The Fujifilm X Summit Prime 2021 event has just ended, and it was packed with news and new products. Here's a quick summary:
• The GFX50S II will come with a new, low(er) cost GF35-70mm kit zoom, just one of a number of exciting (very exciting) lenses on their way in the updated Fujifilm GF lens roadmap, including a GF20-35mm zoom and a tilt-shift lens – yes, really!
• Fujifilm has also announced two new/updated primes – the XF23mmF1.4 and XF33mmF1.4, with updated optical designs and much faster focusing – and the latest Fujifilm X-mount lens roadmap includes a 150-600mm supertelephoto and an 18-120mm lens designed for seamless swapping from stills to video.
• What we DIDN'T see at the X Summit was the new Fujifilm X-T30 II – but we've got a whole separate news story on that!
The Fujifilm X Summit Prime 2021 is just hours away at 9:00 EST/14:00 BST (13:00 GMT). We will be there, reporting live. Stand by!
We're on – the countdown has begun!
The sixth X Summit so far...
Just doing the introductions now.
Showing us a GFX100S at the moment... so what's this leading up to?
GFX100S production has been increased to try to meet demand.
The message is "More than full frame".
Now we see some video testimonials from Fujifilm medium format shooters worldwide.
The GFX50S was introduced in 2017, so... it's the GFX50S II!
It looks a lot like the GFX100S in design.
So now the details... 50MP sensor still with outstanding resolution, noise and dynamic range. 5.3 micro pixel size – larger than similar resolution full frame cameras.
Pretty impressive demonstration of shadow and highlight recovery from a RAW file right now.
Resolution is not just about megapixels, we're told, but light gathering accuracy too. Fujifilm says smaller micro lenses reduces light mixing between adjacent pixels – interesting.
But now the GFX50S II adds in-body stabilization – perfect!!
Now we've moved on to autofocus – Fujifilm says the IBIS stabilizes the image for better autofocus. So is it phase detect or still contrast AF like the original GFX50S? We're hearing the AF is improved, but not that it's been upgraded to phase detect... hmm.
So now we learn the IBIS means a high-res pixel shift mode – 200MP!
Right, so we're told the GFX50S II has over 100 new features... I guess we're not going to hear about them all.
US$3999 body only – now that's pretty good, right?
And there's more... there's a new lens to "expand the world of full frame".
It should be portable and responsive... and it's the GF35-70mmF4.5-5.6 WR – only 390g!
So what's the GF35-70mm image quality like? We're getting a talk on optical design now, including symmetrical lens design and its advantages. There's one aspherical and two ED lenses... and a minimum focus distance of 0.35m.
No word yet on the price of this lens... is it designed to be an affordable kit lens to match the GFX50S II price? I couldn't see an aperture ring...
So now we're hearing from a photographer who has used this camera... talking about the faster AF and IBIS. Is 50MP enough? "Having a good image is not just about how many megapixels you have."
So what about the new GF35-70mm? "The quality was absolutely stunning, and it was so nice to work with a camera that was lighter."
The GF35-70mm is roughly equivalent to 28-55mm in full frame.
US$999, or US$4499 for the GF35-70mm with the GFX50S II as a kit – pretty good! And now for some more GF lens news...
1) "More bokeh than full frame" – GF55mm F1.7 – equivalent to 44mm in full frame terms, so standard-slight wide angle of view. Currently under development, so we're only seeing a mockup. It looks pretty compact, considering.
2) "More information than full frame" – GF20-35mm – wow! The widest angle GF lens yet, equivalent to 16mm in full frame terms.
It doesn't look any lot bigger than a full frame 16-35mm f/2.8.
3) A lens for commercial photography or architecture – the first tilt-shift lens for GFX! It's been a long time coming and will be a little longer still, so "please bear with us". It turns out the 55mm and the tilt-shift lens won't be here until 2023 – boo!
And now firmware updates for the GFX100 and GFX100S. ProRes RAW was added last year, now more high-end features are scheduled – including Blackmagic RAW (or bRAW) support, an adaptor for XLR mic input is in development – new firmware in October 2021.
And now there's more. It's the turn of the X-mount cameras...
Talking about the support from third-party lens makers like Zeiss, Tamron and Cosina. Next year is 10th anniverary of X-mount. Three concepts are being planned...
Planning for higher resolution APS-C sensors – does Fujifilm know something we don't? X-mount system will be designed for image quality, not just mobility and portability.
Talking about the old "epic" XF35mmF1.4 right now... but now there's a new "epic" lens – a new XF33mmF1.4. Complex optical design of 15 elements to correct aberrations to retain the "purity of the light". A symmetrical optical design (again) to control aberration changes during, a lightweight focus group, AF in 0.04sec and shrp images from closest focus (30cm) to infinity.
33mm on APS-C is equivalent to 50mm on full frame, so the XF33mmF1.4 is effectively a fast standard prime rather than a wide-angle.
"Beautiful smooth and buttery bokeh" – high praise from an XF33mmF1.4 tester – "the number one difference is the sheer speed of the autofocus".
So now for more new lenses... a new XF23mmF1.4 that "surpasses its predecessor for every feature".
15 optical elements – that's a lot for a prime – plus a downsized and lighter focus group for faster AF. Again, we're being told it will be sharp from nearest focus to infinity. Minimum shooting distance 19cm. 23mm is roughly equivalent to 35mm in full frame terms.
Now we're hearing about the thought and care that's gone into the design of the new lenses. Enough already – I want one! (I've already tried out the new XF18mmF1.4 released earlier this year.)
Another photographer talking about the big speed increase over the original 23mm – especially that it can be "so sharp and yet so quick".
So now, the next ten years... "sharpness is not the only concept", but also "wider and longer". So there's going to be an XF150-600mm, currently under development. And for "seamless stills and movies", a new generation XF18-120mm will be optimised for both.
So now we're getting prices and availability, but he slides are too quick to write down – but we will have full news stories imminently.
AND NOW ONE MORE THING...
In 2020 there will be next generation devices and a flagship camera...
- Stacked BSI sensor
- X-Trans sensor
And that's it, we're done. The Fujifilm X Summit Prime 2021 even it is over. What a packed event it was, too. Goodbye Fujfilm! [waves goodbye].
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