Fujifilm has earned a reputation as a company that listens to its customers and offers improvements on their products and firmware to cater to their customer base. In the case of firmware, Fuji has updated firmware for cameras that were already succeeded by newer models. Kudos for that. But it turns out there's also a flipside to that continuous improvement. That became obvious today, when Fuji announced a few products that are just slightly improved or slightly different from stuff that hasn't been on the market that long.
56mm f/1.2 R APD You bought the apparently excellent Fuji 56mm f/1.2 a few months ago for $1,000, having been told that it's the top lens in Fuji's line for excellent bokeh? Here's news: the company has now added the FUJINON XF 56mm F1.2 R APD, with a special apodization filter that improves bokeh even more. Yours for $1,500. Coming in December.
Fuji X-T1 in graphite silver Or you picked up the relatively new X-T1 a while back? Your choice then was black or black. Now, there's one in a new color scheme, black with a graphite silver finish. Would you have prefered that one? Sorry, it's gonna cost you $1,500, $200 more than the black version. At least Pentax announces all the bazillion color schemes its cameras come in right from the get-go. Fuji has done it earlier by adding a black X100s to the earlier silver/black one.
And Fuji isn't alone. Olympus rolled out most of its OM-D lenses only in silver, then announced black versions for all of them except for the 12mm, which was only available in black as a limited edition. Lo and behold, a few weeks ago they made the 12mm available in black as a regular model. You don't get the extras of the limited edition offering, but if all you wanted was a black 12mm you could have done without those. Manufacturers could tell us that other colors are in the pipeline.
Anyway, back to Fuji. To its credit, it also announced firmware updates for the existing X-T1 camera. The most important one is an electronic shutter that allows for shutter speeds up to 1/32,000 of a second. Previously, the speed was limited to 1/4,000, which can be too slow if you want to use a wide open aperture in bright light.
50-140mm f/2.8 The company also announced the stabilized and weather resistant FUJINON XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR. That mouthful is Fuji's competitor to the Canon, Nikon and Sony 70-200mm f/4 stabilized lenses. With this lens, Fuji is starting to run into the same issues Sony is running into with its mirrorless offerings: the lenses are still big and heavy, even though the bodies are small. The lens will be available in December for $1,600.
Finally, there's a real new, or newish, camera, the X100T (pictured above). It follows the X100s, which was a major update from the original and venerable X100. The X100T adds an improved hybrid rangefinder, a body and LCD upgrade, more customization and 'classic chrome' film simulation. It will also sport that 1/32,000 electronic shutter speed. It has built-in Wifi. And it comes in black and silver from the start!
It wasn't immediately clear if the company will update the X100 and/or X100s firmware to add the electronic shutter and film simulation upgrades. I'll report back when I find out more. Fujifilm says that for now, only the X-T1 will receive new firmware.
What Fuji didn't announce was a successor to the aging X-Pro1. I bet that they're working toward making the X-Pro2 a game changer. We'll see.
By John van Rosendaal