I have been thinking about what Fujifilm would include in the X-Pro2 when it is eventually released later this year or possibly early next year. Only Fujifilm and (possibly) a few selected photographers will know what this will be and when it will be released.
Let’s get one thing out of the way – it will not, I repeat not be a full frame (35mm equivalent) sensor based camera. There is no logical reason to do this and will not only require a new (larger) mount but also a whole new lens range. I know that a lot of photographers are going on about how great full-frame is but most of them do not need this. You could go on about low-light noise and about limited depth of field as much as you like but the greater size and weight of the lenses far outweigh the benefits. If you want full frame take a good look at the Sony A7/A7R/A7S and if that doesn’t put you off go back to your DSLR and extensive lens range.
The sensor will be APS-C sized (as it is now) and will either be the X-TRANS II sensor (as used in the X-E2 and X-T1) or more likely the X-TRANS III. As to what makes constitutes a mark III it gets a bit cloudy here; Fujifilm have a lot of patents out there for new sensor technology. The fact that they skipped the X-Pro1s and decided to focus on an X-Pro2 may mean that this sensor is going to be special. It will obviously have more area that can be used in focusing (like the Canon EOS 70D or Sony A6000) and be even better in low light and noise control, it probably won’t have any more pixels – 16MP is plenty.
I have already touched on this but the X-Pro2 will be even better than the X-T1/X-E2 at focusing because of the new X-Trans III sensor as well as an even faster processing unit.
The controls on the X-Pro1 will be largely retained, some of the buttons will move around a bit to match the layout on the newer cameras. The function button on the top plate will remain but will but will be assigned to video as default, with the option to be used for other controls such as ISO. There won’t be an ISO dial as there is no space for one – the hybrid viewfinder takes up a lot of space.
The Exposure Compensation Dial will now be +/- 3 stops and have a locking button.
The Shutter speed will go to 1/8000 second and have a 1/250 flash sync speed.
The hybrid finder will remain but will gain the EVF from the X-T1 for the EVF part and during the optical finder use a transparent EVF overlay will be available providing more detail if required (such as a histogram). The manual focus split-screen will be available too when in EVF mode.
The Rear screen will be brought up to date with higher resolution and have a toughened hardened coating that will be almost scratch proof.
The camera will be weather sealed and they will find a way to incorporate a screw-in cable release too. The seals will be better than the ones on the X-T1 which could be better.
The SD-Card slot (which will be UHS II) will be on the side of the camera. There will be a full complement of ports on the other side of the camera. This will unfortunately mean new brackets and grips but this would be worth it.
The camera will have the same or greater FPS than the X-T1 (certain conditions will need to be in effect to gain this).
When released it will come body only and also as two kits, one with the 23mm f1.4 lens and the other with the new (weather sealed) 35mm f1.4 mark II lens. The kit prices will shave a couple of hundred pounds off the lens price.
Things they should do but won’t
Make the camera available in large numbers so that all parts of the world don’t have to wait months to get their hands on the new camera.
The rear screen should be articulated but won’t be as too many “Pros” don’t want that.
They should provide Exposure Bracketing at 3, 5 and 7 frames with up to +/- 2 stops, the camera should also not lock-up whilst this is happening.
They should ditch SilkyPix and work with Adobe and /or Phase One to develop a really good RAW convertor that better supports the X-Trans sensor Technology and provide this with the camera. If Leica can do this so can Fujifilm.
Batteries: I’m in two minds about this. On the one hand we need a better battery and on the other we would like compatibility with the current range. They could do what Nikon did with the D4s here and that is provide a new battery with the camera (one that supporst better feedback and longer life) but enable the camera to also accept the older batteries too.
Don’t over price the camera! When the X-Pro1 was first released it was extortionate and it hurt the sales. The camera will obviously cost more than the X-T1 costs when first released (£1049 body only) but shouldn’t cost as much as a Canon EOS 5D-III (about £2299).
Fujifilm almost certainly won’t take this opportunity to sort out the video and will only slightly tweak it as they have been doing. So no headphone port, no HDMI full out and none of the other things that videographers would like to have – I’m not sure if this is right model for this anyway. I think that Fuji will release something akin to a GH3/4 model next year that will deal with this.
I will end this blog entry by pointing out that I have NO insider information and no knowledge of what body will follow the X-Pro1. This is just a list of assumptions and I have tried to keep within the bounds of what is possible. We’ll just have to wait and see what the new camera will be and what it will have when Fujifilm are ready to announce it.