A Chunka Chunka Burning Cash


Well, it IS fun watching the engines being revved up on the Fujifilm GFX camera and imagining how fast it will go when they release the brakes. The Fujifilm company publicity department and the associated fan-sites are currently turning over at about 2000 rpm for most of the time with an occasional spike to about 3500 rpm. I don’t think they are game to go any higher until they actually have stocks of the things in the shops.

It can be a bit dangerous revving it at the starting line like this…oh it gets the crowd anxious and moistens the seats in the bleachers – but it also exposes the Fujifilm people to the commercial hahah if they don’t meet a reasonable supply date. And primes them for technical contumely if there are bugs in the system

And there will be bugs in the system. That is the nature of digital cameras – they are etymologically challenged in their first year of life. To their great and genuine credit, Fujifilm issue updates and firmware fixes on a regular basis for free. Some of them are tail covering and some of them are free capability. Unfortunately some camera bugs, like cockroaches, will survive a nuclear blast. The Fujifilm X-10 had an issue with blooming in specular highlights that was never really addressed…they just sidled on to the next model of the series. It wasn’t a killer, but once you knew about it you saw it in every shot…

But the real question – the price – is not really settled yet. There are indications, hints, predictions, and speculations…but no final number. It is that number that is going to decide whether or not the medium format venture is a success. They have to down Hasselblad with their mirror-less medium format and they have to make the Pentax medium format DSLR look unattractive. The first may be helped by the fact that the Hasselblad company is in a financial minefield now as well as a crisis of corporate ownership. The Pentax is big and clumsy…and old. But it is at a cheaper price. I expect there will be a small Oriental turf war when the GFX is ready for sales.

My biggest wager is on the market for the device – If it is at all workable, and if Adobe supplies RAW conversion into Photoshop and Lightroom, I think it will become the darling of the trendy wedding shooter. It is not as if the Trents and the Bretts do not have enough gear for this already with the high-end Canon or Nikon full-frame cameras – there is no wedding that need go unrecorded for that. But the trade operates on a jealousy and one-upmanship basis more than many others. If the Fujifilm people can get the thing seen and selling to the AIPP wedding would-be’s they can make every other section of the photo community buy it on that basis.





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