Fuji promises a modified sensor for the white disc blooming issue, not clear who will get it

Fujifilm issued a statement about the "white disc/sensor blooming" issue reported few months ago. In addition to the Finepix X10, the X-S1 camera is also impacted. A new firmware for the X-S1 will be released on March 21st. The second part of the statement is confusing - Fuji have developed a modified sensor that will resolve the issue and it will be available from late May 2012. Will all current Fuji X10 owners get their sensor replaced? Will the new sensor be included only in new X10 cameras?

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.

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