The future for Fuji cameras

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Asylum Photo
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to mooshoepork, 9 months ago

It really depends on if they make money on the X-Series.

The fact that they lost money on imaging, but are really focusing on the X-Series tells me that Fuji thinks the X-Series is their best shot at profits. Whether that's true for the future or not, is to be seen. It's a tough market unless you are Nikon, Canon or Sony/Olympus now.

At the very least we will have some new products next year. And our existing products should still work for years to come.

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JohnLL
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to ZTJ, 9 months ago

I got into this fairly recently with an XP1 after thinking about it for more than a year. The RAW processing issues were probably my major concern, so for Xtrans sensors I switched to Capture One 7 Express (about $90). I have had zero issues with foliage so far. HTH.

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Asylum Photo
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 9 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

57LowRider wrote:

I feel that they should be doing better than they are; perhaps they need to capitalise on the most common response from new X system users: "Fuji put the fun back into photography". Their ad people can use that alliterative line and make it theirs, it's no lie.

Fujifilm advertises??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WwzpFx9jk4&noredirect=1

This ad played while I watched a show on Hulu the other day. I was surprised to see it.

It's very Japanese, I don't think the style of it will do much good in the US.

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57even
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Asylum Photo, 9 months ago

Asylum Photo wrote:

It really depends on if they make money on the X-Series.

The fact that they lost money on imaging,

They made money on smartphone camera modules which partly offset the decline in compact sales. Losses were small and overall earnings company wide were up on the same period last year.

http://www.fujifilmholdings.com/en/pdf/investors/finance/materials/ff_fy_2014q2_001.pdf

but are really focusing on the X-Series tells me that Fuji thinks the X-Series is their best shot at profits. Whether that's true for the future or not, is to be seen. It's a tough market unless you are Nikon, Canon or Sony/Olympus now.

At the very least we will have some new products next year. And our existing products should still work for years to come.

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Reuters article fails to mention the fact that smaller companies have minimal penetration in the US compared to the big three. Only reasons SLRs are still dominant are:

1. Price - entry level prices for DSLRs are still low compared to mirrorless. Fuji's low cost entry level is a bid to fight off that difference.

2. Brand - most people only know Nikon and Canon in the camera market, and they push SLRs so that's what people buy.

But Fuji has good traction with pros, and many people here have given up on SLRs for them. So I think there is a future, if they hold out. They can be profitable with low sales if they don't end up with huge inventories.

Contrary to FUD from some quarters around here, Fuji's financials don't look too bad overall. Losses in imaging are all in the compact camera segment. Certainly looking better the Olympus and Panasonic.

I guess we will never know their long term plan for the X series in terms of sales and revenues, but they started from zero only 2 years ago.

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Asylum Photo
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to 57even, 9 months ago

57even wrote:

Asylum Photo wrote:

It really depends on if they make money on the X-Series.

The fact that they lost money on imaging,

They made money on smartphone camera modules which partly offset the decline in compact sales. Losses were small and overall earnings company wide were up on the same period last year.

http://www.fujifilmholdings.com/en/pdf/investors/finance/materials/ff_fy_2014q2_001.pdf

but are really focusing on the X-Series tells me that Fuji thinks the X-Series is their best shot at profits. Whether that's true for the future or not, is to be seen. It's a tough market unless you are Nikon, Canon or Sony/Olympus now.

At the very least we will have some new products next year. And our existing products should still work for years to come.

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Reuters article fails to mention the fact that smaller companies have minimal penetration in the US compared to the big three. Only reasons SLRs are still dominant are:

1. Price - entry level prices for DSLRs are still low compared to mirrorless. Fuji's low cost entry level is a bid to fight off that difference.

2. Brand - most people only know Nikon and Canon in the camera market, and they push SLRs so that's what people buy.

But Fuji has good traction with pros, and many people here have given up on SLRs for them. So I think there is a future, if they hold out. They can be profitable with low sales if they don't end up with huge inventories.

Contrary to FUD from some quarters around here, Fuji's financials don't look too bad overall. Losses in imaging are all in the compact camera segment. Certainly looking better the Olympus and Panasonic.

I guess we will never know their long term plan for the X series in terms of sales and revenues, but they started from zero only 2 years ago.

Yeah, their reports and interviews make it sound like compact sales have had a major impact on profits, which is why they are doubling down on the X series, while lowering compact production. Also, I'd be curious to see a similar sales chart for the US and Europe... I feel like the X series is doing relatively ok in the US. Among photo enthusiasts and photographers, it seems to be pretty popular anyways.

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dark13star
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Their business plan
In reply to mooshoepork, 9 months ago

While Fuji's financials are public and we know they are not making money off the camera division, their business plan is not. We can only take hints by earnings, guidance, and performance.

That said, Fuji must expect to be losing money on the X cameras right now. No company blazes into a new market with plans to instant profitability. I've never worked to bring a division of a large company profitable, but I have worked to bring new small companies profitable and the plans are usually 3-5 years in growth markets and 5-7 years in more mature markets.

Right now, Fuji needs to be focused on building brand awareness and demand while bringing in customers who commit to the system and will spend money in the future. Given this situation, I expect that we will continue to see some amazing promotional offers on Fuji bodies and lenses for the next few years.

If the X system is not established in the next 3-4 years and building towards profitability, then we can start worrying about the viability of our choices. I don't worry about things that far out though. I'm just enjoying these great cameras and lenses now.

Rich

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57even
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Asylum Photo, 9 months ago

Asylum Photo wrote:

57even wrote:

Asylum Photo wrote:

It really depends on if they make money on the X-Series.

The fact that they lost money on imaging,

They made money on smartphone camera modules which partly offset the decline in compact sales. Losses were small and overall earnings company wide were up on the same period last year.

http://www.fujifilmholdings.com/en/pdf/investors/finance/materials/ff_fy_2014q2_001.pdf

but are really focusing on the X-Series tells me that Fuji thinks the X-Series is their best shot at profits. Whether that's true for the future or not, is to be seen. It's a tough market unless you are Nikon, Canon or Sony/Olympus now.

At the very least we will have some new products next year. And our existing products should still work for years to come.

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Reuters article fails to mention the fact that smaller companies have minimal penetration in the US compared to the big three. Only reasons SLRs are still dominant are:

1. Price - entry level prices for DSLRs are still low compared to mirrorless. Fuji's low cost entry level is a bid to fight off that difference.

2. Brand - most people only know Nikon and Canon in the camera market, and they push SLRs so that's what people buy.

But Fuji has good traction with pros, and many people here have given up on SLRs for them. So I think there is a future, if they hold out. They can be profitable with low sales if they don't end up with huge inventories.

Contrary to FUD from some quarters around here, Fuji's financials don't look too bad overall. Losses in imaging are all in the compact camera segment. Certainly looking better the Olympus and Panasonic.

I guess we will never know their long term plan for the X series in terms of sales and revenues, but they started from zero only 2 years ago.

Yeah, their reports and interviews make it sound like compact sales have had a major impact on profits, which is why they are doubling down on the X series, while lowering compact production. Also, I'd be curious to see a similar sales chart for the US and Europe... I feel like the X series is doing relatively ok in the US. Among photo enthusiasts and photographers, it seems to be pretty popular anyways.

I gather it is doing well in the UK as well. There were shortages following every new release, but seemingly the low end models are not as popular. Same is less true across the EU as a whole, possibly because of the differences in sales channels. UK has lots of small independent dealers, but you seldom see Fuji in big box stores.

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57even
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Re: Their business plan
In reply to dark13star, 9 months ago

dark13star wrote:

While Fuji's financials are public and we know they are not making money off the camera division, their business plan is not. We can only take hints by earnings, guidance, and performance.

That said, Fuji must expect to be losing money on the X cameras right now. No company blazes into a new market with plans to instant profitability. I've never worked to bring a division of a large company profitable, but I have worked to bring new small companies profitable and the plans are usually 3-5 years in growth markets and 5-7 years in more mature markets.

Right now, Fuji needs to be focused on building brand awareness and demand while bringing in customers who commit to the system and will spend money in the future. Given this situation, I expect that we will continue to see some amazing promotional offers on Fuji bodies and lenses for the next few years.

If the X system is not established in the next 3-4 years and building towards profitability, then we can start worrying about the viability of our choices. I don't worry about things that far out though. I'm just enjoying these great cameras and lenses now.

Rich

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+10. Spot on.

If Fuji's general financials were poor, I would be more worried, but the imaging division is still making money from smart-phone components and specialist imaging applications. Losses are small compared to overall earnings.

They have a few years to break into profit. They will make some mistakes along the way I have no doubt, but they were probably amazed when the X100 became such a sensation.

But they need to work the channels. No avoiding that.

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MostlyUnoriginal
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to mooshoepork, 9 months ago

The thing is, there's nothing I can do to make Fuji profitable other than tell anyone who's interested that I love my Fuji, that the lenses are epic, that it's intuitive and gets out of my way when I'm using it, and that it really helps make my photos better.

These threads about the possible demise of the x cams and how Fuji isn't selling enough units make me second-guess my decision to buy into the system in a knee-jerk sort of way, but then I sit back and realize that I'm taking more pictures (and more pictures I'm really pleased with) than ever before and that's largely a result of the points above.

If fuji cans the x series, well, that would suck, and it would be a damn shame, but I would survive. In the meantime, I'm going to keep taking photos and loving the camera I'm taking them with, and I'm going to stop clicking on these threads.

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BRPWS
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I am a very strong advocate for mirrorless cameras especially Fujicolor products
In reply to mooshoepork, 9 months ago

mooshoepork wrote:

Not trying to troll...

But given the recent sales reports over at fuji rumors, does anyone else worry about the potential for Fuji to throw in the towel and abandon this venture?

Having only sold 700,000...seems really low.

I love my x100s and x-e2, but I'm worried that if they continue to not make money they'll withdraw.

It's a tough market to crack, and I hope they fair better in 2014.

Thoughts?

The title says it all. I have worked in the photo industry for a major camera manufacturer (over 40 years and now retired). The mirrorless camera should have ushered in a new concept for the camera industry and I am still hopeful that it will.

The Fujicolor cameras and lenses are some of the best I have ever used and they are my final cameras. I am putting in a link to the New York Times article about the industry. For years the camera companies like Olympus and Fuji, Panasonic, Samsung have been losing money in their photo divisions, but they have had enough diversity to keep them from walking away.

I think we can only hope that they continue to support those of us who want high quality equipment as opposed to the Selfie phone cameras. And by the way, according to the link article, most smartphone manufacturers are in a non profit position on their phones

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/12/29/business/29reuters-japan-cameras.html?_r=2&

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Re: I am a very strong advocate for mirrorless cameras especially Fujicolor products
In reply to BRPWS, 9 months ago

by the way Happy and successful and healthy New Year.

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Qwntm
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The Pro's are starting to switch now...
In reply to mooshoepork, 9 months ago

And once the Pro's start using a brand, everyone else follows. Fuji has done it right, but it has taken a while. Make the high end pro stuff first, that drives the consumer stuff.

Any company that is making a new 23mm 1.4 and 56mm 1.2 gets it. If they follow the Xpro1 with a weather sealed body and even faster AF, add a pro flash unit with off camera cord, and the rumored 16-55 2.8 and 55-140  2.8, then 2014 will be the year pro's bought new rangefinder systems. 2015 Fuji will be eating the consumer market share, and Canon Nikon Panasonic and Sony will be wondering how they did it.

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Segaman
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to mooshoepork, 9 months ago

There is nothing to do with this matter, I have seen Digital synthesizer get over the analog ones, and now what do we see?

The analog is coming back.

So in the end, just follow your own direction, don't care bout all the hype, all the fear, just shoot and have fun.

That is the only thing you can control in the end.

Technologie changes too fast to my taste!

Fuji is on the right direction, B&H sale mans told me those guys are doing really really well!

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Robert Garcia NYC
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Re: The Pro's are starting to switch now...
In reply to Qwntm, 9 months ago

I wouldn't worry just enjoy what you have take tons of pictures and the rest will take care of itself. The only problem I see for the Fuji and company is that full frame prices have dropped to APSC levels now and the 23mm and 55mm equivalents are cheaper when converting apertures. I am also willing to bet that 2.8 zooms won't be that small. We will see for 2014 I wouldn't count Fuji out though they have a good product with the X series.

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NTNphoto
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to mooshoepork, 9 months ago

I truly wish they would at least give the option of a Bayer X-E2 or a XP1. The X-trans, to me, is not worth the extra grief. You can get good results with them, but for me I find the images require too much massaging in raw to do much in the way of bulk editing. I bet the results of the X-M1 and X-A1 are very similar so I'm really thinking what people love about the rendering has lots to do with Fuji's processing of color and not the sensor so much.

I don't think X trans adds anything that Bayer couldn't do and it creates extra problems. Sure you can work around them, but really what's the point when they could just put in a Bayer.

The form factor is excellent, the lenses are excellent, their spirit of continuing firmware upgrades is great, the size, and the jpeg engine is excellent. I think a lot of the fuji colors we like are from their jpeg engine and the lenses' color rendering so put a solid Bayer sensor without a AA in and these cameras are a force to be reckoned with. I know I would continue buying into the Fuji system if they did as of right now I'm not buying anymore lenses or cameras despite really wanting that 23mm 1.4 and the new 56 1.2 coming.

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masterofdeception
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras is with Bayer?
In reply to justinwonnacott, 9 months ago

justinwonnacott wrote:

I will not purchase another fuji that has an xtrans sensor. Otherwise... i am a potential customer.

I would.

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Robert Garcia NYC
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to NTNphoto, 9 months ago

NTNphoto wrote:

I truly wish they would at least give the option of a Bayer X-E2 or a XP1. The X-trans, to me, is not worth the extra grief. You can get good results with them, but for me I find the images require too much massaging in raw to do much in the way of bulk editing. I bet the results of the X-M1 and X-A1 are very similar so I'm really thinking what people love about the rendering has lots to do with Fuji's processing of color and not the sensor so much.

I don't think X trans adds anything that Bayer couldn't do and it creates extra problems. Sure you can work around them, but really what's the point when they could just put in a Bayer.

The form factor is excellent, the lenses are excellent, their spirit of continuing firmware upgrades is great, the size, and the jpeg engine is excellent. I think a lot of the fuji colors we like are from their jpeg engine and the lenses' color rendering so put a solid Bayer sensor without a AA in and these cameras are a force to be reckoned with. I know I would continue buying into the Fuji system if they did as of right now I'm not buying anymore lenses or cameras despite really wanting that 23mm 1.4 and the new 56 1.2 coming.

+1 Yes, all about the color engine (lenses) they need to simply the post processing.

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mr moonlight
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Re: Their business plan
In reply to dark13star, 9 months ago

dark13star wrote:

While Fuji's financials are public and we know they are not making money off the camera division, their business plan is not. We can only take hints by earnings, guidance, and performance.

That said, Fuji must expect to be losing money on the X cameras right now. No company blazes into a new market with plans to instant profitability. I've never worked to bring a division of a large company profitable, but I have worked to bring new small companies profitable and the plans are usually 3-5 years in growth markets and 5-7 years in more mature markets.

Right now, Fuji needs to be focused on building brand awareness and demand while bringing in customers who commit to the system and will spend money in the future. Given this situation, I expect that we will continue to see some amazing promotional offers on Fuji bodies and lenses for the next few years.

If the X system is not established in the next 3-4 years and building towards profitability, then we can start worrying about the viability of our choices. I don't worry about things that far out though. I'm just enjoying these great cameras and lenses now.

Rich

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This.

It takes time to recoup R&D costs and gain a following in the market. Fuji's X-series may be infinitely well known on this forum and among a good number of camera fanatics, but to the general public they're not. That will take a few years.

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Chris Dodkin
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This might provide a perspective
In reply to mooshoepork, 9 months ago

The generation and adoption of new technologies is not a new phenomenon, it's been going on for hundreds if not thousands of years.

There has been a great deal of study in this area, and models have been generated that help companies plan their product launches, and understand where they stand as new technologies make their way to market.

There are no guarantees, but there are well developed models which have been well proven over time.

There are two that we can review here, based on the OP:

The Hype Cycle model (used by Gartner since 1995)

The Technology Adoption Lifecycle model championed by Everett Rogers and Geoffrey Moore

The accepted model is that a new technology goes through the following three phases:

  1. Hype: Search for next big thing leads to Hype around any new technology.
  2. Struggle: Adoption of these Bleeding Edge technologies depended on the Visionaries who had the vision, energy and money to make it work.
  3. Success: Mainstream adoption required convincing the Pragmatists who needed success stories and support system around the technology.

You can simplify the two models, and see their relationships by plotting Expectation and Adoption Rate against time, on a pair of graphs.

The top graph maps the expectations over time - you may not recognize the exact terms used, but if you think about new technologies that you've seen come to market, you'll see how the cycle of expectation maps to this diagram.

The OP based on the NYT article would put us right after the peak of inflated expectation, and in the trough of disillusionment.

The lower graph shows the adoption of new technologies over time - initially you have innovators picking up the new products, sales are low because most people are not comfortable investing in bleeding edge tech, and want to see success stories in order to feel comfortable to make the investment in a new tech or system.

As sales grow you have to cross the chasm from the early adopters, to the Majority - where normal folk start to see the product as a viable option, and feel safe buying it. This is where volume of sales rises steeply, and the profitability/productivity comes.

Based on the sales numbers, we'd say that Fuji are currently trying to cross the chasm - you see them injecting the market with body+lens deals to get the adoption rate up, building momentum to try and cross the chasm and get to that mainstream (majority) adoption phase.

Companies are well aware of these models, so you could expect that Fuji have planed for this ahead of time, and have a strategy in place to reach profitable sales to the plateau of productivity.

This is the piece that is not in the public domain - we don't know the details of their strategy.

However - for us 'Early Adopters' - we at least have a perspective of why we see what we see regarding sales numbers, visible numbers of cameras in the field, special sales promotions from the manufacturer, statements about profit and loss etc etc.

Because without the bigger picture, you might be confused as to what's going on and why.

At the end of the day - new technology adoption rarely happens overnight - all of this takes a lot of time and money, and there's still no guarantee of success.

Some people are ok with that - they like being here at the bleeding/leading edge.

Some people are uncomfortable with that - you see them post here and express their discomfort with the technology, or the products progression, or the companies performance.

It's an interesting journey - should be fun to see how it all shakes out.

More detail on the Hype Cycle idea here: http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp

More Detail on the Technology Adoption Cycle here: http://www.hightechstrategies.com/profiles.html

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tissunique
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Re: The Pro's are starting to switch now...
In reply to Qwntm, 9 months ago

I think it's early days to judge Fuji's camera future. Years ago I mentioned in this very forum that Fuji should get together with Nikon to develop a digital model based around the Konica Hexar. However, Fuji went out to the market before anybody else and alone to produce such a camera and a range based around this retro look. They should now look closely at what Sony and Nikon are doing with smaller FX cameras and while they have declared no interest I think they could produce something rather special. That said, their sensors and performance are so good and I believe have more potential to grwo in volume sales terms as both a oprimary and secondary camera (I have an X20 myself as my carry around camera alongside my D3s). Fuji has a future but they have to develop a watertight strategy and perhaps even look for direct consumer response via online questionaire.

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