As expected, after I wrote a couple of recent posts about the Fuji X-T1 firmware update, I got (unsurprisingly) a lot of negative comments. Since a small minority of Fuji worshippers seem to have turned denial and denouncement into an art form, I was expecting this. However I have to say, I wasn't expecting the amount of comments I saw in support of what I wrote, which was a pleasant surprise. Seemingly there are others prepared to brave the wrath of the Fuji faithful!
I usually let what I write stand, but in this instance I have been accused of inconsistency in praising Fuji products and then rubbishing them. Now if people actually took the trouble to read what I actually write rather than twist it to suit their own agenda then this wouldn't happen. However, trying to be reasonable here, from the comments I've seen perhaps there is a language barrier to be overcome and, though it shouldn't be necessary, I will clarify what should be obvious. (And by the way I would point out that the more people trash what I write, the more people read my posts and the more money I make. So this week I'm Ken Rockwell!!)
Firstly there is the historical dimension. If people take the trouble to read back through what I've written about my relationship with Fuji over the past years, it becomes obvious that a 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' attitude to Fuji products is the last thing I've been promoting. I've written countless posts criticising Fuji. The whole raw file conversion via Adobe software saga alone produced a very 'robust' discussion on many of the forums, with my assertion that what Fuji and Adobe had come up with simply wasn't good enough. (I was not alone in writing about this incidentally) The 'Fuji fundamentalists' however had other ideas. The dogma stated that either the problem didn't exist (when it clearly did) or that it shouldn't matter to true believers (of which I was obviously not one and deserving of a serious kicking!) So any notion that I have universally praised Fuji in the past and then suddenly turned on them is incorrect.
Secondly there seems to be a fundamental (deliberate?) misunderstanding (misrepresentation?) of what I was writing about. Both my articles:-- http://www.soundimageplus.com/soundimageplus/2014/12/18/the-fuji-x-t1-firmware-update-a-new-camera-or-just-a-few-much-needed-tweaks
are about the update and Fuji's policy of releasing cameras and 'updating' them a a later date. In no way is this inconsistent with my articles on the results I get with my Fuji cameras and lenses. However, it seems that those who worship at Fuji's altar perceive an opinion criticising Fuji's marketing practices as an attack on Fuji products as a whole, which as should be obvious is nothing of the sort.
Thirdly, the fact that I have written that I get better results with my Sony cameras and my comments about what I consider to be an ageing sensor are again nothing new. I've been writing in a similar vein for months. It had been my contention for a long time that, for me, Fuji would be better off without the X-Trans sensor. I have written several times about how I would love to be able to use my excellent Fuji lenses in front of the sensor that is in the current Sony a6000 camera. That would eliminate the raw processing via Adobe problem, give us all more pixels and could go some way to improving what Fuji offer in terms of video.
It's also not controversial (to those with open minds) that the Sony A7r has better resolution than anything Fuji offer and the Sony A7s has better low light / high ISO performance than anything Fuji (and every other camera manufacturer of course) can offer.
So where is the inconsistency in this? I have also made it clear that Iridient Developer now gives me terrific raw conversions from my Fuji files. But then it does that for all my other cameras too. And yes the 18-135mm zoom was one of my lenses of the the year, but I would love to see what it could do in front of a Sony 24MP APS-C sensor housed in a Fuji body.
The fact that Fuji worshippers have accused me of being inconsistent is in fact the essence of what I'm writing about. Because as well as commenting on the update itself, I've been writing about this strange attitude that many Fuji owners have, they they should be beholding to the company for blessing their loyalty with this firmware 'Christmas present'. I find this astonishing, bewildering and vaguely creepy. It takes camera brand support and logo worship to new levels. Plus I'm not alone in seeing these firmware 'improvements' as a somewhat less than a selfless act on Fuji's part.
It shouldn't need saying, but I'll say it anyway, none of the above has anything to do with the fact that I like using Fuji cameras, I rate the lenses I have very highly and I get great results from using them. What I don't like is the fact that Fuji don't address what I think are core issues, raw conversion, video and battery life. And I'm getting somewhat tired of having to come up with workarounds for all of those.
And I have to admit I'm getting tired of battling a certain element that is present in a minority of the people who own Fuji products. Again I'm not alone in noticing that the more vocal and devout of those who preach about Fuji being the 'one true way', can be seriously nasty and totally unable to accept any contradictory point of view that doesn't chime with the mantras that they endlessly repeat on the internet. It is astonishing that a camera brand can create this level of hostility, but it seems that is the case.
UPDATE - since starting to write this I had the unfortunate exchange with the gentleman who made the unpleasant reference to domestic violence. (See last post) Just what levels some people are prepared to descend to to justify their purchases and brand loyalty is beyond me and always has been. And this is when things begin to get out of hand.
We all see the levels of abuse and intolerance that exist amongst the chatter on the internet, but I was genuinely shocked at the terminology used in that facebook exchange. In a way, the fact that I was completely misrepresented is trivial, compared to the level of hatred and verbal violence about something so unimportant. If anyone has any theories on this, I would be grateful to hear them. And why is it that Fuji owners are the worst? They do seem to be capable of a level of bile a notch or two above everybody else.
I have always been bewildered by this and the lack of maturity that I see in what people write is difficult to understand, becauseI doubt they exhibit the same lack of respect in the rest of their lives. Is the internet somehow some kind of 'release valve' for people to anonymously deal with their feelings of frustration in everything else they do? Who knows, but it does seem to be the case. And from what I see, levels of hostility seem to be getting worse.
Does typing something onto a screen divorce people from any sense of reality? In some way it must do. We've all seen the unwise decisions about what to post on the internet from politicians, sports men and women and 'celebrities' of all types. Am I one of the rare few who takes great care over the words I write, because I am aware that many thousands of people who I don't know and will never meet are going to read them?
It should be obvious by now that there is no such thing as a private conversation on the internet and yet still people seem to throw caution to the wind and allow their raw emotions to put words out there that they would never utter in a face to face situation. Is the internet destined to be some kind of lawless free for all where the nastiest and most unpleasant of us prevail? Or is there still hope that balanced reasonable conversations are possible?
It is, of course impossible to know. I'm only one of billions, organising my thoughts, typing them on a keyboard and posting them. Plus I have a set of statistics I can refer to, which gives me some idea as to what kind of 'reach' I have. Having that does mean that I am careful with my words. However, others seem oblivious to that and allow their neuroses to run wild. And yes sometimes it can be entertaining, but sometimes it can be pretty scary as well.