Fuji Features: Fujifilm X Monochrome

I’ve been saying for awhile now that Fujifilm should make a dedicated black-and-white camera, kind of like the Leica M10 Monochrom. I would absolutely love that, and would shell out gobs of money for it, assuming that I actually have the funds available to do so. Of course, Fujifilm X cameras are already great at capturing black-and-white photographs straight-out-of-camera, but a true monochrome camera would be on a whole other level.

For this week’s Fuji Features post, I found some articles and videos on the web related to this topic is some way. I hope you enjoy!

SLR Lounge

Fujifilm X

The Phoblographer

Fujilove Magazine


  1. Khürt Williams · June 2, 2021

    I’m not convinced of the practical reasons Fujifilm would offer a B&W only version of any of their cameras. Leica is mostly selling on nostalgia and hype. I don’t see Fujifilm falling for that gimmick.

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 6, 2021

      They might not. It’s probably a small group who would buy. I’m in that small group, unless it’s GFX, since that would be far outside of my budget.

  2. Mathieu · June 2, 2021

    I agree… Love B&W… But these cameras are so expensive. I would add also these articles from MaxMax (specialized in B&W conversion):

    Monochrome Manufacturing

    Debayer Study

    D850 Tech

    • theBitterFig · June 4, 2021

      I have a minor issue with that first MaxMax article about monochrome manufacturing. Basically, we know that some manufacturers of component sensors (such as Sony) make monochrome sensors for industry, automotive, astrophotography, and other purposes. I can look up and theoretically purchase 7.4mp monochrome 1/1.7″ sensors, which aren’t double-digit-MP APS-C or FF, but a monochrome Pentax Q or even just a small compact would be pretty sweet. Doesn’t feel like too far of a stretch to imagine that sensors already being made and used for imaging purposes other than consumer photography could be put to use in consumer cameras.

      • Mathieu · June 4, 2021

        I think the essence of the MaxMax article is not regarding the difficulty to manufacture B&W sensors, but much more regarding the business model in producing dedicated B&W cameras and why there are not more such cameras in the market. A camera is not just a sensor. If you were to pick a ZWO B&W sensor camera for landscape you would need a bunch of accessories to attach lenses plus a computer or external device to focusing, etc. So not practical at all.
        I hope that now that there are more and more compagnies producing sensors like Tower Jazz, Canon, Sony and those for mobile, users will have more choices in a few years, why not some sensor stack that we could switch on/off through a menu to enable/disable the bayer filtering.

      • Ritchie Roesch · June 6, 2021

        I think the idea of a digital RGB filter, that can be turned on and off, is absolutely possible, and would be revolutionary. But I’m not an engineer, so what do I know? Thanks for the comment!

      • Ritchie Roesch · June 6, 2021

        That’s true. It could be interesting if Fujifilm put, for example, the 1.1/7″ 7.4mp monochrome sensor in a body like the XQ, a small pocketable zoom. The 7.4mp sensor would offer 15mp-equivalent resolution.

      • theBitterFig · June 6, 2021

        @Mathieu I guess what I meant was that it’s more of a willpower problem than a technology problem. The lack of consumer photography monochrome cameras is surely due to the fact that they don’t think they’ll sell enough cameras, but the bottleneck probably isn’t just the sensor foundries. There are imaging devices which use them, and every few years some cell phones will have a monochrome lens/sensor combo as part of their several cameras.

        Given that a few of these things exist, in some kind of similar form, it seems like the snag and hold up isn’t in gathering the components, but putting them together. In a lot of ways, it reduces to the same effect–folks aren’t making the cameras. I guess I’m just more hopeful that if people could convince companies that the demand was there, some kinds of monochrome cameras wouldn’t be that hard for these companies to accomplish.

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 6, 2021

      If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d definitely do it! Thanks for sharing!

      • Mathieu · June 6, 2021

        Same here 😉
        I’ve asked one day for the conversion cost of a used D810, and since the cost was more than the value the camera, which would eventually fail one day, my conclusion was that such B&W conversion only has value if done on a brand new camera (or directly buy a camera from MaxMax). Otherwise the cost would outweigh the expected remaining life of a used camera.

      • Ritchie Roesch · June 6, 2021

        If Fujifilm doesn’t do it, at some point I may just buy one from MaxMax. But it’s still a little outside my financial reach.

  3. Don · June 3, 2021

    I’m in the camp for a Fuji X B&W camera and I don’t think it’s a gimmick. There are a variety of well known successful photographers utilizing Leica Monochrome’s that are knocking it out! There’s a huge audience for this in the street. Fujifilm developed the X line of cameras hence the XPro-1 with Leica in mind let’s face it. The time is now for Fuji to continue the tradition by offering a Mono camera. They would kill it!

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 6, 2021

      I think they really would! I think Fujifilm could innovate with it well beyond anything Leica has.

  4. theBitterFig · June 4, 2021

    I would love some more accessible Monochrome camera, but rather than Fuji, the one I keep wishing they’d make would be a Leica D-Lux 7 aka Panasonic LX-100. Only a MFT sensor, but that’s fine. Solid and fast 24-75 equivalent lens that already takes filters, rather small body, reasonable 4K video, good EVF for the class of camera, nice shuttle and aperture dials. “All” it needs is a new BW-only sensor.

    Sure, a Fuji X-Mono would be sweet, but having a fixed-lens camera is also tempting, since it’s terminal. Someone doesn’t have to worry about getting into another camera system and feeling like they need to rebuy lenses. Having a compact with a decent zoom seems like the kind of thing that is a lot easier to justify as a B-camera (or C or D…). While I’d rather pay Panasonic than Leica prices, even with the red dot markup, it’d be a pretty reasonable thing for a lot of hobbyists.

    And while I wouldn’t turn up my nose at an x100m, Fuji doesn’t currently make a large-sensor zoom-based compact.

    Plus, as always, why not both?

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 6, 2021

      Why not both! The more options, the better. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Don · June 6, 2021

    Why is it the presumption that a Black&White camera through osmosis should be more expensive? Is eliminating color channels more expensive? Doesn’t make sense unless I’m unaware of something.

    • Mathieu · June 6, 2021

      This is explained in the links from MaxMax I’ve posted previously 😉

      • Don · June 6, 2021

        Thanks! So it’s in the sensor itself and not the processor. I do see the point that Acros film simulation including Red, Green, Yellow filter options are amazing in itself and a Mono sensor would have to convey a markable advantage. I forget the test, but there’s a comparison test of film sims, film itself and a Leica mono with pictures and the Leica monochrome really showed obvious tonal appeal.

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