Summer is in full swing and the season is heating up with new camera announcements. Fuji steps to the plate with five new models that follow the trend toward more megapixels and slowly growing zoom ranges, while adding to the company's set of signature features. As with the company's PMA introductions, all the new cameras will be able to store images to both xD Picture Cards and SD cards, as well as SDHC cards.
With the Finepix F50fd, Fuji is introducing a new version of the company's face-detection technology, which Fuji calls Face Detection 2.0. While the old version could deal with faces that faced different angles in the horizontal plane--such as someone turning her head from side to side--Fuji says the new version can also accommodate faces that vary in the vertical plane, such as a person laying down. The system can detect up to 10 faces at a time and will set autofocus based on the primary face, while adjusting auto-exposure, so that all the selected faces are properly exposed, if possible. Fuji says that Face Detection 2.0 should be able to detect faces even in profile--which should be interesting, since most face detection systems we've seen so far need to detect two eyes to identify a face.
The least expensive of the new batch is the FinePix F480, expected to hit stores in September for about $180. It will include an 8MP CCD sensor, a 2.7-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD screen, a 4X optical, 28-112mm equivalent, f/2.8-5.6 zoom lens, and sensitivity of up to ISO 800. A total of 13 scene modes are available to help with out-of-the-ordinary shooting conditions. And though the camera doesn't include mechanical or optical image stabilization, Fuji does include its misleadingly named Picture Stabilization mode, which boosts the ISO as needed to keep the shutter speed fast enough to avoid blur, caused by either shaky hands or subject movement.
Stepping up in price, we come to the FinePix A920, which is also expected in September for about $200. It will include a 9-megapixel Super CCD sensor, a 2.7-inch LCD, a 4x optical zoom (Fuji hasn't yet stated the 35mm focal length equivalents), and sensitivity up to ISO 800. Like all Fuji A-series cameras, this model will run on a pair of AA batteries. Again, Fuji includes its Picture Stabilization instead of mechanical or optical image stabilization. The A920 will also have 16 scene modes, as well as IrSimple for image transfer.
Pausing in the price ladder is the FinePix Z10fd, which should also cost about $200 and ship in September. Fuji says that it will be targeting buyers in their teens and early twenties with this slim, 7-megapixel camera. While those young'uns will have to settle for a 3X optical, 38-100mm equivalent, f/3.7-4.2 zoom lens, a 2.5-inch, 150,000-pixel LCD, and first-generation face detection instead of the company's updated version, the Z10fd will provide sensitivity of up to ISO 1,600. Again, it features the Picture Stabilization mode instead of physical stabilization. It will, however, be available in a choice of five colors--Midnight Black, Wave Blue, Wasabi Green, Hot Pink, and Sunset Orange. It'll also sport 14 scene modes, a new slide show mode that lets you add music to your photo sharing exploits, automatic red eye removal, and IrSimple.
At the $300 price level, and also shipping in September, Fuji offers the FinePix F50fd. It will boast a 12-megapixel Super CCD sensor, a 3X optical 35-105mm f/2.8-5.1 zoom lens, and a 2.7-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD. Sensitivity ranges up to ISO 1,600 at full resolution, or you can reach ISO 3,200 by stepping down to 6 megapixels, or ISO 6,400 at 3 megapixels. Advanced photographers will appreciate the camera's manual exposure controls and all-metal chassis. Less experienced shooters can rely on the 15 scene modes. Everyone should benefit from what Fuji is calling Dual Image Stabilization, which combines the Picture Stabilization ISO boost with sensor-shifting mechanical image stabilization. It also has Fuji's i-Flash automatic flash compensation, Face Detection 2.0, and a special portrait mode.
Topping the price list we find the FinePix S8000fd, slated for September shipment for about $400. This superzoom EVF includes a 8-megapixel Super CCD sensor, a 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD, and an 18X optical, 27-486mm, f/2.8-4.5 zoom lens. Sensitivity will reach ISO 1,600 at full resolution, while offering ISO 3,200 and ISO 6,400 at 4 megapixels. Geared toward more experienced photographers, the camera includes manual exposure controls with 10 available apertures from f/2.8 up to f/8 in third-EV increments, but still includes more than a dozen scene modes. Like the F50fd, the S8000fd includes Dual Image Stabilization, i-Flash, and automatic red-eye removal, but includes Fuji's first-generation Face Detection instead of the newer version. The S8000fd will run on four AA batteries.