What Does the Future Hold for Fujifilm?

Back in July, Fujifilm announced that it plans to focus investments on pharmaceuticals — and not imaging — in order to drive profits. What does this mean for the future of its cameras?

Last week, Fujifilm announced three new (sort of) cameras — the GFX 50S II, the X-T30 II, and the X-T3 WW — alongside a batch of new lenses. In this video, Tony Northrup examines Fujifilm’s strategy with these new releases and looks at how the company’s business model might be changing in response to the continued dominance over the market from Sony and Canon.

Fujifilm has carved a distinctive niche. appealing to photographers who enjoy a tactile shooting experience that’s very different from the more conventional “PASM” dials used by most of its competitors. Given the reported success of the Nikon Z fc, a camera that draws heavily on history, nostalgia, and classic retro styling, Fujifilm might be wise to push further into this niche and, Nikon might well have plans to do the same. Let Sony and Canon produce boring, conventional cameras full of incredible technology, and cater more to discerning customers who appreciate a refined photographic experience.

For more insights into Fujifilm’s situation, be sure to check out this excellent article from Fstoppers’ own Mike Smith.

Is Fujifilm destined to be like Leica, but more affordable? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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25 Comments
S A's picture

I traded my full bag of Fuji equipment (XT-3, X100F, 16-55, 50-140 and ancillary gear +2500 USD) for an SL2S, last week. I could not be happier.
If “film look” is what you are after, shoot film, and don’t overrate PASM or no PASM (my background is FM2 and FE3). I thought so too, but it is unwarranted.
Fuji APS- C does not perform well when it gets dark. I wanted the autofocus work so badly, but it is hit&miss. Don’t flame me, please, I love the design of Fujifilm, but in the end, I am results oriented. No light, no Fuji.

Stuart C's picture

Bad light is pretty much the only thing I use my Fujis in, works for me... good of you to make an account just to say this though.

Chris Rogers's picture

"Fuji APS- C does not perform well when it gets dark. I wanted the autofocus work so badly, but it is hit&miss"

Thank yooooouuuu!! I've been saying this forever. Details in images get super smudgy in low light too. It sucks! I still love my fujis but i can't overlook their short comings. Those SL2S's are amazeballs.

S A's picture

I bought the XT3 and added Voigtlander M-mount lenses with the idea to have an ` all manual M with an EV` and perfect button layout and all control wheels where I wanted them.

Two things became obvious, focusing was easy thanks to the viewfinder, but beyond ISO 3200 I ran into trouble, and if I dialled down the ISO I would get camera shake.

The 16-55 which I bought, aggravated the situation (lack of stabilisation) and focus was hit&miss (I do stage photography).
The 55-140 (stabilised) found focus much better, but did not improve the ISO situation. I gained the stops through stabilisation, surrendering them again on the long end because of the need to crank up the shutter speed.

Overall the Fuji, outside, awesome, indoors with available light only, hard.

Today, I let the SL2S runs up to 25000 ISO with no issues, the viewfinder improves on the already excellent Fuji and I am back to my Voigtlander lenses with no appetite for autofocus.

Someone wrote I exchanged a 1200 dollar camera for a 5000 Dollar camera. While on the surface that is correct, I would have happily bought the Canon R6 but that would have necessitated some Canon glass and together would have come out at the price of the Leica body. I would rather argue that I bought 14.1 EV/BSI, IBIS and an opportunity to buy awesome lenses going back 50 years and more.

And finally on the app, which someone here criticised, I was definitely not its intended user.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

You traded a $1200 camera for a $5000 camera, and the $5000 camera turned out to be better.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I am moving to mirrorless in 2022 and Fuji right now will be the winner. Canon is way too much in video where I have zero interest. Had they produced an R6 like a R5 without all the stuff I don’t need, I would already have 2 bodies.

g coll's picture

Isnt there a way in which you could use 2 R5 bodies and set them up so you're basically ignoring the video features? It's an incredible body for photographers as well.

Daniel Medley's picture

People keep harping on the fact that video is "meh" on the GFXS50S II.

How many people using MF cameras give 2 squirts about the camera's video capability? For the people I know who shoot MF, video capabilities aren't even on their radar.

Stuart C's picture

Gearheads being gearheads

Rhonald Rose's picture

This is true, never turned the video on my GFX

Stuart C's picture

I don’t envisage ever leaving the system to be honest. I like the cameras. The lenses, and I love the way they work.

Christian Lainesse's picture

I find the new video trend boring and repetitive, like 57 channels and nothing's on, multiplied by millions.

Chris Rogers's picture

Yeah it's difficult to find people that actually create content about photography and not predominately videography. But video is what's making the cash these days so manufacturers and content creators focus on it.

Richard Perlin's picture

Recently, I read that Fuji is coming out with a new, high tech APS-C sensor. That would seem to contradict the theme that Fuji expects to only attract customers looking for the photographic experience, and not improved technology. I believe developments with their mid frame sensors also suggest they have a keen interest in continuing to develop better technology, if not being a leader. I agree that their APS-C sensors are not up to full frame standards in low light. To some extent, fast lenses can compensate for the difference, but at least for now, this is a relative deficiency. Nevertheless, my xt3 is filled with useful technology. I fully expect future models to have significant improvements.

Jay W's picture

If you own a GFX you didn't buy it for the video, so enough already.on video specs.

Secondly I am sure that a multi national company has enough research and development to build market segments (much like they have done already with the GFX, instamax, and APSC).so I wouldn't worry about the future of Fuji.

Finally I don't think people who make videos like this understand the market for people who want or own a GFX or have not spent enough time using one. There is a huge difference from reviewing a camera for a few weeks to using it every day for work.. Everyone I know who has one swears by it.

g coll's picture

I watch Tony and Chelsea's channel from time to time but the overly narrowly depth of field they use in their studio is really off putting. Particularly when they have example cameras in the foreground which are often out of focus as a result. It also has the effect of making your real background appear to be completely fake.
If either of you are reading this please entertain the idea of extending your depth of field a fair bit. Wide open is not always best.

Stuart C's picture

I think it’s great personally, they spend so much time banging on about the advantages of having f1.4 lenses on full frame, only to demonstrate perfectly how it’s actual use case is pretty limited, and often off putting.

g coll's picture

Haha yes, indeed.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

I don't watch their clickbait.

TIMOTHY HUNOLD's picture

Modular Medium Format platform.
Get away from the 35mm form factor to something for a specific market shaped like the Zcam, Red, Black magic studio, Hassy, Pentax, Mamiya.

Janet Wilson's picture

You and several other in the review/critique industry praise Fuji cameras. And based, in part, on that praise I bought one. I like the camera, despite its hefty price tag. BUT none of you mentions that their app for transferring photos is CRAP. You have to dig deep into the bloggersphere to find the issues and complaints. Why? Why can you not review the support infrastructure when you review the gear? Are you just hawking the latest and greatest to help move product? Please let that not be the case. I am now selling my Fuji, after less than a year, because of this ONE ISSUE. Because these support features are not discussed by reviewers the makers don’t address them or more critically, fix them. Perhaps you could review that. I will lose $400 on selling this equipment. I have only taken 1000 exposures.
Please do better.
- J

Stuart C's picture

You’re selling your camera at a loss because of the app? That’s borderline insanity… what exactly isn’t it doing that causes such an extreme action?

Charles J's picture

Dammit, Janet. Keep the camera and move the files the "old-fashioned" way. Takes the same amount of time as an app.

Stuart C's picture

I might be wrong, but it could be a troll Charles.

A J's picture

All i want from fuji is a fullframe x-pro camera with a screen in the back. Not willing to pay some 2k for an aps-c camera. In general, i find fujis pricing way too aggressive in the era of affordable fullframe cameras which produce better images. You have to be realistic fuji. I use my r6 for my professional work, but would like to have a fuji as a second body for personal purposes. But, fuji needs to bring down the prices by a lot or offer compelling fullframe cameras. Not really interested in their MF. Just my point of view.