28 Mar CP+ 2019: Fujifilm interview – ‘We want to show photographers the future’

Source: DP Review

Makoto Oishi, Product Planning Manager at Fujifilm, holds a working prototype of the forthcoming GFX 100 medium format camera.

At the CP+ show earlier this month in Yokohama Japan, we sat down with senior executives from Fujifilm. During our conversation we covered everything from the upcoming GFX 100, to plans for APS-C and why the X100 still occupies such an important position in the company’s lineup.

Our interview was conducted with three senior executives in Fujifilm’s Electronic Imaging Products Division:

Toshi Iida, General Manager. Makoto Oishi, Product Planning Manager. Shin Udono, Senior Manager of the Sales and Marketing Group.

This interview has been edited for clarity and flow. For the sake of readability, responses have been combined.

In the long-run, how do you see full-frame and medium format coexisting?

They definitely will coexist. Especially after we introduced the GFX 50R, we’ve seen a wider audience become interested in medium format and the sales of the 50R look very promising. I think this is a good sign.

Do you have a target for market share of the full frame + market?

We don’t have a specific number, but roughly speaking full-frame accounts for about 1/3 of the market right now in terms of value. It’s growing slightly. Medium format used to be something like 1% but after we introduced GFX, the medium format market has doubled. This is a good start. So we don’t have any specific target numbers, but our mission is to increase the size of the medium format market.

After we introduced the 50S, we checked to see what kind of customers were buying it, and roughly 70% of the buyers were coming from other brands. Mainly DSLR users. These users still keep their existing systems, and the GFX is additional.

Do you have a sense of how many of your GFX customers are professionals?

According to our surveys, 20% are professional, and 80% are non-professional. If you look at the GFX 50R, more of those customers are non-professionals. Learning from our experience with the 50R, I think that the customer base is growing. People who shoot street-style photographs like the 50R, which takes them back to the days of our medium format film cameras. Of course the focus could be faster, but they can live with the current system.

Is it important to you that the proportion of professional users increases?

Yes, of course. Especially after the [announcement of] Capture One compatibility, we increased our professional user base, and of course the GFX 100 is coming….

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