To Compete with Full Frame, Fujifilm Will Need to Get Retro

Fujifilm needs to make their medium format cameras even smaller.

We can agree that Fujifilm is doing a great job with medium format. Their cameras are pretty compact. They also boast fantastic features, performance, and image quality. Personally, they’re still not small enough. Sure, we can go with the X series. Their X series cameras are fantastic. But the company has hinted that the GF format is their future. And if they’re going to commit, they need to go smaller. When I was reviewing the Hasselblad 907x 50C, I kept wondering why Fujifilm couldn’t make something that brilliant. But, the company never made small medium format film SLR cameras. They did, however, do something arguably better.

If you’ve ever played with vintage cameras, then you’ll remember lots of what Fujifilm did. They had cameras with bellows. Given what’s possible with mirrorless cameras, bellows wouldn’t really make logical sense, but it would surely be a way to keep things compact. 

Instead, there’s no reason why Fujifilm couldn’t invoke some of their other options and historical pieces. 

I’m talking about a medium format point and shoot camera. Give it a small fixed lens. Make the entire thing smaller than the Fujifilm GFX 50R series. Ideally, it will be around the size of a Leica M series camera. 

Just think about it. You don’t need to be a professional or hobbyist photographer. If you’re reading this site, then you’re a passionate photographer. You care immensely about the act of photography and picture taking, but you want something compact and easy to use. Think about how attractive a medium format point and shoot would be. And now think about how cool it would be to have a collapsing lens with the camera!

My idea for something like this comes from the venerable Mamiya 6 camera. The 6×6 format is larger than a GF-based sensor. That sensor isn’t even 645 sized. Now imagine a medium format, collapsible f2.8 lens of some sort. When you’re ready to pack the camera up, just collapse the lens and shove it in your bag. Or keep it slung around you! And when you want to shoot, just extend the lens. 

HOW. FREAKING. COOL WOULD THIS BE?!

Because it’s a fixed lens tied to the sensor, you could also make it have a leaf shutter. So you can use it with Profoto, Flashpoint, or Godox lights. That’s all you’d need to do pretty much any professional-grade photoshoot! Combine it with all the film simulations, the great clarity adjustments, the Chrome effects, etc. Heck, you’d have a fantastic JPEG camera. With a potential for this much beauty, why would you want to edit if you can just create in-camera?

A leaf shutter would also mean that you probably don’t need image stabilization too. I understand if you have nerve issues, and holding a camera is tough. But you can crank the ISO up to help. Most people who shoot these days don’t exercise good hand-holding techniques. A leaf shutter can counter that. More importantly, a leaf shutter and fast flash-duration totally counter that. 

I’d be shocked if Fujifilm didn’t think about this already. Fujifilm has captured the hearts of so many photographers. Their ergonomics work so well. The image quality is fantastic. And the feeling of their cameras is unlike any other on the market.

Make it happen, Fuji!

Chris Gampat

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