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 This Month's Newsletter


Neptune Photo Newsletter

October 2017 Volume 68

by Steve Zimic 




Sony RX10 IV


There have been some amazing improvements this past year with regard to continuous auto focusing and frame rates from just about every manufacturer. Sony's now put that performance into this latest version of the RX10 using a 20 MP 1" BSI sensor with 315 phase detection AF points covering 60% of the frame. You can utilize all those points with AF tracking at an amazing 24 frames per second. That coupled with the Zeiss 24-600, f2.4 - f4.0, FF equivalent lens should be pretty much all you'd need for virtually any type of action shooting. With that much reach in a lens you'd definitely want to use the 4.5 stops of included image stabilization. For those of you not just fair weather photographers, you'll appreciate the weather resistant feature. You also get 4K video, plus HD video up to 120 FPS or at a reduced resolution of up to a crazy 960 FPS for super slow motion. Reviews so far on image quality and AF performance have been stellar. In looking at the manual aperture ring and AF mode switch on the front of the camera, I can't help wondering if Sony is trying to entice some DSLR users away from their bulky systems. Also, smart phone users graduating to this camera would probably never need to look any further. The camera is however rather large (5.24 x 3.7 x 5.71″) weighing in at 2.4 lbs with the lens taking a 72mm filter. Nevertheless that's an awful lot of camera in a relatively small package. You should see the camera become available this month for $1699. More info can be found on Sony's website.









Fuji X-E3


Fuji's latest entry looks a bit like a streamlined X-Pro2 with its rangefinder style side mounted viewfinder. This is basically an upgrade to the X-E2s with some significant improvements. Ergonomically the grip is improved and the rear buttons have been moved to the right side, now requiring only one hand to operate. The four way control pad has been replaced with a joystick, or you can navigate your options using the touch screen - nice. The camera gets the latest 24 MP X-Trans sensor as found in the X-T2. You'll get 325 AF points with a much improved AF tracking algorithm, which by the way is available via a firmware update for the X-Pro2 and X-T2. Frame rate with the electronic shutter maxes out at 14, while the mechanical shutter can deliver up to 8 FPS. 4K video is of course included and uses the full width of the sensor. The camera is scheduled to become available this month at $899 for the body only or in kit form with the 18-55 f2.8-4.0 for $1299. More details on the Fuji Website.





Fuji 80mm f2.8 Macro


Although only 20mm longer than the current 60mm macro, this one comes with 5 stops of optical image stabilization. I think for most people having a 120mm equivalent focal length will be more useful, affording a greater working distance. Also the maximum magnification is 1:1 - doubled over the 60mm's 1:2. That 1:1 magnification means that the image is projected onto the sensor at its actual size. Considering Fuji's APS-C sensor is considerably smaller (66% of a full frame sensor) you're actually getting a considerably higher maximum magnification than a 1:1 lens on a full frame camera. The lens is now dust and weather proof (including Fluorine coating on the front element) and has internal focusing, so there's no change in length when adjusting focus. From the image of the lens there appears to be a focus limit switch but no specifications have been published. All this performance comes in at the rather steep price of $1200. Availability isn't until the end of this month or perhaps early November so you've got a little time to squirrel away some cash. In the meantime you can read more about it on Fuji's Website.






Fuji GF45mm f2.8 R WR


Fuji has announced the latest prime lens for their medium format GFX-50S camera. As indicated in the lens designation, the lens is weather proof. You'll get the 35mm equivalent of 36mm of coverage. Nano crystal lens coating should deliver excellent contrast and flare resistance. The lens weighs in at just a bit over a pound and takes a rather diminutive 62mm filter. You should see the lens become available sometime in November for $1700. Check out more details on the Fuji Global Website.






Firmware Updates



Fuji X-T2 - version 3.0 - Improved AF tracking, improved radio controller functionality with 3rd party strobes, supports saving and recalling custom settings, support for Fuji's X-Raw studio software.


Fuji X-Pro2 - version 4.0 - Same as the X-T2 improvements plus, 4K video using film simulation modes, support for tethered shooting via USB or WIFI.


Fuji X-T20 - version 1.1 - Adds touch screen operation while using the viewfinder.


Fuji X-100F - version 2.0 - Supports saving and recalling custom settings, support for Fuji's X-Raw studio software, improved radio controller functionality with 3rd party strobes.



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