Reports from Europe suggest Fuji white orb fix imminent
posted Monday, March 12, 2012 at 5:17 PM EDT
Both cameras can exhibit unnatural-looking white circles--dubbed "white orbs" by the user community--where there are strong point light sources in the image. The problem appears predominantly at lower sensitivities, and when using the camera's EXR mode.
An earlier attempt was made to reduce impact of white orbs, with an updated firmware release for the Fuji X10 that used higher ISO sensitivities when shooting in EXR mode. Unfortunately while this likely reduced the frequency with which the problem was noted to a certain degree, severity of the orb-like artifacts wasn't reduced when they did appear.
This morning, the unofficial French user website Fuji-X.com broke news that Fujifilm might be about to initiate an exchange program, swapping out existing cameras for new ones. This story has just been given some weight by a followup article from the folks at Digital Photography Review, who are reporting that there are moves underway to resolve the issue on two fronts.
A real-world example (100 pct. crop) of the 'white orbs' problem, from our upcoming Fuji X10 review. We've also encountered the problem in our preliminary testing of the Fuji X-S1.
Photo copyright © 2012, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
First, a firmware update similar to that previously released for the X10 will be issued for the Fuji X-S1, and is slated to arrive on March 21st. Much more significant, though, is the second point. The Fujifilm statement published by dpreview suggests that the company is currently working to produce a new sensor for both the X10 and X-S1 cameras, engineered to resolve the white orb problem in all shooting modes.
The new sensors should be available from May 2012, according to Fuji's statement. We'd note that while it recommends X10 and X-S1 owners experiencing the white orbs problem to contact their local service center, the statement doesn't directly say that Fuji intends to offer an exchange program, let alone state whether such service would be free or at cost. However, it seems unlikely that the company would publicly state its preparation of a new sensor for both cameras--and recommend contacting the service center--unless it intended to offer some method of resolution for existing owners.
While Fujifilm USA confirmed the validity of the statement published by dpreview, they declined further comment at this time. We're led to expect that there will be more news within the next couple of weeks, however.