No, believe it or not that’s not a mistake and I’m talking about two things:
- What the X-H1s / X-H2 needs to be from a spec perspective
- When the X-H1s / X-H2 needs to happen (I’ll give you a hint…soon!)
To clear up one thing, this isn’t about GAS despite what what it seems like.
What the future holds:
6 months ago, Fujifilm released a camera considered to be its Flagship camera, and in about a month, if the rumours are correct, the flagship is going to be drastically outdated by a cheaper cousin, and no amount of firmware is going to fix that.
You can’t change the past, we know that much, but it sets a dangerous precedent moving forward, and one that could seal the fate of the X-H1 and the X-H2.
Firstly, if Fujifilm don’t come out with a decent spec X-T3, it won’t be able to contend with the likes of the A7iii so doing that is mandatory. If the X-T3 does come out with the spec its rumoured to have, most of Fujifilm’s X-H1 sales will fall off a cliff if they haven’t already with the rumours. That in itself is only one part of the problem. The second part of the problem occurs if Fujifilm release the next X-H* series camera on the same release strategy (i.e. 6 months before the X-T4 comes out), because potential buyers are likely to say “hold on, if I buy this, it’ll be outdated in 6 months”. Not exactly an appealing prospect for a potential buyer. Ever noticed why Sony, Nikon and every camera manufacturer put the latest sensor in their flagship first? That’s the reason.
X-H1S or X-H2 – What needs to happen:
I would say that an X-H2 is needed for these reasons:
– Sensor – Align with X-T3
– Battery – upscale to GFX size and double the battery life
– AF – Align with X-T3
– Shutter – Align with X-T3
I don’t think all of those can be achieved with the X-H1S in the same body, but they could probably get away with an S model that doesn’t have the bigger battery and bring that out with the X-H2.
So, we need an X-H2 but hopefully we get an X-H1S at least.
When the X-H1s / X-H2 needs to happen:
I would say that Fujifilm needs to produce the replacement in Q1 of 2019 or they are at risk of the X-H* series dying completely. It’s a brutal assessment but for 90% of users looking at the X-T3 vs X-H1, they are likely to pick the X-T3 and that means that the X-H1 will go the way of the dodo very fast. It will make people really question whether they need IBIS and most people will want IBIS, but also want a newer camera. This will force Fujifilm to heavily discount the current model if they want to make any sales.
What else do they need to do?
Pentax made the smart move of allowing users to send in their old cameras for a sensor upgrade. I think if Fujifilm did this, they would create some favour within their user base. If they didn’t do this, they could be stuck with a user base who are frustrated that they bought a camera that quickly became redundant?
What about the “they are all cameras, they just take photos”
I’ve heard numerous people say “they are all cameras, they just take photos, stop whining about specs”. Yes, they are, but it doesn’t help the consumer if Fujifilm stop making the X-H1 because it’s not selling and it doesn’t help Fujifilm if it’s a massive failure, so whilst the X-H1 camera is great, it’s still substandard from a market perspective and sub standard doesn’t sell. It’s about to become very sub standard within Fujifilm’s own lineup which is another problem within itself.