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Fujifilm’s new X-T50 has a film simulation dial — and a questionable price

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Fujifilm’s new X-T50 has a film simulation dial — and a questionable price

Fujifilm has just announced a pair of new cameras at the company’s X Summit Sydney event. There’s the medium format GFX100S II, which frankly falls outside my scope of interest (and budget). The more mainstream of the two is the X-T50, which is a followup to — but not a replacement for — the X-T30 II, which will remain in Fujifilm’s lineup moving forward.

The X-T50 is a hodgepodge of the camera maker’s new and old tech. Let’s start with the new. The body has a fresh, more rounded shape that’s unlike anything else in the X-Series lineup, and there’s a film simulation dial right on the top, a first for any Fujifilm camera. You get several preset film sims to circle between and can choose your own for the three customizable slots — though you can’t set these to custom film recipes. Still, the dial goes to show what a vital part of Fujifilm’s appeal that these simulations have become over the years.

The X-T50 has a dial for switching between the company’s signature film simulations.
Image: Fujifilm

The X-T50 includes the same 40-megapixel sensor as the X-T5 and X-H2, plus the accompanying fifth-gen processor, so this camera offers a substantial increase in both resolution and autofocus performance compared to the X-T30 II. And it also gains a 7-stop in-body image stabilization system; the far less expensive X-T30 II lacks IBIS altogether. Continuous shooting is limited to 8fps with the mechanical shutter, whereas the X-T5 and X-H2 can both hit 15fps. For storage, there’s a single UHS-II SD card slot. Video performance has also been dialed up significantly:

The X-T50 is a far more capable video camera than the X-T30 II.
Image: Fujifilm
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But there are still some older hardware elements to this camera. For one, you’re stuck with the last-generation battery that isn’t nearly as long-lasting. And disappointingly, the electronic viewfinder is also unchanged from the X-T30 II. You do at least get the same 3-inch, 1.84-million dot rear LCD with two-way tilt as on the X-T5.

The X-T50 slots into a curious spot when it comes to pricing. If you’re buying the body alone, it’s $1,399.99, which is $500 more than the X-T30 II. But again, Fujifilm doesn’t consider this a replacement for that camera. It gets its own unique place in the lineup, which now looks like this:

The X-T50 uses Fujifilm’s last-gen battery with far less stamina than the newer design.
Image: Fujifilm

Some of the upgrades that come with stepping up to the X-T5 include water resistance, a nicer EVF, dual SD slots, better continuous shooting performance, and the newer battery with superior endurance.

Fujifilm’s kit lens is also getting a notable revamp. The company’s well-regarded 18-55mm glass is being replaced by a new, lighter 16-50mm f/2.8 – 4.8 lens that now features water resistance. (The X-T50 itself doesn’t have any official water resistance.) Fujifilm believes this lens does a better job resolving that 40MP sensor compared to the ancient 18-55mm. It’s also a constant length, so all the zooming now happens internally without the lens having to extend. Sold on its own, the new 16-50mm lens costs $699. The combined X-T50 kit runs $1,799.99, so you’re only paying $400 for the lens in that scenario.

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Fortnite’s new post-apocalyptic season has Fallout, Magneto, and vehicular mayhem

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Fortnite’s new post-apocalyptic season has Fallout, Magneto, and vehicular mayhem

Out with the gods, in with… a post-apocalypse. After some teasing, Fortnite just launched its latest battle royale season — we’re up to Chapter 5: Season 3 — and it’s heavily inspired by Mad Max and Fallout (in fact, Fallout is part of it). It’s called “Wrecked,” and it introduces a new wasteland region, a larger focus on vehicular combat, and, for some reason, Magneto.

First up, let’s talk about the island itself. In the game’s fiction, a massive sandstorm rolled in, completely changing the southern section of the map. There are three new locations: a refinery called Redline Rig, a vehicle arena called Nitrodrome, and a beach area called Brutal Beachhead. To go along with them are “Wasteland Warriors,” which are basically this season’s boss characters, with names like The Machinist and Ringmaster Scarr. Also: there are now two War Buses patrolling the island, which players can hijack and take over.

It appears there are two main gameplay updates. One is a substance called Nitro, which you can either drink or use on your vehicle: it’ll make players faster, stronger, and reload quicker, while cars will go faster, consume less gas, and be able to ram with increased power. To go along with this, vehicle mods are back, so you can outfit your car with gun turrets, bulletproof tires, and more. And since Fallout is now part of the Fortnite universe, Nuka-Cola is being added to the game. Drinking it will replenish health and slowly build your shield.

Speaking of Fallout, those who purchase this season’s battle pass will get themselves some T-60 Power Armor, along with other characters, including a sentient pea pod. Starting in July, X-Men’s Magneto will be unlockable as well. Here’s the full crew:

This season will run until August 16th. And it follows a pretty busy period for the game, which included collaborations with everyone from Star Wars to Billie Eilish and Lofi Girl.

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Even J.Lo in a mech suit can’t save Netflix’s by-the-numbers AI thriller

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Even J.Lo in a mech suit can’t save Netflix’s by-the-numbers AI thriller

You would think that a sci-fi movie where Jennifer Lopez partners with a smart-ass, sentient mech suit to fight against her evil AI brother would be a little more fun. Alas, Atlas — Netflix’s latest attempt at a hit streaming action movie — takes itself far too seriously. It also fails to really dig into the complexities of the AI debate, despite essentially being a conflict between a friendly AI assistant and machine intent on a doomsday scenario. There are some funny moments, particularly the banter between Lopez and her mechanical companion, but every other part of the movie seems to be fighting against Atlas’ true form. This is a buddy comedy trying too hard to be a serious action flick.

Atlas takes place almost three decades after an uprising that saw an advanced AI bot named Harlan (Simu Liu) help liberate other machines, who then proceeded to bypass their security protocols and start a war with humanity. It’s a setup that echoes plenty of real-world concerns. Except, in this case, the AIs lose, and Harlan heads off-planet to lick his wounds — but not before issuing an ominous threat to the human population. Atlas (Lopez), the daughter of Harlan’s creator who essentially grew up with him as a sibling, spends the ensuing 28 years trying to locate precisely where Harlan went so the threat can be eliminated for good. The movie kicks off when she discovers that location after interrogating the severed head of an AI henchman.

The most important thing you need to know about Atlas is that she has grown to absolutely loathe AI and, by extension, most futuristic tech. She has the same fears many of us do (along with sci-fi characters like Will Smith in I, Robot), which are exacerbated by the fact that the tech around her can be hacked and exploited by Harlan and his associates. At one point, while briefing a group of soldiers, she says, “You can’t trust AI,” while handing out plans printed on paper.

This fear extends particularly to a device called a Neural Link (not to be confused with the Elon Musk-backed Neuralink), which lets a human mind connect directly to an AI companion. It’s a cool idea, but the movie never slows down enough to explore it in depth. Inevitably, Atlas finds herself with no choice but to use a Neural Link to connect to an AI named Smith (Gregory James Cohan) who looks just like Siri and is housed inside of a mech suit ripped right out of Titanfall.

This is what Alexa could look like one day.
Image: Netflix
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Contrived as it might be, the relationship between Smith and Atlas is easily the best part of the movie. Atlas is cranky and sarcastic, and because of his adaptive learning capabilities, Smith soon becomes exactly the same. The AI swears and makes jokes, dishing it out to Atlas the same way she does to him. The banter is genuinely funny, to the point that, even though you can see it coming a mile away, their inevitable friendship still feels touching. It’s almost worth watching the whole movie just for its heartwarming finale.

The problem with Atlas isn’t so much that it’s predictable (though that doesn’t help, nor does its painfully generic vision of a sci-fi future). It’s that the movie doesn’t lean into this strength. Outside of Smith and Atlas, everything else about Atlas is self-serious and dull. Harlan is the biggest offender, played with a stilted effect by Liu that makes him more boring than scary. In a future where AI bots can mimic human beings perfectly, it’s confounding that the most advanced machine sounds like an old GPS giving directions. Overall, there’s a lot of wasted potential. In particular, the movie’s premise is a perfect framing for current AI debates — Siri vs. Skynet — but doesn’t take the opportunity to say anything new.

There are already plenty of recent movies that explore a potential AI future with a heavy dose of sincerity, whether it’s The Creator, Dead Reckoning, or even Netflix’s own Jung_E. Atlas adds nothing to that extensive body of work. Even worse, it fails to capitalize on its one defining aspect. The comedic moments are the best part of the movie, and yet they can feel out of place buried under everything else. Atlas was a chance to take an urgent AI conversation and explore it in an approachable Hollywood package. It could’ve been fun and smart — instead, like a lot of AI right now, it’s neither.

Atlas starts streaming on Netflix on May 24th.

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Leak: the Asus ROG Ally X will have twice the battery at 80Wh and two USB-C ports

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Leak: the Asus ROG Ally X will have twice the battery at 80Wh and two USB-C ports

While we already knew the Ally X was shooting for double the battery life by including a larger pack, VideoCardz has leaked marketing materials that confirm it’s literally doubling the capacity to 80 watt-hours, up from the original 40Wh pack. And yet, the handheld only weighs an additional 70g (2.5oz) and is just 5mm thicker, a bit thinner than my hands-on estimate. It’s 36.9mm (1.45 inches) thick in total, versus the 32mm (1.27 inches) of the original.

That’s partially due to a thinner fan design: 23 percent smaller, with 50 percent thinner fins, according to the leak, yet with 10 percent increased airflow.

Aside from battery, the most welcome spec might be the addition of a second USB-C port with USB4 speeds. VideoCardz says it replaces the proprietary eGPU port that Asus included previously but doesn’t say if we can charge from both the top and bottom now. (I would expect so since Asus taped up both the top and bottom of the engineering prototype I touched to keep me from sussing ports out.)

As we’ve reported, the Ally X shouldn’t have much increased performance over the original, with the same Ryzen Z1 Extreme chip and seven-inch 120Hz VRR screen, but VideoCardz also corroborates the rumor that it’ll come with 24GB of faster LPDDR5 memory, giving it an additional 8GB of overhead to share with the GPU that could possibly lead to a slight improvement in games.

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