Fuji just unveiled new additions to its X-series. One is an updated model of their best mirrorless, the other is a simplified premium ultra-compact and the last is a firmware upgrade to their first large-sensor compact which is now discontinued. This is quite a mix and shows that Fuji is serious about keeping their X-lineups fresh.
The most significant update today is the new Fuji X-E2. This latest mirrorless replaces the superb sensor of its predecessor, the X-E1 reviewed here, with a 16 megapixels X-Trans CMOS II sensor. While it keeps the same resolution and Fuji-exclusive 6×6 color-filter-array which is moire-resistant without needed and anti-alias filter, it adds on-sensor Phase-Detect autofocus. This lets Fuji claim the faster AF time of any camera, down to 0.08s in optimal conditions.
The X-E2 actually gets a set of 60 improvements over its predecessor with a larger higher-resolution LCD and built-in WiFi among more processing and ergonomic tweaks. This digital camera retains the superb 2.4 megapixels EVF with Eye-Start sensor of its predecessor but with a higher refresh-rate in low-light, up to 3X faster.
A new EXR II processor boosts continuous shooting speeds to 7 FPS and adds a Lens Modulation Optimizer to render the most details from lenses. This processor handles data from over 100K Phase-Detect pixels to provide extreme focusing speed and accuracy. Full 1080p HD video is now recordable at a full 60 FPS too.
The second ultra-compact to bare an X in its name is the Fuji XQ1. This one uses a 12 megapixels 2/3″ X-Trans II CMOS sensor, bringing Phase-Detect AF and anti-alias-free capture in an ultra-compact form-factor. The sensor appears to be the same as on the X20 reviewed here while the lens has the same optical formula as the XF1 without its awesome collapsible mechanical zoom.
The Fuji XQ1 offers full manual-controls, a rarity among ultra-compacts, including manual-focus. A few buttons and a dual control-dials but it in the premium compact category. Its ultra-bright F/1.8 lens with 4X optical zoom is equivalent to 25-100mm and includes image-stabilization.
Like the larger model, the XQ1 uses an EXR II processor to achieve ultra-fast focusing and startup times. It is claimed to be the fastest in its class. The X20 certainly is when it comes to AF, so there is no reason to doubt the XQ1 will not manage either.
Lastly, Fuji has announced V2.0 of its firmware for the highly-acclaimed and ground-breaking Finepix X100 reviewed here. Note we also reviewed its successor – the Fuji X100S – which is the first camera to offer an X-Trans CMOS II sensor.
The Fuji XQ1 is scheduled to be available this month for $449 USD or CDN while people have to wait until next month for the Fuji X-E2. Quantities for the X-E2 are expected to be limited, so if interested you can preorder one for roughly $999 from Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama. The XQ1 can also be pre-ordered from the same reliable sources: Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama.