Fujifilm Updates the X and FinePix Cameras
Fujifilm has recently introduced several new point-and-shoot cameras that possess a broad array of features and serve to improve upon their existing line of non-interchangeable lens X series and FinePix digital cameras. At the forefront of this announcement are the highly anticipated X100S and X20 cameras, which feature retro styling combined with high imaging performance. The newly released FinePix cameras include long-zoom models, compact and highly convenient cameras and a tough, adventure-style camera.
The X100S is the successor to the popular X100, and takes many of its most successful features and adds extensive refinements and improvements to make the X100S an even more desirable camera. At its core, the X100S features a 16 megapixel APS-C-sized X-Trans CMOS II sensor and an EXR Processor II image processor. The X-Trans sensor is uniquely designed and utilizes a bespoke, randomized pixel array to simulate film grain more closely. This structure is based on a more complex 6 x 6 pixel array, versus the conventional 2 x 2 pattern, to help reduce moiré and false colors. By eliminating these image degradations at the sensor level, the traditional optical low-pass filter can be removed and greater image sharpness is possible.
Also contributing to the overall image quality is the refined EXR Processor II, which works to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and produces images with greater clarity and reduced noise levels. This processor also increases the overall speed and sensitivity of the X100S, providing quick a quick 0.5 second start-up time, 0.5 second photograph interval time, and a 0.01 second shutter-lag time. A maximum continuous shooting rate of six full-resolution frames per second is possible, as well as an expanded sensitivity of ISO 25600 for low-light shooting. Another notable refinement of the X100S is the inclusion of phase-detection pixels in the sensor’s pixel array to provide autofocus speeds as quick as 0.08 second. This new focusing system, Intelligent Hybrid AF, makes use of both phase- and contrast-detection methods to acquire focus in both a quick and accurate manner that is highly suitable for working in low-light environments and for tracking fast-moving subjects.
The built-in, fixed focal length lens is a Fujinon 23mm f/2.0, which provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 35mm. This wide angle of view is well-suited to everyday shooting, and the fast maximum aperture is ideal for controlling your focus plane and for working in dimly lit situations. Its design is intentionally fixed and non-interchangeable to allow for the highest optical quality possible, while also remaining compact, to suit the overall form factor of the camera. The lens features a single double-sided aspherical element to reduce aberrations and improve sharpness, while the Super EBC coating on lens elements helps to minimize flare and ghosting. A three-stop neutral density filter is also incorporated into the design to enable the use of wider apertures or slower shutter speeds.
Carrying over one of the most celebrated features of the X100, the X100S employs its hybrid viewfinder to provide both optical and electronic viewfinder (EVF) types. This unique design enables one to make use of both viewing methods in an interchangeable and intuitive manner. The basis for both finders is a conventional bright frame viewfinder into which an LCD monitor was incorporated. A shutter, which is controlled by a lever on the front of the camera, allows switching between the OVF and EVF and provides notable clarity when working with either. The optical viewfinder’s benefits lie in its ability to render the scene naturally, and can be best used for quick framing and subject tracking.
An LCD projection is also available along the border of the frame to display useful shooting and camera information. The electronic viewfinder is a 0.48” 2,360k-dot LCD monitor that provides 100% frame coverage and will display all applied exposure and camera settings as well as image focus. When working with the EVF and manual focus, two new systems are available to help garner the sharpest focus possible. Digital Split Image focusing utilizes the phase-detection pixels and simulates a traditional split-image focusing style to show comparative in- and out-of-focus areas of the image to help determine sharpness. Focus peaking is also available, and will highlight sharp edges and lines of contrast to help determine focus in a more objective manner. Also available for image compositions, as well as playback and menu navigation, is a rear 2.8” 460k-dot LCD monitor. A built-in eye sensor near the viewfinder will automatically turn on or off the EVF or rear LCD, depending on whether your eye is to the camera or not.
One of the most recognizable characteristics of Fujifilm’s X-series cameras is the aesthetic quality that is reminiscent of film-based cameras, which exhibit clean and functional designs that promote greater intuitive operation. The top and bottom components of the camera are made from die-cast magnesium alloy for durability, and the rings and dials of the other camera controls have precision-milled metal construction for enhanced tactility. A synthetic leather wrap also provides improved handling and additional protection for the body.
Also harking back to Fujifilm’s predominantly film-based history is the incorporation of Film Simulation modes. These shooting modes are designed to replicate the look and feel of some of Fujifilm’s classic film types, including Provia, Astia and Velvia transparency films as well as Pro negative films. A monochrome mode is also available, which can be further defined through the use of simulated yellow, red and green contrast filters. Among other imaging features available, full HD movie recording is possible in multiple frame rates up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps. A high bit-rate of 36 Mbps produces clear video rendering and manual focus, and audio controls can also be applied. For quickly navigating through essential camera functions and settings, the Q Button is accessible on the rear of the camera and gives a one-touch solution for modifying oft-used settings like ISO, white balance, image size, Film Simulation modes and more.
The other new member of the X-series is the X20, which is available in black or silver. This compact point-and-shoot digital camera features a 12 megapixel 2/3” X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II to provide a high level of image sharpness and clarity akin to the X100S. The same randomized pixel array enables the omission of an optical low-pass filter and still minimizes moiré and false colors to produce overall high image quality. Phase-detection pixels have also been incorporated into the sensor’s design to trigger autofocus speeds as fast as 0.06 second.
The quick-performing phase-detection method is again paired with contrast-detection focusing to form the Intelligent Hybrid AF, which is equally as accurate as it is fast. The EXR Processor II provides a wealth of speed through the camera’s operation, including a 0.5 second startup time, 0.5 second photography interval time, and 0.01 second shutter lag time. A maximum continuous shooting rate of 12 full-resolution frames per second is also possible for tracking moving subjects.
Apart from the X20’s 2.8” 460k-dot rear LCD monitor, an Advanced Optical Viewfinder is also part of the camera’s design. This viewfinder provides 85% frame coverage and is constructed using two aspherical elements and two glass prisms to deliver crisp, clear viewing abilities that benefit real-time tracking and composition. A thin, transparent Digital Trans Panel has also been integrated into the viewfinder to display focus area, shutter speed, and other exposure information around the frame of the finder. This enables constant eye-level viewing with the ability to modify camera settings at the same time. This Digital Trans Panel is also able to change colors, depending on the ambient lighting conditions; the information is displayed in black while shooting in bright conditions and in green under dimmer conditions. If an error of some kind occurs, the text will appear in red to alert you to specific camera settings. An eye sensor is also built in, to determine whether or not the Digital Trans Panel or the LCD monitor should be on, depending on the type of viewing it senses.
The built-in lens is a Fujinon 4x optical zoom lens that provides a 35m-equivalent focal length range of 28-112 with a maximum aperture range of f/2-2.8. The lens’s construction incorporates aspheric, extra-low dispersion, and high refractive glass elements to minimize aberrations throughout the zoom range, while also aiding in creating a sharper overall image. Individual lens elements also feature Fujifilm’s HT-EBC (High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating) to reduce lens flare and ghosting and improve image contrast. An optical image stabilization system offers up to a four-stop reduction in the appearance of camera shake, to benefit working with longer zoom magnifications, in low-light situations and when working in the Super Macro mode.
The body design of the X20 is similar to the X100S, in that it is reminiscent of a film camera, due to its use of die-cast magnesium in the body, precision-milled metal dials and controls and a synthetic leather body wrap. The quick menu functionality is also available on the X20, and easily accessible via the Q Button. Film Simulation modes, Advanced Filters, and full HD 1080p video recording are all also supported to allow for a broad range of imagery to be created.
Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR and HS35EXR
In terms of Fujifilm’s FinePix series of cameras, the HS50EXR and HS35EXR are two new models that combine high imaging quality with built-in super telephoto zoom lenses. The HS50EXR features a 16 megapixel 1/2” EXR CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II to provide high-quality imagery with notable low-light sensitivity and image clarity akin to the X series. This sensor follows suit with the aforementioned models by incorporating Fujifilm’s new Intelligent Hybrid AF system, which combines both phase- and contrast-detection autofocus systems to deliver both fast and precise focusing abilities. The built-in Fujinon 42x optical manual zoom lens has a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-1000mm, giving you the reach to photograph in almost any situation with ease. Lens-shift type image stabilization reduces the effects of camera shake that become increasingly noticeable when working with greater zoom magnifications.
The lens also integrates both aspherical and extra-low dispersions elements into its construction to help reduce chromatic aberrations and improve overall image sharpness. A Super EBC coating is also applied to lens elements to minimize lens flare and ghosting for more contrast-rich imagery in difficult lighting situations. Pairing well with this lens’s coverage is the fast performance afforded by the EXR Processor II, which helps to deliver a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12800, continuous shooting up to 11 fps, full HD 1080p video at 60 fps, and also contributes to the advanced EXR Auto system for determining ideal exposure settings based on the situation in which you are photographing.
For image review and live monitoring, both a rear LCD monitor and electronic viewfinder are available. The 3.0” 920k-dot LCD features a vari-angle design that enables it to tilt and swivel to better suit working from both high and low angles, as well as enabling self-portraiture. The EVF also has 920k-dot resolution and provides eye-level viewing capabilities, as well as an additional point of contact between you and the camera, for better stabilization at longer focal lengths.
The HS35EXR is similar in approach, with its inclusion of a 16 megapixel 1/2” Back Side Illuminated EXR CMOS sensor and EXR processor, both of which contribute to a high maximum sensitivity of ISO 12800, continuous shooting up to 11 fps, EXR Auto modes and continuous phase-detection autofocusing while recording full HD 1080p video at 30 fps. The built-in Fujinon 30x optical manual zoom lens gives a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 24-720mm to suit shooting in most conditions, and CMOS-shift type image stabilization helps to reduce the appearance of camera shake at such long focal lengths and in low-light situations. A tilting 3.0” 460k-dot LCD monitor is incorporated into the design and facilitates easier high- and low-angle shooting and a 920k-dot electronic viewfinder provides an additional point of contact between yourself and the camera as well as eye-level viewing capabilities.
Both of these cameras include Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes to emulate the look and feel of some of Fujifilm’s most renowned film types, such as Provia, Velvia and Astia, as well as monochrome and sepia settings. Advanced Filters are also available to enhance the aesthetic appeal of imagery in-camera. Additionally, full manual control (P/A/S/M) is supported, as well as motion panorama, RAW file support, multiple exposure mode and other imaging settings, to modify the appearance of your photographs and videos.
Fujifilm FinePix SL1000
Another point-and-shoot camera featuring an expansive zoom lens is the SL1000, which has a Fujinon 50x optical zoom lens to provide a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-1200mm. The reach of this lens is balanced by the inclusion of lens-shift type image stabilization, as well as aspherical and extra-low dispersion lens elements, to improve image quality and sharpness. In regard to imaging performance, a 16.2 megapixel 1/2.3” Back Side Illuminated CMOS produces high resolution still images and full HD 1080i video at 60 fps.
A continuous shooting rate of 10 full-resolution frames per second is supported, as well as autofocusing speeds as fast as 0.2 sec. A 3.0” 920k-dot LCD monitor can be used for live view composition and image playback, and its tilting design facilitates easier use from both high and low angles. A 920k-dot electronic viewfinder is also available for eye-level viewing that equally serves to benefit the use of the 50x zoom lens. SR AUTO (Automatic Scene Recognition) modes are available to automatically determine camera settings to best suit the conditions in which you are photographing. Six Advanced Filters are available for further refining the look and creative appeal of your imagery.
Fujifilm FinePix S8200
Also a long-zoom model, the FinePix S8200, available in black, red and white, features a 16.2 megapixel 1/2.3” Back Side Illuminated CMOS sensor to deliver impressive imaging and low-light performance to ISO 12800. This camera incorporates a Fujinon 40x optical zoom lens into its design, which offers a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-960mm. This extensive reach is greatly benefitted by the inclusion of lens-shift type image stabilization, which counters the effects of camera shake and helps to produce a sharper overall image.
Full HD video recording is supported up to 1080i at 60 fps in the H.264 format, and both image and movie playback is possible on an HDTV via the HDMI output or on the 3.0” 460k-dot LCD monitor. Additionally, a 201k-dot electronic viewfinder is available for live-view monitoring that can also serve as a third point of contact with the camera for greater shooting stability. The S8200 also includes SR AUTO modes, Advanced Filters and other imaging features like HDR, Motion Panorama and Individual Shutter 3D mode to offer an additional level of aesthetic refinement to your shooting.
Fujifilm FinePix XP60
Deviating from the long zoom approach, the XP60, available in black, blue, green, red and yellow, is an ideal choice for photographing in inclement weather and harsh conditions. This camera features a 16.4 megapixel 1/2.3” CMOS sensor and Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens, which covers a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 28-140mm. This camera is designed for use in all conditions, and as such is waterproof to depths up to 19.7’, shockproof from falls as high as 4.9’, freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14°F and dustproof to an IP6X rating. These features, coupled with high imaging performance, make the XP60 a viable choice for carrying with you at all times.
In addition to still imagery, full HD 1080i video is supported up to 60 fps, and a slow motion movie mode enables recording up to an impressive 240 fps. Continuous still-image shooting is possible up to a rate of 10 full -resolution frames per second, or up to 60 fps when shooting in 1920 x 1080 format via the dedicated Burst Mode Button to further ensure capturing defining moments. For image monitoring and review, a 2.7” 230k-dot LCD monitor is incorporated into the design and features an anti-reflective coating and automatic brightness correction that permit greater viewing capabilities when used in bright conditions. As with other recently introduced FinePix cameras, the XP60 also includes SR AUTO modes, Advanced Filters and Motion Panorama, among other imaging modes, to give you more control in establishing the look and feel of your imagery in-camera.
Fujifilm FinePix T550
One of the most compact new releases in the FinePix line, the T550, available in black, purple, red, silver and white, features a 16 megapixel 1/2.3” CCD sensor and Fujinon 12x optical zoom lens. The combination of these technologies enables high resolution still imagery and HD 720p video with a long 35mm-equivalent zoom range of 24-288mm. Lens-shift type image stabilization helps to ensure sharp imagery when working at the longer end of the zoom range, and Intelligent Digital Zoom is available to effectively double the zoom magnification.
A 3.0” 460k-dot LCD monitor provides a large, bright means for image review, monitoring and menu navigation, and SR AUTO helps to automatically optimize camera settings to render clear, crisp imagery. Six Advanced Filters, Individual Shutter 3D and Motion Panorama are all available to creatively enhance the look of your imagery while Face, Blink and smile-detection settings can be employed to help improve the quality of your pictures of people.
Fujifilm FinePix AX650
Lastly, the FinePix AX650, available in black, blue, purple, red and silver, is a highly compact point-and-shoot that is designed to allow you to focus on making both still images and HD 720p videos without having to dedicate your attention to deciphering different camera settings. The AX650 features a 16 megapixel 1/2.3” CCD sensor and a Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens that gives a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 33-165mm. Fast operational and autofocus speeds contribute to this camera’s intuitive style of use, which is further enhanced by the inclusion of SR AUTO modes to aid in achieving optimal exposure settings based on the scene type in which you are photographing. Its compact form factor, which includes a 2.7” 230k-dot LCD monitor, makes the AX650 suitable for carrying with you at all times, and its AA battery power source further enables convenience and efficiency, due to the wide availability of AA batteries.