Due to Bank Holiday traffic and a warm sunny(ish) day, I ended up somewhere different to where I planned. As you can see I spent my time photographing a narrow guage tourist railway in black and white. I had my X-E2 with me and two lenses, though I ended up using the 23mm f/1.4 for all these shots. Wide apertures and fast shutter speeds at ISO 640 ensured nice sharp images.
I wanted to use the X-E2 because Fuji have released one of their firmware updates that offers significant improvements to existing cameras. In this case the X-E2 EVF is sharper and clearer with a better refresh rate. It does look just like an optical viewfinder in all but very low light. This is somewhat remarkable largesse when you consider that one of the selling points of the X-T1 is its viewfinder and upgrading the X-E2 to the same quality is either an act of generosity or a good marketing ploy. Personally I think it's the latter. These firmware updates make all cameras 'current' and we've all seen the endless Fuji deals where they are selling X-E1's and X-E2's in various packages at a discount.
It's a somewhat old-fashioned concept to keep adding free upgrades to old models in order to promote customer loyalty. But from the recent improved results that the Fuji imaging division have posted, it could well be working. It's also nice to see a company in it for the long haul and keen to establish a reputation for quality products at reasonable prices and to attempt to foster a reputation for being 'different.' Now whether this is genuine or some kind of 'double-bluff' ultra-cynical marketing device who knows, but it certainly makes me think of Fuji as a company that listens more and is genuinely concerned about consumer satisfaction. Again, that may well be what I'm supposed to think and it's all an attempt to get their hooks in me, but if so, firstly it's worked and secondly I'm happy about it.
It would of course be totally counter-productive if Fuji didn't deliver in terms of quality. The 'let's be nice to our customers' vibe that Fuji promote would be so much BS if we weren't happy with what we were getting. And generally, we Fuji fanboys do seem to be supportive of what goes on and also keen to talk and write about it at every possible opportunity. And that could be the point and the success of this way of doing things.
Fuji have always managed to get significantly more press and internet chatter than companies who sell a lot more than they do. They have successfully targeted the enthusiast / hobbyist section of the market apart from a somewhat misguided attempt to go mass market with the X-M1 and X-A1. Because that target market spends more money on cameras and also spends more time discussing gear on the internet, so that's free publicity and Fuji seem to be very good at attracting it.
So, there is no doubt that Fuji have established a different kind of rapport / feedback relationship with their target customer base and to date, certainly as far as I'm concerned, it's one that I like. Personally I also think that this is the way to add an upmarket image to what they produce. Something Leica have worked very effectively for years. Fuji's history both with cameras and film ensures that they are regarded by the photographic cognoscenti as something other than an electronics company trying to make a fast buck. Now they well may be just that, but even if they can do it under the guise of something more benevolent then they are probably onto a winner. They do however have to keep it up and whether it's just a charade or something more genuine, they should remember that the global marketplace is much more fickle than anyone probably imagines. These days nobody is secure in perpetuity, something some of the more arrogant companies should take note of.
Please note that opinions expressed in this blog are just that, opinions. What is written here is at no time intended as a recommendation or otherwise of photographic gear or practice. This is a personal blog written 'in the moment' and is primarily intended as an entertainment. I would also point out that this is not a review site and not intended to be so and the Google+ groups where you can post comments are not forums. I am the sole moderator and I will remove any post (and poster) if I think fit.
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N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.
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