Fujifilm 18mm f1.4: Is a Megapixel War Looming on the Horizon?

Fuji may be building the 18mm f1.4 to handle high resolution sensors.

Word on the Internet is that a Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 lens is super sharp. We tested a pre-production version. There has also been speculation about an X-H2 coming soon. The talk surrounding both of these subjects revolves around resolution. It sounds like Fuji may be preparing themselves for an 8k capable future. With Canon having jumped in already and Nikon following suit with the Z9, it wouldn’t be surprising. Not into video? Well, 8k will have an impact on you as well. Having an 8k camera means having a higher megapixel sensor. Will APSC be joining the 40 megapixels-and-over club now? Read on after the break for more.

Resolution Is a Theme for the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4

fujifilm 18mm f1.4

A post by Fuji Rumors points out that resolution was a priority in designing this new lens. Fujifilm manager Ueno apparently said that resolution was one of the main goals in design. As a result, it sounds like the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 is future-proofed against high-resolution cameras. Otherwise, there would be no reason to mention resolution as a priority. This does seem to back the theory that Fuji may be gearing up to produce an 8k capable camera soon. It also gives weight to speculation that Fuji is revamping many of its lenses in the future. If Fuji produces a 40-plus megapixel camera, they are definitely going to need lenses to compliment that.

Is a Megapixel War Coming for APSC?

Marketing departments have done a fine job selling higher and higher resolution cameras for years now. It seems like they are not ready to stop yet. Canon had to be the first Mirrorless camera to ship with 8k video. Sony’s A7RIV boasts a 61-megapixel Full-Frame sensor. However, for a long time now, APSC has seemed to settle in around the 24-megapixel mark. Canon recently bumped that up a bit with the M6 Mark II and the EOS 90D. Those cameras are now boasting a 32.5-megapixel sensor. If Fujifilm is priming up to release a 40-something megapixel camera, the war could ignite in APSC.

Sizing up the Competition

The Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 seems to confirm that Fuji will be going high-resolution in the future. Fujifilm already has a tight hold on the APSC market. With that in mind, who would be the competition? As mentioned previously, Canon has already made the leap with the EOS 90D and M6 Mark II. However, Canon’s support for EF lenses is waning. Canon has also never had a competitive lens lineup for their M cameras. It’s not likely they will be dumping a ton of money into that system. But, since Canon has surprised a lot of people with their new RF lenses, perhaps we shouldn’t write them off for APSC yet.

It seems likely that Sony would dive into high-resolution APSC cameras also. They likely will build whatever sensor ends up in the next generation Fujifilm cameras anyway. As a result, it isn’t a stretch to imagine that Sony will be on the frontlines of this war. Sony also has an advantage over Canon: their APSC cameras use the same lens mount as their Full-Frame cameras. They have a decent showing of APSC lenses already and a huge range of choices in general. If Sony starts taking APSC more seriously, they could be a stiff competitor to Fujifilm.

Like Sony, Nikon chose to use a common mount for APSC and Full-Frame cameras alike. Their first entry into the field, the Z50, made a decent showing. While it didn’t wow anyone, it is a solid camera. It stands to reason that if a Z50 Mark II came about, Nikon would want to keep up. However, Nikon hasn’t exactly shown they’re willing to heavily invest in APSC. Their Mirrorless DX lenses are currently rather limited. It may be that they just intend the Z50 to be a stepping stone camera to Full-Frame. It will certainly be interesting to see how Nikon treats APSC in the future.

Is the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 the First Shot of the Battle?

fujifilm 18mm f1.4

Resolution is the buzzword surrounding Fujifilm lately. Talk on the street is all about an 8k X-H2. Interviews about this lens mention resolution in no uncertain terms. It seems Fuji is bringing a new megapixel war to APSC. Many will agree that resolution isn’t everything. However, seeing Fuji update their lenses is nice. Hopefully, the focus on resolution doesn’t override other weaknesses that need shoring up. Us Fuji-Fans would love to see these updates include better autofocus systems. Also, many of us would love to see more of these lenses become weather sealed. Hopefully, Fujifilm will deliver on those fronts as well. Even though the resolution is currently the talk of the town, these revamped lenses will hopefully be so much more.

John Bradford

John is an Arkansas based landscape and outdoor photographer. Originally from the Texas Panhandle,he grew up in Oklahoma and now lives in NW Arkansas with his wife and two pups. John shoots mountain bike events, landscapes, and nature/wildlife primarily, but enjoys shooting portraiture and cityscapes as well. He has multiple years of experience working in camera sales. John is also passionate about shooting film. When not working with cameras, John spends his time on the trails hiking and mountain biking. He also maintains two small YouTube channels, one for mountain biking, and one for photography.