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Fujifilm will ‘never go full-frame’

While the mirrorless full-frame arms race heats up, Fujifilm has declared it will ‘never’ join the fray and is committed to developing APS-C and medium format systems.

Toshii Iida, Fujifilm general manager of Optical Device and Electronic Imaging Products. Source: DPReview.

Sony remains the full-frame mirrorless market leader. However competition is heating up, with Canon and Nikon announcing high-end mirrorless systems, along with Panasonic, Sigma and Leica entering via the interesting L-Mount Alliance. The major manufacturers have firmly placed bets on mirrorless full-frame systems driving camera technology innovation.

But don’t ever expect to see Fujifilm jump into the arena, Toshii Iida, general manager of Optical Device and Electronic Imaging Products, told DPReview in an interview at Photokina.

‘No, never,’ he said when asked if there’s plans to enter the full-frame market. ‘Because we don’t have that legacy – luckily or unluckily. We don’t see any point in Fujifilm entering that market, particularly since we have good APS-C and medium format systems. If we entered full-frame [our systems] would just start cannibalising each other. We’re happy to stay with two completely independent systems.’

Fujifilm has differentiated itself, and found a niche with its enthusiast/pro X series APS-C format cameras. The high-end commercial photography market is also covered with the GFX medium format systems – or ‘super full-frame’ systems, as Fujifilm recently labelled it.

Iida hopes that in the near future, Fujifilm X Series photographers will ‘step up to GFX’ but he recognises they’re ‘totally different systems’.

By marketing the medium format gear as ‘super full-frame’, it’s more likely Fujifilm plans to attract customers from the full-frame market, who aren’t aware of medium format capabilities.

DPReview observed that Iida’s direct and definitive ‘no, never’ response was a rare display of honesty. Senior execs are more accustomed to side-stepping questions by giving a vague response. ‘We will research and respond to market demands’ – that sort of stuff.

The remainder of the interview was centred around developing Fujifilm’s GFX systems. Read here.

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