Fuji X-E1 - Leica X Vario - Celtic v Rangers? Or a different kind of spam.

Fuji X-E1 - Leica X Vario - Celtic v Rangers? Or a different kind of spam.
For those outside the UK who don't understand the reference, click the link.

Leica X-Vario 18-46mm

Fuji X-E1 18-55mm

A comment from a forum, on a post about the newly-announced Fuji X-EM1.

'Leica's "Mini M" joke of an "X" is being laughed at, while Fujifilm cranks out another classic, tauntingly called both "M" and "X" and nobody's laughing. Once great and aspiring photographers alike could be seen shooting street pictures with Leicas all over the world. That is the only meaning Leica has, and it will fade into history if they keep screwing up. Walk around New York today, and avert your eyes from the hipsters with the Leica jewelery. You will catch glimpses of the journalistic-artistic tradition continuing. Hands wrapped around unobtrusive cameras with few markings, real working tools that will still be outputting printworthy raws in 20 years. Fujifilm has brought back the small camera from Leica's oblivion.'

Fanboy? Ignorant? Stupid? Sad? Fuji Shill? Who knows, but pretty typical of the current internet reaction to recent cameras. The new release seems to have spurred the hostile Fuji 'fans' to new heights of bile and vitriol. Its not just Leica, they are currently spewing out this stuff in all directions, at m4/3, NEX, Nikon, Canon etc, in fact any brand that isn't their beloved, worshipped, can do no wrong Fuji. This kind of reaction surprises me with any camera 'supporters club' but it does seem to be more pronounced with this camera. It isn't everybody of cause, and it may well be that the Fuji internet marketing team just employ more of these 'rubbishers' than anyone else. It is of cause impossible to discover whether these reactions and comments are genuine or another occurance of what is becoming an unpleasant and commonplace internet marketing tool. Nikon were discovered a few years ago employing a company that specialised in opening accounts on forums and rubbishing competitors products under the guise of being 'genuine' photographers. But they of course are (were) by no means unique and its probably the case that all companies now do it to a lesser or greater extent.

To a certain extent these shills are relatively easy to spot. Looking at their profiles (which are very minimal) and previous posts (consistently nasty) there is of course a complete absence of posted images. I watched a TV programme discussing this a while ago and the tactics are simple. When a competitor announces a product that might take sales away from the company who is paying them, the shill jumps in quickly to rubbish it. Even a rumoured camera gets the same treatment. Companies these days announce or leak products months in advance to try and convince buyers to remain loyal to their brand. Company X may be releasing this, but if you wait just a few months we will be releasing this is how they go. The shill obviously has to jump in quickly and convince as many people as possible that it simply isn't worth waiting for. Pointing out flaws, what is missing, both real and imaginery is the tactic here. Lying and misinformation being perfectly acceptable tactics. The other tactic is not to allow any criticism of the shiller. Posts disagreeing with their view have to be jumped on quickly and with 'overwhelming force'. Don't bother with something that makes sense and get personal and insulting as quickly as possible. Belittling and personal intimidation is part of this. Often a second or third shiller is enlisted to join in the attack, thus making it seem as if there is a genuine substance to the argument. The worrying thing is that apparently the companies that do this and the people involved come from, and indeed are still part of, hacking and spamming networks. So thats all good then!!!

When you actually sit back and think about all this, most people will have views on what to buy and take a pretty reasoned view about things. 'Thats not for me, I'll stick with what I've got' is a normal expected response. But there are those who are somewhat uncertain about whether they have bought the 'right thing' and these are the people the shillers are keen to 'enlist' and stir up. Works a bit like the dynamics of a lynch mob in essence. 

So its pretty much a good idea to view comments like the above with a certain amount of cynicism, since no-one could be that stupid and ill-informed on their own. Or could they?

Back on planet useful, Fuji have also announced a firmware update for next month which will add focus peaking to my X-E1. Whoopee!! Oh sorry, what I really meant to say is - Its too late, it won't work as well as other systems and if you use it for any length of time your camera will explode. Honest!