Nanjing is a fun and vibrant place to be. While it is China in all its glory, the artefacts of western culture and globalisation are every where to be seen on the main streets. Jeans, t-shirts and designer labels seek to at least visually blur cultural identities, but a unique Chinese style shines through. Young ladies seem effortlessly elegant, yet strangely school girl like, in a mish-mash of Chinese designs, Birkenstocks and other western finery. McDonalds and KFC outlets continue their relentless spread. At last count there were over 4000 KFC outlets in China, with a new one opening every week. Money and optimism seem to be everywhere. China is changing, and changing rapidly.
Today was a big day in the world of Fujifilm. Fuji announced 2 new lenses and a new interchangeable lens camera in the X-Series, the X-M1. If you have not already done so you can see the full low down on the Fujifilm X-M1 here
Amazingly the X-M1, at 116.9mm x 66.5mm (H) x 39.0mm (D) / 4.6 in. x 2.6 in. (H) x 1.5 in. (D) is actually smaller than the X100s. Put the new 16/50mm lens on this and you have a very capable travel camera. The other lens announced today was the 27mm pancake. This tiny lens coupled with the tilting screen offers some interesting possibilities for street and candid photos.
My personal preference however is for cameras with a viewfinder and lenses with an aperture ring. Old school maybe, but thats the way I like it. So I don’t see either of the 27mm, or the X-M1 being in my gear bag.
The standout item for me today however was the Firmware announcement. For both the X-Pro1 and the X-E1 the small change that is a super big deal is the re-programming of the down selector to be a 2nd function button – in short you no longer have to take the camera away from your face to change the AF location or size, it can now be assigned the AF selector to the down button. If that is not enough for you it seems that they have committed focus peaking for the X-Pro1 and X-E1. This is due to be shipped in July. It remains to be seen if this will be as good an implementation as it is on the X100s, but my fingers are crossed. They have also committed AF performance enhancements.
Many of these updates are what Fujifilm users requested from the company. Clearly they listened. Fujifilm is to be commended with their approach to feature updates to existing cameras. It would have been a lot easier for them to hold the focus peaking over until the next revisions of those cameras, which is the norm in the industry.
So be careful what you wish for …Fujifilm may just provide it.