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Fujifilm Manager: “Medium Format Fujifilm GFX Much Better than Full Frame. We Work hard to Release XF 8-16 This Year”


Fujifilm Manager Interview

The Thai youtube channel กล้องกล้วยกล้วย had a talk with Fujifilm manager Mr.Udono. It’s a 40 minutes talk in Thai and English, so you have to listen to the Thai question, than the English translation of the question, then the English answer of the manager, and then again the Thai translation of the Manager’s answer.

Too cumbersome?

Well, then you are lucky to read FujiRumors… because since we love you guys, we decided you should not suffer and waste your precious time. So I listened it all for you and here are the managers’ answers in English.

You are welcome :).

Fujifilm X-T100

The interview starts with a talk about the newly introduced Fujfiilm X-T100. Here is what the manager says:

  • X-T100 target on people who want to shoot good photos and have a viewfinder and also vlogging. Also a camera for travel shooting, family.
  • X-T20 a bit better high ISO senstivity thanks to X-Trans sensor. X-T20 is also overall a bit faster
  • X-T100 is faster than X-A5
  • the goal was to create the smallest camera possible. Hence no grip. But you can add it separately (comes included in the box).
  • the new LCD tilt mechanism allows the camera to be slimmer than when using a fully articulating screen
  • Sensor is Bayer, but processing is the same of Fujifilm, hence you have for example film simulation and overall very good IQ
  • 4K 15fps is a limitation. Maybe next generation will have upgraded 4K

I consider the Fujifilm X-T100 a fantastic value for the money. Fujifilm believes a lot in this camera, and this is shown by the fact that the X-T100 has a dedicated website (and for the next 6 months you can win 1 Fujifilm X-T100 a month – find out how here). They also launched dedicated X-T100 events all over the world. The marketing machine is running full power for this little camera.

Of course, in order to keep it extremely affordable, Fujifilm had to make compromises… such as the limited 4K.

From the words of the Fujifilm Manager, it does not seem that the X-T100 will get an upgraded 4K via firmware. He said “maybe next generation will have better 4K“. So don’t expect miracles in terms of “Kaizen Firmware“.

Fujifilm X-T100: BHphoto, AmazonUS, Adorama, FocusCamera

Canon and Nikon will go FF mirrorless. Fujiflm thoughts about this?

When asked what Fujifilm thinks about Canon and Nikon going full frame mirrorless, the manager answers:

  • Fujifilm has APS-C and Medium Format. MF can provide higher resolution, better dynamic range and better ISO. So Fujifilm thinks that the GFX system is much better than Full Frame. APS-C is smaller and lighter, not only cameras, but especially the lenses, such as telephoto lenses and brighter lenses.
  • Fujifilm GFX 50S expanded the demand for Medium Format

I think in terms of potential, the Medium Format Fujifilm GFX system is in many parts more flexible than Full Frame. If what you need is best ISO performance, highest resolution and widest dynamic range possible all at the same time, the bigger MF sensor will allow you to get all this easier than FF or APS-C.

Squeezing 100 megapixel into a Full Frame sensor would very likely impact too negatively high ISO performance and dynamic range. But the bigger medium format sensor can reach 100MP easier and retain a good performance also in terms of high ISO and dynamic range.

There are only 3 disadvantages I see with medium format, and it remains to see if Fujifilm can solve them:

  1. Size: Big sensor, big lenses. There is not much to do here. Where Fujifilm can do something, is making the camera body as small as possible. I expect the Fujifilm GFX 50R to go into this direction, but especially the next generation Fujifilm GFX (with new sensor and processor, and hence faster sensor readout and less heat generation), could allow the camera size to become smaller.
  2. Speed: Currently the Fujifilm GFX 50S has about the speed of an X-Pro1. It’s very usable for plenty of situations, but not for all. I know, photographers, who buy medium format, don’t have speed as their priority, but image quality. However, faster autofocus and overall snappier camera never hurts and could help to convince even more photographers to invest into Fujifilm GFX. I expect to see huge improvements in terms of speed with the Fujifilm GFX 100S.
  3. Price: Fujifilm’s APS-C cameras can cost $2,000 or $500. So there is a lot of margin here to offer cheaper cameras, and the Fujifilm GFX 50R will be substantially cheaper than the Fujifilm GFX 50S. This is the way Fujifilm always approached the market (and it is the opposite of what many other companies do): they start by launching the highest-end camera possible, and then work downwards, offering mid-range and at the end entry-level cameras. So the Fujifilm GFX 50R will just be the first step… with time, there could be even more affordable medium format cameras coming.

Fujifilm GFX 50S (save $1,000 with lens): BHphoto, AmazonUS, Adorama

And more tidbits

Some more tidbits from the interview:

  • Fujifilm works hard to release XF 8-16mm F2.8 this year
  • strongest points of Fujifilm are color reproductions (image processing) and lens quality
  • Fujifilm strategy to grow in mirrorless market. They want to be different. In camera style and concept. Every camera model has a different concept.
  • He hinted new gear for Photokina 2018
  • The manager recommends reading FujiRumors to stay up to date :) (just kidding… sort of)

The Fujinon XF 8-16 and XF 200mm are definitely on the roadmap for this year release (2018).

The interesting part in this last section is when he says that Fujifilm offers different cameras with different styles, and that this is one of their strengths.

I translate it for you: “We are not like Sony, who is offering tons of FF mirrorless cameras that look basically the same since the Sony A7 was launched back in 2013. One form factor, one ergonomic choice, one button and dial layout, that’s it“.

In fact I also never understood why Sony does not diversify more. It’s almost as Sony thinks that they nailed the perfect camera body back in 2013 at their first attempt, and they don’t need to change anything on that (or just little).

Fujifilm on the other hand offers all kind of camera bodies tailored to different needs and preferences of photographers. The downside of this approach is that every camera has basically a new button layout and ergonomics. There is no consistency. And I get crazy sometimes when switching between my X-T1 and X-E3. On the other hand, there is more choice for customers to pick the camera that mostly suits their needs.

Ok… for those who read the whole article until here and not just the headline… congratulations :)

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… have a fantastic day,