The future for Fuji cameras

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
John Carson
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Caerolle, 8 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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Not because I think they are good, but because I would like to improve (feel free to provide me with feedback):

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Of course they abandoned the S series. The future is mirror less. Why invest millions trying to succeed in a dying market?

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Manfred Bachmann
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to mooshoepork, 8 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?

I like fuji and i´m sure they will be fit for the future. Fuji doing very well in the DX segment where Oly and Pana can do nothing and Canikon want to do nothing special. Samsung will cut the camera segment, because they have smartphones, and Olympus...hmm, we will see. Panasonic is in deep troubles imo, and must find a trick!

manfred

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Caerolle
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to John Carson, 8 months ago

John Carson wrote:

Of course they abandoned the S series. The future is mirror less. Why invest millions trying to succeed in a dying market?

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john carson

Funny. I hope the future is mirrorless, but it isn't the present, which is where people are buying cameras. And wasn't the past, either, which was when they killed the S-system.

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Dismayed
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Re: This might provide a perspective
In reply to Chris Dodkin, 8 months ago

Chris Dodkin wrote:

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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Digital cameras are a mature market.  Just because Fuji made a late entry does not mean that the market is in an early adoption phase.

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dark13star
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Re: Focus on High Quality versus budget cameras according to Fuji
In reply to deednets, 8 months ago

Good stuff. They know who will keep buying cameras and they have a well-aligned product line.

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BRPWS
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to 57LowRider, 8 months ago

57LowRider wrote:

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??

There's the problem. When I was considering a new "proper" camera last year, it was a photo-geek who knew I was looking at Leica (and choking on the price list) who suggested Fuji to me, else I would have missed them out altogether. It turned out to be serendipitous and I feel somewhat blessed. An awful lot of people don't know what they're missing.

They should really target the "old farts with a bit of spare lolly" market, at least, those of us who loved aperture rings and shutter dials of old. Maybe time for another age demographic poll.

This old fart agrees  It is a big market belly or no belly and it is growing in big markets around the world.

I also agree with another poster who talked about advertising (marketing).  Fuji is not strong in the US as far as reaching the masses.  Great products but the message is not really out there.

Mirrorless products in general are making more in camera technological advancements than the Dslr market which seems to be concentrating more on big sensors and the mirrorless market needs to get their message out of the box.  That includes Fuji.  Feature/Benefit.  Why do people want to own a Fuji camera what are the features they like most and what are the benefits of those features.  The retro looks is appealing, but there is a lot going on under the hood and in the lens barrel and they need to talk about it.  What is the old saying?  Put your money where your mouth is. Advertise.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Caerolle, 8 months ago

Caerolle wrote:

John Carson wrote:

Of course they abandoned the S series. The future is mirror less. Why invest millions trying to succeed in a dying market?

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john carson

Funny. I hope the future is mirrorless, but it isn't the present, which is where people are buying cameras. And wasn't the past, either, which was when they killed the S-system.

I thought John's comment was strange too.  Mirrorless didn't hardly exist when Fuji abandoned their SLR customers.  There was a gap of almost 4 years between the S5 and X100.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Manfred Bachmann, 8 months ago

Manfred Bachmann wrote:

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?

I like fuji and i´m sure they will be fit for the future. Fuji doing very well in the DX segment where Oly and Pana can do nothing and Canikon want to do nothing special.

Define "very well".  Fujifilm is getting absolutely creamed (in terms of sales) by Canon and Sony in the DX segment.  I dont see how you can say that they are doing well.

Samsung will cut the camera segment, because they have smartphones, and Olympus...hmm, we will see. Panasonic is in deep troubles imo, and must find a trick!

manfred

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Dougbm_2
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 8 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??

Every issue of a prominent photo English mag seems to have a full page ad for Fuji X cameras.

These cameras are for photo enthusiasts after all.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Dougbm_2, 8 months ago

Dougbm_2 wrote:

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??

Every issue of a prominent photo English mag seems to have a full page ad for Fuji X cameras.

These cameras are for photo enthusiasts after all.

That's exactly the problem.  Fujifilm needs to get out to the masses.  The enthusiasts will find the X cameras without ads.

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Dougbm_2
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Bernie Ess, 8 months ago

Bernie Ess wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

ALL camera sales are down. Compacts are just down harder. Then comes mirrorless and then DSLR's. The overall market is shrinking and has been for some time. This is Fujifilm's problem, less customers.

True, and it is not just Fuji. Nikon is in real trouble for example. Canon I don't know but they apparently have forgotten what "innovation" is since very long. Nikon as well. Just the same old sauce since years and years.

I don't know. Why would they radically alter a successful 'recipe' anyway? However they are moving forward - witness the 70D which seems to be the best of both worlds with its dual pixel af.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Dougbm_2, 8 months ago

Dougbm_2 wrote:

Bernie Ess wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

ALL camera sales are down. Compacts are just down harder. Then comes mirrorless and then DSLR's. The overall market is shrinking and has been for some time. This is Fujifilm's problem, less customers.

True, and it is not just Fuji. Nikon is in real trouble for example. Canon I don't know but they apparently have forgotten what "innovation" is since very long. Nikon as well. Just the same old sauce since years and years.

I don't know. Why would they radically alter a successful 'recipe' anyway? However they are moving forward - witness the 70D which seems to be the best of both worlds with its dual pixel af.

Exactly.  Canon and Nikon both post profits, year after year.  Exactly who should they be following?  Those who lose money year after year?  That's an odd recommendation.

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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to mooshoepork, 8 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?

If Fuji drop the X sensor and use a bayer one instead then they have a future, at the moment a great camera and lens systems is being ruined by the X sensor

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Re: This might provide a perspective
In reply to Chris Dodkin, 8 months ago

Chris Dodkin wrote:

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.

I think Fuji have made a big mistake here (at least in the UK) by offering promotion after promotion, intermittent cash back deals work well or at least they have done for Canon/Nikon but a sustained cash back/free lens/massive price reduction only serves to flood the used market and devalue the system, this then causes people to lose faith in the system as a whole.

Fuji started out strong and had a good year or so with interest and focus from the camera buyer/user community but they followed this up with delays, over priced lenses and primes in a cluster, the upcoming 56 1.2 might be superb but it will be too little to late just as the 23 1.4 was and you can bet that both of these lenses will be available for less than half of their original price with in a year.

Once you start giving something of value away for free (free lens deals) you pretty much put an end to the system as a whole, while other companies might do a similar thing it's often things like camera grips which most users would never buy anyway that are included in deals.

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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Graham Hill
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Re: This might provide a perspective
In reply to LWS2013, 8 months ago

LWS2013 wrote:

Chris Dodkin wrote:

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.

I think Fuji have made a big mistake here (at least in the UK) by offering promotion after promotion, intermittent cash back deals work well or at least they have done for Canon/Nikon but a sustained cash back/free lens/massive price reduction only serves to flood the used market and devalue the system, this then causes people to lose faith in the system as a whole.

Practices like this is what destroyed the US auto market many years ago.  Customers were so conditioned to wait for cash back deals that sales dried up when no incentives were available.  So the automakers had to give up margin, time and time again.  Such a business plan starts a death spiral that is very hard to control once it is firmly entrenched.

Fuji started out strong and had a good year or so with interest and focus from the camera buyer/user community but they followed this up with delays, over priced lenses and primes in a cluster, the upcoming 56 1.2 might be superb but it will be too little to late just as the 23 1.4 was and you can bet that both of these lenses will be available for less than half of their original price with in a year.

Once you start giving something of value away for free (free lens deals) you pretty much put an end to the system as a whole, while other companies might do a similar thing it's often things like camera grips which most users would never buy anyway that are included in deals.

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tecnoworld
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to mooshoepork, 8 months ago

It's a very odd market the one where even eos-m sold better than fuji x, which is imo the best mirrorless system to date.

Sometimes it's just the way products are perceived. I have many friends that would buy a canon 70d over a fuji x-e2 just because they think the former is 'pro' and the latter is a step up from 'p&s'.

And, believe me, most customers think this way alas.

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Chris Dodkin
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Re: This might provide a perspective
In reply to Dismayed, 8 months ago

Digital cameras are the generic group.

We're talking about a new tech here - let's call it X Series or X-Trans

Or you could widen it to compact mirror less cameras and it still applies - including other manufacturers of course

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Joel Benford
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to NTNphoto, 8 months ago

NTNphoto wrote:

I truly wish they would at least give the option of a Bayer X-E2 or a XP1.

I expect/hope Fuji will pay very close attention to how well their new bayer camera at the low end does, then consider their options if it turns out the bayer sensor is "close enough" in the eyes of the market. Then they can worry about "confusing the customer" with multiple sensors instead of worrying about "scaring off Lightroom users" with Xtrans.

Otherwise, I don't think there's much wrong with Fuji's cameras. In a few months they'll have all the basics in place for the enthusiast market: good range of bodies, set of primes, short/medium/long zooms, macro, portrait, a modest flashgun. They can go after pros with a weatherproof body, a couple of sealed f/2.8 zooms, and grown-up flash.

Their problems seem to be more marketing, distribution, and stock control (e.g. apparently launching the X-E2 with a ton of unsold X-E1s in stock).

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Chris Dodkin
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Re: This might provide a perspective
In reply to LWS2013, 8 months ago

Fuji are replicating the model that companies like Nikon used to get market penetration.

So they are following a strategy that's proven to be successful

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Caerolle
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Dougbm_2, 8 months ago

Dougbm_2 wrote:

I don't know. Why would they radically alter a successful 'recipe' anyway? However they are moving forward - witness the 70D which seems to be the best of both worlds with its dual pixel af.

I am hoping by the 90D they will get around to having an overlaid EVF in the viewfinder so you can shoot with the camera to your eye and use on-sensor AF. I know a lot of people hate the weight and size the most, but for me, the thing I hate the most about dSLRs is the dodgy AF accuracy. Speed and reliability are awesome, but accuracy often sucks. Plus, using on-sensor gives you a lot more focal point options!

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