Kaizen Is Expensive


I have to admit, we have all been spoiled by Fuji and their wonderful firmware updates.  We have all enjoyed them and to a certain extent, have turned our old cameras into “new” cameras with those updates.

Well, i hope you enjoyed it, because it seems that it’s coming to an end now.

There are differing views on the firmware updates that Fuji has so graciously supplied to us over the last 3 years.  On one side, you have the people who say that the updates were well deserved since the cameras were somewhat half-baked when they were released.

On the other hand, you have people saying that the updates were an indication of Fuji listening to it’s customers and implementing much needed features.

Personally, i think it was a mix of both.  Though, i am more on the side of Fuji was listening to it’s customers.

Either way, we have been greatly spoiled by Fuji and all the firmware updates that they have provided for their X series cameras.  Keep in mind, these firmware updates come at a price.

Some observations:

Going back to the statement, “Fuji was listening to it’s customers”, were they really?  After all, the X-Pro1 still does not have color focus peaking and this feature has been asked for time and time again.  At this point in time, i don’t think we will ever get it.

Secondly, it seems that when a new camera comes out with all sorts of new features (for example, the X30), people scramble to ask if those same features will come packed in the next firmware update for their current X camera.

This is what happened with the X-E2.  Fuji released a firmware update for the X-E2 and essentially turned the camera into an X-T1.  Albeit not physically the same cameras, they pretty much have the same features now.

Fuji is not doing itself any favors by releasing a camera with new features and in the same breath, giving an “older” camera the same feature set by way of a firmware upgrade.  They are just shooting themselves in the foot.

The other shoe drops:

I think it was only inevitable that Fuji would finally adjust their Kaizen philosophy.  It’s all well and good to hand out free firmware updates to bring cameras up to snuff, but the realization that it costs quite a bit of money to do so, was bound to finally set in.

Say what you want, but it is what it is.  Maybe the cameras should have been what they are now, right from the get go.  Perhaps Fuji should keep being generous and keep supplying us with “free” firmware updates.  Perhaps i should quit my job and become a sausage maker and drive a Ferrari.  Perhaps…..

The reality is, Fuji can no longer afford to give out “free” firmware updates and i know nothing about making sausages.

Fuji just may be on the verge of starting to charge for firmware updates and concentrate more on current cameras, while leaving be cameras like the X-E2 & X100s.

In my opinion, leaving behind the older cameras is a good idea.  If you are in the business of making money from selling cameras, why on earth would you enable someone to make their old camera just as capable as the new camera that you just released??  It just does not make sense to me.  Therefore, stop the nonsense of updating previous generation cameras and concentrate solely on the current generation camera.

Would i buy a firmware update to obtain the latest and greatest features??  I might if it were worthwhile, though i highly doubt that any of the new features that Fuji has come out with recently, would even function on my X-Pro1.  I don’t know.

Kaizen is a wonderful philosophy concentrating on continuous improvements.  However, there comes a time when the philosophy itself needs a bit of improvement/change.

Thanks for looking.


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