FujiCast 149 With Masazumi Imai The Head of Design for Fujifilm X-Series Cameras Since X100

Masazumi Imai the Head of Design for Fujifilm X-Series cameras joined Fujicast for its 149th episode, which you can listen too below or read the summary I prepared of the Masazumi Imai interview. The rest of the podcast is interesting if you’re into shooting at the race track, but it is not really Fujifilm specific and the Q&A at the end is rather speculative, but worth a listen.

Masazumi Imai

  • The Fujifilm X100 is now 10 years old
  • Masazumi Imai started at Minolta which is now owned by Sony and he quit before the merger
  • Fujifilm was looking for a product designer so he joined them then
  • In 2009 it was clear that the digital camera market was going to be taken over by the smartphone which lead them to develop more professional cameras since they mainly produced compact point and shoot cameras before
  • 2009 was also the year when the most digital cameras shipped
  • Masazumi Imai came up with the design of the X100 as a film like camera that was first shown at Photokina
  • Masazumi Imai and Fujifilm were surprised by how much the people at Photokina liked it
  • It’s been 10 years since the X100 launch and it is still a very strong seller
  • The recessed design of the X100 flip screen had to be figured out quickly because they do not have a lot of time for development
  • New products can take years to design and the original X100 took 2 years to develop
  • Not much has changed about their development team because it is small and they work quickly together
  • Masazumi Imai’s dream camera would be made of the best materials and there would be unlimited time and revisions to create it with a unique lens for compactness and high quality with dual focal lengths
  • Used to sketch by hand to figure out the character of the camera
  • Inspiration can come from anything including cars and pictures, but what people say and preserve is the most important inspiration
  • Can’t imagine the next 10 years but Masazumi Imai does his best because it is his job, but peoples voice is very important

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