I know what the immediate responses from the Fujifilm fans will be, there were 3 or 4 excuses on why Fujifilm isn’t mis-stating their ISO: different ISO standards used, shadow values in raw files not being read… the list goes on. I’ve seen them, don’t really care.
You can call it what you want, but when almost every other brand is reading their ISO differently, you have to ask yourself why Fujifilm is doing things differently AND why they continue doing it despite having it pointed out in so many articles, blogs etc. Is it using other standards or falsely elevating their ISO just to make themselves look better. Currently it looks like the latter.
Fujifilm is quite popular as a travel system and there is a good reason for it and it isn’t necessarily APS-C. Fujifilm introduced a compact set of lenses, affectionately called Fujicrons by the users, named after the Leica Summicron. Instead of putting out lenses with wide open apertures of 1.4 or even f/1.8 like most of the full frame brands, Fujifilm introduced good quality f/2 lenses that were compact, with fast AF and good quality optics.
With full frame and Sony, everything to date has been developed with f/1.4 and f/1.8 apertures with the exception of the 35mm f2.8, a nice compact lens that mirrors the weight and dimensions of Fujifilm 23mm f/2. The problem in Sony’s lens line up is that the 35 f/2.8 is where Sony’s Fujicron equivalents stop. That means if you want to go light, people tend to go with travel zooms like the 24-105 instead of going for 2 or 3 compact primes. This is great if you have the budget for the 24-105mm, or if you’re a zoom users, but not if you’re a prime user or have a limited budget. The advantage with small primes is they still have a larger aperture than a travel zoom so you’re getting better sharpness and low light ability.
I’d like to see Sony introduce more additions to the range, a 24mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/2.8 to complete the combo. You could argue for a 16mm f/2.8 and 85mm f/4 but it would be great just to see the others initially.
What this would start to offer is compact travel options along with alternatives for street photography. If I’m travelling overseas, I’m happy to go with some lightweight lenses.
Why would Sony want to do this?
The one advantage they have is your users don’t have to go to other brands or APS-C to get compact travel options. Fujifilm is a popular brand for travel photos so it would be good to be able to buy lenses in your range without having to go to Fujifilm.
It offers customers a cheap set of entry level primes, but a set of primes that are still decent optical quality.
Maybe there is a market, maybe there isn’t but like most photographers, I’m selfish and I look at what I need. Hopefully it’s something Sony or a third party consider.
Engineering may seem like a broad term, so I’ll be more specific when it comes to what I expect out of Fujifilm. It relates largely to what they say they can fit in their bodies:
When you compare the X-T3 to the A7iii and A7Riii they are similar body sizes, the X-T3 is larger in some areas, the A7 is larger in others, but overall, the dimensions are pretty similar. The fact that Sony has managed to fit a full frame sensor, IBIS and a battery that has twice the capacity in a camera the same size as the X-T3 is a massive achievement from Sony, and one that Fujifilm can learn from. The X-T3 should have IBIS and it should have a bigger battery. If Sony can do it and do it with a full frame camera, there is no reason why Fujifilm can’t do it with an APS-C body.
For those who have never used a Sony camera, the feature set is amazing but it has a menu system that feels like it was designed by a 18yr old crack addict after mixing LSD and Heroine and 72 hours of sleep deprivation. That’s what I would assume occured, as it seems to follow a pattern that not even a military cryptographer could resolve.
To make matters worse, Sony has made the obscure decision to make the navigation path down, across, down, across, in a way that still has you confused no matter how you get used to it. There are options shifted all over the place, flash settings in more than one place.
There is one thing that many Fujifilm users agree on when it comes to things that Fujifilm get horribly wrong, and that is the stock hoods. You can buy the more expensive metal square hoods for an additional $100, but why should you have to with a lens that cost $1000. Worse yet, in some cases there are no alternative options like the XF50-140mm.
Hey Tamron Australia and Manfrotto Australia. Great products, I have some from both of you and I really like them. I love my Tamron 28-75 and my Manfrotto Tripod but very soon I won’t, because they won’t be part of my gear selection. My Tamron will be replaced by a Sony 24-70 and the Manfrotto will be replaced by something else, probably not a Gitzo because it’s the same company.
Last week I picked on Fujifilm in first of the Sony vs Fujifilm series; Today, it’s Sony’s turn to feel the heat. The topic this week is “Kaizen” which is the Japanese word for “continuous improvement” or “good change”, I’m not 100% sure because different website say different things and I’m too lazy to research the exact translation.
“Kaizen” as a concept in the case of Fujifilm, is a series of firmware updates Fujifilm continues to put out for years after a camera is released to improve the functionality of the camera subject to the limitations of the hardware, something none of the other manufacturers I’m aware of do, where most of the firmware updates are solely to fix bugs and in some cases, not at all. As far as I know, the A7rii hasn’t had the star-eater issue fixed, somewhat of a disgrace if you’re an astro shooter.