Fujirumors is reporting that the Fujifilm X100V successor, which I’m calling the X100Z, will be announced in early 2024 (and they’re almost always right). Going by previous models, that means Fujifilm will announce the camera in either late-January or early-February, and it will likely ship in late-February or early-March.
That’s good news, especially if you’ve been trying to get an X100V but just can’t. Reinforcements are coming soon enough, and the wait will be over before you know it.
Here are some issues, though. If you’ve been patiently waiting for an X100V, and you’ve been on a backorder list for months and months—are you going to be happy when your X100V ships just a little prior to the announcement of the new model? The X100V is great, so I hope that the timing won’t sour your opinions or experience, but it might. Or this: will those on the waitlist for the X100V be given priority for the X100Z? Let’s say you’ve been waiting six months for your X100V and it hasn’t shipped. Suddenly the X100Z is announced. Will the store offer to bump you to the top of the preorder list for the new model? I know of one store that told me this will be their plan. Is it fair to those who don’t have an X100V on backorder but who preorder the X100Z within minutes of its announcement, but can’t get their camera shipped timely because others jumped the line from the X100V? It could be that you’ll have to cancel your long-awaited order and place a new one for the new camera, getting in a whole different line, possibly not at the top. Is that fair? I don’t have any answers, I’m just posing the questions—it’s something that Fujifilm and camera stores will have to carefully consider and tread lightly with.
I don’t know what Fujifilm will call the next X100-series model, but I’m betting on X100Z. Why? First, it sounds cool. Second, “Z” (Zeta) is the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet, and this will be the sixth iteration of the camera. Third, Fujifilm used Z in some of their film emulsion names, such as Fujicolor Pro 800Z. It makes a lot of sense to me, so that’s why I think it’s what they’ll choose. But I have no idea.
I don’t believe Fujifilm will bring very many changes to the new model. The X100-series doesn’t evolve much. I do believe it will include the 40-megapixel X-Trans V sensor and processor. Some want the 26mp stacked sensor of the X-H2s, and some want the X-Trans IV sensor of the X100V. While anything is possible, I would be pretty darn surprised if it isn’t the 40-megapixel sensor. Due to the fixed-focal-length limitation, having more resolution offers more versatility. Also, Fujifilm could give us the X-Pan 65:24 aspect ratio (Fujifilm: hint, hint)….
Speaking of that, the Digital Teleconverters will benefit from the 40mp sensor, and Fujifilm could even include a third option, something like 80mm or possibly 85mm. I hope, though, that they fix the problem of the faux Grain not scaling. As it is now, the Grain appears huge when using the 70mm Digital Teleconverter; however, it should scale so that it is the same size as when not using the Digital Teleconverter.
Another potential benefit of the 40mp sensor would be digital image stabilization for video. Some sort of hyper-smooth digital cropping that still renders 4K would make the camera more useful for videography. I know that a lot of people want IBIS, but I’d be surprised if Fujifilm put it into this model. Who knows, maybe they will (and it would certainly make the new model an upgrade), but if I were betting money, I’d say that the X100Z doesn’t have IBIS.
I think bringing back the four-way D-Pad on the back would be a nice touch. I believe that Fujifilm was trying to move away from it, but there was a lot of outcry from the community. That’s something Fujifilm could do to differentiate the X100Z from the X100V and make a lot of people happy.
I suspect that whatever part or parts Fujifilm was having difficulty securing in order to manufacture more copies of the X100V, will be replaced by some alternative(s) that will more easily be available. How that affects the camera, I have no idea. Maybe a slightly different rear LCD? I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I’d actually prefer no rear screen, or maybe just the little box-top rear screen like on the X-Pro3. Maybe a slightly different viewfinder? Whatever it is, I’m sure there will be something different that allows the camera to be more readily produced.
The most obvious thing that Fujifilm could do—and they absolutely should do—with the X100Z is introduce a new film simulation. I don’t know if Fujifilm realizes just how important film sims and Film Simulation Recipes are for camera sales and customer retention. If they do end up naming the camera X100Z, then a Fujicolor Pro 800Z-inspired (maybe called PRO Neg. Z) film sim would make a lot of sense; otherwise, Fujicolor Pro 400H (that with overexposure behaves similarly to the film), Fujichrome Sensia, Fujichrome Fortia, cross-process, infrared, Instax, and Neopan 400CN are a few other ideas. Obviously, Eterna Bleach Bypass and Nostalgia Neg. will also be included in the new camera.
Beyond that, I don’t think there will be a whole lot of differences between the X100V and X100Z. They will be much more alike than dissimilar. I said, though, that we were going to dream, so let’s throw some wild ideas out there, and see if any of them happen to come to pass.
My first wild idea is that Fujifilm uses an APS-H sensor instead of APS-C. I have no idea if the camera’s lens has APS-H coverage—my guess is that it does not—but if by chance it does, I believe that the current 40mp chip cut to APS-H size would be about 60mp (that may not be accurate… let me know if I got my calculation wrong). The 1.3 crop factor would make the lens 30mm full-frame equivalent. On paper the X100Z would be more similar to the Leica Q3, but at a fraction of the cost—it would be the Q3 killer!
Next, an interesting idea someone suggested was that the IR filter, which normally is directly on the sensor, could be moved next to the ND filter, and—like the ND filter—it could be enabled and disabled. In other words, with the push of a button, your X100Z could convert to full-spectrum! The lens has, apparently, an IR hot-spot in the center, but maybe it’s something Fujifilm could correct in-camera (similar to vignetting). It’s a crazy idea, but would be super cool!
I mentioned IBIS already, stating that I don’t think it’s likely to happen, but if Fujifilm can include it on the X100Z with minimal effect on size, weight, heat, and cost, that would be amazing! I hope they can, but I doubt they will. We can dream, though, right?
Of course, I’d love to see a monochrome-only version. If Fujifilm doesn’t do it with an X100-series body, they should do it with an X-Pro model. In other words, Fujifilm should definitely make an Acros-version of one of their cameras, and the X100 is a logical option.
How about three different versions, each with a different focal length? Sigma did something like this with their DP line. There could be 18mm, 23mm, and 33mm options, each identical, except for the focal length.
Fujifilm could also make special edition models, like Dura Silver or brown leather or something like that. It would have to be really well done and not cheesy. Charge a little extra for these variations.
That’s all I have. What crazy ideas can you think of for the upcoming X100Z (or whatever Fujifilm will call it)? Let me know in the comments!