Not all that long ago there was a lot of talk about Fujifilm and the lack of IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization). They even did some interviews and explained that IBIS was supposedly not compatible with their current X-Trans implementation, also noting they were unwilling to compromise image quality to mak software adjustments to images that would be required. That pretty much put to rest any hope and rumor regarding Fuji and IBIS… until now.
The latest rumors regarding the next Fujifilm X-T camera, the X-T2s, are pointing to Fujifilm adding IBIS to its feature set. This would be a HUGE addition if it turns out to be true, and it would also indicate that Fujifilm has changed their stance on IBIS and the compromises it would require in their X-Series system. Now, the X-T2 isn’t even a year old yet, so chances of the X-T2s being on the way anytime soon are incredibly slim – but this rumor is worth discussing.
If we think about it, what differentiates Fuji’s top end cameras from Sony’s? The biggest thing has got to be that the Sony bodies (A6500 for example) have IBIS and the Fujifilm bodies don’t. A photographer can place any lens on the Sony and get image stabilization, and while it may not be quite as effective as lens based image stabilization (according to Canon/Nikon) it is no doubt better than not having any. For people shooting at slower shutter speeds (1/250th and below), people with shaky hands, and hand holding in general, having IBIS is a godsend for mitigating camera shake.
IBIS is also an easier solution than building IS into more lenses. Fujifilm can design the IBIS system once for each camera and be done with it vs doing it over and over again on every lens they want to add IS to. As well, in the mirrorless realm, IBIS has become a big marketing tagline, like 4K video. People comparing spec sheets online don’t have the benefit of feeling a camera, so they go off specs, and if you look at spec sheet vs spec sheet, IBIS (or the lack of it) will be something that could stand out to a potential buyer.
As well, not that Fujifilm has become more serious about their video features, IBIS is incredibly helpful for video shooters – smoother hand held footage, image stabilized prime lenses, etc.
On the other hand, Fujifilm’s crop sensor cameras are already some of the most expensive on the market. People don’t like spending more money and getting less functionality, even if it is functionality they don’t need or plan on using. But adding IBIS would give Fujifilm the option of increasing the price even more – something I am fairly certain most Fujifilm shooters wouldn’t be too thrilled with.
In my opinion, as someone who shoots a lot of adapted glass, I would love the option of a Fujifilm camera with IBIS. That said, I don’t see why they can’t give people the option – make two versions, one with IBIS (priced to take that into account) and one without for those who don’t need or want the functionality or just prefer to save a little money.
Now that I mention it, that is probably the only way that I could see an X-T2s coming out anytime soon if it was literally the X-T2 with no other improvements or upgrades except the addition of IBIS. Would it piss off some X-T2 owners, maybe, but assuming it was available at a premium price, it’s not as if they could complain that much because they would have had to spend more to get it anyway.
Fujifilm has always been good about listening to their users and making features and improvements based upon feedback. So, assuming others are telling Fuji they want IBIS (or at least the option for it), I certainly think it within the realm of possibility that Fujifilm is seriously considering it, even if it would be rather ironic given their recent insistence that it wasn’t possible.
Anyone else getting flashbacks to Nikon’s insistence years ago about APS-C and neverdeveloping a full frame digital? ha We all know how that turned out. It will be interesting to see if Fujifilm ends up eating their own words as well.