The 20X-optical-zoom FinePix F770EXR does a lot of things well, but it falls short of its competition in terms of overall image quality.
CES 2012 hasn't started yet, but 20 new cameras have already been announced.
Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled a new Wi-Fi-enabled DualView camera, the DV300F. And the other 19 cameras? All of them were announced today by a single company: Fujifilm.
Fujifilm's new models represent a full-scale update across the company's fixed-lens lines, from its X series of premium point-and-shoots to its sub-$100 AX-series offerings. Common themes across all the new announcements are faster burst-shooting modes, 1080p and superslow-motion video capabilities, and long-zoom lenses: 30X optical zoom in Fujifilm's latest DSLR-style megazooms, 20X optical zoom in the company's more-pocketable F-series cameras, and a generous 10X optical zoom in the sub-$200 T-series models.
Missing from the mix of announcements, which Fujifilm will showcase at CES 2012 in Las Vegas next week, is an interchangeable-lens compact camera--rumored to be Fujifilm's first entry in the category. However, during the massive product briefing today, Fujifilm did allude to the likely appearance of an additional announcement at the company's CES press conference next week.
Here's the long list of cameras that debuted today.
Fujifilm X-S1: New Megazoom Joins the High-End X Series
The new X-series camera has a fixed lens, but the supplied optics will certainly cover a lot of ground. According to Fujifilm, the 26X-optical-zoom X-S1 is meant to occupy the X-series gap between the Fujifilm X10 premium compact camera and the Fujifilm X100 fixed-focal-length rangefinder camera.
The Fujifilm X-S1's optically stabilized zoom lens (24mm to 634mm, F2.8 to F5.6) is housed in a DSLR-like body, and that body style isn't the only similarity it shares with a DSLR: You operate the zoom lens by twisting the lens barrel to adjust focal length, much as you would with an interchangeable-lens camera. Although its image sensor isn't as big as the one you can find in your average DSLR, the X-S1's 12-megapixel EXR CMOS sensor is physically larger than the ones in most megazoom cameras. The 2/3-inch-type sensor compares favorably in size to the 1/2.3-type sensors in competitors such as the Nikon Coolpix P500 and the Panasonic Lumix FZ150.
In addition to the pure 26X optical reach, the X-S1 will have an "Intelligent Digital Zoom" feature that doubles the reach of the zoom at the telephoto end to a simulated 1268mm. The camera also has a continuous shooting mode that captures up to 7 frames per second at full resolution, or 10 frames per second at a 6-megapixel resolution.
Fujifilm says that the X-S1 will have many of the features found in 2011's Fujifilm X10 premium compact, including the same 12-megapixel CMOS sensor with EXR shooting modes that let the user toggle between optimizing the sensor for HDR (high dynamic range), low-light, or high-resolution photos.
Other notable in-camera features include a high-speed/slow-motion video mode that reaches up to 320 fps at reduced resolution, a motion-controlled panorama mode that captures full 360-degree images, and a "Super Macro Mode" that allows shooters to take photos of subjects that are practically touching the lens.
The X-S1 will offer traditional manual controls for aperture and shutter, the ability to capture RAW-format images, and 1080p video recording at 30 fps. The camera has an adjustable, tilting 3-inch LCD screen, as well as an eye-level electronic viewfinder that turns on and off automatically due to a built-in proximity sensor.
Battery life also looks impressive, as Fujifilm claims that the X-S1 will shoot 500 photos per charge.
The X-S1 certainly isn't wanting for features--it's about as full-boat as cameras get in optical oomph and in-camera controls. But there's a price to be paid for this megazoom monster: a hefty $800. The Fujifilm X-S1 is slated to ship at the end of January.
New EXR Pocket Zooms: FinePix F770EXR, F750EXR, and F660EXR
Fujifilm's more-pocketable F-series announcements also offer outstanding optical reach, as two of them provide 20X-optical-zoom lenses in compact frames.
The three new cameras in the EXR-sensored F series build in the aforementioned sensor-tweaking options for low-light, HDR, and high-resolution shots; full manual controls for aperture and shutter; 1080p video and superslow-motion recording at a lower resolution; sensor-shift image stabilization; and 3-inch LCD screens. Fujifilm says the cameras' new 16-megapixel EXR sensors and processing engines provide fast autofocus speeds and produce higher-quality images in low light due to automated motion-detection and ISO-optimization features.
Other in-camera tricks across the new F-series models are an automated bracketing mode that can work in low-light and shallow depth-of-field shots, a 360-degree motion panorama mode, and an 8-frames-per-second burst mode at full resolution.
The highest-end new model is the FinePix F770EXR, which packs in a 20X-optical-zoom lens that reaches from 25mm wide-angle to 500mm telephoto. It's the only camera of the three F-series announcements to include built-in geotagging via GPS, and Fujifilm says the in-camera GPS functionality has been revamped to include a points-of-interest database and in-camera mapping. The F770EXR is also the only one of the three new F-series cameras to offer a RAW-shooting mode.
Priced at $380, the FinePix F770EXR is scheduled to be released in March. The slightly lower-end F750EXR offers many of the same specs, excluding the in-camera GPS and RAW-shooting mode, and will be priced at $350. The FinePix F660EXR trades in the 20X zoom for a 15X-optical-zoom lens (24mm to 360mm), and will go for $280 at the end of February.
Next page: Rugged Cameras, More Megazooms, and Sub-$200 Pocket Zooms
The 20X-optical-zoom FinePix F770EXR does a lot of things well, but it falls short of its competition in terms of overall image quality. Read the full review
- Very good macro performance
- Good low-light shots in Pro Low Light mode
- Sleek, comfortable design
- Stabilization struggles at telephoto end of zoom
- Mediocre image and video quality
- A lot of image noise at high ISO