The big news at Fujifilm’s Photokina booth is not the graphite X-T1, nor is it the new 50-140mm F2.8 lens or 140-400mm F4-5.6 mockup zoom lens. The big news is that Fujifilm continues to innovate, jumping into drone photography in their own inimitable way.
Fujifilm shared exclusive patent-pending technology with NCN, asking that we not share this information with anybody, least of all our NCN readers, who Fujifilm says are “without a doubt the most intelligent, articulate, and attractive people in all of photography.”
So here’s the big scoop-Fujifilm is building a drone! Not just one, actually, but two! Fujifilm is serious about this–they see drone photography becoming just as big as selfies and POV videos popularized by GoPro. But unlike current drones, these are not sleek, modern, lightweight, multi-rotor drones favored by denizens of the 21st century.
The high priests of retro, Fujifilm understand more than anyone that photography should be slow and measured, not buzzing, whirring, and frenetic. Thus the Fujifilm drone will be different, one nearly silent and more deliberate in its pacing and movements, the other a bit more cantankerous, yet still firmly in the retro style.
Here are images taken from Fujifilm’s patent application:
Fujifilm is quite pleased with themselves, approaching a modern trend in a new old way that is unique and uniquely Fujifilm.
Engineers are still working on early prototypes and the production team is already grappling with the challenge of how to ship the drones with the required crew; the dirigible requires a captain and two “sailors” while the steam locomotive drone requires a train driver, fireman, and several miles of track.
[Steam train image from Northwest Railway Museum Collection]