So the Fujifilm XT1 has leaked, and people are going nuts everywhere, for what basically amounts to a carbon copy of the Olympus E-M5, but with a bigger sensor, faster Auto Focus, and less shutter lag. According to dubious rumor mills on the internet.
Fujifilm XT1: an E-M5 for Fuji Fans
Gone is the digital rangefinder. (Image from fujirumors.com, for anyone who is wondering.)
Fuji has been steadily growing on me since they shook things up a little and tried to bang out some decent digital rangefinders. Not only did they release some products with stunning design aesthetic and some badass features (like hybrid viewfinders!), but they did so at a price point well below the only sensible alternative – the luxurious and lofty Leica.
Having owned a medium format rangefinder, I was smitten with the handling of the X-Pro1, which felt like the glorious illegitimate child of a Fuji GS645s and my Nikon D2Xs. Here was a discreet camera with a decent sized sensor, plenty of manual doohickies, and the ability to swap lenses out.
Then there were the compact and no-nonsense X-100 and X-20 – good all-around street staples with fixed lenses for those who were comfortable with such a thing.
If the design of these cameras didn’t win you over, surely it was the specs – the same high ISO that all the competitors were offering, plus the added benefit of an APS-C Sensor (not applicable to the X-20, which actually has a smaller one).
Olympus lay vanquished in the shadow of the almighty X Series, and my heart rejoiced.
But wait! There was a weakness! An Achilles Heel! Slow AF! How could the gearheads and basement dwellers shoot speeding cars from their front porches, or high school basketball games, or hummingbirds in flight?!?!?!!?
Instead of anyone, anywhere, pointing out that a camera modeled around a rangefinder is good at roughly one thing – still subjects – we all had to chime in and complain until Fuji released this steaming pile of fail. Enter the Fujifilm XT1. Mediocre photographers everywhere rejoice.
I haven’t even touched the camera yet and I’m already loathing it. Why? Because it’s turning back on a good idea. On something Fuji could be totally awesome at.
Screw Leica cameras. They are expensive – the province of those with the means (and sometimes, no talent whatsoever) – and prohibitively so. Fuji offers a savvy alternative. That’s good. But turning back on that niche and releasing another E-M5 is not only yawn-inducing, but soul-crushingly depressing. Here was a camera manufacturer who was doing something right with the retro fad – saying, “Hey, let’s meld this old technology with some new technology and beat some of the competition.”
What is the boon of having another SLR-style mirrorless camera? I know some moron somewhere will shortly be going on about the weather sealing, the faster AF, and the ability to now fit Fuji lenses to yet another camera. Oh, and “totes the worlds best EVF, ZOMG.”
I’m not sold. I vehemently oppose it. We don’t need the Fujifilm XT1. What the hey, Fuji. What the hey.