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.

[Update 25 September includes Fuji clarification on the compatibility of current XF lenses]

Hiroshi Kawahara, operations manager at Fuji’s product planning unit, said engineers are looking into the viability of a camera with a 35mm-size imaging sensor.

‘But, we are just focusing on the sensor and processor,’ he said during a meeting with Amateur Photographer (AP) at photokina 2012 in Cologne, Germany.

‘A product model I have no idea [about] just now.’

Following comments made in an interview last Thursday, Fuji has asked AP to point out that the current XF lens range is not
compatible with a full-frame sensor.

Speaking on 25 September, Kawahara said: ‘None of the lenses are compatible with a full-frame format because the covering circle would not be large enough.’

Non-compatibility with existing lenses risks alienating current users, according to Fuji.

So, if Fuji introduces a full-frame sensor it would have to remake the lens mount.

‘I have no idea if it would be good or bad for our Fujifilm business and customers – the X-Pro user would be opposed to a full-frame body because their lenses would not be [compatible],’ added Kawahara.

This seems key to whether Fuji will commit to full-frame.

Officials say they have not set a time-frame on when they will make a corporate decision on a full-frame model.

However, it is clear that Fuji sees a demand for full-frame.

The company says it is considering all options for its future cameras, not just interchangeble-lens models.

Giving initial reaction to the recently announced Sony RX1 full-frame, fixed lens, compact, Fuji’s X-series designer, Masazumi Imai, told AP: ‘I think many customers want a bigger sensor with first-rate design.

‘Sony’s answer is the RX1. Of course, I like that kind of camera but it is completely different to our series because the design is too modern.’

Size matters
A large CSC body would fit in with Fuji’s acceptance that smaller and smaller cameras are not necessarily where demand lies, particularly in countries such as the United States where sales are low compared to Japan and the UK, for example.

‘In Japan especially, everybody wants a small [CSC],’ said Makoto Ooishi, a colleague of Kawahara at Fuji’s Tokyo-based planning division.

‘Some people say the XF1 [fixed-lens compact] is too big, especially in Japan.’

Fuji says the company has to strike a global balance on size, as it is not feasible to make different-sized cameras to suit customers in different countries.

Bosses agree that the size of CSCs works against the popularity of the product in the USA, for example.

Meanwhile, in a wide-ranging interview, Fujifilm did not rule out the possibility of developing a camera featuring a sensor larger than 35mm.

However, Kawahara questioned who would buy such a camera, given the high price Fuji would need to charge for a model that also lacks mass-market appeal.

  • Babak K

    Fuji should make a FF x100s to differentiate it more from the CSC x system now that the new 23mm lens is out.

    Also, the current lenses are obviously not designed for FF. If Fuji needs to make a new mount, all they have to do is design a smart adapter so these lenses can be used on a FF camera. The image circle will be small anyway, so similar to using a DX lens on FX body, the image needs to be cropped. Using a small adaptor wont be a big deal

  • AlanB

    Fuji’s X range of camera are for APS-C based CSC capable of great quality results. However is Fuji know only to well & people can tell just by reading the comments here. They are a very long way away from a truly professional quality item. What with focus problem firmware bugs ECT.
    I think there would defiantly be room in the market for a full frame X camera especially with inter changeable lens. However they would have to make it stand apart from the Lieca M. I think with Great AF plus zoom lenses this would be easily possible. So unless the prices where stupidly high they would sell in very high numbers. But would be a very clear class well above the currant X range, so that the X users would not get angry! Lets face it Fuji people buy into APS-C based kits everyday & them progress onto full frame, it’s a great driving force in the secondhand market.
    Secondly I would love a company like Fuji to make a medium format digital camera similar to the old Mamiya 7. As a very small form factor MF Kit I think again they could sell high numbers.

  • Nicky B

    With a dynamic range that trounces Canon, Nikon and Sony on just the aps-c sized x-trans sensor. A full frame x trans with the consistent quality of fujinon will give quality like no other. If they can get more than 24mp on it, I’d bet it would leave the d800 in the shade. I’ve stopped using my d3s since getting an x-pro due to the colour shading negative film like DR and usability up to iso6400.
    Only problem with a full frame, I see, is the price of the camera and lenses.

  • DynaSynergy

    Fujifilm should also discard the puny n-50 battery on the EXR mini-compacts as well as on the future X-20 replacements( its a sad joke )

  • DynaSynergy

    1)Fujifilm should be forward looking ( insightful) & make a 48MP full frame body instead of mucking around – and beat the hell out of Leica/ Canon / Nikon & become the true market leader! All owners of Leica / Canon / Nikon would use their existing lens on the new Fujifilm body just like on the X-E1.Do it quickly before the major brands catch-up / the patents run out with the X-TRANS sensor or figure out how to with an alternative way out ( i believe their engineers are currently furiously trying to do that for fear of losing their current major market share with the X- TRANS shake-up.)
    2) Fujifilm should have made the X-100 with X-TRANS SENSOR with inter-changable lens capability – it is by far the most aesthetically pleasing design of all current Fujifil cameras ( this would boost sales tremendously !) the X-PRO-1 / x-e1 / X-20 looks uglier in comparision.( this is what i believe kept either in reality or sub-consciously many potential buyers ( like me ) from investing on the x-series ( besides the AF issues ! )
    3)Fujifilm should make a X-30 with either a 15-135F2 zoom or at least a 28-85F2 zoom – this should put it above the crowd ( i believe they already have the capability ( with the experience attained with their EXR range of mini compacts from EXR200 to the current EXR900 / X-10 )
    Bravo !
    FUJIFILM dont wait -the window of opportunity does not last very long !

  • Guy Smiley

    What FujiFilm really needs to be thinking is how big of a sensor can they sell to the public effectively. If FujiFilm can sell a larger sensor than full frame it would generally imply better noise contrast ratio.

    Sometimes it is good to surprise the public and give them what they didn’t even know they needed. With that said, it would be a pretty big camera.

    I’d personally love a full frame FujiFilm made camera. I’m a big fan of dynamic range photo’s.

  • Keith T

    If Leica can do it and retain the same lenses for 4/3rds of M8.8.2 and M9 full frame, I’m sure Fuji are experienced enough to do it. Even if lenses need to be re-chipped to achieve it.

  • Ish

    I’d love a full frame Fuji CSC!

    When I upgraded my Canon dSLR to a full-frame one I knew my old lenses wouldn’t fit and that I’d need new ones.

    Why is this any different? I don’t see what the problem is.

  • Brian

    A Fuji full frame camera in an x-pro 1 style body with the hybrid viewfinder is my dream camera!
    Fuji I promise you- it’s not just the Japanese who want a small FF camera with interchangable lenses.

    All we need is:
    -Fast AF
    -OVF/EVF hybrid viewfinder(like x100/xpro)
    - 24mm/35mm/50mm/85mm lenses (f1.4)
    Add: diopter adjustment, weather sealing,
    in-body stabilization, focus peaking & optional M mount adapter- it would sell like crazy. Crazy!

    If you build it Fuji- they will come.

  • mini’me’

    I think it is strange that it was not part of the planning of fujifilm to think full frame as the logical next step… specially since Leica did the same. I totally agree with ‘me’ , finders like xpro1 and x100 simply rule, the best thing in the last 25 years or more…

  • David Reid

    I’m glad to read this. If it wouldn’t be too awfully expensive, I can envision a digital version of the GF670W. A sort of mega X-100. Seems like it could be a really nice landscape camera. I have no idea whether it could be produced and sold at an affordable price and be profitable, but I would sure as heck want one!

  • George Prentice

    Full frame yes! Only way to get low light capability. Right noe only Leica has the market. The Sony RX1 is fixed lens. It is the right way to go.

  • slackercruster

    Unless ones is making gigantic prints a FF is not needed. Fuji can advance with a 24mp crop sensor in the X line. I already have a couple of 40 mp 645D’s if I need the big guns. And working with thie high mp imnages is a pain…slooooow. Am very happy with the IQ with the 2 Fuji’s I own. If the mp’s on the Fuji’s got a boost OK, but FF is not needed on my end.

    slackercruster

  • Sky_walker

    Bring it on. Release a body with M-mount adapter like for X PRO-1 and I’ll preorder it as soon as it gets.

  • Yer huckleberry

    Sony is testing the market… it’s an adapt or die policy. Nokia has put a 42 MP sensor in the 808, how long before that sensor becomes a full frame as well or mimics it’s quality through as yet unrealized algorithms?

  • Lyndsay A. Eichner

    I would go for a 35mm size senser csc if the price was right. So far, full frame digital cameras are rather … expensive.

  • Barry

    Why don’t Fuji simply come up with a full frame SLR, a successor to the Finepix S5, that would use Nikon mount lenses?
    If they could produce this at a cheaper price that the current Canon and Nikon full frame models, it would surely appeal to many who baulk at the idea of paying around £5,000 for a body only.

  • Les Wilson

    It’s good news that a leading manufacturer is attempting such a big re-design that people actually want, instead of just re-adjusting old ideas and calling them ‘new models’ good on ya’ Fuji.

  • Hernan Zenteno

    This is a very sensitive issue because I sold all my Canon equipment to purchase the new system of Fuji X pro 1. If Fuji have plans to make a full frame camera of that kind, would be ethic to put clear what lenses will be useful with the full frame system, the natural upgrade for the consumer. I am waiting for the equivalent of the 35 1.4 (23 1.4) and the 84 (56 1.4) but I need to know before my investment if the 23 would be useful in a future FF upgrade. The same with the 84. Is a pity if the actual 50 mm equivalent (35 1.4) will not work with a full frame Fuji X. The very important decision to bet about this new kind of cameras is not only the quality of the image, is the system, the value to resell or exchange lenses or accessories. They need to think all as a whole.

  • Risto

    Excellent would be if the full frame camera would be true with a style of x-series having the manual shutter speed ring etc.
    The price don’t matter much as there’s no any real camera like that in the markets nowadays.

  • me

    Fuji, what you “see a need for” is a camera with a traditional, optical rangefinder type of view finder. No hybrids, no EVF.

    Sensor size is irrelevant; the APS-C size sensor in the X100 and XPro-1 is fine.

    It’s the VIEWFINDER, stupid.

  • mike

    Fuji is concerned about the XP1 user’s feeling?

    I, for one, would dump my XP1 in favor of a camera that actually can focus on something that isn’t stationary. So don’t worry about us, Mr. Kawahara. Give as camera that actually works for once. The rest will take care of itself.

  • Ty

    If Fuji announces this, I’ll preorder right now. I want FF from Fuji so bad!