Fujirumors suggested that Fujifilm is making a mistake by using the same sensor in multiple bodies, instead of what Sony does and offer multiple sensor options in one body. For example, Sony has the A7, A7S, A7R, which have nearly identical bodies, but each with a different sensor inside. Fujifilm does the opposite, and includes the same sensor inside a bunch of different bodies. For Sony, the differences between camera models is closely tied with the sensors inside, while the differences between Fujifilm models are largely external.
I think the reason this topic came up is that there are supposedly going to be two different X-H2 cameras coming out next year. It’s possible that it will be the same exact body for both, but two different sensors inside. Could Fujifilm be taking a similar approach to Sony? Nobody (outside of Fujifilm) knows.
If Fujifilm does this, I think it would make sense to have three options: a high resolution 40-megapixel sensor capable of 8K video, a 26 to 30-megapixel sensor that is the “all-around” option, and a lower resolution 16 to 20-megapixel sensor that maximizes high-ISO, dynamic range, and speed. Honestly, though, I hope that Fujifilm doesn’t do this, although admittedly I do like the idea of a lower resolution option to maximize high-ISO, dynamic range, and speed.
What I do appreciate about Fujifilm’s current approach is that, no matter the camera you have, if it has the same sensor, it will have the same image quality. You can have an X-T1, X100T, and X-T10, and the image quality will be identical between these models. You can have an X-Pro3, X-S10, and X-E4, and the image quality will be identical. The advantage of this uniformity cannot be understated! This is ideal for those wanting consistency across their kit.
On Sony models, image quality is certainly similar between the three nearly identical options, but definitely different. If you have an A7R IV and an A7S III and captured the same scene with identical settings, you’d be able to tell that two different cameras captured the pictures, if you compared them closely. If you did that same experiment with an X-T3 and X-T30, the pictures would look identical.
I’m sure that Fujifilm watches closely what Sony is doing, looking at both what is working and what isn’t. They’d be wise to find lessons that can be applied to their own products. With that said, Fujifilm should not lose sight of what makes their brand special, and why their current customers chose them. They can learn a lot from themselves. I can’t tell Fujifilm what to do, and I’m certainly not an expert at camera marketing, but I think they’d do better to differentiate themselves from the competition, and not copy what Sony is doing. Sony is Sony, and Fujifilm is Fujifilm. If someone wants a Sony camera, they’re not going to buy a Fujifilm camera. If someone wants a Fujifilm camera, they’re not going to buy a Sony. Fujifilm should do more to convince potential customers that they should want a Fujifilm camera, which means highlighting what makes them unique, and why that uniqueness might be better for one’s photography. This blog does a pretty good job of doing that on Fujifilm’s behalf—not because I’m paid to (I’m not), but because of how I feel about their products, and what their cameras mean to my photography. I hope that Fujifilm doesn’t lose sight of their uniqueness, and doesn’t try to copy what other brands are doing—that just doesn’t seem like the right move to me.