Why the X-A1 May Be A Mistake

Discussion in 'Fuji X Forum' started by entropic remnants, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Here's Thom Hogan's take on it, which I agree with wholeheartedly though my viewpoint is not popular. Basically, a poorly thought out marketing strategy that appears driven not by making a better system, but by just trying to "appeal" to a certain market.

    Thom lays it out better than I can, and why the X-A1 could dilute the X-Trans impact -- which would be very bad for Fuji. Also why the X-M1 could see a problem because of it.

    http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/fujifilm-introduces-the-x.html

    I'm not going to stay and discuss this, I post this just for folks to read. I had enough of that action the LAST time I criticized Fuji, lol. Keep in mind, I am fully bought into Fuji so my comments are not bashing by another brand partisan.
     
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  2. phrenic

    phrenic SC Regular

    61
    Nov 14, 2012
    I agree with Thom on most of those points. 2 of Fuji's X system's unique selling points have been high quality lenses (with proper aperture rings) and the X-Trans sensor tech that truly differentiates it from the competition (and to a lesser extent styling and Fuji jpeg processing etc). But I've always thought the X-Trans/lack of AA filter has been the most compelling feature.

    And now that's been taking away, so X-Trans is no longer synonymous with Fuji X and vice-versa.

    So as he points out..is X trans overhyped (making the X-A1 a good tradeoff for price-performance), or if it is a game changer then why cheap out?

    And then I think there's a question of whether or not it's even good to be in that price segment and moving downmarket when Fuji has been able to keep high prices as a higher end camera brand. With the inevitable price drops of digital camera tech and tons of surplus inventory that we always seem to see, does one really want to hit that lowest price point..

    -From a very satisfied X-E1 owner.
     
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  3. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Without reading all the details, I agree that this isn't the best move for Fuji. I think Fuji should maintain their "differentness" with the X-Trans sensor, styling, and even with better-than-average build quality. There is room for a little bit of elitism in the camera market, I think, without going to Leica-esque extremes.

    OTOH, I have no idea about the Fuji financials... perhaps they feel the X-A1 is an absolutely necessary move.
     
  4. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I, for one, think that the X-Trans sensor is more of a liability than an asset. RAW support is still spotty and processing obviously is difficult because my laptop sounds like a jet taking off every time I open a RAF file in Lightroom. I'm not entirely convinced about image quality advantages over Sony 16MP APS-C sensor, either.
     
  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Since the question has been cross-posted I might just transfer my response from the Fuji site to here instead:

    The point that I feel is important to make here is that the world is changing rapidly and demographics are shifting. The traditional economic dominance of middle to older aged males in western countries is diminishing and consumers of luxury electronic items in the future will come from much more diverse backgrounds with their own needs and wants, and of course not forgetting the increased economic independence of women. This change is something that any manufacturer of consumer electronics (which can be just as subject to fashion as clothing itself) will ignore at their peril.

    The second consideration is that I don't think that Fuji producing a non X-Trans sensor is going to suddenly reveal the truth about whether there is any advantage to the concept or not. Every single competitor to the X-series already produce a wide selection of Bayer sensor cameras. If you want to do a back-to-back comparison between the two types of sensor you already can. Personally I feel the the X-Trans sensor and look of the files it produces is a USP (unique selling point) for Fuji but not necessarily a technical advantage. It is also very noticeable that there is a distinct love-hate relationship to the X-Trans concept which means that it's presence both attracts and repels people from the Fuji brand. That means that while Fuji is currently pleasing the demographic that enjoy the unique characteristics available in the X-system, they would be ignoring what is obviously a large proportion of the market who have until now decided they don't like what they see.

    Also, if we're talking about "dilution" of the X-series brand, it could be argued that the X-E1 actually started the rot when it dropped another Fuji USP, the hybrid viewfinder. In that case the result was that it became a much bigger seller than the X-Pro1. From that point of view, the "dilution" of the Fuji brand started a year ago rather than just now, yet in the twelve months or so that it has been available I haven't seen the X-E1 being bemoaned as the beginning of the end.
     
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  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I agree with Nic completely. I don't have ANY idea what's a good idea FOR Fuji - I figure the folks who make a living figuring that out (AT Fuji) are gonna have a whole lot better idea of that than my peanut gallery speculation ever could. I just make judgements about whether what Fuji (or anyone else is) is doing works for ME. The X-Pro did, until the functions I was using it for were surpassed by other cameras. At which point, as much as I loved the hybrid viewfinder (and I did and DO love that contraption), I couldn't use it for the function that Fuji had been reduced to in my bag (very wide angle), so I sold it and got a used XE1. I don't like the XE1 nearly as much as the X-Pro but it makes more sense to own with the 14mm and possibly the 10-24 someday. Since I see myself having some sort of Fuji body for a good long time, I may even buy another used 18mm just to have some redundancy in the 28mm department, since I use it so much. The Nikon A is a better street camera and a better pocket camera and (IMHO) even a slightly better low light camera, but there are times when I'll be out with the Fuji for non-street shooting and it's not like the 18mm is gonna take up a lot of room in the bag. But for the amount I'm likely to use it, the overhead of the hybrid viewfinder doesn't make sense...

    I personally like the X-Pro a lot better than the XE1, but I have the XE1. I don't know whether it's good for Fuji, but it made sense for me. The XM1 might someday, or if they ever do a body with the EVF and the flip up screen I may go that way. As much as I love the OVF, I don't see the lenses I could use it with playing a significant enough role in my shooting to justify paying for the feature (in cost or in size). I don't see much upside to the XA1 for me, but those who DON'T like the X-Trans (and there are quite a few who hold on to the original X100 because they don't), it might be a great alternative. And there are probably all sorts of lower end buyers who'll be attracted to the colors and the lower price - I'm not personally offended if Fuji goes after them, even if I'm not one...

    -Ray
     
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  7. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I completely agree.

    It can definitely be argued, though, that the "X" should signify "X-Trans". Perhaps it would make more sense for Fuji to release a Bayer-sensored ILC with a different designation.
     
  8. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Ray, your guess is probably as good as Fuji's. They haven't done especially well in the digital age.
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Except that the "X" was the identity of the X100 and X10 before there was an X-Trans...

    OK, well in that case, I think they're probably on the right track. You don't have to look any farther than m43 to see that a system can support high end, mid-level, and low-end offerings in both bodies and lenses (Nikon, Canon, and Sony being pretty decent other examples!). I don't think that the existence of an EPM2 much threatens the market position of the EM1 or GH3 or vice versa. And I think that having lenses in price points as diverse as the Pany 14 / Olympus 45 and the Pany 12-35 and Olympus 75 is only a good thing for all m43 users. So I don't have a problem with Fuji adding low end bodies to their existing mid level and high end offerings, nor with offering less expensive lenses like the 27mm pancake along with high end lenses like the 14mm and coming 23mm, as well as the mid-level (but very very good) 35 and 18mm offerings. Very few camera makers other than Leica exist only at the higher end. X100 and X-Pro purists might see any lower and mid-level options as somehow "diluting" the Fuji identity/image, but that's one hell of a niche identity to try to make a living at. There's a lot of money to be made in the lower end and I don't see why Fuji shouldn't go after some of that market also, particularly while keeping the bodies and lenses compatible through the line (unless of course they add a full frame option at some point, but that's a whole other discussion)... Again, I suspect the Fuji bean counters and demographers have a better feel for the potential markets out there and their ability to reach them than observers like us do - I suspect they're on the right track...

    -Ray
     
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  10. biglouis

    biglouis SC Veteran

    401
    Aug 4, 2013
    Yes... well maybe that's why Thom Hogan is a photographer (allegedly) and not the marketing director of a major consumer electricals manufacturer.

    It is all about market segment. Why should Olympus/Panasonic/Sony/Canon/Nikon only occupy it?

    LouisB
     
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  11. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I just want to see face detection on the high end Fuji's!! And wifi shutter release. And AF that is competitive with m4/3. :)

    And no, I won't be getting a XA1. Or XM1.
     
  12. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Same here. I have my eye on the X100s and the X-E1. That's it.
     
  13. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Did any of you read Rico's first take on the X-A1? Face detection in spades, Armando.:wink: http://www.fujixspot.com/showthread.php?t=816&page=2&p=16544#post16544 or you can skip FujjXspot and go directly to http://www.fujirumors.com/using-the-fujifilm-x-a1-x-m1/, if you're really interested in knowing what advantages he sees that this camera offers.

    Nic, I concur - thank goodness
    :drinks:

    Back to your regularly scheduled discussion about Fuji's marketing.:daz:
     
  14. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Thanks for the link. I'm happy that the XA1 and XM1 have face detection. But I'd like to see it on the higher end cameras, because I like to use EVF/OVF. Of course, there is always some self-proclaimed "pro" out there, who is adamant against face detection in "real" cameras, and will argue against face detection even though no one is ever forced to use face detection. But rather than just turning the option off, the self-proclaimed "pro" just doesn't want the option to exist at all. End rant. Thanks for listening! :)
     
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  15. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    I'm a budget oriented guy, so let me start there.

    Secondly, I just read the X-M1 review by dpreview, and from an IQ standpoint, I'm not seeing anything there that jumps out at me over the mFT sensors. So, assuming that this bayer sensor is as good as the mFT sensors right now, its an option for me(compared to the E-PL5) to jump in and start to buy fuji. 200 bucks is a good chunk of change, and if I don't see the advantage of the X-trans sensor, why not have the option for a standard sensor?
     
  16. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    But then, we might as well stick with m4/3 given that it has better AF, more choice of lenses, and an excellent touch interface LCD (especially with the EPL5 flip screen that can be used for selfies).
     
  17. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    For me, that might be the case. For someone who isn't invested, they might like the fuji. I'm still on the E-PL2 with the old crappy sensor, and I'd like to upgrade. I only have a few mFT lenses so switching formats wouln't be a big deal to me. I guess I'm wondering if there is any increased dynamic range going to the larger sensor, which is more important to me than just noise and sharpness. At 599 compared to the E-PL5, thats a competitive price.
     
  18. zapatista

    zapatista SC Regular

    132
    Jul 28, 2012
    Denver, Colorado
    Mike
    I think both "markets" for Fuji can co-exist just fine with the same lens mount. There seems to be a tendency to think that Fuji is a "cheap" version of Leica still. Fuji is a huge corporation and profit rationalization/market share/capital allocation concerns generally win out over "niche" marketing and identity. I think the whole X-Trans argument is most likely ephermeral as the next real advance in sensor technology for Fuji will likely be the already announced "organic" sensors being co-developed with Panasonic. Who knows....I still like the files produced from the XE-1 and I don't mind the files produced by many cameras with the 16mp "Sony" sensor either.
     
  19. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    I really don't understand what this discussion is really about. BMW is a premium car maker, but it still has plenty of product lines, from 1 to 7 plus several SUVs (not to mention Rolls Royce and other ultra-premium brands that belong to them as well). Are those who bought a 7 series beamer really unhappy because there's also a 1 series with the same BMW logo? Should BMW drop everything below the most expensive luxury offerings in order to please the elitists? Is not dropping all those "cheap" or "affordable" or "compromised" offerings a mistake? I don't know, but at least BMW's stock seems to be doing rather well.
     
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  20. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    Seems like the XA-1 is the gateway drug to the Fuji ecosystem. Get new people that would otherwise blanch at the price of the XM1, get them to fall in love with the brand and then give them GAS for new lenses and new bodies.
     
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