For blossoming photographers who don’t particularly care about interchangeable lenses but want something more powerful than a point-and-shoot, the zoomy, bendy-LCD Fujifilm HS20 might be the perfect compromise. And if it has to be pocketable, there’s the RAW-shooting, GPS-enhanced F550EXR.
The FinePix HS20 takes up where the HS10 left off—it’s a camera that’s not quite a DSLR or a micro four thirds but one that’ll most likely put your point-and-shoot to shame. The HS20 has a new 16MP backlit sensor and 30x manual optical zoom (24mm – 720mm equivalent), and you can switch between the articulating 3.0″ LCD and electronic viewfinder automatically with a heads up proximity sensor.
There’s high speed shooting to be done with the HS20, too—it’ll can snap 8 frames in a second at full resolution and video at 320 fps, as well as panoramic shots and good old 1080p video. It has HDMI out, full manual mode, and can shoot in RAW, JPEG or both. It’s got a new UI with an improved processor capable of recognising 27 different scenes. It’ll be on sale in late March for $US500.
The FinePix 550EXR has the same 16MP backlit censor in a pocket-size package, also toting a 15x wide angle lens (24-340mm equivalent), a 3.0″ 460k LCD, and built-in GPS for geotagged shooting. It can shoot in burst mode up to 12fps and high speed video at 320fps at full resolution, does 1080p video, panorama shooting, tracking AF and face recognition. It’ll go on sale in mid-March for $US350.
FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES FINEPIX HS20EXR, THE LATEST ADDITION TO THE AWARD-WINNING RANGE OF BRIDGE CAMERAS
High Speed and 30x Make HS20EXR a Photographic Problem Solver
Valhalla, N.Y., January 5, 2011 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the FinePix HS20EXR, a high quality, advanced function SLR-styled long-zoom camera, built for the professional or enthusiast photographer, but also easy enough for even a first time user. Improving on the excellence of its predecessor, the FinePix HS10EXR, the new FinePix HS20EXR features a new 16 MegaPixel EXR-CMOS sensor, a powerful FUJINON 30x manual optical zoom (24mm-720mm equivalent), a tilting 3.0″ high contrast LCD with a electronic viewfinder featuring a “heads up” sensor that automatically changes from LCD to EVF, and countless features serious photographers seek for versatility and performance.
With a new EXR-CMOS sensor powered by Fujifilm’s EXR processor engine, the possibilities for photo enthusiasts are endless with the FinePix HS20EXR. The camera delivers high speed continuous shooting at 8 fps at full resolution for 8 frames, high speed movies at 320fps, captures full panoramic photos with Motion Panorama 360° and full HD Movies at 1080p with an HDMI output connector and has the ability to shoot in RAW, JPEG or RAW & JPEG modes, and in full manual mode. The HS20EXR also has an optional remote release cable and is compatible with two automatic Fujifilm external flashes that meter “through the lens” for more functionality.
“Consumers are looking for solutions to photographic problems. The FinePix HS20EXR delivers, by utilizing new EXR-CMOS technology and superior FUJINON optics to provide an advanced photographic solution that won’t break the bank,” said David Troy, director of marketing, Digital Cameras, Electronic Imaging Division, Fujifilm North America Corporation. “Plus, with the HS20EXR, you’ll never have to buy or change another lens.”
High Speed and Sensitivity
The newly developed EXR Processor and EXR-CMOS sensor in the HS20EXR allow for pristine images to be taken in fast-shooting situations or in low-light environments. The combination of the two technologies creates a fast transfer circuit for quick process and reading of files for high speed shooting and Full HD movies, and the EXR-CMOS sensor itself, where the wiring layer and photo diodes are reversed, creates higher sensitivity for taking impressive images in low light conditions.
With the improved intelligent processor, taking photos can’t get much easier. The GUI, with its new rich user interface that dramatically improves the appearance and searching functions of menus, might be one of the first things you notice, but the most notable benefits are speed and image quality. Additionally, the FinePix HS20EXR can now recognise an impressive 27 scenes. While shooting, the camera configures each scene and recognises the perfect setting and automatically takes the best quality picture, with a single touch of a button.
The EXR technology adds further versatility by modifying its behaviour according to the lighting condition. Users can either let the EXR Auto mode choose the correct setting itself, or pick from three manually selected options:
High Resolution Priority – can be used when you’re after exceptional image quality.
High ISO & Low Noise Priority – can be used in low light conditions where the combination with the BSI sensor makes for superb results.
Dynamic Range Priority – takes two pictures and combines them to provide a range of up to 1600%.
With these unique sensor combinations, capturing great pictures has never been easier.
Capture Moving Subjects
The FinePix HS20EXR’s strong mix of sensor and processing technologies allows breathless action shots to be captured, and the continuous full resolution shooting at 3fps, 5fps, 8fps or 11. fps at an eight MegaPixel resolution, will make sure the action is stopped in its tracks. The FinePix HS20EXR also eliminates the need to worry about slow auto focusing or shutter lag. The new solution’s contrast Auto Focus system takes approximately 0.16 seconds (minimum) to focus.
A 30x Zoom Lens
With a 30x zoom range covering focal lengths from a super-wide 24-720mm (35mm equivalent), the FinePix HS20EXR is ready for anything. Boasting high quality FUJINON optics, the manual zoom lens is now even easier to operate thanks to a reduction in the size of the flashgun. Zooming through the range can be done quickly and precisely to ensure perfect framing for every shot.
The FinePix HS20EXR also is equipped to fight blurring, a common problem when using longer focal lengths. Dual Image stabilisation combines a mechanically stabilized CMOS sensor with high ISO sensitivities for total anti-blur protection. Together these technologies reduce the blurring effect of both handshake and subject movement to provide sharp, clean and clear results even at the longest zoom settings or in challenging lighting conditions.
HD Movie Capture
The FinePix HS20EXR offers an impressive level of video functionality. With the ability to capture movies in true, full 1080p HD quality, the FinePix HS20EXR delivers high sensitivity with low noise for movies captured in low lighting. In addition, movie files (.MOV) are captured with H.264 high profile compression for smaller file sizes without sacrificing quality. With a mini-HDMI output connector, it is easy to connect and view images on your HDTV (HDMI cable not included).
High Speed Movies
Versatility is further increased thanks to the High Speed Movie options, which include capture at an incredible 320 fps. With features like this, even the fastest moving subjects can be captured and watched in slow motion.
One Touch Controls
The FinePix HS20EXR sports a full complement of sophisticated manual and semi-automatic shooting modes and photographic controls. The extensive external controls give the more advanced photographer direct access to virtually every control they will need for uninterrupted shooting, and the specially designed chassis includes dedicated command buttons for quick and easy key functions such as ISO, white balance, focus and metering. The large command dial, manual focus ring, twist and zoom lens barrel, bright, clear electronic viewfinder, high quality tilting LCD screen and deep hand grip ensures the camera handles well. AA batteries (ships with alkaline) provide excellent performance (up to 300 shots with Alkaline batteries) combined with the convenience of a universally available format when shooting for extended periods away from main power.
The FinePix HS20EXR also offers these additional features:
RAW / RAW+JPEG shooting: The FinePix HS20 has the ability to shoot both a RAW and JPEG shot simultaneously. RAW is for ultimate quality shots via post processing, JPEG is for great quality with no need for further post-production work.
Motion Panorama 360°: The sensor extends the sweep range to 360˚ (shots can also be taken vertically). Combined with high quality Fujifilm printing, sweeping and impressive scenes can be taken, showing fine detail, low noise and high resolution at 180°, 240˚ or full 360˚ panoramic ranges.
Purple Fringing Reducer/Corner Resolution Enhancer: The EXR processor has the capability to spot and reduce purple colour fringing, most common on dark subjects against light backgrounds. In addition, the EXR processor improves the resolution at the corners of an image for more uniform image sharpness.
Super Intelligent Flash: The FinePix HS20EXR offers a flash control system which efficiently controls the level of flash for a given exposure to produce beautifully balanced flash illumination across the foreground and background. Super Intelligent Flash is most useful in macro photography where the contrast between subject and background can be especially challenging, but is also effective for night and backlit photography.
Multi-Bracketing: The FinePix HS20EXR has 3 bracketing functions useful for high level photography: Film Simulation Bracketing (which automatically sets Film Simulation to PROVIA, Velvia and ASTIA for simultaneous capture of 3 frames), Dynamic Range Bracketing (which automatically sets dynamic range to 100%, 200% and 400% for simultaneous capture of 3 frames) and AE Bracketing (which automatically sets exposure range to even, under and over for simultaneous capture of 3 frames).
Face Recognition: Users can register up to eight (8) faces, along with names, birthdays and categories, and the HS20EXR will prioritize focus and exposure right on the faces of those special people. Users can also use Image Search to view images of a registered person.
Face Detection and Automatic Red-eye Removal: To provide perfectly exposed and focused portrait shots, the FinePix HS20EXR is fitted with Fujifilm’s latest Face Detection technology which is able to track up to 10 faces simultaneously, at almost any angle to the camera. The system instantly corrects red-eye and then saves both the original and the corrected image file automatically.
PhotoBook Assist: Photo book Assist lets you select and organize images in your camera to create a digital photo book. You can download the photo books to your computer using MyFinePix Studio software that is included.
Pricing and availability
The FinePix HS20EXR will all be available in late March 2011 and will be priced at $US499.95.
FUJIFILM ENHANCES POWERHOUSE 15X LONG-ZOOM POINT AND SHOOT DIGITAL CAMERAS: THE FINEPIX F500EXR AND F550EXR
Offering New EXR-CMOS Sensor, Advanced Features in Stylish Point and Shoot Cameras
Valhalla, N.Y., January 5, 2011 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced two additions to the FinePix F-Series lineup: the FinePix F500EXR and the FinePix F550EXR. They are sleek, compact digital cameras combining intuitive use with advanced features, including a new 16 MegaPixel EXR-CMOS sensor, FUJINON 15x super Wide-Angle lens (24-360mm equivalent) and 3.0″ high contrast 460K resolution LCD, with 160° viewing. Features also include high speed shooting capabilities, full HD movie capture at 1080p, and the F550EXR also has new GPS Geo-Tagging.
EXR Sensor with CMOS Technology
With advanced image quality, improved low light sensitivity and faster performance, the EXR-CMOS sensor technology brings new advanced imaging features to the FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR digital cameras, including:
High-speed Continuous Shooting – Ultra-burst shooting powered by the fast CMOS sensor shoots the action at 12fps on the F500EXR and 11 fps on the F550EXR and High speed movies at 320fps at full resolution.
Multi Frame Technology – Combined with the accelerated performance of CMOS, this feature synthesizes consecutive burst shots into a single composite image, blending the sensitivities to “smooth” the noise signature.
High Sensitivity, Low Noise – CMOS turns the sensor upside down to let light directly strike the silicon for higher sensitivity, more uniform response and lower pixel cross talk. Combined with EXR technology, that means superior photos in low light with even lower noise.
Prized for bringing a new level of advanced image quality to the consumer compact market, Fujifilm’s EXR technology has the unique ability to switch its behaviour depending on the shooting conditions by automatically switching sensor modes. The FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR can be left on EXR Auto Mode and the cameras will do all the work for you, or you can manually select one of three EXR Priority modes: High Resolution (HR); Dynamic Range (DR), which takes two pictures and combines them to provide a range of up to 1600%; or High ISO, Low Noise.
“The FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR have the innovative new EXR-CMOS sensor, resulting in the addition of exciting new features such as increased speed and image quality, and excellent low-light shooting,” said David Troy, director of marketing, Digital Cameras, Electronic Imaging Division, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, “These cameras are perfect for point-and-shoot photographers looking to travel light but want advanced functions and picture-taking versatility.”
Sharp, Clear 15x Zoom Lens
Despite having a body that measures just 22.9 mm wide*, the FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR cameras house the FUJINON 15x Super Wide-Angle optical zoom lens that produces crisp high resolution results throughout the focal range, from 24mm wide-angle to 360mm telephoto***. The camera’s lenses also feature Super EBC Coating that keeps flare and ghosting to minimum, allowing for the best image possible.
Intelligent Image Stabilization
Long-zoom cameras, especially those with 15x optical zoom like the F500EXR and the F550EXR, need stabilisation more than any other compact, with handshake and subject movement a particular problem in low light at telephoto range and in movie mode. With a highly sensitive gyro sensor, the Dual Image stabilisation system provides further improved image quality with reduced blurring and noise in still pictures and even when shooting movies at the full 15x optical zoom or in very low-light. The new mechanically stabilized sensor is able to overcome handshake and can compensate for both sharp and wide hand movements, therefore increasing ISO to freeze action is no longer so necessary, meaning sharp low-light pictures can be achieved at ISO 400, rather than ISO 800 or 1600 at night scenery. The FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR also work to reduce blur to a minimum by deploying high ISO sensitivity to automatically increase shutter speeds, and CMOS shift type to counteract the problems of handshake. By cleverly combining these two, blur is reduced to an absolute minimum.
3.0″ High-Contrast LCD
The FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR cameras are fitted with a high contrast 3.0″ LCD (460K). The high contrast LCD is a considerable benefit in bright light, allowing the camera to be directed at various shooting angles to enable framing of almost any shot. The LCD is bright and clear, perfect for instant gratification of shots in playback.
HD Movie Capture
With the ability to capture movies in true, full HD quality – 1080p – the F500EXR and F550EXR also have Mini HDMI Ports**, making it easy for users to share their images and videos with loved ones through their home theatre systems. Movie files (.MOV) are captured with H.264 high profile compression for smaller file sizes without sacrificing quality. With a mini-HDMI output connector, it is easy to connect and view images on your HDTV (HDMI cable not included).
The F550EXR also adds GPS Geo-Tagging. The GPS features on the camera not only tell you where you are in the world, but it also offers additional functions that are essential for outdoor shooting. Locations can be displayed either as longitude and latitude or by place name.
The FinePix F550EXR has an embedded list featuring approximately half a million places of interest across the globe. When a shot is taken, the image is tagged with location information, enabling you to quickly find shots of a place you’ve visited. Should users then want to create a photo book of a specific location they can do so using the PhotoBook Assist feature where you can tag images then turn the pages of the book on the camera’s rear LCD.
In addition, if you visit a location that you want to return to but can’t remember which way to go, the Photo Navigation mode is invaluable. Simply find a shot of the location and the FinePix F550EXR will not only tell you how far it is from your current spot, it will show you the direction you need to travel to get there.
Those wanting to draw up a map of their travels should take advantage of the F550 EXR’s GPS Tracking Data function. With this feature, the camera regularly stores location data and, when you return home and download the shots to a PC, this information can be turned into a map illustrated with the pictures you took along the way.
Motion Panorama 360° for the All-Round Shot
The F500EXR and F550EXR sensor extends the sweep range to 360˚ (shots can also be taken vertically). Combined with high quality Fujifilm printing, sweeping and impressive scenes can be taken, showing fine detail, low noise and high resolution at 180°, 240˚ or full 360˚ panoramic ranges.
The FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR also sport a Pro Focus Mode which is created by using Fujifilm’s Multi-Frame Technology. A burst of two or three frames is taken and by taking the distance information off, the main subject is crisply matted against a defocused foreground and background. This mode is perfect for portrait or nature photography, where professional results are needed quickly with minimal adjustment to the camera and without the need to use a PC.
Meanwhile, Pro Low-light Mode can be applied to help solve the problems of noisy low light shots. With current digital cameras, it is possible to achieve relatively blur-free low light shots using high ISO and CCD shift (or optical image) stabilisation, but this comes at a cost, as the ISO 1600 setting will invariably produce distracting and ugly noise.
Once switched to Pro Low-light Mode, the FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR will take a burst of four high sensitivity images using Pixel Fusion Technology [*1]in quick succession. By using the camera’s Multi Frame Technology, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th images are overlapped to create one image with extremely low noise.
The FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR also offers these additional features:
Super Intelligent Flash: The FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR both offer a flash control system which efficiently controls the level of flash for a given exposure to produce beautifully balanced flash illumination across the foreground and background. Super Intelligent Flash is most useful in macro photography where the contrast between subject and background can be especially challenging, but is also effective for night and backlit photography.
Tracking Auto Focus (AF): Tracks fast moving subjects so they don’t escape from the frame in a blur. Subjects will be tracked automatically for as long as it is kept in the frame and the shutter is half-pressed; when users fully press the shutter button your subject will be in the centre of the photo in perfect focus.
Shoot in RAW: The F550EXR adds one more option, where images can also be captured in a RAW file. With auto aperture and shutter priorities, the cameras allow for users to capture every image perfectly on a compact point and shoot.
Face Recognition: Fujifilm’s Face Recognition Technology gives you the ability to pre-program 8 people into the camera. You also have the option of inputting the category to which they belong (e.g. friends/family) and the date of his/her birthday. The next time you take a photo of the same person, the camera will cleverly recognise that person and optimise the settings to ensure that exposure and focus are best suited to the individual, rather than the other people in the picture. This fun technology can recognise up to 4 pre-programmed people on screen at the same time.
Face Detection with Automatic Red-eye Removal: To provide perfectly exposed and focused portrait shots, the cameras are fitted with Fujifilm’s latest Face Detection technology which is able to track up to 10 faces simultaneously, at almost any angle to the camera. The system instantly corrects red-eye and then saves both the original and the corrected image file automatically.
Photo Book Assist: Photo Book Assist lets you select and organize images in your camera to create a digital photo book. You can download the photo books to your computer using MyFinePix Studio software that is included.
The FinePix F500EXR and F550EXR will be available in mid-March 2011 for a retail price of $US329.95 and $US349.95 respectively.