UK users of Fujifilm’s X10 digital compact will have the option to choose a ?modified sensor? if they continue to experience the ?white disc? effect that has troubled some photographers.
The firm has also today moved to reassure customers that the ‘phenomenon’ does not affect its flagship X-Pro1 compact system camera.
In a statement (see below), released yesterday, Fuji Tokyo admits it has received ?some enquiries? about the effect, where ?exceptional highlights in the picture can appear as strongly delineated rounded shapes?.
Fuji acknowledges that it can also occur in images captured using the X-S1.
Photographers have taken to the internet to express their concerns, many using the photography website www.dpreview.com
The firm claims that the effect is reduced using a firmware update announced for the X10 last month.
A UK spokesperson told us separately: ?If, after applying the firmware upgrade, X10 customers are still unhappy, then our Bedford Service Centre will check the camera and offer customers a modified sensor, fitted free of charge to their camera.
?This will be available from May onwards when the sensor is available.?
The spokesperson explained that the ?blooming? effect occurs when a ?photodiode cannot cope with an overflow of electrical charge, which leads to a spilling of electrons in the surrounding area?.
The Fuji Tokyo statement adds: ?It can also occur with the X10 and X-S1 when shooting in certain conditions e.g. cars with front lights shining in [a] dark night scene.?
Fuji points out that this phenomenon can occur in all CMOS sensor-based cameras ?to varying degrees?.
Meanwhile, new firmware for the X-S1 is due to be launched on 21 March.
Launched late last year, the X10 has otherwise been ‘very well received’, according to Fuji UK which reported ‘very positive feedback’ on its X-series at last week’s Focus on Imaging show in Birmingham.
Full statement, as released by Fuji?s head office in Tokyo.
March 12, 2012
The FUJIFILM X10 and X-S1 digital cameras were made available by Fujifilm late last year, and have been generally very well received by customers, who admire the excellent picture quality, manual zoom lens and viewfinder.
However, we did receive some inquiries concerning the so-called ?white disc? or ?blooming? occurrence, where exceptional highlights in the picture can appear as strongly delineated rounded shapes.
This ?blooming? effect can occur with all digital cameras which use CMOS sensors, to varying degrees.
It can also occur with the X10 and X-S1 when shooting in certain conditions, e.g. cars with front lights shining in dark night scene.
The X10 and X-S1 are fitted with a very advanced sensor, which gives excellent picture quality and low noise, but which does give a different ?blooming? effect from other cameras.
Fujifilm has a long-standing history of delivering top quality products to the market.
In response to our customers? comments, we have worked hard to find an improvement to reduce the ?blooming? effect of the X10 and X-S1. Below are the actions we have undertaken.
1. In February, we announced a firmware upgrade for the X10 (version 1.03) which does reduce the white disc occurrence specifically in EXR mode. It works by identifying scenes that are likely to get ?white disc? blooming. When the camera recognizes such a scene, it automatically increases the ISO and optimizes DR (dynamic range). As the ISO increases, the white discs are less evident. * New firmware for the X-S1 will be available from March 21, 2012.
2. We will also develop a modified sensor, which will more universally resolve the ?white disc? blooming effect in all modes. We are working hard to make this new sensor available from late May 2012.
We encourage any customer with an X10 and X-S1 who has experienced the ?white disc? phenomenon to call their local authorized Fujifilm service centre.
Fujifilm is committed to delivering the highest quality products to the photographic community, and is happy to provide this improvement.