October 24, 2018

Fujifilm Promises to ‘Never Go Full Frame’ - And Why That’s Great for Filmmakers

Fujifilm Full Frame Promise
Are you considering a full frame camera? Here’s why one manufacturer is promising to ‘never go full frame’ and instead focusing on market diversity.

When looking at a crowded digital camera market, “full frame” is definitely a buzzword floating around in the camera-buying ether. Cameras like the Canon 5D and Sony A7s have built legacies on their full frame capabilities. Now new challengers like the Nikon Z7 (which you can check out reviews of here) and the Canon EOS R are entering the fray.

However, while most brands seem to be pushing to catch up with full frame offerings of their own, one manufacturer is making a bold step to set itself apart - and to help provide us videographers and filmmakers with a truly rich and diverse market.

The Myth of Full Frame

Before we get to Fujifilm and their latest promise against making full frame cameras, let’s look at the state of the industry. In the video above by Tom Ryan, it’s almost comically pointed out that by the same standards that many full frame fans prefer full over cropped sensors like the micro 4/3rds, you could also make the argument that it’s what makes the different sensors unique. Issues like camera size, depth of field needs and processing power can be seen as objective elements, not in terms of correct or wrong.

A Push for Market Diversity

Fujifilm XT3
Fujifilm has initially turned some heads with its new X-T3. The APS-C format camera is getting great reviews despite it not being a highly coveted “full frame” camera. The company has also enjoyed success with their medium format mirrorless cameras like their GFX 50S and GFX 50R.

Toshihisa Iida, in an interview with DPReview, has promised that Fujifilm will “never go full frame”.

“No, never. Because we don’t have that legacy – luckily or unluckily. We don’t see any point in Fujifilm entering that market, particularly since we have good APS-C and medium format systems.”

Iida would go on to say that, if Fujifilm did enter the full frame market, that their systems “would just start cannibalizing each other. We’re happy to stay with two completely independent systems.” In other words, if everyone’s making the same camera, no one wins. Not manufacturers or consumers.

Focus on Filmmaking Skills

Full Frame Filmmaking
Whether they mean to or not, Fujifilm’s strong stance supporting their camera offerings, and not following the latest market trends, is a really good sign for consumers and filmmakers. Instead of looking at camera options based on the latest technology, it encourages us to look for what camera is right for us and our needs.

If you’re looking for more cinematic footage and shallower depths of fields, that’s one thing. But if you’re shooting run-and-gun and need to know you can get your shots in focus and quick, you may find that a full frame camera isn’t always your best option.

If anything, Iida’s promise to embrace market diversity should encourage you to really examine yourself and the types of projects you’d like to choose with your next digital camera investment.     

Your Comment

3 Comments

I need good apsc 10bit 4k log 50p rather that fullframe 4k 25p

October 25, 2018 at 3:11AM, Edited October 25, 3:11AM

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pioszub
producer
65

For all of the twentieth century, there was no such thing as "full frame" in a mainstream cinema camera...VistaVision being a possible exception. There was Imax and 65mm (not70) for some roadshow spectaculars, but Mitchell, Bell&Howell, Panavision, Arriflex, Éclair, and Movicam were all 35mm film running vertically thru the gate, not horizontally as in a film still camera. Pretty much the approximate frame size as APS-C. Of course all of those manufacturers also made 16mm cameras.

I was a First Assistant (focus puller) for the first 25 years of my IA career, and follow focus was done, in those days, with a tape measure and the engraving on the lens...try that with your "cinematic" (buzz word to end all buzz words) full-frame (lack of) depth of field. Yet, the movies actually were cinematic, by definition.

Just sayin'.

October 26, 2018 at 7:13PM, Edited October 26, 7:18PM

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Steven Cohen, SOC
Camera Operator
91

"We promise to never go full frame"... except of course with our medium format GFX 50S which blows right past "full frame"! So no, nothing larger than M4/3 unless it's massively larger.

November 13, 2018 at 11:10AM, Edited November 13, 11:11AM

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Benton Collins
Camera aimer
256