Thoughts on the Upcoming X-S20

According to Fujirumors, who has a reputation for being quite accurate, the next Fujifilm model will be the X-S20, which will be announced at the X-Summit in April. What are my thoughts on this upcoming camera?

First of all, I want to state that I have zero inside information. Fujifilm doesn’t tell me anything. I haven’t spoken with anybody who has knowledge about upcoming cameras. What I state about the X-S20—or any unreleased model—is my opinion (nothing more) and should be consumed with a grain of salt.

The X-S10 was a successful model for Fujifilm, doing what it was intended to do: attract those unsatisfied with their Canikony camera who have an interest in Fujifilm but are intimidated by the traditional dials because they have only ever used PASM. I have no doubt that the X-S20 will be just as successful, if not more so.

I believe it will have the same 40-megapixel sensor as the X-H2 and X-T5. It won’t be weather-sealed. It will be 95% the same camera as the X-S10, just with the new sensor and processor. I would be surprised if there were any big surprises. If the X-H2 is too expensive for you, or if you have an X-H2 but want a smaller and cheaper second body, the X-S20 will be the one to consider.

What will separate the X-S20 from the X-S10? Megapixels. Autofocus. Improved IBIS algorithm. Nostalgic Neg. 6K video. I don’t expect the new version to be head-and-shoulders better, but an improvement nonetheless, but with some give-and-take, so an argument could be made that the X-S10 is actually “better” (subjectively, of course), just like the X-T4 might be considered better than the X-T5 by some.

I do wonder if Fujifilm has intentions of introducing a mid-level PASM model. The X-H2/X-H2S cameras are “flagship” cameras that are true “hybrid” models (excellent for both stills and video), but unfortunately those are PASM models, which means long-time Fujifilm photographers were left out in the cold—the X-T4 and X-H1 are the only “flagship hybrid” cameras for you to choose from (yes, an argument could be made for the X-T5, but it is clear Fujifilm intends it for those who primarily are still photographers, not videographers). The X-S10 and X-S20 are entry-level (as in the new entry-level, which used to be mid-level). What’s in-between the high-end X-H2 and the low-end X-S20? For the PASM shooter, nothing. I’m not certain if something is needed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Fujifilm is exploring that possibility, or even in the process of creating it.

I don’t think, in the current market, that it makes sense to have three entry-level models. That means either the X-E line or X-T00 line is likely on the way out. The X-T00 has historically been more popular, but the X-E line is beloved, and the X-E4 has been especially successful. I’m not sure what might get the ax or when, but it’s possible that the X-T30 II or X-E4 was the last in their respective series. Or maybe the X-T40 (or X-T50… they might skip using four because it is an unlucky number in Japan) or X-E5 will be the last. I hope I’m wrong about this, and both lines continue for years to come, but I don’t think that will be the case.

I’m disappointed that the X-S20 is the next camera to be announced. Six out of the last nine Fujifilm cameras will have been PASM models—X-S10, GFX100S, GFX50S II, X-H2S, X-H2, and X-S20—while one of the three non-PASM models—X-T30 II—wasn’t much more than a firmware update (so essentially 3/4 of Fujifilm’s latest releases have been PASM). I think it’s clear that Fujifilm is more interested in becoming a part of Canikony (Canikonyfilm?), which they see as their future growth potential, than to embrace and better communicate what makes them unique (and why that uniqueness is desirable). Shame. But, at the same time, the X-S line was due for an update, so I’m not too surprised that this is their next model. Still, I think with the current demand for the X100V, which Fujifilm cannot keep up with due to parts shortages, that they would expedite the X100Z (or whatever it will be called). To me, that would have made more sense.

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  1. FJ · January 23

    I use an X-H2. If I wanted a second body for professional work, the X-S20 would be ideal, since I wouldn’t have to think when I change cameras. But, if I wanted a second body for personal shooting, I’d want an X-T40 (or whatever it would be called), so I can have some interface variety and shoot according to how I feel at the time, while still getting the exact same photo output. So I definitely hope the X-Txx line isn’t dead!

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 24

      I hope the line isn’t dead, either. Thanks for the input!

  2. Hillel Brandes · January 24

    As an X-S10 owner, I want to see weather sealing in the X-S20!

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 24

      I think Fujifilm could beef up the X-S line… make it bigger, add weather-sealing, basically make it mid-level… and change the X-T00 line to PASM (but without IBIS and Weather Sealing)… I don’t think they’ll do any of that, but they certainly could.

  3. I sincerely hope to see a new XT-40 with Nostalgia Neg and Classic Neg in it… Let’s wish this line will not be cut soon and jee… why do they have to embrace the Canikony family…

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 25

      I’m really hoping the line continues. I’d be tempted by an X-T40.

  4. jdubsclub · January 24

    My hope is for the XPro 4 to come out with the 40mp sensor as well as the 26mp. I don’t think the majority of people actually need or want 40mp and the storage issues. I would gladly trade for the speedier smaller sensor.

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 25

      I don’t think the 40mp sensor is needed for most people, I’d gladly take the 26mp …even the non-stacked.

  5. theBitterFig · January 26

    It’s only recently that I got a non-manual lens for a Fuji camera, and really understood what I love about the physical dials rather than PASM. I’ve got a Pentax SLR, and it’s great for aperture or time priority. The front and rear control dials on the camera are great for that. Even full manual mode, since my KP has a 3rd custom dial I can set to ISO. Full control of the triangle.

    Where my X-Pro3 and Fuji aperture ring lens really excel, to me, is in fully auto. If I’m just walking around, with changing light conditions (shooting up at the sky, or down at a flower), I can trust my camera and adjust exposure compensation for controlling the total light. But when I want to go wide open for shallow DOF, stop down for deep DOF, or ensure a fast shutter speed to capture action, it’s really quick. Change the dial to the setting I want, and done.

    With my Pentax, it’s a lot more of a bother to switch from Program mode to a specific aperture, or to manual, or back. Maybe my aperture or shutter speed was left on something totally opposite to what I want now, and that’s after faffing about with a mode-selector switch. But Fuji can switch from auto to semi-auto to manual in a much more seamless way, and exactly to the setting I need.

    It’s the soul of Fuji, IMHO, and I really hope they don’t lose it.

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 26

      It is indeed the soul and I, too, hope that Fujifilm isn’t losing it. Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  6. Matt · February 11

    as an x-s10 owner I for sure would like to see improvements on the current camera rather than a new x-s20. Don’t really know who needs 40 MP other than professionals. I’m even reducing the file size of the 24MP jpg files and in case I would ever need more there a these super resolution tools to scale the image up.
    But releasing new hardware every other year seems to be inevitable in currents industry.

    As for PASM or dedicated dials I think it would be nice to just give the customer the choice. Why not create 2 version of a camera with either manual dials or PASM dial? Or maybe just use a dial with a screen to display whatever function/scale the user wants?

    For my personal choice of the x-s10 I went for it because of the feeling in my hands. Really like the handle which I did not like on the x-t3/30 as they are too small. I actually favor the body of my Nikon d7200 for its nice handling but it was just too big overall to carry around anymore and for sure I favor the sooc images of the fuji opposite to sitting in front of Lightroom for hours after the holidays

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 14

      Sitting in front of a computer for hours and hours after a holiday is just no fun. I appreciate the input!

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