The future for Fuji cameras

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to John Carson, 8 months ago

John Carson wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

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.

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.

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.

Fujifilm would have failed completely (just like Kodak) had they planned on surviving as a camera maker.  They simply have no profits in these efforts.

If they made a mistake, it was to spend too much time fiddling about in the compact camera market which had an even bleaker future than the DSLR market.

The DSLR market is doing fine.  That's where the profits are, then and today.  But you are right, the years between the end of the S5 and the beginning of the X100 were dark years for Fujifilm's camera group.

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

John Carson wrote:

wyldberi wrote:

And where is the technology leading us? The biggest thing I can think of is that organic sensor development Fuji is engaged in. What's going to happen to "full frame" digital behemoths, when a new APS-C format sensor comes along with double or triple the resolution of present day pixel designs?

I think this is what lies in store for the high quality image segment of the camera market. Fuji's poised to integrate the new organic X Trans Warp sensor into its X Camera bodies. While Nikon and Canon will be left trying to explain why the public needs such a large heavy body and large heavy lenses to take pictures that don't match the quality of the smaller organic sensor cameras. OR, they'll be trying to explain why their new "full frame" organic sensors are needed in order to produce those lovely images from the 10-Gigabyte image files that take 3.2 hours to process in LightRoom 12.3.

I have just been deciding between a Fuji X-E2 and a Sony A7. One of the things that made me go for the X-E2 is precisely this line of reasoning.

Sensors are going to get better more quickly than (good quality) lenses are going to get smaller. In a small number of years, the IQ case for full frame is going to be hard to make. When the sensor improvements come, I will hang on to my Fuji lenses, upgrade the body, and things should be great.

What makes you think FF sensors are not going to get better?

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

Chris Dodkin wrote:

Ralph McKenzie wrote:

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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I get more consistent hits on my Instax shots on a daily basis, than any other images - interesting to see how much traction Instax has.

Instax is the only film you can find in no nphotography stores here in China. It's very easy to find and is VERY popular. Interestingly, Fujifilm's quarterly report presentation mentioned INSTAX as a growth area in 2014. That was the ONLY photography related business that got mentioned in the growth slides.

I like my Mini 90 - it's a satisfying experience to have the image in your hand so quickly

Instant film is HIGHLY addictive. I've shot a few hundred pics with my kids and I never tire of watching the image appear. I hope Fujifilm makes a Neo 210 or something like that. The mini's just a bit too small for me.

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

Graham Hill wrote:

John Carson wrote:

Sensors are going to get better more quickly than (good quality) lenses are going to get smaller. In a small number of years, the IQ case for full frame is going to be hard to make. When the sensor improvements come, I will hang on to my Fuji lenses, upgrade the body, and things should be great.

What makes you think FF sensors are not going to get better?

Of course they will get better. It is simply that the extra margin of quality matters less (to me and to many others) as overall quality improves.

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john carson

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

Graham Hill wrote:

IKB wrote:

It's not rankings that matters, it is profitability. If Fujifilm can make money, then why abandon these products?

Have you seen Fujifilm's financials? There is no profitability at all in their camera division. Nothing but losses.

Are they on track?

No, they are going backwards. Losses increased by 260% last quarter, year on year.

Only they know,

No, we do, as the documents are public.

in the meantime enjoy the products.

Absolutely.

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Malcy
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It seems strange that Fuji sold way more X cameras than it thought it would (they were shocked at the initial reception of the X100), yet isn't making cash... how is that possible?

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

John Gellings wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

IKB wrote:

It's not rankings that matters, it is profitability. If Fujifilm can make money, then why abandon these products?

Have you seen Fujifilm's financials? There is no profitability at all in their camera division. Nothing but losses.

Are they on track?

No, they are going backwards. Losses increased by 260% last quarter, year on year.

Only they know,

No, we do, as the documents are public.

in the meantime enjoy the products.

Absolutely.

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Malcy
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It seems strange that Fuji sold way more X cameras than it thought it would (they were shocked at the initial reception of the X100), yet isn't making cash... how is that possible?

Well, the collapse of their compact camera sales was not yet underway while the X100 was in development, so that can explain a bit.

Yet now that the X camera line up is mostly filled out, and there are many lenses for sale, the last year saw losses continue to increase even as revenue went up.   The positive spin on this is that Fujifilm is buying a customer base by all these amazing sale prices that you see every few months.  Lenses like the 14mm and 23mm have been offered for hundreds off their original price.

I dont see how this can work because it is not like lenses get re-bought over and over and over again.

These are desperate times for many camera manufacturers.

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John Carson
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Graham Hill, 8 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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57even
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to Midwest, 8 months ago

Midwest wrote:

57even wrote:

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.

Nothing to do with a preference for the OVF? Faster AF and something called 'tracking'? Great handling and plenty of body controls on a non-cramped body?

No. Most first time users or buyers of entry level SLRs generally have no idea, and they are quite used to a compact or smart-phone so unlike you they don't care about EVFs.

The OVF on entry level (and most APSC) SLRs is pretty awful anyway. I know several people who bought an EVF camera because is was much brighter and easier to see, plus you have all the information in the VF and you don't have to hold it at arm's length to do video.

I am completely OK using an EVF alongside my D800, and I don't mind it in the least. It's extremely convenient being able to preview so much information (WB, exposure etc) before firing the shutter, and it's much easier to manual focus (magnified image etc).

AF is also far more accurate and it's no longer slow by comparison. As for tracking, most entry level SLR cameras can't track a three legged tortoise so I don't see that makes any difference.

But if you don't know you will buy a Canon or Nikon SLR because that's what everyone else does.

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

57even wrote:

LWS2013 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?

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

No. It isn't.

Yes, it is, the X sensor is the biggest arguing point of the whole system, some like it and some don't but many put up with it because they like the cameras and lenses.

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Alessandro63
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to mooshoepork, 8 months ago

Fuji must get on because, on the contrary, their software department wouldn't have room to stick their bugs in.

Just some happy new year's humour...

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

Agree - a WIDE version on the Neo Classic would be ideal - I'd buy one

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

I just want them to release the 56/1.2 and then the 135mm full frame equivalent.  I am not invested in Fuji stock.

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NTNphoto
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to LWS2013, 8 months ago

57even wrote:

LWS2013 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?

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

No. It isn't.

Yes, it is, the X sensor is the biggest arguing point of the whole system, some like it and some don't but many put up with it because they like the cameras and lenses.

Yup I agree. I absolutely love using my fuji x camera. I like pretty much everything about it except the processing issues that X trans brings. x trans isn't an issue so much when you're editing a handful of images here and there, but if you have to do more than 50 at a time for events or weddings it is a pain and slows things down. I can live with the processing stuff for general photo needs, but it's too time consuming when trying to meet a deadline. As much as I want the 23mm and 56mm I'm holding to see how the sensor stuff shakes out.

Ming Thein articulated it way better than me in his X-E2 preview a month ago.

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

John Carson wrote:

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)

Phase detect has been fast for a long time. Contrast detect is still much slower. Did DP mean that the G1's AF was as fast as the live- view AF on a DSLR?  I had a circa 2008 entry level DSLR and its AF was hardly as slow as even a current mirrorless.

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Graham Hill
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to 57even, 8 months ago

57even wrote:

No. Most first time users or buyers of entry level SLRs generally have no idea, and they are quite used to a compact or smart-phone so unlike you they don't care about EVFs.

The OVF on entry level (and most APSC) SLRs is pretty awful anyway. I know several people who bought an EVF camera because is was much brighter and easier to see, plus you have all the information in the VF and you don't have to hold it at arm's length to do video.

I am completely OK using an EVF alongside my D800, and I don't mind it in the least. It's extremely convenient being able to preview so much information (WB, exposure etc) before firing the shutter, and it's much easier to manual focus (magnified image etc).

AF is also far more accurate and it's no longer slow by comparison. As for tracking, most entry level SLR cameras can't track a three legged tortoise so I don't see that makes any difference.

LOL!! I suggest that not only can entry level SLR's track moving objects well, but that an (almost) *10 year* old DSLR* can outperform today's mirrorless.

My images, shot from a ancient Canon 350D. These planes are going 400-500 mph (a bit faster than your average 3 legged tortoise LOL!!) and were low flying and shooting out from behind tall buildings from unknown areas. I could not tell from what direction they would appear (they weree moving so fast that the sounds were heard only after the planes shot by you) and had extremely short times to spot them, aim and fire off a shot.

But if you don't know you will buy a Canon or Nikon SLR because that's what everyone else does.

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

Graham Hill wrote:

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

Really, with what products?

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Joel Stern
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In reply to mooshoepork, 8 months ago

I was talking to a Fuji technical guy at Fuji today as a friend has a new 23mm lens and could not figure out how to make it into AF as it was MF only.  So the problem was solved and we got to talking and I mentioned DPR and the fact that many people think the TransX is a problem, it certainly has been a challenge for many in PP.... He told me to wait as you never know what will come up, but that being said, it means little at this point in time, but time will tell. I think without the TransX for many a Fuji XE would be much more attractive just because it is a commitment in a system that can change in a minute and I think will. But then any system will, it happened to me already with Ricoh's GXR, no more lenses from Ricoh just the M mount and any adapters for other than M lenses.... Not what I bought into (I thought).... at least with Fuji the glass will remain and that glass sure seems to be very good, well that is an understatement.

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Midwest
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to 57even, 8 months ago

57even wrote:

Midwest wrote:

57even wrote:

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.

Nothing to do with a preference for the OVF? Faster AF and something called 'tracking'? Great handling and plenty of body controls on a non-cramped body?

No. Most first time users or buyers of entry level SLRs generally have no idea, and they are quite used to a compact or smart-phone so unlike you they don't care about EVFs.

The OVF on entry level (and most APSC) SLRs is pretty awful anyway. I know several people who bought an EVF camera because is was much brighter and easier to see

I started with a Canon Rebel and moved to a 7D. While the 7D's OVF is certainly better than my old T3i and XSi (600D and 450D) had, I never once felt that they were too small, dim, hard to see. Having spent a lot of time in the Rebel / XXXD forum I recall no specific posts or threads where people had a hard time using one of those OVF's. I can say for certain that I've seen some more expensive EVF cameras with threads about those viewfinders being hard to see on sunny days (I'm talking EVF, not the LCD), too bright when you put them up to your eye when your eyes are used to darkness, and other complaints.

Everyone has their preferences, I respect that, but speaking at least for Canon's entry level DSLR's I don't think the OVF can be called 'awful' by any stretch of a sober imagination.

, plus you have all the information in the VF and you don't have to hold it at arm's length to do video.

Of course you can't do video through an OVF anyhow on a DSLR, you have to use the LCD. Frankly I've done so little video that I can't recall what information Canon displays about the video on the LCD.

I am completely OK using an EVF alongside my D800, and I don't mind it in the least. It's extremely convenient being able to preview so much information (WB, exposure etc) before firing the shutter, and it's much easier to manual focus (magnified image etc).

Again, we all have our preferences. I never found that I was able to really judge white balance or other things well enough in an EVF for that to be a benefit to me. I suppose it depends on how quickly one must make a shot; you have plenty of time to examine WB etc. if shooting a landscape but not if shooting kids' sports. But if your eyes are used to a cloudy day the white balance may look more acceptable in an EVF than it is going to later on when your eyes get used to other light. As for manual focus, you certainly have a point, but I can't manually focus as well as the camera can autofocus 95% of the time and it takes me a lot longer. Hence I virtually never manually focus. Again, whether shooting landscapes or action it makes a difference how handy this is. What you need and what I need are two different things and that's fine by me.

AF is also far more accurate and it's no longer slow by comparison. As for tracking, most entry level SLR cameras can't track a three legged tortoise so I don't see that makes any difference.

Phase detect AF has been a lot faster than contrast detect since day one and still remains that way. In really good circumstances CDAF has gotten much quicker, but it still can't track action as good as my 2008 Canon Rebel did, and once the light levels drop, CDAF slows way down. It does make a difference, unless you're only shooting relatively static things like landscapes or flowers and under favorable conditions. I believe it was the Nikon 1 that added some PD sensors on the imaging sensor and got a much faster AF out of the deal, but when the light level drops it has to switch back to contrast detect and is then much slower again.

But if you don't know you will buy a Canon or Nikon SLR because that's what everyone else does.

Perhaps "everyone" buys Canon and Nikon not just because 'that's what everyone else does' but because of their reputation of making good cameras.

It's not the DSLR crowd I see in the forums excitedly posting "When is the new model coming out - I'm on the BH preorder list, I can't wait - Just found out Amazon is going to get theirs a week sooner, cancelled my BH order, got on the Amazon list - I paid the full list price in advance but I don't care - does anyone have any links to sample photos - UPS tracking shows my new XYZ will be delivered this Friday, can't wait - etc. etc. " I see a lot of that for other types of cameras though, certainly a lot more than I ever have for DSLR's.

Everyone pursues photography their own way and if it makes someone happy then I have no problem with it. I just make the occasional observation about what I notice. To each their own.

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

Bang on sir.  Well said.

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Midwest
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Re: The future for Fuji cameras
In reply to MostlyUnoriginal, 8 months ago

MostlyUnoriginal wrote:

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.

That's about all you could ask. No wonder you're pleased with it.

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.

I'm not sure why people keep starting threads about 'is Fuji getting out of cameras', 'is Olympus getting out of cameras', 'is this the end of the Sony NEX series', 'mirrorless are doing poorly everywhere but Japan', and the ever-popular 'DSLR's are dying'.

Sometimes it seems the #2 hobby in these forums is 'hand wringing'. If horse racing worked the same way, the winner would be the guy whose horse died last.

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.

Don't let the doom and gloomers keep you from enjoying your camera. You probably enjoy yours more than they do theirs anyhow. Keep right on.

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