A WISH LIST FOR FUJIFILM
From a Sports Photographer
a6300 -> a7ii -> 7D Mark II -> X-T3 -> Z6 -> a9 -> X-T3
From 2015 to now, at the end of 2020, I have changed cameras 6 times and used 6 different ones to shoot sports. Each time I made a change, it was because that was the most reasonable way to move to the next "level" of camera gear as money allowed. It has been a tedious journey, trading gear up to the next best thing, paying the difference to upgrade over 5 years time. While it has been frustrating at times dealing with a tight budget, it has also given me a great deal of long term experience with different brands and feature sets that these cameras offer. The hardware and features that I am wishing for on this list are not unheard of nor difficult asks to make, but rather things that I've already used and found to be effective to my workflow as a sports photographer.
I grew to love the X-T3 the first time around, and was happy to be able to go back to it here in December of 2020. There are a number of sports and wildlife photographers who have been using high-end APS-C cameras like the 7D Mark II and D500 who would like to make the switch to mirrorless, but are waiting on someone to make a camera with the things mentioned here. Fuji should run with this; they should recognize they have an opportunity and seize it.
THE NEXT CAMERA
A summary of features I believe are needed in list form:
- Large grip, weather sealed body with vertical grip (either add-on or built-in)
- New larger batteries from X-T4 (or better)
- Improved high ISO performance
- 15fps mechanical shutter
- CFX slots (even 1 CFX and 1 UHS-II would be an improvement)
- Deeper buffer, at least 8-10 seconds worth of continuous 15fps cRAW+JPG shooting
- More processing power, perhaps dual processors for improved AF
- Full time FTP support, both for all-shots-as-taken and on-demand during playback
- A dedicated 'Protect' button
A True, Rugged Sports & Wildlife Body
7D Mark II and D500 users are waiting for someone to make a camera that can replace these. It needs to be durable with a large grip and long battery life as well as weather sealed, with a high frame rate (15fps mechanical would be nice) with a deep buffer.
High ISO Performance
We don't want more resolution. We do not want more resolution. I cannot say that enough. We do not need or want more resolution. Personally, I would love to see an X-Trans V sensor with about 20 MP and greatly improved high ISO performance, at least a stop better than the current X-Trans IV.
A Buffer to Compliment Framerate
Fuji, why did you increase the framerate from 11 to 15 fps on the X-T4 but not increase the already small buffer?
As it stands on my X-T3's, I can shoot compressed RAW at 11fps for about 3 seconds. This is high on the list of reasons I chose specifically not to buy an X-T4. The next camera should be able to shoot compressed RAW at the maximum framerate for at least 6 [ideally 10] or more seconds.
Do not make us stop using our cameras and spend 5 minutes trying to connect to a phone to transfer photos. Sony's implementation of FTP should be the standard, with two options:
- Transfer all images as they are taken
- Transfer images on-demand with a single button press in playback. No more of this "Image Ordering" or remote app nonsense.
If Canon can do it for full frame, Fuji can do it for APS-C. Even Sigma made their 18-35mm and 50-100mm a constant f/1.8. If Fuji made a 50-140(ish) f/2, I'd buy it on day one.
This is one that I wouldn't buy, but I know many wildlife/bird photographers have been asking Fuji for years now to make super telephoto options other than the 100-400mm and the 200mm. Namely the "almost" fast primes: 300mm f/4 is the most common request I've seen, along with a 200mm f/2.8.
The 200mm f/2 showed the world that Fuji can go toe-to-toe with any manufacturer and blow them out of the water with image quality and speed. I love the 200mm f/2, it's the reason I was able to come back to Fuji at all... my advice, get the person who oversaw that lens' development and give them more opportunities to make more lenses to that standard. In fact, just put them in charge of all lens development. The 50mm f/1 is too slow for a lens released in 2020. I had hoped very much for a 56mm f/1.2 Mark II that had linear motors with lightning quick AF speed, but was instead disappointed with a marginal improvement over the current 56.
THE OTHER STUFF
Fuji, please... any time I've had to contact customer support, I have been connected to extremely rude and unknowledgeable people who do not care to help me. Everyone knows your repair prices are way too high. This must improve, not just for guys like me, but for all types of photographers.
The Dreaded Phone App
The Fujifilm Camera Remote app is not just the least functional thing Fuji makes, but the least functional camera app of any manufacturer... and it's not even close. Either start over and do it right or open your SDK/APIs and let someone else do it... or both. As a software developer myself and being far from naive on how these things work, this is really, really bad and must improve.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL...
Keep being Fuji
I am not a Fuji shooter against my will, I am a Fuji shooter because they are enjoyable to use and produce results I am happy with (most of the time). Things can always improve, and they should. I believe these things are a good place to start.