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Is Fujifilm Losing Its Soul? Let’s Talk PSAM Dials! An Error or a Necessity?


When I posted my article about the top 10 failed Fujifilm cameras (and errors Fujifilm should avoid in future), of course some of you had a legit and often also well argued opinion on which cameras I should have included.

And one particular comment encapsulated nicely a fear that is spreading among the Fujifilm community.

The biggest error ! Loosing who you are! Creating PSAM cameras!

And the disappointment for PSAM dials arose again just recently, when we informed you that the Fujifilm X-H2S will have a PSAM dial too.

So what, is Fujifilm spamming us with PSAM dials?

And looking at it more broadly, is Fujifilm losing its retro soul?

Well, I think there is way too much drama around this topic. Even the most hardcore retro lover (like me) should enjoy the fact that Fujifilm is releasing cameras with PSAM dials.

Here is why.

  • Fujifilm has sold its soul to the mainstream market. They are ditching their lovely vintage style and operation to spam the market with more PSAM dial cameras.

It’s true, Fujifilm has released the Fujifilm X-S10 and Fujifilm GFX100S. And yes, they have a PSAM Dial and overall a more DSLR-like operation to it. And so will the upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S.

And look, I own the Fujifilm GFX100S. Do I love to use it as I love my X-T4/E3? Nope.

But is the GFX100S difficult to use? Not at all!

The GFX100S is actually very easy to operate, the total opposite of the original GFX100. So, the GFX100S is a huge step in the right direction compared to the original GFX100.

But easy to use does not necessarily mean also fun to use.

The GFX100S is a beast. I own and admire it for its sheer power. After the GFX100S, you need to spend $25,000 to get better image quality (with less features and much bigger size, though). But give me an X100, X-Pro, X-T or X-E camera, and that’s where my heart beats strong just by taking those cameras in my hands.

But attention: just because Fujifilm released the X-S10, the GFX100S and soon the X-H2S, this does not mean that Fujifilm is giving up on retro with their cameras.

Fujifilm perfectly knows that a huge chunk of their customer base joined the X system exactly because of their vintage look and manual controls. And they will never give up on that: vintage look and feel is here to stay. I mean, there will be a Fujifilm X-T5, X-Pro4, X100V successor and more one day. Do you really think they’ll all get a PSAM dial?

And yet, I find it incredibly important that Fujifilm also offers more mainstream styled cameras. We all want Fujifilm to succeed, right? And if this helps the system to grow, so be it, give us some more “modern” operating cameras. And considering how massive the success of the Fujifilm GFX100S and to some extend also of the X-S10 is, Fujifilm made the right choice.

So, do not panic. A PSAM dial camera here and there just helps to bring more photographers into the system. And we old-style retro lovers, we will still get enough love by Fujifilm.

What we retro-lovers should worry is that Fujifilm survives the mirrorless battle. And if a PSAM camera helps to achieve this goal, then I personally welcome them. Because if Fujfilm prospers, then also vintage looking and operating cameras will delight us for many years to come.

So… PSAM is not an error. It is a necessity.

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