously poor autofocus. Further down the line, the X-E2 has had the refresh rate of its EVF improved to the very high standard of the X-T1. The X-A1 and X-M1 can now both wirelessly transfer pictures to the brilliant SP1 printer for near-instant prints.

Now the X-T1 is set for a major firmware update. The Internet has been buzzing with excitement around the new features that are integrated into the X100T and X-T1 graphite edition. Other than the wonderful 6-part creation of the graphite finish, this new version has some very exciting software improvements. The first headline feature is the new Classic Chrome JPEG film simulation that’s blowing everyone’s mind with its unique style that’s so different from the other film simulations available.

The second feature is the crazy electronic shutter toping out at 1/32000! For those of you using the fast prime lenses at F1.2 and F1.4, this opens up a huge realm of creativity. Only recently I had to juggle a neutral density filter between the XF23mm F1.4 and XF56mm F1.2 while exploring sunny Lisbon to take full advantage of the thin depth of field on offer. This new feature will make this a thing of the past, one less thing to have to worry about. The benefits of the electronic shutter don’t stop there – being electronic there are no moving parts to generate noise meaning it is truly silent shooting. This has always been one of the big factors that has made the X100s such a joy to use to quiet situations, a factor that often meant I would lean towards the X100s series instead of the X-T1.

Lisbon

Taken in the centre of Lisbon using an ND filter so I could use f1.2.

These aren’t the only updates to look forward to, as there are many many more features due to happen in a December firmware overhaul:

  • 4-way controller AF selection
  • Changeable focus area during MF
  • Q menu customization
  • Interlocking AF and metering points
  • Unlocked AE-L/AF-L buttons
  • Direct selection of macro mode
  • Phase detection AF support for instant AF
  • Expansion of shutter speed in Program Shift mode
  • Manual shooting in video mode
  • New video frame rates

These all look like great improvements as the X-Series continues to evolve into an increasingly refined camera system, appealing to an increasingly wide genre. Notably for action/fast paced photography, the addition of the 4-way controller being able to move the AF point is very help for quickly adapting to situations instead of having to focus and recompose which can get annoying and frustrating with fleeting moments. The customisation of the Q menu is definitely a bonus, allowing photographers to really tailor the camera to their needs, prioritising the features that are most frequently used instead of constantly having to search through menus. I could go through and state the pluses of each new feature upgrade but this webpage explains them all

These are the upgrades that Fujifilm have let us know in advance about, I can only imagine the other ‘goodies’ they have in store in the near future. Logically you would think that the X-E2 could potentially have remote shooting via phones or tablets like the X-T1 and X100T. Both the X-E2 and X-T1 might be able to wirelessly transfer pictures to the SP1 for wireless printing on the go. There are so many features that Fujifilm could add to the ever-increasing list of benefits for using the Fujifilm X-Series. I think the number 1 benefit on this list is that Fujifilm look after their current users, with upgrades such as this.

To look for the latest firmwares updates for your Fujifilm product search here.

Fujifilm at Photokina 2014!

Last week we were at photokina, the world’s largest imaging fair, from Tuesday 16th to Sunday 21st September. It’s been a complete blast and this post will hopefully highlight the bits you missed if you couldn’t make it to Cologne this year.

Our booth was big. It was made up with lots of different sections covering many different areas of our business, all with the same common goal – helping people with photography.

The X-Photographers Gallery

We had images from many different photographers displayed how they were always meant to be seen – printed.

Some were printed on FUJIFLEX Crystal Archive Printing Material and others on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Digital Paper but they were all amazingly good to look at. We’ve combined our X series cameras with many years’ experience of printing and finally the creativity of real users of our cameras to create a truly awe inspiring array of beautiful prints. Many visitors to the stand told us that they thought these were the best prints on display at the show.

The X-Photographers Stage

For me the stage was the real star of the show.

We had 23 photographers from all over the world talking about a wide range of subjects. Some were very inspirational, other educational, but all were very interesting. We will post another blog post shortly with more detail on each of the photographers and what their talk was like. Sign up at the top-right of the page to receive notifications when it is published.

“Touch and Try” section

On the stand we had the new X100T and X30 cameras and the new XF50-140mm F2.8  and XF56mm APD lenses available in our “Touch and Try” section for people to use. We also made sure there was something beautiful to shoot in the way of a BMW i8 and some lovely models so everyone had something to shoot.

The X100T is an evolution from the X100 and X100S with the main upgrades being a 1/32000th electronic shutter, digital rangefinder and new Classic Chrome film simulation.

Shot by Kevin Mullins at f/2 and 1/32000th in bright sunlight using Classic Chrome film simulation
Image by Kevin Mullins using the X100T at f/2 and 1/32000th using Classic Chrome film simulation

The X30 takes the popular X20 and gives it a new high-resolution Electronic Viewfinder, tilting LCD, new control ring, lots of new customisable Function buttons and the same awesome Classic Chrome Film Simulation as sported by the X100T.

Image by Alex Lambrechts using the X30 with new Classic Chrome film simulation
Image by Alex Lambrechts using the X30 with new Classic Chrome film simulation

The XF50-140mm is our first weather resistant constant aperture lens. It boasts f/2.8 throughout its focal length range and contains a lot of amazing technology to make sure the results are comparable to prime lens quality

The XF56mm APD is a fast, sharp prime lens that contains an Apodisation filter that helps produce an even smoother bokeh affect than the standard XF56mm.

The final new product people could get their hands on was the new X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition pictured below.

The full X line-up

Additionally, behind a glass cabinet we had the entire range lined up (click the image below for a larger display)

Full X series lineup. Click to enlarge
Full X series lineup. Click to enlarge

Notable products were:

The XF16mmF1.4 has the same focus ring as the XF14 and XF23 with focus distance and depth of field guide on the barrel itself.

The XF16-55mmF2.8 appears to have OIS dropped from its name suggesting that the final lens will not have OIS, but instead aim for absolute optimal image quality. This is still to be confirmed though.

The XF90mmF2 looks like it’s going to be a big bit of glass. Similar in length to the XF56mm but a bit thicker.

Finally, previously known as the Super Tele-Photo Zoom Lens on the roadmap, a lens with no label underneath. However, it had an inscription bearing the specifications “XF 140-400mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR”. I’d like to point out that these are not 100% final specifications. They just needed to put something on the front of the mock-up lens to give a better idea of what the final lens would look like. Either way this gives us a guide as to what sort of spec the final lens is likely to be, and also how big it will be.

Free maintenance and camera loan service

maintenance

We offered a FREE maintenance service and a FREE camera loan service for the six days of photokina, In total we were able to service 510 cameras and loaned 433 cameras and lenses combined.

Technologies

We showcased a few of our technologies – some current and some in development

Film simulation
Fujifilm Film Simulations
Film is our heritage and therefore we spend a lot of time developing (pun not intended) our film simulation modes for our digital cameras. The latest film simulation mode we have released is Classic Chrome and it is available on the new X100T, X30 and will be made available via a firmware update for the X-T1 later this year.

Electronic rangefinder
tech-x100t-viewfinder
Here’s what the Hybrid Viewfinder in the X100T looks like. Learn more about the X100T Electronic Rangefinder here.

Lens coating demo
Nano GI comparison demoAlthough it’s pretty hard to see in this photo, here we demonstrate the lens coating on the new XF50-140. It has a special coating applied to reduce the amount of light that is reflected away.
Learn more about the technology that goes into the XF50-140mm lens, including Nano GI technology, here.

Remote “Multi-shooting” application
tech-multi-shoot Here’s a new app we’re currently working on that allows you to wirelessly control and shoot up to three cameras at one time using the same tablet computer.

Applications for this could be for recording video, creating 3D imagery or shooting event photography.

Since the launch of the X-T1 we have seen some amazingly creative uses people have found for the existing remote shooting app so we hope that this will allow people to be even more creative with their photography.

 

The Cologne photokina Photowalk

photowalk

On Saturday night we held a photowalk with X-Photographers Elia Locardi and Ken Kaminesky. 213 people showed up, despite the threat for heavy rain beforehand. Most people brought their own equipment to shoot with and Fujifilm X-T1s and lenses were available for people to borrow if they wished.

We met at the Dom and then walked as a very large group around the cathedral and then across the river to watch the sunset from the East bank. It was a great event and we’re sure everyone enjoyed themselves and made a few new friends that share their love of photography.

These guys even won some prizes by having their names drawn at random:photowalk-prize-winners

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Fabiano Dallmeyer , Richard Powazynski, Jens Fricke, Ken Kaminesky, Carl Nasman, Patrick Mayon, Elia Locardi, Florin Lucian Patras and Michael Magner

Participants soohting the padlocks on the bridge (image by Naomi Locardi)
Participants shooting padlocks on the bridge (image by Naomi Locardi)
An after-dark image by Naomi Locardi
After-dark (image by Naomi Locardi)
Me, being mocked by Justin from Fujifilm USA... (image also by Naomi Locardi)
And finally me, being unwittingly mocked by Justin from Fujifilm USA… (image also by Naomi Locardi)

Many more photos from participants of the event have uploaded and will continue to be added to the Google Plus public event here: https://plus.google.com/events/chu5ri84smk6smt9ags8inu36l4

Fujifilm X Live

For more photos from the whole photokina event, and to keep up to date in real time with future events like this, please check out our Social Media accounts:

– http://www.facebook.com/FujifilmXLive
– http://twitter.com/FujifilmXLive
– http://instagram.com/FujifilmXLive