Fujifilm makes some of the best mirrorless cameras, with its beautiful retro designs paired up with the latest in modern camera technology. At this year's CP+ trade show, Phototrend sat down with some of the managing team at Fujifilm Japan to ask them about the present state of Fujifilm cameras and what we might see from Fujifilm in the near future. The panel of senior Fujifilm personnel interviewed by the French website included Yujiro Igarashi (Divisional Manager, Professional Imaging Group), Jun Watanabe (Product Planner for the X-series) et Makoto Oishi (Product Planner for GFX).
The latest releases – X-T5, X-H2, and X-H2S
The Fujifilm execs discussed the market performance of their latest 5th generation camera, the Fujifilm X-T5, suggesting that demand has been incredibly strong, with sales performing well against all previous X-T versions, which is a very successful series of cameras for Fujifilm.
The Fujifilm X-H2, and X-H2S, while released prior to the X-T5 and share a lot of the same features, apparently have not hurt the sales of the X-T5, with each camera, appealing to a different subset of photographers. Although Fujifilm didn't discuss in detail how well the X-H2 and X-H2S have been received by the market, instead choosing to focus on the success of the X-T5.
And whilst the world's largest camera manufacturer Canon still refuses to allow its mount to open up to third parties, Fujifilm is positively glowing about the benefits, saying that allowing third-party lenses have been seen positively by consumers who appreciate more choice and also claiming that X mount lens sales are rising steadily. Third-party companies that offer X-mount lenses include Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, Voigtlander, and TTartisan. Fujifilm says that X shooters have an average of 2.5 lenses per camera body.
Fujifilm X100V supply challenges
Fujifilm also opened up about the struggles it has had with supplying the insatiable demand for its ludicrously popular Fujifilm X100V. With no new plans to open new factories, Fujifilm claims that even if orders stopped right now, it would still take two to three months for it to catch up on back-orders of the X100V, but they are not seeing any sign of demand slowing down, so expect stock to remain very scarce.
Fujifilm does claim they are making moves to address production capacity and asserts the X100 line of cameras is becoming increasingly important, recognizing that this camera has become a fashion symbol with younger influencers who are using it as a social media accessory, they believe it is the gateway camera into Fujifilm's more lucrative interchangeable lens X mount cameras for young users.
Looking to the future, while Fujifilm denied to confirm that we will see an X-Pro4 anytime soon, they do suggest that there is more to come in the X-Pro line, promising Fujifilm has not forgotten about the X-Pro series. Vaguely stating that the camera will be ready when it is ready, and suggesting the a successor to the Fujifilm X-Pro3 would be a special kind of device that will only be released when Fujifilm feels the time and technology are right. All of which sounds like we don't get our hopes up for an announcement.
When pressed on what camera we might see next using the fifth-generation sensors and processors powering the latest X cameras, Fujifilm suggests that nothing is in the pipeline in the immediate future, suggesting that the camera would have to be different enough from the others in its lineup, and at the moment that opportunity hasn't been found. This paired with the statements about the X-Pro4 puts to bed any rumors that we might see that camera with the latest 40MP sensor.
On the software side, the Fujifilm managers also discuss the strides that Fujifilm is taking in autofocus, accepting that video and hybrid cameras are the future of camera technology, Fujifilm is focusing efforts on improving its autofocus capabilities, with a priority on improving tracking algorithms and autofocus in video. Like recent firmware updates for the X-H2S offering new autofocus capabilities, Fujifilm has always been very good at providing consistent firmware releases, and this suggests that more updates for autofocus might come to existing cameras via firmware.