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You are hereHome > Articles > Interview with Kent Hatton, Fujifilm

Interview with Kent Hatton, Fujifilm

With about a dozen brands to choose from and more than a hundred different models, which digital camera should you buy? Or, to reframe the question, which manufacturer's brand should you buy?

See all the latest Fujifilm Digital CamerasWe wanted to know why we should buy a Fujifilm digital camera instead of one of the other brands. So we asked this question, and nine other pertinent questions, to Kent Hatton, Sr. Director, Marketing Strategy and Communications for Fujifilm.

Our questions (P) and his answers (KH) are reproduced below. We thank Mr. Kent Hatton for taking the time to answer our questions.

P: 1a. How is FUJIFILM doing in the digital camera market?

Fujifilm FinePix F10KH: While it is early in 2005, we are pleased with the performance of our Spring models that have recently launched. Our newest flagship camera the FinePix F10 camera is receiving excellent reviews and retailer acceptance, and we expect this to be a great selling model in Canada

We've truly got our 'skin in this game' and remain committed to a wide-range of image capture and output solutions to meet the ever-expanding needs of consumers and their new Digital Lifestyles. Fujifilm will remain among the top worldwide brands as we enter the next phase of Digital Camera's product lifecycle, as the category will soon shift from an installation to replacement market.

P: 1b. What are FUJIFILM's goals specifically for Canada in 2005?

KH: Fujifilm Canada has set a solid foundation to act as the platform of growth for the next five years. Specifically, we are concentrating on the key areas of consumer demand (and the supply-chain), fiscal profitability and customer satisfaction. We feel, not only will this formula ensure our sustained growth in Canada, but it is how we can best add value to the R&D and innovation that our parent company provides in terms of break-through new products.

P: 2- The big news out of Fujifilm is undoubtedly the new 5th Generation CCD image sensor with its low noise characteristics. It retains the Super CCD HR name but abandons the interpolation of previous generations.

a. Is the 5th Generation Super CCD HR a revolution -- or more of an evolution?

KH: Perhaps it is best not to isolate the performance enhancements as it relates exclusively to the new 5th Generation Super CCD HR sensor, rather think in terms of the whole new system. The true revolution in image quality occurs when you factor in the new Real Photo Technology processor and Fujinon lens into the equation. It is the three-part interaction of lens, processor and image sensor where the true genius lies. The real consumer benefits surround the camera's speed (with super-quick start-up, a major reduction in shutter lag to 0.01 seconds), and ability to shoot at high-sensitivity 800 and 1600 ISO settings with very little noise/grain.

b. Has Fujifilm abandoned interpolation altogether in their image sensors?

KH: With higher-resolution cameras now becoming part of the mainstream (given that 4 and 5 megapixels will be the best sellers this year), it does not make sense to continue to lead consumers down the 'Megapixel-path'. If we interpolated the file produced by our 6 MP 5th Generation Super CCD to 12 MP, then that would be more than virtually all amateur photographers need. In fact, there are so many other features digital camera owners require (and should demand) that Megapixels no longer need to be the central point to fuss-over.

c. Has Fujifilm been able to port this technology onto the larger image sensors, and in which next digital camera model can we expect to see the 5th Generation Super CCD HR?

KH: At this stage we are not in a position to officially announce our development plans, or specifications on our next generation of digital cameras.

P: 3- Affordable digital SLRs seem to be where the interest is currently. Canon has its EOS Digital Rebel and Xt; Nikon has the D50 and D70s; and Olympus has the EVOLT E-300. Can it be that FUJIFILM is leaving the field unchallenged to these competitors?

KH: We've built a great reputation with our S-series of cameras to meet the needs of photo-enthusiasts to Professionals with our SLR-type and Pro-SLR Digital Cameras respectively. With an excellent track record of selling models like the S602, S5000 and S7000, clearly the neo-SLR platform meets the needs of demanding advanced photographers looking for the feel and control of a manual camera, with the added benefit and cost savings of a built-in lens (and the power of up to 10x optical zoom).

P: 4- Fujifilm -- the name and the brand evokes 35mm film. Yet everyone on the street knows your cameras as simply "Fuji" cameras. Is the "film" part of the name still important to your brand or is it becoming an impediment?

KH: Fujifilm is a globally-recognized brand, with a 70-year heritage in producing quality imaging products. Our award-winning research and development in the areas of optics and colour print film manufacturing has set the ground-work for us to be a leader in Digital Imaging.

P: 5- The digital camera market is crowded and consumers find it hard to differentiate one model from another, one brand from another.

a. How is FUJIFILM differentiating itself from the rest of the pack?

KH: We firmly believe our single-biggest competitive advantage is the quality of our images, as best demonstrated in a photographic print. You could say our "Proof is in Our Print", in terms of sharpness, detail and colour reproduction.

b. What do you want consumers to think of when they think "FUJIFILM"?

KH: Colourful, Inspired, Sophisticated.

P: 6- What do you see as FUJIFILM's greatest challenge in the near future?

KH: The Digital Imaging Category is very much entrenched in the Consumer Electronics Industry, therefore Fujifilm must continue to establish itself and continue this evolution from Traditional Photographic to this new Consumer Digital Lifestyle.

P: 7- Your neighbour is a 6 ft. 1 in. no-nonsense giant of a man who will wring your neck if you ever lied to him. He approaches you one day and asks:

"Kent, I want a digital camera that is not too big, something I can carry in my pocket or purse, with about 3x optical zoom. It must be able to take very good quality images indoors and outdoors.

Though I print mostly 4x6 in., I would like to be able to print larger, perhaps 11x13 in. occasionally.

I want a large LCD monitor and one where I can see the image in bright sunlight as well as in the dark (the digital camera I have currently, I cannot see anything at night).

It must focus fast and allow me to take candid pictures of my children -- not one second after I pressed the shutter release button.

Oh, I would also like to be able to take short movie clips indoors to send to families and friends.

Which FUJIFILM digital camera should I buy?"

Fujifilm FinePix Z1KH: Your best bet would be the new FinePix Z1 Digital Camera. With an ultra-compact design, in a sleek metal casing (available in Black or Silver) - it may be tiny, but it's packed with power. Right from it's unbelievable 0.6 second start-up time, you'll be impressed with its processing speed, including shutter lag of a mere 0.01 seconds. At the heart, is the 5th Generation Super CCD sensor for 5.12 Megapixel resolution, and a 3 x optical zoom lens (which is non-extending and stays within the slim 18mm body). The over-sized 2.5" LCD monitor is made of tempered-glass, with auto-gain up to fluctuate brightness according to lighting conditions. It also will take movies with sound at VGA, 30fps, limited only by the size of your media card. Finally it comes complete with a NP-40 Li-on battery and also includes a picture cradle for easy file transfer. All this for $499 Canadian.

You also need to look at the co-flagship FinePix F10 camera which recently launched, and is another model with "Real Photo Technology" built into its processor. The specifications include 6.3 MP 5th Generation Super CCD sensor, 3 x optical zoom lens, 2.5" Super-large LCD with auto-gain up. The FinePix F10 also allows shooting at extreme high speeds of 1600 ISO, for great results in low-lighting conditions and reduction image noise. The higher 800 and 1600 ISO modes also allow for an anti-blur shooting, for a reduction in the effects of camera shake and subject movement. Powered by a massive NP-120 Li-ion battery, the F10 is charged for up to 500 shots with the LCD on. Other great features include AF Assist Beam for over 10 feet range (literally able to focus in the dark) and the Natural Light model for shooting without flash (great for indoor portrait shots).

P: 8- Can you tell us about any new and exciting business developments at FUJIFILM?

KH: The focus is really on solutions and promoting our band-width of imaging and information products. We see trends of consumer usage and behaviour towards Digital Printing really taking-hold, especially in-store and on-line photo-finishing. We will continue to work closely with our Retailers to keep pace with the new technologies and media, as it relates to all aspects of shooting, storing, printing and presenting consumer memories.

P: 9- What is FUJIFILM's position concerning returns and exchanges?

KH: In early 2005, Fujifilm published a new policy for our dealers to address the handling of defective digital cameras. The essence of this program is to reduce the number of digital cameras being returned by consumers and retailers for reasons other than true defective conditions. Therefore it is important that both manufacturers and retailers work towards reducing these costs on the system, increase efficiencies and promote a fair business practice.

P: 10- Why should I buy a FUJIFILM?

KH: Fujifilm has built a legacy of imaging excellence with industry advancements and proprietary inventions. We remain steadfastly committed to compete in the new Digital landscape with products of exceptional quality and solutions to meet the changing demands of consumers. Fujifilm takes pride in ISO 9001 Quality Management System and focus on Consumer and Retailer satisfaction are of the utmost importance to us.

Kent Hatton, Sr. Director, Marketing Strategy and Communications, Fujifilm


View all Fuji Digital Cameras These are Fujifilm's newest 2005 digital cameras. Click on a camera to view its specifications. Click on the Fujifilm logo on the left to view ALL Fujifilm Digital Cameras.
    Fujifilm F10
Fujifilm FinePix Z1 Fujifilm FinePix A350 Fujifilm FinePix A345
Fujifilm Z1 Fujifilm A350 Fujifilm A345

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