Fujilove Podcast With Billy Luong From The Fuji Guys: Cameras, Lenses, Tips, And More

Fuji Love interviewed Billy Luong during their podcast for 45 minutes and it is full of interesting facts about Billy and Fujifilm. If you have the time you can listen to the podcast on Fujilove, iTunes, and Stitcher. If not there are excerpts covering the whole podcast below:

Billy’s Background

  • Joined Fujifilm around 17 years ago
  • Started as a tech support specialist
  • Dealt with some of their first digital cameras
  • Their first cameras ran on COM ports so he primarily dealt with that
  • His first digital camera was a Fujifilm A201 fixed lens 2MP camera that used Smart Media Cards
  • He did tech support until now
  • Billy is now the Senior Technical Brand Manager at Fujifilm
  • He markets their digital and Instax cameras
  • Billy also does photofinishing support which covers input and output of images

Fujifilm’s development over 2 decades

  • Digital cameras were growing a lot
  • They had one of the best selling cameras at the time largely because it came with a rechargeable battery
  • Point and shoot sales started to decline shortly after
  • Film was still selling very well at that point
  • It kept going lower and lower after that point though
  • Fujifilm always has a backup plan so they were prepared for the transition to digital
  • This is one of the best times to be with Fujifilm because they are a clear R&D leader today.
  • They had unique technologies like Super CCD
  • The Fujifilm X100 was a game changer
  • The X100 really kicked off their modern success

Fujifilm X-E3

Fujifilm X-T3

  • Fujifilm X-T3 is their most balanced camera for price/weight/quality/performance
  • Many were surprised at its price point
  • The X-T3 is big for Billy since he has small hands
  • He feels the X-E3 is on the same level as the X-T3 for image quality and most AF situations

Original f/1.4 lenses vs the new f/2 lenses and the XF60mm

  • For Billy f/2 is good enough
  • The original lenses perform much better today than they used to
  • The old lenses are a little noisy, but the AF is quite fast
  • The Fujinon 35mm f1.4 R is still a very popular lens today because it has a look that people love that comes from it not being optically perfect
  • The 35mm f/1.4 is soft in the right spots and sharp in the right spots
  • It’s like the nice old Russian glass that just has a look to it that you love
  • The Fujinon XF60mm f/2.4 R Macro is also a great lens
  • Billy thinks the XF60mm is the sharpest lens in their lineup

How Fujiguys Came To Be

  • They started their YouTube channel very early and at the time Billy is pretty sure they were the only ones
  • Since he did support they created videos instead of repeating themselves answering repeated answers to make their job easier, which started the Fuji Guys
  • Their access to pre-production cameras let them be on top of creating support videos
  • The videos helped form many’s first account of virtually touching the product if they couldn’t go hands-on in a store
  • They expanded into making user manual type videos to help new owners
  • All of this did reduce support calls
  • The channel started in Canada but expanded to English speaking countries first
  • Billy is pretty sure Greg and him started it all, but they have expanded

What We Can Expect From Fujifilm This Year

  • Fujinon XF16mm F2.8 R LM WR falls in line with their compact f/2 lenses
  • Fujinon XF16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR will be sized between the Fujinon XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS and Fujinon XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR with a very quiet AF motor and OIS so it will be great for video
  • Fujinon XF 33mm f/1 R WR will be a little bit big lens due to all the glass and it’s the only f/1.0 AF lens
  • Fujinon GF 100-200mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR
  • Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 LM WR is about a 40mm equivalency and it’s meant to pair the best with the GFX 50R
  • Fujinon GF 45-100mm f/4 R LM OIS WR

Fujifilm X-H1 and IBIS

  • The Fujifilm X-H1 is still a very important camera especially at its new price point
  • New firmware added addition stabilization up to 5.5 stops for many lenses which makes a difference
  • The new firmware also adds the ability to have large file sizes
  • The Fujifilm X-H1 was probably misunderstood at launch
  • The Fujifilm X-H1 was mainly launched for customers that wanted more robust rugged cameras that can handle larger glass
  • The Fujifilm X-H1 was also launched to help DSLR users switch
  • This was their first attempt at developing an IBIS system
  • Billy thinks their IBIS is one of the best on the market, but the size of their system was too big to fit in other X series cameras when it was developed, but they are working on reducing the size of their IBIS system.
  • X-H1 has a spring shutter system that is light and soft so it is great for shooting sports
  • X-H1 has F1 and S2 position that initially had a balance between exposure lock and shutter fire
  • Fujifilm discussed allowing the adjustment of F1 and F2 right before launch, but customers couldn’t adjust the button
  • Fujifilm might be able to adjust F1/S2 position between low/medium/high for you at a service center, but there might be a charge for that

Fujinon GF 100-200mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR

  • The Fujinon GF100-200mm is about 79-148mm and it’s compatible with the GF1.4x TC WR teleconverter so you can use it as a 111-221mm lens
  • It a little heavy, but very very sharp
  • It will hopefully be in stores in a few weeks
  • Even at f/5.6 you get a lot of isolation  for shallow depth of field
  • It is stabilized
  • Should be more videos and samples in a week or two
  • Current samples are out of camera JPEGs that are unedited and straight out of camera

Battery packs

  • PD – power delivery battery packs means they can power the camera while it is on
  • 5V battery packs aren’t high enough voltage to power a camera while it is running but it will charge the camera when it is off.
  • A power delivery pack can power the camera while it is on and it is why they recommend the Ankor battery pack
  • One way to tell if the pack outputs more than 5V is if it has a USB-C connector on it since that connection is higher voltage
  • Cameras that can be powered by a PD battery pack while on X-T3, X-T2, X-H1, X-E3, X-T20, X100F, X100T
  • The cameras that do not have USB-C need a USB-C to USB3 cable
  • You can film all day long with these kinds of cameras without having to switch the internal batteries.
  • PD battery packs are great for doing time-lapses
  • They recommend the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD and PowerCore+26800 PD
  • Billy powered the Fujifilm X-T3 for 5hrs off the Powercore Plus 26800PD and it only lost one of it is 10 lights so you could easily film for 24-hours
  • The Powercore Plus 26800PD is at least 7x the charge of their batteries or 15-20 Fujifilm batteries
  • The cameras now tell you if they are being powered by the pack

Tips and Tricks

  • A better way to navigate your camera is with the front and rear command dial
  • The rear command dial lets you jump item by item
  • The front command dial jumps page to page

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