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Medium Format Rumors


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#1 Patrick FR

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 04:09 PM

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Important update:

 
Fujifilm Will Launch a Medium Format Camera (Top Trusted Japanese Source) :: New Source says it will come at Photokina!
 

 



#2 Tom H.

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 04:15 PM

I'm starting a little piggy bank aka "the left kidney"... for any digital version of following classics:

 

Fujifilm TX-1 aka Hasselblad Xpan
Fujifilm GF670

Mamiya 7


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#3 darknj

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 04:27 PM

Meh... I am starting to wonder if I can mortage my grand mother at the bank...


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#4 andreariccieu

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 03:30 PM

This medium format story is one of the best news in the business in months

(Somehow a more important one - for the masses - that the new XF100 from PhaseOne)

We are almost about to come back to the 50s: Hasselblad facing Rolleiflex

A flexible, articulated medium format system, next to another, with few constraints but with similar stellar image quality

Hasselblad was the expensive alternative, Rolleiflex a less engaging option (also in terms of weight) 

 

Does anyone have an idea about the nature of the future sensor ?

Any educated guess ?

There must be a deal with sony to produce a 50M X- trans sensor. Producing a slightly larger one (say 60 would be an ideal positioning)

 

Can I launch a proposal for Fuji ?

Make sure the current option in the small format to change the ratio of the pictures is maintained !

It's got to be possible to shoot square (1:1), 4x5 (1:1,25), 24x36 or 6x9 (1:1,5), and the golden rule ratio (1:1,61)

 

If you are a believer, promote this proposal in the forum and elsewhere 



#5 danwells

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 10:44 PM

The Sony Alpha Rumors guys are promoting a Sony/Fuji partnership (with both names on it). Fuji provides lenses and (hopefully) bodies. Sony does the sensors (a huge contribution, but not one that traditionally gets the name on it - a D810 isn't a Nikon/Sony D810, although perhaps it should be) and what else? Accessories is one real possibility - take a look at Sony's great flash system - far preferable to anything we have to choose from. Sony also has some wireless release stuff that is better than Fuji, although neither one holds a candle to what Capture One and Capture Pilot do for Phase One (and Phase One isn't selling THAT to anyone with a dastardly, devious plan to sell cameras as good as theirs for $7000-$10000 instead of $30000-$50000).Sony also has some really nice batteries, not so much the little A7 battery,(although that has a good power meter - otherwise, it's just like the NP-W126 we know and sometimes love), but some of their camcorder batteries, which could be the right size.



#6 flysurfer

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 10:50 PM

I'm sure that the Sony components guys will deliver any components Fujifilm is asking for. That's what they do. It's their business.


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#7 Thekrees

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 11:06 PM

There is a lot of excitement over this possible camera.
I gotta wonder though how many people commenting or frothing about a Fuji Medium format camera have ever had medium format digital. Also, if they wanted it so bad, why haven't they bought the Pentax?
I've used medium format digital a fair amount over the past decade, and had a Mamiya/Leaf back system.
The dynamic range was great, but it was an unwieldy beast to shoot with, and best suited to studio and/or tripod.
Also, my clients didn't care jack about it.
You gotta ask yourself:
Am I doing very large exhibition prints? Be honest.
The last exhibition I had was shot on a Canon 5d2, and the prints were 1500mm on the long side. They looked great.

I am about to take up a position as a studio photographer at a place with the very best gear, and a Phase One system.
The kit I am most looking forward to using there is the Fuji XT1.

Very few of you would buy the Fuji medium format when it came to the crunch.

We should do a poll.

#8 flysurfer

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 12:13 AM

Also, if they wanted it so bad, why haven't they bought the Pentax?

 

2 reasons:

It's not mirrorless.

It's not a Fuji.


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#9 Thekrees

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 02:10 AM

"It's not mirrorless"

Where is it stated that a Fuji medium format camera will be a rangefinder?

I think people love to cheer medium format until they have to bite down on shelling out $5k US on a body.

Medium format is a risky business.

If my clients need medium format I will go rent it.
If they have the option to get it shot on my old Canon, instead, I am sure they will elect to pay no rental.

#10 danwells

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:09 AM

I can't see Fuji doing anything except some form of mirrorless/rangefinderish design. I'd say an X-Pro design is the most likely (given that we're thinking interchangeable lenses), but I wouldn't be surprised to see an X-E design either. I'd be more surprised by an X-T type design, given how few medium format cameras have ever been built in that format (the famous one is the Pentax 67 in its variations, but there were also quite a few Eastern European versions of something similar). The famous Hasselblad square shape is dictated almost entirely by the mirror, and I'd find it hard to believe that Fuji would use a mirror (they built a few 35mm SLRs as recently as the 1980s, and the GX680 "monster SLR" a little later than that, but their camera line has never been focused on SLRs). The only digital SLRs they ever built were Nikon-bodied chimeras where Fuji's contribution was the (odd, of course) sensor.



#11 Aswald

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 12:28 PM

My bet is the TX-1. There is virtually no benefit making a slr medium format camera. The TX-1 is simply too gorgeous.



#12 EyesUnclouded

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 12:33 PM

There is absolutely no reason for an SLR Medium Format camera, anyway.

 

The sole reason DSLRs still sell (apart from market inertia and brand value, of course), is because of the relative advantages in AF performance with the mirror design.

 

A MF will never be used in sports/wildlife/action or, even, extremely low light environments. If it's one camera format where mirrorless makes absolute sense, it's digital MF.



#13 danwells

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 05:40 PM

The poll on the front page of FujiRumors this morning reveals an issue Fuji will have to overcome. A lot of people want an MF Fuji, but they expect it to be priced like an A7rII. The ONLY time a medium format digital camera has gotten into that price range is Pentax trying to clear inventory of the old 645D (after the 645Z and the A7rII were already out). It's also the only time a medium-format digital camera has had image quality LOWER (in ideal circumstances) than the best smaller format camera on the market (there is no circumstance in which the 6 year old CCD in the 645D produces a better image than the A7rII with a good lens, and vanishingly few where it beats a D810). There are plenty of cases (higher ISOs (above 400), dynamic range) in which an X-Pro 2 can beat that old CCD. The CMOS-based 645Z is around $7000 (and beats all non-MF cameras in shooting situations where MF is the right choice). The only two reasons anyone might want the older 645D with today's competition are if they had a bunch of old Pentax 645 lenses, or as a backup to a 645Z in an area where the CCD was acceptable (product/catalog photography is one example).

 

Nobody would introduce a camera based on a 40 MP CCD today (and I'm guessing Pentax is not making money on 645D's - simply trying to get rid of a few they have around because they introduced the 645Z relatively quickly). If Fuji's entry is based on the 645Z sensor, it might be marginally cheaper than a 645Z, but it won't be a LOT cheaper. My best guess would be $6000 (Pentax is at $7000), and I wouldn't be shocked if it were $7000 or more, since Pentax is very aggressive with their pricing and recycles a lot of their DSLR parts (the 645Z has 27 AF points, but they all fit in an APS-C area at the center of the frame, because it's the K3 AF system). Fuji MIGHT get it to $5000, but that would be breakthrough pricing.

 

If it's any other sensor (newer, larger or higher resolution than the 33x44mm 50MP CMOS from early 2014 at the heart of the 645Z), it'll be more expensive. Right now, Sony makes two possible CMOS sensors - that 50 MP sensor and the much larger 100 MP sensor (which is also probably using their newest copper technology as seen in the A7rII and X-Pro 2). If it's the big sensor, I'd expect the body to be around (or over) $10,000. Still better than the $50,000 Phase One charges, but far from A7rII territory..

 

Sony may very well come up with a ~70 MP sensor that uses the technology of the big sensor, but in the 33x44mm size (it's just cutting technology they have into a different shape and size). That might show up in a $7000 body (and I'd expect it in a similarly priced Pentax at around the same time)... $7000 for a medium format body with 70 million pixels, each as good as an X-Pro 2 or A7rII pixel - that's realistic. $5000 for that would be a bombshell that realigned the top end of the camera market, but not totally impossible.

 

The other way they might surprise us is with a completely different sensor shape. Some people here have been mentioning the X-Pan, and Fuji has always enjoyed fooling with panoramic cameras. What about a 22x44 mm sensor or something like that? 40-50 MP for around $4000? That's not a lot more sensor area than an A7rII, and much of the price premium would be because of relatively small production volumes.

 

Fuji was smart, if they're planning on doing this, to get the X-Processor Pro out in other cameras. Their old processor would have been too limiting even with the 50 MP 645Z sensor, but the new one can handle any sensor they might use. They can recycle parts Pentax style to keep prices down (part of the reason Phase One prices are so high is that they sell a couple of thousand cameras/year, and that's what has to pay their R+D expenses). Even if Fuji and Pentax sell 5000 medium format cameras a year each, they can share the R+D with higher-volume products.


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#14 andreariccieu

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:18 PM

2 reasons:

It's not mirrorless.

It's not a Fuji.

Yes flysurfer and more:

 

It's heavy (and maybe fuji comes up with a better design)

It's not a Fuji+ (meaning the company does not react and innovate like fuji, will not have soon a good lens array)

It does not have the right software (ref. different format ratios for example)

It's an isolated system surrounded by competitors with a totally different (read superior) marketing posture and appetite for investment



#15 deva

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 10:51 PM

With the size advantage of my X-T1 compared to my nikon d7000, when I hear Fuji Medium Format camera, I imagine a mirrorless body that is no bigger than a full frame DSLR. I also imagine a set of 3 prime lenses that are also compact (relatively). In other words, a photography kit no bigger than full frame SLR, but medium format which provides extraordinary image quality, dynamic range, resolution and still handles well (sans tripod). 

 

Now my imagining may not be accurate to reality but if it is, that would be a compelling offering for me.



#16 Michael McKee

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 12:43 AM

The poll on the front page of FujiRumors this morning reveals an issue Fuji will have to overcome. A lot of people want an MF Fuji, but they expect it to be priced like an A7rII. The ONLY time a medium format digital camera has gotten into that price range is Pentax trying to clear inventory of the old 645D (after the 645Z and the A7rII were already out). It's also the only time a medium-format digital camera has had image quality LOWER (in ideal circumstances) than the best smaller format camera on the market (there is no circumstance in which the 6 year old CCD in the 645D produces a better image than the A7rII with a good lens, and vanishingly few where it beats a D810). There are plenty of cases (higher ISOs (above 400), dynamic range) in which an X-Pro 2 can beat that old CCD. The CMOS-based 645Z is around $7000 (and beats all non-MF cameras in shooting situations where MF is the right choice). The only two reasons anyone might want the older 645D with today's competition are if they had a bunch of old Pentax 645 lenses, or as a backup to a 645Z in an area where the CCD was acceptable (product/catalog photography is one example).

That's a good reason why Fuji doesn't have plans to release a medium format camera. Most of the respondents want to only pay $3000 for what would cost at least twice that to manufacture. With no realistic expectation that people will pay what the camera costs, I certainly wouldn't okay the resources and cost of making one.



#17 deva

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 01:54 AM

That's a good reason why Fuji doesn't have plans to release a medium format camera. Most of the respondents want to only pay $3000 for what would cost at least twice that to manufacture. With no realistic expectation that people will pay what the camera costs, I certainly wouldn't okay the resources and cost of making one.

 

Nearly twice as many people voted on a price as said they were interested. That means a lot of people who aren't interested in the first place likely just voted $3000 cause it was the lowest #.

 

1,000 people have so far said they would pay at least $5000 and just under 1900 said they were interested. 

 

From a marketing perspective, I have little idea how Fuji might read those numbers, but that seems like fairly sizable % to my layman's eye. 



#18 Sator-Photography

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 02:24 AM

I have argued for a while that the APS-C X series is a practice run in miniature for a mirrorless MFD series. Now that their mirrorless X-system is more mature, it is getting closer to being feasible to upscale to MFD size without being too slow and cumbersome. The only question is what sensor to put into it. I would expect Fuji to make an MFD sized X-Pro (essentially a GX-Pro1 given their traditional nomenclature for medium format being GX-, and retaining the "X" on an MFD X-trans sensor camera would make more sense than using the GF- nomenclature of their film rangefinders). It is unlikely to be an SLR styled camera like the X-T1. A mirrorless MFD camera would have considerable size advantages over an SLR MFD camera, and would future proof the system. 

 

As for pricing, in the film era medium format started around the price of a top tier full frame camera. The lowest conceivable price for a GX-Pro1 would be that similar to a 1DX Mark II or D5. However, until MFD sensor prices start to come down we can only expect MFD to carry a premium price. If there is a delay in Fuji releasing a GX-Pro1, it would be due to their marketing department being concerned about sales, and they might wait for MFD sensor manufacturing costs to drop, just as prices have come down with full frame sensors. Fuji may even consider delaying the release until they can manufacture their own sensors quasi-"in house" i.e. until they have the organic sensor in production in 2-3 years time. However, they are naturally testing and looking at the economic viability of bringing a GX-Pro1 out earlier with a Sony X-trans sensor so they have a model that will give the Pentax 645Z a run for its money. 



#19 Aswald

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 04:07 AM

I often wondered if the market still equate larger size to higher value or higher end product or has the industry managed to debunked that completely. There's a segment of the market that can't really afford to get caught in a size vs. performance race.

 

I'm thinking Phase One mf cameras. Having seen for myself and worked with the files from these beasts, it's hard to deny that they really are much, much better than any compact mf system.

 

Yes, I know there is a great price disparity but really, if there's any system a compact mf camera system has to beat, it would be one of these monsters.



#20 deva

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 04:08 AM

 

 

As for pricing, in the film era medium format started around the price of a top tier full frame camera. The lowest conceivable price for a GX-Pro1 would be that similar to a 1DX Mark II or D5. However, until MFD sensor prices start to come down we can only expect MFD to carry a premium price. If there is a delay in Fuji releasing a GX-Pro1, it would be due to their marketing department being concerned about sales, and they might wait for MFD sensor manufacturing costs to drop, just as prices have come down with full frame sensors. Fuji may even consider delaying the release until they can manufacture their own sensors quasi-"in house" i.e. until they have the organic sensor in production in 2-3 years time. However, they are naturally testing and looking at the economic viability of bringing a GX-Pro1 out earlier with a Sony X-trans sensor so they have a model that will give the Pentax 645Z a run for its money. 

 

That sounds about what I would expect. Fuji does have an advantage of not having its own full frame camera to compete with. If Fuji can come in with an aggressively priced offering, they do not have to worry at all about cutting into their own sales. 

 

For me, I'm curious what the main focus of the camera (assuming it materializes) will be. Would it primarily be a studio camera? If so, it is not of much interest to me. But if they make a small and light (relatively) rangefinder that handles well in the field, that really gets my interest. The X-T1 is about 40% lighter than a D7200. A Fuji Medium Format Rangefinder could end up similar to a Nikon 810. 

 

I loved my Pentax 67. I used it all the time on field assignments, even doing quite a bit of aerial photography with it... manual exposure, manual focus and all. Those big Velvia slides looked lovely!

 

I'd love to see a modern take on that by Fuji with some of that exceptional Fuji glass.


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