The future for Fuji cameras

Started Dec 31, 2013 | Discussions
Caerolle
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, Dec 31, 2013

Graham Hill wrote:

The verbiage in their financial reports reflects the current reality. Fujifilm's plans, I believe, are to drastically improve upon the current performance.

Also, it is highly unlikely that this plant is only for X camera lenses. If we secure their business, I am going to push hard to get myself into that plant and have a look-see.

What other lenses would they be making? For P&S camera?

I do like those Instax cameras, have come really close to getting one a couple of times, they look really fun. If I had a teen-aged daughter, I would buy her one for sure!

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Caerolle, Dec 31, 2013

Caerolle wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

The verbiage in their financial reports reflects the current reality. Fujifilm's plans, I believe, are to drastically improve upon the current performance.

Also, it is highly unlikely that this plant is only for X camera lenses. If we secure their business, I am going to push hard to get myself into that plant and have a look-see.

What other lenses would they be making? For P&S camera?

TV camera lenses.  Fujifilm has a huge marketshare in TV cameras.

I do like those Instax cameras, have come really close to getting one a couple of times, they look really fun. If I had a teen-aged daughter, I would buy her one for sure!

Both my kids have INSTAX cameras and I have toyed around with getting the new Neo one.  The color film is actually very nice and sharp.  Far better than the old Polariods.

Incidentally, Fujifilm's former Director of Marketing (Kaycee Baker) now works for the Impossible Project (the company that is trying to resurrect Polaroid film).    That big change slipped under the radar.

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dark13star
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to TThorne, Dec 31, 2013

TThorne wrote:

Fujifilm is like that really innovative and creative spoiled son that is still supported by his father who remains proud of him despite the continuous losses. Big Daddy Fuji Holdings will not let his son go without, and will likely finance his son's adventures forever, not necessarily hoping to turn things around profit/loss wise, but just because he takes so much pride in his kid.

It is really a very cute and heart warming relationship that makes almost no sense business wise for Fuji. Make no mistake, the support comes from a personal and emotional place.

That being said, let me assure everyone that Fujifilm is not going anywhere. Fuji Holdings is RIDICULOUSLY successful and wealthy, and they will likely always pull Fujifilm up by the bootstraps and let them keep playing. It is really just a drop in the bucket for Big Daddy.

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The Fuji X-mount and X100 line are nowhere near old enough to make such an assessment. It's more like Fuji is sending the kid off to college, paying for a quality education as an investment.

The metaphors don't work, so I'll drop them. Realistically though, the camera market is changing. Fuji saw an opportunity to develop a mirrorless line and they are building the business through market and product development. They are doing it in a way that Canon and Nikon haven't. After all, they have much to lose in their DSLR market, so dominant players in one market segment are rarely disruptive in another.

Sony and Fuji are both being disruptive and building businesses by loss-leading. It's standard business practice and out of the two of them, I prefer Fuji's approach.

Rich

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to TThorne, Dec 31, 2013

TThorne wrote:

Fujifilm is like that really innovative and creative spoiled son that is still supported by his father who remains proud of him despite the continuous losses. Big Daddy Fuji Holdings will not let his son go without, and will likely finance his son's adventures forever,

I wish Big Daddy supported Fuji's film division so well.  We lost 5 of Fuji's films in 2013.  A HUGE loss for film shooters, particularly Provia 400X, the last high speed slide film in existence.  Losing Reala 100 was another gut wrenching blow.

not necessarily hoping to turn things around profit/loss wise, but just because he takes so much pride in his kid.

Such pride should reside in their film line.  Without that Fujifilm would never have existed.

It is really a very cute and heart warming relationship that makes almost no sense business wise for Fuji. Make no mistake, the support comes from a personal and emotional place.

That being said, let me assure everyone that Fujifilm is not going anywhere. Fuji Holdings is RIDICULOUSLY successful and wealthy, and they will likely always pull Fujifilm up by the bootstraps and let them keep playing. It is really just a drop in the bucket for Big Daddy.

I'm not sure where you get ridiculously profitable from.  Apple is ridiculously profitable.  Fujifilm Holdings, if memory serves, posted annual losses just a short time ago.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to dark13star, Dec 31, 2013

dark13star wrote:

Sony and Fuji are both being disruptive and building businesses by loss-leading. It's standard business practice and out of the two of them, I prefer Fuji's approach.

Rich

Where do you see disruption? I struggle to see what you are seeing here. Was the Sony RX1 disruptive? I'm not so sure. Is the A7? Again, hard to say, perhaps too early.

Fujifilm has nice products, but I dont see them as disruptive. Apple's iPhone was disruptive. That blew apart a huge part of their competition, never to recover. Fujifilm cant point to any disruptive success like that.

Further Canon and Nikon entered the mirrorless market and became *immediate* market leaders.

Not much disruption affecting them.

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Caerolle
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, Dec 31, 2013

Graham Hill wrote:

TV camera lenses. Fujifilm has a huge marketshare in TV cameras.

Both my kids have INSTAX cameras and I have toyed around with getting the new Neo one. The color film is actually very nice and sharp. Far better than the old Polariods.

Incidentally, Fujifilm's former Director of Marketing (Kaycee Baker) now works for the Impossible Project (the company that is trying to resurrect Polaroid film). That big change slipped under the radar.

Oh, TV cameras. Thanks!  

The price is pretty good on those Instmaxes, too. I bet your kids have a lot of fun with them, and hopefully is getting them interested in photography!

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dark13star
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, Dec 31, 2013

Graham Hill wrote:

dark13star wrote:

Sony and Fuji are both being disruptive and building businesses by loss-leading. It's standard business practice and out of the two of them, I prefer Fuji's approach.

Rich

Where do you see disruption? I struggle to see what you are seeing here. Was the Sony RX1 disruptive? I'm not so sure. Is the A7? Again, hard to say, perhaps too early.

Fujifilm has nice products, but I dont see them as disruptive. Apple's iPhone was disruptive. That blew apart a huge part of their competition, never to recover. Fujifilm cant point to any disruptive success like that.

Further Canon and Nikon entered the mirrorless market and became *immediate* market leaders.

Not much disruption affecting them.

Graham,

I won't compare them with Apple. I won't compare anyone with Apple (BTW, I've stopped using Apple examples with my staff, since they are impossible to follow). I will say that choosing to build a line of high quality lenses for a mirrorless camera system IS disruptive. Who else has addressed the old-school philosophy that "it is all about the glass" on a mirrorless platform? When I was shooting with the Nex-7, there was one stellar lens, the Zeiss 24mm. Who has dared to put the aperture ring back on the lens, the shutter speed dial back on the body?

Ok, not iPhone level of disruptive, but it got my attention as well as that of many others here. Now, whether the addressable demand is there to support the disruption, that is another question, but I do see Fuji as disruptive in the camera market.

Nikon and Canon are market leaders, so even their half-hearted offerings are bound to do well. I've been shooting Nikon since I learned to shoot in 1976 and I'm shooting Fuji now, not Nikon 1.

Rich

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TThorne
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to dark13star, 11 months ago

dark13star wrote:

TThorne wrote:

Fujifilm is like that really innovative and creative spoiled son that is still supported by his father who remains proud of him despite the continuous losses. Big Daddy Fuji Holdings will not let his son go without, and will likely finance his son's adventures forever, not necessarily hoping to turn things around profit/loss wise, but just because he takes so much pride in his kid.

It is really a very cute and heart warming relationship that makes almost no sense business wise for Fuji. Make no mistake, the support comes from a personal and emotional place.

That being said, let me assure everyone that Fujifilm is not going anywhere. Fuji Holdings is RIDICULOUSLY successful and wealthy, and they will likely always pull Fujifilm up by the bootstraps and let them keep playing. It is really just a drop in the bucket for Big Daddy.

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The Fuji X-mount and X100 line are nowhere near old enough to make such an assessment. It's more like Fuji is sending the kid off to college, paying for a quality education as an investment.

The metaphors don't work, so I'll drop them. Realistically though, the camera market is changing. Fuji saw an opportunity to develop a mirrorless line and they are building the business through market and product development. They are doing it in a way that Canon and Nikon haven't. After all, they have much to lose in their DSLR market, so dominant players in one market segment are rarely disruptive in another.

Sony and Fuji are both being disruptive and building businesses by loss-leading. It's standard business practice and out of the two of them, I prefer Fuji's approach.

Rich

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If memory serves me well, the losses were apparent in the S series venture as well, great as those cameras were. Fujifilm has been losing money for longer than the X series has been available.

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TThorne
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 11 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

TThorne wrote:

Fujifilm is like that really innovative and creative spoiled son that is still supported by his father who remains proud of him despite the continuous losses. Big Daddy Fuji Holdings will not let his son go without, and will likely finance his son's adventures forever,

I wish Big Daddy supported Fuji's film division so well. We lost 5 of Fuji's films in 2013. A HUGE loss for film shooters, particularly Provia 400X, the last high speed slide film in existence. Losing Reala 100 was another gut wrenching blow.

I should have been more specific as to digital and their newer ventures, as I know we were actually chatting about the loss of some of their really great film offerings. Sorry about those losses by the way. I know that stinks for you especially as you're shooting more film than digital. I hope they reverse themselves and offer these films again.

not necessarily hoping to turn things around profit/loss wise, but just because he takes so much pride in his kid.

Such pride should reside in their film line. Without that Fujifilm would never have existed.

True.

It is really a very cute and heart warming relationship that makes almost no sense business wise for Fuji. Make no mistake, the support comes from a personal and emotional place.

That being said, let me assure everyone that Fujifilm is not going anywhere. Fuji Holdings is RIDICULOUSLY successful and wealthy, and they will likely always pull Fujifilm up by the bootstraps and let them keep playing. It is really just a drop in the bucket for Big Daddy.

I'm not sure where you get ridiculously profitable from. Apple is ridiculously profitable. Fujifilm Holdings, if memory serves, posted annual losses just a short time ago.

I wasn't aware of the losses (I didn't look), but aren't they pretty wealthy as a whole? I deal with their Film and Television Production divisions and they seem to be made of money, but I don't have specific numbers to back that up.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to TThorne, 11 months ago

TThorne wrote:

If memory serves me well, the losses were apparent in the S series venture as well, great as those cameras were. Fujifilm has been losing money for longer than the X series has been available.

You really don't need a memory here.  If Fujifilm were making money on their S camera SLR's, they would still be making them.   That they bailed on that market is conclusive proof that they were money losers.  Being in bed with Nikon, and not making any lenses made failure almost a given.

Thankfully, those two mistakes were corrected with the X camera effort.

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Caerolle
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to TThorne, 11 months ago

TThorne wrote:

If memory serves me well, the losses were apparent in the S series venture as well, great as those cameras were. Fujifilm has been losing money for longer than the X series has been available.

Yes, which they abandoned. That worries me about the Fuji X-system.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Caerolle, 11 months ago

Caerolle wrote:

TThorne wrote:

If memory serves me well, the losses were apparent in the S series venture as well, great as those cameras were. Fujifilm has been losing money for longer than the X series has been available.

Yes, which they abandoned. That worries me about the Fuji X-system.

Yes, but they did so after 4 generations of effort.  I would not worry about losing the X camera line anytime soon.  Wait 5 years.  If they are STILL not making any money, then you can worry.

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Caerolle
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 11 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

Yes, but they did so after 4 generations of effort. I would not worry about losing the X camera line anytime soon. Wait 5 years. If they are STILL not making any money, then you can worry.

If I had a few thousand dollars worth of lenses, I would like to use them a bit longer than 5 years, though. Camera bodies don't last forever. And it is good to know that development will continue, of say, AF systems.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Caerolle, 11 months ago

Caerolle wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Yes, but they did so after 4 generations of effort. I would not worry about losing the X camera line anytime soon. Wait 5 years. If they are STILL not making any money, then you can worry.

If I had a few thousand dollars worth of lenses, I would like to use them a bit longer than 5 years, though. Camera bodies don't last forever. And it is good to know that development will continue, of say, AF systems.

I have an S5 Pro SLR from Fujifilm.  It still works years after it was discontinued and so will your cameras should Fujifilm bail on the X cameras.

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Ralph McKenzie
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 11 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:Absolutely false. You cannot claim that with any accuracy. If I am wrong, you can post said evidence. Fujifilm's verbiage on the X cameras line has become distinctly lukewarm over the past two years. In the previous quarterly report, INSTAX cameras got more press than the X cameras. That is *amazing*. The X cameras did not even appear on the slide where growth in 2014 was projected.

Interesting you should mention the Instax. Its the only Fuji camera that receives any media coverage, in retail flyers or television advertising. You never see a Fuji advert on TV pertaining to anything other than that camera and occasionally the S8400 when its on special from a retail chain.

Otherwise Fuji advertising is no existent.

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dark13star
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to TThorne, 11 months ago

TThorne wrote:

If memory serves me well, the losses were apparent in the S series venture as well, great as those cameras were. Fujifilm has been losing money for longer than the X series has been available.

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You are correct, but I see their DSLR venture and their X-System venture as completely different.

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a l b e r t
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 11 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

I too rarely ever see any Fujifilm adverts. In Hong Kong, you can see an almost unlimited number of signs for Canon, Nikon, Sony, and even Olympus. Fujifilm? Almost nonexistent. It is a real shame that they do not try to get their name out there.

That's not true.  I walked by a bus stop the other day near Tin Hau MTR station and saw the glass canopy covered with a X-E2 ad.  X-E2 ad is also seen on prime time TV.  Have you watched any of those HK TV soaps during prime time?  I guess you didn't.

But even so, I'd have to say their marketing effort is not particular effective.  Instead of shooting their own localized ads, they simply take the Japanese TV ad and make it their own.  You watched the whole ad and probably still don't know what they are selling, other than showing you the cameras at the end.  The ad also used young actors, as if they're trying to sell the X to the younger generation.  For all we know, the X is more adopted by the older generation, often with people older than 40.

During my recent trip to Japan, I looked for Fujifilm ads and again, came up virtually empty. What was more depressing was going to Fujifilm's corporate headquarters. There I visited a large exhibt that they have built, showing the history of photography, the history of Fujifilm, ALL of their current cameras on display, as well as a nice photography art exhibit. In downtown Tokyo, a city of 35 million people, at 1pm I was the ONLY person in the whole place. I could NOT understand that. Go to a Sony and Nikon store and they are packed with people. Fujifilm's store was like a library.

I was in Osaka/Kyoto in Nov 2012.  The locals were mostly using Sony NEX and m43 (Oly and Panny).  Few have APS-C DSLRs and for the locals using FF DSLRs are the grannies.  In case people don't know what is happening with Japanese economy, the older generations are often retired with loads of money.  They dine out everyday, travel everywhere and have the cash for FF DSLRs.  The younger generations are the ones that are struggling.  No more flashy cloths and they have to settle for anything but the very best.

Now, go back in time to the beginning of 2008.  I was in Tokyo and I saw a lot of younger locals using Fuji cameras.  But mostly they are small compacts, especially the ones with an internal zoom lens.  Now that small digicams are dead, Fuji has nothing to hold on to, except feverishly trying to catch up, and APS-C mirrorless is their target.  I can see why Fuji is doing all those cut throat sales, they need to build up a user base ASAP.  They're also making as many X ILCs as possible to cover all bases.  One can get a pretty cheap APS-C NEX-3 with similar price to a enthusiast compact.

The other method of luring user base is to give superb after sales support.  From reading all the reports here plus my own personal experience, Fuji is trying to give customers the best and most satisfying support to keep them in their camp.  I think they are succeeding, but with a high cost.

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a l b e r t
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 11 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

TThorne wrote:

If memory serves me well, the losses were apparent in the S series venture as well, great as those cameras were. Fujifilm has been losing money for longer than the X series has been available.

You really don't need a memory here. If Fujifilm were making money on their S camera SLR's, they would still be making them. That they bailed on that market is conclusive proof that they were money losers. Being in bed with Nikon, and not making any lenses made failure almost a given.

Thankfully, those two mistakes were corrected with the X camera effort.

Fuji did not bailed out on the S-series camera.  Their license to use the Nikon body has expired and Nikon did not want to renew the license.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to a l b e r t, 11 months ago

a l b e r t wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

TThorne wrote:

If memory serves me well, the losses were apparent in the S series venture as well, great as those cameras were. Fujifilm has been losing money for longer than the X series has been available.

You really don't need a memory here. If Fujifilm were making money on their S camera SLR's, they would still be making them. That they bailed on that market is conclusive proof that they were money losers. Being in bed with Nikon, and not making any lenses made failure almost a given.

Thankfully, those two mistakes were corrected with the X camera effort.

Fuji did not bailed out on the S-series camera. Their license to use the Nikon body has expired and Nikon did not want to renew the license.

I dont believe this to be true.  Back when the S5 Pro was current but ready for a new model, there was an ENORMOUS outcry to Fujifilm for an upgrade.  Back then there were numerous requests for an S6 that was full frame.  Anything really.  People had been with Fujifilm for many many years and wanted to continue that relationship.  This dragged on for several YEARS.  Read the archives here for yourself.

At no point did Fujifilm EVER announce anything that said Nikon was preventing them from issuing a new model.  Never.   An enormous amount of angst and frustration could have been prevented by a simple press release.  It never happened.

The above claim certainly falls under the category of "myth".

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deednets
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Focus on High Quality versus budget cameras according to Fuji
In reply to mooshoepork, 11 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?

Following the Fuji future projections, there are a few interesing aspects on their website:

"While sales were favorable for products such as the FUJIFILM X-E1, the premium interchangeable lens camera that went on sale in November 2012, and the FUJIFILM X100S, a premium compact digital camera the Company launched in February 2013, a surge in popularity of smartphones has been causing demand for compact digital cameras to decline. Accordingly, sales in the whole segment were down, at ¥92.0 billion"

... and:

"Future Initiatives:

  • Expand sales of high-end models and interchangeable lens systems
  • Reduce the number of compact models and substantially revise the model mix, concentrating on differentiated products
  • Merge with the optical device business, enhancing synergies from development and production through to sales"

... and further down:

"Although the market for compact digital cameras is shrinking, demand for high-quality photographs is growing. Our X-Series of high-end digital cameras that concentrates on image quality, operational sense and texture is particularly beloved of photography aficionados.
As we expect the market for digital cameras with interchangeable lenses to grow, we plan to increase our lineup of interchangeable lenses for the X-Series from the current 6 to 10 by January 2014.
Furthermore, in June 2013 we integrated the optical device business, which provides a variety of lenses, with the electronic imaging business, which handles digital cameras. The resulting structure should be capable of quickly developing high-quality products that deliver high image quality, responding to the demands of customers who value authenticity."

So this in fact doesn't sound as bleak as some figures would suggest. In fact there seems to be a move towards higher quality rather than mass products.

If that's the route they want to go, I am all for it!

Deed

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