FR-reader Hallvard spotted an interview with Fujifilm’s Imaging Division Sales Department Manager at the Japanese site dc.watch (thanks, I’ve missed that one!). It’s dated December 17th.
It’s available google translated here. Hallvard was so kind to decipher it for us:
I stumbled upon an in-depth interview with two Fujifilm representatives on the japanese site DC Watch (dated December 17.) which may be of interest to your readers (and which I don’t think you’ve quoted yet?). It’s not easy to make sense of everything in the Google Japanese-English translation, but a few points can be extracted:
1) He confirms that Fujifilm has no plans for a X-Pro1 replacement at the present
[admin: he also says that the X-PRO2 will remain Fuji’s flagship, so it will be released once a major breakthrough is obtained… or in the words of google translator: “It was not the only model change this year only X-Pro1, but thought at the time (as a top model) is obtained major breakthrough, X-Pro1 and want to do the appropriate model change.”]
2) He promises at least a total of about 20 lenses “as soon as possible”.
[admin: as there are actually 10 lenses available, and two more in the pipeline (the 10-24 (specs&price) and 56), there should be about 8 more lenses. 5 are already rumored to come: 16-55mm 2.8, 50-140mm 2.8, 18-135mm 3.5-5.6, Large-diameter wide-angle lens, Super-telephoto lens 200mm or more. With these rumored lenses there is a total of 17 Fujinon lenses.]
3) He elaborates on the X philosophy quite a bit, and if I’m not too far off, Fujifilm are aiming to make an industry reference” for digital imaging, like Kodak did with the silver halide film, the unquantifiable “three-dimensional appearance and feeling of air”. He emphasizes the perceived image quality, tone and color reproduction, over measurable features like S/N ratio and resolution. And he observes that the number of people who have “a deeper understanding of the X-Series” is slowly increasing. He sits tight, committed to their product, not industry trends.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one who would have liked to read a proper translation of this interview. But anyhow, I hand it over to you. Please feel free to use it as you like.
[UDPATE] Here is another translation, shared via facebook by FR-reader Levels Of Detail:
– No expectation in the short term to update the x-pro1. It’s the flagship model, so they’ll continue to upgrade it through firmware updates. They expect to upgrade the flagship model when they can time it to deliver a major technological breakthrough.
– They see the latest features like wifi or miniaturization as competitive realities that they need to address, but fundamentally they view their strengths to be around image quality and color processing.
– They don’t think they’ll be done with the lenses until they’re at about 20 choices. They focus a lot on high quality glass, and they prioritize optically corrected lenses rather than software post-processing.
– A very interesting anecdote: they mention how the 35mm f/1.4 uses an essentially 100-year old 8-element design, which requires all elements to move when performing AF. They acknowledge that by changing the design, they could improve from 400ms to 200ms for AF time, but they choose to prioritize the IQ over the extra 200ms improvement.
A lot of what they talk about really jives with my impression of the X-E2. Great IQ, some really great color processing (I really like the B/W modes), but AF is not the highest pri.
In case you missed it, there is also a nice interview with Fuji manager Mr. Kawahara here.