Just now, Fuji unveiled two X-mount Macro Tubes and an unprecedented number of firmware updates for their X-series of digital cameras, including mirrorless and fixed lens models.
The new MCEX-11 and MCEX-16 are the first X-mount extension tubes. Little is known about them but we presume they provide an extension of 11mm and 16mm, respectively. These rings work with an XF or XC lens and forward all electronic contacts, retaining auto-exposure and full control over the attached lens.
Using these tubes, Fuji lenses will resolve to a higher magnification suitable for macro work. The effective magnification depends on the lens used, as always. They will have greater effect on short focal-length lenses. The Fujinon XF60mm F/2.4 R Macro is obviously an ideal candidate for using these extension tubes.
Both Fuji Macro Extension Tubes are scheduled to ship in mid-December this year for $99 USD or $109 CDN each.
The recently-announced Fuji X-T1 Graphite and its original black version reviewed here will both receive Firmware 3.0 on December 18, 2014. This will bring both models to par. This includes the 1/32000s electronic-shutter mode of the Graphite version, plus additional customization options:
- Autofocus Area Direct-Selection – Users can select the focus area with the 4-way controller, without pressing the Fn button first.
- Switch of the AE-L/AF-L buttons – The currently locked AE-L/AF-L button function will now be interchangeable, depending on the user’s preference.
- MF Focus Area Sizing – Users will be able to change the focus area in Manual mode during One Push AF with the AF-L button.
- Macro Direct-Selection – Users will be able to directly turn ON or OFF the Macro function in Auto Focus mode to expand the distance measurement range to the short-distance range. This will be possible without accessing the pop-up menu screen.
- Q Menu Customization – The update will render the items and layout of the Q Menu, used for quick access of frequently-used items, changeable to the user’s preference.
- Video Frame Rates – In addition to the existing 60fps and 30fps selections, 50fps and 25fps, as well as a 24fps selection will become available to users. 50fps and 25fps allow video editing in the PAL region, such as Europe and elsewhere, without converting the frame rate. The 24fps will offer movie-like video capture and play back.
- Video Manual Exposure – Users will be able to select ISO sensitivity prior to shooting videos, as well as adjusting the aperture and shutter speed during video shooting.
- Phase Detection AF-On – Operated by pressing the AF-L button during manual focusing, the update will enable Phase Detection AF with quicker focusing speeds.
- Metering and Focus Linking – The update will enable users to interlock the AF area position with the metering area when spot metering is selected.
- Program Shift Expansion – The update will enable the current Program Shift, in which the low-speed side is 1/4 second, to be shifted to a maximum of 4s.
- Classic Chrome Film Simulation – Film simulation that delivers muted tones and deep color reproduction.
- Support for INSTAX Share Printer – Photos can be sent directly to the INSTAX Share Printer for instant prints.
- Lock Function – Users can lock the camera to prevent unexpected dial and button operations.
- DMF – Users can half press the shutter to focus, and then make fine adjustments using the manual focus ring.
- 3 Custom White Balance Memories – Expands number of white balance users can store.
- Expanded EVF/LCD for Manual Exposure – Users can now customize the way the image is displayed on the EVF or LCD.
- LCD Brightness and EVF/LCD Adjustment – Users can customize display brightness based on environment.
- Flash Compensation via Fn Button – Users can now add Flash Compensation to any of the six custom function buttons.
There will also be a 3.0 firmware version of the Fuji X-E2. This one adds WLAN Remote Control, Interval Timer, Classic Chrome and DMF for all X-mount lenses. Its predecessor, the Fuji X-E1 will receive firmware version 2.4 to add DMF. Finally, the Fuji X30 reviewed here gets an AF-L function with firmware version 1.01.
This is the most massive firmware update any camera maker has announced to date and confirms Fuji’s position to slow down obsolescence among its existing lineup of premium digital cameras.