Fujifilm cameras to get touch sensitive top dial? Latest attempt to innovate

Fujifilm cameras to get touch sensitive top dial? Latest attempt to innovate
(Image credit: Fuji Rumors)

With three new patents filed within the past two months, it's clear that Fujifilm is eager to innovate – and it's not exactly hanging around. Fujifilm cameras have always been known for their analog-inspired designs, so it's interesting to see the company expand into more experimental areas. 

Website Fuji Rumors recently reported that Fujifilm has patented a touch sensitive top dial that will give you access to different settings, depending on which part of the dial you touch. 

This is certainly an interesting concept, but it does bring up a few questions. What happens if you're wearing gloves? Or if it's raining? Or if you're working in extreme temperatures? 

It seems likely that this design would be implemented in the GFX line (Fujifilm's medium format cameras), so perhaps the company is expecting most users to work in climate-controlled studios. However, we would be interested to see how well this feature would work for landscape, wildlife or sports photographers. 

Read more: Best Fujifilm GFX 50S deals

Even on a day-to-day practical level, the beauty of physical buttons and dials is that you can use tactile memory to change your settings without having to look at your camera. Would a touch screen really give you the same ease of use? 

Fujifilm has filed three patents, including one for a tilting top LCD screen

Fujifilm has filed three patents, including one for a tilting top LCD screen (Image credit: Fuji Rumors)

However, this top dial may never come to fruition. The nature of patents is that they're concepts the company is working on – they may never actually make it into a product. Plus, this isn't the only patent Fujifilm has recently filed; it appears that the company has zeroed in on the top right-hand side of the camera, as both of the other patents are focused on the top LCD screen. 

The first of these two patents was made in June for a tilting top LCD screen, which would enable you to use Live View and check your settings at the same time. We could see this being particularly useful for portrait or still life photographers who like to work away from the viewfinder. 

The second patent was filed in mid-July and showed a touch sensitive top LCD screen. Fuji Rumors reports that "if your finger touches the top LCD panel, the command dial is activated and you can adjust your settings. If no finger is on the touch panel, then turning the dial won't change anything". This will prevent settings from accidentally being changed if a dial is nudged once your finger is on the shutter button. 

No matter which design Fujifilm eventually ends up pursuing, it seems clear that it's very interested in exploring avenues for the modern-day user who's tech-savvy and confident with touchscreens. However, we just hope that it doesn't stray too far away from the film camera-inspired designs that have won it such a passionate fanbase. 

Read more:

Fujifilm GFX 100 review
The best medium format camera in 2019
Best Fujifilm cameras in 2019

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.