Two new models have been leaked ( announced unofficially) from the same source that first published news about the X series cameras last year. This has also been confirmed by the folks at Fuji Rumours as well, so it would appear that Fuji see the rangefinder style camera as the way forward for the top level equipment.
Personally I’m not a fan of these cameras, not because they have to date promised so much and delivered so little but rather that they simply don’t suit my shooting requirements and aren’t very easy to hold. I have large hands and holding an X10 or similar sized camera just feels odd.
If however they have learned properly from the mistakes made with the first three X series cameras then possibly they will have some winners on their hands. My wife needs a new camera and one of these two could fit the bill. I hope that the EXR technology isn’t part of the offering as it wasn’t well understood by most people and owners in general tended to struggle to really coax the best from these cameras.
For my own part, I’ve gone as far as I can with the HS20 and the HS30 won’t be enough of an upgrade to warrant buying. The X-S1 was where I was headed until the lens/sensor units showed that they too were faulty. I still wont buy one and suggest you don’t either, as I feel they are too expensive when seen against entry level DSLR that give much better IQ and performance and as there is no way to guarantee that the model you buy has the updated lens/sensor assembly making it a lottery and a waste of your hard earned dollar.
At present not much is known about the new new X series cameras. The new XF1 or XP1? looks to sport a 1/1.7 sensor which is up a little on the 1/1.2 that the HS series uses. Depending upon Mp count this could be quite an improvement in image quality. Smaller than the x10 and with no viewfinder this may not appeal to everyone but as a pocket shooter this could well be a nice travel compact.
The second offering, the X-E1 looks to be a scaled back version of the X-Pro 1. Unlike its bigger brother this comes with a Electronic Viewfinder and built in flash, although there is a hot-shoe for a bigger flash unit. Its pictured with the XF18-55 lens but at this time it isn’t known if this is to come with the camera or like the X-Pro1 it will need to be purchased separately.
As always we will watch the new announcements and see if the new cameras are a move forward for Fuji.
The announcement of the X-Pro 2 is likely to be the next item on this years list. Hopefully it wont be plagued by the issues that beset the X-Pro1. Rumour has it it will be even more expensive than the X-Pro 1, so hold onto your wallets for a while.
Hopefully Fuji will continue with an HS or X-S1 type cameras as well. My preference would be for the HS series body with a larger sensor (non EXR) and a shorter focal length. Something Akin to the S200exr or the S100Fs. As always time will tell. Due to the flaws in the new generation of Fuji cameras I have held off from buying any of the current offerings, in the hope that 2012-2013 will yield a big improvement from Fuji. I have pushed the HS20 as far as it can go, and even though its considerably faster than the HS10 I still cannot get images of some of our larger native Hawks and the like as the AF is just too slow. Bring us a bridge-camera with AF speed the equal of a DSLR and I will be very interested, until then watch this space…