PP: Fujifilm Interview – AI AF, X-H2S Firmware 3.0, X-T5, 8k, and More

Petapixel sat down with Yujiro “Yuji” Igarashi (Divisional Manager, Professional Imaging Group, Imaging Solutions Division), Makoto Oishi (Manager, Product Planning Group, Professional Imaging Group, Imaging Solutions Division), and Jun Watanabe (Product Planning Manager, Product Planning Group, Professional Imaging Group, Imaging Solutions Division) from Fujifilm. You can read the full lengthy interview here or check out the bullet point summary below:

  • AI AF algorithm
    • Fujifilm continuously improves its AI-based AF algorithm by growing its training dataset
    • Fujifilm starts with thousands of images that can represent any situation and then they have humans manually label the images
    • Once the tracking is trained it has to be run against thousands more images that a human then double checks what was recognized by the AF system and if something is missed thousands of images relating to what was missed are then used to train the model better
  • Firmware 3.0
    • Firmware 3.0 for the X-H2S has roughly doubled AF speed simply by coding more efficiently
    • Fujifilm strictly matched subject detection results and the AF area to improve AF performance and it increased AF frequency during continuous shooting
    • Fujifilm roughly doubled the speed of their AF algorithm to improve performance
    • Fujifilm designed its AF algorithm to work with PDAF which is a first since current AI AF systems focus on 2D information
    • Fujifilm could bring its new algorithm to other fifth-generation cameras based on the same chip as the X-H2S, but it will not be as fast since other fifth-generation cameras do not have stacked sensors
  • Fujifilm X-T5
    • The Fujifilm X-T5 does not have the PDAF AF algorithm
    • The Fujifilm X-T5 did not get a grip because battery life improved to 740 frames which is more than the X-T1 could shoot with a grip and it goes against Fujifilm’s design philosophy of making their cameras as small as possible
    • The ability to have a battery grip would have added 3mm to the height of the camera
    • Fujifilm is considering UI changes related to face/eye detection because users seem to want it in one place with subject tracking
  • 8k Video
    • At this point adding 8k is just to future-proof a camera
  • Electronic shutter vs Mechanical
    • The mechanical shutter can be faster than the electronic one because it does not have to support live view while capturing
  • Subject Recognition Tied to Exposure
    • Fujifilm currently ties exposure to subject recognition with face detection, but it is not supported with animals yet due to the complexity of their color
  • Entry Level Cameras
    • Fujifilm isn’t sure that they can make a compelling entry-level camera below a certain price point
    • Fujifilm doesn’t want to release cameras that smartphones can outperform
  • What’s Next
    • Last year was X-Series cameras and the year before GFX so Fujifilm is heavily invested in both (2023 will be about GFX)
    • Fujifilm is always considering what is lacking from its lineup
    • Fujifilm wants to broaden its cameras utility
  • AI Image Adjustment
    • Some people might want their camera to perform more like a smartphone by manipulating the captured image, but at the same time, it is important to capture a very clean image for editing in post-production.
    • Fujifilm doesn’t think cellphone users want to buy its cameras to do the same thing as their smartphone
    • Film simulations are different because it gives you consistency with past images whereas AI image adjustment can come out different every time
    • Fujifilm doesn’t want you to think of its color as fake color in any way because Fuji color is based on color science
  • Instax
    • The Mini Evo Instax has an X-series look that could attract users to X mount, but there is also a resurgence in film, but in general, there isn’t a lot of cross over
    • Fujifilm still has a very strong connection to analog thanks to Instax and its film stock
    • Some manufacturers are looking into making new film cameras again

Fujifilm X-H2:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujifilm X-H2S:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujifilm X-T5 Black:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujifilm X-T5 Silver:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama

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