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Fujifilm plans X10 firmware in response to 'white disc' concerns

By dpreview staff on Dec 7, 2011 at 03:10 GMT

Fujifilm has said it will attempt to address the problem of X10 images showing 'white discs' with a firmware update in response to customer concerns. The company statement comes in response to our enquiries about the problem, and confirms the phenomenon is caused by sensor 'blooming.' It claims the camera is working within prescribed tolerances and that the problem is not uncommon in other cameras but says that it plans updated firmware to 'lessen the effects' of the blooming. We have prepared a quick test of the issue (which we will cover in greater depth in the full review), showing the effects of Fujifilm's suggested ways of mitigating the issue.

Update: We have published a report on the effect of firmware v.1.03 on the orbs issue (Feb 25th 2012)  

Company statement:

'Fujifilm engineers have examined a number of sample shots and have concluded that the camera is working within prescribed tolerances. The blooming issue is something not uncommon to many types of digital camera. It is possible to reduce the effects of blooming either by increasing the ISO or widening the dynamic range on the camera.

However, after receiving a number of comments from users, we can understand their concern and plan a firmware upgrade to lessen the effects of blooming. We will announce in due course when the upgrade will be available.'

White Disc blooming tests:

Here we compare the rendering of specular highlights between the FujiFilm X10 (left) and the Olympus XZ-1, which has a slightly smaller sensor based on CCD technology. All the images below are 100% crops, shot at equivalent focal lengths, using the same shutter speed, ISO and aperture.

Fujifilm X10, 12MP, ISO 100, DR 100% Olympus XZ-1, 10MP, ISO 100

ISO Test

In accordance with Fujifilms suggestion, we shot the scene at different ISO settings.

ISO 100, DR 100%, 12MP ISO 200, DR 100%, 12MP
ISO 400, DR 100%, 12MP ISO 800, DR 100%, 12MP

No significant further improvement was seen above ISO 800.

DR Test

We also shot the scene using the camera's EXR DR mode, which under-exposes half its pixels and then combines these with the fully-exposed neighboring pixels to produce a 6MP image with greater highlight retention.

ISO 100, DR 100%, 6MP ISO 100, DR 200%, 6MP
ISO 100, DR 400%, 6MP

We will investigate the problem (and how prevalent it is in real-world photographs) in more depth in our full review. We will also test any updated firmware that becomes available.

Comments

Total comments: 219
12
ljclark
By ljclark (Feb 12, 2012)

The firmware "fix" (v1.03): Fuji alludes to some kind of improvement when the camera is in the EXR mode. But I'm more concerned with the Orbs when shooting at the fundamental level -- RAW and JPEG at DR 100%. I did some before and after tests (firmware v 1.01 and 1.03) with a specially built test subject shooting RAW and JPEG at ISOs 100 and 800.

Result: Absolutely no improvements in the Orb situation at ISO 100.

I suspect that this problem lies either with the hardware or with the image processing engine at a level that can't be fixed with firmware.

Granted, many users will never notice the Orbs, and likely only a small percentage of photos will even exhibit the effect. But this fix and the tone of their communications gives more weight to my belief in Fujifilm's arrogance. Their reluctance to accept that this is a problem, just like their reluctance to accept that they missed the mark with the X100's RAW button, is baffling. Does the X line have any real leadership?

0 upvotes
iangl
By iangl (Feb 3, 2012)

I hope Fujifilm reads these comments, and takes note of how many people are unhappy with the white orbs problem, that is associated with the sensor in the X10 and X-S1, until a replacement sensor is introduced - however good the rest of these cameras are - I shall be keeping my money in my pocket. I am saddened by this, Fujifilm as you were very high on my list of must have cameras.

0 upvotes
Reality
By Reality (Jan 18, 2012)

Wow, I am getting really tired of reading about tiny complaints with the x10. For the price point, this is the most near perfect camera I have owned. I am a pro and I have always been on the hunt for a great walk around camera and I started with a Rico, moved onto the Panasonic Lumix and sold that to buy the x10. Is the x10 perfect, no. Is any camera perfect, no. But lets give some credit where credit is due. This camera has put the fun into taking pictures. The image quality is tremendous, the low light quality is great, the manual zoom is trend setting, the retro design is flawless. I could go on and on. I hear a lot of complaints about what to expect for $500. I am not saying the 500 bucks is not a lot of money, but for what you are getting with this camera, it is not a lot of money. My pro camera is a Canon 1ds Mark III, and that is a lot of money, about $6000. Even after spending 6000K, I have a list of things that I could complain about. Be realistic Please

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 14, 2012)

Yeah. Fuji is actually saying now that the planned firmware fix (coming maybe in February 2012) will not ELIMINATE the issue at hand, only REDUCE the size of the white orbs/discs. Weird and un-reassuring, although not entirely unexpected.

I guess money is a bit tight these days to recall all manufactured X10 and X-S1 cameras to replace them with new sensors. Which is something Fujifilm most likely does not even have.

0 upvotes
aeneon
By aeneon (Jan 12, 2012)

a firmware update will just be a patch of sorts , if i was going to spend over £400 on one of these i'd want one with a sensor that actually worked properly from the start .

1 upvote
Romano P
By Romano P (Jan 12, 2012)

Any news about the firmware update?
I've shot a sunset tonight, looks like an ufo landing
<O>
Too bad for such a nicely build cam...

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 14, 2012)

Now promised for early February, but Fujifilm apparently already knows that the "fix" will merely reduce the severity of the white disc incidences, not eliminate it entirely. That probably requires a HARDWARE FIX -- READ: a new and corrected camera sensor.

No chance of that going down, in my view. I would very much like to buy their promising X-S1 26x superzoom bridge-cam, but probably too chicken to take the plunge. Same exact sensor as what the X10 has, phew...

But the white orbs seem to happen only in PHOTOGRAPHS, not in VIDEO CLIPS shot with these two cameras.

0 upvotes
aeneon
By aeneon (Jan 9, 2012)

Absolutley ridiculous situtaion , wont be buying one of these as planned .
A lot of Fuji owners seem prepared to bury their heads in the sand and ignore it rather than make a fuss, i dont get them at all !!
If my brand new TV didnt work correctly and displayed blobs whenever a street light came on screen it'd be gone back to shop in a flash.
Come on Fuji this problem is massive.

1 upvote
Summit_pg
By Summit_pg (Jan 8, 2012)

Sadly, I'm an X10 owner. I will never purchase another 'new' Fuji camera ever again.

0 upvotes
Lexx81
By Lexx81 (Jan 4, 2012)

This camera is great for many reasons, but the orb problem must be solved. 5% of my pictures are affected by those white discs, not terrible, but not good if you consider that x10 could be the best compact camera...

2 upvotes
Nemodus
By Nemodus (Jan 2, 2012)

Review X-S1, look at the pictures at night ...
http://prophotos.ru/reviews/14675-fujifilm-x-s1?page=5
An example (the photo is very badly, but still it's really not normal)
http://prophotos.ru/data/articles/0001/4675/65711/dscf1153-original.jpg
Another. The exposure time is too long, but it does not excuse the problem.
http://prophotos.ru/data/articles/0001/4675/65710/dscf1151-original.jpg
The X-S1 has the same problem and taking pictures at night is not uncommon ...

This problem exists with other cameras and is normal, but not in those proportions.
With my FZ50 in Budapest, there are white disks, but that's normal, no spots.
http://nemodus.smugmug.com/Vacation/Trip/12930830_dMgNk3#1380938810_QcXcMkm-O-LB
If Fuji does that, that's fine for me.

I really doubt that Fuji can quickly fix a sensor problem by a firmware.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 14, 2012)

Beautiful shot of Szabadsag hid & Gellert Szallo. I saw no orbs, whatever there is for lights is most pleasant for the eyes indeed.

Orb/disc issues does not seem to happen in video mode, only in still photos.

Looking to get an X-S1 very soon for my on BP trip, and would be using it 95% for video shooting, but still... I'll wait for the firmware update next month, then I can get the camera and immediately replace the firmware. Then, if the results are okay, more or less, I'll keep. Otherwise -- back she goes.

0 upvotes
tristanik
By tristanik (Jan 1, 2012)

Still wating?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 24, 2011)

Talked with Fujifilm USA on this today. Was told that they are aware of the issue and working on a solution,. Also was told that only one particular batch of X10s were so affected. Defective batch?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 14, 2011)

Upon reading the press release for the launching of the X-S1, we were really looking forward to order 3 or 4 copies of the upcoming Fujfilm X-S1 superzoom-cam with the phenomenal 26x zoom optic, but since that one will share the new 3/4-inch sensor found in the X10, I am not sure why it would not have this same unwanted white disc phenomenon? Or maybe by the time the X-S1 starts shipping, the firmware update will have been readied for both the 3/4-inch sensor X10, and the same sensor X-S1?

Problem I can see now is, what if it is really the sensor (or processor) and thus it cannot be fixed via a firmware patch?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 14, 2012)

UPDATE: According to DP Review and Fuji, the firmware fix will REDUCE the severity of the white disc phenomenon, but will not ELIMINATE it entirely. Is this good enough?

0 upvotes
iltubo
By iltubo (Dec 13, 2011)

received mine last Tuesday. I have not even opened the package, the camera is already returned.

1 upvote
iangl
By iangl (Feb 3, 2012)

Good for returning it --if more people did this it might make them fix the problem, and I will purchase, but not until reviews prove the fix is OK

0 upvotes
yukonchris
By yukonchris (Dec 12, 2011)

It would be interesting to see comparison shots featuring out of camera jPeg images (no post processing) from a variety of current cameras, where the photographers have chosen to shoot into the sun. This must be one of the most challenging scenarios for sensors and lenses and would certainly highlight (pun intended) any design issues with either the sensor or lens being used.

0 upvotes
ljclark
By ljclark (Dec 11, 2011)

From the Fuji statement: "The blooming issue is something not uncommon to many types of digital camera."

So I've looking around at online articles and the information is pretty consistent that CMOS sensors do not experience blooming -- or at least nowhere near what can occur with CCDs.

The X10 sensor is their "EXR" CMOS. Are they blowing smoke up our kilts? Is this something that may look like blooming, but actually is not? Or is the EXR sensor unusual in that it is a CMOS that is uncharacteristically plagued by blooming?

Years ago I had a meeting with the TQM manager for a large firm that sold a LOT of airplanes to the Navy. They had experienced difficulties with their customer. After three surveys this firm finally got the message. The customer was really ticked off about the firm's "Technical Arrogance". Is that what Fuji is displaying here? Kinda like their refusal to listen when it comes to the "RAW" button?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Optimal Prime
By Optimal Prime (Dec 10, 2011)

Given that the X10's auto ISO always seems to choose a higher ISO than necessary, I have a nagging suspicion Fuji knew of the problem even prior to release.

For instance, when the Auto ISO is set to 800, despite being outdoors on a sunny day, the lowest ISO setting the camera seem settles on is still ISO 400...

This issue has also been noted several times in many forums, along with the inaccuracy of the AF and the mediocrity of the X10's Image Stabilization.

Fuji definitely needs to invest more in Quality Control or else their whole 'Made in Japan' marketing slogan will become a handicap rather than a selling point.

Obviously, Fuji's tolerance settings are very different than the paying consumer's acceptable tolerance. Something to keep in mind when working out the firmware fix (if possible at all).

2 upvotes
cassano
By cassano (Dec 10, 2011)

as a long time fuji user, I can tell you that every fuji camera tends to choose high iso even in sunny day. I don't know why. Maybe that's the way they implemented anti-blur quite a few years ago. But with lens-based or sensor-shift tech, they should definitely change their code... i guess it's just a few lines of code...

BTW, I strongly believe this white disc problem is a software problem. I am not an EE people, but I cannot imagine how defective hardware can produce such perfect round disks... Must be some dirty algorithms behind it

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 11, 2011)

Yeah, "Made in Japan" and "Made in Germany" slogans had lost their high-echelon, high-quality connotation over the years and decades, it seems.

Problems with the X10 do not bode well for the 26x focal range superzoom X-S1 either, since the two cameras share sensors.

Auto-ISO is a sickening disease, can't someone be expected to figure out on his/her own what ISO to use in a given situation?

Re. the "white disc syndrome," if you read and re-read their press release, Fujifilm came out attacking everyone else, and managed to promise nothing to their customers, really. How very sad. And they call the Germans highly arrogant.

0 upvotes
sbaechler0
By sbaechler0 (Dec 11, 2011)

Higher ISO allows for better highlight protection and does make sense in high-contrast situations outdoors.
Usually DR is set to 400% at ISO 400.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 13, 2011)

Made in Japan/Germany hasn't meant anything, except price, for years. Yet people are still fooled, and will buy a re-branded German camera made by Panasonic for double the price. I worked for both the German and Japanese camera companies and I will tell you the difference: When the Japanese visit the distributor, they ask "What would you like to see in a future camera?" When the Germans visit, they tell you what you would like to see. I do agree that Fuji made a mistake calling the kettle black to attract snobs with Made In Japan--as if this has any specific connection to image quality.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 14, 2011)

@ sbaechler0: Thank you for that explanation, I guess in the case of the problematic X10 here, one thing the user can do is to dial up the ISO setting to 800 or higher, and DR to the maximum 400%? "Better highlight protection" may help to reduce the white disc effect, no?

@ brasiveReducer: Yeah, not much is mean by MADE IN GERMANY and MADE IN JAPAN for a good 20 years now. That is when corporate pride started to go out the door and swiftly replaced by corporate arrogance and the new slogan: "The corporation is always right."

We shot on Fujicolor 16mm and some 35mm motion picture negative stock for quite a while, and a few years ago the company (in the USA) started to scale back personnel and let a lot of people go. You can't get much out of them these days, and they raised pricing quite aggressively. I guess we are witnessing the waning days of celluloid type of shooting.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

Kudos to Fujifilm for basically telling the poor suckahs who had purchased Fujifilm X10 cameras that they are wrong and Fujifilm is right. Never mind that images captured can look like horse manure on steroids -- if Fujifilm says it is "within tolerances," then there is nothing more to be griping about, folks.

Textbook case of how NOT to respond to a product problem. They must have learned this from the recent Toyota-Lexus fiasco.

Also, this corporate attitude makes one wonder about the rationale of considering buying their upcoming X-S1 superzoom-cam. I mean, sensor, firmware, etc. will be the same as in the X10.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 13, 2011)

When you were in that meeting with Fuji's R&D staff did they confirm the X-S1 will have exactly the same sensor & firmware? You should have spoken up when you had the chance. And speaking of image quality, why are you in the market for a camera with a 26x zoom (26x? Really?) I haven't been following this but I can tell you in advance, if it has a zoom with this range the quality will be less than stellar.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 14, 2011)

@ AbrasiveReducer: Nobody here I know of was in any meeting with any Fuji research team members -- so, you clearly must be confusing me with someone else?

Since the X10 is the first 2/3-inch CMOS sensor digital camera from Fujifilm, I am pretty sure that Fujifilm did not commission from itself two vastly different 3/4-inch CMOS sensors, one for the X10, and a different one for the X-S1. But maybe they did, after all? We should ask their R&D staff.

Lastly, the reason we want the Fujifilm X-S1 camera with the 26x zoom optic is because the X-S1 has a 26x focal range zoom lens. Simple logic, really.

Regarding the zoom ranges, well professional video zoom optics from Fuji and Canon go up to the 100x range, and some from Panavision up to the 300x range. So, a 26x range zoom from Fujinon is not really a revelation in late 2011/early 2012. Also, last I heard, Fuji has been in the photo-video-film lens making biz for quite a while, and both they and Canon make some pretty decent glass.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 25, 2011)

@ AbrasiveReducer: if you can arrange to call any of Fujifilm's worldwide offices, they probably can confirm to you directly that their two new 2/3-inch CMOS sensor cameras actually share sensor. In other words, there is not a different 2/3-inch sensor in each camera. Does that make any sense to you?

Why the 26x zoom range, you ask? Maybe you should ask Fujifilm that, since it was not I who had told them that they must use a 26x Fujinon zoom optic on their X-S1. On the other hand.... we have zoom optics out now that cover a 400x zoom range, and many models that cover 100x or 101x zoom range. We also have advanced digital cameras out now that cover a 35x or 36x zoom range. All of these are above the X-S1's promised 26x range, in other words.

So, in comparison to all of these existing cameras and lenses, quite frankly I see nothing shocking about a digital camera w. a 26x zoom lens. Right?

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (Dec 9, 2011)

Well it ok at photographing white discs which will please UFO'oligists, the ideal camera,

I want to use it for photographing people and places , how's it do at that?

1 upvote
kheah
By kheah (Dec 9, 2011)

I just bought my X10 yesterday even though I had read about the white disc problem. I have made a number of test shots of bright lights in dimly lit rooms but have not been able to reproduce the problem. I shall be using the X10 extensively over the weekend to see if there is really a problem in normal use.

The only "issue" I have experienced is that it does not focus accurately sometiimes. This is easily fixed by reactivating the autofocus which will then usually lock on correctly.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

Biggest issue I can see is that the company suggested solution to mitigate the phenomenon is to INCREASE the ISO sensitivity. Usually, it is the other way around.

Doesn't increasing ISO setting to mitigate the white disc phenomenon also add digital noise to the captured images?

0 upvotes
jeremybarton
By jeremybarton (Dec 9, 2011)

I have not had this problem so far! even with a few night shots! i thinks its a miner problem taken to the extreme!

1 upvote
mark power
By mark power (Dec 8, 2011)

This is what happens with a Panasonic GH2 shooting directly into the sun ( f16) would it be a white blob with the Fuj? Not to gloat just as a point of comparison. Of course it is a white blob in this photo but it is also convincing as a representation of the sun, at least INMHO.

http://www.pbase.com/markp/image/140195544/medium.jpg

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

I don't see your photo to be anywhere near the same as what the white disc phenomenon is being described as. All in all, there is nothing that can even come close to shooting on actual film stock. And past that, CCD sensors probably still have an edge over CMOS. Unfortunately, most camera companies stopped making cameras w. CCDs, since they usually cost more than CMOS does.

0 upvotes
tristanik
By tristanik (Dec 8, 2011)

I have taken around 500 pictures with my X10 and so far i have found one picture where Orbs have been a minor issue.
I think this issue have truend in to mass hysteria and i wonder how it all started?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

I don't know about 'mass hysteria,' but the test shot done by DP Review show pretty much unacceptable results with this camera under the set of circumstances under the ISO 800 setting.

0 upvotes
gommm
By gommm (Dec 8, 2011)

Would using a neutral density filter solve the problem? Could I maybe use something like http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MQIE82 ?

0 upvotes
WillemVO
By WillemVO (Dec 8, 2011)

Got my X10 since 10days and tested it thoroughly. Delighted with almost all aspects, I oversaw this problem. Tested again especially and compared with Olympus E30, Lumix G1 and Lumix LX3.
I found virtually the same results (but much better color and less noise in the Fuji) but, indeed, slightly more blooming is visible, but only visible in very strong enlargements ! Examples from DP Review are on 100% !
So, nice if FUJI can improve, but I'm not exactly going to have nightmares over this "problem".

3 upvotes
tristanik
By tristanik (Dec 8, 2011)

Agree...!

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Dec 8, 2011)

The blob might be acceptable to FUJI.

It is not acceptable to the paying CONSUMERS.

A company with perceived LOW STANDARDS of QA will not be endeared with a loyal following...

1 upvote
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Dec 10, 2011)

It's not a major problem in real life.

Perhaps a paying professional might justifiably get his knickers in a twist; but a a consumer? Well, some just like to twist their knickers, don't they?

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 13, 2011)

Where are these people coming from? I am a paying customer. The camera is entirely acceptible to me. I even like the RAW button (horrors!). So please in your anger and arrogance do not speak on my behalf. As we used to say in New Jersey, if you don't like it, don't f'n buy it.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 14, 2011)

A consumer is also a paying customer -- unless he/she manages to test a camera in a store and then just walk out of it in his/her pocket or bag w/o paying for it at the cash register.

Some people have lower expectations of a camera than others, or might not place the camera in situations where any perceived or real shortcomings might manifest themselves. We might as well not start attacking each other here over this issue, especially since even Fujifilm had more or less fessed-up to the fact that there is some sort of a problem or at least 'issue' w. the X10. The ball is in their court now.

0 upvotes
armanius
By armanius (Dec 8, 2011)

I like my X10 a lot and the white blob hasn't affected my everyday use very much. While I have come across them in isolated situations, I still think it's one of the best P&S cameras ever. However, Fuji's response that the X10 is working within prescribed tolerances does not instill consumer confidence. It means one of two things. Fuji's tolerance for problematic sensor is quite high (a.k.a., low standards), and therefore, the white blob problem is acceptable to Fuji. And/or, it means that Fuji believes its customers are overeacting to something they should just accept. At least companies like Pentax humbly admitted that they had a dirty sensor problem. Fuji needs to step up by acknowledging that the problem is a problem, instead of saying, "c'mon, that's nothing .... but I'll see what I can do ..."

4 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Dec 10, 2011)

I ostensibly agree with you but what one has to consider is their legal position. If they didn't claim this then they might be much more likely to find themselves in a very expensive situation. However, the fact is that this firmware update is an acknowledgement that it *is* a problem.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

@armanius, U R 100% right-on, Brother. The problem here is not really the minor technical issue, it is the limitless corporate arrogance of their hard-to-believe press release addressing it. They came right back attacking and swinging a stick.

After the amazing recent PR fumbles of Toyota and Lexus, maybe it is the mindset of the Japanese that they cannot be fessing up to any mistakes or errors, no matter how slight.

I was considering adding the X-S1 to my arsenal, but after this lambasting press release from Fujifilm, it is going to have to be 'wait and see.'

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 13, 2011)

More nonsense. Even if this is a a major and unsovlable problem nobody is an any danger of losing their life to a faulty camera. And the manufacturer is not attacking anyone (obviously). It is the consumers who have decided this is not only a serious issue; it's some kind of conspiricy. Fuji points out (unwisely, perhaps) that this problem is not totally unique to their camera and this is somehow interepreted as a denial. All this talk about arsenals and sticks and lambasting. Give it a break. Even the Lexus problem was resolved, but it took more than a few weeks.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 14, 2011)

Re. the sample images on flickr and elsewhere of the white discs popping up all over the map, first I had though that a horde of small UFOs have landed all over our planet. Actually, I was sort of relieved to learn subsequently that these white discs do not have a menacing extra-terrestrial origin at all.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 25, 2011)

@ AbrasiveReducer:

"Even if this is a a major and unsovlable problem nobody is an any danger of losing their life to a faulty camera."

Wow, that's comforting to know. Why, just how many of these non-life threatening types of slightly defective cameras do you own now?

0 upvotes
op204
By op204 (Dec 8, 2011)

Bottom line is the product is defective. And it's defective in the worst possible department, Image Quality. We all know IQ is king. So, even if it is a problem that manifests itself "only under certain conditions," it is one manifestation too many. Especially when no other camera currently in the market exhibits the behavior, and that includes comparable cameras (and even some M43s) that are up to $150 USD cheaper!

I have no doubt Fuji will fix the problem. And I'll be the first one to buy another when they do. I held this baby for a few days before I returned it, and it's a thing of beauty. Possibly, the IPhone of Digital P&Ss! It just feels that great. Makes you wanna go shoot. Believe me, it hurt to let go.

So, the question is no longer weather it has a problem or not. The question is, how fast do you want it fixed? If you want it fixed ASAP, then I suggest,

1) returning yours if you can
2) hold off on buying one until they do

Then, sit back, and watch them fix it by Christmas.

3 upvotes
SerKol
By SerKol (Dec 8, 2011)

I shot a friend's child birthday a couple of days ago and i was too busy to sort them out. Now I've looked at those pics. Shots in a dim room with birthday candles are almost unusable. Candles are big white spots. There is a strip of decorative light on the wall. I think that one light (out of 4) was on, and there's a big white spot, 3 times wider than the light strip.

Unfortunately I cannot return the camera to the seller, it's over 2 weeks... I'll try to do what I can to return it...

3 upvotes
deeohuu
By deeohuu (Dec 8, 2011)

The number of online reviews that praised the camera without catching this should tell you something about how dependable reviews are. The number of newer reviews that do mention the white shapes and call them "orbs" (orbs are 3 dimensional, these are most certainly not 3 dimensional!) should tell you those reviewers actually depend on forum talk for their insight. Caveat Emptor - even after looking at reviews.

Return Merchandise Authorization number received and box ready to ship. Nuff Said.

4 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Dec 8, 2011)

Caveat Emptor: want a worry free digital camera? There is none. And that's the bottom line you fail to address only because you are focused on your 'investment', and addressing insufferable pains with consumerist, "oh, I'm so hurt" operatic score.

3 upvotes
deeohuu
By deeohuu (Dec 8, 2011)

The ad hominem attack is not worth a response but I see no insufferable pain or hurt in my note. I'm one of the lucky ones able to return the camera.

You disagree with Caveat Emptor. The alternative is to blindly buy with no regard to quality. If you are suggesting everyone accept whatever camera makers dish out I respectfully disagree. There are no worry free digital cameras; there are also precious few that are marketed with such blatant shortcomings with claims they are within prescribed tolerances. That implies Fujifilm knew about the issue through their testing before releasing the product. The other camera with a similar issue was released in 2003; technology has progressed in those 8 years. It seems to me it is Fujifilm that is focused on their investment in a failed design and hoping to recover it at the expense of those willing to overlook such a constraining limitation.

Sorry, I simply prefer to spend my money on equipment that will deliver the best quality for the price.

2 upvotes
rouchefoucald
By rouchefoucald (Dec 8, 2011)

I don't understand the animosity against those who complain about such an obvious flaw. Should consumers just sit and accept whatever quality failures slip through the manufacturer hands because "nobody's perfect"and "that's life"? Unless you're a big shot, 600 dollars is a considerable amount of money for a P&S camera. After realizing my camera has the same problem, I'm returning it and will probably steer into another direction.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

The complaints are valid. Let us say it is a minor problem. What bugs me, though, is the limitless corporate arrogance displayed and communicated by Fujifilm of Japan by their harsh press release. They came out swinging the bat at everyone and everything, seems to me.

If I want arrogance, I can just go with a German company's product, thank you very much. Wanted very much to add the X-S1 with the amazing 26x zoom to the arsenal, but at this point, I don't know if I will even bother.

0 upvotes
johnnymac43
By johnnymac43 (Dec 8, 2011)

Despite all the negative statements and I mentioned that I have an issue with focusing, not serious though, I really am enjoying this camera and I'm not going to smash it, blow it up, return it or stop using it. This camera has many great features and once you figure them all out, it's not rocket science folks, this camera is a joy to own. I'm not an employee of Fuji nor do I work in a camera store selling them, this is just an unsolicited opinion. There must be others out there that are happy with the X10, don't be shy!

4 upvotes
jeremybarton
By jeremybarton (Dec 9, 2011)

i am very happy with my x10! great camera!

0 upvotes
rouchefoucald
By rouchefoucald (Dec 10, 2011)

That's great to know. Then again, there are people who are happy after buying a lemon car, but that doesn't change anything.

0 upvotes
raiden78
By raiden78 (Dec 7, 2011)

Omg!!! I was one day away from buying this wonderful device and now I do not know what to do, would be the perfect camera for me but the problem seems major. The fair would be to stop the production of x10, and then modify the sensor, and take out a new camera, why not x20, that does not have any of the current problems. I'l wait half a year for this camera, I believe that design and construction approaches perfection, big big shame.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (Dec 7, 2011)

I was happy with Olympus XZ-1 and now even happier =) Will wait for Panny GX1

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Dec 7, 2011)

There are no news like the bad news.

DPR = Digicam Problems and Rants

A very quick scope over the forums:

* Canon 1D MkIII — servo AF and stripes on the picture problem
* Canon 7D — ghosting problem
* Fujifilm X10 — white discs problem
* Fujifilm X100 — sticky blades problem
* Pentax K5 — spotty sensor problem
* Pentax K7 — sensor blur problem
* Leica M8 — IR filter problem
* Leica M9 — too expensive problem
* NikonD5000 — power system problems
* Nikon D60, "also inherits the problems of the earlier D40x"
* Sigma SD9 — blooming highlights problem
* Sigma DP1 — colour blotches problem
* CCD sensor problems across dozens and dozens of cameras:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/badccds.html
* Olympus E-P2 — "patches over E-P1 problems and jacks up the price".
* Olympus E-P3 — "basically repacked E-P2 with same m4/3 problems".

Your camera doesn't have any problems?
Well, then, there must be some problem with *you*.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
11 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (Dec 7, 2011)

Great optimistic post =)

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

Keep on shooting on 35mm or APS-C film, folks.

0 upvotes
yukonchris
By yukonchris (Dec 12, 2011)

I've owned an Olympus E-30 for quite sometime now, and frankly it has worked exactly as promised - no "problems" whatsoever. Having said that, there certainly does seem to be a disturbing trend these days when it comes to quality and pride in product design and execution.

It's important for consumers to voice their concerns because manufacturers, especially manufacturers of precision instruments like cameras, need to be reminded that quality is not a negotiable attribute. If you fail to provide it, we will go elsewhere.

0 upvotes
mayogeezer
By mayogeezer (Jan 10, 2012)

"Leica M9 — too expensive problem"
haha - i love it.

0 upvotes
ecologer
By ecologer (Dec 7, 2011)

I think that the hope for Fuji users might be the case with Sigma SD9 - that model had very similar blown out highlights, see
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sigmasd9/page16.asp

And Sigma did come up with a firmware fix:
SIGMA SD9 CAMERA FIRMWARE UPDATE VERSION 2.0.4.1642 December 15, 2003
Benefits of this Firmware (V 2.0.4.1642) Update:
* Reduced tendency to highlight blowouts and "blooming" in overexposed long exposure shots.
* Several bugs fixed

Sigma also made changes in its RAW processing software that also helped to improve the issue with color clipping:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sigmasd10/page14.asp

So let us hope Fuji can come up with a good firmware/software fix, too.

3 upvotes
SerKol
By SerKol (Dec 8, 2011)

I would say that there is a hope if I saw a comparison of SD9 shots before the firmware and after. Does anyone have a link to such comparison?

2 upvotes
XmanX
By XmanX (Dec 7, 2011)

A small digression (and a note to reviewers here)...

As soon as I received my X10, I had to run out and buy an Olympus wrist band for $4 from a local camera shop. Stuffing this camera in your jacket pocket with the provided shoulder strap is impractical and way too "touristy". For a camera that is apparently made for jacket pockets, would it be too much to ask the manufacturers to include an inconspicuous and inexpensive little wrist band with a premium priced product such as this one?

1 upvote
XmanX
By XmanX (Dec 7, 2011)

One more note...(and then I'll stop complaining)...

This is the first Fuji camera I've ever owned. I would like to nominate the Head of UI Design at Fuji who worked on X10 for the Darwin award to make the first camera model from any manufacturer where I felt compelled to read the user guide. The rest of over a dozen odd cameras I've owned from various other manufacturers were all too self-intuitive and boringly simple to figure out. Thank you for challenging my natural instincts and successfully designing a convoluted enough UI to make me actually read the manual which made an afternoon so much fun and exciting this last weekend. Since I only shoot "RAW + JPG", and thanks to carefully reading your manual to figure out how to set it up as such, can I now program the completely unnecessary "RAW" button on X10 to brew me coffee? Black please.

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 7, 2011)

That's because it has so many features. How many point and shoot cameras have multiple levels of dynamic range compression, with bracketing, no less? I would agree that Fuji has taken a leaf from Adobe's book in that they provide a minimum of 3 ways to accomplish every task--and presumably think this multiple choice is a good thing (it's really just more to memorize).

1 upvote
XmanX
By XmanX (Dec 7, 2011)

Could they have named the RAW button "Fn2" and made it user programmable so one can alternatively assign it to change X10 from single-shot mode to auto-bracket mode, for example? I'd personally find that far more useful.

1 upvote
Infared
By Infared (Dec 7, 2011)

you STILL didn't stop complaining.

1 upvote
cprevost
By cprevost (Dec 7, 2011)

Dang! Fuji just said they are aware of the problem and will release a fix in short order. Wonder why so many people want to hang them for that? Look at the first 5 news stories for the day on this website and you will see that they are ALL camera manufacturers issuing firmware fixes to correct stuff that doesn't work right in their cameras. Chillax and see what Fuji does to fix the problem. Can't wait for my x10 to arrive next week.

1 upvote
Geekapoo
By Geekapoo (Dec 7, 2011)

The bad news is the number of months (in some cases >1yr) to see firmware update. Cannot help but LOL (sorry to those affected) when people post that if they do not hear about a firmware update in the next week ortwo the camera goes back. My guess? Late Q1 to end of Q2 for the firmware changes, testing and rollout...and there will still be a hardware issue (sensor...a guess on my part). Looking forward to the x20 or the x10 discounted very significantly so I can buy it and use it after learning all the rules and regulations about how to NOT get WBS.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Pangloss
By Pangloss (Dec 7, 2011)

Fuji is NOT going to fix this issue: how can a firmware update resolve what is basically a sensor hardware issue i.e. blooming? We are talking excess electrons leaking to neighboring regions on the sensor.
Apart from the fact that the sensor needs a redesign, something that could take months, users who have already purchased the X10 should be told the truth: the camera has a design fault and the only solution is to return it for a sensor exchange - if and when a new sensor becomes available someday. Right now there is nothing that can be done.

0 upvotes
409novaman
By 409novaman (Dec 9, 2011)

As I said before: People don't like being the R&D dept. for a product, they prefer that R&D be done before product release.
I think that's reasonable.

1 upvote
Gasoline
By Gasoline (Dec 10, 2011)

If they're not going to fix it then why did they publicly acknowledge the problem and go on record claiming a fix is eminent?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

Top-notch post + comments. Yes, a firmware update is great. But a firmware cannot fix a questionable sensor. Yes, the 2/3rd-inch size sensor in an advanced digital camera is amazing, after all, all the world's professional shoulder-mountable video camcorders use that size sensor.

But the problem may be more sensor-related and not firmware-related and firmware-fixable, so what you would need is a new, redesigned sensor. I was not contemplating getting the X10 but the X-S1, but since that will have the same exact sensor as what the X10 now has, I don't really know.... X20 or X-S2, anyone?

0 upvotes
Ithackermike
By Ithackermike (Dec 7, 2011)

I just received an email from Bestbuy telling me my backorderd x10 is ready for pick-up and Nikon has issued another firmware update for the p7000 and Fuji has announced the x10 has a blooming problem - all on the same day.

I was considering the p7k/7.1k before the x10 was announced. $278 for an updated p7000 or $600 for the x10?

Anyone here upgrade from the p7000 to the x10? What would you do?

0 upvotes
tinpusher
By tinpusher (Dec 7, 2011)

Much as I like my X10 I really wouldn't buy one tomorrow.

The Fuji statement acknowledges a problem with its customers NOT the camera and offers no guarantee that a firmware fix will be developed ( only planned ) or published when available ( read as - if available )

All written by lawyers to give nothing and yet convey confidence , for example
A CMOS sensor should not be blooming but the Fuji statement only talks about Digital Cameras in general and yes CCD cameras can bloom.
For DPReview to show a comparison with a CCD equipped camera is a pity.

0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Dec 7, 2011)

Well, that's that. I took my X10 and smashed it on the ground, and spat on it - and then stamped on the bits. And then I took the box and SET FIRE TO IT. And then I cut marks in my arm because I was so upset. Life is basically not worth living any more, and I hope the people of Fuji who WRONGED THE WORLD like this suffer for bringing such sadness to the world.

In fact I've half a mind to go to Japan and erect a large screen around Mount Fuji, because I'm sure the people who live in the surrounding countryside don't want to be reminded of this... this perversion of all that is good. If you have an X10, please mail it to me so that I can smash it for you.

22 upvotes
isaacimages
By isaacimages (Dec 7, 2011)

I'll have what that person is smoking ;-)

1 upvote
op204
By op204 (Dec 7, 2011)

ah, man!!! I wish I had seen this posting earlier. I would have mailed it to ya for quick disposal. Unfortunately for me, it's already been returned. :(

1 upvote
XmanX
By XmanX (Dec 7, 2011)

I just sent mine to CERN in Geneva to place it in the middle of high energy matter and anti-matter collision beam so it can be transported back in time to Marty McFly as a warning that the future is just way too frickin' bright and he better have a nice pair of sunglasses when he comes back or else he'll only be seeing white blobs everywhere.

1 upvote
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Dec 7, 2011)

@XmanX

another CERN proposal: guys in LHC should just give up ! Fujifilm was first to find the Higgs boson. It was cautious enough to prevent the creation of micro-blackholes by placing the micro-whiteholes in the dangerous areas.

Shame on you, your expensive 27-kilometer long accelerator was outsmarted by a small portable compact camera, albeit the expensive one !

0 upvotes
vtinitus
By vtinitus (Dec 7, 2011)

I know it's a bit off-topic--I'm perfectly neutral about Ashley's statement--but I cannot resit to pick up the CERN "debate". There is actually quite a bit curious information of what would happen if you /would/ stick something in the beam: http://youtu.be/_NMqPT6oKJ8 and what /actually/ happens: http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/22/what-happens-when-yo-6.html. Enjoy.

I highly recommend the infinite monkey cage btw.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 10, 2011)

Re. CERN: EU plan now is to stuff it full of all the € banknotes still in circulation.... before they lose their value completely as a medium of exchange.

0 upvotes
mayogeezer
By mayogeezer (Jan 10, 2012)

I don't think that's wot Fuji means by being 'within tolerance limits'. but nice try.

0 upvotes
shutterbobby
By shutterbobby (Dec 7, 2011)

I have found out that the angle the light hits the object is also a factor,maybe from the lens as you say...

0 upvotes
M. Mitchell
By M. Mitchell (Dec 7, 2011)

I think that there is a possibility the X10 lens is suffering from overcorrected spherical aberration. Spherical aberration will cause hard edged disks to form which could be enlarged as the result of blooming. Perhaps the reason that the disks are more controlled at high ISO's is that it results in stopping down the lens which would tend to reduce spherical aberration

0 upvotes
isaacimages
By isaacimages (Dec 7, 2011)

These look like EXTREME highlight examples. They had to darken everything else to show the bloom. What part of the frame is this? What's the magnification? Bottom line, People: IT'S A POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA with a digital sensor. Even FILM would have had a problem with the range of shadow/highlight shown.

It's good Fuji acknowleged a problem, and if a firmware update will help lessen the bloom at lower ISO's, that'll be great. But if not, shoot a wide bracket and combine the exposures. Or, reposition yourself so the highlight is not so severe. Or don't use flash if possible. The response of this camera is such that flash is not always necessary. Solve the problem with photographic SKILLS.

As for the camera not turning on. You must be sure to turn the lens ring all the way to 28. In between on/off and 28 won't work, and the little orange light on the back of the camera will warn you. Been there done that.

0 upvotes
Jakubo
By Jakubo (Dec 7, 2011)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/minami/6301640383/sizes/o/in/photostream/

that is how it looks in the real life. They should give out Photoshop for free with this camera!

9 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (Dec 7, 2011)

OMG! Thanks God I didn't sell my XZ-1

0 upvotes
Klabautermann
By Klabautermann (Dec 8, 2011)

OK, the 500 EUR X10 is "only" a Point and Shoot camera,
but then, what would be the 350 EUR XZ-1? And why this "cheap" (i.e. less then Point and Shoot?) camera does not have this blooming effect? Even with a CCD sensor, which usually is more prone to blooming?

1 upvote
yukonchris
By yukonchris (Dec 12, 2011)

Looking at Jakubo's example, I wouldn't touch an X10 with a bargepole. It isn't just the orbs, such as the one reflecting off the car's mirror either; look at the highlights edging the black street lamp poles and iron fencing. They look like they've been drawn on.

0 upvotes
andrejubert
By andrejubert (Jan 24, 2012)

Jeeze.. gotta say like.. P&S.. small sensor.. whatever.. that pics nasty. I cant even afford the X10 right now but i was thinkin about selling an organ to pay for it because other than this problem i think its amazing. id be lying if i said i was happy with those results for 400 quid and big scar where my kidney used to be.. disappointed : (

0 upvotes
worldcup1982
By worldcup1982 (Dec 7, 2011)

great..all you have to do now is shoot at iso 800 in broad daylight...lol

4 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (Dec 7, 2011)

Yep, or with EXR 6Mp =)

0 upvotes
Allan K
By Allan K (Dec 7, 2011)

I would have thought the best way to mitigate this problem would be to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor. This is how my other compact camera appears to deal with this issue. Of course the pictures are darker but they don't have overblown highlights.

0 upvotes
Valentinian
By Valentinian (Dec 7, 2011)

upsetting.
everytime I see a new camera , and say, yes, this is the camera I am going to buy (just wait a few weeks to be sure), then suddenly awful problems with the camera are revealed: lataly it was the Fuji X100, then the Sony SLT-A77 ( great camera, but...it is very noisy). and now this beautiful Fuji X10 has a rotten inside.
So I have two questions:
1) what's going on with manufacturers lately?
2) why Dp review didn't reveal this flaw when doing a PREVIEW and posting pictures samples? none of the pictures then published showed this flaw; why?

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Dec 7, 2011)

in answer to 2 - we shoot preview galleries quickly (and rarely if ever comment on image quality at that stage). Your question sort of answers itself - we didn't reveal it because none of the pictures we took showed it.

0 upvotes
misterpepper
By misterpepper (Dec 7, 2011)

Because it does not happen in every photograph. In the real world it is fairly rare. (I'll probably get skewered for that statement, but it takes some pretty harsh lighting to cause it to happen.) It's too bad that it is hardware related, but hopefully the firmware fixes will make a significant enough difference.

0 upvotes
brkl
By brkl (Dec 7, 2011)

You can find a relatively mild examples in this shot: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/1542487/dscf8281?inalbum=fujifilm-x10-preview-samples

5 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Dec 7, 2011)

You'll have a long wait for the perfect camera. Fair chance you'd never have noticed the problem if you'd bought one anyway.

0 upvotes
brkl
By brkl (Dec 7, 2011)

taotoo: So you only take pictures and never look at the pictures you take?

1 upvote
Pangloss
By Pangloss (Dec 7, 2011)

brkl is correct: I counted at least 7 white "blobs" on the DPreview sample he indicated. So, Simon, at least *one* of your sample images is clearly showing the problem. Perhaps you didn't look carefully enough?

0 upvotes
Lan
By Lan (Dec 7, 2011)

As a matter of interest, has anyone tried using ISO800 with DR200%? Obviously it'll be as noisy as a noisy thing on noisy day, but do the circles vanish?

As I don't have an X10 I'm going to wait and see what firmware fix Fuji manage to come up with before I declare the end of the world ;p

Ibida Bab: LOL @ Barba Papa!

Marty4650: Oly sidestepped the issue by using a CCD sensor rather than a CMOS one.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 7, 2011)

Well... it's still a very nice camera. But personally, I will wait for the X20. I bet it won't have this problem, although it might have a few new problems...

0 upvotes
misterpepper
By misterpepper (Dec 7, 2011)

The X30 will be even better, and it will solve most of the X20's problems to boot. You're better off just waiting for it instead. ;)

1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 7, 2011)

This news item might help sell a few XZ-1s...

If this is a "common problem" then how did Olympus prevent it so easily?

0 upvotes
Ibida Bab
By Ibida Bab (Dec 7, 2011)

It's called the Barba Papa effect. I like it, very cute...

0 upvotes
Jakubo
By Jakubo (Dec 7, 2011)

It's horrible! good thing i didn't have the money when that camera came out...

0 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Dec 7, 2011)

Yes you certainly dodged a bullet!!!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 219
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