The future for Fuji cameras

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
John Carson
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 10 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

John Carson wrote:

Panasonic introduced the G1 in 2008, following years of development. The future was clear then.

Not at all. I recall all kinds of issues with this camera, particularly it's beyond lethargic focusing. No one was proclaiming the future is mirrorless back then.

Its focusing was not "beyond lethargic" (though the first offering from Olympus was widely criticised on that basis). DP Review declared in its review.

"And our initial tests would suggest that they have solved at least one of the technological problems mentioned earlier (the contrast-detect autofocus is easily as fast as any other entry-level DSLR)." (emphasis added)

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcg1/

As for no one proclaiming that the future was mirrorless "back then", DP Review's forums were full of such proclamations (which were hotly disputed by others). Indeed, people were proclaiming it even before the G1 was announced (there was many a thread about EVIL cameras -- Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens -- long before such a thing actually existed).

As things have turned out, mirrorless cameras have not achieved dominance as quickly as some (including me) expected. For several years, mirrorless basically meant m4/3 cameras and these were held back by having inferior IQ compared to APS-C DSLRs.

Beyond that, autofocusing has taken longer to reach DSLR standards than might have been hoped, with subject tracking being the main problem.

However, while the exact timing of the mirrorless takeover was (and is) hard to predict, the fact that it would happen was clear to many back in 2008 or even earlier.

Of course, DSLRs continued to sell and will do so for some years. However, developing a line of cameras that may potentially compete with the market leaders requires years of investment, and then many more years of sales in order to recoup the cost of that investment. Fuji did not appear to be particularly well-placed to make inroads in the DSLR market -- it was dependent on Nikon for its bodies -- so we are talking about a very long-term campaign, which, had it succeeded, would have done so just when Fuji needed to be putting all its resources into mirrorless.

The fundamental point here is that investment is intrinsically a long-term thing. You have to position yourself for the future. Fuji has survived whereas Kodak has not because Fuji has thought long term.

Incorrect! Fujifilm survived because it *diversified* away from film and photography in general. 85% of Fujifilm's revenue and 100% of it's profits come from non photographic businesses. Imagine Solutions makes up only 15% of Fuji's revenues. Cameras are HALF of that. Office equipment, medical equipment, medicines, various LCD coatings, inks, etc, are all businesses that Fujifilm entered when it decided that the only way to survive the collapse of film was to diversify.

I don't dispute any of that. It remains a fact that, as I stated, Fuji has thought long term and survived because of that. It saw the end of film and it sought other revenue sources. It applied the same long term thinking when it ditched DSLRs.

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john carson

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