Imaging Resource Nikon interview: “will keep launching surprising and exciting products one after another”

Imaging Resource interviewed five Nikon mansgers and engeneeers. There is little news to report. They repeated the advanatge of their larger mount. They also made this bold statement:

– Nikon will keep launching surprising and exciting products one after another

Good to see both Canon and Nikon going seriously into FF mirrorless. But I expect Sony to bring the biggest innovation in 2019. My bet? Sony global shutter sensor cameras will be the next big thing!

Fujifilm interview at Dpreview: Full-frame can probably reach 70-80MP and with GFX we go 100MP

Dpreview had a chat with Makoto Oishi from Fuji. A couple of takeaways:

Medium format:

  • GFX doubled the market size of the medium format segment. 20% of GFX buyers are professionals.
  • Full-frame can probably reach 70-80MP. GFX lenses were all originally designed for 100MP resolution.

APS-C:

  • We’re positioning APS-C against full-frame, and its faster, and more responsive because of the smaller sensor

Open mount:

  • We don’t feel that we need to open up the mount to third parties.

The next revolution is…

  • From a sensor point of view, everyone is talking about global shutter. That is one thing, which will come at some point in the future. The other thing is more computational and Artificial Intelligence technologies making it into cameras. Probably those two things.

Nikon talks with Dpreview: APS-C Z-mount cameras might coming in the near future

Dpreview posted their interview with Nikon. A couple of interesting statements from Nikon:

1) Nikon still believes optical viewfinder is superior and that high end sports DSLR cameras are still needed
2) Nikon admits that there is the request for mirrorless APS-C cameras. But they cannot disclose yet if they will do such cameras

I think having APS-C cameras with such a large Z-mount are a bit nonsensical. It would make more sense to have a new smaller mount to allow the design for smaller cameras…don’t you think?

Sigma CEO says L-mount APS-C cameras is coming too. First “real” lenses for FF mirrorless coming this year too.

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Sigma CEO Yamaki released an interview with Lensvid. A couple of takeways:

1) Sigma might use non Foveon sensors in future L-mount cameras.
2) Sigma might even use an APS-C sensor again.
3) Sigma’s first lens designed for Full Frame mirrorless is coming this year. For sure it will be available for Sony E-mount but it’s easy to guess this lens will be available as native L-mount versison too
4) Moving forward we will release more lenses designed for mirrorless cameras. 

Fuji says Canon is wrong and the ILC market is not going to contract by half over the next two years

Imaging Resource interviewed Toshihisa Iida and Makoto Oishi from Fuji. Fujirumors as usual did a superb job making a quick summary of the news that matters:

Market Future & Canon Predictions

  • Fujifilm totally disagrees with Canon’s prediction, that ILC business is going to contract by half over the next two years
  • Market will depend on innovation that will come
  • Fujifilm believes there is room for further grow
  • Some markets will decline, but other markets have still potential to grow (Asian market)

Full Frame

  • Customers should have different options
  • Currently full frame has 1/3 of the market by value
  • 2/3 of market is predominantly APS-C, Micro Four Thirds, and some medium-format
  • other manufacturers focus on full frame, this might open opportunities for Fujifilm as long as they keep up innovating APS-C and MF
  • mainly X-T3 and GFX 50R helped Fujifilm to grow by 10% total volume growth
  • APS-C vs FF is not just about sensor size, but also the lens size, lens weight, overall cost, or the speed, the 4K movies
  • people judge the system more on the overall package

Fujifilm X-T3 vs X-H line

  • sold better than expected
  • Fujifilm X-T3 sold 40% better than X-T2 if you compare to same period since launch
  • X-T3 and X-H1 have cannibalized each other
  • with the new lower X-H1 price tag, X-T3 and X-H1 sit nicely next to each other
  • H-series and T-series will coexist for the future, but we need to clearly differentiate the lineup without confusing customers

Lenses

  • XF200mmF2 is not only for sports, but also for portraits for very creamy bokeh and concerts for example

GFX System

  • Fujifilm GFX 50R sales are above expectation and factory is very busy
  • Fujifilm GFX 100 design is almost final, very early firmware, and IBIS still does not work
  • GFX 100 megapixel autofocus: same sensor structure as the X-T3
  • GFX 100 has almost zero competition, because FF is only at 50MP and other medium format cameras are very expensive
  • Fujifilm thinks at multi-shot high-res shooting mode for GFX100, but has not decided yet
  • designing IBIS is a real challenge for big MF sensor
  • Fujifilm has no idea about how many stops IBIS they will achieve [FujiRumors leaked internal press sheets that show they aim at 5 stops]
  • Fujifilm is still improving image quality via firmware
  • GFX100 launch in first half 2019 for around $10,000
  • Fujifilm GFX 50S most popular lens is the GF 32-64mmF4
  • Fujifilm GFX 50R most popular lens is the GF 45mmF2.8
  • GFX 50S owners have more lenses than GFX 50R owners
  • GFX owners complaint about the lack of more fast lenses for the system and Fujifilm is taking into consideration their feedback
  • Fujifilm listens to customers and tries to make their wishes happen, but sometimes their wishes become reality is very difficult and challenging
  • As bright as possible, as small as possible, as affordable as possible…
  • same team works on GFX and X. One R&D budget and depending on needs they are flexible to shift their focus

Autofocus

  • X-T30 has improved algorithm which will come to X-T3
  • CMOS sensor is always reading by lines. So it isn’t very suitable for horizontal phase-difference […] technically we can make a cross-type system but normally, subjects are more… and horizontally-arranged PDAF pixels support them better
  • Fujifilm could do vertical AF correlation, but hasn’t felt the need to do it
  • 8% of pixels are phase detection pixels (high density), good for low-light and high-frequency subjects
  • signal and phase pixel are read separately
  • we used to have like 60 regions within each AF point, but now 240
  • depending on the light level, the X-T3 can “bin” PDAF pixels together (basically just adding their contents) to get a better signal/noise ratio, and so be able to determine focus even in very dim lighting. Depending on how you do this, you’ll trade-off some ability to see the finest details, but it can really help in very low-light conditions