Last week Fujifilm launched its X100V, an update to the popular X100 compact camera lineup. It includes a 23mm f/2 lens, a 26.1 BSI sensor, and fast autofocus for professional-quality images.
It also includes both an electronic viewfinder and an optical viewfinder, which you can toggle between by way of a switch on the camera body. You’re also free to view both the EVF and OVF at once, by working with an electronic viewfinder that appears as part of the optical viewfinder display.
The promotional video shows Suzuki approaching people while out in public, then shoving his X100V in their faces in order to capture a photo.
Nearly all of Suzuki’s subjects look uncomfortable with the encounter, with many of them holding up their hands or ducking to the side to avoid his camera.
After this promo video dropped, many viewers became disturbed and angry, which culminated in Fujifilm deleting the video from their YouTube channel.
Note that Fujifilm seems to have done more than just delete the video. Recent reports suggest that the company has removed Suzuki as an ambassador, presumably as a response to protests.
But while some have expressed deep offense at Suzuki’s methods, others find his work impressive or even inspiring.
Many have compared Suzuki to the celebrated American street photographer, Bruce Gilden, who is known for his forceful approach; Gilden’s shooting style involves marching straight up to a subject and shoving a camera, as well as an off-camera flash, in their face.
Which begs the question:
Are Suzuki’s methods acceptable?
On the one hand, Suzuki’s photos are undeniably powerful. His style is intimate and unique.
On the other hand, if Suzuki is causing such discomfort, are the shots really worth the cost? Do the ends justify the means?
There are also other costs to consider. For instance, the more unpleasant experiences the public has with street photographers, the less likely they are to engage with street photographers in the future, potentially ruining opportunities for the rest of the community.
In truth, I find it curious that Fujifilm didn’t recognize this problem with their footage from the beginning. Even if the company doesn’t have a problem with Suzuki’s style of shooting, it was inevitable that not all viewers would appreciate his approach.
What do you think? Do you have an issue with Suzuki’s methods? And should Fujifilm have dropped him as an ambassador?
Share your thoughts in the comments!