So the rumor mill is out and a possible Fuji X-Pro 2 is on the horizon for early or mid 2015. As Bob Dylan would say, “the times are changing.” The Nikon D600 and Canon 6D came to fruition as affordable full frame cameras, well, not really affordable as $2,000 USD is not cheap by any means but within range of many more I suppose. Then we had the folks at Sony pumping out all sorts of full frame goodness in various shapes and forms and then there is Fujifilm X-Series with brave new sensor technology stirring the full frame pot (5DMK2, D700) and reaching in. The “reaching in” is arguable and I’m sure Dr. Boyer would say I’m way out of touch with sensor reality, but nonetheless, there seems to be a group of photographers that prefers the X-Trans sensor.
So a couple of questions immediately immediately come to mind.
- Is Fuji giving up on the APS-C X-Trans sensor technology? Is the XT1 it?
- Can Fujifilm compete with the pockets of SoCaNi (Sony, Canon, and Nikon) and divide their X-Series cameras into two and is it sustainable?
- What will all this body and lens fragmention cause in the long run to user base?
- Can we then expect an X200 with a full frame sensor as well albeit a little bigger but still the same package?
In my opinion, all good questions with big question marks.
So, let’s try to answer #1
I suppose Fuji is not done with their APS-C sensor technology but I think we’ll see a reduction in bodies being pumped out. Its hard to deny that X-Series bodies haven’t been pumped out like crazy but it is what is ― Fuji saw a gap in the market and decided to exploit the hell out of it and I guess it worked. With the current trends of upscaling the megapixels in the APS-C world, for example, take the Nikon D7100, arguably the best APS-C dslr in the market today currently at 24MP and no AA and the autofocus of the D800. One can’t simply be like an ostrich and stick one’s head in the sand. I have not tried one yet but I have shot with the D7000, D600, D800 and its hard not to like the files those machine pump out.
I know Fuji X-Series has a different ethos behind their X-Series, hell, I even jumped on the bandwagon last year with the X-E1/X100 LE and this year with the X100S/X-Pro 1, the latter being in my opinion, the best handling Fuji X-Series body. Another question comes to mind. Has the X-Trans peaked in their high ISO capabilities, one of the noteworthy features on that sensor? Did Fuji make a 24MP body or perhaps a 22MP and the sensor simply didn’t hold out (high iso) as much as they would have liked, hence the jump to the full frame with the X-Pro 2, hmm, all interesting points.
Still my brain is rattling. I don’t see myself getting an XT1 and as my top Fuji X-Series, in my mind, that was the X-Pro 1 with its dual hybrid viewfinder, gorgeous jpeg engine and an overall slickness factor that its hard to beat. If the rumors are in fact correct then I see myself staying where I am and adding a dslr to my kit to fill the void of the slower autofocus system of my current cameras. I don’t think I’ll throw my dollars up in the wind and hope for the best. For that, I would rather invest in a system that I know will be there tomorrow when I need a lens or two or three to add to my kit and have choices.
Fuji X-Series, in my opinion is a great system which forces me to slow down a bit and be more thoughtful about my frames. Its just something those bodies exude and one can’t help it, it is what is, they are compact cameras that pack a “helluv” of a punch and of course they all have the “ninja factor.”
Fast Forwarding a bit
I expect an X-Pro 2 with a full frame sensor at or near 22MP like the current Canons with insane High ISO capabilities, an improved AF system at least doubling what the current XT1 can do, native ability to tether to a laptop like all Pro and mid range dslr’s can, wifi, gps, an out of this world new hybrid viewfinder all in a little bigger body than the original X-Pro 1. Do you like it? I do, will I buy it, I don’t really know at this time but I’m sure it will lend itself to some interesting Twitter and Forum techno babble in the months to come.
I’ll try to answer question #2 in the days to come.