The Fujifilm X-T line was never ment to be a flagship.
And how do I know?
Well, I tell you now…
That “ultimate” APS-C camera did not see the light of the day as it was originally planed. But some aspects of that camera survived and made into what would become the Fujifilm X-H1.
So you see: already at times of the X-T1 and X-T2, Fujifilm knew that an even higher end line was needed… a line that in 2018 finally took the form of the Fujifilm X-H1.
Sadly, though, due to Fujifilm’s strategic error of releasing the Fujifilm X-T3 with new sensor and processor just a few months after the Fujifilm X-H1, the X-H1 flopped.
Shocked by this, Fujifilm paused the project in order to re-think on how to organize the whole lineup more wisely, well aware that a successor to the X-H1 was still needed.
But more than 4 years passed between the Fujifilm X-H1 and the Fujifilm X-H2S, the market was rapidly going towards high end hybrid stills/video cameras, and during all these years the Fujifilm X-T line had to take over the flagship role.
This had significant impact on the X-T line, which grew bigger in size, heavier, received a selfie screen, got super-feature packed, became more expensive and what not.
And all this had to happen while trying to stick with the design constraints dictated by the X-T line: retro design, retro operation, not too deep grip and so forth, which are all aspects X-T shooter love and therefore Fujifilm could not change too much.
In short: Fujifilm had to walk a thin line between keeping the DNA of the X-T series alive while also trying to gain new customers who care less about retro feel, but more about features. And by doing so, compromises had to be done [bigger body for better heat dissipation, selfie screen, etc].
But luckily for us X-T lovers, the X-T line is now going back to its roots making it a more photography centric camera as some of the Fujifilm X-T5 rumors we have shared so far suggest:
- X-T5 is smaller than the X-T4
- X-T5 won’t have 8K despite having 40MP (which means less heat generation and hence allows for smaller body)
- X-T5 will get rid of the selfie screen and go back to a 3 way tilt screen
- X-T5 with 40MP will be more affordable then X-H2 with 40MP
And make no mistake: all this is only possible, because the Fujifilm X-H line exists and finally freed the X-T line from the burden of being a flagship.
Look, Fujifilm simply has more design freedom with the X-H line over the X-T line. A design freedom that makes it more suitable to adjust to the requests of the market and to evolve over time.
In fact, the X-H line allowed Fujifilm to start to remove some dials, put a top LCD screen on the camera, give it a large deep grip, even get rid of almost all the dials and embrace the mainstream PSAM dial only design.
So that’s how I see it: the X-H line saved the X-T line and probably even the entire X series.
Because if the X-T line would have continued to carry the hybrid flagship burden, it would have come to a point were the compromises to make would have been too many and the line would have lost a huge chunk of its X-T aficionados (like me). And if X-T lovers walk away from Fujifilm, then the whole X series is in trouble (as a Fujifilm manager admitted).
But for now I love everything I hear about the X-T5 so far… well,almost everything, if we ignore consider this rumor and this rumor. And I can’t wait to have mine under the Christmas tree (hopefully).
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