Fujifilm, pay close attention: Ricoh just did with their GR III and GR IIIx what you won’t do with your X-series cameras.
Fujifilm has stated that they’re moving away from Kaizen and to expect less of it going forward, but some other camera makers—including Ricoh—are embracing it. In fact, Ricoh just added a new Picture Control Effect, which is their Film Simulations equivalent, to their GR III and IIIx cameras. This new Effect is called Negative Film, and it looks pretty good so far to me. It’s not really like anything on Fujifilm exactly—perhaps it could be described as somewhat similar to a cross between Classic Negative and PRO Neg. Std—but it does produce an aesthetic that’s easy to appreciate.
I want to point out that the GR III was released almost at the same exact time as the Fujifilm X-T30. Since the release of the X-T30, Fujifilm has introduced three new Film Simulations—Classic Negative, Eterna Bleach Bypass, and Nostalgic Neg.—plus some other JPEG options like Color Chrome FX Blue, Clarity, and Grain size. None of it has trickled down to the X-T30 (or X-T3). Even the X-Pro3 and X100V—premium models, supposedly—weren’t given the Kaizen love that they (really, Fujifilm’s customers) deserve. Yet little ol’ Ricoh not only created a new Effect for apparently no reason other than the fun of it, and they gave it to the almost four-year-old GR III just because they wanted to make their customers happy.
I have a ton of advice that I’d give to Fujifilm if they were ever interested in hearing my opinions. I mean, I have a pretty good pulse on a big chunk of their customer base, and I’ve done more than most to bring them new customers, whether directly or indirectly, so you’d think they would be interested in hearing what I have to say. The very first suggestion that I would have for them is to do more Kaizen and not less. I get that it costs time and money, but fostering a happy long-term repeat customer base is priceless, and well worth whatever it takes to do that. A lot of photographers go from brand-to-brand-to-brand, or they begrudgingly put up with a brand for a long time because they don’t want to endure the cost and headache of switching, and there is a surprisingly large amount of disloyalty among customers. Yes, there are the outspoken fanboys—I am one for Fujifilm—but while their voices are loud, their numbers are surprisingly small. So if a brand can actually make more of their customers loyal, which they do by showing them that they matter and are appreciated, it can have a significant long-term impact. Of course, if your customers don’t think you care about them, they’ll be more quick to leave when another brand offers something new and exciting, or if they think that another brand cares more about their customers than the one they’re currently using.
Ricoh just made sure that their customers know that they care. Fujifilm, make sure that your customers know you care!
Below are some examples of photos captured using the new Negative Film Picture Control Effect on my Ricoh GR III.
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