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Fujifilm X-PRO2 rumors


Patrick FR

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So, it will all depend on what the new camera (whether this one on the photo is right or fake) will bring.

a) Just a 24MP sensor with a few more AF points = *not enough*

B) 24MP sensor with Sony a6000 class AF or faster + true ISO100 (!!!) + better EVF (like in the new Leica, with 4MP!!!) --> yes, I buy

 

Sensor should not only have more MP, but also better overal noise and dynamic range (the two are linked to each other, right...). The X-Trans II is quite "solid", but no longer state of the art. It is a 4 year old design. + less "cheaty" ISO settings. With a Sony a7 series camera one can shoot at ISO 100-200 much longer...

 

The EVF in the X-T1 is quite good, but also 2 years old now, they should build in the next generation EVF now, not the last generation EVF... 

 

In a new model (that will keep for at least 2-3 years) I wand technological progress, not stagnation.

 

Bernie

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 24MP sensor with Sony a6000 class AF or faster + true ISO100 (!!!) + better EVF (like in the new Leica, with 4MP!!!) --> yes, I buy

 

 

Am I the only one, who is not happy with the A6000 AF at all? The specs are nice, and it has many AF fields and good coverage of the sensor with PD pixels, but I find the performance lacklustre.

 

I hope the do some innovation with the hybrid view finder. Not just higher resolution EVF, but something special.

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Am I the only one, who is not happy with the A6000 AF at all? The specs are nice, and it has many AF fields and good coverage of the sensor with PD pixels, but I find the performance lacklustre.

 

I hope the do some innovation with the hybrid view finder. Not just higher resolution EVF, but something special.

 

Like a realtime overlay of highlights and black-spots on the OVF? That would be sweet.

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      I'm assuming that there has to be something special about the X-Pro2. The A6000 is almost two years old at this point, so that sensor has been out at least that long (and an "X-Pro1 with the X-T1's processor and the A6000 sensor" could have hit the market a year ago, if not more). The A6000 sensor itself is a derivative of the significanty older Nex-7 sensor, which was a breakthrough, but it was more than four years ago. Fuji's either waiting for something (because of X-Trans, Fuji makes a longer-term commitment to a sensor than most companies - they have to make a run of custom filters, which go with a specific sensor, while everyone else just uses standard Bayer filters, and Sony's are probably just like Nikon's), OR they have a non-sensor idea they're working on. If I were Fuji, I wouldn't release a FIRST camera with the A6000 sensor now (if X-Trans for it already existed, more models would be fine).

      If it is the sensor holding it up, and Fuji's smart (which they've generally shown that they are), they are waiting for their sensor of the next four or five years, probably something innovative. Maybe it's organic, maybe it's multilayer (Foveon style), maybe it's beyond 24 MP, or maybe it's a 24 MP Sony, but related to the sensor in the new RX series (with memory directly attached to the sensor). Whichever of these it is (or something else), I'm hoping it's a step beyond the A6000 sensor (and resolution would be the least exciting, since 24 MP is ALREADY good for 24x36" prints), since it'll be with us for a long time.

      In addition to the sensor, what's on the wishlist for the body? I'd actually be willing to give up the hybrid finder for a really good EVF (X-T1 or even better). If the hybrid finder does return, would it be possible for it to be even more of a hybrid than it already was? An earlier poster mentioned focus indication... To me as a landscape photographer, weathersealing is essential - the X-T1 is pretty good, although even better would be more than welcome. If it is a new-generation sensor, it might have non-pathetic video (although that's never been a Fuji strength).

      I wonder about in-body image stabilization... Until Sony added IBIS in the latest A7 round, the conventional wisdom was that it appeared in the beginning of a camera line or not at all (Pentax DSLRs had always had it, it was THE distinguishing feature of Olympus' OM-D line, but Canon or Nikon never would). The A7 line did it as a mkII upgrade, though. The most compelling reason to do in-body stabilization is for lenses that don't have internal stabilizers (all the primes, the 16-55 and adapted lenses), but it could also have advantages for long lenses (100-400) with their own stabilizer (Olympus and perhaps Sony use the two stabilizers in concert at certain focal lengths).

    Of course, all of this assumes that the X-Pro 2 is the next generation APS-C Fuji mirrorless. I see no reason to think it's not mirrorless - that would be a HUGE change for Fuji, and the X system has been getting a lot more notice than any of their (Nikon-derived) DSLRs ever did. There is some (maybe slight) possibility that it's not APS-C. If it's not, I'd almost think (the smaller side of) medium format is at least as likely as full frame. Partially, this is because of the MF Fuji rumors floating around, but it's also because of Fuji's medium format heritage, AND what Sony is willing to release sensor-wise.

     Sony themselves aren't interested in building an MF camera (what, Sony, that would be lens line number FIVE - not counting the video lenses, when none of their lines have enough lenses, anyway), but they do  make MF sensors (right now, a 50 MP CMOS measuring 33x44 mm, but a 71 mp version would have the A7rII's pixel density). I actually suspect Sony would be more willing to sell that sensor (Pentax has by far the cheapest implementation of it, although Phase One and Hasselblad also use it), or even a new high-res version of it, than their crown jewel - the A7rII sensor. Sony doesn't want a camera out there with that sensor that handles a lot better than the A7rII, from a manufacturer that actually makes more (extremely well-respected) lenses than bodies. Any other Sony FF sensor shouldn't interest Fuji (they'd love the A7rII sensor, but probably can't get it) - they're either older versions of the A7rII sensor with lesser quality(various closely related 36mp sensors), or they're primarily low-light/video sensors, which hasn't been where Fuji wants to be.

        A 33x44 mm sensor offers Fuji a really interesting space - if they built the lenses for 33x44, they wouldn't be much bigger than full frame lenses (and could even be smaller than the notoriously large Sony FE lenses). The size of a lens (other than telephotos, which inherently cover large areas and are almost strictly sensitive to maximum aperture - at least one 4/3 telephoto is actually larger than 645 telephotos of the same focal length and aperture) is determined by its maximum aperture and its diagonal coverage. 35mm full frame has a diagonal of 43mm, 33x44 mm has a diagonal of 55 mm, and 645 has a diagonal of 70 mm or a bit more - different manufacturers interpreted "645" slightly differently - (so the lenses will be closer in size to full frame lenses than to 645 lenses), yet the sensor area is 1.7x the size of 35mm full frame. The opportunity is open for Fuji to do exactly the same thing at 33x44 that they did at APS-C - design a lens line to fit the sensor. Until Fuji came along, the vast majority of APS-C cameras were using mostly lenses built for full frame, other than entry-level zooms that were compact, but didn't offer especially high image quality. Fuji developed the first (and still only)  full line of APS-C dedicated lenses, and built a very successful system that way. All existing medium format systems use lenses made for 645, both suboptimal and oversized for the digital sensor sizes (especially 33x44 mm - medium format sensor sizes are a complete mess, ranging from 33x44 up to "almost 645" at 40x54).

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    The opportunity is open for Fuji to do exactly the same thing at 33x44 that they did at APS-C - design a lens line to fit the sensor. Until Fuji came along, the vast majority of APS-C cameras were using mostly lenses built for full frame, other than entry-level zooms that were compact, but didn't offer especially high image quality. Fuji developed the first (and still only)  full line of APS-C dedicated lenses, and built a very successful system that way. All existing medium format systems use lenses made for 645, both suboptimal and oversized for the digital sensor sizes (especially 33x44 mm - medium format sensor sizes are a complete mess, ranging from 33x44 up to "almost 645" at 40x54).

 

 

Dan, this really makes the most sense to me. At least, I'm crossing my fingers. Now, I'm not sure if I'll ever get the 'digital Mamiya 7' that I've been dreaming about but, I would happily take a Fuji with a medium format sensor and new lenses designed around the sensor. Now, the cost will be another issue. Would their production numbers would bring the cost of the sensor down compared to the Pentax 645Z? Assuming they would get a discount on large quantity. Wonder if a hypothetical $3-4K body is possible? I don't think a much higher number that that would be in reach by most. 

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A $3-4k body would revolutionize the medium format world, and might be hard to do. The only time medium format digital has been priced that low is the first generation Pentax 645D AFTER the new 645z was out. That was a special situation for two reasons. First, it was distinctly inferior to the new camera (and doesn't have interchangeable backs, so no upgrades were possible). Second, it is inferior in image quality to a few high-end full-frame bodies - not only does it have the lowest image quality of any presently sold medium format camera, it is inferior to a D810 or an A7rII by most measures, even (arguably) at base ISO.

 

If Fuji could get a body out even at $5k, using the current (or a new-generation) Sony CMOS, it would be a huge step. Pentax is at $7k for the 645z body with the Sony 50 mp sensor, and Phase One and Hasselblad are selling (presumably very few) backs in the $25k range with the same sensor! A mirrorless body should be cheaper than an oversized SLR, and, due to the different shape (medium format SLRs are nearly cubical to accomodate the mirror), there's room for a huge rear display on a "Texas Leica" - it won't cost Fuji anything, either - just use an off the shelf phone display, and it'll be close to a 4x5 ground glass!

 

A small, light (by medium format standards - I'd expect the weight of a smallish fullframe DSLR) mirrorless camera with a 50-70 mp CMOS sensor with XTrans, either a hybrid finder or a top-end EVF coupled with a 4"+ display cribbed from a cell phone and, most importantly, a line of Fujinon lenses made for the sensor format would not only intrigue many photographers who had been using traditional medium format, but also users of fullframe DSLRs and even 4x5 field cameras (70 mp XTrans will beat any scan from 4x5). PLEASE make tilt/shift lenses for this camera (or even include SENSOR tilt - it's not impossible!)

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Many of the newer Fuji cameras and lenses were not introduced in conjunction with a trade fair, apparently this is what the new commercial sub-culture induced by the internet is now all about. 

 

Rumors on line create attention and then the product is released. This clearly happened for the X-T10.

 

Whether there is OR NOT a trade event has become completely irrelevant. Nevertheless the Photokina 2016 will need at least something to make us talk about Fuji.

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In chronological order, here is the set of cameras and camera bodies released by Fujifilm as a part of X-series:

  • Fujifilm Finepix X100: prime lens digital camera that uses a custom¬†APS-C sized¬†CMOS sensor¬†and¬†Hybrid Viewfinder, and fixed 23 mm F2.0 Fujinon lens. Announced at¬†photokina, September 20, 2010, the X100 launched globally in March 2011. It was succeeded by the Fujifilm X100S in 2013.[2]
  • Fujifilm X10: advanced compact featuring a 2/3-inch 12-megapixel EXR-CMOS sensor and a high-definition F2.0 wide-angle and F2.8 telephoto Fujinon 4x manual zoom lens (28-112 mm). Announced September 1, 2011. Succeeded by¬†Fujifilm X20.[3]
  • Fujifilm X-S1: advanced enthusiasts camera built around the same 2/3-inch 12-megapixel EXR-CMOS sensor as the X10 compact. It has a fixed 26X zoom providing range equivalent to 24-624 mm at F2.8-5.6 aperture. Announced November 24, 2011.[4]
  • Fujifilm X-Pro1:¬†Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera¬†that uses the¬†"X-Trans CMOS"¬†sensor and the¬†Fujifilm XF-mountsystem of lenses. It was announced in January 10, 2012, and launched in March 2012.[5]
  • Fujifilm X-E1: Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera which is a slimmed-down version of X-Pro1. The modifications include removal of expensive hybrid finder replaced by an upgraded electronic viewfinder. New EVF uses a 2.36M dot OLED unit, out-speccing the X-Pro1's 1.44M dot LCD finder. It was announced on September 6, 2012.[6]
  • Fujifilm XF1: enthusiasts compact camera featuring 2/3-inch EXR-CMOS sensor and Fujinon f/1.8 lens with a 4√ó optical zoom (25 mm - 100 mm equivalent). It was announced on September 17, 2012.[7]
  • Fujifilm X20: is an the replacement of X10 enthusiast compact camera featuring 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II and a new advanced optical viewfinder. It was announced on January 7, 2013.[8]¬†Succeeded by¬†Fujifilm X30.
  • Fujifilm X100S: a redesigned version of the X100 with new sensor-based phase detection, same sensor as¬†Fujifilm X-E2. It was announced January 7, 2013.[9]
  • Fujifilm X-M1: announced June 25, 2013.[10]¬†has an X-trans sensor and an¬†articulating screen
  • Fujifilm X-A1: the lowest price interchangeable lens camera in the lineup, without X-Trans sensor, announced on September 17, 2013[11]
  • Fujifilm X-E2: successor to the X-E1, with an X-Trans CMOS II sensor, larger (3") screen with higher resolution (1.04 M), Digital¬†Split Image¬†technology, Wi-Fi. Announced on October 18, 2013.[12]
  • Fujifilm XQ1: "premium compact camera," featuring X-Trans CMOS II sensor. Announced on October 18, 2013.[13]
  • Fujifilm X-T1: Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with a weather-sealed body featuring X-Trans CMOS II sensor and tilting LCD screen. It was announced on January 27, 2014.[14]¬†Also the first X-series camera with an optional battery grip, and the first camera from any manufacturer to fully support UHS-II SD cards.[15]
  • Fujifilm X30. Successor to the X20. Announced August 26, 2014.
  • Fujifilm X100T. Successor to the X100S. Announced September 10, 2014.
  • Fujifilm X-A2. Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. Successor to the X-A1. Announced January 15, 2015.[16]
  • Fujifilm XQ2. Successor to the XQ1.
  • Fujifilm X-T10. Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. Minor version of X-T1. Announced May 18, 2015.
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Patttern indicates either a January or September announcement ? So early 2016 could turn into late 2016 ?

 

I personally have faith in Fuji. I'd rather have them do it right than rush it. I'm ready for an upgrade. My X100 and E-1 still deliver. I have been wanting the PRO 1 for the viewfinder, but can wait what the PRO 2 will give is.

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They seem to always do a September release (occasionally pushed into August or October), and a January release. I don't know when CES has been (I know it's in January, but not its history of which weeks), but the January dates look like they might often be after CES. That could actually make good sense for Fuji, as X-series cameras sell in the tens or (at most) hundreds of thousands, not in the millions like phones do (a really successful phone model can sell a hundred million - an iPhone can be a couple hundred million, but Apple avoids CES to get the press all to themselves). I suspect that Fuji doesn't want to be buried under much more mainstream announcements from Samsung and others, when they can get the photography press together the next week. Fuji wants Pop Photo and dpreview (and, even more importantly, smaller, more sophisticated photography publications), not Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal, but even the photo press is swamped with smartphone announcements at CES. Luminous Landscape won't bother with the latest Samsung Galaxy, but may not even ATTEND CES, while dpreview will spend most of their CES energy on phones, pausing for a few mass-market cameras. A specialty camera like an X-Pro2 will get more notice the nerxt week.

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In deciding when to release the X-Pro 2, Fuji needs to figure out when they'd have the best coverage. Assuming the camera wasn't ready for PhotoPlus (if it was, they would almost certainly have released it), and is going to be ready too soon to hold back for Photokina next fall, the only other options they have are CES or a random day, trying to attract the press to a launch event. There are four types of press they're concerned about.

 

1.) Big, mainstream non-tech publications. They probably won't get a ton of coverage either way, but they might get someone like Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal to write a quick piece ONLY if it WASN'T CES - he'd be far too busy at CES, but send him a camera a few weeks later, and he just might play with it and do a column on a relatively slow news day.

 

2.) Big tech press (Wired, Engadget, Ars Technica). They are going to more or less ignore a camera unless it's revolutionary (medium format won't do it, organic or three layer sensor might, what they really want to see is a camera with direct social media links, which Sony or Samsung might do but Fuji won't). The best chance for a little bit of coverage is at CES - they'll be there and they might include Fuji in an "all the rest of the booths" writeup, although they won't review the camera either way unless it has features of interest to their core readership of non-photographers.

 

3.) Big photography press (Pop Photo, dpreview, etc.). They'll cover it, and eventually review it, either way. If it has some huge feature, whether it's medium format, organic sensor, three layer sensor or whatever, it doesn't matter whether it's CES  or not - the multiple articles on release day will keep it well-covered until the reviews come out. If it's a beautiful 24-30 MP APS-C camera primarily of interest to Fuji shooters and people contemplating switching from DSLRs (to a lesser extent, switchers from Micro 4/3 and Sony APS-C), there is a big advantage to MISSING CES. A moderately big announcement during CES will be knocked off the front page of dpreview almost immediately by the flood of announcements (only a REALLY big announcement will have enough articles to stay on the front page). Remember, all of these guys cover phone photography, so Samsung Galaxy announcements take up space here. If Fuji misses CES, the X-Pro 2 could live on the front page of dpreview for a week in late January/early February.

 

4.) Specialist photography press (Luminous Landscape, PhoBlographer, Steve Huff, Thom Hogan, etc.). These guys are going to cover the announcement and review the camera. If it has important features for their audience (and an X-Pro2 almost certainly does unless it's really boring - a lot of their readership shoots Fuji, and several of them do personally as well), it will get a lot of coverage. If it has a huge feature, it'll be one of the events of the year for them. They'd rather NOT have it at CES - many of them don't travel to CES, since they don't care about phones, TVs, etc. They will certainly travel to a Fuji intro event, and they'd rather NOT have to get hotel rooms in Vegas during CES, when there might be only one or two other announcements they care about. They'd much rather go to an unveiling where they have a chance to shoot with the camera that evening or the next day (several of them regularly go to Europe for Leica or Phase One events, so a couple of days anywhere in the US is easy).

 

Overall, Fuji trades off the chance to get a brief mention in Wired, Engadget or Ars Technica (who won't go to a Fuji-only release event) by releasing at CES for much more exposure in the photography-specific press (who will, and who either won't be AT CES, or will be busy covering cameraphones)  by releasing a week or two later. If I were them, I'd only release at CES if there was something about the X-Pro2 that would really cut through the clutter and both keep them on the front page of the photo press and intrigue the tech press.

 

The two kinds of companies who love CES are either those who sell hundreds of millions of products per year (Samsung, Sony) or those who have extraordinarily high wow! factors (Tesla). The only company that has both (Apple) has gotten so big that they can make most of the press that attends CES come to their own events. They've even been known to compete directly with CES, by skipping it, but holding a release event in San Francisco DURING CES in Vegas - presumably causing a blip in the price of flights between the two cities on release day. Even Samsung and Sony will probably barely mention their camera lineups during CES UNLESS one of them has a camera that integrates extra-well into the phone world (let's say one with a built in 4G radio and super-easy sharing!)

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The X-Pro2 is not an impulse buy, so releasing it in January would not hurt sales.  Those that are getting one, aren't going to spend that money on something else.

 

Announcing it and releasing it are two different things.  No matter when, where or how they are announce it, the photography industry will give them a lot of press.  naturally if it was released at Photoplus, it might get less off the top, when next to Leica's SL or something.  This seems to be why they do it outside of electronic shows or industry trade shows.  The X100 was huge which is why I'm guessing it was at Photokina.  It was sort of their rebirth as it were since everything up to then was basic consumer level and their pro gear was rapidly aging.  The X100 was a completely different look at the professional tool at the time.

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I don't know about that.  I think they had to already have had the X10 and Pro1 planned when they announced the 100, but I don't think they had a clue as to how it would be received.  However the X100 did save Fuji's digital camera division.  Before the release of the X100 it was just the S5 DSLR which was released 2007 (see the pattern).  From what I heard about that year at Photokina, they pretty much were the talk of the show...

 

 

Here is an article I found on Petapixel about the X-Series.

http://petapixel.com/2014/01/29/x-factor-fujifilm-x-series-changed-company-industry/

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A $3-4k body would revolutionize the medium format world, and might be hard to do. The only time medium format digital has been priced that low is the first generation Pentax 645D AFTER the new 645z was out. That was a special situation for two reasons. First, it was distinctly inferior to the new camera (and doesn't have interchangeable backs, so no upgrades were possible). Second, it is inferior in image quality to a few high-end full-frame bodies - not only does it have the lowest image quality of any presently sold medium format camera, it is inferior to a D810 or an A7rII by most measures, even (arguably) at base ISO.

 

If Fuji could get a body out even at $5k, using the current (or a new-generation) Sony CMOS, it would be a huge step. Pentax is at $7k for the 645z body with the Sony 50 mp sensor, and Phase One and Hasselblad are selling (presumably very few) backs in the $25k range with the same sensor! A mirrorless body should be cheaper than an oversized SLR, and, due to the different shape (medium format SLRs are nearly cubical to accomodate the mirror), there's room for a huge rear display on a "Texas Leica" - it won't cost Fuji anything, either - just use an off the shelf phone display, and it'll be close to a 4x5 ground glass!

 

A small, light (by medium format standards - I'd expect the weight of a smallish fullframe DSLR) mirrorless camera with a 50-70 mp CMOS sensor with XTrans, either a hybrid finder or a top-end EVF coupled with a 4"+ display cribbed from a cell phone and, most importantly, a line of Fujinon lenses made for the sensor format would not only intrigue many photographers who had been using traditional medium format, but also users of fullframe DSLRs and even 4x5 field cameras (70 mp XTrans will beat any scan from 4x5). PLEASE make tilt/shift lenses for this camera (or even include SENSOR tilt - it's not impossible!)

I'd love to see a mf Fuji / Sony - whatever. Some sort of digital mamiya 7 ish thing would be perfect for me. 

 

But as someone who has used plenty of modern cameras depending on where and what job I'm working and owns an admittedly showing its age 645D - besides ISO and in some instances dynamic range the 645D sensor still beats the D810 and Canon 5DS in most practical terms. It is sharper with more detail and holds up in print at bigger sizes better when used as a normal MF camera is used. It shows it weak spots in reportage/low light but for studio, landscape and portrait work I'd take the 645D over any 35mm sensor out today. The sensor size makes a noticeable difference. 

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