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 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
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.