Fujifilm North America, Optical Devices Division – Thom Calabro, Director of Marketing and Product Development
Q. What kind of products or services does your company offer for broadcasters?
Our main product line is lenses for studio, ENG, mobile production, and digital cinematography.
Q. What’s new that you will you show at the NAB Show and that TV broadcasters should look for there?
While we don’t want to reveal our new offerings before the NAB Show, what I can tell you is that we’re constantly improving our current products in ways that may not be widely known. An example of this was our now-discontinued HA13x4.5 wide angle lens. The HA13x was introduced in 2002 and ended production in 2010. While the model number stayed the same, we actually went through four revisions of the lens. The reasons for these revisions vary, but a lens is not a short-term product. A model stays in the line for some time. During the life of a product, technology advances, i.e. faster motors, glass formulations, and improved coatings are just some of the areas that could see technological gains. When improvements are available, we tend in integrate these into the current product, rather than wait for a whole new product. Most of the time these are incremental steps, not great leaps forward, so they do not warrant a complete model change, but the changes we do incorporate along the model’s life, in the end, represents significant advancements over the product’s initial introduction.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
I think that all of our newest products differ from the competition in a very basic way, right from the initial design phase. A few years ago we developed design software called Global Optimization, or GO Technology. This program allows our designers unprecedented speed and flexibility, by keeping track of thousands of design parameters during every step of the design process. This technology permits us to bring our products to market faster, making them small and lighter, better performing, and at an attractive price point.
Q. How has your company been affected by the current economic situation and what are you doing to get through it?
Like most companies, we were greatly affected by the economy. We went from a very good 2008, to a not so good 2009. Fortunately, our 2010 fiscal year started off in a positive direction and has been on an upward swing since. To make it through the difficult period we looked for ways to conserve. We found ways to optimize our advertising, travel, and show budgets; we basically tightened our belts to get through it.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
We have just gone through a major change. Up until quite recently we were a US corporation known as Fujinon Inc., headquartered in Wayne, NJ. In mid to late 2010 that company became the Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation. This change has positioned us well for our next phase of growth. Fujifilm announced in 2010 that the optical device business would be one of the company’s priority business fields. The restructuring will allow us to take advantage of synergies and shared services of other Fujifilm divisions, while our day-to-day business dealings remain unaffected. Our customers will continue to be served by the same personnel they’ve come to know and trust.