It is usual to expect some whisper or rumor regarding the coming generation of cameras from Fuji prior to the official release announcement in January. To date little has been heard apart from Fuji’s ongoing dedication to the X series cameras.
With almost zero offerings in the low tier cameras Fuji seems to be slowly exiting the market for cheaper more consumer orientated users/buyers.
The S1 is currently the only new semi-serious bridgecamera and while Kim Letkemen’s testing ( Nothing Special Blog ) of the S1 and HS50 has shown that in almost all areas the S1 outperforms the HS50 and by a significant margin at times. That’s an appalling miscalculation by Fuji when their flagship bridgecamera model is bested by a lower specced model. To be honest I’m not overly surprised by this. I have felt that the models after the HS20 in IQ were always substandard to what I was able to get from the HS20. Further the IQ from the original HS10 is in my opinion and I have evidence to support this, better image quality wise than all the other HS cameras.
The ergonomics and performance issues were addressed by the launch of the HS50 but IQ has taken a very large step backwards, especially when compared to the opposition.
And that’s the problem. Not every one wants an X series camera. I don’t!
I would prefer a better specced XS1 or something similar to what Panasonic are offering with the FZ1000 or even Sony’s RX10. However they are both well outside the cost ceiling for a bridgecamera as far as my budget is concerned.
And theres the real crux of the problem. I can buy an XA1 or an XM1 twin lens kit for a little under $800.00 NZD, which is less than I paid for my HS10 and marginally more expensive than my HS20.
The trouble is I don’t want to go back to a twin lens system. I want similar quality to the XA1 in a bridge camera. The XS1 with a 1″ X-trans sensor with the same 400 mm focal length would be just the ticket.
You cant tell me that price is a factor, it isn’t. If it was we wouldn’t see XA1’s or Xm1’s for sale under a grand. You get an awful lot of camera in those two models but unfortunately not in a bridge camera format.
If Fuji intend to continue down this current development trend of theirs, unfortunately I will be another X-Fuji user who has moved on to something better that is produced by their competition.
And that’s precisely what I’m seeing in the FujiTalk Forum at Dpreview. A lot of Fuji bridge users have moved to Panasonic or Sony simply because those companies, and others are meeting the needs of the entry level enthusiast who has limited resources.