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2011.01.05

This morning Fuji unveiled 24 new digital cameras, making this the biggest announcement ever. More announcements are expected in the next few days as CES starts in Las Vegas tomorrow. Not all companies announce their entire lineup at once, so this will probably the biggest announcement by volume for a while.

The new Fuji cameras are divided into 10 families, spanning from prosumer ultra-zooms to rugged ultra-compacts. There are some incemental updates and some very big news in there, so first we’ll give here the overview with separate posts for each advanced family.

  • The Fuji Finepix HS20 EXR is the new flagship prosumer model. After a the HS10 which used a BSI CMOS sensor and the S200 EXR before that which used a SuperCCD EXR, the HS20 launches the first EXR CMOS BSI sensor with a whopping 16 megapixels.
  • The travel-zoom category gets the Fuji Finepix F550 EXR and F500 EXR, near twins also using the 16 megapixels EXR BSI CMOS sensor with one of them adding GPS capabilities to Fuji’s lineup.
  • The S-series gets 5 new budget ultra-zoom models with nearly identical cameras featuring between 18X and 30X optical zoom.
  • The new T-series introduces budget travel-zoom with 14 megapixels CCDs and 10X wide-angle optical zoom lens. These are both point-and-shoot ultra-compact models with built-in stabilization and a partial (96%) coverage LCD. The T300 has a 3″ display while the T200 has a 2.7″ one.
  • The XP series gets upgraded with more ruggedness, new sensors and the world’s first waterproof camera with built-in GPS, the Fuji Finepix XP30. The Finepix XP20 is nearly identical to its sibling except without the GPS.
  • An ultra-compact with a standard sensor and touch-screen makes its debut as the Fuji Finepix Z90.
  • The AX and AV series of budget point-and-shoot continue offering AA-powered cameras with 6 new models which vary in megapixels and screen-size.
  • The JX and JV series of budget point-and-shoot offer slim cameras with their use of lithium-ion batteries. Five such models were announced also varying in megapixels and display sizes.

The trend of more megapixels has taken up again. All these cameras capture either 16 or 14 megapixels images. ISO tends to be limited to 1600 at full-resolution. This is likely to slow down improvements in image quality while keeping the marketing department happy. Long zooms tend to start wide which is welcome for shooting versatility.

Every new model can now shoot at least 720p videos and the zoom remains usable while recording. Some cameras turn off sound while zooming is in progress though. Fuji has now made the full transition to SDHC and has a few models taking SDXC memory cards as well. In the mix of AA and Lithium-Ion powered cameras we can see that AAs maintain a lead in power with up to 700 shots per charge on several models. Hopefully more camera makers will join too.

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