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DPReview Fujifilm Managers Interview: “No Need to Open X Mount, AI and Global Shutter are the Future, GFX100 Within End of June”

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DPReview interviewed Toshi Iida, Makoto Oishi and Shin Udono. Here are the main points (full interview at dpreview here):

Medium Format

  • Full Frame and Medium Format will coexist
  • GFX 50R sales look very promising
  • FF is 1/3 of market in terms of value, slightly growing
  • MF was 1%, but doubled after GFX introduction
  • 70% of MF buyers were coming from other brands, mainly DSLR, and the GFX is their additional system
  • 20% of GFX users are professionals, 80% non-professionals (especially GFX 50R users)
  • Fujifilm wants to increase professional base, also thanks to Capture One support and with future GFX 100
  • Fujifilm GFX 100 should show the potential of medium format
  • FF can reach 70-80 Megapixel
  • GFX lenses designed for 100MP resolution
  • Fujifilm GFX100 will be available before the end of June
  • Fujifilm GFX100 target is commercial photographers, fashion, landscapes, but also more general purpos
  • GFX 100 will shoot at 16bit RAW. Benefit noticeable mostly at low ISO and deep shadow detail. 4 times the amount of data, 14 bit lets you shoot faster, which is appropriate for APS-C

APS-C vs Full Frame

  • Fujifilm is positioning APS-C against full-frame
  • APS-C is faster and more responsive thanks to smaller sensor [FujiRumors explains it here]
  • APS-C focus is on speed and image quality and versatility

Video

  • no plans for X/GFX dedicated video camera
  • good video needs good video oriented lenses, hence the Fujinon MK-line
  • No huge sales for MK lenses, because customer base is still quite small

Lens Design

  • Fujifilm’s philosophy is to minimize digital correction and maximise optical quality of lenses. Downside of analogue correction: cost and size
  • digital correction has impact on IQ, for example resolution. Chromatic aberration correction also reduces total resolution
  • Fujifilm starts designing lenses with no analogue correction only, but if too big, too heavy, they start with software correction, until they find a balance
  • Compared to first generation X lenses, Fujifilm has learned and developed technologies to make lenses smaller without compromising image quality

Production

  • Fujifilm still depend on craftsmen, but for example to make resolution adjustments to lenses, they have introduces some automation, for more accurate adjustments to the barrel
  • With more focus on video, also the lens focus system has been made more suitable for video shooting

X100 line

  • Number one request is better glass, since the current lens is a 2010 design [DPReview speculates X100F successor will come with new lens]
  • X100 shooters are split between wanting a tilt screen and no tilt screen
  • People don’t want to change style and size
  • Some want 4K and weather sealing
  • X100 is a symbolic line

Closed X Mount

  • Fujifilm does not think they need to open up the mount to third parties, since they already offer 31 lenses
  • if third-party manufacturers reverse-engineer AF lenses for X mount, that’s good from a customers’ point of view [looks like they won’t sue Viltrox for making the Viltrox 85mm f/1.8]

Next Big Thing in Photography

  • Global shutter would give more design freedom and no rolling shutter
  • Computational and Artificial Intelligence technologies would let photographers „just press the button and let the camera do everything

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