Fujifilm Needs to Drop Everything and Make an X80

Fujifilm X70 — Captured with a Fujifilm X100V + Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe.

Fujifilm needs to drop whatever they’re currently doing, and make an X80. This should be priority number one!

Not that I think they’re going to do this—I really don’t think they will—but they absolutely should. They should do it right, and they should do it right now.

Fujifilm introduced the X70 in January 2016 and discontinued it in December of that same year. You might think that the camera was a flop, but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, to Fujifilm’s surprise, shortly after the camera launched, Sony suddenly discontinued the 16-megapixel APS-C sensor that the X70 used, and Fujifilm had no choice but to fully move on to X-Trans III as quickly as possible. The X70 was a casualty of that situation. No successor was ever made, supposedly because heat dispersion was an issue with the X-Trans III sensors. Even though the camera is six years old now, people love their X70 camera—you don’t see very many for sale, and when you do it’s usually for a similar price to, or even higher than, the original MSRP.

Even though the camera is an old model, photographers are still enjoying their X70. Omar Gonzalez said that he loves the X70, and it’s his favorite fun pocketable camera. Reggie Ballesteros called it his favorite pocket cam. Samuel Streetlife called it an amazing camera for street photography and it’s sad that Fuji didn’t continue this line. People love the X70 because it is basically a smaller and more wide-angle X100T, but without a viewfinder; the viewfinder is a make-or-break for some, but other people don’t mind its absence at all.

So what would an X80 look like? What features should it have?

Fujifilm should try, as best as practical, to keep it the same size and shape as the X70. It should have the same 18.5mm (28mm full-frame-equivalent) lens. The rear screen can stay the same. I’m sure that Fujifilm would replace the d-pad with a joystick… I’d like to see both, but it will be a joystick and not a d-pad (and not both). Fujifilm should include the shutter/ISO knob of the X100V. Swap the command switch thing for a command wheel. Otherwise, don’t change a thing. The X70 is a cult classic because Fujifilm did so much “right” with it. Don’t overcomplicate it; don’t “fix” what’s already good.

Fujifilm X70 — Captured with a Fujifilm X100VGAF 500 recipe

The electronic viewfinder will be the controversy. The X70 doesn’t have one, and I personally don’t think it’s a requirement for the X80, but some people will have a strong opinion that, in 2022 (or 2023), it is a requirement. Perhaps Fujifilm should consider a pop-up viewfinder (right underneath where the X70 says “X70”) similar to the Sony RX100 III, or (my preferred option) a shoe-mount viewfinder that’s an optional accessory.

Obviously on the inside it needs to have a new sensor and processor. X-Trans IV? X-Trans V? Something else? Heat dispersion is obviously the biggest obstacle. The Fujifilm X100V can run hot, and it has a larger body, so it’s possible that the X-Trans IV sensor, despite being “cooler” than X-Trans III, is still too hot. Is the 26mp stacked X-Trans V sensor cooler? I know it’s quicker, but instead of quickness, can it be utilized for its coolness? How about the 40mp non-stacked? I personally would prefer it to not have a Bayer sensor, but if it did, it needs to have Acros and Classic Negative and Clarity and all that, which hasn’t been included on any Bayer model. I don’t know what sensor it would need to be or what Fujifilm needs to do to make it work, but I’m sure it’s possible, and they should do what it takes to figure it out.

How much would an X80 cost? The X70 had an MSRP of only $700, which seems like a steal of a deal! I think the X80 could have an MSRP of around $1,000 and people would buy it. Go much higher than that and people will start expecting more premium features (like weather sealing), but even at $1,200 I’d preorder it. Look, a Fujifilm X-E4 with the 18mm pancake, which is still noticeably larger than the X70 yet the closest you can get to it with Fujifilm’s current lineup, will run you $1,450, so it shouldn’t seem unreasonable to pay significantly more for the X80 than the X70. Heck, some people will pay a grand for a used X70!

If Fujifilm made an X80, that would be epic. It’s my number two “wow” camera that Fujifilm should make. However, I believe that Fujifilm believes that the market for such a camera came-and-went, and current camera buyers aren’t as interested in such a model; however, the feedback that I have received suggests that there would be a heck-of-a-lot of excitement for an X80 if Fujifilm ever did make one. I hope they do.

It’s your turn! What features should a Fujifilm X80 have? Which sensor? Would you buy one if they made one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! While I think most likely Fujifilm will never read this, there is a chance that they might—if they do, make sure your voice has been heard.

21 comments

  1. Albert Smith · 20 Days Ago

    I’d go (and have) with an X-E3 with the 18mm over the X-E4.

    It can still be bought new for just under $700 and more importantly you can buy one today, it actually exists. It’s getting frustrating to not be able to buy what you want.

    I like my X-E3 because it has the same processor and sensor as my X-Pro2 and X-T2 so all of my film simulations are the same and loaded into my Q menu in the same order. I can pick my camera for the situation based on size and features and get identical results.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · 20 Days Ago

      Would you be interested in an X80, which would (or at least should) be significantly smaller than the X-E3 + 18mm? Or is the X-E3 plenty compact enough for you already? For instance, I have an X-E4 (slightly smaller than the X-E3) and 18mm and it’s much too big to fit into my pants pockets, but the X70 does fit, making it a better carry-everywhere option for me—especially now that I’m in Arizona and I will have large jacket pockets much less frequently.

      The X-E3 (and really all of the X-E models) really is a great option for those looking for a less-expensive + compact body, and your suggestion is good.

      Like

  2. Albert Smith · 20 Days Ago

    My problem is that I’m no doubt older that many of your readers. My eyes are not good enough to use an LCD to compose with. I’d need to be wearing reading glasses which means that my distant vision would be compromised. The EVF is great because of the dioptor correction. Additionally, the glare on the LCD here in the sunbelt can be too much.

    If I could use an LCD, I’d probably own a Ricoh GR III.

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    • Ritchie Roesch · 20 Days Ago

      If I understand correctly, you’d be interested in a X80 only if it has an EVF, but between an X80 with an EVF and GR with an EVF, you’d choose the GR, if Ricoh made such a thing. Am I correct? If so, does the EVF need to be built-in or would an EVF accessory be sufficient?

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      • Albert Smith · 20 Days Ago

        Yeah, I need an EVF. I can barely use my phone to take pictures. When I do, I always see unwanted things in the frame that I should have caught before I took the picture, things I would have caught if I was using a proper view finder, either EVF or just a basic (D)SLR with dioptor correction dialed in.

        I’m jealous of those of you that can look at a scene with your eye, then look down at arms distance and compose on a small LCD. Those years are behind me.

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      • Ritchie Roesch · 20 Days Ago

        Well, I hope that, if Fujifilm does make an X80, it will have an EVF as an option. Thank you for your input!

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  3. Antar · 20 Days Ago

    Je possède un x70 j’en suis très satisfait et je ne voit pas l’utilité d’une viseur car la majorité de mes photos sont prises au niveau de la taille

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    • Ritchie Roesch · 19 Days Ago

      Je suis d’accord! Je pense que si Fujifilm fabriquait un X80, un viseur caché ou externe serait suffisant, car ce n’est pas nécessaire pour beaucoup de gens. Merci pour votre participation!

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  4. boogada42 · 20 Days Ago

    I would definitely be interested in an X80. Primarily for the small form factor. I tried an XF10 for a short time but didn’t really enjoy it, mostly because the AF was pumping a lot and seemed slow and unreliable. A possible alternative would be to try one of the Ricoh GR 3s. I was lucky to be able to get my hands on an X100V and enjoy using the film recipes. But portability, weight and form factor are huge points for an everyday carry camera and I would consider switching from the 100V to a potential 80.

    However the button layout of the 100V is fine, I like a joystick, I would not care about a viewfinder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 19 Days Ago

      The XF10 was definitely slow. Snapfocus (I forget what Fujifilm called it) was a nice feature. The PASM dial… yuck! The Bayer sensor & processor wasn’t quite as good as X-Trans, in my opinion. I enjoyed the camera most of the time, yet I didn’t enjoy it sometimes. I kept mine for about six or seven months (and used it a lot for the first three or four months), then decided to move on. I appreciate your input!

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  5. boogada42 · 20 Days Ago

    I’d buy an X80, if it is small and works better than the XF10 that I sold very quickly. I do think that size and weight and form factor do really matter for an everyday carry camera. That’s why I got an X100V to accompany my full frame mirrorless Canons.

    Right now this niche is filled by the Ricoh GR models, which I haven’t tested yet.

    I would love to see all the advanced buttons of the X100V, joystick too. I can do without a viewfinder!

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    • Ritchie Roesch · 19 Days Ago

      I do recommend the X70, if you can find one, over GR… unless the size of the X70 is still too much, because the GR is the smaller option.

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  6. Ryan Long · 20 Days Ago

    Ricoh GR III proves that 24MP APS-C with 18mm lens is possible in the X70 form factor – if Fujifilm can achieve their jpeg color science with the GR III’s image quality, I don’t care if it’s X-Trans or Bayer. I wonder if an optical viewfinder is possible when paired with a much smaller LCD, or perhaps an optical viewfinder with no LCD at all? I think once you start looking at add-on accessories, you miss the point of small-as-possible-pocketable form factor – although if it’s optional and plugs into the hot shoe, then why not? Pop-up seems awkward, but I’ve never owned one. All that said, I’ve learned to work with the LCD for composition, so if that’s all an X80 had, then I’d still be interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ryan Long · 20 Days Ago

      ^ by “optical viewfinder” I mean EVF. It does seem that with a quality EVF, a rear LCD is useful, but not essential if it were to go away.

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    • Ritchie Roesch · 19 Days Ago

      Pop-up EVF does seem awkward… I think on the RX100 III the reviews of it were mixed. If it’s a hot-shoe accessory (like Fujifilm did with the GFX-50S), that’s great for those who just “have to” have it… but the tricky part will be keeping the cost low enough that it’s practical… maybe no more than $150 if the cost of the camera can be kept under $1,000. Thanks for the input!

      Like

  7. Onno · 19 Days Ago

    Sold my X70 and regretted it ever since. What was I thinking ? I’d still buy it if it had the same 16MP sensor (will not happen, of course), but 16 MP is plenty for a P&S. Pop-up EVF would be very nice, even if it would not be the best quality; I sold the X70 primarily because it had no EVF (mistaken as it was). Matter of fact, I would be happy to accept a “non pop-up EVF” in combination with a smaller LCD. Again, not going to happen. The movie button was absolutely horrible on the X70 and they could delete the movie function altogether; I’d use it for stills only anyway. The 18mm lens could distort pretty badly and some improvement on that would be nice. Also, inclusion of the Classic Neg film sim would be great, which I absolutely love on my XT4. And I wouldn’t say no to an additional B&W sim, like some of your nice Ilford recipes! The chances of all this happening are probably smaller than me becoming the next president of the USA…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 18 Days Ago

      Lol! That’s probably true, but we can hope, right?! An X80 would be an improvement to the X line and if you were president that would likely be an improvement, too, haha. Thanks for the comment!

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  8. Johan Adermalm · 19 Days Ago

    I really regret not jumping on the x70 when it was launched. If there would ever be an x80 I’d hope for a viewfinder in the corner. I feel the same way with the brass bodied Pentax MX. Those are impossible to get for a reasonable price.

    I would however much more love to see a successor to the x20 (that is not an x30 successor) with a fixed f-number. The adaptive optical viewfinder and coupled mechanical zoom was such a joy to use. I wouldn’t even care if the zoom range wasn’t that extensive. How about a 24-50mm range with a fixed f/2 or 2.4? Bonus points if there would be a way to fit a crop frame sensor in a black painted brass chassi.

    https://www.instagram.com/johanadermalm/

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    • Ritchie Roesch · 18 Days Ago

      Wow, amazing photographs! Thanks for sharing! I appreciate your input, very interesting suggestions. 😀

      Like

  9. LeonHascal · 6 Days Ago

    I am so strongly in favor of this. I would absolutely pay $1,000 for a pocketable Fujifilm digital. I paid $1,000 for the xe4 body just so I could put my pancake lens on it and come close to that experience, but it’s not close enough. I still opt to take my x10 with me some days despite it’s extremely low resolution just because it’s truly pocketable. (I also find that when I have an on camera flash I end up finding it useful almost every single time). I know people say compact cameras are a dead market with smart phones but I think that compact professional cameras are going to be the next big market. The first company to put out the compact digital that delivers that pocketable fun camera that doesn’t skimp on quality is going to be very lucky.

    I can rent any gear I need to shoot work stuff but the one thing I would truly splurge on, before a pro camera that could cut down on rental costs, would be a great everyday camera. Also, if I’m going to use it everyday and take 90% of my personal photos with this little pocket cam then I could justify spending double what I originally thought was my high end budget. If I’m using this camera daily for years and I love it and it’s enriching my life and making me enjoy everything slightly more as a result, I would honestly end up dropping $2,000 on that camera. I think more people would than you may think. granted that’s only if they manage to make a pocketable x x100 or figure out how to squeeze the xe4 into the body of the x70 with a viewfinder and in body image stabilization.

    Years ago Panasonic /Lumix made this pocketable camera with a 1″ sensor and a Zeiss zoom lens ( something ridiculous like 18-80mm f1.8-2.8) with in body image stabilization that I could shoot handheld with a 1/4 shutter. I loved that thing until I lost it only a year ago and it was almost a decade old. I would kill for a Fuji camera that copies lumix and made the modern lx100.

    Liked by 1 person

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