Monday, June 25, 2012

Can Your Fuji Do This?

Don't try this with your Fuji Bridge cameras, they wont thank you for it.
The Pentax K30 is now my first choice as a replacement for my HS series Fuji Camera. As its still very new to the market I will most likely wait until next year to get one. I will either buy just the body or a kit setup depending where the prices fall to.
As I already have a stable of good quality Pentax lenses on the shelf here at home, and with the Pentax wisely employing Sensor Shift Image Stabilization it means every Pentax lens ever made can be used with this and any other Pentax DSLR that sports a K series mount.

Why am I considering the Pentax over the new Fuji's?
Simple really, the last good quality camera made by Fuji in the SLR format was the HS20EXR. The HS30 seems to have a few shortcomings, nothing major , but to date it appears image quality is a little better in the HS20 than the HS30. The XS-1 and X10 while innovative have been a disaster in application, which is sad as they had the potential to be giant killers. The X100 while a nice idea was also plagued with a good many issues, some of which weren't curable with a firmware fix. If you like slow focusing retro styled rangefinder type cameras, then perhaps the X100 is for you.
This leads to the X-Pro 1, which by all accounts seems to be a really successful camera for Fuji. So why make it so expensive that virtually no one is even going to consider buying it? The Body for the X-Pro 1 plus a standard F1:4 35mm lens will set you back $3500.00NZD and while this is still considerably less than the Leica M9, You could buy two K30's or a one K30 and a bunch of extras, like Tripod flash, macro lens or an all in one 18 - 250mm zoom lens.
My point is Fuji should have been more concerned about the quality of product going to market if they wish to be long term contenders in what is a very tough marketplace at present.

The standard K30 kit with a 18-55mm lens will set you back $1600NZD. Compared to the current average XS-1 of $1200NZD. It may sound like a lot but the K30 will outperform the XS1 in every way.
If you want something a little less expensive then the Nikon D3200 is going to be a contender.At less than the average price of the Fuji XS-1, with the 18-55mm kit lens the D3200 is going to be well worth a look. While it isn't a sophisticated as the K30 it packs a lot of punch and used well again is going to outperform the XS-1 in every area.
Had the XS-1 not suffered from lens droop, less than stellar AF , softness at long focal length and the specular highlights issue, as described in D-Photo Magazines review as well as others, then Fuji just may have had a competitor that was able to foot it with the entry level DSLR's.
As it stands there is no clear indication from Fuji as to whether it will continue with the XS series camera. I hope they do and that this time they put real effort into getting it right rather than pleasing the marketing and sales departments. With the above items sorted the XS-1, next generation could well be a really good camera. The elements are there they just need to get them right.


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  2. a pentax zoomlens add 600grams( or more)to y body,so y pentax body and lens wil be a lot heavier.

    1. The XS-1 with battery is 920grams.
      The Pentax K30 with battery and the Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR Lens is going to weigh in at 1055grams.
      If you just used the standard 18-55mm Kit lens the weight is roughly the same as the XS1. Both cameras are heavy.
      The beauty of these cameras is the weather sealing. A very nice selling point, but despite the XS1 having a little more reach than the K30, the Pentax will smoke the XS-1 in every area except Macro where a specialist lens is in order for the DSLR. Other than that the Fuji doesn't have a lot to offer and is extremely expensive considering what you have available currently on the market and whats to come.
      For bridge cameras I prefer my HS20. Its the size of a small DSLR, handles like one, has good allround performance and at 730grams battery included is a lot nicer to tote around all day.

  3. Hi R,
    Can you please tell me what you mean by 'lens droop'? Is this a fault that affects older cameras? Are there any signs that are readily seen on affected lenses/cameras? The reason I'm interested is because I purchased an used HS10 (as it was the cheapest I could afford!).
    I've also been reading your entries regarding the HS10 and noting your comments/notes in anticipation for the arrival of my own!
    Best regards.
    Sri Lanka.

    1. Hi Jay
      I dont know if you saw this
      The animation shows the lens droop on a brand new XS-1. My HS10 & 20 never exhibited this, but apparently all the XS-1's do. Some worse than others. And it has a series effect on how sharp the lens actually is at telephoto focal lengths.
      I have several telephoto lenses, some are over 20 years old and none of them have lens droop. A couple will tend to collapse a little if you point them directly vertical and one will expand a little id pointed groundward.
      But for a new camera to do this is just plain bad production process. A new lens should not decentre this much as it will result in improperly focused image no matter what happens.
      Some have reported at Dpreview that they have inserted a thin plastic shim made from a credit card which has helped, but at the end of the day it just shouldn't do this. I took 11000 images with my HS10 and I'm currently at 15000 on my HS20 and the lens barrel on both is still tight and properly aligned, so it seems this fault is and XS-1 thing at present.

      The HS10 is a nice camera if a little slow, but once you are used to its quirks its capable of very nice images. I've seen the HS10 shot well and some of the images easily rival entry level DSLR's for IQ.

      Have Fun

  4. Dear Ralph,
    Thank you for replying and providing me with the link. I haven't received my HS10 yet, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for a decent example!
    Best regards,