Luc who’s a PhotographyDailyNews.com reader asked me the following question. He’s interested in buying a bridge camera and is leaning towards the purchase of a Fujifilm X-S1. Having seen how the X10 has now been replaced by the X20, he asks if the X-S1 will soon be replaced by the X-S2 and what important improvements could be expected that might quickly render the X-S1 a demoded model thus making it a poor investment.
Lucs question : “Does someone have information concerning the X-S2 ? I want to buy a bridge camera between now and spring and I don’t want make the mistake of buying an “APN” just before the successor of the X-S1.”
My Answers : Dear Luc, if you’re asking me about the hypothetic possibility of a X-S2, it’s probably because you noticed that the X-S1 borrowed the sensor of the X 10 and that the X10 has just been replaced in the Fujifilm premium X line by the X20. We’re of the same thought as you that we could most likely expect a refresher of the X-S1, the top of the line bridge camera that we so liked when we made its test. There isn’t however that much to change in the X-1S which in our eyes is the best bridge on the market today (this is a good thing because by the same token it’s the most expensive). Your question raises the following other two points of interrogation:
The first point of interrogation is: “Will there really be a Fujifilm X-S2 ?”
We have no information from Fujifilm on the possibility of the offering of an X-S2, what we can say however is that logically one is likely to see the light of day. Fujifilm wants to impose its self as the leader in the bridge market and has underlined that ambition by the announcement of a dozen models for 2013. So then, we can’t se the X-S1 not having a descendant. In what concerns the calender in 2011, only two months separated the announcement of the Fujifilm X 10 and that of the X-S1. Fuji then could unveil its X-S2 the end of February or March 2013 in the rush to take full advantage of the purchases made by many enthusiasts in the spring so as to be able to take a new camera with them during summer travels.
The second point of interrogation is: “What will be the improvements likely to be made over the X-S1 in the X-S2 ?”
To answer this very legitimate question, we can without too much chance of being mistaken, conclude that Fujifilm will bring the same advances on the X-S1 as it implemented on the X20. Of the three principal changes brought to the X 10, two can be made on the X-S2 bridge. The first most obvious one would be the adoption of the 2/3” CMOS sensor in the X-Trans version, meaning that it will be gifted with a complex color matrix that will bypass the need for a low pass color optic filter. The result will be optimized sharpness, de facto superior to that of the X-S1. The image quality of the EXR CMOS of X-S1 sensor is already more than satisfactory, but if it has the same sensitivity and with the sensor proposed of 12 megapixels the X-S2 gains in sharpness we’ll buy it! The second improvement includes both the sensor and the autofocus. The new EXR CMOS X-Trans II encloses diodes used by the camera to focus using phase detection. This means focus is achieved in 0,06 of a second which is announced on the X20 so we can expect similar performances on the X-S2 bridge aside from a minimal difference due to them having different lenses. The third principle improvement on the Fujifilm X20 was the found in the optic visor which will certainly not concern this luxury bridge equipped with an electronic visor.
Of course in the end naturally the choice comes down to you. If it does see daylight, which we think will happen, the Fujifilm X-S2 will be a X-S1 pushed even further, offering even sharper images and faster autofocus than the X-S1. In what concerns the rest we can expect to find the same excellent technical characteristics which have made the success story of this bridge. The fact is that today we can find X-S1 cameras for the price of around $500, and while that does sound a bit pricey keep in mind that it was listed at $699 and we don’t see any reason why the X-S2 would sell for less than that. What it boils down to is that we’ll have to put out $200 more for the improved sharpness and speed of the autofocus brought to the X-S2.