Why didn't Fuji ever make a full frame camera?

Discussion in 'Photography and Cameras' started by rhythmdevils, Apr 29, 2022.

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Nikon has always been late to the party. While Canon was churning out 12mp FF sensor digital cameras they were making DX crop pro digital cameras that sucked. Then they caught up, released the D3, and it changed completely changed the digital camera world and was the best camera on the market by far. They have always played it safe, and then when they do invest in something they tend to do it right. I'm confident they will start to release very very good mirrorless cameras that may wind up being the best on the market.

    And I'm glad to see them making their own sensor again instead of using Sony sensors.

    I wish they would release a df2 with the D6 sensor in a compact mirrorless body with IBIS. As small as the A7c. I would fuckinng love that. But it probably won't happen.
     
  2. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Canon is also doctrinally late to the party, by their own admission.

    Nikon can still make a run at it, but it's going to be a photo finish if their camera business survives. This isn't 2011 where you can be late as long as you're revolutionary because everyone is willing to dump last year's model for the new hotness. We're in diminishing returns where people go, eh, it's better sure but not worth the upgrade yet. If Nikon is still selling cameras in 5 years and they are amazeballs they'll have a chance.
     
  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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  4. ald0s

    ald0s Facebook Friend

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    So much misinformation in that article and this thread.

    I work full-time in photography, shooting fashion and advertising. I was a Digital Operator (read - on set nerd doing the color/data/client ass-kissing/camera troubleshooting) for a decade before that.

    Fuji didn't go full frame because it's incredibly competitive. Medium format was a really, really smart move. They won't catch the big 3 in focus, pro support or ecosystem anytime soon. I know a few DT's that keep a GFX kit for rental when the photographer needs more megapixels (they don't actually need more, but the client wants it) and they rent well. I also like Fuji GFX color but that's subjective. Can't stand the APS-C files though.

    Every pro shoots Canon or Nikon, I think I've seen Sony once. That's not a diss on them and they're doing really well market wise, it's just how it is. I used to see a bit of Phase and Hasselblad but that's gone. I actually see the GFX a bit. Overall - probably 70% Canon.

    The Z9 is a great tool. Not as sexy as an optical finder but it does everything well and is tough as nails. I have one on order as I don't like Canons color science. I know @purr1n had a shitty time with Nikon but I've probably handled 200 beaten up D850s and they are bulletproof. Sometimes people just roll snake eyes.

    These days all the sensors are great and honestly unless you're printing big or still in the "everything wide open" stage you won't see a difference between crop / FF / MF. I just shot a whole press tour for a band, blown up to giant posters on a little Fuji X100V. The bands label actually published the rough jpegs I sent because they were in a rush, didn't even ask for the raws.

    This is based on NYC / London / Sydney. YMMV.
     
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    Last edited: May 8, 2022
  5. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    If it's an opinion expressed on Petapixel or by Tony Northrup I won't even read it.
     
  6. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I'm not going to read it again to check, but I think someone expressed exactly that early in the thread.
     
  7. Bobcat

    Bobcat Friend

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    They're producing 3,500 per month, I understand.

    Rob
     
  8. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Ah, I stand corrected then.

    At any rate, the Z9 looks like it may have competition from the Sony A1. I haven't personally used it and while I have fallen out with him personally, it's the only time I've ever heard Lloyd Chambers say anything Sony is "a joy and brilliantly responsive in everything it does." So, that's indicative something may have been done right, finally. For me, I'd still rather the Nikon.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    So did I. Should we have a pissing match? Post our resumes? List all the meaningless photography awards we've won?

    You seem to be missing the whole point. I, nor is the article, simply talking about Fuji going full frame. The idea is specifically about going full frame mirrorless. The Nikon D6 was released in May of 2020. The Z9 was released in 2022.

    The GFX system was released in 2017. We can be sure there was at least 3 years of development for that system if not more. So they started working on a medium format mirrorless system in 2014 or 2015.

    in Tom Hogan's review of the Z9 he has lots of little complaints that seem inconsequential to me, but he came to the conclusion that during the development of the D6, Nikon realized they needed to release a pro mirrorless FF camera ASAP to keep up with the market, and that's where it was going, not more pro DSLR's. And they sort of rushed both the D6 and Z9 to the market, possibly cutting short on the D6 development to move engineers over to the Z9. That means Nikon didn't start development of hhe Z9 until 2019 or 2018 at the earliest.

    Fuji developed a whole line of excellent glass for it's APS-C cameras, and great auto focus AFAIK. They could have done the same for a FF mirrorless system.

    So the point is, that if they had chosen to make a FF mirrorless camera in 2014 instead of medium format, they would have been way ahead of Nikon and Canon and had a lot of time to build up an arsenal of glass for the system, and perfect it and have a pro body out way before Canon or Nikon. FF is always going to be a bigger market segment because there are too many things medium format simply cannot do.

    It makes sense to not try to compete with Nikon and Canon in the DSLR FF market, but they could have been way ahead and captured a big segment of the market for FF mirrorless, especially if it was just them and Sony, they would have crushed Sony.

    Now we'd have all these excellent Fuji FF mirrorless cameras on the market with tons of excellent glass, and Nikon and Canon trying to catch up to them.

    the window is now closed of course.

    But Fuji must have done their research. I don't know, it just seems like they went for another niche market when they could have gotten in early on the biggest camera market and been possibly the biggest player. Everyone has to change glass for mirrorless anyways. And pros don't have millions of lenses, they don't give a shit, they use a few really good ones. It's the prosumers who collect lenses for reasons I don't understand. I use one prime lens for my personal work and 3 or 4 for professional work.
     
  10. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    You're making an assumption that because they are Fuji they would have simply won, because if Fuji does it, clearly they will win. There are reasons, as have been previously discussed, which would lead one to believe this is not what would have probably happened.

    Chief reasons being:

    1) Fuji has nice cameras but their menus are nearly as bad as Sony.

    2) Fuji makes good bodies but Nikon and Canon are equally good or often better.

    3) Fuji makes good lenses but so do Canon and Nikon, and ultimately, Sony ain't bad either (quantity has a quality)

    4) You can invade Ukraine but that doesn't mean you can hold it. Fuji entrance into FF market with a highly competitive product would have spurred the other players to go on the offensive. Sony was on the war path, 10x the size of Fuji, and they could have outspent them and eaten market share probably enough to dash Fuji FF margins.

    5) Brand loyalty. Fuji entering the market with low competition wouldn't have meant they would have been adopted. A lot of people ignored mirrorless and stayed DSLR for years simply because Canon didn't make any good FF mirrorless cameras.

    Bottom line: Fuji makes a good camera but they do not have the power to start a land war in Europe.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  11. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    eh, I don't agree I think it would have been a huge win but we can just disagree then :)
     
  12. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Ask Panasonic how they're doing. Despite producing really strong products in the Lumix line, they are not from what I read, doing well. And they were ahead of Sony with the S1R for a moment in the resolution wars a few years ago. Sadly, not-good-enough AF and insufficient lens ecosystem. Price wasn't low either.
     
  13. ald0s

    ald0s Facebook Friend

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    Delated my semi-rant. It was boring.

    Essentially - Fuji AF, ergonomics and support isn't up to snuff for professional work compared to the others. Not even on the same planet. If we took all their R+D and design language from the X series and GFX series and put it in a FF body, this would still be true. Nikon and Canon have 100 years on them, and most of that has gone into the current crop of mirrorless cameras. They aren't starting from scratch.

    I love my X100V, and I'm sure some pro's shoot Fuji, but I guarantee their life would be easier if they switched - even if it was more boring.

    Annie Leibovitz shoots GFX these days of course, so it's not unheard of.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Yup. I'm sure they were haunted by their experience with full sized DSLRs (still now FF), the FinePix S2 and S3. No one remembers them, because no one bought one.

    The other factor is that people don't want to be lugging around big cameras, unless you wanted to look like an Asian tourist. To even be viable, Fuji had to make their choices. They took a chance with the X100, interchangeable lens rangefinders, with a small selection of primes, and things really took off from there. Fuji could have gone FF, but Fuji didn't have the deep pockets like Sony to do FF and stuff it into a small body back then.

    I'm not a pro, so I have no desire for a big bulky body, or the bigger lenses that go with them. The best camera is the one that you can bring with you without looking like a dork or being encumbered. That often means a phone. The cameras that I actually took with me to various places were the Sony A6000 and Fuji X100. Again - this from a normal person point of view. This is the problem I'm having with the Canon R6 right now - I don't take it anywhere.

    BTW, Canon is still #1 in digital camera market share near 50%, followed by Sony, Nikon, and then Fuji - each successively having about half of the prior manufacturer's market share. Canon is a HUGE brand that makes a lot of random stuff, lots of P&S cameras, and is able to put it into store shelves (that is buy shelf space). Fuji is the enthusiast brand for people willing to put up with its idiosyncrasies and lagging tech (namely AF which started off as total shit to now as merely decent). Nikon has been slowly dying. I never see any Nikon at sporting events or airshows - it's always the white lenses of Canon or maybe Sony - my guess is that Nikon is more prevalent in fashion or weddings. In the consumer normal person your aunt or uncle space, no one I know has Nikon anymore. Sony's made huge inroads because of small FF bodies at previously unheard of prices, amazeballs hi-tech AF (without gimping lower line models), and their expansion of their lens lineup.

    Fuji's most popular cameras right now are probably their "polaroids". They are a lot of fun.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
  15. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Little OT but just out of curiosity, for someone that's not that much into photo, when i was looking at buying a small camera a few years ago, seemed like everyone was pointing me to the Panasonic Lumix lineup. What happened since then? They didn't have much success?
     
  16. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Talk to anyone who's into micro-4/3rds (or watch their youtube channels) and you'll find lots of devoted, errrm, devotees.

    (I have no experience: I've watched some of those videos because of being more interested in the photography content than the gear content)

    So far, the biggest thing to take away from this thread is that Fuji should not start a land war in Europe. :p

    |\/|
     
  17. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Coming back from NAB in Vegas last month, which was scaled down by 50% from previous peak years:

    Canon and Sony - large booths roughly identical to pre-Covid times. Still photo, pro broadcast, and cinema products well represented.

    Fuji - Much smaller booth than in previous years and only showed Pro Broadcast equipment. No still equipment I could see, including the GFX and APS-C line. In previous years they had substantial floor space dedicated to GFX and Still.

    Nikon - They did not have a booth for still photo products, with exception of MRMC, an acquisition that makes motion control stuff.
     
  18. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    I shoot M43, both Olympus and Panasonic, and I like for what it is, being well aware of the limitations of the system.

    Panasonic in past few years gave up on their small affordable models, focusing so much on their attempt at full frame. In M43 it specialized even more into cameras and lenses focused on video production, so they all are big and expensive.

    If you want small digital camera with interchangeable lenses, Panasonic bodies are smallest and cheapest you can get, even if they might be few years old. And they have quite a few lenses to go with it. If you are willing to spend a bit more and choose lenses carefully, I would maybe recommend going with Fujifilm instead. Something like XE-4 with 27mm lens is nice small package, that gives you access to bigger lenses when needed.

    It's interesting how the markets sometimes differ and sometimes stay the same around the World.

    On Chinese market, Sony is now #1, both at pros and rich amateurs. But Canon is quickly catching up in Pro market, saw quite a few friends switched to R5 recently. Canon still sells a lot of their lower end systems, but that's all dying and I would never recommend it to anybody.

    Fujifilm APS-C is favourite of many street or travel photographers (it takes up more than 50% of our photography club), but don't really see it much at Pros, apart from few "high fashion" shooting medium format.

    Nikon is strange, as so many Pros still keeps shooting it, but that's all DSLR. Mirrorless Nikon is quite rare, really saw it only with rich amateurs.

    Lots of video folks still runs with Panasonic GH5, but lately more of them started showing up in used markets, so they might be slowly switching to something else.

    Olympus is non-existent, apart from me and few old bird shooters :D
     
  19. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I could probably stomach a switch to Canon if I had to, though I think Nikon will release some great cameras in the near future and catch up. Everyone says the Z8 will be a super high megapixel camera like the D850 but I think it will be a pro camera that is sort of the mirrorless version of the D6. 20-ish maybe 25 megapixels, super fast, really good high iso.

    then the next Z7 or Z6 can be the next D850 super high resolution with the smaller body.

    Either way, it would be good for Nikon to get on it making another pro body mirrorless camera and not just leave it with one "do everything" pro camera. I don't need that many megapixels, I'd rather have better high iso performance. And I'm sure photojournalists and sports photographers feel the same way (along with speed, which I don't care about but some do)

    If I had to switch to Sony I'd have a thumb up my as the whole time trying to not crap myself.
     
  20. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    If I were a consultant for Nikon, this would be my (debatable) advice:

    Evoke your rugged past
    When I think of Nikon, I think of Pulitzer prize winning photojournalists during the cold war, dodging bullets in destroyed cities, wiping the dirt off their all metal cameras so they can get the magic shot. So, make a camera system that isn't just competitive on features and responsive, but is tough as these old systems were. Show the world that Nikon doesn't just have brains but guts too. Differentiate by pointing out Sony is just a soulless robot and Canon glossy gadgets for millennial sheep. Say Nikon is legit: real gear for real grinders who have the courage to go anywhere and tell any story without fear.

    Put gold rings on all S series lenses in the Z lineup.
    The optics are often good but the industrial design doesn't arouse my Gear Acquisition Syndrome. The entire lineup (except one or two) look like gray value lenses anyone might make. You can see a white Canon from a mile away, so do at least one thing to tell me it's a Nikon. Nuclear option: full redesign of all the Z lens bodies.

    Stop shooting par on the lens roadmap
    Canon's RF lens lineup is a menagerie of optical marvels. The 28-70 f2 RF is the fastest zoom ever made in that range. The RF 70-200's collapse to the size of a large mug. There's a weird and wild dual fisheye lens. The list goes on. Nikon has one Z lens halo product- the 58mm f0.95, and they flubbed that because it's manual focus only. Leverage the short flange distances inherent to mirrorless and do something unexpected that makes people go holy shit. The Nikon of the past had all sorts of wild lenses.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022

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