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Fujifilm Unveils Four P&S Digicams

7/21/2010 01:01:00 AM Eastern

Valhalla, N.Y. - Fujifilm North America introduced Wednesday
four new digital point-and-shoot cameras offering stylish bodies, long zoom
lenses and attractive price points for the holidays.


Fujifilm’s new F300EXR ($330 suggested retail) digital point-and-shoot will ship in September.

Among the highlights
of the offerings is the flagship F-series camera model F300EXR (shipping in
September at a $330 suggested retail). The camera, which targets step-up
photographers, features a stylish body design in a black lacquer finish.

Key features
include a 12-megapixel EXR Super CCD image sensor, Fujinon 15x optical zoom,
ultra-compact 23mm thin chassis, and a 3-inch (460,000 pixel) high-contrast LCD
screen.

The sensor
technology advancement was said to enable the

"world's first consumer camera to support phase detection auto focusing" in
addition to contrast AF in a powerful hybrid system. Auto Focus speed is listed
at up to 0.158 seconds, even at full 15x zoom extension.

Fujifilm also adds
its Pro Focus mode, which captures several images in sequence and combines them
to create a crisp shot of the subject against a defocused background and foreground.

The effect is said
to be ideal for portraits, nature photography or any subject that needs to be
lifted from the background. The Pro Focus mode was also combined with face
detection and face recognition for more exacting results.

The camera
includes a complete anti-blur system using a combination of new intelligent
image stabilization technologies, including the use of a gyroscope to keep the
sensor properly balanced.

Image
stabilization also works in the camera's movie mode, keeping images stable while
shooting up to 720p HD video.

The 15x optical
zoom has 12 aspherical lenses using low-dispersion glass.

For optimal
low-light shooting, the F300 EXR includes a high-resolution dynamic range
system with a signal-to-noise ratio capable of producing high-quality stills
even when shooting in low-light conditions.

A motion panorama
360-degree feature allows left-to-right and up-and-down panoramic shooting.

Another new Z-series
model, the Z800EXR (available at the end of August at a $230 suggested retail),
is an ultra-compact, ultra-slim camera with phase detection included in the 12-megapixel
EXR Super CCD sensor, a 3.5-inch (16:9 widescreen) LCD high-resolution touchscreen
and 720p HD video recording capability.

The camera will
ship in a choice of matte black, red, pink or gold colors.

It is shirt-pocket-sized
and includes a full metal chassis, 360-degree motion panorama shooting, and
easy uploading to Facebook and YouTube with the included Fine Pix Studio
software.

A new phase-detection
system enables high-speed auto focusing, but the camera has the ability to
intelligently decide between two focusing systems for the best results -- phase
detection or high-contrast detection.

For example, when
a bright, high-contrast subject is positioned in the center of the frame, Phase
Detection AF works fast and accurately; while in dark scenes, Contrast AF is selected.


The camera is said
to be able to achieve an auto focus speed of 0.158 seconds, which is achieved
by placing pairs of phase detection pixels on the EXR sensor, performing like
external sensors on d-SLRs

The high-resolution
touchscreen display offers a Dual Direction graphical user interface (GUI) and
Dual Image Display, enabling easy navigation of camera controls.  The Dual Direction GUI detects the orientation
of the camera and automatically switches the direction of the menu button
accordingly (for shooting, playback, multi-viewing and image search), while
Dual Image Display splits the screen in various ways to view multiple images at
once, without the need for scrolling.

The S-series S2800HD
(shipping at the beginning of September in a $260 suggested retail) is a
digital point-and-shoot with a d-SLR-styled one-piece body. It includes a 14-megapixel
1/2.3-inch CCD, an 18x Fujinon zoom lens with a 28mm to 504mm equivalent range,
720p HD video capture, 3-inch LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, dual image
stabilization system and zoom bracketing mode.

For movie
playback, the camera includes a mini HDMI port and will work with an optional
HD player kit, which includes an HD card reader to connect to an HDTV via HDMI cable
and a wireless remote control for video playback.

Other features
include smile/blink detection, face detection, and Tracking Auto Focus, which
allows users to track a moving subject automatically to keep it in focus as it
moves around the frame. The camera also has a motion panorama mode with auto stitching,
and automatic scene recognition that intelligently detects the scene type and
optimizes the camera's focus, exposure and white balance.