Opinion: I Dream of a True Fujifilm Workhorse Camera; And We’re Close

Fujifilm is incredibly close to a camera working professionals of all types can use

When I use the term “true Fujifilm workhorse camera” please note that when it comes to still images Fujifilm is there. With the Fujifilm GFX 50s, X Pro 2, and the X-T2 photographers can shoot to their heart’s content and get great images no matter what. In the case of the Fujifilm GFX 50S though, I really wish programs like Capture One would support the RAW files; but that isn’t happening unfortunately. However, photographers are still able to create and shoot great images; plus they can do it in inclement weather conditions and still have their camera work perfectly fine. Don’t believe me? I’ve done it!

Fujifilm’s X-T2 and Fujifilm’s X Pro 2 are both highly capable cameras for journalists who need to go into the rain or snow and shoot. That’s not a problem at all. Instead, what I’m talking about is video.

I can hear photographers saying, “You don’t buy a Fujifilm camera for the video. You buy it for the amazing stills.” I counter that question with, “Why can’t I do both?” Technically, it’s possible with the Fujifilm X-T2 grip as you get both standard headphone jacks and microphone jacks. It’s totally possible with the Fujifilm GFX 50s because both of those jacks are built in. Indeed, if a reporter has a medium format video workhorse that can shoot video that looks like Fujifilm Acros, they would desperately needs image stabilization of some sort. Of course, shooting on a tripod is easy if rolling shutter is somehow corrected.

But for years, I felt Fujifilm, while I was smitten with it, wasn’t enough for me personally as a professional blogger although I’ve been really wanting them to be. Let me explain:

  • We need to shoot video in a way that is current for most viewers
  • We need a big lens selection both first party and third party
  • We need to shoot stills and have TTL capabilities with flashes during certain periods and times
  • We need good autofocus
  • We often need weather sealed cameras
  • We need good battery life
  • We need connectivity to WiFi for quick reporting
  • Image Stablization
  • Good high ISO output
  • Fantastic color output
  • Decent dynamic range
  • Ergonomics that make us want to sing
  • We need something small and lightweight

Fujifilm has most of that, but at a price that is a bit too high. Instead, this year, I’m making my first camera upgrade in years to a Sony a7r III. Why?

It shoots 4K 24p video and has all the ports I need plus external power capabilities

  • Loads of lenses both first party and third
  • Have you heard of Profoto? Or Godox?
  • Fantastic AF
  • Their weather sealing isn’t Fujifilm’s but it’s decent
  • Battery life is improved, but still isn’t Fujifilm’s
  • Their WiFi connectivity is arguably the best out there
  • Image stabilized sensors and lenses. Why doesn’t Fujifilm have more IS lenses at least?
  • Good high ISO photos
  • Good enough color that I can tweak on my own
  • Great dynamic range
  • Ergonomics that are good enough but don’t capture my heart like Fujifilm’s.
  • It’s small enough and lightweight enough

My hope is for a camera that many of you have also been asking for for a while: a medium format X Pro 2-like body that reminds me of the Mamiya 6. I own a Mamiya 6 and it is by far my favorite medium format camera. Fujifilm instead opted for something like the X-T2 with an SLR form factor. But that isn’t compact enough for me; and it probably isn’t for many of you either.

One day though, we’re going to get it.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.