As I have already blogged about, this week is London Camera Exchange’s Photo Week whereby each day they will have different suppliers and offers in both of their stores each day. They will have representation form various suppliers over the week and today was Fuji at their Lincoln High Street store.
I went in on the off chance of getting a good offer but unfortunately funds are rather tight at the moment and unless I was given a phenomenally amazing offer I wasn’t likely to purchase anything. They were offering free Fuji protection filters for all lenses and LCE were slightly flexible with the price too.
My second reason for visiting was to have a chat with the Fuji rep to see what he was allowed to tell me and what he wasn’t. As he works for Fuji I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of information as there will be many things he couldn’t tell me. So what did I find out?
Fujinon XF18-135 f/3.5-5.6 R OIS WR Lens:
This lens will be announced next week and will be released in July. It is going to have a price of £699, I don’t know if this is the RRP of the shop-price which is usually slightly less. I think that this is a fair price if it matches the rest of the XF lens range.
We also discussed the UK £250 off voucher for registered X-T1 owners, this is still in place and he was surprised that I have not received my voucher yet. So I suppose we’ll start to see these next week (once the release data has been formally announced).
So this will only cost me £449 🙂
He confirmed that the X20 has been discontinued which explains why there is no sign of the camera at WEX any more. So if you want one get them while you can.
He did say that a replacement model will be released in the not too distant future but did not confirm that it will be called an X-30. Is this the cut-down Fuji X-100s (called the X-70) that I have been hearing about?
Fuji Lens Road Map
We spoke about the lenses that we know about, the aforementioned XF18-135 and the two pro f/2.8 zoom lenses and I asked about the other two lenses on the current road map that have not been announced fully (yet). He agrees that a 16mm wide-angle would be a good idea as this is the obvious gap in the prime lens selection (take from that what you will) and when I spoke about the 120-400mm for the telephoto zoom he said “that sounds about right”. He also didn’t correct my estimation that this probably won’t be released until early next year.
I also asked about the 35mm f1.4 mkII – he said that he thinks that the lens selection needs to be more complete before the release new version of any current lenses (i.e. replacing the focus motor), so we won’t see anything for some time and probably not until 2016.
Finally on this matter from some of the things that were said it sound like there is a new Fuji road-map (not necessarily lenses only) that is available to Fuji and selected others – it remains to be seen how much of this information will get released and when.
Fuji Firmware updates
On the firmware front, there are a lot more coming and he mentioned all of the current models (X100s, X-E2, X-Pro1 and X-T1) would be getting one soon. Although he knows what is in the new firmware update he couldn’t say and he did not mention the X100 or the X-E1 which could be an oversight or the first sign that Fuji are going to lessen their support for older models (I still think that lens firmware updates will occur).
We spoke about auto-bracketing and it won’t be in the next round of updates and is not currently planned for a future update but lots of people are telling Fuji about this so it is probably only a matter of time before they fix this. If Sony can do this I am sure Fujifilm can!
Fuji Flash System
I also spoke about the flash being the real weak link in the Fuji system and although he was naturally cagey he did say that it was being addressed but no specifics could be given (I may have reworded that slightly to make sound more positive then he said it).
I tried to see if there was any news on the direction pad issue on the X-T1 and he was very tight-lipped about this even to the point of suggesting a third-party rubber dial that can stick onto the direction pad from eBay. He also spoke the county line “it’s due to the weather sealing”, sorry but many cameras are weather sealed out there and their direction pads are much better.
Other bits ‘n’ pieces:
He did have the full current lens selection to play with and so I had another go with the 23mm (I really want this lens) as well as the 56mm (I also want this lens). I also tried the 27mm on the X-E2 (yuck I don’t want this lens). I have come to a conclusion, if it doesn’t have an aperture ring (even one without markings as per the current zoom lenses and the 18-135mm) it doesn’t feel right on the Fuji bodies.
He also had all of the grips for the X-T1 which I tried out. The Extra large grip felt “really nice” 🙂 if I get a second X-T1 I might have to have one of these. He also had the wrist strap but not seeing it attached meant I couldn’t really evaluate it; however, you should be able to remove the bottom tripod socket mount and attach it directly to the X-T1 battery grip which is why I’m interested.
We spoke about the missing in action items; the eye-cup and the spare covers pack (which is an inspired thing to release for only £5) and they aren’t scheduled to be released until next month either.
So quite a bit of info and a lot more than I expected.