Will Fujifilm be next?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 11,064
Re: Yes, of course.
5

Maxxum Fan wrote:

mike lix wrote:

One by one they will all shut their camera businesses until we end up with no new cameras at all.

I say 3 makers will be left. I'm not sure how well or not X Mount is doing

All I know is I go out, I see a lot of people taking pics with phones, and not many if any camera users out there. Cost of good phone isn't cheap, but lot cheaper than buying into an expensive ILC system

Future isn't looking good

In 1970's and 80's you'd go out and see a lot of people taking pictures with their "Instamatics." You would seldom see a "real camera" if what one means by a real camera is one of the range finder brands around or an SLR.

Then digital happened.  A huge bubble built and what most people found was just like their parents they don't like lugging around a separate camera much less a camera and extra lenses.  The SLR, Leica, FujiX, Sony, etc. have a small appeal.  When the phone camera arrived - people had other options.  The camera bubble started to deflate in about 2008 and is in full drawdown now.

It's not that this period is unusual.  It is that the period from about 1990 through 2008 was the outlier.  Camera companies, Nikon, Canon and Olympus are imaging and optical companies.  The growth segment is in medical imaging.  From all sorts of optical instruments to photolithography and steppers for semiconductor productions these companies are involved.  With Olympus the camera segment was shrinking and the demand was shrinking so there was little growth potential.  One of their large investors was demanding they divest - selling it off so they could maximize their return to their shareholders.  The same has happened at Sony selling off the segment - remember the Sony cell phone and the Vaio PC.  Dan Lobe is back pushing Sony to chop off more low low growth potential divisions and cameras fits in that.

There will be change.  Fuji could somehow end up with a renegade large investor pressing Fuji to increase profit growth by selling off low growth divisions.  We don't know if that is happening or not.  But today with the camera market contracting - all things are possible.  Corporate wise Fujifilm has traditionally had a long history with photography.  It has had a tradition of designing and selling novel quality products.  But so did Olympus.  Today large investors - pension funds, hedge funds, etc., are becoming much more proactive to force companies to maximize stock value and return to their shareholders.  Companies like Sigma - which is privately owned can avoid those pressures.  But it is difficult for a publicly traded company whose has a legal and moral responsibility to its shareholders.  All one has to do is look at the number of camera brands that have disappeared over the last 50 years.   Businesses come and go in all industries.

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