Has Fujifilm gone too far? The 40mp X100VI.

 

I think Fujifilm have gone too far with the 40 megapixel sensor in the X100VI. (And don’t get me started about the five-axis IBIS system….in a point and shoot?) I have to wonder what the inspiration was? Is it an attempt to keep up with Leica? And I say that with the utmost respect, being an X100 user since 2011, as a see that brand as the only true competitor to the X100 range.

 

Let's talk practicality for a moment. Unless you're in a niche that demands ultra-high resolution – think architectural photography or specialised printing – anything over 24 megapixels is just overkill. And if you're a hobbyist? Well, resolution matters even less. It's just marketing mumbo jumbo.

 

Take it from someone who's been around the block a few times in the photography world. My trusty Fujifilm X100, with its modest 12 megapixels, still churns out fantastic shots. Sure, high resolution might seem appealing, but how often are you printing massive posters or exhibiting your work in galleries? For most of us, a crisp 16-megapixel shot is more than sufficient for exhibitions, books, and magazines. And let's not forget the golden age of film photography – we were creating masterpieces with far fewer megapixels, weren't we?

 

I don’t think the 40mp sensor is an improvement on the brilliant 26mp sensor in the X100V. Let's take a step back and look at why, for the majority of photographers, it might just be unnecessary.

 

Scenario One: you’re a street and travel photographer capturing your daily grind or latest overseas adventure, morning coffee with that beautiful cafe window light or perhaps just photos of you family and the dog. You’re probably the main market for the X100VI. What is the end use of your images? Facebook? Instagram? Maybe a mini-zine for the very dedicated? If you share a photo on social media at a higher resolution, Instagram and Facebook size it down to 1080 pixels! They don’t care that you paid $2,800 for a shiny new 40mp sensor.

 

Have you thought about the storage requirements for those 40mp files. And the download time? If, like me, you like to send the jpeg files to your phone via the Fujifilm App for a quick edit and upload to social media, how long is it going to be before your phone storage maxes out? And what is the transfer time of those 40mp files from camera to phone (factoring in the app crashing two or three times)?

 

At the end of the day, it's not about how many megapixels your camera has; it's about the focus, composition, and subject matter. As street photographers, we should be more concerned with capturing the essence of a moment than getting lost in the pixel count.

 

But hey, don't just take my word for it. Magnum Photographer Alex Majoli worked wonders with a measly 5-megapixel Olympus point-and-shoot during some of the most pivotal moments in recent history. And Daido Moriyama? He's out there capturing the essence of life with whatever camera he gets his hands on – no fancy high-res sensors needed.

 

Scenario Two: you're a wedding and lifestyle photographer, capturing those precious moments that couples will cherish for a lifetime. But here's the thing – while you're obsessing over every pixel, your clients are probably going to post the photos to Instagram and Facebook and view them on their outdated laptop that can’t even handle viewing those high-res images.

 

In fact, a well-known wedding photographer decided to give the Fujifilm XT-5 with its whopping resolution a whirl for a whole year. And guess what? They found it to be more of a hindrance than a help.They said the 40mp images meant they could crop more, however that's a skill issue more so than a feature. Sure, theoretically, those 40-megapixel images were sharper, but in reality, nobody other than the photographer noticed. Plus, they had to factor in the slower buffer and sluggish computer performance when dealing with massive files? Not exactly a recipe for success.

 

World renowned documentary wedding photographer Kevin Mullins achieved his status shooting weddings on a pair of 16mp X-Pro1’s. He even used the 16mp X100T for weddings. (My clients and I are more than happy with the images out of my pair of 26mp X-T3’s). If you haven’t seen Kevin’s work then go check him out. His photos are beautiful!

 

Now, let's address the elephant in the room – resolution obsession. Sure, we love to geek out over the latest camera gear, but let's not forget that photography is about, well, taking photos! It's about capturing moments, telling stories, and evoking emotions – not just fixating on the technical specs of our cameras. And here’s the crux of the whole thing….Fujifilm is famous for its presets and most of those presets emulate 1970’s film. What’s 1970’s film synonymous with? That smooth, creamy cinematic feel that makes it look like you used your Dad’s Nikon F2. Everyone wants a Fujifilm camera to get that ‘dreamy look’ to their photos. Just ask TikTok. 

 

Further on resolution, the other rage right now is diffusion filters - a lens filter that takes the edge off your digital sensor. They are used to catch and bloom light, soften hard edges, and they have a smoothing effect on skin tones, making wrinkles less noticeable. One company says, “Escape the clinical, ultra-sharp look of digital…” All the big names - NiSi, Moment, Tiffen are featuring them on their websites and social media. Every creators favourite brand PolarPro recently released the sold-out Shortstache black mist with polariser filter. And the most popular was the 49mm thread size! Things that make you go hmmmmmm….

 

So, before you get caught up in the resolution race, ask yourself: do you really need all those extra pixels? Maybe, just maybe, it's the photographer – not the camera – that makes a picture truly great. After all, it's light, shadow, and composition that elevate an image, not just technology alone.

 

In the end we should all focus on what truly matters – capturing moments, telling stories, and letting our creativity shine. And remember, whether you're shooting with a pinhole camera or the latest high-res behemoth, it's the artistry behind the lens that truly makes a photograph come to life.

 

Sunflower Season - Queensland 2012.

Where it all began for me and Fujifilm. My first photo to go viral, be sold for wall prints, used in a tourism media campaign....and be stolen and re-used numerous times. Taken on the original X100 with only 12 megapixels.

 

Factory Worker - Pakistan 2013

 From my series on factory workers. A very low-light photo from a factory in Pakistan on my 16 megapixel Fujifilm X-E2 and 35mm 1.4 lens.

Hey Man - India 2017

Street photography in Varanasi, India. Taken on my X-Pro 2 and XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, f/6.4 and 1/15 sec. I had taken the leap to a 24mp sensor.

The Happy Couple - Wedding photographyWhere I'm at now...a pair of 26 megapixel Fujifilm X-T3's with 23mm 1.4 and 56mm 1.2 lenses.


Nathan

Posted By Nathan
Hi there! I'm Nathan Brayshaw, an adventure travel photographer and writer based on Queensland’s Gold Coast in Australia. I've always had a deep love for nature and a yearning to explore the world, which has led me on thrilling expeditions to remote and exotic destinations.

As a photographer, I'm passionate about capturing the raw beauty of our planet, from breathtaking landscapes to awe-inspiring wildlife, and everything in between. My camera is my constant companion as I journey through dense jungles and summit towering peaks, always in search of the perfect shot that tells a story.

In addition to my photography, I'm also passionate about writing, as it allows me to share my experiences and insights with a wider audience. I believe that through my work, I can encourage others to step out of their comfort zones, explore the unknown, and embrace the thrill of adventure.

With my passion for exploration, my camera in hand, and my heart set on discovering the world's wonders, I'm constantly pushing the boundaries of adventure travel photography and writing. Join me on this incredible journey as we uncover the breathtaking beauty and diverse cultures that our planet has to offer.

Updated : 29th March 2024 | Words : 1169 | Views : 432

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Monsoon Boy - Pakistan 2013
Factory Worker - Pakistan 2013
Sunflower Season - Queensland 2012.
Hey Man - India 2017
The Happy Couple - Wedding photography

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