For those not very familiar with Fujifilm, kaizen is a Japanese word that means “improvement” and could be further be defined as :
[kai·zen ˈkīzən/ noun]: a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.
In fact, Fujifilm managed to grow a very loyal customer base thanks to its excellently designed and crafted cameras which where frequently improved with new features that where brought to the older camera models. This practice contributed to earn Fujifilm a special place in the heart of their users. It was also something that made Fujifilm customers very willing to talk about to other brand users, in what could be compared to as a sort of evangelisation act.
In my post Why I like Fujifilm I cited kaizen as one of the reasons of why I got to enjoy this particular camera brand.
Well, it’s a fact, since I bought my X-Pro3 the camera hasn’t received any feature upgrade, just regular firmware updates that corrected problems, bugs or added some compatibility with newer lenses and improved autofocus.
Fujifilm as talked about it, they have argued that some improvements like pushing a new film simulation to older models is not possible because of memory limits and/or processor performance. I get it.
What I find harder to swallow is that some minor but very useful improvements like the half step Highlight and Shadow adjustments wouldn’t find their way to older models, specially to a very premium camera like the X-Pro3.
Fujifilm has now clarified that it doesn’t consider kaizen as a useful or necessary practice anymore. Well it’s their very right, as a company, to conduct the policy they think will best serve their interests. Those interests may, of course, not be aligned with that of their customers and them, as such, have the right to choose and decide where they put their money. No big deal.
I just find it somehow regrettable that something that used to give some extra-value to your purchase seems to have been suppressed in the hope that this move will entice the customer to upgrade their equipment more frequently. I am not sure this will have the desired effect and could potentially upset a few of their most loyal fans.
So this was my little tiny rant 😉 . Let me know in the comments what you personally feel about the new kaizen policy.