Another Fuji interview: no plans for a fixed lens X100 style GFX medium format camera


DPR interviewed Toshihisa Iida, General Manager of Fujifilm’s Optical Device and Electronic Imaging Products Division - her is the recap from FujiAddict:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

  • Fujifilm is still operating under restrictions
  • Manufacturing was affected in February
  • Fujifilm is almost back to full-scale operations while working with strict health management processes provided by the Chinese gov
  • Confident they can launch X-T4 at scale during the end of April
  • Sales have slumped during the downturn in the US and Europe, which affects warehouses and logistical operations
  • On the service side Fujifilm can still offer after-sales service in the US and Europe
  • Fujifilm as a company is healthy because of how diversified they are and the medical division is booming with Avigan
  • Toshihisa Iida thinks it is important to focus on peoples health and we hope demand returns after this is over
  • The Olympics being postponed will affect Japan’s entire economy because many people were invested in the game coming this year
  • When it comes to imaging there are many broadcasting businesses postponing or canceling orders that Fujifilm was getting ready for the Olympics
  • COVID-19 is definitely more serious than the 2011 earthquake and tsunami because this is a long term disruption
  • “COVID-19 is affecting everything, worldwide.”

Fujifilm X-T4 / Fujifilm X-H2?

  • Fujifilm X-T3S was considered, but New Shutter, IBIS, new battery were enough changes to use X-T4.
  • X-T4 IBIS is completely redesigned, plus used new parts and even fewer parts
  • X-T4 IBIS about 30% smaller and 20% lighter than X-H1
  • X-H1 and GFX100 expertise in R&D were needed for X-T4
  • Fujifilm is still working on the X-H line to innovate
  • The X-H line will be very different than that X-T series

Fujifilm X-T3

  • Would like to provide features from X-T4 on X-T3 in a firmware update, but they have other priorities at this time
  • X-T3 will sell alongside X-T4 because both are great cameras

Fujifilm X100V

  • X100V has been well received, but the February launch had a limited shipment size so they are still back-ordered
  • Fujifilm wants every photographer to be able to enjoy the 4k movie experience
  • Proud of the X100V video improvements and it helps make the camera futureproof

Fujifilm GFX100 / GFX50S / GFX50R

  • GFX100 has sold about 50% more than anticipated
  • GFX100 was received very positively and they are just catching up on it being back-ordered
  • Sales numbers have been very good and feedback has been good
  • IBIS and AF are the two most liked features, but all of the feedback has been positive
  • The photographers into GFX100 are been fashion, commercial, landscape
  • Aerial and archival photographers are now getting interested
  • Some customers are testing GFX100 for film making, but they don’t know how many are using it for video at this time
  • Premista cine glass may be able to be converted to cover GF mount with an adapter (Previously confirmed to cover GFX)
  • Fujifilm is happy with GFX being Rangefinder and SLR style
  • Fujifilm currently has no plans for a fixed lens X100 style GFX because it would need its own lens development team
  • Fujifilm’s current priority is expanding the GF lens lineup
  • FUJINON GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR is their current priority, but they will listen to customers
  • The GFX50S and GFX50R are loved, but Fujifilm would like to improve the AF speed
  • AF is top of the list for improvements to GFX50S and GFX50R

Markets

  • High-end sales are pretty consistent around the world
  • High demand for GFX in China
  • Entry-level models like X-A7 and X-T200 are big in Asia
  • Asia is major for entry-level and GFX
  • COVID-19 dropped GFX sales in China for the month of February
  • Online has been pretty solid even with COVID-19

Third-parties

  • Fujifilm has opened pretty much all of their specifications for third-party manufacturers like DJI and Rode
  • Fujifilm is being proactive about talking with third-parties
  • Tokina announced three lenses for X-Mount tied to them opening the mount to third parties

XF Lenses

  • Fujifilm is aware that some of their older lenses need a Mark II and they will be working on new versions of many of their key lenses
  • Some lenses need new optical designs, while others need mechanical redesigns
  • If the Fujinon XC 35mm f/2 does well we could see more XC lenses

Via FujiAddict


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