1a. How is FUJIFILM
doing in the digital camera market?
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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).
-- 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.
5- The digital
camera market is crowded and consumers
find it hard to differentiate one
model from another, one brand from
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.
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
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:
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
Though I print
mostly 4x6 in., I would like to be
able to print larger, perhaps 11x13
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
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
digital camera should I buy?"
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
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).
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.
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.
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
Kent Hatton, Sr. Director, Marketing
Strategy and Communications, Fujifilm