Fujifilm’s popular and beautiful X100 has been making a lot of waves lately, so you might not guess that Fuji isn’t exactly the hottest camera maker on the block. Sure, they’re in fifth place as far as volume goes, but they’ve decided that’s not good enough, and plan to move all the way up to third. Hey, if they can duplicate the success of the X100, it doesn’t sound so crazy at all.
The head of Fujifilm’s camera division, Takeshi Higuchi, told Reuters:
We can do all the important development in-house, so we can use that to cut costs, but we don’t have a very high-profile brand. We have debated why that is and the upshot was we should put out luxury models and spend more on publicity to build up the brand.
An admirable bit of straight talk, from someone who might be expected to say some boilerplate PR nonsense praising their products as revolutionary. It’s true what he says: they’re a big company and don’t have to rely on external parts or R&D, they just need to get their name out there and develop a brand.
It’s no good for them to go straight up against Canon and Nikon with a DSLR (lenses and brand loyalty would kill them) or Sony and Samsung with more point and shoots (they’re already in that zone and not really excelling). So could their breakout product be an EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens) camera? Why not? The X100 has a ton of new and interesting technology in it, and it could fairly easily be stripped down, given a new mount with a few lenses sourced out to the lens-makers, and sold as a serious competitor to the likes of Olympus and Panasonic’s M4/3 cameras.
It’s still early in this process, but I think in the next two years we’ll see more of a high-end push from Fujifilm: a successor to the X100 and a EVIL-type device with some X100 DNA. I’m looking forward to it.