Fuji medium format digital camera rumored to be announced on September 16th

Fujifilm GF670

Picture: the already discontinued Fujifilm GF670 medium format rangefinder camera

Rumors about a new Fuji medium format digital camera have been going around for a while, but today I received information from a good source that next week Fuji will officially announce a new medium format digital camera. This is what I know so far:

  • Medium format camera with a 50MP sensor (not sure if it will be mirrorless, but I doubt they will re-introduce the mirror after making fun of it for years)
  • The camera will be introduced with two new lenses, one of them will be a zoom (30-90mm most likely)
  • The official announcement is expected on September 15th or 16th (the date I got for the US is the 16th)

The timing of this camera announcement is really interesting - just 2-3 months after the Hasselblad X1D was introduced. Hasselblad mentioned on several occasions that they did not work together with Fuji on the X1D and all of their XCD lenses are manufactured by Nittoh:

Q. Is this camera designed by or in collaboration with Fuji?
A. We have a fantastic relationship with Fuji, but this product has been completely designed, conceptualised and manufactured here in Sweden and assembled in Japan by Nittoh. Fuji has absolutely nothing to do with it.

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  • Richard Grainger

    I am guardedly enthusiastic about this.

    • I am really curious about this announcement, mainly for the pricing.

      • Spy Black

        It would be a riot if they made a digital MF version of the GF670…

        • harvey

          since there is no current sensor that size, it would end up being smaller.

          • Spy Black

            I meant the overall design, with the bellows and whatnot.

    • Mike

      Ditto. Great move on Fuji’s part though. Dominate APS-C and enter MF. Leave the FF battle to Canikony.

      • harvey

        except they don’t dominate APS but skipping FF makes sense.

      • CHD

        Dominating APS-C??? Fuji has a niche market in what is already a niche market….they are hardly dominating. I agree skipping FF is a brilliant move, explains why they went APS-C to begin with.

        • Mike

          I should clarify. While niche in sales, they have the best APS-C dedicated lenses. 56 1.2 for example. Canon and Nikon and Sony don’t have the same compliment of lenses dedicated to APS-C that Fuji does. If I was a “consumer” looking at the $1000-$1500 camera range, Fuji is a very attractive option.

          • CHD

            Ah, yes but unfortunately Fuji’s great lenses and selection has not translated into great sales. I personally think the Fuji lenses are a heck of a deal for what you pay vs the quality they provide…but still they are just a small player in camera sales.

  • harvey

    come in at half the price as Blad, with a in – body shutter – so that you can adapt other manufacturer’s lenses … I’m in. Always have liked Fuji glass.

    • Joe Rooney

      An in body focal plane shutter would add to the overall cost of the body. That makes it much less likely to come close to your target price. Even without a focal plane shutter, $7000 is more realistic. It will be significantly more with one. And since in MF world, much of the glass out there has a leaf shutter, what would be the point? And, if you’ve always liked Fuji glass, why would you not want to use it?

      • harvey

        a body shutter would be cheaper than having to put shutters in all your lenses and more reliable. And I would be able to adapt my Mamiya 645, Pentax 645/67, my Hasselblad V, maybe Bronica SQ(although there is not really anything there that I would really want), my Kiev lenses to it. Considered the Blad but in its present form, no adaptations.

        • Joe Rooney

          Hasselblad V and all the Bronica lenses are leaf shutter. There are some Pentax 67 leaf shutter lenses, through most are focal plane, and most Mamiya 645, though not all, are focal plane. But using a focal plane shutter exclusively negates one big advantage of medium format over 35 mm, the ability to sync flash at all apertures. And not HSS flash, but full power strobes at all apertures. Without that there really isn’t much point to MF vs the high megapixel 35 mm based systems.

          Adding both focal plane and leaf shutters is possible, but it will cost more than just using leaf shutters. Is that a cost that a manufacturer wants to incur ? That’s a hard answer?

          • harvey

            but you can’t use those leaf stutters when they are adapted to other bodies, so you need a body with a shutter built in. For what I like to shoot – which is not people, I would like to play with my extensive medium format lens collection on a digital body that comes closer to their formats. This lets out the Sony A7 series.

          • Joe Rooney

            Why should a manufacturer, who makes excellent glass and does the R & D to develop lenses for the system, and expects to make a profit from selling lenses, essentially design their camera so people can use other manufacturers lenses? I could see designing an adaptor for Hasselblad V lenses, since they are so common, and the adaptor could be designed to trigger the shutter, but you can’t expect Fuji to do that for every old manufacturer, and a focal plane shutter adds to the cost of the camera body.

          • harvey

            but leaf shutters add costs to the lenses – multiplied by every lens. While Sony makes very, very good lenses, their bodies also have the added benefit of being able to have many manufacturer’s lenses adopted to it as does the Canon EOS bodies. Indeed, for many years, the ultra wide zoom of choice for many shooters was an adapted Nikon 14-24. While no manufacturer deliberately designs a body just for other manufacturer’s lenses, some have taken a pro-active position on that and have made adapters. When Leica brought out the S, they also announced that they were going to make adapters for V, Pentax 67 and Mamiya 645 lenses. This meant they were able to tap into owners of those lenses as potential customers. Same goes here for Fuji. They can’t make a large enough lens selection fast enough. Even Blad, upon the announcement of their mirrorless, stand they would be making an adapter for H lenses – taking advantage of their existing customer base.

          • Joe Rooney

            Leica did what they did because they chose to offer both leaf and focal plane lenses in their own lens lineup. As a result, they could easily make adapters for three major Medium format players. But Leica was making a camera with a clearly premium, top end price point. So offering both focal plane and leaf shutters makes sense.

            I may be wrong, but I don’t see Fuji as trying to compete with the top end medium format customer that Phase One and the Hasselblad H6D attract. They are after trying to offer a product that expands the MF customer base. They need to do a couple things to do that: keep the price down and offer some kind of differentiation from the high resolution 35 mm based cameras.

            That differentiation is the leaf shutter and the ability to sync at any speed. Syncing at 1/1000 s or 1/1600 s is a major plus for anyone shooting flash in midday sun. That justifies the price jump to MF. Without that feature, what’s the point in moving up from 35 mm? If Fuji can offer the focal plane shutter without significantly increasing the price, size and weight, fine, but it’s an added cost that doesn’t differentiate the camera from the likes of the Canon 5dsr, the Sony a7r II and the Nikon D810.

          • harvey

            the why do people buy the Pentax 645Z? Just an oversized dslr.

          • SJB

            Fuji has made leaf shutter lenses for their GX 680, a camera I still use extensively. Fuji has far more lens expertise than most people on camera forums seem to realize. I think they will be able to manufacture whatever they want in terms of lenses. Whether there will be a market for it or not is separate question. Fuji marches to the beat of their own drum, thank goodness. The world has enough Cannikon/Sony/Olympus/Pentax’s. For us odd balls who don’t care what cameras other people are using they are a breathe of fresh air. They still make film. They are the photography company for people with a different sensibility who don’t want to spend the money it requires to buy into digital Leica. Who else would release a rangefinder style digital camera with a fixed 35mm equivalent lens? You gotta love them for their quirkiness. I am always amazed on these camera forums how people seem to need to argue their camera is better than your camera. Yes, that’s what the world needs, everyone to be exactly the same.

          • Joe Rooney

            Leica is a very high price point camera, so they can offer both a focal plane shutter and leaf shutter option in the camera. But that is an added cost. Hasselblad has an existing range of lenses, and they anticipate that many existing customers will buy the X1D as a second body. So that makes sense.

            Fuji is in a different position. I perceive them as trying to expand the existing user base of MF. To do that, they need to offer existing 35 mm users a reason to move up. And that means leaf shutters. The ability to sync flash at 1/2000 s as the x1D can is HUGE. Even 1/1000 s is 2 stops better than any 35 mm based system. And that’s syncing at full power strobes, not some weak ass HSS. For anyone that uses strobes, the extra cost of the leaf shutter lenses is worth it.

            If Fuji can make the camera with both a focal plane and a leaf shutter without significantly affecting the size, weight and cost of the camera, fine. But it’s added complexity that really doesn’t need to be there.

  • Zos Xavius

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    If this happens, I would be really surprised if this were much cheaper than the Hasselblad frankly. Can they match the 645z price? Its $7000 right now. Look at the pricing of the Xpro2. That’s a fairly expensive crop sensor camera. Their lenses, while nice, are somewhat expensive too for what they are really with no hope of ever covering a FF circle. Their 100-400 is $1700. The slowish, kit lens like 50-200 is $500. If this rumor is true I bet they use xtrans which will likely turn a lot of people off, myself included.

    • Duncan Dimanche

      yeah same thoughts here. there is no way that this camera will be be cheaper than the pentax version.

      I really whish that they could sell it at the 4000$-5000s mark but apparently the sensor itself cost that price.

      it would be awesome if they could just stack 4 cropped sensors next to each other and stitch the 4 images together lol

      • Zos Xavius

        that has been done in the past actually but there are some obvious downsides to that. edit: I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure I read about at least one camera that had two sensors in parallel.

      • But introducing it with a 30-90mm zoom doesn’t exactly scream “premium” either. So what are we thinking… less than the Hasselblad, more than the 645z? Is there a space in there… $7995 perhaps?

        Fuji does have experience with Focus Highlight Peaking and that whole Digital Split Image thing, but other than software, we’ve pretty much seen what the sensor can do.

        If anything, I’m hoping it will drive the price of the 645z down another $500.

        • Duncan Dimanche

          yeah anything less than the Pentax/Hass should not be called medium format imo.

  • David V. Kutaliya

    Again Sony 33×44 sensor…
    X1D -II…
    Nothing innovative…
    Too boring …

  • Ron Hendriks

    How smart would it be if they share the mount with Hasselblad. Building on a system like m4/3th. Probably not.

    • El Aura

      I just remembered Hasselblad’s trick to get 1/2000 s out of a leaf shutter which was to synchronise a 1/1000 s leaf shutter exposure with an electronic first curtain that was triggered after half the leaf shutter open time has passed. Getting that specification into an open mount protocol might not be as easy (though on the HD6, there is a fallback mode for older lenses that could also work on the X1D mount).

  • MB

    If it will be some kind of reincarnation of Mamiya 6 it could be very interesting camera …

  • Bo Dez

    This could be so amazing. Very exciting! I hope the second lens is a 70mm f2 or faster.

    • Joe Rooney

      In the entire medium format world, there are only one or two lenses faster than f2, and very few faster than f2.8. Depth of field is shallower by almost 1 stop on the 44×33 sensor, so the cost and practicality of anything faster than f2.8 makes it an unlikely candidate, especially as part of the initial set of lenses.

      • Eric Calabros

        Have to be 54 for 1 stop difference

      • Bo Dez

        Mamiya 80mm f1.9, Contax 80mm f2, Leica 100mm f2 S, Blad 110mm f2, all the Leica Summarit-S 2.5 range, HC 100mm 2.2, there are a lot of 2.8 lenses in every brand. These are all my favourite rendering lenses, they are all really quite compact and practical, and on the smaller 44×33 medium format sensor, f2 is only f1.6 equivilant so nothing extraordinary in terms of depth of field

        • Brennan McKissick

          They are also extraordinarily expensive.

          • Bo Dez

            relatively, perhaps. But not really.

          • Brennan McKissick

            They are priced out of 95% of photographers realm of feasibility. They are still expensive no matter how you slice it.

          • CHD

            Medium format has never been about selling to the masses. Sure it’s expensive but that’s the cost of playing with professional gear.

          • Brennan McKissick

            I know, I’m speaking from the POV of Fuji’s market.

        • Joe Rooney

          Like I said, one or two faster than f2, a handful faster than f2.8. And you exaggerate how many f2.8 lenses are really out there. Hasselblad has two in their current lens lineup, and Pentax has three. Schneider/Mamiya has no more than three. Only Leica, whose sensor is slightly smaller than the Sony 44×33, has produced a lineup of lenses with a number of offerings faster than f2.8. And even they don’t produce more than a couple at f2. Not to mention that those fast Leica lenses are extremely expensive even for medium format. Severalhttps://disqus.com/by/macsinclair/ run into the mid $7000 range. Even their cheaper lenses are over $3000. That’s expensive, in absolute or relative terms. Now ask yourself, in a system that is positioned price wise as an entry level MF system, do you really think Fuji will produce a lens that will get into the $3.5K to $5K range, or will they produce something like Hasselblad did, which stil give you depth of field characteristics better than f2.8 on a full frame camera?

          • Bo Dez

            Rubbish. You’re living in the past and assuming you know or understand a camera that is a **rumour**. There are plenty of Medium Format shooters that want and need an f2 lens and Fuji, other than Leica, is most likely the brand to do it. Given that Fuji like to steal Leica’s thunder (x100, X-Pro etc) they are even more than likely to drop a bomb shell of an affordable fast medium format lens. The Mamiya f1.9 was affordable, relative to other brands, very much so. It was cheaper than the competitions 2.8 and 4 lenses. The Contax f2 was the only standard lens for the system, it was infact the kit lens. If someone is going to do it, it’s going to be Fuji.

  • Bo Dez

    It makes sense to me. Hasselblad jumped the gun with the X1D, quite possibly, because they knew Fuji were working on their own system. They probably knew because Fuji would have declined to make the the X1D lenses because they had more potential with their own system. The Fuji Medium Format cameras were of an exceptionally high standard.

    • That is a possible scenario.

    • saywhatuwill

      But look at all the hype and publicity Hasselblad received when they announced the X1D. I hadn’t seen that much positive praise for Hasselblad in a long, long time.

  • Les

    This will probably sell just as well as Fuji’s previous medium format cameras.

    It won’t be cheap, and it won’t be small. Let’s hope the lenses are compelling.

  • If it looks and operates like a GF670, and is properly priced, my savings account is in big trouble.

  • Fujimoto

    So, the 16th and not the 19th?

    • Yes, that’s the info I got.

      • Fujimoto

        Cool…I can hardly wait to see this beast.

      • ALLINALLDORY

        I’m glued on my computer. big day today!

  • Brennan McKissick

    Like I said in the past, *if* this happens it still won’t be game changingly cheap by any means. I have no doubt that it’ll be really cool and and exciting and I’ll be pumped to use one a bit but I still won’t be able to afford it.

  • Brennan McKissick

    Like I said in the past, *if* this happens it still won’t be game changingly cheap by any means. I have no doubt that it’ll be really cool and and exciting and I’ll be pumped to use one a bit but I still won’t be able to afford it.

  • sperdynamite

    Isn’t Friday kind of a newsdump day? Wouldn’t Monday make more sense?

  • Originaru

    I thought sony would launch it first as an rx, fuji is not going to do a test shot with a fixed lens mf.
    Quite a brave act, lets see how it will do.

  • Duncan Dimanche

    so it’s the 16th… where is the announcement ?!!! 🙁

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