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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Fujifilm X-S10:  Amazon  B&H  Moment

My Opinions on the Upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S

Fujifilm X-H1

People have been asking me what my opinions are on the upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S, which is the unannounced upcoming X-Trans V camera that Fujifilm will reveal before the end of the month. The only reason why we know about this camera is because of Fujirumors.com, which is the best place to find information on upcoming gear. Fujirumors has shared many details about the X-H2S, so we have a pretty good idea of what is about to be announced.

I have this impression that the Fujifilm corporation doesn’t like Fujirumors very much—it’s a thorn in Fujifilm’s side when it comes to new releases, although they also seem to use Fujirumors to gauge the pulse of the Fujifilm community. So they use ’em when they need ’em and otherwise don’t like ’em. I think that Fujifilm might feel similarly about Fuji X Weekly: they like how it builds excitement within the community, converts photographers to the X system, and generates plenty of sales—yet I use competing brand names (Kodak, for example) and occasionally speak critically of the company, which they don’t appreciate.

I want to circle back around to a word: community. Patrick, the guy who runs Fujirumors, pretty much single-handedly built the Fujifilm community. This wonderful kinship is unique in the photography realm. Yes, there are fans and fan sites for every brand, but none compare to the Fujifilm community, particularly when it comes to things like energy, commitment, kindness, generosity, and probably many other nice words that I didn’t write. Really, there should be some sort of annual Fujifilm convention… actually several throughout the world—I think people would love the opportunity to meet those in-person whom they’ve seen and spoken to online. People love their Fujifilm cameras, and that enthusiasm percolates to those within their sphere of influence. With today’s technology, one’s sphere of influence can easily be worldwide.

Fujifilm needs to do more to embrace this great global community that’s built around their brand. I think because they didn’t create it themselves and have no control over it, they shy away from it. They enjoy the benefits of it from a safe distance, and then deride it behind closed doors when something happens within it that they don’t like. What can Fujifilm do? First, they need to drop the negative attitude towards Fujirumors and other people and websites that are the heartbeat of the community. Next, they need to find ways to engage the community, using already existing channels (find where the community gathers online), as well as double-down on their own efforts (10 Years of X Mount is a great example). Third, they need to bring back Kaizen, and realize just how important this is to the community—by ignoring Kaizen, Fujifilm is ignoring the community.

Last Warm Light on Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print

Now that I’ve said all of that, what about the X-H2S? What are my opinions?

The Fujifilm X-H2S is the long-awaited successor to the X-H1, which was a wonderful yet overlooked X-Trans III camera. The X-H2S will introduce the X-Trans V sensor and processor. It would seem the improvements that X-Trans V will bring over X-Trans IV is speed: faster processing, faster autofocus, etc.. There will likely be some new JPEG options, too, such as the Nostalgic Negative film simulation.

I have no doubts that the X-H2S will be a great camera: fast and eager—a true workhorse in the Fujifilm system; however, there are two things that concern me about it: heat and PASM.

Apparently, the X-H2S will overheat if used for video for too long (which is a common problem), and apparently Fujifilm’s solution is an external cooling accessory that can be purchased separately. If you plan to use the X-H2S for video, this accessory will be essential. I want to remind people that the X-H1 does not have an overheating problem.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you likely already know my feelings on it, but for those who don’t: I passionately dislike PASM. It’s clear to me that the Fujifilm X-H2S is not for those already within the Fujifilm system, but is intended to attract those from other systems, such as Sony and Canon, and bring them into the Fujifilm fold. It’s for people who are used to PASM, and are intimidated by the classic controls that most Fujifilm cameras have. I would definitely prefer the camera to not have PASM.

I have no intentions of pre-ordering the X-H2S when it is announced in the coming 10 days. It’s not for me. It will be a great camera for some of you, though, and if you think it’s the right model for you, don’t let my opinions influence you to not get it. I’m more excited for whatever the second X-Trans V camera will be—I’m hoping for an X80, the even-longer-awaited successor to the X70. I have no idea if this is in the works or not, but it certainly should be if it’s not.

Are you excited for the Fujifilm X-H2S? What X-Trans V camera do you think Fujifilm should release next? Let me know!

3 New Cameras Confirmed

Fujifilm Film Simulation Blog

In my last post I mentioned the rumor that Fujifilm will be releasing three new cameras this spring. The details were pretty limited at that time, but a lot more information has come out since then (thank you, Fujirumors), so I wanted to pass along a quick update to those who are interested.

One of the three cameras will be the X-T4, which will be the successor for both the X-T3 and X-H1. It will be nearly identical to the X-T3, but with a slightly larger body, and will feature in-body-image-stabilization (IBIS) and 6K video capabilities. I’m not sure if it will use the X-Trans IV sensor and X-Processor 4, or if X-Trans V is right around the corner. Clearly, it’s a merger of the X-T and X-H lines, and will be Fujifilm’s flagship APS-C camera. I’m sure it will be priced higher than the X-T3.

Another camera will be the X100V, which will indeed have a redesigned lens. The X100 series has had the same lens from the beginning, so this will be the first with different optics. What will be different about it is unknown. Details are pretty vague right now, but I’m sure in the coming weeks we’ll know much more.

The third camera will be the X-T200, the successor to the X-T100. It sounds like it will be essentially the same camera as the X-A7, but in the shape of the X-T100. In other words, the rear screen, auto-focus and video capabilities will be much improved, and everything else will be pretty much the same.

And, apparently, there will be no new GFX camera in 2020, but sometime in 2021 instead. They are working on one, that’s already been determined, but I guess aren’t ready to release it for awhile. That concludes your gear update for today.

3 New Fujifilm Cameras Coming Soon!

Fujifilm X100F Blog

There’s some exciting news that I want to pass along to you. I don’t want Fuji X Weekly to be completely centered on gear, but I also want to keep you in the know, and so I try to keep things balanced. Anyway, according to Fujirumors.com, there are three new Fujifilm cameras coming this spring. One is the X100V, which will replace the excellent X100F. Another, which might be called X-T3s or X-T5 (in Japan, the number four is bad luck), will replace the not-very-old X-T3. The third is a mystery, but I’m betting that it’s a medium-format GFX camera. Let’s briefly talk about each.

The X100V has been whispered and rumored across the internet for many months. There’s no surprise that it’s coming soon. What we don’t know is how much different it will be from the X100F. It will certainly have the 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor and processor, and probably all of the new JPEG tools of the X-Pro3, but beyond that nobody knows. There’s been speculation for some time that Fujifilm redesigned the lens, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. It could be a mild update to the X100F, which makes sense, because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Or it could be a moderate overhaul, similar to what Fujifilm did with the X-Pro3. We will know soon enough.

It’s very surprising to me that Fujifilm will be announcing a replacement to the X-T3 so soon. Why? Because the X-T3 will only be one-and-a-half years old when its successor is released. Digital technology advances quickly, but I’m not sure there’s enough to justify a whole new camera in that short amount of time. Is there a new sensor coming? New processor? If not, a simple firmware update would breathe a second wind into what’s already a successful camera model. If there’s nothing big to separate the upcoming model from the current one, I don’t think it will be a huge success because there’s no incentive to buy the new camera. Why pay more for something that’s essentially exactly the same? It will be interesting to see what Fujifilm has up its sleeve on this one.

The third camera is an unknown model, but fuzzy pictures have leaked out of Japan of a new GFX body. It could be a non-IBIS 100-megapixel camera. It could be a 50-megapixel body with IBIS. It could be the first GFX with an X-Trans sensor. Fujifilm has done well in the medium-format market, quickly setting themselves up as the leader, so it would be unsurprising if they added another camera to the GFX lineup.

What other cameras should Fujifilm release in 2020? I’d like to see an X70 but with an X-Trans IV sensor. How about an X-H2? While it was well-received by users, I don’t believe the X-H1 was especially commercially successful, but Fujifilm should have at least one APS-C camera with IBIS for those who want it, so an X-H2 makes sense. That is, unless the X-T3 successor has IBIS. The X-E line is due for an update. Keep the body the same, but put the X-Trans IV sensor inside, and you have an X-E5. Simple enough, right? It will be exciting to see whatever is forthcoming from Fujifilm, and I will do my best on the Fuji X Weekly blog to keep you updated, but hopefully without overwhelming you with gear posts.