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DPReview TV: What Happened to Fujifilm’s Kaizen

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Fujifilm built a reputation for bringing continuous improvements to its products, a process frequently referred to as ‘Kaizen’.

In 2019, however, we saw major firmware updates from almost every camera company except Fujifilm.

So now Chris and Jordan ask, “What happened to Kaizen?”

Especially now, that the Fujifilm X-Pro3 is out with many major improvements (and the same sensor/processor of X-T3), many hoped for a big firmware update that will bring the X-Pro3 goodness also to other cameras.

But Chris remembers, that delaying the firmware love for the Fujifilm X-T3 and X-T30, is also a way to protect Fujifilm X-Pro3 sales for a little bit longer.

And guys, honestly, Fujifilm is a company that at the end of the day has limited resources and has to make profits.

So I understand if they delay their firmware, and I am fine to wait a little bit longer to get my firmware love. It’s a compromise: Fuji makes more money, and I still get what I want, just a bit later.

And as a long time Fujifilm lover (and blogger), I remember this discussion popping up so many times already.

In fact, back in 2015 I wrote this article, where we discuss the future of Kaizen already, as already back then, people were worried that Fujifilm abonded their Kaizen philosophy. Of course all discussions ended, once Fujifilm released again several huge updates.

The point is, there can’t be updates all the time and non stop. Sometimes, it just takes a bit longer.

Sure, it was not a great 2019 Fujifilm Kaizen year, but I am confident that in 2020, we will be able to “download a new camera” again ;).

I mean, Fujifilm also publicly asked us Fujifilm users, which firmware we would like next, and 14,000+ of you voted on their new favorite firmware features.

This alone shows that they do care, and that improving their cameras via firmware is always a goal Fuji has in mind, but they can that only do when:

  • they have enough resources to develop it
  • the firmware is mature and ready
  • the “market-moment” is right, meaning for example a new firmware won’t affect sales of a brand new camera all too badly.

So, be patient, and Kaizen love will be back :).

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