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Fuji surpasses 6 megapixels

The company unveils two high-resolution digital cameras built around new sensor chips that are designed to capture more precise variations of light and dark.

Fuji Photo Film on Wednesday unveiled two high-resolution digital cameras built around new sensor chips that are designed to capture more precise variations of light and dark.

The new Fujifilm FinePix F700 offers a resolution of 6.2 megapixels using Fuji's new proprietary chip called the Super CCD SR, or charge-coupled device with super dynamic range technology. This chip, introduced in January, mixes a regular pixel sensor with a new type modified to capture high-intensity light. Fuji said that as a result, the chip can better capture the spectrum of light and dark elements in an image.

The camera will be available in the spring for $599.

The SR sensor offers 3.1 million so-called large pixels, dubbed "S," with high sensitivity to light, and 3.1 million smaller pixels, called "R," with low sensitivity to light, resulting in a range four times that of previous Super CCDs, according to Fuji.

Many high-end consumer digital cameras hover in the range of 3 megapixels or 4 megapixels.

Fuji also introduced the FinePix F410 which uses a CCD HR (high resolution) sensor chip. This sensor uses 3.1 million effective pixels and can produce high-resolution images with up to 6 million recorded pixels.

The FinePix will be available in April 2003 for about $499.99.

The new camera provides fodder to the raging debate among camera enthusiasts about which technology--CCD or CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductors)--offers better quality. CCD sensors appear in most consumer-level cameras today, but some chipmakers are counting on the smaller size and lower power consumption of CMOS to spur adoption.