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Fujifilm continues sales of film cameras in future
Dennis Hissink : January 22th 2004 - 00:44 CET
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FujifilmIn preparation for PMA 2004 (Photo Marketing Association exhibition – February 12-15, Las Vegas) Fujifilm has today made a worldwide announcement confirming its commitment to the film market, and introducing several new 35mm and APS film cameras to its product portfolio. Fujifilm is defying current trends in the photography industry by announcing significant investment in film camera technology in 2004, and by adding a raft of new models to its compact film camera range, both APS and 35mm. Despite pressure on the conventional camera market, and with some manufacturers consolidating their R&D functions or exiting the market altogether, Fujifilm affirms that certain product categories are, in fact, exhibiting steady demand.
Products such as 35mm zoom compacts, entry-level, easy-to-use fun cameras, and certain APS models such as the Fujifilm Q1, are showing notable resilience. On top of this, single use cameras are demonstrating remarkable growth, with sales increasing by almost 30% year on year in the UK. Consequently, Fujifilm is continuing to support the industry with the introduction of both film and digital products, with developments in film, compact cameras and single use cameras projected throughout 2004 and beyond.

There are several reasons why film remains the preferable medium for many photographers, including familiarity with the format, camera ease of use and lower costs. Fujifilm believes that consumers should have the choice of either 35mm film, APS film or digital photography available to them. Although digital cameras are now very much accessible due to lower prices and the growth in high street digital printing, the company feels that customers should have the opportunity to purchase film products if that’s what they prefer.

Adrian Clarke, Fujifilm's UK Director of Consumer Products, commented, "Film is very much alive! Fujifilm is continuously confronting rumours in the industry that the film camera market is in decline, and is fully committed to developing exciting new technologies in the field of film photography. Although prices of film cameras are being forced down with the enormous interest in digital cameras, penetration of digital is nowhere near as high as that of film cameras.

"What's more, there is still a healthy market for products that are simple to operate, low in price and produce fantastic photos developed in a familiar way, many people don't feel inclined to change from what they are used to."

Fujifilm emphasises that film cameras offer extremely high value for money. For example, if you compare a digital camera to a film camera with equivalent features, you would pay approximately half the price for the film model. Furthermore, many professional and enthusiast photographers remain convinced that film is still a higher quality medium.

Facts to know about the UK film market

- In the UK, almost 2 million film cameras have been purchased during the last 12 months,

- Compared to two years ago, film cameras have almost halved in price, giving consumers greater value for money,

- Single use camera sales volumes continue to rise by almost 30% per annum,

- While digital processing is becoming more prevalent, film still dominates in the area of photographic processing services.
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