Here at New Camera News, we pride ourselves on not pulling punches, on telling it the way that we see it and putting camera makers and others in the industry in their place. One recent “victim” of the NCN klieg light was Fujifilm. Known primarily for the retro-styled cameras, we cornered Fujifim spokesperson Adam Addams and asked him the hard questions, questions other publications are afraid to ask.
Fuji has had tremendous success with their line of retro-styled cameras, and in a short period of time has gone from being an also-ran in the industry to one that carries tremendous mindshare in the marketplace. Yet, one can’t help but wonder why Fuji continues to peddle the retro style. There are of course, many many fine contemporary designers like Jonathon Ive and Marc Newson that would never design something so skeumorphic as the current line of Fuji cameras. Why does Fuji choose to hew so closely to designs from decades ago?
Because people like them.
But surely you must see that there are other ways. The 60s and 70s were such a long time ago, and to young photographers the Beatles are a band that their grandparents listened to. Time and style move forward inexorably, yet once again, the rumor mills are churning with talk of another retro Fuji, this time one that evokes SLR designs from the 70s. Is the rumored X-T1 just another craven attempt to tap into photographers’ emotional attachments to cameras from days gone by?
Isn’t it stylistically ingenuous to cram the new features into an old design, to effectively put lipstick on an old camera design and put a price tag on it!? The ergonomic requirements of digital cameras in 2014 is so fundamentally different than the ergonomic requirement of a film camera from 1970. Why stick to such old styles?
Because they sell.
Figuring that we had pummeled Fujifilm sufficiently with our incisive questioning, we let Addams go to lick the many wounds we inflicted upon him.