A freezing cold day provided a good opportunity to test the 55-200mm zoom. I must admit I liked using it a lot more than I thought I would. It doesn't seem to be as heavy or bulky as I thought (or thought I thought) and zooming and aperture selection is smooth and easy. It is a beautifully made lens and further evidence of Fuji's pricing policy which seems pretty sensible. Not that much else to say really. It does the job, takes great pictures and I like using it. I expect I'll get round to some tests and comparisons when the weather takes a turn for the worse. But currently I'm very impressed and enjoying using it.
There's lots of chatter about Fuji full-frame on the forums. And yes I can see the appeal of a 35mm film sized X-Trans sensor in terms of image quality, but there are downsides. Just how big will the lenses be? Sony have proved that you don't need a big camera, but what would be the 35mm equivalent of the 55-200mm for example? Will Fuji use the same battery yet again despite the extra processing power needed? 35mm sensor cameras are also dust collectors. Plus there is of course the lack of depth of field issue. I see that as a disadvantage rather than a plus.
And then of course there is the whole new format, new lens range starting from scratch issue. Sony have illustrated this with the A7 & A7r. The usual limited lens roll-out with promise of more to come. So how many years down the line are we talking to get even a reasonable lens selection? If you want to use all the 'real estate' from 35mm lenses then a Metabones Speed Booster does that quite nicely anyway plus gives you a 'faster' lens and limited DOF if that's what you want.
However there is a rumour about a fixed lens larger sensor option and I think it's the more likely choice for Fuji and, if done right, could be very useful. My suspicion is that it will probably have a 35mm lens (Yawn!) and the street photographer wannabes will love it. But what if Fuji came up with their version of the Leica X-Vario? A limited zoom range, say 35-70mm f/2.8 - 4, would be a nice option, giving some extra coverage. Hopefully, this wouldn't make the camera / lens combination too heavy and bulky. I doubt it will happen and we will probably get an X100s on steroids instead!
Just as an option I'd like to see. How about squeezing some more pixels onto the existing sensor and forgoing some of the high ISO quality to produce a camera that gives great quality at low ISO's, using the existing lenses? Again I can't see it happening, but Fuji are very much a niche camera manufacturer and they have used some imagination in what they have offered so far, so why not do it again. Give us something we can't get anywhere else. How about a 30MP APS-C X-Trans sensor with an ISO limit of 800? Works for me, but then again I can't see it happening.
Still in the meantime I'll carry on using what's actually available rather than some fantasy camera.
N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.
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