(FT3) More rumors about Fuji joining m43…

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The Fuji X100 could soon get micrfourisized? 🙂

Inside his latest post Thom Hogan said that the Fuji m43 camera “has been prototyped and tested. The question is whether it would be built and sold. It’s looking more and more like it will.

I am still working on that rumor. The only thing I heard from a trusted source is that Olympus and Fuji are very close friends and that Olympus officially invited Fuji to join the m43 consortium. Hope to get more rumors about Fuji soon! I would love this rumor to become true!!!

P.S.: Check the Fuji X100 price and availability at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay!

Reminder -> Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

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  • don

    good news

  • Zorg

    That would be a fantastic win-win situation 🙂

    • Michael

      where is the win win?

      do you really think fuji needs to join m4/3 to sell their cameras?
      you probably havent noticed that even the pretty expensive fixed lens fuji x100 is sold out everywhere!

      use some common sense.. fuji will never ever join m4/3..

      • Vadim

        Just because they currently sold out X100 doesn’t mean they sold a lot. They manufactured limited quantity. Their production line for this camera is pretty small, as it should be.

        Leica M9 also was and still sold out in lots of stores, but its not even close to being as big of a player as m4/3 cameras are becoming.

        Mind this, Olympus EPL1 and EPL2 combined captured over 11% of the Large sensor camera market in 2011 (thats more than Canon’s biggest seller 550D 2Ti)

        Plus don’t forget that Fuji is not a big DSLR maker, in fact they were only MODIFYING Nikon bodies with their sensors and processors and haven’t manufactured their own Bodies or Lenses in very long time. (they will have to start from scratch)

        Marketing a brand new Interchangeable lens system and making it to compete with Oly, Pana, Sony, Samsung and probably soon Canon is not very easy task. So I do believe that its the best chance if Fuji joins m4/3 to limit their risks.

  • Will they manage to keep the hybrid viewfinder? That would be awesome, even if chances are low I guess.

    • Parci

      No, they won’t.

      • Mike

        Why? Because of the different focal lengths? There are also zoomable Optical viewfinders…

        • AndyOz

          Its a pretty wide range of focal lengths to cover 7 – 300mm at the moment. It could be done but if it becomes zoomable its more cost and probably more space/smaller VF. Maybe they could keep the hybrid VF with fixed optical field of view and let people know its just approximate when in OVF. Personally I dont think thats likely and I would be happy if they just kept the EVF part of their system for an ILC. All they need is the VF screen and the prism to fold the light 90degrees. I think this would be fantastic. An EVF which takes up a lot less room than the EVF in the G3. Lets hope so.

          • Mike

            12-50mm Range would be enough if it would automatically switch to EVF, I guess. Would be a nice Addon for 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 20mm, 25mm, 45mm prime owners. And could save battery…

            • Anonymous

              +1. 14-45 would be enough

            • SteveD

              I guess if you could turn off the hybrid and go to just EVF it would work. Otherwise it might be hard to use lenses longer than 45, or that new Oly 12.

        • Zoomable OVF is a ticket for disaster if you ask me.
          Pretty on paper. Expensive, fragile and either bulky or not bright at all.

    • grzybu

      Zoomable viewfinder will be small.
      I think it will be enough if they leave the same viewfinder which is perfect for 35mm equiv. and just display different frames for other focal lengths. 20/1.7 will work very good with this, 14mm will probably work fine too, because X100 OFV has bit wider FOV than 35mm. 25mm will work fine too.
      And users could always switch to EVF if they want bigger magnification for longer lenses.
      If they could make basically the same body as X100, just replace sensor with mount then it will sell like hotcakes.
      G3 sensor with it’s processing in X100 body will make great camera I think.

      • Mike

        +1, cheap & easy is fine

        • Frederick Hew

          cheap and easy = EVF. an optical VF is not technically unfeasible, but would be small, dark (think tunnel vision) and expensive. other than that, an EVF gives you a preview of what the exposure would look like.

          it may be what some people on the forums THINK they want, but this is mainly because they do not realize how much design effort are involved how inferior would the finished product be over the readily available alternatives.

          to design such an OVF would be simply counter productive, especially with the current EVF technology which is really good.

          i doubt FUJI is so silly.

        • Nick Clark

          Cheap and easy is not fine I think. In today’s market things have to work, otherwise they’ll get hammered in the media and forums. You *could* make the OVF work for different focal lengths, but it would be a compromised solution at best.

    • Vadim

      Just because they currently sold out X100 doesn’t mean they sold a lot. They manufactured limited quantity. Their production line for this camera is pretty small, as it should be.

      Leica M9 also was and still sold out in lots of stores, but its not even close to being as big of a player as m4/3 cameras are becoming.

      Mind this, Olympus EPL1 and EPL2 combined captured over 11% of the Large sensor camera market in 2011 (thats more than Canon’s biggest seller 550D 2Ti)

      Plus don’t forget that Fuji is not a big DSLR maker, in fact they were only MODIFYING Nikon bodies with their sensors and processors and haven’t manufactured their own Bodies or Lenses in very long time. (they will have to start from scratch)

      Marketing a brand new Interchangeable lens system and making it to compete with Oly, Pana, Sony, Samsung and probably soon Canon is not very easy task. So I do believe that its the best chance if Fuji joins m4/3 to limit their risks.

  • Per

    What happend with the new Olympus viewfinder, FT5 rumour? Was it not try?

    • fta

      +1

  • Would be very cool indeed! How would they position it though? Unless they butcher something (sensor quality, viewfinder – etc.), it would be so much more attractive than their current X100.

    • The attractiveness of the X100 is its Sony sensor ;~). Seriously. The camera itself has real issues–it’s the only one of my cameras that “crashes” in firmware with any regularity (even after update). But it produces very nice images, and that’s the lens/sensor combination. Moving to m4/3 means different sensor (and it won’t be a Sony).

      • Thom, am still very puzzled,
        it seems you believe in “m43” future more then in the NEX, although, your stating that the Sony sensor is a real advantage – and the lack of it would make a good camera less attractive,
        don’t you think thats a contradiction?

        • In the past year, I’ve actually used my NEX cameras more than my m4/3 cameras. However, the m4/3 lens lineup is much more interesting at the moment.

          At question is “how good of image quality do you need?” If you want the highest possible quality, sorry, but m4/3 simply isn’t it. Never has been, almost certainly never will be. Does that condemn it to failure? No. But it makes getting the rest of the camera damned right even more important, at least at the enthusiast level.

          At the consumer level (GF3, E-PM1) anything goes. People buying those cameras don’t have image quality at the top of their list. At the prosumer/enthusiast level (G3, E-P3), things are much different, though some enthusiasts do have low bars for image quality and the current cameras clear them.

          One of the issues that keeps getting griped about–lack of built-in EVF–is part of this. IF you’re going to accept a decent 12mp camera as your tool, you don’t want anything else wrong with it.

          • but if you want creative control, in camera composition, portability and ease of use then m3/4 is it…
            …and no m4/3 users do not have low bars for image quality.

            • Not sure what you mean. I have plenty of creative control, in camera composition, portability, and ease of use in my NEX. There’s nothing unique to m4/3 that makes it better at those things.

              • actually I can hold 2 lenses in one hand while shooting with the other for one using micro four thirds cameras, range of aspect ratios (not just 2) , larger range of colour modes as well as art filters,large range of lenses, quick and easy to use controls…

                • Rachnaroch

                  I can balance a lens in my head. Do I win?

      • Disraeli

        Yet if Fuji want to fit into the micro bracket, they will have no easier course than going with micro four thirds. Without doing this they will have to develop their own mount and lenses, which they never bothered to do with the S series DSLRs.

        • LGO

          @ Thom

          Some thinking out of the box here.

          Personally, I am puzzled why Olympus (and thus also possibly Fuji) allowed itself to be tied into a corner where it is completely reliant on Panasonic as its sole sensor supplier. Olympus and Fuji could just use a bigger APS-C sensor from Sony and simply crop the image to the m4/3 size. The Sony 16mp sensor used in the Nikon D5100, Nikon D7000 and the upcoming Sony NEX C-5 has very good dynamic range and color at low ISO, and has fairly clean and usable image even at ISO 3200. This sensor also supports 1080p video. Sensor size is not an issue to a small body as Sony has so convincingly shown in its NEX-5 and the upcoming NEX-C3.

          • Well, go back and read my comments in–what was it, 2003?–when Olympus first announced 4/3. The problem with sensors is this: if you can do something better at size A, you can do it with more pixels at larger size B, or you can do it better at size B, or you can mix the two together and get more pixels and more other IQ.

            A question that keeps getting asked but isn’t usually directly answered is this: is there a bar above which gains aren’t interesting or useful? Olympus last year said “12mp is enough.” Is that the bar?

            The answer is no to all three questions. At least in regards to where we are now. But it introduces a new question, which is are you skilled enough to take advantage of the gains?

            This argues that the rush downwards (e.g. GF1 to GF3, E-P3 to E-PL1) is justified. Because the people buying the low-end m4/3 cameras can’t see, let alone take advantage of, the gains a larger sensor would give them.

            • @Thom,
              What bugs me is the lack of consideration of lens-inherent limitations. The best lenses produced have a resolving power of roughly 4.5 microns at the focal plane, but those are quite rare and very expensive. For most consumer lenses the limitation is rather 5-6 microns. That poses very real limitations to sensor resolution: for 4/3 sensors the limit is about 12MP (a comparison of the detail captured by an E-5 and a GH2 or G3 will reveal this), while for APS-C it’s about 21MP. Once the sensors get there the improvement of image quality can be achieved only by dealing better with noise and DR. Thus, in the long run the only difference between sensors of different sizes will be in MP counts.

              • It’s not as simple as you make it out to be. Even if a photosite is 8 microns large, it doesn’t necessarily have 8 microns of light capture ;~)

          • Ardi GF2

            @LGO, +1 on just crop the APS-C to get the numerous benefits.

      • Nick Clark

        I disagree entirely. The attractiveness of the X100 is in the body and appearance. The same sensor in a NEX for instance would have had no where near the same level of interest.

        • The body and appearance don’t actually produce pictures. The photographer and the sensor do. ;~)

          The body itself gets in the way more often than not on the X100, even with the firmware update (though its far better than before). I can think of no other camera that simply shuts down in failure mode as often as does the X100. As for how it looks, I couldn’t care less, as “looks” do not impact picture taking for the most part (street photographers might disagree, as some types of bodies don’t provoke subjects the same way others do).

          • Esa Tuunanen

            Body getting in the way of taking pictures seems to be getting almost norm since cameras have become basic consumer commodity.

            And agree about camera’s look being not important as I consider camera as tool but you can’t really exclude it because controls&ergonomy are closely related to mechanical design and get now often trashed because average consumer is exactly like dung-fly and drawn to shit, called as fashion, which stinks most at the moment.

            • Mark

              Do you even have an X100? Mine has never crashed once, even on the old firmware. There is nothing about the X100 that gets in the way of picture taking. Why do you spend so much time criticizing design? Yes, the X100 has a design aesthetic, get over it. It also has a world class lens, a unique and innovative finder, and an excellent sensor.

              • Yes, I have an X100. Most of us who have one have a love hate relationship with it. To quote Zack Arias “As amazing as this camera is, the Fuji x100 can be a complete pain in the ass to use.” Agree totally with almost everything he says. Great results, but every now and then getting there drives you crazy in ways that are unnecessary.

                • I guess if you’re having a hard time using the camera properly it may not be for you. It’s the only thing that ever snags me up is switching to macro mode, and even that’s gotten pretty easy.

          • Nick Clark

            Yes but you were talking about attractiveness of the product. Are you saying that the X100’s success is based even remotely on it’s image quality? How can that be when the world was obsessed before there were even any image samples?

      • TR

        Yes the sony sensor seems to be good so why not keep the sony sensor and use it croped with a m4/3 mount?

        • Frederick Hew

          a 12MP APS-C sensor cropped to 4/3 size means about 7MP…

          • Vlad

            It’s a 16MP sensor.

        • That could prove to be expensive. Sony isn’t exactly set up for that format, so you’d be paying for a bunch of new stuff, including test equipment. But I’m not sure Sony is a “we’ll build sensors any size you want” sort of company. To date, they’ve actually shown reluctance to move outside of sensor sizes they’re currently producing.

          • Jim

            No, Just use the exsiting best sony aps-c sensor and dump the read info for pixels outside the m4/3 image circle – would give multi aspect ration (true 1:1)….

            Same quality – less pixels (but from the better part of the lens area)…

            Ah – just seen your reply to similar below… still we would have better s/n than we currently do, and DR!

            • Rachnaroch

              But then say goodbye to sensor shift stabilization. The APS sensor would take too much space on current designs. I guess you could keep the stabilization… making the body as big as an APS camera. There must be a reason Sony didn’t stabilized the sensor in their NEX cameras.

            • I assume you mean “read all the information and dump everything but the 4/3 area info.” Now you’ve put yourself at a COST disadvantage to Panasonic and Olympus as well as pixel count. Sensors don’t double in price because they’re double the size, they tend to be somewhere between 5-10x the price depending upon what size we’re doubling (it gets costlier the bigger the sensor). The sensor is the highest cost component in the camera.

              Sensor cost is one area where m4/3 has an advantage. Indeed, it’s one of the reasons why you use the same sensor over and over again if you can: cost goes down with quantity ordered, too.

    • Mr. Reeee

      I tried an X100 a few weeks ago and was surprised by the cheap build quality. The hybrid VF is cool, though.

      • Bob B.

        interesting …I haven’t heard anyone complain about the build quality..I think most of the reviews I read had positive things to say…but then..so many reviews are just so kiss-ass.

      • Nope

        The x100 Magnesium, I think you are confusing the fact that it is light weight with “cheap build quality”. I have owned a GF1, GF2 & have a GH2 at work. It’s build quality is better than all of those. The GF1 & GF2 are folded aluminum sheet metal and the GH2 is plastic with awful buttons.

        • Bob B.

          Well….I haven’t held one in my hands….but I think Nope might be on target here. DPR RAVED about the build quality saying that the Fuji X100 was second ONLY to a Leica M9…THAT is pretty high praise. my friends!…and they see a LOT of cameras!
          DPReview:
          “The build quality is superb. The top and base plates are die-cast using lightweight, high-strength magnesium alloy, and all the controls and dials are milled from solid metal. Some plastic makes an appearance on the back, of course, for the buttons and four-way controller/rear dial, and it’s also used for the battery/SD compartment door, but overall the X100 gives a rare impression of solidity. Indeed of all current digital cameras, arguably only the Leica M9 can challenge the X100 for its sheer build quality and beauty as an object.”

  • GreyOwl

    This could result in some interesting cameras I think, and, as Zorg says, a win-win situation for all concerned.:-)

  • AndyOz

    Admin – I remember you saying that one of the Micro 43 companies (Oly or Panasonic) was making some components for the X100. Did you ever find out what that was?

    I think this would be great if they joined Micro 43. In the interview he said that Fuji had the in-house capabilities to develop its own cameras and lenses. Some sites said that this hinted it was less likely that they would join an existing group like micro 4/3. However I didnt take that to mean that it would necessarily develop its own mount – it was just a response to a question about a possible acquisition of another company who could develop it for them. From Reuters:
    “Higuchi insisted the company would have no problems developing a mirrorless camera or the required lenses by itself, denying the possibility of another acquisition in the industry.”

    Anyway time will tell but an X100 style camera with same sort of EVF minus the optical part (which would be a little difficult with interchangeable lenses) would be fantastic. I am sure alot of existing Oly and Panasonic users would buy one as a second body.

    • Frederick Hew

      of course they can develop cameras and lenses – they develop some of the best TV lenses, as well as MF lenses for Hasselblad. Their 69 rangefinders were brilliant at the time, relatively small with superb optics, and so were the TX/ XPAN.

      the X100, as buggy and slow as it is, is capable of producing stunning images and has some of the best low light performance currently available (for cropped sensors) even though it uses a sensor that is already 1.5 generations old. in this respect, it would seem Fuji were more successful than Olympus in tweaking an existing sensor to suit their needs.

      Fuji could contribute a lot to m43, question is what could m43 contribute to Fuji… joining could be worth their while, but not if they are restricted to current Panasonic sensor technology.

      • AndyOz

        Good point about what Fuji could contribute to the m43 – they definetely have a good heritage in cameras and lenses – I had forgotton about the TX/XPAN.

        In terms of what m43 could contribute to m43 – firstly and on the plus side is a large collection of existing lenses and many m43 owners who would like a Fuji body.
        As you say one issue is with sensor technology and what sensor Fuji wants/is able to use. With the G3 it seems that Panasonic is improving their sensor tech a bit. Would Fuji be able to make their own sensors or dont they produce anything that large in CMOS?

  • Robbie

    Wow, if Fuji really joins the M43 coalition, I am sure the X100 would become a collector’s item very soon.

    • Neon

      @Robbie

      Keep in mind that there would be an X100 replacement also. They actually mentioned 3 cameras. There is no way they would make a m4/3 that would be better than their bread and butter X series. Bigger sensor will always win like it or not.

  • 43pr0n

    I hope it will be much more fruitful than that horrible xD disaster.

  • 2m

    Concerning the optical part of the OVF:
    Just keep it and read out the focal length of the lens and set the framelines accordingly, with 17mm as the minimum and 45mm as the maximum. The framelines are electronically displayed anyway so a firmware-update could add longer lenses if necessary.
    Automatically switch to EVF if the focal length is longer or shorter.
    Make the auto-switch overrideable, obviously.
    Make a menu point where you can program in lenses for fast setup of your legacy lenses.

    I would buy a camera on a viewfinder like that alone.

  • napalm

    even if they’ll just bring in the Fujinon primes, i’ll be happy 🙂

  • maitani

    I’d be mainly intersted in the new fuji SENSORS with outstanding dynamic range (S5) or EXR tech, by far the weakest spot of micro43 is still the
    Sensor, not the size, but from tech standpoint it’s just not up to date anymore. most other shotcomings are taken care of now since the latest releases.

    • AndyOz

      Yes the sensor will be interesting. If they join m43 that would be the big question – who would supply their sensor. Remember the X100 sensor is produced by Sony. So its not definite that Fuji would produce their own sensor – it could be someone else like Sony or Panasonic. Now if Sony would produce a m43 sensor for Fuji and Olympus that would be fantastic. Unlikely I know.

      • Thom just wrote that its not going to be a sony sensor,
        do you know any major sensor manufacturer for 2x crop sensor?
        yes you guessed it right – its going to be the same “2008 G1 sensor” but this time with “fuji tweaks” instead of “olympus tweaks”

        • AndyOz

          That is funny. Yes the leaks can start soon about an amazing Fuji tweaked sensor. I dont know who would make it for them.

          But seriously why couldnt Sony supply them – they already produce the APSC sensor for the X100. Alternatively couldnt Fuji just use the same sensor as the X100 and offer the multi-aspect ratio like the GH2 – sure its not using all the APSC area but it might be cheaper than trying to get a supplier to make a m43 sensor.

          • Again, having Sony as a supplier doesn’t necessarily change anything. Remember, m4/3 is a significant crop from APS/DX. Right now the best APS/DX sensor is 16mp. When you use those pixels in a m4/3 sensor, you get something around 8mp (depends upon what you do with the aspect ratio change). The upcoming 24mp sensor cropped to m4/3 basically gets us to where we are with Panasonic sensors.

            • LGO

              I would not mind getting a 9mp+ m4/3 image from using a 16mp APS-C sensor if it has the color, DR and low-light performance of the Nikon D7000 and Pentax K-5. The possibilities presented by the excellent results possible with this sensor, match with a small body and pancake prime lenses is quite alluring.

              In addition, using a larger APS-C sensor will provide a built-in support for multi-aspect ratio and will make lens diffraction less of an issue all of an issue than it is now. I am currently using a GH2 and I rarely ever use it above f/5.6 because of lens diffraction. This pretty much means that I have to use only fast lenses with my GH2.

              That Sony using this 16mp sensor can price its NEX-C3 so low means that the cost of this sensor has dropped to a point that it can also be deployed and justified in an m4/3 body as well without little if any cost penalty.

              • If you use a small (a bit more than half) part of the sensor, the image quality will degrade in the same proportion. So no, using that same sensor won’t produce the same results.

                The marvelous 16MP APS-C Sony sensor, when cropped, would have less resolution (by a large margin) and worse high ISO performance (by a bit) than the sensor used in the G3 (it would have better low ISO performance, though).

                We just need to tell Olympus to dump its “new” 12MP sensor and use the one in the G3 for the “pro” model. Fuji could use it too.

                • LGO

                  @ Zonkie

                  This is interesting. My experience is the opposite of what you are claiming.

                  My GH2 on HD-video and on ETC uses only the small center section of the 18mp sensor at a 16:9 aspect ratio. The quality of the HD Video is excellent. In fact, because there is no pixel binning involved, I use it regularly with my pancake prime lenses which in effect gives me two focal length on my pancake primes.

                  I would like to understand how you came to your conclusion. Would you care to offer any proof of this?

                  • If you have the GH2 and a zoom lens it’s easy to test it for yourself:

                    – Take one picture at 14mm, ISO 1600.
                    – Zoom in to about 36mm and take a second picture also at ISO 1600.

                    Get the first picture and crop the center region of it (the 2MP right in the center).

                    Ok, so now you have 2 images showing about the same subject (FoV), the first one only 2MP in size (taken using only the center of the sensor) and the second one 16MP (taken using the whole sensor surface). Both with the same sensor and both at ISO 1600.

                    Compare them by either printing both at the same size or by matching the size of the JPEGs.

                    You will see that the image that was taken using the center of the sensor looks like an image taken with a small sensor camera, a normal P&S, while the second one looks like taken with a 4/3 sensor camera. Why? Easy, because the first one is using a sensor of the size of the one in a P&S camera, while the second one uses a 4/3 sensor!

                    So the same happens when you get an APS sensor and use only the part that corresponds to a 4/3 sensor: you get the performance of a 4/3 sensor of similar quality (i.e, if using the 16MP Sony sensor, then better than the performance of the 12MP 4/3 sensor, but about the same as the one in the G3).

                    • LGO

                      @ Zonkie

                      Ha ha ha ha … that was a good laugh. Thanks!

                      Seriously now, I need you to show some proof of what you were talking about. Otherwise, I might think that the above is really your answer.

                    • @LGO (sorry, no reply link on your post)

                      I was certainly not joking. You were talking about using an ASP sensor on a 4/3 camera and use only the center of it for the images. I gave you an example of how using only the center of the sensor won’t produce the same results as using the whole sensor. What is it you didn’t understand? Could you elaborate on why you found my example so amusing?

                    • LGO

                      @ Zonkie

                      For a while, I thought you were joking. Sorry about that. Let me state this in very basic and simple terms.

                      If one uses the 1.5x crop 16mp Sony sensor in an m4/3 2.0x crop body, it would be the equivalent of taking a photo using a Nikon D7000 using any lens, then crop out the center section equivalent to an m4/3 image with a 2x crop factor. All the inherent strength of this sensor will appear and be present in an m4/3-sized image.

                      Why would any part of the image deteriorate? Why would the color and DR diminish? Why would the low-light performance in the sensor be degraded?

                    • Ok, I guess I confused you by using an example of using the sensor of the GH2 on a digicam (cut to the size of digicam sensor and therefor having only 2MP). I’ll explain the same with the D7000 and GH2:

                      If you had the D7000 you could easily test how the performance would be when using it in a 4/3 camera. I think we agree that when using that sensor on the GH2, it would only use the 9.7MP in the center of the sensor. So:

                      – Get a D7000, put it on a tripod and take a picture at 34mm (about 50mm eq.), ISO 3200. We will call this “Image A”.
                      – Now zoom out to 25mm and take a second picture also at ISO 3200. This is “Image B”.
                      – Image B since it’s taken at 25mm shows a wider FoV. So crop the center 9.7MP of it.

                      Now you have 2 images that show the same FoV (same you would have gotten at 50mm with a FF camera), but Image A has 16.2MP and Image B has 9.7MP.

                      Image A is what you get with a D7000.
                      Image B is what you would get if you put that same sensor on a GH2.

                      Noise is the same? Yes and no. The magnification on Image B makes the noise much more visible. If you resize Image A to 9.7MP and then compare both at 100% magnification you would see that Image B is clearly worse. Around 0.8 f-stops worse. That’s what you lose when using only a part of the sensor and not all of it.

            • Frederick Hew

              according to my calculations the 16MP APS-C sensor, when electronically cropped to 4/3 size, would yield 9.7MP while the 12MP sensor would yield 7.3MP.

              i’m basing those numbers on wikipedia’s figures (225 sqmm 4/3 sensor area versus 368 sqmm for Sony’s APS-C). this is of course irrelevant to aspect ratio change, as the 4/3 sensor can be entirely contained within the Sony sensor.

              9.7MP, provided it retains far better DR and sensitivity, seems much better to me than Oly’s latest effort.

              sony’s upcoming 24MP sensor would yield 14.7MP… not bad i would think.

              imagine a Fuji mirrorless cam with the Sony’s next gen sensor and support for both E and 4/3 mount (by means of adapter ring). now THAT could be a killer camera.

              • I would tend to disagree. There was actually something to Oly’s “12m is enough” comment last year. Below that, and you’d better be using every last pixel in your final image AND not be printing large. If we’re talking about cameras to produce photos for the Web, email, 4×6″ prints, sure, 9mp is enough. Thing is, when we make those things the primary output, we don’t need a better sensor, the one we have now is fine ;~). It’s a tricky design conundrum. You can lose customers going too far to either side of some unspecified quality/pixel count line.

                Remember, too, that you’re not competing in a vacuum. Let’s say that Fujifilm did take the Sony sensor and made it 4/3. Sony now can market the NEX as “same image quality, more pixels, same camera size, bigger pictures.”

                • Frederick Hew

                  ok, 9.7MP is not much but 14.7MP is more than enough…

                  and a camera that can do both formats (like the Nikon FX cams crop when fitted DX lenses) would provide the best of both worlds.

                  • LGO

                    There is NOT much of a difference in near 10mp and 12mp, specially for the purpose that the m4/3 camera may be used for. And this sidesteps the quality of lenses currently available to the m4/3 format that could make good use of higher resolution sensor. Though slowly growing in numbers, many of these dedicated m4/3 lenses are priced significantly higher than what most m4/3 users would be willing to spend.

                    The gain in terms of resolution from near 10mp to 12mp is not much really. One only needs to look at the large prints made using the Nikon D70 and Nikon D80 to understand that near 10mp is more than enough for most uses. Yet the 16mp Sony sensor would easily outperform the sensor in the Nikon D70 and Nikon D80 in an m4/3 2x crop size.

                    I would also expect that anyone who wants to make really large prints would likely not have an m4/3 camera as his first choice.

                    • Frederick Hew

                      we are not in disagreement. as i said before i could take the 2MP loss if the sensor provides better sensitivity and DR, and cleaner output. noise reduction, in essence, results in loss of fine detail = decreased resolution.

                      that said, 14.7MP (based on future 24MP sensor) could be nicer yet 🙂

                    • LGO

                      Hi Frederick,

                      I was responding to Thom’s post. As Thom himself has said before, a difference of at least 15% is needed before the difference in resolution will be visible.

                      I cannot over-emphasize the fact that using a high pixel density will require a matching high-quality lens to get good results with it.

                      I am currently using a GH2 that has a 16mp. Unless I use good lenses with it, my photos are mush. The still photos I can take with the 14-140mm are pretty bad. Only with my 20mm f/1.7, 14mm f/2.5 or my Nikkor lenses with adapter are the results acceptable. In this context, a 12mp sensor is better, a 10mp even more – specially if it comes with better DR, color and good low-light performance. 🙂

        • Agent00soul

          I guess the X100 was just a “halo product” with limited budget. For that they couldn’t possibly have designed their own sensor (too small production volume). But it sounds like the now will make a more serious attempt. If they’re going to be the no 3 camera maker (as they say), they will have to sell huge numbers, enough to fund a new sensor development. And suppose Olympus promise to buy some of the new sensors… That could swing their decision in m4/3’s favour.

          • AndyOz

            Yes I wonder whether Olympus at some point wanted to get them into m4/3 in the hope that Fuji would develop their own sensor which would be good competition with Panasonic and provide Oly with some choice.

  • That would be great news. I don’t care about the VF, but Fuji clearly gets it when it comes to making cameras. The brand has good reputation, and great buzz thanks to X100, so a well-designed MFT camera with manual controls would be a welcome addition to the MFT lineup.

    I hope they have learned from the mistakes they made with the X100, especially the reported UI quirks.

  • Mike

    It sure seems to me like a smarter move by Fuji would be to come out with a high-end FF or at least APS-C mirrorless and position it as an affordable Leica (say, $2,000-$2,500 for the body, or less if APS-C.) Give it autofocus, pair it with a fast zoom and a few primes — and of course it would still be adaptable to other mounts — and they could have a pretty big niche all to themselves.

    • Michael Devitt

      If they will go to 135 format there are many M-mount lenses to use with and dedicated Fujinon AF lenses in future development. This would shake modern rangefinder camera market instantly (if the price is right :D). But Fujifilm needs sales to produce that camera – by joining M4/3 or APS-C segment ;).

    • The problem that we have is that we’ve got large conglomerate companies (Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, Ricoh) involved in what will soon be a niche market (cameras). They all are really looking for volume (despite the X100), because volume is the only thing that looks good to their financials.

      The overall market for digital cameras has done the same thing that the film market did: it hit a ceiling in household adoption. The only thing going for digital at all is that the damned things break easy (at least at the low end), so there’s a replacement market. But low-end cameras peaked at about 100m a year and interchangeable lens cameras are low growth at 14m a year. The mirrorless craze lies right in between the two and is cannibalizing both. DSLR sales are now officially down.

      Realistically, none of these companies is headed into mirrorless expecting anything less than millions of units sold.

      Now let’s talk about high-end full frame: hundreds of thousands of units sold a year best case, and completely dominated by two companies with huge installed bases and immense lens availability (100m+ lenses in circulation). Fujifilm’s only choice if they decided to enter full frame would be to do what they did before, and use an existing mount. And that mount would have to be Nikon’s F mount, otherwise they’d piss off all the previous Fujifilm DSLR customers, many of which are still using their S5 Pros. There’s just not enough possible upside for Fujifilm in the full frame race.

      The X100 surprised them. It was a pet project not originally destined for production. Someone internally liked it enough to let them show it at Photokina to ascertain real interest, and it was clear from Day One they had the hit of the show. But as much as it sells in niche-dom decently well, it isn’t a blip on Fujifilm’s bottom line. It’ll take millions of cameras in the US$699+ range to do that. Thus, the interest in m4/3 or mirrorless.

      • I don’t agree with you that cameras will soon be a niche market (because of mobile phones?), Olympus have said they will target the emerging economies such as India and China etc
        As soon as they build cameras with apps (open source)and internet connectivity I believe you will see further growth in camera sales.
        Maybe camera sales are hitting a ceiling in USA household adoption (but I think not, just a slowing down).
        I also I wouldn’t describe mirrorless as a craze it’s here to stay…
        If anything is dying a death it’s the home camcorder market.
        Full frame cameras will become the extreme niche.

        • wadcha

          Thom,

          What do you make of Higuchi San’s comment (while speaking about their intent to do an interchangeable camera and lenses using their own INTERNAL resources, that “we should put out luxury items and spend more on publicity to build up the brand”?

          To me, this speaks of a desire to go upmarket, not to join the already crowded m4/3 space.

          As you said, the X100 was a gamble but it paid off and paved the way for Fuji to move up into the rarefied air of Leica. When people are comparing your fixed lens compact to an M9 you are doing something right. To then move into the middle ground of m4/3 would be a step in reverse.

          Your comments about the market for FF as related to DSLRs is entirely valid but doesn’t take into account that the growth is in mirrorless (per your words) yet no one has done FF in that format other than the ridiculously expensive M9. I’m not saying that they are going to, but if Fuji moved to a FF in a mirrorless format and shaved $3,000 off the M9 ticket, they would have another winner while continuing to “build their brand”.

          I believe Fuji may be pulling a Nintendo and swimming against the stream, not with it. Few Japanese companies do that and I am ready to reward them for it but if they move to m4/3 they just become another commodity.

          • Full frame will not grow and will probably shrink, 12-14 mp is good enough and we mostly consume images digitally now as opposed to print, just like Blu-ray (for the resolution freaks) didn’t break though against DVD

            • Wadcha

              If m4/3 can evolve to provide the quality of FF then you may be right but I have a hard time seeing that happen anytime soon. Sorry, but larger sensors are not just for resolution. Tonal range and high ISO performance are two good reasons to shoot FF and are two areas where m4/3 lags.

              The reality is that m4/3 is enjoying the sweet spot of system size, good to great AF lenses and price but that could all quickly change as technology evolves. I’m keeping my eye on Fuji but not for a m4/3 product.

          • m4/3 IS upmarket from the 5xxEXR and bridge cameras they currently make ;~)

            Fujifilm has a lot of hurdles to clear to achieve anything approaching what Higuchi-san says is their goal. One of them is a focused message.

            • Wadcha

              Hah! So true but you deftly skirted the point that the X100 has placed Fuji back on the firm ground that they once held with the Texas Leicas. I think this comment is a pretty clear indication of their intentions – more so than unsourced rumors – although I do love me a good rumor site! And this is one of the best…

        • > Target emerging economies

          This doesn’t always work the way you think it does. Emerging countries often skip over existing infrastructure issues. For instance, you don’t have land-line phones anymore in them because cell towers are cheaper and more effective to use. Thus, EVERYONE has cell phones. The third-world countries may actually be faster to cell phone camera usage per household than the developed economies. Moreover, digital camera adoption in emerging countries is closely tied to computer adoption (where else are they going to put their photos?).

          Compact camera sales WORLDWIDE hit a peak a few years back. DSLR sales WORLDWIDE dropped last year. The only growth was in mirrorless, which is stealing mostly from DSLR sales. The problem, even in the best case scenario the camera makers can envision, is that you have eight or nine companies chasing 25% growth in a market that has no growth.

          Finally, remember that the US and Europe range between 65-70% of all camera sales, and even growth in sales elsewhere hasn’t seemed to change that. Some of the “we’ll go to India” comments are coming from companies that have found that their home market, Japan, has really collapsed for camera sales growth.

          • yeah though you would use the land line argument, but I’m pretty sure that this won’t be the case with mirrorless cameras.
            People in these countries want to create good photos but won’t necessarily look to the heritage of traditional DSLR makers for their choice of type of camera as they do in USA, UK and Japan etc but will skip compact cameras.
            India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Pakistan etc are massive and now ready potential markets which also have fast increasing rates of computer adoption.
            Along with micro four thirds being likely to be the first to bring apps and internet connectivity to >consumer< cameras (just in case the Nikon D4 and Canon Mark III do) probably in mid-2012

            • I don’t necessarily disagree with your contention, but there are scales that need to be considered.

              If phone = compact and mirrorless = DSLR in the emerging countries, there is less camera opportunity available than you’re thinking is there. About one-third of the world managed to peak at 10m DSLR units/year. The implication if mirrorless = DSLRs in emerging countries is that there is only 20m more units there to be sold. That represents less than 20% of the entire camera market. That’s sort of my point. Even with the best case scenario for the emerging markets, it really only represents modest gains in overall sales. It’s a holding action, not a solid methodology for a long and bright future.

              • your implication is wrong in a number of respects:
                about one fith-sixth of the world population managed to peak at 10m DSLR units/year(in a largely saturated established market)
                secondly the rest of the world don’t already own DSLRs,compacts or camcorders.
                thirdly emerging markets will be cheaper to market to because you won’t have to convince them not to buy canikon
                also you haven’t commented on the likely growth in established markets when they introduce apps and internet connectivity to cameras…
                or why the superior quality of blu-ray has failed against the DVD…

                • Even if I were to agree to your numbers, it still represents a very short term growth prospect. And it’s not as if your competitors aren’t doing the same thing. Again, you’ve got eight companies chasing 25% growth in a world there is no such thing in sight. The simple reality is that chasing third world is just betting you can get there faster with a better message than your competitor, but only buys you a few years. The real reality is that to really grab market share, and permanently, you have to disenfranchise the others with a dramatic change to camera design/performance. That’s happened a few times in the history of cameras. Minolta managed to pull it off with autofocus. Nikon managed to pull it off with DSLR.

                  So two questions: did Olympus/Panasonic manage to pull it off with m4/3? and is there a true disruption in sight? No and no, I think. So until the latter becomes true we’ll have everyone chasing the same mythical “not yet buyers.”

      • AndyOz

        Thom I agree with most of your statements except the argument that digital cameras sales have peaked and that somehow cameras are about to become a niche market. I agree that could be the case for full frame and also low-end compact cameras that they are being squeezed by camera phones – but with photography as a popular hobby there is still lot of demand for the mid-end compacts, mirrorless and dSLRs.

        I would guess growth in emerging markets is one area for growing the overall numbers. Also unlike film cameras which rarely needed replacement (I owned one for ten years and never had a problem at all) digital cameras either have problems or become obselete based on new technology (this latter point is sometimes true and sometimes just perceived) which results in alot of replacement sales not to mention lenses and accessories.

        There is also the possibility with mirrorless or attracting new buyers who might mainly use their camera phone with the lure of better image quality without going the large dSLR way. The next few years will be interesting.

        • It’s a popular hobby, yes, but one with upper limits.

          We went through the same thing with film. Nothing is different about digital. Once film SLRs peaked (in the 60’s, then with a bump when autofocus became standard in the 80’s), those that iterated often and well survived on mostly upgrade sales, not new sales. That’s one reason why we got feature creep. But by the 90’s the largest camera sales were in disposable cameras (Kodak and Fujifilm), and we started to see traditional camera makers begin to struggle. Leica couldn’t figure out any more engravings or metal types or leather coverings to get people to upgrade ;~).

          We are seeing EXACTLY the same pattern in digital as we did with film. Similar adaptation rates, similar peak rates, you name it. As I wrote a couple of years ago, the ONLY solution is to completely reinvent the camera: you need everyone who has a serious camera to think that they need to junk it and get “the new thing.” We’re ready for the next disruption, but it isn’t here. Meanwhile, camera phones are doing what disposable film did: chew off the bottom of the market in incredible gulps.

          • AndyOz

            Thom. Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your input to the discussion and for taking the time to reply to our questions. Its good to know a bit more of the historical perspective of the film camera industry.

          • > We’re ready for the next disruption, but it isn’t here.

            Could Feveon-like sensors be it? Probably not. But it would give mid-, high-end level body market some kick to stay afloat for some time before falling into a niche.

            The only major bump I see is when P&S, with all advancements of mirrorless applied to them, would be able to challenge the entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless. (That is the reason why I’m /skeptical/ of mirrorless: all innovations of mirrorless are applicable to the P&S and compacts and I personally would rather buy a P&S than MILC.)

            Next major bump would be when low-end/consumer camera market would be completely swallowed by the mobile devices. But that bump might come only if problems of building tiny high-IQ optics (4-6x optical zoom, 3-5mm thick) would be solved in cost efficient manner.

            • Vlad

              I think there are are plenty of possible bumps, but let’s see if they actually come.
              Foveon-like sensors.
              Liquid lenses.
              Stuff like Lytro.
              etc.

            • Post Bayer could indeed be a disruption. The whole Foveon story is one of fumble after fumble, though. Eventually, we’ll be in Layer instead of Bayer with digital. It’s inevitable. The question is whether someone can get there with meaningful performance in a quality body at the right price. Right now it’s looking like no to that.

              You are correct that all innovations in mirrorless are applicable to compact cameras. The problem with compact cameras is the expected price point.

      • Only 3 out of the top 20 countries by population have high camera sales penetration (USA (4% of the world’s population), Japan and Germany)if you go to the top 60 it’s the same sort of scenario…

        • Answer the question of why and you can run a camera company ;~)

          • it’s been because demographics and wealth but these are a changing.

            • No, demographics and wealth are only symptoms of other things. You need to dig deeper.

      • LGO

        The analogy of the film-camera SLR does not necessarily apply as precisely to dSLR.

        With film cameras, one can buy the latest and newest film and use it on one’s 10-year old SLR.

        With dSLR, to get the new latest and best sensor, one needs to buy a new dSLR.

  • Oliver

    I´d like to see Fuji releasing a MFT cam. But I also hope they´ll bring out own lenses, if they do so. For at least 7 bodies (Pana + Oly + Fuji) you should have at least 30 or more lenses.

    In my eyes there´s a lack of fast 14-50/12-60mm lenses and also standard 14-70mm lenses. I wasn´t convinced by the size and image quality of the 14-150mm superzoom. But … let´s see what Sigma is going to launch.

  • Bob B.

    INFO: DPReview listed a post yesterday quoting the head of Fuji’s Camera Division, Takeshi Higuchi, as saying that Fuji will return to making interchangeable lens cameras. HOWEVER…. the post goes on to say: “However, his comments about having the in-house capabilities to develop its own cameras may reduce the speculation about the company producing models for pre-existing camera systems.” …gee..the only pre-existing camera system that has multiple members is MFT. So, at least DPR is speculating that Fuji will develop it’s own cameras with their own proprietary lenses and NOT join MFT.
    Its funny…DPR spun the same info completely differently than Thom?
    The full report is on Reuters here:http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/04/us-fujifilm-idUSTRE7631CG20110704

    • AndyOz

      Bob – see my reply above. Yes it could mean that Fuji will develop cameras and lenses with a new mount, but it could also be cameras and lenses with an existing mount. In the interview it sounds like a reply to a question about whether they would need to acquire the expertise by buying another company.

      • Bob B.

        yes…it seems that Higuchi is leaving the door open in his response…but it is so funny…DPR and Thom have completely different spins on the subject.
        Although Thom says “Fuji m43 camera has been prototyped and tested.”
        That seems more definitive….no?
        …but Fuji has already produced a small, fixed-lens camera with an APS-C size sensor…why wouldn’t they just build on that?

        • AndyOz

          Yes I know. I seem to remember a rumor on one site a few weeks ago that talked about Fuji developing a mirrorless camera with a sensor ‘around the size of m4/3’. Who knows.

          I guess many of us are hoping that join m4/3 but they might end up developing their own new mount. It just seems a bit curious that they would develop their own mount without any existing lenses and to start a whole new system. They could but they are not the size of a company like Nikon or Canon. I personally think m4/3 would be a better choice for Fuji.

          • Bob B.

            I follow Canon Rumors also…as I own a 5D Mark II along with my MFT gear. Yesterday The CR site listed this post from Reuters about Canon getting involved in a mirrorless system soon, too. ..the statements by the Canon executive, as usual are very ambiguous, though.
            http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/05/idUSL3E7I50RX20110705
            You can bet that their mirrorless camera will be Canon proprietary.
            All this info is exciting for camera junkies!!!!!! 🙂

            • AndyOz

              I have often thought that if Nikon was ahead of Canon and released their own mirrorless with new mount that Canon should quickly try to join Micro 4/3 and try to counter them that way. Dont know if they would be welcome. But its not going to happen – both are too big and would do their own mounts. I wonder too whether having another big company in Micro4/3 would be a good thing or not. Good in one way but they might dominate the other players like Oly and Panasonic. Whereas I think Fuji would be a good partner to have.

              • Bob B.

                I agree. If Fuji got involved it would be positive. They can fill a gap and push better results to the other MFT members. It would be a win/win because they are not as big as Canon and Nikon. (Dream on…Fuji could develop a body with a Foveon X3 image sensor for MFT like the Sigma SD1 at a good price point and then I could sell my Canon and all of my lenses!!!!!!! LOL!) Fuji…have Sigma make your MFT sensor!!!!!!!! 🙂
                Time will tell.

  • onlyme

    If Fuji makes a m4/3rds camera I wonder if it will have built in image stabilisation? If it does not those who own Olympus lenses may be put off.

    Oliver, I agee with you that a 14-70 lens would be nice additon, and maybe a 14-100 from Panasonic to match up to their 100-300.

  • Henrik

    Great. We’d get more 14-42 kit zooms.

  • Rolux

    How quickly they forget:

    http://www.43rumors.com/ft4-also-thom-hogan-says-the-m43-fuji-is-real/

    THIS WAS IN SEPTEMBER 2009! And you gave it a FT4 that time.

    Hogan is just recycling rumors posted on Chinese rumor boards. He doesn’t have any 4/3 sources.

    If you follow the discussion threads from the above link’s forum, Hogan spends several weeks speculating on why Fuji is stupid to join 4/3, argues with and dismisses any points from who disagree with him, then he quietly disappears from that forum when it becomes clear that he was completely, unequivocally wrong.

    • admin

      To be honest, Fuji was close to join m43 2 years ago but than they decided to wait. Now it’s a different story!

      • Olympius

        There is one HUGE advantage to Fuji joining micro 4/3 that some people are forgetting about: the already existing, and rapidly growing supply of micro 4/3 lenses. A Fuji sensored micro 4/3 camera with a Lumix/Leica 25mm f.1.4…that would be heaven!

        Fuji has always been more into the camera business than the lens business….just tossing out one micro 4/3 body with their sensor, and maybe a lens or two is all they would need to do. In body IS would be nice for working with Oly lenses, but certainly not necessary.

        I know I’d buy one, that’s for sure.

        Olympius

        • Frederick Hew

          Actually, it’s the other way around. Fuji is more into the lens than the camera body business, it is a world leader in optics.

      • Rolux

        “To be honest, Fuji was close to join m43 2 years ago but than they decided to wait.”

        Was there ever ANY confirmation from anyone that Fuji was considering it back then (besides Thom Hogan)?

        And how do you know that Thom’s not just recycling his PREVIOUS claim that a m43 Fuji camera was tested and prototyped? He says: “The product has been prototyped and tested.” When exactly? Two years ago, perhaps?

        Don’t fall into the cult of Thom. Much of the time he’s making it up as he goes along.

    • An0n

      and now you’re playing the “who’s is bigger” game. very helpful, thanks.

  • Raúl

    I think Fuji will not make a m4/3 camera.
    I guess they will join Nikon to develop a mirrorless camera system, with an APS-C sensor, and a new mount.
    Nikon would offer consumer oriented cameras, and Fuji will make a X100 variant, to appeal enthusiasts, with a higher price tag.

    Fujinon prime lenses + Sony 24mp sensor “tweaked” by Fuji + X100 looks and controls = Win

    • ijack

      And what makes you ‘think’ that?

      • Raúl

        Fuji has a wonderful APS-C sensor, better suited than m4/3 to produce what Fuji is best known: Great dynamic range and tonal range.

        About the Nikon relationship, they worked before together. The Fuji DSLR used Nikon bodies and the F mount

    • Bob B.

      Well….Fuji did marry up with Nikon Big-Time for the Fuji S5 Pro DSLR!!!!
      http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/specifications/s/finepix_s5pro
      So Fuji and NIkon do have an “intimate” history.

    • Nick Clark

      That makes perfect sense, given that Nikon obviously has no interest in enthusiasts… :/

      Nikon and Fuji didn’t *marry* for the S5, Fuji just bought D200 bodies. On a scale of one to No Chance, there’s precisely No Chance of a mirrorless partnership between Nikon and Fuji – Nikon would gain nothing whatsoever.

  • Igor

    It would be nice if FujiFilm would release some of their Fujinon lenses for m43 mount.

  • Fuji joining m4/3? That would be wonderful and actually makes a lot of sense from a purely business point of view (essentially it would save Fuji A LOT of time and R&D resources, and enable neglecting the low-end tier of the market which is less profitable anyway). Nevertheless, I’m not entirely sure that the 4/3 sensor format is appealing enough for Fuji, having developed an appetite after the X100 success. IMHO, the combination of market expectations, cultural factors and ego will eventually dictate that Fuji develops its own APS-C mount. Its aspirations of serving the high end of the market will unfortunately keep it out of the m4/3 consortium.

    One more point to think about: Olympus business strategy seems quite unusual in the current climate. It seems to seek cooperation with potential competitors rather than dismiss them. If I remember right, it was Olympus who first announced the Nokton 25 rather than Cosina.

  • OlyFan

    This would be huge! I think if this happens, we can say with some certainty that m43 would leave Sony’s, Pentaxes and Canon/Nikon mirrorless far behind. These guys can then only play catch-up.
    Very good news indeed if it actually pans out.

    However, I still have my doubts because why would they want to choose to go with a smaller sensor when they have managed to build a very successful product with an APSC sensor?! Just thinking aloud here. Would appreciate your views.

    • cbr09

      If the don’t use IBIS they could just use an APS-C sensor from Sony and use it as a multi-aspect sensor in m4/3. The advantage of m4/3 in this Market is lens size and this appeals to the same aesthetic as the X100.

  • Olympius

    I would just LOVE IT if Fuji were a part of micro 4/3! To have access, finally, to Fuji colors….oh my. I could absolutely care less about IBIS, viewfinders, or any of that garbage, I just want a Fuji sensor, even if it were nothing more than a black box with a micro 4/3 mount and a shutter button.

    This would be very, very good news if true.

    Now, all we need is for Ricoh/Pentax and Canon to join up…. 🙂

    Olympius

    • “Now, all we need is for Ricoh/Pentax and Canon to join up”

      Canon joining m4/3 would be a disaster for the other partners, whoever they are.

      • Bob B.

        Canon is definitely doing their own thing…as I mentioned above….
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/05/idUSL3E7I50RX20110705

        • Olympius

          Of course Canon is doing there own thing, they always have. When you are a big as they are, you don’t need any outside help.

          I’m guessing Canon is seeing the light, in regards to how mirrorless architecture is a far, far better platform for video than DSLR’s, and would certainly want to take full advantage of that.

          Olympius

  • Miroslav

    If Fuji makes m4/3 body similar in shape and size to their ultrazooms ( i.e. with grip and EVF ), I’ll be first in line. IBIS required.

    That would be beneficial, both to them and m4/3.

    Go Fuji!

    • Olympius

      I’m pretty sure we could count on the EVF part of your request, which would only make a camera like that much more desirable, to me, anyway.

      But I do agree that something along the lines in looks and functionality as their superzooms would be perfect.

      For technical reasons I won’t go into, an X100 type body for this project would be impossible, as you simply cannot use optical finders of any kind with micro 4/3, except for the hot-shoe type clip-on’s with fixed focal length prime lenses.

      But a built-in EVF would be very welcome, and would be a lot more than what Olympus provides on any of their cameras.

      Come on Fuji, make this HAPPEN!

      Olympius

  • Why is everybody assuming that the theoretical Fuji M43 camera would be an M43 version of the X100?

    Okay, I know why: sheer wishful thinking. That’s the camera we all WISH it would be (and preferably less expensive than the X100 as well.)

    But there’s no reason to think Fuji wouldn’t introduce a product more along the lines of the vast majority of their existing product line — which, frankly, is hard for the average consumer to tell apart from the competition.

    That would be the only way a Fuji debut would make sense, since — as Hogan has pointed out — nobody is going to invest in getting into this field unless they think they can sell a huge number of units. The X100, despite all the fanboy/rockstar hype, is NOT going to be a high-volume camera. It will be a lower-cost version of the Leica M9: something that everybody admires, but only a relative handful will buy. Like the M9, it just doesn’t meet a broad enough range of needs to be worth the big investment for most people; it appeals to monied photo-buffs who can afford a limited-use “luxury” camera as a supplement to their already ample collections of gear. Fuji can’t afford to introduce a Micro Four Thirds camera designed on the same principle.

  • Nathan

    I would expect Canon and Nikon to do their own thing, and for Fuji to follow with whatever Nikon does.
    It would be nice if they would join micro four thirds, as joining NEX or Samsung is not a benefit to Fujifilm.

    I would love to see a Fuji CCD in 4/3 sizes in a metal-bodied camera. I’ve always wanted an S5, though, so I guess I might be a fanboy.

    All I want is a great camera in a smallish package with some fast glass. (f2-) It seems every camera company wants to sell me a mediocre camera with some slow glass instead (f3.5+). It just doesn’t seem fair that the only camera company that gets it is Leica. I don’t require full frame, and their prices are a bit off.

  • Admin wrote:

    Olympus officially invited Fuji to join the m43 consortium

    Fuji is already part of the consortium. See here.

    I think a m4/3 Fuji X100 would not be as successful as an APS-C interchangeable lens version. I imagine you will all disagree with me given this is a 4/3 blog 🙂

  • If Nikon, Fuji, Apple, and Hasselblad intro a square format medium format mirrorless mount they could crush m43 and canon and samsung and sony in one move.

    Odds of that happening, 1 in 1 billion.

    • Nick Clark

      Keep in mind that Samsung is likely going mirrorless medium-format anyway 😉

      • Only in Rumorland 😉

        • Kenny

          Fuji being sold in Apple stores sounds like a perfect fit 🙂

  • Kenny

    The only advantage of MFT is the compactness of the camera/lense. Yet Sony is able to bring out a similar size camera body with a larger sensor. I think that Olympus and Panasonic is worrying about Fuji joining Sony more than wanting a third m43 camera manufacturer.

    MFT or not, the future of mirrorless lies in its compact size which means no OVF and EVF for mainstream models, and a touch screen interface should replace most buttons/knobs, which should revolutionize the experience of photo taking. Maybe some camera maker will join force with Apple to get that part right.

    • Its about the lenses. Plot AFOV vs Lens volume for Sony and m4/3’s and you’ll see the size advantage.

      EDIT: Maybe ;-). I just looked at the “Serious Compacts” size comparison.

  • #2

    I would’nt see Fuji offering a m43 product now that they have tasted success with their APS-C X100. That sensor / lens combo delivers superb results. I wouldn’t be surprised if m43 is two years, maybe more from delivering something close. Following the new PEN releases we have sold our Olympus equipment and moved on. It just doesn’t deliver the results. No matter what body you use. Heck, our Nikon D2h is more impressive. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fuji go after full frame and medium format. This is where image quality lies. 43 / m43 needs to pull its finger out developing a competitive sensor. Unfortunately, Panasonic has cornered the format.

    Lets not forget that Kodak are also a part of the 43 / m43 consortium. Leica are there too but they only play a minor part by stamping a lens with their name and charging stupid amounts for it. What about Zeis? Sigma? Looks more like bad desicions to me.

    Good luck to the format, it was promising, the E1 set a standard but it has done nothing but go downhill with half assed products since.

    • pdc

      What rubbish #2 (and similar trolls like Pablo – where are you?).
      I doubt if you have even used a Panasonic MFT camera and some of their better lenses (7-14, 20, 14-45) and others such as the Voigtlander 25/0.95, or any of the legacy glass via adpaters. I have used the G1 since it was released and the GH2 since the beginning of this year, and I often shoot with a good friend who uses Nikon D300 and D7000, and I have shot Nikon SLRs since the early 1970s. I can tell you, that while DR sometimes is a little lacking, most of the time the Panasonic G system images are every bit as good as the Nikon APS-C sized ones. The sensors are only going to get better, and I’ll take Panasonic G system over Sony NEX as a long-term winner, because of the inherent size advantage of MFT. Both these companies are electronics giants, and both are extremely capable in sensor design and build.

      • pdc

        So, let’s hope Fuji do join the MFT club. We’ll all benefit.

      • Rachnaroch

        What size advantage? I fail to see it, really. The only NEX lens that is big is the 18-200, and it’s a lens designed for NEX video cameras and it’s designed with those video cameras in mind (its dual stabilization system that only works with them, not with NEX-5 or 3).

        The 18-200 as marketed by Sony:

        http://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl=en&biw=1360&bih=705&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=sony+nex+vg10&oq=sony+nex+vg&aq=0&aqi=g4&aql=undefined&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=9800l11485l0l8l8l0l0l0l0l292l1760l0.2.6l8

        And a very clear size comparison:

        http://www.seriouscompacts.com/f41/mirrorless-camera-size-comparison-nex5-nx10-e-p2-e-pl1-gf1-g2-295/

        Besides, the size advantage was there for 4/3 too, yet the format is dead. When I bought an E-1, I remember fanboys arguing about the size benefit. I could not see it, really. Same story today.

        • There are some other issues that come up from Sony’s choice of flange distance. One is that they went with lens IS because there was no room for sensor based stabilization. Another is that by making the camera so thin they limited the possibilities for VF’s and flash. In short, I think that Sony made some bad tradeoffs in pursuit of the title of “smallest interchangeable lens camera.” And its ugly ;-); unlike Thom, aesthetics of the camera matter to me.

          Of course, the dark horse in this game is Samsung. They have a lot of money and ambition, and a product that has promise.

          • Rachnaroch

            Beauty is very subjective. And NEX cameras don’t have hot-shoe, EVFs or sensor stabilization, but there’s nothing preventing Sony to add them in future models, they just have to make the bodies larger. Nothing to do with flange distance. I already replied a comment that suggested Olympus to use Sony sensors, and what I said is that if they do then sensor shift stabilization must go… or the cameras have to grow considerably.

            Sony has a big advantage with the larger sensor. Not that it matters for must of us, in fact I’m more than happy with my GH2 just like I was with my E-1 and plan to be with my E-P3, but its something easy to sell to the public. Just like it was before in the APS vs 4/3 “war”. Olympus lost despite the size advantage (that I failed to see then just as I fail to see now).

          • pdc

            Flange distance is an issue that is not discussed enough.
            Perhaps the E-5 does better than the E-P2 because the greater distance results in less light fall-off towards the edges.

      • #2

        @pdc

        Rubbish? Not really. And yes we have used Panasonic mft’s and some of their ‘better’ lenses. We used SHG lenses, cheap lenses, middle of the road lenses and even OM lenses. The only one that stood up was the 50 f/2 macro. Its just the way it is. The system doesn’t deliver the quality we demand. That doesn’t mean it wont, it just doensn’t now. When you run a business that relies on image quality in large format prints, I’m talking feet here, you can’t go on hoping and waiting for the holy grail of m43 products to be announced and released. It just isn’t feasable.

        Just becasue someone doesn’t say m43 is the best thing since sliced bread doesn’t mean they are a troll. Grow up.

        • pdc

          @ #2
          Then don’t be so cheap and restrict yourselves to FF or MF digital gear.
          For those of us who don’t enlarge beyond 16″ x 20″ APS-C or 43 at 12mp plus will do, and with the small gear we have a greater range of photographer opportunities.

          • #2

            Your more narrow minded than I realized

            Good luck.

  • I really hope Fuji does make a camera and lenses for m43. The size of m43 bodies and lenses is just right for a casual photographer (which is probably 99% of the market). Having a common mount would make them a strong player in the camera market. As an enthusiast, I look forward to the high end models they could provide.

  • Jason

    Fuji would be foolish not to join MicroFourThirds, aside from their X100, where else will they make any money? The X100 IQ and EVF is great and all, but the lack of interchangeable lenses will be that cameras demise in the long run.

    For example, I have an EPL-2, and although I’m not going to upgrade the body, even though the new EP-3 is nice, I can still upgrade my gear with a lens, or a new accessory, how does that work with the X100? Simple, you have to upgrade your entire camera – BS!

  • Nathan

    For me, 12 MP is plenty. It is plenty for nearly every use, as the Nikon and Canon pro cameras JUST passed that milestone a few years ago. Before that, the D3s was plenty, the D700 was plenty, the 5D was plenty, the 1DS was fine.

    Only recently have we passed that milestone, and still, impressive images can be generated in 12 million pixels.

    If you want so much more than that, the solution is the same one that there has always been with film: go larger. Go to medium format if you want to print to 4 ft by 5 foot with no loss of resolution at 300DPI. It’s OBVIOUS.

    Lack of detail is not currently a sensor problem.

    • LGO

      I concur that 12mp is more than sufficient for a m4/3 sensor.

      Except for the Nikon D3x which had 24mp and this is a full-frame body, Nikon only had 12mp with its APS-C and full-frame bodies as well. It was only with the release of the Nikon D3100 last year that Nikon went to 14mp, and thereafter, to 16mp with the Nikon D7000.

  • hannes

    GO Fuji GO!

  • Daneyumyum

    Fuji is gonna to be the best camera builder if he keep this way !

  • FujiColors Fan

    Fuji’s strong point:- 1) APSC Sensor 2) Colors. Think a mirrorless interchangeable APSC camera would be GREAT!. Go Mirrorless for compact size and weight advantage. Interchangeble for more flexibility. Would prefer APSC rather than Four Third due to depth of field reasons (we want more bokeh effect) and high ISO capability . Image Stabilization in sensor to lessen possibiility of blur photos. Please offers a compact Mirrorless APSC with Image Stabilization in sensor and interchangeable lens and built in flash. EVF optional. But Fuji really have to improve themselves in the speed of Auto Focus. Actually Olympus has done this complete good package. However, just that the sensor size is a major obstacle for consideration (i.e. bokeh & ISO). This is the way to go Fuji!!! Hope you are listening…^^” Thx.

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