Fuji The X100s reveals Fuji's problem with its own pace of development

dcartier

New Member
Location
Southwest Europe
Fuji has a big problem – which lies at the point of intersection of its 2 greatest strengths and, I am fairly certain, the reasons we are all here:

1. Fuji currently makes the best camera bodies (from a purist perspective) – which allow full engagement of all faculties of the creative photographer. Additionally, there is a fine Atelier approach to the construction which assures not only pleasure to the hand and the eye but also that they should give many years of faithful service.

2. Fuji are at the forefront of sensor design and execution and their pace of development, if anything, seems to be accelerating.

Therein lies the rub: in the era of film, Leica, Canon, Olympus, Nikon and many others made camera bodies that could last nearly as long as the lenses attached to them. Today it is one thing to toss out (or stop using) a Lumix point-and-shoot that is 1 or 2 generations old, but quite another to contemplate that the beautiful body and very capable lens on your fairly new X100 are all suddenly behind the times. Interchangeable lenses remain an investment (at least those that you can actually control); however, camera bodies have been rendered a disposable consumer item (my daughter’s 1Ds II is no exception). I think the only way out of this spiral of inevitable obsolescence would be the development of a system of replaceable sensors. Otherwise, Fuji is ultimately doing us all a disservice by doing what it does best.
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Real Name
Nic
I think that there is a growing problem in photography with our computer keyboards. Every time we mean to type the word evolutionary, it accidentally comes out as revolutionary. That would certainly explain a lot of the hyperbole when a new camera is released anyhow. Developments from one generation to the next aren't rendering these cameras obsolete; it's our own insecurities and the fear of not using the latest and greatest camera available.
 

thekeddi

Top Veteran
Location
South Australia
I think it's ourselves to blame, if the X100s takes awesome photos today then it will do so in a few years if it's still working, it's our thinking that there is new and better that shoots ourselves in the foot.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
It seems to me that the digital era has brought a lot of people to photography who are attracted more by the gadgetry than the capturing of images. Hey, I own six camera bodies, so I am not immune. But, really, my cameras reflect the search that I have been on for the modern digital camera that speaks to me like the cameras of old. I still love my Pentaxes and Olympuses. But I may have finally found what I'm looking for in the latest Fujis.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
I think it's ourselves to blame, if the X100s takes awesome photos today then it will do so in a few years if it's still working, it's our thinking that there is new and better that shoots ourselves in the foot.

It's undeniable that there is newer and better, the only question is what types and levels of better matter to our shooting. Some types of advances don't mean much at all to me and I let 'em pass on by. Other advances will enhance my shooting or the likelihood of getting the shot, or expand the conditions in which I can comfortably shoot. Those I tend to run out and buy.

Fixed lens cameras have strengths and weaknesses, interchangeable lens cameras have strengths and weaknesses, so do integrated lens/sensor units (ala Ricoh GXR), so would replaceable sensors. Pick your poison.

-Ray
 

Livnius

Top Veteran
Location
Melbourne. Australia
Real Name
Joe
Was it always this way ?
I'm a relative noob to all of this, which I still call 'photography stuff', only been into it seriously for less than 2 years and even as a noob I'm regularly surprised at just how often and vigorously the minutiae are argued...an auto focus difference in nano seconds suddenly becomes a massive wedge, and i put my hand up and admit that i get sucked into those debates at times too. Did photographers and photography enthusiasts ALWAYS carry on like this ? Without knowing for certain I would guess that much like today, the photogs of yesterday were also techies and gear enthusiasts. And how much has differences in disposable income between generations and a culture of plastic debt changed the way manufacturers can keep pushing out new models ?

I do wish sometimes that we didn't have so many gear options, but who am I kidding...I'm eyeing off a particularly pretty new model so best I just shut up. :eek:

Joe.
 

Penfan2010

All-Pro
Location
NJ, USA
Real Name
Ed
Hey, I own six camera bodies, so I am not immune. But, really, my cameras reflect the search that I have been on for the modern digital camera that speaks to me like the cameras of old. But I may have finally found what I'm looking for in the latest Fujis.

Completely agree. I still have 3 of my original film cameras, plus two more I bought in the last 2 years. I think that my current crop of digital cameras finally mirror the experience I had with my favorite film cameras, so I am quite pleased right now.
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Location
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Stephen
A new or updated camera from Fuji doesn't mean the older one is suddenly useless. If this were so, why did you buy it in the first place? Fuji are responding to their own developments, feedback from users, and the fact that there is much more market share to be had.

If the improvements are going to dramatically change your photography then make the update. If not, then maybe what you are experiencing is consumer want, not photographer need. In which case the fault hardly lies with Fuji.
 

RT Panther

All-Pro
Today it is one thing to toss out (or stop using) a Lumix point-and-shoot that is 1 or 2 generations old, but quite another to contemplate that the beautiful body and very capable lens on your fairly new X100 are all suddenly behind the times.

- I wouldn't call the x100 "behind the times" in comparison to the x100s
- x100 was announced in 2009 - so in terms of digital life, it's had quite the long life :cool:
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Real Name
Nic
One thing to consider with the apparent obsolescence of digital cameras is that they are not valueless when a new model is released and there is a larger second-hand camera market waiting anxiously for those "obsolete" cameras to filter down. Over the period of ownership you weren't feeding rolls of film into it either so the running costs are fairly low :). I'm fairly certain that my first Fuji will be pre-loved, probably an X-E1, and probably about a year from now.
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
And I just updated the firmware in my X100, purchased last year in April, to version 1.3. It still takes stunning images, regardless of what upgrades the X100s may have. What you said about the X100 applies to all high quality fixed lens cameras like the Sigma DPx's, the Leica X's, and the Sony RX1. A current niche is the fixed lens, large sensor camera, but who knows where the market will be in another five or ten year's time?

The only cameras I've stopped using are the ones that are significantly outclassed in terms of image quality and/or performance. This includes the Canon S45 and S70, G7 and G10, and the S90 to a certain extent. I've got cameras like the Fuji X10 which deliver much more accurate and pleasant colour, dynamic range and video performance than any of those cameras. But I kept using those cameras until much better things came along. The X100s doesn't make the X100 any less a performer; there is only the time when a MAJOR upgrade in important criteria makes it seem considerably less.
 

afkenner

Regular
As tempted as I am to "upgrade" a camera I only recently acquired, I keep reminding myself that I have never been able to get these results from any other compact, and everything about the X100 suits my shooting needs nearly perfectly. There's nothing in the spec of the X100s that compels me to preorder, and I like a camera that's had some miles on it anyway and had the full retail dust shaken off - I am a secondhand and refurb kind of camera shopper. Maybe two generations of improvements and at least one firmware upgrade before I'll feel an actual need to "improve" on the X100 performance, rather than just the urge to have the newest thing that comes out. OTOH, I do want to be able to get a high quality image with a lot more reach, so I think an X20 might be a nice way to complement the X100 with a second compact. I'm also tempted by the current X-E1 bundle deal, that is a BIG break on a whole pile of exceptional gear at once. But I think it will compete with rather than complement the X100. I'll wait to see how the interchangeable lens system evolves over the next couple of years, and maybe pick up a gently used kit from someone else who needs the newest and best the day it launches.
 

RT Panther

All-Pro
There is a big difference between announcement dates and release dates. I make the X100 to be less than two years old in the market.

Exactly.
And when do you expect the x100s to be released? :)
As with the x100 there will be a few lucky ones to get it early but I'd wager it will be a long & slow release for the masses - just as the x100 was :)
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Real Name
Larry
Somewhere in one of Ansel Adams' books, probably The Negative, he mentions the "holy water complex" some photographers have about their preferred developer. So yes, at some level I think this stuff has been going on for a long while. People argued about what dilution of a developer wielded the best results; what were the grain vs acutance benefits of this or that formula over another. None of it was imaginary; there were (and are) real differences, but what were important differences changed according to very personal standards. Yet a lot of the technical argument was about matters that did not run into hundreds or thousands of dollars if you wanted to try something new. To buy into a system with a different sensor to get what you consider the "look" it produces is a lot more expensive than switching developer formulas. Of course there were gear arguments too, and format preferences, but much of what paper and chemistry produced in the past is done through technology now, much of it expensive. I remember reading reviews of lenses in the 70's that seems awfully nitpicking, based on charts and not on real world shooting, that I found as irritating then as I do now. Some things never change.





Was it always this way ?
I'm a relative noob to all of this, which I still call 'photography stuff', only been into it seriously for less than 2 years and even as a noob I'm regularly surprised at just how often and vigorously the minutiae are argued...an auto focus difference in nano seconds suddenly becomes a massive wedge, and i put my hand up and admit that i get sucked into those debates at times too. Did photographers and photography enthusiasts ALWAYS carry on like this ? Without knowing for certain I would guess that much like today, the photogs of yesterday were also techies and gear enthusiasts. And how much has differences in disposable income between generations and a culture of plastic debt changed the way manufacturers can keep pushing out new models ?

I do wish sometimes that we didn't have so many gear options, but who am I kidding...I'm eyeing off a particularly pretty new model so best I just shut up. :eek:

Joe.
 

bilzmale

Hall of Famer
Location
Perth, Western Australia
Real Name
Bill Shinnick
I do not see this as a 'problem' because cameras are very recyclable (with the exception perhaps of P&S). I worked out I've owned over 20 digicams since they appeared and can't remember too much remorse with any of them. A few have gone to my children and grandchildren and the others sold on sites like this bringing pleasure hopefully to others. I've sworn off acquiring any cameras in 2013 (with some spousal pressure) but who knows what will be around in 2014.

For those who can buy, the new crop of X's look enticing but the existing offering is still in the higher echelons of what's available.
 

christilou

Legend
Location
Sunny Frimley
What I've learned over the past few years is that the price of a newly released camera will come down fairly significantly to those who wait. Those of us who jump in early watch the "deals" 6 months later through narrowed eyes. Olympus EM5. Free 45mm lens. X pro1? Free lens :(. I refuse to be an early adopter now. I just re bought the black Fuji x100 for a price very similar to the one I sold my first one less than 6 months after I bought it new. It's been much improved by all the firmware updates that I didn't have the patience to wait for. Therein lies the problem I think. We're all too impatient for the next perceived best thing when what we have is just waiting to be thoroughly explored. I swap cameras so often that mine never becomes familiar and therefore fluid in use. I really hope that the new X100s is a terrific camera and one I will buy when it gets "old" :rolleyes:
 

Lightmancer

Legend
Location
Sunny Frimley
Real Name
Bill Palmer
So true. I seldom buy the first of anything, unless I really want/need it. Thus although I have M Module s/n 00004 for my GXR, I bought my GRDIII only when the IV came out. I didn't buy into the X system with the Pro, but instead waited for the "improvements" (for me, at least) of the -E1, and even then bought after it had been out for a while



Sent from another Galaxy
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
I think it's ourselves to blame, if the X100s takes awesome photos today then it will do so in a few years if it's still working, it's our thinking that there is new and better that shoots ourselves in the foot.

IF it's still working, yes. But circuit boards are remarkably fragile things, and cost far more to repair, then to buy new. In my experience, most of these cameras will struggle to have as long a life as their more-mechanical counterparts once did.

My 4 year old Samsung LCD TV just died due to a circuit board. It was 37" and would cost at least $400 to repair, and that was not gauranteed. New 51" plasma cost me $599.

IMO, Fuji's iterating it's bodies more slowly than some others.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom