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Tuesday, 11 October 2022


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I went "full Fuji" with the X-T2 and XPro2, both sharing the same sensor and processor giving my Nikon D700 a run for its money, in both ergonomics and image quality.

I saw a shift coming that was not to my liking, but the great thing is that the things that made me like Fujifilm still exists and there's no reason to throw out cameras every couple of years because some "new and improved" model gets released.

I still use my first two Fuji cameras and will continue to do so. I also bought two X-T3 bodies which for a while might have been one of the best deals in photography when they released the basic version without battery charger. Those X-T3s are my last cameras.

Is Fuji abandoning its base? I hadn't noticed.

You’ve told us the Keppler story before, along with related axioms/laws. Remember, there can be no perfect camera. (Would you have ever drawn the Sigma fp, with attachments, as your perfect “Frankencamera”?)


They're also cutting back on silver lenses. I hate the all black trend because black just sucks up all the heat from hot desert days here in Southern California.

All the Fujifilm lenses I have purchased have been silver. But now the new 27mm 2.8 is black only. I can see Fujifilm cutting back completely to black only. Cost saving?

My X-E4 is silver top and bottom plates. But I fear everything, lenses and camera bodies, will all be black in the future.

I'm in the same boat. Been using Fuji exclusively since 2016.

I love my X-T3 and X-Pro 2. The 90mm and 100-400mm are both great lenses that I use daily.

I rented an X-H2s this summer and it was okay. Fine really. It's well made, physically speaking. The object was clearly made by people who know how to make camera shaped objects. I didn't like it much as a camera. And the grip hurt my hand. The camera looks really great through, like a real camera.

I did find the Custom modes to be useful. It was easy to set them up and it was convenient to have presets for my most common shooting situations just a click away.

That's the extent of what I liked.

The autofocus is not much improved over the X-T3 at least in my hands for what I shoot which is my dog running around, birds, and my wife. It sure is exhilarating to watch the camera drawing little green boxes on the eyes, face, head, and body of the subject. It really gives you the sense that the camera knows what the subject of the photograph is.

It's a shame that the camera isn't able to focus a lens on a subject as reliably as it can draw green boxes over the subject.

My photographic interests have changed since 2016 and I'm wanting some lenses that aren't available on X mount. So, I find myself looking at other systems to see who offers lenses in the focal lengths that I want.

Micro 4/3 seems to have the lenses I want and the OM-1 seems to be a good match for my dog and bird photography. On the other hand, it's a lot of money and my X-T3 works fine. I'll probably just use it for a few more years.

Meh. It's a good thing that I like taking pictures even more than I hate dealing with the equipment needed to take pictures.

I'm with you on some respects, Mike. Specifically, about putting the flippy screen on both X-H2's. My hope was one of these bodies would keep the three-way articulating screen of the X-T2/XT-3/X-H1 on one of the bodies. Anyone who has ever tried to use a flippy screen when shooting Architecture or RE while the camera mounted on an L-bracket on a tripod knows that the L-bracket prevents the flippy screen from being able to "flip outwards" in landscape orientation, or upwards, when shooting in portrait orientation. My guess is Fuji caved to all the "online reviewers" who kept slagging them for not having a flippy screen. The same applies for the "heavy" orientation for shooting video now rather than stills.

That being said, I personally really like the somewhat larger, more robust camera bodies of the X-H series. It makes it easier handling the camera when shooting a large tele, e.g. the Fujinon 200mm f/2.0, especially for motor racing, sports, etc. As I, and several of your other TOP readers who are working pros and shoot with the X-H1, its a VERY good body for pro work. Rugged, robust, reliable and durable. These "Design for X*" quality attributes are not "exciting" and never get mentioned in "reviews", but they're very important for working pros.

This isn't to say my requirements are more valid than yours or anyone else's, rather that each of our respective requirements are equally valid. This principle, though, is not something the online reviewers seem to understand...they continually put forth the view that....it's all about them. Cheers.

*– Design for X: All the "-ilities": Reliability, Durability, Serviceability, Repairability, spare parts Availability, etc. Online reviewers NEVER discuss this because they're not "sexy", but they're very important in the real world, where we all actually live.

About Kepler's warning, I feel the same disappointment all the time. Just when I feel I will get the perfect camera for me in the next iteration, one, two or three features vanish to give space to the features missing in the former model. Conspiracy belief or not, sometimes I think camera manufacturers have a classified department with people in it just brainstorming on how to produce the next camera improving upon the current model but leaving one or two primordial things for yet another next model. It's been now many years since I bought a camera that at the time, had nothing to be desired (but of course I knew back then it was a camera for 3-5 years only). It didn't matter and that camera was the Canon 5DMkII. After that, it's been a disappointment after a disappointment. I'm getting tired of this, really. Is it our fate as shutterbugs to live forever under this industrial tyranny? Photography is supposed to be for fun and relaxation.

Perhaps the answer it the iPhone which takes wonderful stills which everyone carries but video is their way of selling more cameras.

“I think I'd have to hire a researcher to find the darn article again.”
We’re not falling for that one again - provoking your entire readership into doing your internet trawling for you! Oh what - another commenter has already found the link?! Unbelievable!

[Well it didn't work last time. Can you blame me for trying again? --Mike]

For a while, I shot with my Fuji X-E3 and multiplied non-Fuji lenses by the 1.5x factor. I lost a lot of finger prints of those vintage lenses in the adaptation process.

When I acquired my highly affordable Canon EOS-RP, its full frame won over and I cannot imagine how I would want to shoot with my Fuji except with Fuji lenses.

Mike: . . . the things I liked Fuji for were:

  • The handy, portable bodies for "AdAms" (advanced amateurs) and enthusiasts;

  • The classic pseudo-retro dials 'n' buttons gestaltz;

  • The compact primes;

  • The unapologetic emphasis on stills.

  • X-Pro3? X-E4? And an X-T5 reportedly will be announced in November. Besides, aren’t all those Fuji “compact primes” still shipping?

    Seems to me Fuji is expanding its product line in an attempt to expand its market—i.e., in order to appeal to people who are trying to make a living from photography. I don’t envy the surviving pros, but from everything I’ve been reading many of them need high-speed autofocus and frame rate as well as video.

    As an amateur who was drawn to the “old Fuji” for precisely the reasons you mention, as well as for their compact zooms with excellent image stabilization, I don’t get the impression the company has abandoned me at all.

    Ouch, I own an M-A. :)

    Could one not argue that it was the model whose features did not pass beneath the waves? Who needs stinking batteries and a meter anyway?

    [Wait, what did I say? I meant the M-A is the one to get. :-] --Mike]

    An X-T1 with IBIS would be just about perfect.

    Once I saw Nigel Danson's comparison of large prints made from X-T3 file vs Nikon full-frame file, I lost my 'itch' for full-frame. His video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZNr24yVD9s

    I have the X-T4 and have come to accept the flippy screen. I really love having the ability to flip the screen toward the body, protecting it from the elements (primarily the buttons on my shirts).

    So... X-T4 with the original 18/2, 35/1.4, and 60/2.4 is a really excellent still photography kit IMO. And I've never used it for video, so.. it very much emulates the specs I once had with my Nikon F3 and Nikkor primes.

    I agree with you about the X-Tx and X-Hx cameras and newer lenses. I occasionally use a relative's X-H1. The IBIS is nice but otherwise I prefer my X-E2. The X-Pro3, X-E4 and X100V still have the traditional controls, and Fuji still catalogues the older smaller lenses.

    Not sure about Fuji moving on the direction of video or big expensive cameras.

    One might say so observing the recent announcements, but the X-H2 and X-H2s are objectively a restart on Fuji professional line of cameras (after the failure of the X-H1) while all the other cameras in the lineup are more enthusiast-oriented.

    There’s still the X-S10, X-T30, X-E4, X-Pro3. They’re taking time to get an upgrade, probably due to the semiconductor crisis but also due to Fuji learning from past mistakes and releasing the professional line with upgraded tech first to then make derivations of those for the mid-range and lower-range models (with the X-H1 they made the reverse).

    Regarding the sensor, I don’t care about the extra resolution as long as the sensor is equally good or better than the previous generation (like it’s been happening in the past). I remember people complaining about the same with the jump from 16 to 24 MP, but the truth is that the new sensor was significantly better. Sure with 40MP I would like to be able to choose various tiers of resolution in camera (something like 40, 24 and 16 MP), my computer storage would appreciate that.

    Also the preoccupation of the older lenses being able to deliver the goods at 40mp is, from what I’ve read, marketing bs.

    Totally agree about the lenses though. The focus on smaller primes or revising older designs that need modern tweaking seems not to be on their radar for quite some time (with the exception of that lazy 27mm MkII revision).


    I am somewhat puzzled by your misgivings regarding Fujifilm’s current direction, and potential abandonment of the type of Fujifilm technology you admire. Isn’t it likely that Fujifilm is merely expanding their product base to broaden its appeal to potential new users, including videographers and those who require larger lenses. I do not think this necessarily means they will abandon their smaller camera bodies and compact prime lens line, which currently includes 6 lenses, with an additional one planned for next year.

    You stated: “Recent X-H[x] cameras are larger and/or heavier than the original X-T1, more oriented toward extreme performance…”. While true, does this necessitate that they will abandon their smaller camera bodies (including the X-Tx and X-Tx0 series) and compact primes? Seems unlikely. In fact, the X-T5 is rumored to be announced next month.

    You stated: “recent lenses have been tending toward larger, more expensive "statement" types rather than the small primes we originally liked.” Again, updating their ultrafast lenses does not necessitate that they will abandon the compact primes.

    Finally, you stated: “Now they seem to care about video shooters more, they're making lenses more like the newer 33mm ƒ/1.4 rather than the characterful, old-school 35mm ƒ/1.4 I love…”. Actually, Fujifilm have indicated that they are keeping the 35mm ƒ/1.4 lens in production, and adding the 33mm ƒ/1.4 as an alternative, not a replacement.

    You may be right regarding the direction Fujifilm is pursuing, but it seems to me a bit premature to make that assessment based on the current evidence.

    [Objections noted, but note that I also said "I am not setting out a case against Fuji" and "I still like Fuji." --Mike]

    BMW have the same problem. Successive versions of the 7 dropped features I enjoyed on previous versions. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    I too have lost my enthusiasm for Fujifilm cameras. It’s been clear recently that a more simplified UI was the trend and this has been exemplified by the XE-3 to XE-4 transition, the XT-3 to XT-4 transition and the recent GFX models. As Mike says, the “quality” lenses, more suitable for the new 40mp sensor, have been getting heavier and larger. So, the convenience and portability of Fuji cameras has been compromised which makes them no different from full frame mirrorless cameras. Some of the mirrorless lenses, though,such as the Nikon Z24-70 F4 and Nikon Z 50mm, are quality but relatively compact lenses. Needless to say, I have transitioned away from Fuji, only keeping the X100V.

    A crest is the heraldic badge on a kanigget’s helmet. It is typically fallen when they are defeated in combat. Sir Robin was not crestfallen only because he bravely ran away.

    My X-T1 hasn’t changed at all. It’s literally the same camera I bought when it was new. And it still makes a gorgeous 12 x 18” print. It IS looking pretty ragged, it’s heavily “brassed” except, of course, it’s not brass. Someday it will fail me and I’ll bump up to something more recent. But I’m still on board with Fuji.

    I love my wife's new used 2000 Miata with slightly growly exhaust and... an antenna that slowly rises up when we turn on the radio.

    It's ok to move away from stuff. I like to send a box of goodies away to KEH knowing they will soon delight someone. I've also given gear away. We even gave a car away once (someone, amazingly, gave us the Miata, so we passed on our used Prius of similar value to a young family we know).

    There arise occasional regrets, like when I re-process a photo from a camera I no longer have, and it seems to have a look I can no longer get. That's probably your advice to never sell a good lens. But if I did that, I'd just have a bunch of amazing, never used lenses.

    What on earth is all the fuss about? When the X-T5 is unveiled (probably next month) it might not have a flippy screen. Let's wait and see. Fuji still have a full line of smaller cameras. What is wrong with them making some for video as well? They have to make money to survive.

    I sort of agree with you, Mike, and I also sort of don't.

    The person who has written often and eloquently on the points you raise, by the way, is Ritchie Roesch, over at his Fuji-X Weekly website. He bemoans the flippy screens, the move towards 'dumber' PASM dials, the occasional crippling of certain Fujifilm cameras in an apparent non-Kaizen like attempt to force the photo consumer into having to buy a new body for upgraded features which once upon a time were included in the many free firmware upgrades Fuji used to frequently roll out, for not just 'some' but almost 'all' of its models.

    The other side of the coin though is that one can still buy X-Pro3's with lovely controls - and X-T3's with the lovely tilting screens (and not the flippy ones beloved apparently of vloggers) - and... perhaps I'm a dinosaur but my last two favorite cameras were first an X-Pro3, and then the smaller camera which replaced it, the nifty X-T3. And most Fuji's incorporate, to various degrees (of hardware & firmware) the extraordinary in-camera film like jpeg 'simulations', which, coupled with some of the remarkable analog-film-inspired 'recipes' for X-Trans cameras (many of which are created and published by the aforementioned Mr. Roesch, who is one of the pioneers in that small field), have turned me into a jpeg-simulation-only shooter with my Fuji's.

    Moral of the story: though their latest offerings, the X-T4 and X-H2, seem like steps backwards or sideways for many Fujiholics, including yours truly, the fact remains that some Fuji's, especially including the two I've owned, have been, simply, the best digital mirrorless cameras I've ever shot with. Period. And, I know this may sound like sacrilege, but... they're even better than my old Pentaxes.

    Companies that produce cameras need to adapt or die in a rapidly changing world, just like everybody else. They are losing customers every day to mobile phones.
    Honestly, I don't need 40 megapixels. I want to upload my photo(s) directly to the internet from the camera, as opposed to trying (and failing) to get the camera to connect to my
    phone through Fuji's horrible app. My iPhone pictures are on Instagram instantly... Hmmm...

    Companies make too many different cameras.

    The same problem once existed with cars, and only when makers realised their mistake did they cut down variations and concentrate effort and money on a more narrow band. It probably saved many of them from extinction.

    Nikon should retire the cut-frames and put all their effort into their FF ranges. They have neglected the small sensor ranges for years, and as they would seem destined to go fully FF, they should lance the boil and do it immediately: there is no gradual easing of pain; instant catharsis is the only route for them. If not, all they garner is a running sore of angry cut-framers wanting lenses they ain’t gonna get.

    I think Fuji and others who want a slice of all the different pies are going to suffer: better to become leaders in one format than bit players everywhere. Cellphones are eating camera company lunches; looking elsewhere doesn’t alter that fact, and the sooner someone establishes a definitive ownership of something, as Leica has with popular Mono, the better for their chances of survival.


    Stan B.: "Most car companies that introduce a nice compact will always spoil it by making each successive model progressively larger.

    Different companies I know, but I was out the other day and saw a modern mini. With a ‘real’ one parked close by. The difference in size was stunning - it literally stopped me in my tracks. I guess I’ll literally add ‘mini’ to my list of awesome meaning changes…

    Peace and all that,

    I doubt that there are enough amateur stills-camera enthusiasts who are not dentists to sustain a digital camera division, and Leica of course has the dentists. But I don't believe Fuji has forgotten us. They still make roll film for goodness sakes, both color and B&W (including perhaps the finest B&W film ever made).

    Fuji seems focused at the moment on combining their recent camera expertise and their more established cine lens expertise to try to keep up with rapidly changing (and lets face it--shrinking) markets for cameras and lenses. This looks more like consolidation than diversification, at least to someone looking at the bigger Fuji picture.

    Yes, the effect could be the same, leading to abandonment of us amateur stills-o-philes, but I suspect that if they do succeed with this strategy that Fuji may return some attention to digital stills, perhaps dedicating the rangefinder body type to that market. But I kinda hope they consider going modular, a la Sigma, as a way to serve multiple markets.

    I don't really get the dislike for flippy screens. I have always liked them on stills cameras. They're much easier to move around quickly than the X-T3 style, and they can be turned around to make the back of the camera screenless, which is so clean and pleasing to me.

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