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gdanmitchell
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Re: Fuji Medium Format Digital System is on it's way...


TheEmrys wrote:
The other way to look at it is that Sony has essentially let their the mirrorless aps-c lens (and body, barring the a6300) lineup stagnate, leaving it solely to Fuji. No one else makes aps-c bodies and lenses. The difference with Fuji is that they are making lenses which are FF equivalents. Why make FF when you already have FF equivalent lenses? The increase in IQ will be minor. Now, a jump to mirrorless MF would give Fuji the only moderately priced snall MF system.

No competetion > competition.


Fujifilm\'s strategy has been somewhat clear all along — rather than competing directly on products that others already offer, they carve out a niche that is different than the competition and then try to own it.

Think of their cropped sensor mirrorless cameras. The design concept was \"retro,\" with knobs and dials and functionality and appearance that brought (and brings) to mind the old rangefinder cameras. They even successfully sold a fixed lens rangefinder body! At this time most (though not quite all) other manufacturers were producing either DSLRs or new school cameras with modern menu based interfaces.

Sony is a good example of their reasoning I think, both in positive and negative terms. Before Sony achieved market penetration with the A7R-style cameras they tried to compete directly against the Bigs (Canon and Nikon) in the DSLR space. Sony produced some very nice and arguably competitive DSLRs, but they made little headway. The issue is that the existing DSLR manufacturers were doing a fine job and they had/have large, stable markets. In order for Sony to break into the DSLR space it wouldn\'t be enough to make a DSLR \"as good as\" the existing Canon and Nikon products, but it would have to be enough better to persuade happy users of the other brands to switch. That is a tall order, and it really did not work for Sony.

What did work? More or less the same strategy that Fujifilm has followed, though the particulars are a bit different. Rather than trying to out-DSLR the big DSLR manufacturers, Sony made a brilliant marketing move and — a la Fujifilm — zigged as the market zagged. Sony came out with something that wasn\'t a DSLR, instead a full frame mirrorless camera. If they had put that camera\'s sensor in a Sony DSLR it wouldn\'t have gone anywhere — remember that Nikon had the same sensor in the D800. But by putting it in a mirrorless body they were able to offer something that no other manufacturer had, a very good full frame camera with a mirrorless design and an excellent sensor. And, as we know, this proved far more successful for them than the earlier DSLR attempts.

To loop this back to Fujifilm and the full frame question, I believe I recall Fujifilm representatives either implying or even stating explicitly that they do not plan to compete with full frame cameras. They certainly aren\'t going to do it with a DSLR — they saw what happened when Sony tried that. I doubt that they will do it (at least not for a long time) with mirrorless full frame since they probably don\'t think that splitting the market for such cameras with Sony is going to be a big win for them. (That could change at some point in the future when the promise that mirrorless will eventually evolve past DSLRs in more ways is realized.)

Fujifilm also rightly claims that the cropped sensor cameras produce very good image quality. It cannot match full frame, but it is very good and meets and exceeds the needs of the largest segment of the market for such cameras.

So why mini MF if full frame isn\'t going to happen? My thought is that Fujifilm wants to split their lineup of high end cameras into two segments — one bing the smaller cropped sensor models such as the DSLR-like mirrorless XT2 and XPro2 and similar and the other being high end mini MF sensor cameras. Rather than trying to compete in the full frame market, they hope to skip right past it.

A few years back this would have been suicide. The cost of small MF sensors was far, far too high and the subsequent price of the cameras was through the roof, with the lowest of low end models being in the near $20,000 range and some high end backs and systems costing double or triple that. However, as we have seen recently, it is now quite possible to build and manufacture min-MF (33mm x 44mm) cameras that can sell at much lower costs — especially if, like Fujifilm (and Pentax) the company can leverage the interface design and much of the manufacturing that they already have for smaller cameras.

As we know, the Pentax 645z broke the $10,000 barrier and then some. (It currently sells for just under $7000.) I\'m certain that Fujifilm is fairly confident that they can produce a camera that is at least as good by applying their existing technologies to a camera built around the mini-MF sensor and do it for a retail price that is the same as or (more likely) lower than that of the Pentax. At that point the cost of a smallish mini-MF body is getting very close to the cost of the high end DSLR bodies.

(There are other reasons to still prefer the full frame systems, but I won\'t go into that now.)

So, basically, I believe that Fujifilm is going to offer two product levels — but they believe that they\'ll be better able to differentiate from both other manufacturers and from their existing products if the second level is mini-MF based. As to whether or not this will be the right decision or whether the mini MF push will work, time will tell. There were a lot of people betting against Fujifilm when they came out with the X-trans systems, but they seem to be doing quite well. (Well enough to get their own board here at FM! ;-) )

This is (almost) all speculation, of course. Time will tell.

Dan



Sep 05, 2016 at 12:06 AM
gdanmitchell
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Re: Fuji Medium Format Digital System is on it's way...


TheEmrys wrote:
The other way to look at it is that Sony has essentially let their the mirrorless aps-c lens (and body, barring the a6300) lineup stagnate, leaving it solely to Fuji. No one else makes aps-c bodies and lenses. The difference with Fuji is that they are making lenses which are FF equivalents. Why make FF when you already have FF equivalent lenses? The increase in IQ will be minor. Now, a jump to mirrorless MF would give Fuji the only moderately priced snall MF system.

No competetion > competition.


Fujifilm\'s strategy has been somewhat clear all along — rather than competing directly on products that others already offer, they carve out a niche that is different than the competition and then try to own it.

Think of their cropped sensor mirrorless cameras. The design concept was \"retro,\" with knobs and dials and functionality and appearance that brought (and brings) to mind the old rangefinder cameras. They even successfully sold a fixed lens rangefinder body! At this time most (though not quite all) other manufacturers were producing either DSLRs or new school cameras with modern menu based interfaces.

Sony is a good example of their reasoning I think, both in positive and negative terms. Before Sony achieved market penetration with the A7R-style cameras they tried to compete directly against the Bigs (Canon and Nikon) in the DSLR space. Sony produced some very nice and arguably competitive DSLRs, but they made little headway. The issue is that the existing DSLR manufacturers were doing a fine job and they had/have large, stable markets. In order for Sony to break into the DSLR space it wouldn\'t be enough to make a DSLR \"as good as\" the existing Canon and Nikon products, but it would have to be enough better to persuade happy users of the other brands to switch. That is a tall order, and it really did not work for Sony.

What did work? More or less the same strategy that Fujifilm has followed, though the particulars are a bit different. Rather than trying to out-DSLR the big DSLR manufacturers, Sony made a brilliant marketing move and — a la Fujifilm — zigged as the market zagged. Sony came out with something that wasn\'t a DSLR, instead a full frame mirrorless camera. If they had put that camera\'s sensor in a Sony DSLR it wouldn\'t have gone anywhere — remember that Nikon had the same sensor in the D800. But by putting it in a mirrorless body they were able to offer something that no other manufacturer had, a very good full frame camera with a mirrorless design and an excellent sensor. And, as we know, this proved far more successful for them than the earlier DSLR attempts.

To loop this back to Fujifilm and the full frame question, I believe I recall Fujifilm representatives either implying or even stating explicitly that they do not plan to compete with full frame cameras. They certainly aren\'t going to do it with a DSLR — they saw what happened when Sony tried that. I doubt that they will do it (at least not for a long time) with mirrorless full frame since they probably don\'t think that splitting the market for such cameras with Sony is going to be a big win for them. (That could change at some point in the future when the promise that mirrorless will eventually evolve past DSLRs in more ways is realized.)

Fujifilm also rightly claims that the cropped sensor cameras produce very good image quality. It cannot match full frame, but it is very good and meets and exceeds the needs of the largest segment of the market for such cameras.

So why mini MF if full frame isn\'t going to happen? My thought is that Fujifilm wants to split their lineup of high end cameras into two segments — one bing the smaller cropped sensor models such as the DSLR-like mirrorless XT2 and XPro2 and similar and the other being high end mini MF sensor cameras. Rather than trying to compete in the full frame market, they hope to skip right past it.

A few years back this would have been suicide. The cost of small MF sensors was far, far too high and the subsequent price of the cameras was through the roof, with the lowest of low end models being in the near $20,000 range and some high end backs and systems costing double or triple that. However, as we have seen recently, it is now quite possible to build and manufacture min-MF (33mm x 44mm) cameras that can sell at much lower costs — especially if, like Fujifilm (and Pentax) the company can leverage the interface design and much of the manufacturing that they already have for smaller cameras.

As we know, the Pentax 645z broke the $10,000 barrier and then some. (It currently sells for just under $7000.) I\'m certain that Fujifilm is fairly confident that they can produce a camera that is at least as good by applying their existing technologies to a camera built around the mini-MF sensor and do it for a retail price that is the same as or (more likely) lower than that of the Pentax. At that point the cost of a smallish mini-MF body is getting very close to the cost of the high end DSLR bodies.

(There are other reasons to still prefer the full frame systems, but I won\'t go into that now.)

So, basically, I believe that Fujifilm is going to offer two product levels — but they believe that they\'ll be better able to differentiate from both other manufacturers and from their existing products if the second level is mini-MF based.

This is (almost) all speculation, of course. Time will tell.

Dan



Sep 04, 2016 at 02:48 PM





  Previous versions of gdanmitchell's message #13708376 « Pre-order: Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format body ($6,499) »