“Fujifilm will not be entering the Full-Frame sensor market” – Mr. Haruto Iwata, Managing Director, Fujifilm India

With global market trends tilting towards Mirrorless Full Frame cameras, Bhavya Desai, Editor Asian Photography magazine, speaks with Mr. Haruto Iwata, Managing Director, Fujifilm India about their medium format camera, future plans, business model and more.

  1. At a time when manufacturers are focusing on Full-frame, Fujifilm is going Medium format. What is the reason for the same?

A camera is a tool for creating artwork and the objective is to create photographs. Fujifilm has always stood by this philosophy when manufacturing photographic equipments. The entry point for the medium format has been high for so long and has been alluring professionals for decades. We always want to supply the best solution with the latest technology; Fujifilm wants to be in the hands of everyday professionals.

We offer a wide range of cameras for both professionals and amateurs including the X Series that has an APSC sensor and GFX Series, which is a medium format camera with a sensor 1.7 times bigger than full frame size sensor (found in DSLR). Our GFX range caters to the commercial photography segment and X Series caters to amateurs and professionals looking for affordable cameras offering great performance. Fujifilm will not be entering the Full-Frame sensor market, as we have good APS-C and medium format systems which is a good balance.

We recently launched the GFX100 – world’s first consumer mirrorless camera that supports a 102 Million Pixel sensor. With this launch, we have achieved a great milestone in our digital camera business which will further enhance our presence in the Digital Camera Market in India.

  1. While Medium Formats that Fujifilm offers are more economical as compared to the other competitors in the segment, how do you feel the Indian Photographers are warming up to this format?

The globalisation and democratisation in the availability, access and practice of photography and videography have made these (forms of) arts unique. Today, almost anyone with the inclination can be a good visual artist and can make a statement. Technology has been a great enabler, but this would be a rather simplistic way to put it. The adoption of breakthrough technologies and the adopters are playing an equal role in shaping not just the evolution of these technologies, but also the landscape of its use, over time.

Fujifilm’s medium format camera i.e. the GFX series, not just caters to high-end professional users but also other photography enthusiasts at the amateur level. The prime target consumers for Fujifilm’s Medium format cameras are professional photographers working in commercial industries like fashion and advertising. This is for all the people who want more details on their images; which are meant not to just stay on the monitor but go beyond that.

  1. What is the company’s roadmap for the coming year? 

With over 80 years of existence, Fujifilm has been a pioneer in imaging technology and has constantly displayed an innovative line-up of products offering Imaging and Print-Related Solutions for Consumers and Businesses.

We want to give the large number of Indian photo lovers lots of different kinds of camera options. Over the years, we have come up with some of the best-in-class technology. With the launch of the GFX100, we achieved a great milestone in our digital camera business, which will further enhance our presence in the Digital Camera Market in India. Our Instax range of Instant cameras has also gained much interest from young consumers who seek to gain new experiences and find creative ways to enjoy photography. We recently associated with Mr. Dabboo Ratnani to promote our GFX range of cameras and Alia Bhatt to promote our Instax cameras.

In the coming year, we will be focusing on expanding our range of products across categories. We will be introducing new products for the Image Capturing Business like X-Series range of mirrorless cameras and Instax range of Instant Cameras alongside our Photo Imaging Business, which includes a range of print solutions, especially for the wedding market. We will also be focussing on strengthening our Medical division with the introduction of highly advanced systems for the Healthcare Sector. The Graphic Arts division will also see new products with our Wide Format Ink Jet Printers. We aim to achieve double-digit growth this year; for which we will be emphasizing on ‘Aggressive top and bottom line performance’.

  1. With Fujifilm being primarily the only brand when it comes to instant cameras these days, how has the response for the Instax cameras been thus far?

Fujifilm’s Instant Camera range has been a revelation for us in India, the selfie generation of the country resonates deeply with our range of Instax cameras. The fact that Fujifilm’s instant camera range starts at a very affordable pricing in India, with the brightest and quirkiest designs, makes the Instax line a popular gift for tweens and teens.

Instax has certainly come a long way, ever since its launch back in 1998. Today, it is a global hit with a presence in more than 100 countries and regions with approximately 40 million units sold worldwide. Its quirky design and retro look has helped the brand carve a winning niche for itself.

In India, we further aim to enhance awareness for Instax range of cameras through our strategic collaborations with one of the most followed Indian celebrity, Alia Bhatt. She perfectly complements the brand attributes of Instax, which is indeed a charming product with which one can shoot, print, and share an original instantly.

  1. While Fujifilm as a brand continues to be great at designing and integrating products, have they considered designing and manufacturing sensors? If not now then maybe in the future?

Currently, there are no plans for this, but we will keep you updated on this.

  1. Where do you think the next impetus in the industry will come from?

The photography industry is changing dynamically with each passing year. New applications, mobile apps and printing technology are redefining the ways consumers experience images. The Indian market for photo taking is growing exponentially with the growth of DSLRs, Mirrorless cameras and smartphones.

Additionally, increasing interest in the market for better, more intuitive and intelligent appliances that complement the evolving lifestyles of people is opening a huge opportunity in our industry for consumers who are looking to upgrade their style of capturing moments. Fujifilm is strongly committed to the Indian market and has contributed significantly towards delivering professional cameras to not only experts but also camera enthusiasts. Hence, Fujifilm is constantly bringing excellence to the imaging industry through rapid innovations in technology.

  1. Do you see DSLRs running out of system by the end of the year?

Currently, we are witnessing a radical evolution in the digital camera market. The trend of using large, complicated DSLR with a bag of heavy lenses is moving towards a lightweight and compact range of mirrorless cameras. These range of cameras is primarily being preferred due to their ease of use and compact body. With faster performance and weight almost 50% lighter as compared to a DSLR camera, mirrorless camera is a popular choice among users.

Over the last five years, we have witnessed a gradual shift from DSLR to mirrorless, which currently stands at 20% share in value. We certainly expect the mirrorless category to increase to 49% share in value by 2020. Fujifilm being a pioneer in this segment certainly has very aggressive plans to strengthen their position in the Indian mirrorless market. We plan to capture 20% market share in the Indian mirrorless camera market in the next 3 to 4 years promoting the X and GFX Series that continues to evolve with outstanding image quality, fast speed and mobility.

  1. What are the marketing plans that Fujifilm will undertake for the upcoming festive season?

We plan to keep our digital media channels booming with festive activities, we will continue to conduct workshops, photo walks and touch and try sessions throughout the country to educate people about our products and offerings.

In the coming festive season we have various consumer offers that will excite our customers. In the X Series range of cameras we have consumer offers, several kit combos in each of the X-Series products this festive season.