This year's fall camera announcements are set to high-speed burst mode right now, and Fujifilm is the latest big-name company to roll out new offerings for late 2010. Among the four new FinePix point-and-shoots announced late last week, two boast the company's versatile Super CCD EXR sensor.
The newly announced FinePix F300EXR pocket megazoom offers the most eyeball-widening specs for seasoned photographers, serving up a 15X optical zoom lens, manual controls, and ISO sensitivity that reaches up to 12800.
A Pocket Megazoom Beast: Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR
The FinePix F300EXR will join the Samsung HZ35W as the pocket cameras with the highest optical zoom range, offering a wide-angle-to-telephoto reach of 24mm to 360mm (F3.5 to F16.0) and gyro-controlled image stabilization in a body that's 1.3 inches deep. Fujifilm is also touting the new EXR sensor's low-light shooting and fast focusing capabilities.
In addition to providing a range of scene modes, manual settings (including aperture- and shutter-priority modes), Auto, and Program modes, the 12-megapixel F300EXR's in-camera settings let you tweak the sensor to optimize it for each shot. High-Resolution mode is built for full-resolution shots, Wide Dynamic Range mode combines exposure-bracketed shots for a high-dynamic-range image, and High Sensitivity Low Noise mode uses pixel binning (grouping multiple pixels as single functional units) to reduce noise--and resolution--in low-light images.
The F300EXR also adds a few Sony-esque shooting modes: a 360-degree panorama mode that lets you press the shutter button once and sweep across a scene to create an instantly stitched panoramic image; a Pro Focus mode that stacks rapid-fire images to create a shot with layered depth of field; and a Pro Low-Light mode that stacks rapid-fire images taken at different exposure settings to create a noise-free low-light photo.
A pop-up flash, motion-tracking autofocus, 720p high-definition video capture at 24 frames per second, and a 3-inch-diagonal LCD screen round out the FinePix F300EXR's résumé. It's slated for availability in August for $330, and it looks like a serious contender for the top tier of our pocket megazooms chart.
Social-Minded Touchscreen EXR Camera: Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR
The 12-megapixel, touchscreen-operated FinePix Z800EXR offers many of the same in-camera goodies as the F300EXR, but minus the aperture- and shutter-priority controls, the Pro Focus and Pro Low-Light modes, and the insanely high ISO sensitivity (the Z800EXR maxes out at ISO 3200). The Z800EXR also eschews the super-powered zoom lens, trading it in for a more modest 5X internal zoom lens (35mm to 175mm) and a slick 0.8-inch-deep frame.
Included in the mix of features are the High-Resolution, Wide Dynamic Range, High Sensitivity Low Noise, and 360-degree panorama modes, as well as fast-focusing AF, motion-tracking autofocus, and gyro-powered image stabilization. The camera also shoots 720p video at 24 fps.
The star of the show for the Z800EXR looks to be the 3.5-inch-diagonal touchscreen and the camera's social-media features. The LCD display flips from landscape to portrait orientation when you tilt the camera accordingly, and you can tag photos and video for uploading to Facebook, YouTube, and other sharing sites from within the camera. There's no built-in wireless connectivity, however, so you'll have to connect the Z800EXR to a computer to upload your tagged media.
The Z800EXR also offers a number of in-camera image- and video-editing features, including a collage composer and a photobook organizer. If you tag faces and mark favorites within the camera, you can subsequently use the Z800EXR's touchscreen interface to search for images.
Also due in August, the FinePix Z800EXR will be available in black, red, pink, and gold for $230.
Attractively Priced Megazoom: Fujifilm FinePix S2800HD
Fujifilm also announced two cameras that fall outside the EXR sensor realm. The bulkier, 18X optical zoom FinePix S2800HD (28mm to 504mm, F3.1 to F11) packs a 14-megapixel CCD sensor, motion-tracking autofocus, dual sensor-shift/digital image stabilization, and a 3-inch LCD screen.
The S2800HD offers full manual controls, shutter priority, aperture priority, auto, program, and a 720p video mode that shoots at a frame rate of 30 fps. The camera's panorama mode is accessible via the top-mounted mode dial, but it's not the one-touch panorama mode found in the F300EXR and the Z800EXR.
The FinePix S2800HD runs on four AA batteries and will be available in September for $260.
Sub-$200 Compact Camera: FinePix JX280
On the budget point-and-shoot end of the spectrum, the 14-megapixel FinePix JX280 offers a wide-angle lens (28mm to 140mm) with 5X optical zoom, digital image stabilization, a panorama-stitch mode similar to the one found in the S2800HD, motion-tracking autofocus, and 720p video recording. Priced at just $150, the 0.7-inch-deep JX280 will be available in August.
This story, "Fujifilm Fires Up New EXR Cameras for Fall" was originally published by PCWorld.