2016 will mark the fourth year that the Fujifilm X Pro 1 will be current in the company’s X series lineup of cameras; and according to Photo Rumors, Photography Bay is saying that at CES 2016, we’re going to see the brand new X Pro 1 successor: which is said to be called the Fujifilm X Pro 2. It’s bound to have upgrades to the sensor, autofocus algorithms, weather sealing, more Fujifilm film renderings (the Instant film renderings of 3000B and 100C would be nice) and we may totally see Fujifilm do away with the optical viewfinder unless they take the route that they did with the Fujifilm X100T.
But in some ways, none of this really makes any sense.
The year 2016 is in many ways, a very strategic one for camera and lens manufacturers. Back in 2011, lots of camera manufacturers were hurting due to what happened to their factories as a result of earthquakes and tsunamis. The next year, we saw a recovery with lots of new products being released. It’s been four years since then and considering the shrinking sales of cameras, manufacturers are going to start pulling out all the stops and making even bigger strides on top of marketing the idea of their systems vs the idea of a camera.
So how does this apply to Fujifilm? Considering how cameras in general have been received by the non-photo speciality press over the past couple of years (who also have the larger traffic numbers than the photo speciality press) they won’t be making such a big splash necessarily against the smart washing machines from Samsung that not only integrate with your home, but also pick up your kids from school.
Trust me, they’re coming.
Then the question is: if not CES 2016, then when? Well, there are lots of opportunities that are far more tailored to the photo industry:
- CP+ 2016: this show has become very popular with manufacturers since it takes place in Japan.
- WPPI 2016: Fujifilm products are growing in popularity with the wedding crowd and they’ve got a solid lineup of portrait lenses. Fujifilm is bound to stick to its retro good looks and that will be a winner for so many photographers wanting to play with it. That and WPPI is basically like Spring Break for the Photo Industry where everyone parties way too hard.
- PhotoKina 2016: this show happens every two years, and it’s the largest in the Photo Industry. Despite the fact that the show has shrunk, it’s also a key time for delivering new products because it’s not too far ahead of holiday season.
- Photo Plus East 2016: This is the latest that Fujifilm may announce the camera. We shouldn’t expect PPE to be too large next year because of Photokina. But for much of the American press, it may be the first time that we get to see lots of the products.
Then again, the Fujifilm X Pro 1 was introduced at CES years ago much to the pleasure of drooling tech journalists. But the camera space was also a significantly different place back then.
The X Pro 1 is still a camera I use often; and if I were just a photographer (not a camera tester and editor of one of the world’s largest photo blogs) I’d still stick with it. But I’ll need to test new lenses and accessories on the successor, so I’ll probably get the successor.