Fujifilm Needs to Drop Everything and Make an X80
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.
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.