On May 24th, Fujifilm will announce some new products, and, according to Fujirumors, who is almost always right, the headliner will be the Fujifilm X-S20. What initially seemed like a mild update to an entry-level model is now becoming a little more interesting as details emerge of what exactly the X-S20 will be.
I had actually typed out quite a bit, but decided to delete it (11 paragraphs!) after my second cup of coffee. If you want to know the leaked specs so far, definitely visit Fujirumors. From my perspective, the biggest upgrade from the X-S10 will be the bigger NP-W235 battery. The improvements to autofocus and video specs will be nice, too, I’m sure, but probably not a big deal for a lot of people in practical use. It will have a Vlog mode complete with faux-bokeh and product-tracking-autofocus. Otherwise, there will be a lot more similar than dissimilar between the X-S10 and X-S20, but the price will be significantly divergent, as the X-S20 will be $300 more!
I realize that the X-S20 is not intended for me. It’s probably not intended for you, either. Who, then, is it for? The X-S20 is specifically for YouTubers or TikTokers who are making unboxing videos or how-to tutorials or things like that. I think Fujifilm intends the X-S20 to compete against the Sony ZV-E1, as a similar yet cheaper camera. The biggest difference between the X-S10 and X-S20 is that Fujifilm has defined a little more clearly who exactly the camera is for.
So if you are a YouTube or TikTok content creator looking for something a little more advanced than the cellphone or GoPro that you’ve been using so that you can step up your game, the X-S20 is for you, and quite a bit cheaper than Sony’s offering. Even though this camera is intended for that group, it will still be a capable photographic tool no matter who is using it.
Unfortunately, it won’t have the traditional tactile controls or striking retro design that Fujifilm is known for. Or, used to be known for, as 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). The three most recent traditional Fujfilm cameras are the X-E4, which is nearly two-and-a-half years old, the X-T30 II (the firmware-update model), and the X-T5. The only retro-designed tactile control cameras currently offered by Fujifilm are the X-T5 and the three-year-old-and-impossible-to-find X100V, all the rest have been discontinued, including the X-E4 and X-T30 II. Oh, and apparently Fujifilm is experiencing a shortage of X-T5’s…. In other words, if you want to buy a traditional Fujifilm camera, good luck with that—you’ll probably have to go the used route, and even that can be tough.
Fujifilm had previously stated that they are working on some “wow” products; the X-S20 isn’t one of those—or, if it is, their idea of “wow” and mine are two entirely different things.
If you had been thinking about buying a Fujifilm X-S10, but then thought maybe to wait for the X-S20 and get that instead… unless you just need the new Vlog mode or battery life, or just have-to-have the improved autofocus and video specs (which, on paper, sound wonderful, but aren’t a huge deal in practical use for most people), I’d consider saving a few hundred bucks and buying the X-S10 instead. That’s just my opinion.
The good news, though, is that on May 24, according to Fujirumors, Fujifilm will announce a new app to replace the terrible Cam Remote app. That’s exciting! Much more exciting than the X-S20, in fact.
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