As you might recall, I wrote a piece back in June entitled Is Fujifilm Losing Its Soul?, and I opened the second paragraph with my answer: Fujifilm has already lost its soul. Some of you disagreed, but the vast majority agreed with my sentiments—it seemed to resonate with a lot of you.
I came across an article (via Fujirumors) published two days ago in which Dave Etchells of Imaging Resource interviewed five Fujifilm managers. You can read the whole thing if you’d like. Some parts of it stood out to me, and so I thought I’d highlight those. I’m going to get a little cynical, so be sure to hold onto your hats. I promise to wrap it up on a positive note.
“Seeing a PASM dial on the X-H2S,” Dave states, “some people have been saying, ‘Oh no, Fuji’s abandoning us! Where are the individual exposure controls?’ <laughter around the table>….”
I guess that’s funny? I mean, seriously, when a large group of your most loyal customers state a concern, your response is to laugh at and mock them? Not cool, not one bit. And this is the problem. Want proof that Fujifilm has already lost its soul? Here it is, right in that laughter.
“Yeah, that’s kind of interesting,” answered Fujifilm Divisional Manger Yuji Igarishi, “because we did not hear that when we introduced it for the GFX.”
“Huh, that is interesting,” answered Dave, “that the issue never came up with the GFX.”
That is interesting, because I heard it. I said it myself. Not sure why Fujifilm didn’t get the memo, other than GFX is financially out of reach for many X shooters, so they’re not as passionate about what Fujifilm does with GFX as they are with X. Trust me, Fujifilm: some people noticed and cared that the latest GFX cameras are PASM, and there are people who won’t buy them for that reason. Maybe it’s not enough photographers for the company to concern themselves with, I don’t know, but people did vocalize the concern. If you don’t care, then you don’t care; if you do care, perhaps broaden where you’re finding feedback (for example, nobody asked me, despite having such a large and passionate Fujifilm audience…). Maybe it wasn’t stated loudly, but the issue certainly did come up.
“…I tend to think of PASM as being more for amateurs,” Dave continued, “but actually it’s the professionals who need it, to be able to change modes quickly.”
Ah, I get it now: PASM is for pros, and the traditional tactile controls of Fujifilm’s other products are for amateurs, and if you prefer them, you’re an amateur. Only the lowly amateur peasants don’t want PASM. If you’re a pro, surely you prefer PASM. Apparently Fujifilm prefers to focus on potential “pro” customers and not their current “amateur” customers. Yes, I’m taking the quote noticeably out of context, but, reading the interview, that’s the sentiment I got, whether or not it was flatly stated.
Look, PASM isn’t any more or less for pros than the traditional controls; it’s simply a preference, largely based on how one learned photography—if you learned on PASM you tend to prefer PASM, and if you learned on traditional controls you tend to prefer traditional controls. Fujifilm was one of the very few camera makers who made products for those who don’t prefer PASM, and that’s a big reason why the majority of their users purchased their first Fujifilm camera, and an important reason why they continue to do so. Everyone makes PASM cameras, but, aside from Fujifilm, who makes non-PASM models? It’s a pretty short (and largely expensive) list. It’s fine that Fujifilm wants to expand their customer base and offer a diversity of products to meet the needs of various customers. Awesome. But don’t do it at the expense of (and while mocking and belittling) those who have purchased your products for years. That’s a good way to make your loyal customers a lot less loyal, which will only bite you in the butt.
“…We’re not moving everything away from the dials,” Yuji reassures, “no need to worry about that.”
Not everything. Some things—yes. But don’t you worry ’bout a thing. Yeah, I mean, a couple models had their traditional controls replaced with PASM (X-H and GFX-50S lines), but it’s not going to happen to the other camera series, you can trust that. Never mind that (once the X-H2 is official announced in a few days) five of the last seven X + GFX cameras have been PASM. And one of those two non-PASM models was basically just a firmware update. To me, it seems like a commitment to “moving… away from the dials” and not the other way around. Actions speak louder than words.
Speaking of GFX…
“I think when we introduced the 50R,” stated Yuji, “that was kind of the first small medium-format camera, so I think there was a value there. Now that we have a smaller body with the GFX100S, I think there’s maybe less need for something even more compact. Of course, we always look at the market to see if there’s a need to introduce something, but I think at the moment, probably because of the GFX100S body size, there’s not as much demand for a smaller model as before.”
In other words, rangefinder styling and traditional controls—forget about it. If that’s what you want, GFX isn’t for you. I guess there’s very little hope of “wow” product #7….
“Fujifilm has a very broad range of APS-C bodies these days,” Dave mentioned, “with no fewer than 6 different product lines. Will all of these lines continue into the future, or do you see some of them going away or merging with each other?”
“Currently,” Yuji answered, “we believe that each product line has its own unique characteristics, so as long as that makes sense for us, we’ll continue with that line. For us, it’s whether we can provide value for the customers. Some of the products take longer to update, because it doesn’t make sense to update them every year. For example with the X-H, it took four years to come up with the next version. You know, we always think about whether a new model makes sense. If we have the technology, when we feel ready, then we’ll introduce a successor.”
I actually strongly agree that “it doesn’t make sense to update [camera models] every year.” Or even every two years. I think three to five years is a sufficient amount of time to update a line. Camera makers often too quickly update their models, in hopes of maximizing sales by always having a “new” version with the “latest” this or that. Yes, people aren’t generally eager to spend a grand or more on five-year-old digital camera technology, but if that technology is good, then it’s still good for years to come, not just for a year or two. By constantly updating models, camera makers are basically admitting that their gear is obsolete quickly, and not something that’s relevant for a significant period of time. Fujifilm is celebrating 10 years of X-mount, and the X-Pro1 is certainly still a capable camera—a testament that their cameras are relevant for many years, not just a couple.
I do think there’s hope in Yuji’s statement for an eventual X80 (the perhaps someday successor to the X70). With any luck, Fujifilm will “feel ready” soon. Probably not, but one can wish. On the flip side, Fujifilm basically stated the fine print: if it doesn’t make sense to them, they’ll change or discontinue something without batting an eye. Will the X-T5 have PASM? Not likely—I’d be pretty shocked—but perhaps the X-T6 will, especially if Fujifilm determines that more “pros” are using that line than “amateur” photographers… or, really, if Fujifilm thinks by doing so it will attract more people from other brands. Will the X-T00 line be discontinued in favor of the X-S00 line? It could happen—I’d be surprised if it did—but as long as Fujifilm believes it makes sense in order to sell more models to the customers that they hope to attract, they’ll do it. Yuji’s statement could essentially be summarized: we don’t have any specific plans that we’re ready to publicly discuss, but nothing is off the table. That could be good or that could be bad, I guess depending on your perspective.
A lot is said in that interview, but I’ll end with one of Yuji’s conclusions: “In general, we’re very appreciative of people’s interest in our products.”
People are very interested in Fujifilm’s products. I think a lot of the long-time customers are a little concerned about the choices Fujfilm has been making, and what those choices mean for the long haul. I think many loyal customers are unsure of the direction that Fujifilm is heading. The Fujifilm at 20 years of X-mount might not much resemble the one at 10 years—something you might celebrate or mourn, probably largely depending on how long you’ve been a customer.
Here’s the silver lining that I promised: the cameras Fujifilm has made over the last number of years are really good—and should last a long time, too—so it doesn’t matter what Fujifilm does, because what they did do was very good. If the X-T5, X-Pro4, or X100VI (or whatever it will be called) isn’t what you hoped it would be, you still have the X-T4, X-Pro3, and X100V—heck, you still have the X-T1, X-Pro1, and X100, and all the models in-between! You might notice that I captured all of the pictures in this article with older models. A good camera is a good camera, and as long as it serves you well, you don’t need to “upgrade” to the latest and greatest just because the reviewers and YouTubers (most of which were given or loaned their gear for free) say that you should. Is that old camera still relevant to you and your photography? If so, then you’re already set, and none of this other stuff even matters.
I am passionate about Fujifilm.I love my X Pro 2. That being said I bought an X t4and it was maddening to use for bird photography and I couldn’t wait to rid myself of it. And so , horror of horrors I defected to the XH2S with 150-600mm zoom. I also shoot jpeg and love the film simulations and would not switch ever as they are fantastic as you know :).Soul is still there .Let’s celebrate diversity.
I think Fuji continues to provide cameras that speak to the needs of diverse photographers.
I don’t do a lot of bird photography, but I did have success with an X-T30 and 100-400mm. Perhaps if it was my main subject I wouldn’t like it, I don’t know. It’s good that you found something that works well for you. 👍
Within the camera world, people speak of Canon, Nikon, and Sony as “Canikony” because their products are so similar, as in, “Just another uninspired Canikony camera.” I predict that at 20 years of X-mount, it will evolve to be “Canikonyfilm” and the only “traditional” Fujifilm models left will be the X100X and X-Pro5. Not particularly diverse. I truly hope I’m wrong, and I’ve certainly been wrong before (but I don’t think I will be—time will tell).
Thanks for the input!
Watching the three 50R’s Moment had on sale for six plus months at dramatically reduced prices told the tale. Prior to my recent move I lived near their HQ. The 50R, at least from their perspective, sold well upon initial release and then just dried up. The people who wanted it, got it, and remaining inventory just sat. For years.
By contrast they couldn’t get enough 100S’ in stock and even now are selling at a brisk pace well over a year after release, with no discounting.
My feeling is that the classic rangefinder product has an audience, but it is limited. It’s the kind of product you skip a generation or two before updating to ensure those who bought the previous version are ready for that upgrade because otherwise you just won’t find enough of an audience. The 50R, which I owned for six months, had an audience but it found all who could afford it and was a bit over produced. They’ll wait a while before doing a followup, IMO. When they do, however, it’ll be a much larger leap than a single generation gets you normally.
As to the rest, well written as always but you know I don’t really agree. I see a dying market, sticking to your guns means exiting the business.
I think that the majority of GFX users aren’t also X users. I think that 1) a lot of X shooters are fairly satisfied with their gear and while they might drool over GFX it’s a high-price luxury and not practical to buy, and 2) it’s expensive and out of the reach of many people’s bank accounts. I can relate to both of those. So I believe that it’s not a matter of someone who owns an X-Pro3 adding a GFX camera to their shelf, but of someone debating between a high-end Sony or Canon model, and buying a GFX camera instead. So, yes, because the audience is different, there are less people to buy rangefinder-styled GFX cameras. Still, I can tell you this: if I purchased a GFX camera, it would not be the GFX-50S II or GFX100S. I guarantee that there are many others who feel that same way. Perhaps “we” just need to come to the inevitable conclusion that GFX isn’t for “us”.
I love my XT-3 because it has dials, is small and light and takes great photographs. I had a XH-1 and sold it because the AF was really lame. I replaced that with a Nikon D500, as it has the ability to track and take fast shots. It is a great tool and has an optical viewfinder which I prefer over a mirrorless camera. (After all, I started on a Rolliecord Vb in 1964…) My feeling is, that as long as you keep your EVF on zero setting, you can see your images, either SOOC or modded in camera (SOOC) and get accurate “interpretations” of the shot. I totally hope that Fujifilm keeps all their dials and does not use PASM on all of its models, especially the X line (I include the XH-2).
My prediction, which I could be completely wrong about (and I’ve certainly been wrong before), is that at 20 years of X-mount, the X100X and X-Pro5 will be the only Fujifilm cameras left without PASM.
Fujifilm cameras elicit passion for photography, something I only see as well in forums about film cameras and iPhones, I think those three are the photographic equipment that creators are using, maybe the Sony RX100 could be added. Forums for other camera companies have their passion in specifications and not about photographs; which afterwards will have a film filter applied or HDR. Focusing in editing somehow shows people feel something is lacking, that still look like a computer version or reality rather than reality.
Yesterday I watched a video on YouTube about a special edition of the Leica D-Lux 7 (the Leica version of the Panasonic LX100), with a kind of safari cover; visually a nice camera that tries to look like a traditional camera but there is almost no space to rest the hand to grab it in the back, which Fujifilm IMHO has been addressing; and the photos were too digital, barely different from the Sony a5000 I used once. I think it is due the fact the way they were thought they will be used more like a common cellphone and less like a proper camera, a thing Apple understood and made the interface and system more helpful to how photos are taken in their shape form. In the end of the video I thought I would much feel happier taking photographs with a Fujifilm X30, despite the Leica having more status and specifications it didn’t seem fun to use.
I don’t know which is the answer, as I really feel photography is being replaced by reels and video; maybe amateurs are relying more in smartphones and the ones purchasing cameras are either advanced amateurs migrating to full frame mirrorless, or professionals migrating to mirrorless too but with models compatible with their existing lenses.
I think you are right about “amateurs” (not Fujifilm’s definition) using their phones more and “real” cameras less. The impact is that the X00 lines have been discontinued, the X-T000 line has been discontinued, the X-A line has been discontinued, the X-M line has been discontinued, the XQ line has been discontinued, the XF line has been discontinued, maybe the X-E and X-T00 are next. I hope not. At least I have RitchieCam 🤣
The traditional controls were the main reason I moved to Fujifilm from Nikon. That and the smaller size of the lenses and cameras. If they continue down the PASM route with other new cameras, there won’t be much to differentiate Fujifilm from the other APS-C camera brands. BTW, your photos are excellent as always!
Canon – R10 & R7
Nikon – Zfc & Z50
Sony – Nothing new in years aside from vlogger gear
Not really seeing much competition in the APS-C space for Fuji. Canon is the only one who seems to be putting in any effort, and it’s pretty lackluster…
The traditional controls are what made me sell my Sony and Panasonic cameras (which is what I was using just before moving to Fujifilm, before that it was Nikon…) and buy an X-E1 + some lenses. I predict in 10 years the term “Canikony” will evolve to be “Canikonyfilm” (I hope not, though). Thanks for your kindness!
I love the traditional dials of my X-T2 and X-T4. The Fuji simulation experience, “retro” form factor, and quality re-ignited my passion for photography. Will I revolt over PASM and move to…where? Sony? Never. Would I put my tail between my legs and cower back to Canon or Nikon now? Nope. So I guess my answer is simple. I may pick up a few non PASM X-bodies as spares and ride them into the sunset. Sorry Fuji, I won’t buy a PASM camera regardless of your insults. Go get ’em Ritchie!
I have wondered if some other camera maker would dare become the “new Fuji” so to speak. I don’t know who (maybe Olympus, because MFT is practically dead?), but Fujifilm has been fortunate, since their products are unique, there really isn’t a true direct competitor. I’m not sure why they don’t double-down on their uniqueness; instead they seem to be trying to become another Canikony. Thanks for the input!
How many camera models does Fuji currently have, that has those analog styled disks on them?
Classic: X-T30 Mk II
Classic: GFX 100
PSAM: GFX 100S
PSAM: GFX 50S Mk II
Not sure if I forgot anything here.
So, seems like plenty. Am I missing something ? Why is the author getting his feathers ruffled b/c SOME models have pasm dials ?
Hi! It’s the author here. I’m the guy who runs this blog. Take a few minutes to look around.
It’s not so much that some models have PASM, but some model lines have had their non-PASM dials changed to PASM, a troubling trend that I believe will continue into the future. This is just one of several things that Fujifilm is doing to disenfranchise their long-time loyal base. That’s why mine (and lots and lots of other people’s) feathers are ruffled.
I mean I get the anxiety, when you love something change is hard. People get very attached to things that have meaning to them, and I know enough car people to know that decisions by a preferred brand can be emotional. I think this is magnified with a creative pursuit like photography, changes in the tools can affect your ability to use them and result in you missing the moment.
Fuji has gone from zero PSAM models to five in under two years with one more incoming. It makes longtime users nervous. I get that.
That said, they so far have only converted models that honestly make more sense as PSAM devices. X-H1 was a weird camera that suggested video but the controls were better for photography, and it had to be heavily discounted very quickly after release. They made a clearer statement with the X-H2/2S, it’s a hybrid and it’s arguably the best hybrid on the market (DPReview all but stated that in their most recent review). It competes with cameras nearly twice it’s price and that’s a big win. The GFX line was the other conversion, and per Fuji it was driven by professionals who wanted to use it but simply were not interested in relearning their gear. Especially when the spaces they work in have very high expectations and time is money. The X-S10 was a new line, it infringed on nothing else.
All of those moves have proven successful. The fear among Fuji’s prior user base is that the writing is on the wall for classic dials. Reality though is that the X-Tx line has been their top sellers for years, they aren’t going anywhere and Fuji has repeatedly assured users that they are committed to maintain classic dials for the lines where it makes sense. Anxious users continually point to the PSAM models and the GFX transition and point out, rightly, that Fuji could change their mind at any time. They aren’t wrong, but that always was a possibility, and there is literally nothing Fuji could do to convince them otherwise now short of ceasing to sell PSAM models, which would be a suicidal move (people like me would switch almost immediately).
At the end of the day the concept that the ‘soul’ of a camera system is based on the control scheme is questionable, and for some of us a bit insulting since really a camera isn’t about the hardware but the creations of those who use it. Hearing repeatedly from the long time Fuji faithful that somehow my preferred way of shooting is soulless, mechanical, spec driven, and all the other words used implies that our work is inherently lesser, and that we are being judged by something as ridiculous as the way we set our exposure triangle.
I don’t take it too personal however as I’ve been around car people long enough to see how people get very wrapped up in others “enjoying it the right way” rather than sharing something they love with others and accepting they may do things a bit differently. I’m happy to be shooting Fuji. I like the output. The latest versions have fixed my last major complaint (Autofocus). The new lenses look amazing and I can’t wait to upgrade.
But I do wish existing Fuji users were happier to see new photographers coming to their system. With the market in a prolonged collapse, new users are the only thing that will keep any company on the market, and we hold no ill will towards their preferred method of exposing photos.
If someone isn’t “happy” about something and speaks about it, why do you feel the need to diminish that and put down the person saying it (both here and especially on Fujirumors)?
Look, everyone is entitled to their opinions, and this, being my blog, is where I get to express mine. I also found that many people seem to agree with my opinions—I’m not alone in it whatsoever.
I let you speak your opinions extensively, which I certainly didn’t have to do. If you don’t like what I have to say, you are more than welcome to not read it. Nobody is making you come here. My recommendation: start your own Fujifillm or photography blog, where you can state your opinions all you want. You can be Fuji king there.
I’ve said many times I enjoy your writing. I have nothing against you enjoying what you enjoy with the cameras you own. My issue is with your continued diminishing of people who shoot differently. You imply that I insult people who prefer classic dials, I’d like to know where you believe I do that. On FujiRumors I’m adamant that classic dial shooters should have their existing lines. I’ve explained before why the PSAM lines that exist happened, and since you mention FR, Patrick who is also a classic dials shooter agrees and often discusses how this is the hope for Fuji to survive in the long run.
There is nothing more ‘soulful’ about shooting with classic dials. I could just as easily invert your argument, point out that until the PSAM dials most cameras were for work as regular people couldn’t typically afford them, and bemoan the slavish devotion to mechanical efficiency in having dedicated exposure triangle dials which take away from the art of photography, something Canon made possible with the introduction of PSAM 40+ years ago. I could write article upon article about how sad it was that Fuji had never found their soul, either with PSAM or another interface that brought the focus to the photo rather than the chunk of metal in their hands.
It would be meaningless rubbish of course, because at the end of the day the camera is a tool. The truth is Fuji has done PSAM all along on many lines. Even on X mount. This isn’t new. And people insisting they are losing something by making cameras for other people who find another method of exposure more engaging are being ridiculous.
The constant statement that since Fuji has two PSAM lines eventually all or most will be PSAM is also ahistorical. Prior to the launch of the X-S10 Fuji had…two PSAM lines. The X-Txxx & X-Ax. Those two were sunset due to the decline of the low end of the market and two new PSAM lines were introduced (X-Sxx & X-Hx). The ratio remains identical to what it has been for years. The issue Fuji shooters seem to be having is not that PSAM is now a thing, it always was, but that there are now a mid range and high end option with it. Furthermore the claim that this means they’ll all be PSAM in ten years is a logical fallacy known as the slippery slope fallacy.
At the end of the day that future is avoidable. Fuji shooters need to spend less time gatekeeping their camera system and more time recruiting new photographers (regardless of their control preference) and over time demonstrating the advantages they find in the classic control scheme. I know a few people who have converted to classic dials and enjoy them. It’s doable. But it requires those who enjoy it to make people welcome and show them how they shoot. If you want classic dials to be a long term option, buy new classic dial bodies and train new shooters on how to use them. So long as they sell, they’ll be manufactured.
As I said the last time we conversed, the alternative is Fuji exits the market. Your statements about being unable to understand why Fuji didn’t double down seem silly to me: Fuji sells a fraction of the X mount cameras they sold years ago, if they don’t expand their market they will exit. Just like Olympus. The market two years ago was 1/10th was it was a decade before. The numbers that hit a couple months ago show it declined again, from 8.8m to ~5.5m last year. The interview you reference mentioned that their unit sales are down but since average selling price is up they are compensating. Average selling price is up because of two things: the success of their high end camera bodies (100S/50S Mk II/X-H2S) & the elimination of their lower end bodies (X-Ax/X-T000). Given that all of those high end bodies are PSAM, you can thank that control scheme for this lift, clearly PSAM shooters are willing to spend more to get what they want, and that is what is saving the brand from extinction.
Anyway, I don’t have a problem with you, but I do wish you’d consider how your words sometimes diminish people who enjoy shooting differently than you do. I’ll continue reading of course, your content is great.
Here’s the deal:
1) You are always right
2) If someone has an opinion that’s different than yours, they are completely wrong
3) You feel the need to correct them, and explain why they’re wrong and you’re right, and that they should think like you think, which is always the right way.
That’s fine. I definitely don’t mind when someone has a differing opinion or perspective; however, I don’t like the proselytizing—that’s annoying. My hope is that the comments section is a civilized and kindly place, just like the majority of the Fujifilm community.
Where I draw the line is when a comment belittles, when putdowns and insults are included. That’s not welcome. And, since this is my website, I have the right and power (and perhaps obligation) to stop it. It’s as simple as that.
1) I don’t know what you are referring to with this one
2) Absolutely not. My point of view is simple: We all should get what we want as much as possible. The difference here is that I do not denigrate shooters who prefer a classic style, and if you’d read more of my comments on FujiRumors you’d know I go to bat for them too when jerks come in and tell them PSAM is the only way. As another person in this discussion thread pointed out, diversity of options is a Fujifilm strength and if they ever actually started eliminating classic options I’d speak out about it. I do not feel your preference is ‘wrong’ or that mine is ‘right’, I feel that both have their place and object to you and some other’s repeated insinuations that there is some inherent superiority to your shooting method or that the cameras have souls entirely based on your preferred style.
3) Again, you misread what I write. I’ve been very clear that I respect their preferences. The line I draw is when they start to denigrate those who have different preferences, or when they imply that the brand should cater exclusively to their needs. That is absolutely wrong and of course I’ll comment on it.
On the other point, who is proselytizing here? The person who says “hey lets have a community that accepts photographers of all types” or the people who say “shoot our way or we’d prefer you not share the brand”?
Finally, I have not belittled or put down anyone that I am aware of. If you have examples, please show them. That said it is your site. I like your writing, but not the constant bashing of new users to the system. It’s the only turn off, and based on the comments on these articles I’m not alone in that view. It would be nice if you’d realize that we like you, it’s why we read your articles, but are feeling a bit personally attacked for, once again, our choice in how we manipulate an exposure triangle. Which is pretty silly when you think about it.
Hopefully you can see where I and others are coming from and not choose to take it personal. Heck, it would be nice if you actually welcomed the new users to the system. I’ve bought a ridiculous amount of gear since I got the X-S10 back in Dec 2020, the health of the system depends on users like me joining. It would be nice if the community were more welcoming.
Your first paragraphs are well thought observations, the last part is a bit sad as you feel insulted by a statement whose believer is… you yourself. I dislike Nikon cameras for my way of shooting and preferences in color; but I have no issue in gifting Nikon products to persons that love them or admiring the work made with the Nikon system by Steve McCurry and many others. Each person find what makes sense for them, Ken Rockwell has a nice article about the pen and the signature, and in other many places experience has taught me that his statement about cameras mattering only after reaching a maturity, a personal style or signature is correct. My choice of my cameras is according to how I feel more comfortable, not about how I feel everybody should be comfortable, a mistake that many .
If you truly believe that “a camera isn’t about the hardware but the creations of those who use it” therefore you cannot believe neither that changing system will do anything for your photography, nor that you are getting an “upgrade”, as you say in the next paragraph. And far less when the system you are looking for exists mature and plenty in almost all the rest of companies. Some of the things you like are, I think, precisely the things I didn’t like of other systems: competent and technical good lenses but with no character or noticeable rendering, my Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 gave me enjoyment as no other lens from other system would give me, despite being slow, noisy; in fact maybe because that too.
Gatekeeping is important because in other hobbies people that don’t appreciate what exists demand that it should be changed to their precise tastes, accusing, as you do, of some kind of bigotry if existing users don’t change, and when the changes are given to them, destroying what made the activity special enough to have a fandom by asking the company to not continue with what the old users liked, to then pass to the new interesting company with the same demands. In your last paragraph you say “I do wish existing Fuji users were happier to see new photographers coming to their system” but you aren’t interested in the system, you know that in a shrinking market there are no place for different lines and the “new photographers” will be the only photographers; you know it because first you write “Fuji’s prior user base” and in another part when you write “when you love something change is hard” you are assuming not that there will be diversity of options but effectively that Fujifilm is changing to a system more akin to your preferences, while ignoring that any customer simply will move to another system, in the same way you are moving from the previous system you had, instead of embracing the change. And I have no issue with you or anybody interested in Fujifilm cameras, using them in the way the want them; and have no issue with Fujifilm migrating to PASM and be the same as everybody else as it is a business and maybe there are monetary reasons this needs to be; my concern is the lack of clarity in their strategy, which seems to be meant to change for a more conservative or common approach in the way a camera is used, instead of the . They could do something like Sony and have two different lines, like the RX for compact cameras and the alpha for mirrorless, both take advantage of the technology of the whole company but both are for different users, I think those interested in the system you want could have a Y system, not better or worse than the X system; just simply a clear understanding of the type of photographer, one interested in autofocus and competitive specifications (again, I don’t say this makes it bad or good), hybrid shooting and the XF line of lenses taking advantage of digital corrections for compactness and so on, while still using the XF line if they want; and others focused in just having a tool to go along with some way to contemplate, less digital and with all the specifications in the background, something that Apple seems to have understood better than camera companies. If anything this already exists with the line of instant cameras, X users are grateful for their popularity founding the X line; and they users of fuji instax cameras are happy to have something unique that speaks to their needs. It is not like you writing that “there is literally nothing Fuji could do to convince them otherwise now short of ceasing to sell PSAM models, which would be a suicidal move (people like me would switch almost immediately).” which proves my point about gatekeeping and that your wish of “existing Fuji users were happier to see new photographers coming to their system” is in bad faith as you want it to disappear.
my concern is the lack of clarity in their strategy, which seems to be meant to change for a more conservative or common approach in the way a camera is used, instead of the (more honest approach to state they are moving or that they don’t see difference in the concept, etcetera)
I thought I had typed correctly. In the first paragraph it should end “a mistake that many (commit)”
In the end “and the XC line of lenses taking advantage of digital corrections (…) while still (able to use) the XF line.
Gatekeeping is a luxury that only exists in a growing field. Gatekeeping in a declining field is a fast track to the end of the thing you are gatekeeping about. If your feeling is that Fuji shooters should be able to control what products are made for what users going forward (ie: pressure the company to only make products for the existing customer base) then you are essentially saying the brand is better off dead than doing anything different for anyone else.
Any company is better off without customers like that. Fortunately most Fuji shooters are more accommodating, or at least more aware of the precarious position everyone not named Sony/Canon/Nikon are in.
You are contradicting yourself, intentionally. As a former moderator with some experience if you want to troll you should do it more coherently, albeit I acknowledge you are entertaining:
About gatekeeping you were the one speaking in a position of threat: “otherwise (…) ceasing to sell PSAM models, people like me would switch almost immediately” I already explained what is gatekeeping, while being clear is not about refusing new products but being coherent about differentiated lines; and I’d say it is about having opposition to bad actors like you yourself, but I doubt you have any Fujifilm camera, what you write is meant for your own online amusement, as I am sure you do when writing “you are essentially saying the brand is better off dead than doing anything different for anyone else.” while at the same time asking the company to do the same as the others…
Your last paragraph is the funnier one: You say Sony/Canon/Nikon aren’t in precarious situation; don’t you read technology reports? 😂 Nikon (¥519.0 billion revenue in 2020) is trying to rely in medical equipment and not cameras, it is trying to be Fujifilm (JP¥2.32 trillion revenue in 2019)! Sony isolated the cameras division in a subsidiary in order for their successful divisions to not lose money in it; Canon is doing better (¥3.59 trillion revenue in 2019) but as a whole not much, how many Powershots are you seeing this year? Fujifilm doesn’t need the X line, or the film line, it is more a thing of pride in their heritage.
Oh, and when you replied to the author of the blog “You imply that I insult people who prefer classic dials, I’d like to know where you believe I do that.” well, here are your words “and for some of us a bit insulting (…). Hearing repeatedly from the long time Fuji faithful that somehow my preferred way of shooting is soulless, mechanical, spec driven, and all the other words used implies that our work is inherently lesser, and that we are being judged” You are saying that having a preference different than yours is an insult to yours, while my preference is, in your words, ridiculous, lol, as here are your words “we are being judged by something as ridiculous as the way we set our exposure triangle.” Have more self-esteem, be happy with your way of shooting, although I still think your photographs are more of the time screenshots of your online comments rather than photographing the real world, and if I like to move dials and aperture rings is, what I like to do regardless if you consider it ridiculous or not.
I think there is some misunderstanding of my point here. I am not ‘threatening’ because Fuji isn’t doing what I want, I’m stating that much like Canon’s M mount, if Fuji stops producing products I desire I’d move to someone who would. That’s how *every* customer should behave! By contrast, Fuji’s classic dial adherents are making an actual threat, namely that if Fuji produces cameras for PSAM users they will consider other brands. Which is silly. The non-threatening way to make this statement is: If Fuji ceases to make cameras that suit my shooting style, which includes classic dials, I will need to consider other options.” Which is perfectly reasonable!
Do you see the difference? I don’t say I’d leave because Fuji produces cameras for people who shoot differently than I do, I’d only leave if they stopped producing products that I can work with effectively. By contrast many Fuji users are upset not that Fuji has stopped producing their products, but because they have expanded their offerings to make options available to people who shoot differently. That’s the threat, how dare Fuji sell another product to someone who does not do things like I do! It’s over the top.
Fuji X shooters have the exact same number of classic dial product lines they had in 2019. The only change right now is that Fuji’s PSAM offerings changed from low end to mid range and high end. Due to this minor adjustment, some longtime Fuji users are in various states of worried/anxious/angry/etc despite the fact that nothing has actually changed for them, and Fuji has now repeatedly said nothing will be changing for them. Despite this they seem to have anger at the mostly new users who are interested in the new product offerings despite them helping keep their struggling brand afloat.
I firmly support Fuji maintaining the classic dials for the cameras they make sense for, which they have stated they plan to do and in fact will be announcing the first next generation version of this year (X-T5). I would agree with everyone here that if they stopped it would be a disservice to their existing userbase, and an unnecessary one. I’d speak out just as strongly on that as I do on the need to support PSAM users (and other shooters beyond even that). But right now, and for the near future there is no indication Fuji is going to abandon anyone.
You are projecting your own words: “people like me would switch almost immediately” into people that didn’t say anything, then again that shows me that you probably you don’t uses cameras yourself, because a camera doesn’t stop to work magically if its production is stopped or replaced. I love shooting with my X100S, I wouldn’t “switch” as you say you would do ” if Fuji stops producing products I desire I’d move to someone who would.” which is a threat too, and if you are real user it is a perfect example about why getting customers from another brands, offering the same style cameras from those other brands, will bring only floating customers, chasing specifications and bored. Anyway, I got tired of your style of claiming victimhood to then proceed to throw insults (projecting your words in users, saying they are like the people, in a negative tone, that you dealed with in cars, implying them as the past when you say the “prior user base”, saying that believing in a soul or using the exposure triangle, that they are “worried/anxious/angry/” is ridiculous, etcetera, etcetera ), in my country that’s called throwing the stone and then hidding the hand.
I won’t burden more the blog and patience of the author, with exchanges with you, you’re just mixing different ideas out of the blue to smuggle provocations, the blog could be about beans and you still would say the same. Good day, man.
Current models are X-E4, X-Pro3, X100V, X-T30 II, and X-T4.
Wow, what a first-world problem. One dial is the only thing that matters to you, not all the other things that Fuji does so well? Maybe ‘dial’ the outrage down a bit?
Um, it’s one of several things. I love Fujifilm, but in my opinion they’re heading down the wrong path, and have been for a little while now.
I think the way corporate capitalism works these days means you need a shiny new product at least once a year. But, once your product lines are mature, there’s not a whole lot you can do to justify annual updates. So you need not just more products, but a diverse range of products. The X-E4 is arguably the first meaningful update for an X-E1 owner. If you have an X100F, you could skip the X100V. If your loyal customers aren’t buying every upgrade, you have to attract more customers just to break even on annual unit sales, let alone grow them. The trick is, what happens when you land on a new product mix that draws a larger customer base?
This is where we say: hate the game, not the player.
You’d be surprised by the number of loyal customers who do buy every upgrade!
I think Fujifilm should do more to explain/demonstrate why they’re unique and why photographers should try their products, instead of attempting to become another “Canikony”. That’s my opinion, anyway, which might not be worth much.
To be clear, I have no love for corporate capitalism. I wish a company could just make a great product and sell it as long as people are buying it. If Canon sells more PSAMs then so be it. This need to meet quarterly projections and pursue endless growth is not unique to Fujifilm – it plagues basically every corners of every marketplace, aside from maybe your local farmers market. I’m sure there are some obscure examples out there, but I can’t think of a single company that hasn’t lost the soul it had ten years ago. If you wanted cynical, how about that? 🙂
I remember years ago Fujifilm stated that even if their photo products weren’t profitable, they’d still keep it going because photography had been such an important aspect of their company’s past, and even the culture of Japan. It’s (apparently) part of some Japanese philosophy (maybe Omoiyari?)—do things for the good of society, whether or not you profit from it, because it’s your duty to so so. Something like that, I wish I had the exact quotes, but I don’t. Unfortunately, that and Kaizen are pretty much gone, and maximizing profits for the sake of quarterly reports and such seems to be the main concern. It is what it is, but it is unfortunate.
So in all honesty, are you REALLY afraid of them changing to pasm on their best selling bodies ? Xt, x100v, the xpro line isn’t changing that’s the entire purpose of those style of cameras. I’m not in the know, but what models had their dials changed ? Level entry ones ? Ones that sell a lot less than the x line ? Excluding the gfx bodies
So far, the X-H line and GFX-50S line have had their non-PASM dials changed to PASM (which I mentioned in the article—did you read it?). I do believe that there’s a reasonable chance that by the time we’re celebrating 20 years of X-mount, that the X100 and X-Pro lines will be the only non-PASM models.
Fuji has consistently had 2 X mount systems with PSAM. Prior to 2020 it was the X-A line & X-Txxx line. Those both were sunset due to declining sales at the low end and the X-S10 was introduced. It was just followed by the X-H2S/X-H2. Those use PSAM.
At the end of the day Fuji is simply moving their PSAM options upmarket due to their retreat from the low end space, and awareness that there are a lot of shooters who like PSAM. They have not touched the classic dials lines. For those who claim the X-H was switched, after the disaster of the X-H1 most assumed the line was dead completely. The current option can fairly be considered a new camera line entirely. I don’t know why they went with X-H2 rather than simply making it the X-S2, which would make it more obvious what it’s inspiration and sibling camera was. IMO that’s the real mistake here and it would have avoided a lot of drama.
As much as I like the dials on my X-T30, I ended up setting up the camera to control shutter speed, aperture and ISO through the command dials. It makes single handed operation much easier and I don’t have to take my eyes off the EVF. While the dials might have some nostalgic appeal, I believe that the PASM setup has its merits. If Fuji wants to stay in business it must follow where the demand goes, whether we (“traditional” users) like it or not. I am sure there were many outraged customers when camera makers “abandoned” traditional film users, or when electronic ignition replaced carburetors… The world and technology in general are shifting from an analog to a digital model, and Fuji is no exception. The reality is that we are lucky to still be concerned with (relatively) trivial matters with everything else that is going on around us.
Man I remember the whole carburetor vs fuel injection debate. So many conspiracy theories about it back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Very silly in retrospect.
Also silly to consider PSAM anything other than classic itself. It’s a 40+ year old interface from the analog era. The ‘classic dials’ on Fuji cameras are not themselves any sort of standard layout on film cameras of the 50-80’s. Those cameras all had their own takes, some using certain dials and others skipping them or labeling them something different. Arguably PSAM was the first mostly ‘standard’ camera interface.
IMO the real failure of camera companies has been the fact that they’ve been digital for 20+ years and have yet to release a camera with controls that reflect that fact. Even PSAM is arguably outdated given how a modern camera is really operating. I’d rather have direct control over it’s real operations than fake analog style controls (including PSAM), but only smartphone makers have the imagination to pull that off.
PASM is the “norm” everywhere. Most cameras are PASM cameras. Unfortunately, for those who don’t like it, the options are quite limited (and apparently decreasing). Ultimately, I may just need to stock up on what’s available now. BTW, most collectible classic cars are carburetor, there’s definitely a love for carburetor cars among car enthusiasts, but new cars can’t be by law. I hope there’s never a law making non-PASM illegal! 😮 🤣
I’m one of those people who has learned on PASM-DSLRs in the late 2000s. I went from Pentax, to Canon and then Sony and then sold everything a few years ago. Early this year my interest in photography brought me to Fuji. I liked the classic design but hesiated because of the non-PASM-dials and therefore tried shooting with the X-S10. For me it felt to similar to my old Sony A6000, so i just tried the X-T30 II instead and fell in love instantly. I had never more fun with photography then in the last couple of month.
So maybe without the X-S10 I would have never discovered the X-T30, but i definitely wouldn’t like it if Fuji would discontinue the X-T line or change it to PASM. I sincerly hope the X-T line stays away from PASM, because I hope for a classic design X-T40 with IBIS in a few years.
I think an X-T40 with IBIS would be wonderful; however, I think the X-S00 line will be IBIS and the X-T00 line will be non-IBIS. I also suspect that at some point, the X-T00 line will either become the base-budget entry-level option (and probably will have PASM), or it will be discontinued altogether. We’ll see, but that’s my concern. I truly hope that Fujifilm proves me wrong.
The X-T30 II is a wonderful camera, and I’m sure it will serve you very well for years to come. Thanks for the comment!
I hope that they include IBIS in the next X-T00, because they have shown with the X-S10 that it is possible in a similar sized body with a similar price. I see your point, but they created a new line with the X-S10 and if they switch the X-T00 to PASM, both lines would be too similar. Remove the handle from the X-S10 and you basically have a X-T00 with PASM. Thats why I think that the X-T00 either stays classic or doesnt get any successors at all.
For the X-T0 line it might be similar. Maybe they are going to release a X-S1 as PASM counterpart for the X-T5.
We’ll see, but thank you for your blog! I love experimeting with your film simulations!
I’d be surprised if IBIS was included on the X-T40, but, yeah, they totally should. I do believe that the X-T00 line will serve as a base-level model (below the X-S10) without IBIS and maybe eventually PASM, or it will get IBIS (and stay classic) but its days are numbered, or is quietly cancelled and the X-S00 line is its replacement. Time will tell. Thanks for the input!
I think you’re being a bit harsh word regard to the pasm dials. I came to Fuji after a few years with Canon. The reason that I moved with both appalling quality control with Canon there’s only so many times you can have a lens of body fail under warranty and also the weight. I was I’m lucky to get sepsis a few years back which made h lugging heavy gear not an option. I’ve owned and still do and x-e1 2 x x-e2s and now the S10. My passions are for landscape and nature photography. I absolutely love how the Fuji cameras and lenses feel and the images that they produce. One of the things I’m really like is that I don’t need to spend hours in Photoshop to craft an image as to how I saw it. ( which in terms of online camera no worry makes me a rank amateur) When the 100-400 came out I could finally get rid my last Canon body and the massive 300 with tele converters. I hated having to carry two different systems and nothing Brain Damage trying to switch between in two different systems is a nightmare Where the S10 works for me is that it have the internal stabilisation. As I alluded to earlier post sepsis I tend to shake a lot so having a camera that helps you get candid wildlife jobs despite my disability really helps. With regards dials I much prefer the oldest when I’m slowly but what I love about the S-10 is that I can leave it set up for wildlife. One system share lenses, batteries and small.
Apologies if any of this comes across as too aggressive I’m using voice to text and I have real issues with trying to articulate my words.
In summary I think Fuji understand their market and photographers. There is a reason that Canon Nikon etc have gone with pasm dials and that’s because the biggest money earner I’m guessing was people shooting sport a wildlife and for that pasm really works. Things that I shoot which aren’t requiring fast autofocus and fast lenses then the traditional dials and control that fuji offer work best for that.
Here’s a question: if Fujifilm had put IBIS in, say, the X-T30 II, would you still prefer the X-S10?
For me (and many others), I just don’t enjoy using PASM (sucks the fun out of it, and slows me down), but it appears that is the future for Fujifilm… maybe not right away, but it’s leaning that direction for certain. Add in the abandonment of Kaizen… I just don’t like the direction Fujifilm is headed.
Do I think Fujifilm should not have PASM models? I don’t think that at all. But, I do think turning non-PASM lines into PASM, and making the top-tier model(s) PASM, is a clear nonverbal statement. Those who prefer non-PASM cameras are now in the backseat. I guess we need to be happy with whatever scraps Fujifilm drops from the table. I think, more than that, we need to stock up on the models that we enjoy….
Reckon I will just keep plugging along with my ancient X-T1 and 35mm F1.4 🙂
Exactly! If you ever get bored, try using Pentax-110 lenses with it (love the combination).
Thanks for your review of that interview, which at times comes off as a little “dismissive” and “condescending.” In their defense, perhaps they’re feeling the pinch from above to appeal to the potential of a much broader customer base. For me, I started learning with PASM cameras, but it’s been a joy to use the X70. That reminds me: I should compile a wish-list for an X80.
An X80 would be nothing short of fantastic, I truly hope they make one.
Continuing to think on this – I think there is cause for vigilance, but I’m not sure it’s quite time for despair. The X-H1 changed to PSAM after one generation, and that first generation was unclear – quite different than if they had changed the X-T series to PSAM. Instead, it could be the point of X-H is to the PSAM/giant grip/video centric variant that gives the X-T more space to focus on classic photography (and maybe X-T can revert back to its previous tilt screen). Also, X-E: rumor was there would be no X-E4, but instead they came back with a significant revision that pushed it further toward smaller, sleeker and more minimal to further distinguish it from other cameras. The X100V continues to push its concept when it could have easily been just a sensor/processor bump with few changes, as were past X100 versions.
My sense with GFX is they are still trying to figure it out. Even there, I would argue it’s one thing for a less established model to go PSAM than for any of the “classic” models to go PSAM. The next X-T should tell us a lot – and, will the next X-Pro continue to push “radical” ideas, or will it play it safe?
Like you said, it makes sense for there to be years between iterations of a given camera – so as a result, it may look like that given camera has been abandoned. And, with more time between generations of said given camera, I think it’s ok for Fujifilm to expand their reach – the key is that they don’t abandon the classic line. So I think it’s important to keep up the pressure, but I don’t think current evidence must mean all hope is lost.
And who the hell is Dave? Is he a credible interviewer or writer?
What I believe will happen is this: Either the X-T0 line will “evolve” into an in-between model between the X-H and X-S, complete with PASM and modified ergonomics, or Fujifilm will introduce a new model (maybe called X-S1) to fill that role, and quietly cancel the X-T0 line. In either scenario, I believe the X-T00 line will also be discontinued. This will play out over the next five years or so. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s what I foresee. Thanks for your comment!
Okay Ritchie, I know you are passionate about the retro dial (I also love my retro style XT4). Having said that, PASM dial is just another way for Fuji to expand its user base. There is a market for those who loves Fujifilm but prefers the PASM dial. It is a choice that makes business sense. And no, Fuji has not lost its soul. I’m sure Fuji will unveil XT5, XPro4 and X100vi for the retro dial fans.
I think what’s going to happen, and really truly hope I’m wrong (but I don’t think I am), is that the X-T0 line (maybe starting with the X-T6) will either 1) see a significant design change to convert to PASM + modified grip or 2) be quietly canceled after a new PASM line (perhaps called X-1) is introduced. I think the X-T00 line will also suffer a similar fate. We’ll see this maybe over the next five to seven years possibly. I predict that by 20 years of X mount, the X100 series and X-Pro series will be the only two non-PASM cameras left (all in the name of “business sense” and “expanding the base”)….
I’ve certainly been wrong before, and I don’t want to be right with this one—we’ll have to wait and see if this is an overreaction or if I can sadly say “I told you so.” My main hope is that by speaking out these concerns now, Fujifilm changes direction and doesn’t go that route—not that I believe they’ll listen to me… I do know for 100% certain that several photographers who are much more connected with the company have privately voiced to Fujifilm their similar concerns (they aren’t at liberty to do so publicly). Because I’m not affiliated with Fujifilm, I’m able to speak freely.
I’m a Canon us but this topic inttringues me