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The Relentless Pursuit of Tomorrow - Episode 4

The Evolution of Imaging

How Fujifilm’s imaging solutions have progressed by leveraging its history with film.

This content is produced in partnership with CNN International Commercial.

Advances in technology allow for the evolution of human endeavors. Just as scribes paved the way for the printing press, so print evolved into the digital age. Imaging is no exception. While it took thousands of years to progress from cave paintings to photography, breakthrough technologies have fast-tracked the transformation of the imaging field.

Fujifilm made its name as a photographic film manufacturer in 1934 but was instrumental in pioneering digital cameras as early as the 1980s. After photographic film peaked in 2000, Fujifilm accelerated the diversification of its business, as the imaging industry began changing due to digitalization. But the shift from photographic film didn’t mean abandoning imaging.

Fujifilm provides imaging solutions for businesses and consumers, with the singular pursuit that photography culture enriches human life. The company has a wide range of products, from 8K and 4K high-definition TV broadcasting lenses and cine lenses, to large-format digital cameras, and instant cameras that print credit-card sized photos. For the wider society, Fujifilm supplies surveillance camera systems that support public safety and security.

Supporting A Culture of Photography

Fujifilm has long cherished camera film and the rich photographic culture it empowers. It still produces fine films in color, black-and-white, and negatives. The company diversified into cameras in 1948, with the Fujica Six. Four decades later, a year before Tim Berners-Lee laid out his vision for the internet, Fujifilm unveiled the FUJIX DS-1P, the world’s first full digital camera that stored images on a semiconductor memory card. Although the pioneering memory card had space for just five or 10 images, it showcased the transformative potential of digital photography.

Today, analog cameras have not been forgotten, Fujifilm’s instax line of instant cameras pairs the company’s heritage with the digital future, providing new possibilities to a generation of digital natives. Whether by embedding audio messages in QR codes or working with precision layers of color to create vivid photos within seconds, these analog devices are completely transformed to suit the smartphone era—encouraging instax photographers to not just take pictures, but to print them out and share them too. The instax printer Link goes one step further. With the dedicated app, images from smartphones can be sent to the printer via Bluetooth for printing.

The Professional’s Choice

Perfect for professionals and keen amateurs alike, Fujifilm’s X Series*1 are compact, lightweight mirrorless cameras in timeless, elegant bodies that deliver rich color and fine detail with excellent dynamic range. Based on the philosophy of the era of film cameras, they combine digital technology with mechanical precision for intuitive shooting that captures the essential joy of photography.

Through its pursuit of large-format cameras, which have larger sensors, allowing for higher resolution pictures, the company has continued to push the boundaries of image quality. With overwhelming dynamic range, the GFX Series*2 showcases Fujifilm’s color expertise. This large-format camera line leverages more than 80 years of color science experience to deliver the rich tones and outstanding resolutions professionals require. Yielding precision color reproduction, nuanced detail and a sense of three-dimensionality, it’s perhaps the ultimate exemplar of Fujifilm’s passion for photographic expression.

Innovation has been a constant in Fujifilm’s long history with lenses. The company built Japan’s first electronic computer in 1956 to help complete the enormous calculations required to refine its lens designs, and today, its lenses are used for everything from TV broadcasting and movies to binoculars. Practical and sturdy, yet compact and lightweight, Fujifilm’s camera lenses are designed with all sorts of shooting situations in mind. Lenses span the gamut from super telephoto zoom to macro, with dust and weather resistance, making them perfect for use on even the most demanding shoots.

  • * The image sensor of the GFX is 1.7 times the size of a professional DSLR full frame sensor.

Future in Focus

Beyond commercial and creative applications, Fujifilm’s imaging solutions have a new role to play: preserving works of art and culture. At museums, galleries, and universities, where only the highest specifications are good enough, and the perfect reproduction of minor details under extreme conditions are imperative, archivists are using the GFX Series to enshrine priceless works for future generations.

Photographing cultural and historical assets requires care and precision. Thanks to its compact body, the GFX Series can be deployed easily to where the artwork is stored, mitigating any need to relocate.

Using its 100 million pixels, large format sensor and Pixel Shift Multi-Shot technology*3 the GFX Series can create images as large as 400 million pixels, achieving accurate color reproduction by recording RGB data in every pixel. This ensures the rich color and delicate detail needed to capture works such as Hokusai’s famed ukiyo-e artwork, preserved in the Sumida Hokusai Museum. Hirotsugu Komiya, chief photographer, Toppan Inc.—who was commissioned to photograph the artwork— shares, “I typically use the GFX100 in both outdoor and studio scenarios as it is a camera with high reliability, mobility, and versatility for digital archiving as well. Through digital archiving we can expand how people enjoy this art. Art can become borderless and accessible to all.”

The GFX Series combines high performance with ease of use; it contributes to the field of digital archiving by broadening the scope of work around the world, helping museums and universities preserve the past.