Fujifilm X-Trans is 10-years-old, and I thought it would be fun to list the 10 most important X-Trans models of all-time. The first X-series camera was the X100, but it had an EXR sensor, and not X-Trans. The first with the X-Trans sensor was the X-Pro1, which came out in 2012. I already wrote an article explaining the history of that camera, which you can read here. For this post, I’ll simply give my opinion on which X-Trans models were the most important.
Here we go!
10. Fujifilm X-E1
The Sexy One—I mean, X-E1—was the second X-Trans camera introduced by Fujifilm, and offered retro rangefinder styling in an affordable package. It had its problems (many that were fixed or improved by firmware updates), which hindered its commercial success, yet it is still a beloved camera 10 years later. Without the X-E1, there would be no X-E2, X-E2s, X-E3, or X-E4. While the X-E lineup isn’t usually a top-seller for Fujifilm, it is much loved by those who do own them. The Fujifilm X-E1 was my introduction into the X-series, so without it there would be no Fuji X Weekly.
9. Fujifilm X-Pro2
The X-Pro2 was not only the first X-Trans III camera, it was the first with a dual memory-card slot. For some, this was the first X-Trans camera that could be taken seriously—clearly aimed at professional photographers. It not only looked good, but had the specs and features to convince serious photographers to take a close look, and maybe even sell their full-frame gear in favor of Fujifilm.
8. Fujifilm X-T4
The X-T4 is the full-frame killer. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the it is an amazing tool for both professional photographers and videographers. To date, the X-T4 is the most “premium” X-series model made by Fujifilm, and is the camera that’s convinced countless people to choose Fujifilm over other brands.
7. Fujifilm X100V
The X100V is a solid update to the X100F, and is my “desert island” camera—if I could only have one, it would be this. For a lot of people who are unsure if they want to jump into the deep end of the Fujifilm pool, the X100-series allows them to get their feet wet without having to invest in the whole system. Once people do dip their toes, they discover that the water is fine. Although all of the five X100-series cameras are great, including the original X100, the X100V is definitely the best.
6. Fujifilm X-Pro3
The X-Pro3 is a controversial camera due to its unusual backwards-mounted rear screen. People seem to love or hate it. While it might be Fujifilm’s most polarizing camera, it has been a solid success, and a sought-after body since its introduction. Also, this was the first camera with Classic Negative, Clarity, and Color Chrome FX Blue, among other things.
5. Fujifilm X-H1
While it was initially considered a flop, the X-H1 now has a cult-like following. The X-H1 was even more top-of-the-line than the X-T2. It was the first X-Trans camera with the Eterna film simulation and IBIS, and had the best video specs when it was released. In a lot of ways, it was the X-T4 of the X-Trans III generation models (although in a body more reminiscent of the GFX50S), and was supposed to convince full-frame shooters to consider Fujifilm instead. Due to its high MSRP, sales were super sluggish, and Fujifilm had to steeply slash the price tag to get people to buy it. Those who did buy it were rewarded with an amazing camera! It’s a workhorse for many professional photographers, even if they own newer models, they often choose the X-H1 to do the heavy lifting.
4. Fujifilm X100F
The Fujifilm X100F is the camera that I first started making Film Simulation Recipes with. Fuji X Weekly was originally a long-term review (or journal, really) of this camera. The impact the X100F has had on the Fujifilm community and even the photography continuum cannot be quantified, but know that’s it’s massive. For me, the X100F changed my life, and that’s not hyperbole—it took a lot of self-control to not put it at the number one spot on this list.
3. Fujifilm X-T3
Have you ever wondered why Fujifilm hasn’t discontinued the X-T3 even though the X-T4 has been out for almost two years? It’s because the X-T3 is the top-selling X-series camera of all time, and continues to sell really well even today. Yes, it’s about three-and-a-half years old, but as long as people continue to buy it in droves, it will continue to be manufactured by Fujifilm. I wouldn’t be surprised if the X-T4 is discontinued before the X-T3. This is the only camera on this list that I haven’t personally used, but I know for certain that it’s a great model.
2. Fujifilm X-T1
A lot of people might be surprised that the X-T1 made it so high on this list, not because the camera isn’t great (because it is great), but because the reason might not seem obvious. What was so special about this model to make it all the way to number two? The X-T1 was Fujifilm’s first real commercially successful camera. Yes, the X-Trans models that came before this—X-Pro1, X-E1, X-E2, X-M1, X20, XQ1, and X100S—did well enough (more or less, depending on the camera), but the X-T1 sold significantly better than them all. It really brought Fujifilm into the forefront, and made a lot of people take notice. For a large number of photographers, the X-T1 was the first model that made them seriously consider buying X-Trans.
1. Fujifilm X-Pro1
The Fujifilm X-Pro1 was where X-Trans began. All of the current Fujifilm cameras are here today because the X-Pro1 made a big splash with its retro rangefinder design and hybrid viewfinder 10 years ago. If it had not sold well, the X-series might have ended there, or not long after. But it did sell well, and is even in-demand to this day. That’s why the X-Pro1 is the number one most important Fujifilm X-Trans camera of all time.
What about the other cameras that deserve to be on this list? The original X100 is not here because it is not X-Trans (a requirement for this list), but I could have included the X100S, which the first X100-series model with an X-Trans sensor. The X100T was the first camera with Classic Chrome—except that a lot of people forget that one month earlier the X30 was released with Classic Chrome, and the X100T was actually a close second. The X-T10 was Fujifilm’s first real successful mid-range model—the X-T20 and X-T30 were pretty darn successful, too, and the X-T30 II is off to a solid start. The X-S10 has also done well, and is the cheapest model with IBIS. I think there are a number of cameras that could have made this list. What do you think? Do you agree with my Top 10? Would you replace any? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!
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