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Fujicast: Interview With Fujifilm X(100) Series Designer Masazumi Imai


Masazumi Imai, the guy who designed the original Fujifilm X100, and still is one of the head designers at the Fujifilm X series, participated to the latest Fujicast episode.

Masasumi Imai the Head of Design for Fujifilm X Series cameras (and the one who crafted the original X100) talks with Kevin Mullins from Tokyo about how he conceived the ten year old X100, the camera that for many photographers worldwide became their gateway to mirrorless technology.

You can listen to the full episode and read a summary down below.


  • it’s the 10th anniversary of the X series, that started with the original X100
  • Masasumi Imai used to work with Minolta
  • Fujifilm was looking for a product designers about 20 years ago, and he joined Fujifilm

Story behind X100 design

  • around 2009 camera shipments reached its peak
  • Fujifilm saw that the digital camera market could be taken over by smartphones
  • Fujifilm and another camera manufacturers focused on making cameras that could not be replaced by smartphones
  • at that time, Fujifilm only offered compact cameras
  • Fujifilm decided to use its photographic knowledge to create new camera line
  • he came up with the X100 design, and he tells the story of his father and his film cameras, we reported already here
  • X100 design inspired by film cameras

X100 line

  • he could not imagine this kind of success for the X100 line, now at its 5th iteration
  • his favorite camera is the X100V
  • the tilt screen on the X100V is basically unnoticeable. It was important for him that it does not stick out. You notice that it has a tilt screen only when you tilt it out
  • it took over 2 years to develop the X100
  • around 23 people where involved in developing the original X100
  • Not much changed over the years. It’s still a small, but quick and energetic development team, that develops all X and GFX cameras

The Dream Camera

  • a camera developed under any time pressure, with dual focal length lens instead of zoom, to keep it compact and for best image quality
  • small and high quality

The Creation Process

  • he used to sketch by hand the concept of the camera, before actually starting the design
  • for inspiration, he also keeps a close eye on all kind of design expression, cars, architecture and so forth
  • but what inspires him most is the feedback of people

The Fujicast continues and they speak with Australia’s X-Photographer Andrew Hall about being in motorsport photography at the very top, plus Carl Hare tackles more of your deep tech including how autofocus deals with the face mask. You can check it out below or at this link.

Fujifilm X100V: BHphoto, AmazonUS, Adorama, Focuscamera