Fujifilm will be announcing some new gear on September 12; Fujirumors is reporting that it will be GFX cameras and lenses, including a GFX100 successor (which, apparently, wasn’t the GFX100S), GF 55mm f1.7, GF 30mm f/5.6 tilt-shift, and GF 110mm f/5.6 tilt-shift. A rumor has floated for awhile now that two X-series cameras would be released in 2023. The first was the X-S20. What will the second be? And will it be announced in September?
We know that the X100V replacement won’t come until next year, so which one will be next? There’s been a lot of speculation that it could be the X-Pro4 because it’s long overdue; however, if it is, something would have likely already leaked about it, so I’m marking it as unlikely. How about an X80? Fujifilm absolutely should release this camera, but I think that ship has sailed in their minds, and it’s not even on the list of potential future models. X-A8 or X-T300? Those lines have been discontinued, so no. It’s much too soon for an X-H3 or X-T6 or X-S30. What does that leave? The X-E5 or X-T40 (which they might call X-T50). Let me give a few quick reasons why I think it will and won’t be each of those models.
It will be the X-E5 because the X-E4 was a hot commodity just before being surprisingly discontinued (presumably so that manufacturing efforts could be diverted to the X100V). It was backordered everywhere and even sometimes selling for more than MSRP. There’s still quite a demand for it, but so very little supply. It was strange that Fujifilm axed an in-demand model, but if they were preparing to release a successor, it makes a lot more sense.
It won’t be the X-E5 because Fujifilm will probably only offer one base-level camera going forward (due to shifting markets), and between the X-T00 and X-E lines, it’s more likely the X-E that’s not renewed. Besides that, historically, the X-E line comes at the very end of a sensor generation, not towards the beginning or middle.
It will be the X-T40 (or X-T50) because this line is long overdue for an update. The X-T30 was released over four years ago. The X-T30 II was an extremely minor upgrade, mostly just a firmware update that should have been given to the X-T30. Both the X-T30 and X-T30 II have been discontinued, so it makes sense that a new version is about to come out. Besides, the X-T00 line has been a good seller for Fujifilm, and the current lineup is in desperate need for a camera of its class.
It won’t be the X-T40 because the X-T30 II was released only two years ago. While it sold well, it wasn’t as in-demand or trendy as the X-E4. Aside from that, Fujifilm is clearly focusing more on higher-end models, and not entry-level.
What’s my opinion? I think, if an X-series camera is announced on September 12, it will be the X-T40. I don’t think the X-T40 will likely be a major upgrade, so including it on the same day as the GFX150 (or whatever the new GFX camera will be called) makes sense. Just as likely, no X-series models will be announced on September 12; perhaps the next camera will be the X-Pro4 in November (that’s just speculation, I have zero inside information).
The X-T40 will probably be the exact same thing as the X-T30 II, except with the X-Processor 5, which brings improved autofocus and video specs, along with the Nostalgic Neg. film simulation. I suspect that it will have the same X-Trans IV sensor and the same NP-W126S battery, and be 95% the same camera. I don’t think it will be revolutionary; however, it will be Fujifilm’s sub-$1,000 option, which I think is still important to offer. Don’t be surprised, if Fujifilm does decide to eventually release an X-E5, that the X-T00 and X-E lines aren’t available at the same time. In other words, they might manufacture the X-T40 for a year or two (depending on how it sells), and then discontinue it as they prepare to release the X-E5. Once that’s been on the market for a year or so, it’ll get discontinued in time for the next X-T00. I think Fujifilm sees these two models as competing against themselves to some degree. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if one of these two lines was simply (and quietly) discontinued.
In my opinion, I think Fujifilm has been secretly working on the X-Pro4, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it was released in November (like the X-T5 was last year). I think it would make a ton of sense. They’ll probably readdressed the rear screen somehow. I do believe it will have the 40mp sensor, and don’t be surprised if it is the first X-series camera with the XPan aspect ratio as an option. This would be a smart move, I think, and it would fall within Fujifilm’s shift towards focusing more on higher-end cameras and less on lower-end.
What do you think? Will an X-series camera be announced on September 12? Which model will it be? What do you hope for? Let me know in the comments!