28
Apr
2013

Fuji’s idea of Kaizen, or why Fuji frequently releases firmware updates

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 photo 180px-Kaizen_zpse3e0546e.gif

The brand new X100S has already been updated with a new firmware (1.02). I was curious to know why Fuji seems to release firmware updates more often than other companies. So I made a little search and stumbled across this article at fujifilmxseries.

According to the author “some manufacturers might be reluctant to update firmware, as it represents, in a sense, an admission that things were not correct or perfect at the time of product release“. This isn’t the case of Fujifilm, as they frequently release firmware updates to improve their cameras. This philosophy can be summarized in one word: KAIZEN… and, unless you are a Japanese reader, many of you probably won’t know what “kaizen” means. Fujifilmxseries looked for the definition:

kaizen […] My iOS dictionary […] defines kaizen as “betterment, improvement.” It then expands thusly, “kaizen (Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement). […] Thus, strictly speaking, I’m not sure that firmware updates in of themselves are an example of kaizen. However, the frequent refinement of the firmware itself most probably is, and Fujifilm can only be applauded in extending this concept out to cameras already in the hands of consumers, rather than waiting for the cycle of new generation releases. If nothing else, an understanding of kaizen might offer a convenient framework for interpreting why Fujifilm frequently updates firmware, rather than attempting to ‘get it right’ the first time round. It was ‘right,’ now it’s ‘more right.’”

There is always something to improve. Now, just add in the comments what you would like to have fixed (or added) with the next firmware update: faster autofocus, focus peaking for the X-E1/X-PRO1, set minimum shutter speed when in Auto-ISO, customizable “Q menu”… just extend this list in the comments.

Over at uservoice you can vote a X100S firmware-poll (thanks Fredrik).

Kaizen (wikipedia) / fujifilmxseries (read here)

enjoy your Sunday
Patrick

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