By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Fujifilm struck high and low shortly before the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) trade show, debuting a new $90,000-plus digital minilab and new Xerox retail print solutions alongside new digital cameras.
The 7-megapixel FinePix S700 sports a 10x optical zoom lens, a 2.5-inch LCD, electronic viewfinder, 14 scene modes and ISO levels up to 1,600 at full resolution.
The camera incorporates the company's picture stabilization mode, which boosts ISO and shutter speed to reduce blur, and i-Flash to adjust flash intensity according to the surrounding light. It also offers a dual-shot mode which records two photos in succession, one with the flash on and the other with the flash off.
It accepts both xD and SD memory cards and will ship in March for a suggested $249.
Fujifilm's two new A-series cameras will ship in May. The 8-megapixel FinePix 820 and 9-megapixel A900 employ the company's Super CCD sensor and feature a 4x optical zoom lens, 2.5-inch anti-glare LCD, 16 scene modes and feature ISO levels of up to 800 at full resolution.
The cameras also incorporate the company's picture-stabilization mode (which boosts the ISO and shutter speed to reduce blur) as a dedicated mode on the camera's dial. A new interface explains camera settings on the LCD screen as a user navigates the menu.
The cameras feature a dual memory-card slot for xD and SD memory and use IrSimple technology to connect and transmit images wirelessly via infrared to other IrSimple-enabled devices.
The A820 and A900 will retail for $179 and $199, respectively.
In a bid to expand photo printing options at retail beyond 4-inch by 6-inch prints, Fujifilm and Xerox announced a partnership to offer a suite of retail printing equipment to produce photo merchandise.
The solution will consist of Fujifilm's retail printing solutions — including its Frontier digital minilab and GetPix kiosks — and Xerox's Phaser 7760 tabloid color laser printer and its DocuColor 240/250.
The DocuColor offers up to 50 pages per minute (ppm) printing in color and 65 ppm in monochrome with images printed at 2,400 by 2,400 dpi. It can print postcard-sized prints to 13-inch by 19-inch images. An optional finisher can produce booklets.
The Xerox Phaser 7760 color printer offers duplex printing for photo books, calendars and cards, and a maximum resolution of 1,200 by 1,200 dpi. It can print a color page in nine seconds (first page) with speeds up to 35 ppm for color and 45 ppm in black and white with print sizes to 11.5 inches by 17 inches.
Using the new system, consumers could upload images at a kiosk and have photo books, calendars, greeting cards and other merchandise printed and produced in store.
Fujifilm also introduced a new Frontier digital minilab for high volume in-store printing applications. The Frontier 710 can produce up to 810 4R-sized prints per hour and supports print sizes up to 24 inches long. It uses the company's Image Intelligence automatic image-correction technology and a "one touch" chemistry-replenishing system.
Fujifilm will also offer several optional add-ons for the system including a 36-inch paper advance (for print sizes up to 8 inches by 36 inches), the ability to add up to three built-in paper magazines and an automated quality-control strip processing.
The system also features imaging controller technology to prioritize print orders. It is based on the company's PIC software, which Fujifilm says improves efficiency and connectivity between the minilab and the company's GetPix kiosks and Internet print-ordering solutions.
The Frontier 710 supports the SP500 35mm film scanner and is also able to interface with the SP3000 film scanner for APS and medium-format films.
The lab carries a list price of $93,400 which includes the SP500 scanner and PIC software but does not include a film processor or kiosk terminals.
On the mobile front, Fujifilm announced that Verizon Wireless will link its Pix Place Web site with Fujifilm's Get the Picture Online service.
Thanks to the partnership, Verizon Wireless camera phone customers can upload their images to the Pix Place Web site and from the site order photo prints at participating retailers. These prints can either be picked up in-store or mailed back to a consumer's home.
Over 10,000 retail locations currently support Fujifilm's Get the Picture Online service for net-to-store printing including Walgreens, Longs Drugs, Ritz Camera and Sam's Club.
Verizon's Pix Place site accepts images directly from camera phones or pictures uploaded from a PC.
Finally, Fujifilm said it would bundle Pantone's huey monitor calibration device with its FinePix S5 digital SLR. The kit, which will retail for $1,999, will also include a CCD dust blower — a $19.99 value.
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