Fuji may go Full Frame mirrorless?


Amateur Photographer interviewed Mr. Hiroshi Kawahara from Fuji. And he confirmed that “Fujifilm technicians are seriously investigating the possible launch of a full-frame compact system camera (CSC) and are focusing on the sensor and processor that would be required.” Mr Kawahara also confirmed that “the covering circle of Fuji’s current X-series lenses is large enough to accommodate full frame.” The problem is that current wide angle lenses would not cover the full FF area.

Intruiguing. I only can say…go Fuji! Do it! What do you think?

Preorder links to the new Fuji stuff:
Black Fuji X-E1 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Silver Fuji X-E1 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Black Fuji X-E1 with 18-55mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Silver Fuji X-E1 with 18-55mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Fuji 14mm f/2.8 lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 OIS lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).

  • hexx

    wet dreams may come true 😀

  • Gato

    FF mirrorless seems like a natural fit for many kinds of studio work – still life, product, even portraits – as well as architecture and landscape. Seems as if this could be the view camera equivalent for our times. I’m still surprised we have not larger sensor mirrorless cameras, given that larger cameras are often used for work where things like autofocus and refresh rates are not very important but a large viewing screen can be invaluable. How many product photographers struggled to work from the screen images of tethered DSLRs before live view came along?

  • Andrea Thode

    Yes please! I am tempted to buy a RX1 but I will wait. I predict in summer 2013 will be the anouncement from Fuji going interchangable FF and Sony wont let them go this way alone…

    • Tenso

      But seeing the price of the RX1 I’m not sure that FF is worth. For example, is sony had made an RX10 (maybe they will do it) with an APS-C sensor and a 23mm f/1.4 lens, how much would this camera had cost? I think around $1000 or probably less (the Fuji x100 cost $1200, but even if the lens is f/2, it has an expensive OVF+EVF, and Fuji is not exactly competitive with prices as Sony is).

      So for 1/3 of the price, you would have a camera that can basically do the same (same low light performance, same control over DoF). So is FF really worth?

  • Starred

    “The problem is that current wide angle lenses would not cover the full FF area.”

    Can you please elaborate on this?

    And would the Fuji FF sensor be comparable to the current Sony/Nikon FF offerings, or would it have a much higher quality considering the fact that the current Fuji sensor is almost as good as the Sony/Nikon FF sensors…?

  • ElDorado

    I would say that the imaging circle may cover full frame, but in APSC, their image quality already decreases considerably towards the edges so these lenses would likely suffer in FF.


  • Vladimir

    FUJI, do it!

    Sony does Hasselblad.

  • Jeff Fenske

    A ROUND sensor would be the ultimate multi-aspect ratio sensor that would utilize the entire lens area. We could then crop it anyway we’d like to later, or while shooting: 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 3:1… : )

    If not round, 4:3 uses more of the lens than 3:2, which apparently is used in SLRs because of the mirror box limitations.

    I’m personally feeling cramped by 3:2.

    And I imagine that adapters could accommodate Canon or Nikon lenses in at least manual focus.

  • Asdrubal Brceño

    Agree with you: Go Fuji, go !!!

  • Sean E

    I wanted this a year ago. I’ve already bought a D800 so there’s no way to switch if they come out with one and it turns out to be good.

  • Ranger 9

    What do I think? I think I would like some of whatever Kawahara-san (or his interviewer) was drinking.

    We are told “the covering circle of Fuji’s current X-series lenses is large enough to accommodate full frame” and then immediately afterward we are told “current wide angle lenses would not cover the full FF area.” So which is it?

    My guess is that some of the optical designs (e.g. the 60) would cover a larger imaging circle — but not all of them, and the mechanics of the X-mount might not accommodate this.

    Meanwhile, I reiterate: There’s nothing magical about the dimensions of 36x24mm that makes them any “fuller” than any other set of dimensions. There’s a continuum of tradeoffs for larger vs. smaller sensor sizes — there’s no mystical point at which all the advantages come together, except in the minds of nostalgic photographers!

    • hexx

      LOL! good one 😉

    • kylberg

      Larger sensor = better image quality

      • Denis

        Larger sensor ≡ Larger lenses until japanese can’t develop technology similar to one used in new Leica M sensor.

        • hexx

          I believe Leica lenses are small because they don’t have AF

  • Vladimir

    I want 24×36. I have a lot of good lenses.

  • Jeff

    I would buy a Full Frame Fuji X-pro 1 in a heart beat! I’ve been holding out for a full frame mirrorless option (that’s not in the leica price range) for years. First company to do it be it fuji, sony, canon, get’s my money. I know Sony just released the RX1, but Interchangeable lenses are key for me.

  • roger f


  • Tito

    Go Fuji, Go Full Frame. I WILL buy it if it stays consistent with the wonderful design of the X-Series AND has FAST, ACCURATE Autofocus. AF performance is a MUST!

  • Federico

    Who cares about 24X36 when an excellent APS-C as the X pro 1 cost less and is very near to 2436 quality?
    I can’t understand this madness about the Leica format.

    • J-Man

      Then don’t buy a 24×36 mirrorless, and stop whining about it.
      I’m one who is eagerly waiting for someone to bring one out, I have near 100 lenses in my collection, 3 of which are smaller than FF, scone in Fuji, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

  • J Shin

    Yes! Do it! Do it! Do it! :-)

    No need to worry about the coverage of their current X lenses. There are plenty of legacy lenses that will more than do the job, and Fuji already has a backstock of designs that can be adapted.

    Actually, I would count Sony’s NEX-VG900 as the first mirrorless full-frame, even though it is a camcorder.

    • Federico

      I don’t care if someone bring out such kind of mirrorless camera.
      But I want to see a development of APS mirroless systems.

      I’m scared about 24X36 madness could stop APS-C development.
      And to me it’s pointless, a waste of money.

    • neeming

      “No need to worry about the coverage of the current X lenses. There are plenty of legacy lenses that will more than do the job..”, but from the manufacturer’s point of view, that IS the problem, because it means that they will not make enough money by selling new lenses.

  • kristian lindberg

    Why is it not yet possible to pre-order the X-E1 in europe? Was there also such a big delay for the X-Pro1 until it arrived on amazon.co.uk?
    I know there are some bullshit 1300 pound kit preorder websites; I’m talking about official RRP preorder.

    Is there any chance it will be released later in europe? Was this the case for X-Pro1? Sorry for all the questions but the lack of preorder is really frustrating as I’m sure the first shipment will be sold out quickly…

    • hexx

      yes, there was a delay. I’m also waiting for the UK price. I’ve contacted WEX already twice but they still don’t have any info.

    • hexx

      WOW!!! WEX has prices and brilliant ones! http://www.wexphotographic.com/search/?q=x-e1

      • kristian lindberg

        Thanks for the heads up on wex, still no kit though arghh.

  • kylberg

    Images from my FF DSLR are far better than images from my APS-C DSLR as well as my m43. “FF” (relative to 24x36mm film, which earlier was called “small image film” relative to 120mm film :-) ) is the future now that price starts to go down.
    APS-C DSLR, especially low end cannot compete with mirrorless. High end DSLR will only survive as lond as the is a substantial price difference up to FF.
    APS-C mirrorless is a more natural step up from compact, but as shown by Sony, a FF mirrorless camera housing can be very compact in size. Lenses is another thing.
    The future for APS-C low end DSLR and m43 insn’t bright i believe.

    The future for Fuji looks bright though: Camare housings are becoming really stellar, a very intelligent assortment of lenses. Not bad for a newcomer in this segent. Probably they now feel they can take the wind from Sony by producing a FF mirrorless with interchangable lenses…. Maybe an X-Pro2 which is FF?

    • hexx

      oh I’d love that, I guess that’s why you in the end bought D800 and not X-Pro1 if I remember correctly, I know, FF is FF 😉

    • Federico

      You should try to give a deep look at X Pro 1 files.
      They are way better than 5D Mark III files.
      At least at low ISO values.

      “A deep look” means you should try to work some real files through a real workflow.

      I’m a professional photographer working with 24X36 cameras (and digital MF ), I know what I’m talking about.

      • Koushik

        Everyone does agree that the file quality of X-Pro1 is great. But the point here is to get the DOF advantage when using the FF. No one should be arguing about the file quality of the fuji x pro… But I do hope they put in more effort to get Adobe do a decent raw engine for the x-pro 1 files.

    • Sergio

      I still shoot film and have for a loooong time. I never heard it called “small image film” even on line. It’s “small format”, “medium format” and “large format”. Maybe in your neck of the woods though. :)

  • CSC-FF-Please

    Hi, I’m new to this forum . Presently shoot with Nikon D90 with 16-85 and 70-300mm VR lenses.Have been looking at D800 and recently D600 but have decided to wait and go mirrorless.

    Am I alone in not liking rangefinder-style bodies with ‘classic’ controls?

    Why do cutting edge mirrorless cameras need to look so old fashioned ?

    I’d love a small SLR-style body with modern SLR-style controls! Metal body, weather/dust sealed – all with phase detection and a large sensor.

    What do regulars here think?



  • Federico

    I’ve found a good workflow with LR but Adobe should improve the converting process.

    The DOF “advantage” is about 1 stop.
    The 35 f1.4 ,talking about DOF, is the same as if it were an f2.0
    Not bad at all.
    Is it enough to lose every APS-C advantage?
    Lower prices, lower weight, smaller dimension…

    No, no at all.
    For my tastes and needs.

    • Koushik

      I agree. It would just be one stop and I totally agree on that APS-C advantage for price/weight/dimension purpose.

  • Kevin

    that’ll be cool to see. the x mount appears to be gaining alot of momentum lately (even samsung and zeiss is producing lenses).

    in terms of the price, i don’t believe it will be very high by the time the new FF fuji comes out — only because nikon/canon are already offering “consumer” FF which are around $2100. i think it will cost a bit more for the FF fuji, but not by much. hopefully the lenses will not be huge either… or it will defeat the purpose of getting a mirrorless.

  • Bradley Saulteax

    I think the important thing that mirrorless brings to the table is the short flange distance. When you move the sensor closer to the lens a smaller sensor appears the same size as a full-frame sensor at a farther distance away.

  • Vladimir

    FF Fuji camera for the photographer.

    1 – without AF

    2 – without blitz

    3 – no video

    4 – normal price

  • Ian Johnson

    This is a little confusing. Fuji say that there lens line up has a large enough image circle to cover full frame, then you guys add that the wide angle lenses aren’t capable. Given that Fuji’s road map includes a super wide zoom and other wide angles, buyers would do well to wait, since it would appear there’s the possibility that some of their lenses would not work on full frame. Can you, do you, know what is the cut off focal length?

  • BdV

    FF means nothing, you can’t use 35mm film in these digicams. Might as well make a 22x33mm sensor. Or 39x54mm. Or 17×25. So what? Who cares? And yes, like Bradley says, I believe the closer the sensor, the smaller it can be to still be able to achieve the same DOF as an old fashioned 35mm frame. Add a 1.4 lens, make it fixed, then no one will even be able to see the sensor size, unless they use a screw driver. Call it X200… OK!

    • Mike

      This statement is incorrect. The flange distance has no influence on DoF whatsoever. The same image as full frame analogy is incorrect, because the image is defined by the focal length not the flange distance.

      The DoF can be the same at the same FoV if the absolute aperture opening is the same. However, we measure aperture relative to the focal length, and thus on smaller sensors the focal lengths are smaller. To achieve what a f/2.8 does on full frame, you need an f/1.8 on APS-C, regardless of the flange distance, regardless if it is mirror less or not.

      • BdV

        It’s true that I don’t really know this for sure. That’s why I said ‘believe’. Thanks for your info, maybe now I can figure it out. So the closer the lens.. not just the flange indeed, if you want things in focus, this will demand a shorter focal length.. But the focal length of any 50mm lens should always be 50mm, no matter the distance from lens / flange / nodal point whatever to the sensor. So yes, the only way to make it seem wider or longer is to change the sensor size. Correct? I think I’m getting it Mike. Hmmm.. Still need to think some more. So DOF … comparing a 25mm 1.4 on M4/3 to a 50mm 1.4 on FF is half the distance…. Well, just read the ‘FF means nothing’ comments. 😉

        • Mike

          A 25mm f/1.4 on M4/3 will do the exact same thing as a 50mm f/2.8 on a full frame camera. The focal length needs to be half to accomodate the sensor which has half the diameter. Like this the field of view will be the same. The aperture opening is the same on both lenses: 25mm/1.4 = 50mm/2.8 = 17.9mm. So the amount of out of focus blur will be the same as well.

          • António

            Mike – that way you can change the angle of view not the DoF. You need to double the focal to cover the same scene area (according to the crop factor) but the “the amount of out of focus blur” (DOF) produced by a 25mm or a 50mm lens will be the same no matter the sensor size you use it with.

    • Camaman

      I see you still haven’t evolved past auto focus.
      At least it looks like you’ve accepted Aperture mode

      Screw type AF for me, no big bulky lenses…

      • BdV

        You mean me? I haven’t evolved? What’s new since AF?

    • Izumi

      Customers may wait, cameras can take their time appearing, but photographs tend to come and go in their own times, and wait for neither customer nor camera.
      – Old Japanese saying

  • Samony

    For the love of F&F man! I can’t pull out the money fast enough! Not to mention I’m on line to get your XE-1 and the wides, so am I supposed to buy 2 wide angle lenses? I mean, how much a person’s gotta save to keep up with you manufacturers…

    • Lucas

      Just don’t buy everything those manufacturers come up with. For me the X-E1 is gonna replace my 7 years old Nikon D200. And by the time FF is affordable for me, we’re again many years down the road

  • Mr Hipsta

    I just can’t see how this would be possible with the current X-mount. The flange distance of the X-system is only 17,7 mm, Leica uses 27,8 mm and Nikon DSLR 46,5 mm. I don’t believe the image circle is large enough for all Fuji X lenses, and if it is, it will not be sharp in the far corners. It is also very unlikely that Fuji will introduce an entirely new system only one year after the last one – that would totally ruin their credibility. There will be no FF Fuji for some time.

  • BdV

    Yes, I am sure they can come up with some ff image circle covering lenses. Just as I am sure their current X lenses are not designed for ff.

  • ljmac

    For goodness sake, what will it take for people to get over this meaningless “full frame” (actually just another arbitrary frame size) fetish? The corner performance of both Fuji X and NEX is already very bad at wide angle – can you even imagine how terrible FF will be?

  • Melon man

    I don’t want FF from Fuji. I want a compact medium format camera like Mamiya 6.

  • dj

    I dont see the point of a FF mirrorless…the IQ from APS, or M4/3 is already amazing and lenses (especially for M4/3) are nice and compact.

  • ed

    Answer my prayers and do it! AND I ORDER ASAP.

  • hexx

    for some reason, I believe that if either of these two will introduce something, it will be next Photokina(2014) – FF mirrorless system would be a game changer for many, not everyone can afford to buy Leica.

  • hexx

    blah blah blah – go and get one, get some lenses, shoot and then tell us how ‘bad’ fuji lenses are 😀

  • spam


  • Mandrake

    My guess is if you cannot afford to buy Leica you won’t be able to afford a Fuji FF X series. If the Sony RX1 is the starting price for FF mirrorless then the interchangeable systems could cost much more. Wouldn’t be shocked by a $4K price tag.

  • J Shin

    I would second a round or square sensor that covers the whole circle, although that could increase the cost prohibitively, because of the much larger die size (1872sqmm vs. 864sqmm of 24×36. Leica S’s 30*45 sensor is 1350sqmm; APS full-circle would be 862sqmm).

    The legend I heard was that the 2:3 ratio was created by Oskar Barnack of Leitz when he doubled the original 3:4 format of the 135 movie film. (That’s why 135 film has sprocket holes.)

  • hexx

    from manufacturer’s point of view it would make sense if they release FF mirrorless camera with focus peaking as a platform for any lens out there, reasons below:

    – there are many photographers with collection of FF lenses, any makes
    – there’s massive 2nd hand market of old lenses
    – they could sell a lot of cameras to at 1st satisfy above
    – while doing so they could work on their own high quality FF range
    – and once ready just release it to existing base of customers who bought body for old lenses

    I think the first company to release mirrorless FF camera which can be used as a platform for any FF lens will win. People like choices and everybody has invested some amount of money to different system, truly universal system is what’s needed. And I’d go even as far as offering modular system, body if you like and digital backs.

  • hexx

    I think that US price is justified (UK isn’t) for RX1, when you think about it there’s Zeiss 35 f/2 with it, I don’t think that it’s a cheap glass and we know that cheapest FF DSLR costs $2000, so $800 seems to be justified. I believe that FF mirorless body might be doable in $1500+ range which is much more affordable than M(E,9). And honestly, I think that Leica is more about lenses than camera, although the new M might change it as M9 changed things in 2009.

  • seven

    The x100 is more then the Xe1, so a FF X could and should be less then the FF 35mm camera from Sony.

    I would Buy a FF X in a heart beat.

  • Mike

    This is incorrect. The “size” at which an image or sensor appears depends on the focal length not the flange distance.

  • Mike

    In fact, reducing the flange distance makes it more difficult to make sharp lenses in the corners of the sensor. This is manifesting in these Fuji lenses having abysmal corner performance. This is what all the fuss is about with DX cameras using the “sweet spot” of FX lenses.

    I really don’t see a FF camera with 2 cm flange distance working well. The only way I can see it working is with a fixed lens and micro-lenses on the sensor tuned to that fixed lens.

  • JesperMP

    Leica M-mount dont work well ?
    I dont know the flange distance for an M-mount, but it is a fair bit shorter than DSLR flange distance. A Leice M-camera is smaller than most people think.
    So certainly Fuji can do the same in principle. If Fuji can make lenses to Leica level of quality is another matter.

    edit: By the way. It shall be interesting how Sony RX1 will do with its very short distance from rear-most lens element to the sensor. If this works well, then why not others too ?

  • Bob B.

    Maybe Fuji should work out ALL of the quirks in there current camera’s before biting off a bigger piece.

  • Miserere

    Fuji X’s flange distance is a whole centimeter shorter than Leica M’s. 17.7mm vs 27.8mm.

  • Michael

    I believe since there are now TWO good examples on the market with FF and small body size (SONY RX1 and LEICA M) therefore “Fujifilm technicians are seriously investigating the possible launch of a full-frame compact system camera” by taking those two cameras apart and checking how two make a good copy with its own sensor (they will just enlarge the current sensor) without braking any patents (like SAMSUNG did with APPLE in the phone market).

    Just my thoughts, but should be realistic.

  • southbymidwest

    You know that during the film days Fuji had 35mm, 6×45, 6×6/7, 6×8, 6×9, 6×12, and 6×17 format cameras, right? Their reputation seems ok to me…

  • Ricci

    @ dj
    Totally agree!
    Fuji’s current APS-C cameras and lenses are already outstanding. I have give up FF to go with ordered XE1. Why waste resources on new system. I’d like to see more lense selections on current Fuji APS-C system, since it’s gaining popularity.

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