Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Coming Soon: Medium Format Fujifilm Digital Camera

Fujifilm is set to announce a new camera later this month. They're making a digital medium-format mirrorless camera that will look like a DSLR. It's supposed to compete directly with the Hasselblad X1D, but for a fraction of the price (the X1D has a nine grand MSRP). There will initially be three lenses available for it.

The Fuji camera will feature a 50 megapixel CMOS sensor (likely made by Sony, and likely the same exact sensor found in the Hasselblad). It will not have an X-Trans sensor, but a "regular" Bayer color filter array.

Some have expressed disappointment in the use of a Bayer sensor instead of an X-Trans, but it makes sense to me. The advantage of the X-Trans is largely found in smaller sensors. As the sensor gets bigger (and the light-sensitive sensor elements get larger, as well), the need to maximize dynamic range and high-ISO capabilities decrease (because they're already very good). And at this high of resolution the camera won't need an optical low-pass filter, either.

Simply put, at 50-megapixels medium-format the advantages of the X-Trans technology is small, and it's tough to justify the use of it when it complicates the processing of the files. Fuji decided to "keep it simple" and go with a standard Bayer sensor instead. I'm sure this also keeps the cost a bit lower.

Unless I unexpectedly run into a whole bunch of money I won't be buying this camera. I'm sure it will be awesomely great. But it won't make my photography any better. In fact, unless you're making huge enlargements it's really unnecessary. I don't make mural-sized prints, so I certainly wouldn't be using it to its full potential--it would be overkill for me.

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