Sony, beyond their own camera production, is a key piece to the puzzle for many of the top camera brands in the world. It has been reported recently that Sony has stopped production of their 16MP APS-C imaging sensors, moving on to more in-demand resolution sensors. This, according to the report, has caught some camera makers by surprise and could affect the availability of products using those sensors going forward.
One of the affected camera makers is Fujifilm, who use the 16MP Sony Sensor as the base for their X-Trans sensor on their last generation X-Series cameras. According to the report on FujiRumors, the halt in 16MP production caught Fujifilm by surprise, leading to some issues with products and availability.
One such camera is the Fujifilm X70, a camera we gave our Editors Choice Award barely 10 months ago. According to these recent reports, the X70 has been discontinued due to Fujifilm prioritizing their X-Series bodies (like the X-T10 and X-T1) for their remaining stock of 16MP X-Trans II sensors.
None of this information is official, either the Sony sensor production nor the Fujifilm reaction, so this could be another case of certain sites being factually incorrect. But still, we thought this was one of those things that deserved a little discussion because this is a big deal for Fujifilm if true. The X70 is not even a year old yet, and as referenced in our review as well as others across the web, the camera is well liked and recommended: definitely not something that would be discontinued so soon after being launched.
That said, Fujifilm’s X-Trans III Sensor, featured in the X-Pro2 and X-T2, has the attention of the photographic community now, so it is about time for next generation mid-range bodies like an X-T20 or X-E3 to be announced. Maybe we will see an X71 or X70 II in the next year as well with the updated tech, who knows.
This will be one of those reports that we eagerly await to see how it pans out. This is the dangerous game that many camera companies are making when they decide to use Sony sensors: at any point the rug could be pulled out. In all though, I don’t think many will miss the X-Trans II sensor that much. It was a great sensor, but when up against the latest crop of APS-C sensors it has begun to really show its age. While still being very capable of taking a good picture, it has been surpassed by the market in many respects.
So maybe it was just time to say goodbye anyway.