Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fuji X-E2 4.00 Firmware Upgrade

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/4.7, 1/200–Electronic Shutter
As promised after I updated the firmware I shot the same theater show as last night and my last blog post.

Electronic Shutter

Well one of the first things I fell in love with was the electronic shutter. I turned the camera to this and shot a few image out my window of the backyard. Overall looked OK. Then I even turned the sound off on the shutter and I mean it is totally silent.

However as you can see in the top photo, that is suppose to be a straight line on the right for a wall. If you look at her lips you can see a softness there that shouldn't be there.  My friend Gary Chapman warned me about this banding affect.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.6, 1/500–Electronic Shutter
Here you can really see the banding affect. To compare this to one without the electronic shutter I reset the camera quickly when I started to really notice this and here is the one I shot after changing the setting.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/4.5, 1/300–Regular Shutter
Now I went back and read the upgrades in the PDF by Fujifilm:
High-speed electronic shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32000sec. (*) 
The FUJINON XF Lens series lineup includes a number of fast fixed focal length lenses which boast very high sharpness with the aperture wide open, producing excellent out of focus "bokeh". However, fast apertures are difficult to use if the light is too bright, so to ensure users can create shallow depth-of-field effects, the camera is now equipped with a fully electronic shutter offering a maximum shutter speed of 1/32000sec. The mechanical shutter will not operate at all when any speed for the electronic shutter is selected, which also delivers a completely silent shooting experience; perfect for shots of sleeping children, pets, weddings, and more. In addition, it is possible to set the electronic shutter in 1/3 steps from a range of 1sec to 1/32000sec. 
Notes: Shutter Sound 
The shutter sound can be muted if desired. Use the new "SHUTTER SOUND" and "SHUTTER VOLUME" options in the setup menu to choose the type and volume of the sound made when the shutter is released. 
I believe from my tests that if you are inside and shooting at a pretty fast shutter speed you can get the banding effect. I think the electronic shutter is better for shooting outside in bright light where you may want to shoot at ƒ/1.2 and need then the super fast shutter speeds.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.8, 1/180–Firmware 3.10
This is from the first night's performance with the older firmware 3.10

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.8, 1/250
The main difference isn't in the end quality but while shooting the AF locked in on their faces and throughout the night was consistently finding faces better than before. So since the auto focus and face recognition was better the exposures were better because one the face was recognized the exposure was based off them.

Here are the notes about the improved AF
New AF System
(1) New AF system with Zone and Wide/Tracking modes for effortless capture of moving subjects. 
The AF System complements the fast and accurate 49-single-point autofocus system with new Zone and Wide/Tracking modes, which use 77 autofocus points across a wider area to substantially improve the camera's ability to capture moving subjects.
(2) Improvement of AF accuracy. 
Single-point AF divides the focus area into smaller sections to more accurately determine the distance to the subject for even greater focusing accuracy. The built-in phase detection pixels have the detection range of 0.5EV, an improvement from the previous 2.5EV, delivering phase detection AF performance that enables fast focusing in low-light conditions and on low-contrast subjects.
(3) Eye Detection AF. (*) 
The firmware update provides Fujifilm's Eye Detection AF, which automatically detects and focuses on human eyes. 
The function allows you to easily focus on the eyes even in difficult conditions, e.g. when shooting a portrait wide open to obtain a beautiful bokeh background.
Now while my hopes of using the Electronic Shutter all the time were dashed, the overall performance of the Fuji X-E2 was significantly improved and like buying a newer model camera. So thanks Fuji!

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.6, 1/400
I had to post the one photo of my daughter's performance from tonight.

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