Monday, June 25, 2012

Fuji's Lens Roadmap Is Impressive

The speculation can come to an end! Fuji has announced its lens roadmap for the rest of 2012 and all of 2013 and it is impressive indeed. The odd fixed aperture f/4.0 lenses are no more, replaced with zoom lenses with variable apertures that go all the way down to f/2.8 in the 18-55mm "kit" zoom. The 10-24mm maintains the fixed f/4.0, which considering the competition is rather expected. They are definitely taking advantage of the X Pro 1's exceptional low-light performance and being somewhat conservative in the speed of their lenses. This could be an excellent decision if they instead focus on sharpness and evenness across the frame.

With the lenses confirmed, I think that being somewhat effusive is called for. Sony's NEX system has been around for well over a year with only a single good lens. Micro 4/3 is nearing its fourth birthday and only in the last few months has it finally started releasing some good glass. Fuji's X Pro system will be less than a year old and have eight, count'em eight, lenses available. And if current lenses are any indication, they will be high-quality glass ready for even top-pro applications. Other camera companies should be ashamed.

I wish that the X Pro 1 wasn't such a mess in some truly critical ways, because I would jump on that train in a heartbeat. But as it is, I already have a lot of Micro 4/3 gear, the lenses are finally up-to-snuff, and the new Olympus E-M5 is, FINALLY, the camera that I wanted two years ago as a follow-up to the GF1. Granted, it's how good the GH3 is that will be the final deciding factor in whether I stick with the system, but the E-M5 is a great start.

This is about Fuji, though, and they deserve congratulations. A fantastic start to a nascent system.

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