Phototrend: Fujifilm X/GFX Manager Interview – The Phototography Market, Dream GFX Designs, and More

Phototrend interviewed Cyril Duchêne the product manager for Fujifilm’s X and GFX divisions, about the Fujifilm X-H2/X-H2S launch and the future of GFX. Below is a translated summary of the interview:

  • Covid had a limited impact on Fujifilm’s sales since the X-T4 came out right before the lockdowns, they were able to deliver a lot of cameras before things slowed down.
  • Consumer print sales have been growing
  • France has been slow to transition away from SLR cameras, with Germany being about four years ahead of them.
  • Film is making a comeback, and young people are starting to realize the limitations of their camera phones
  • Photographers are moving from the declining m43 to cameras like Fujifilm thanks to their size advantage
  • Shortages are keeping Fujifilm from converting more former m43 users to their brand
  • X-H2/X-H2S have attracted a lot of new photographers to Fujifilm thanks to the new sensors and processor which is attached to their new AF algorithms
  • The stacked sensor in the X-H2S is the real competitive advantage because it is a fraction the price of cameras like the Nikon Z0, Canon EOS R3, and Sony A1
  • Fujifilm worked a lot on the GFX100S and GFX50S II during Covid
  • GFX is a little behind Fujifilm APS-C now
  • Fujifilm is trying to squeeze the full frame market by providing a high resolution sensor that competes with full frame
  • Adopting PASM was done to offer a universal grip that doesn’t require you to work “the old way”
  • Fujifilm is number one in APS-C and the most legitimate player since they offer a fully featured system while others offer half measures or try to appeal to the market Fujifilm is built with cameras like the Z fc from Nikon
  • Fujifilm isn’t too worried about competition since their high ISO and image quality is beyond other APS-C cameras
  • Fujifilm doesn’t have many fully featured cameras for under $1,000 so customers cant get everything they want/need at that price point yet
  • The Canon EOS M range is a toy because they didn’t want to harm SLR sales
  • X-A7 and X-T200 are very popular in Asia among females
  • The market below $1,000 tends to shoot cellphones
  • Only expert compacts remain from Sony and Panasonic today, thanks to cellphones
  • Might have an X-T30/X70 successor in the future
  • X100V is selling well globally
  • The X100V has reached perfection with the 26MP sensor and X-T4 AF algorithm and 8fps shooting with 4k so any improvement would be a bonus
  • If you stabilize the X100 sensor, you might have to make the camera bigger, which would be bad
  • Third parties coming to X-mount is a sign that the system is strong
  • Fujifilm updated some lenses with stepper motors recently and didn’t convert them to linear motors to keep the weight and size down, because size would double to switch the motor
  • Fujifilm has developed its stepping motor technology and linear motors side by side
  • Smaller focal lengths with little motion do not benefit from switching to linear motors
  • Fujifilm isn’t worried about third parties cannibalizing sales, because there are many differences like size, weight, AF speed, weather sealing, price, optical quality, etc… that can differ, so options are good
  • There are geographical particularities in purchases, too like long focal lengths sell better in mountainous regions
  • Companies have been saying AI and algorithms will kill traditional cameras, but it is always 5 years away
  • As the market shrinks, prices will go up, which is unfortunate, so the second-hand market will likely grow
  • We should have 10-15 good years ahead of us
  • Just like the L-mount alliance we could see an alliance between Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Fujifilm in the future since they use a lot of the same core technologies starting with the sensors built by Sony
  • 9 out of 10 times, people’s smartphones are the best camera they have with them
  • The problem with smartphones is that photos taken on them are meant to be viewed on them
  • Smartphone prints arent very good
  • Set photographers are still used today even though 6k and 8k video can produce stills large enough to use
  • Fujifilm’s core audience is photographers and they shouldn’t have included video in the early years until they could make something truly useful
  • The Fujifilm X-H2/X-H2S are truly useful photo/video cameras
  • Professionals are a niche part of the photography market, while a significant amount of people just have large budgets to buy gear with
  • There have been instances where people have shown up to get an X-T30 and left with an X-T30 plus a GFX and three lenses
  • There are many people take better photos than professionals
  • Democratization of new technology, including AI in photoshop, has made photography more accessible
  • The GFX market is very strong, and the GFX50S II sold to about 80% amateurs, and the GFX100S is about 60% professionals
  • Prosumers are driving the market today due to their incredible buying power
  • GFX sales are, in part, why Fujifilm is moving far away from entry level
  • Many Fujifilm customers do not care about price very much
  • It costs more to move products from Japan to Europe than to the US which makes prices higher
  • B2B sales are more about lenses than sensors
  • Fujifilm will continue developing GFX and have with the announcement of two tilt-shift lenses
  • Fujifilm will keep developing 4 to 5 lenses a year while also providing firmware updates
  • If you pay attention to what Sony is doing, you will get a clue where GFX is going
  • If you want a real leap forward, then you need to jump to a larger sensor because full frame and APS-C sensors are so similar
  • When you’re in school, you might learn how to shoot phase one, but they will tell you it is impossible to make a profit with so the GFX makes it possible to get that level of quality and make a profit
  • If you want responsiveness and lightness, get an X camera, and if you want quality, get a GFX
  • The more cameras they sell, the cheaper the sensors will get and the more photographers will be able to get a GFX
  • When you look at large format prints from 50 years ago they are still very impressive and that is what you get with GFX
  • Cyril Duchêne would love to announce a GFX200 tomorrow that is a large format eversion of the X100V with small optics, full optimization, central shutter, and a discreet housing
  • Cyril Duchêne would also like to release a product like the Hasselblad 907X or the modular GFX

Fujifilm X-H2:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujinon XF56mm f1.2 MKII:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujinon GF20-35mm f/4:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama

Fujifilm X-H2S:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujinon XF18-120mm F4.0 LM PZ WR:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujinon XF150-600mm f/5.6-8 R WR:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama

Fujifilm GFX100S:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujifilm GFX100:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

Fujifilm GFX50SII:
B&H Photo / Amazon  / Moment / Adorama
Fujifilm GFX50R:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Fujifilm GFX 50S:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

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Plus our owners’ groups
Fujifilm GFX Owners Group
Fujifilm X-H Owners Group
Fujifilm X-T Owners Group
Fujifilm X-S Owners Group
Fujifilm X-Pro Owners Group
Fujifilm X-E Owners Group
Fujifilm X-A Owners Group
Fujifilm X100 Owners Group

via Phototrend

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