At the risk of becoming something of a tradition, Fujifilm has pulled back the curtain to reveal a new snatch of cameras for digital image technology lovers at CES 2013 to salivate over. Included in the bunch are two additions to its retro-looking X Series pro-thusiast camera range, some mighty superzooms, a pair of compacts, and a rather tough cookie.
It's been over two years since the launch of the rather attractive Finepix X100 fixed lens, big sensor professional/enthusiast-level digital camera at Photokina 2010 and, if you were thinking that an update is long overdue, it would appear that Fujifilm agrees with you. The company has now announced its successor ... the X100S.
The new model retains the look of its predecessor, but its insides have been significantly refreshed. According to Fujifilm, the combination of the new 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II give the X100S the ability to capture images comparable to those taken on full-frame sensors, increasing resolution by about 25 percent while reducing noise by over 30 percent compared to the X100 before it.
The sensor has built-in phase detection to give the camera an autofocus time of 0.08 seconds. Additionally, the highly random nature of Fujifilm's unique color filter array is said to have eliminated the need for an optical low pass filter, promising clear images with minimal grain even at high ISO settings.
The new processor is twice as fast as the previous generation, and is more responsive, too, with a quoted startup time of about 0.5 seconds, and an equally brisk shooting interval and a shutter time lag of just 0.01 seconds. All serve to lessen the chance of missed photo opportunities.
The camera boasts a burst shooting rate of up to six frames per second at full resolution, a standard ISO range of 200 to 6,400 (which can be extended down to 100 and up to 25,600) and has been treated to a higher definition hybrid viewfinder that combines both an optical and an electronic viewfinder, the latter gaining a resolution boost to 2.36 million dots.
Fujifilm is claiming a world first for the X100S in the shape of the Digital Split Image feature which overlays two images and allows the user to manually line them up – useful for accurate focusing during macro shooting or when working with an open aperture. A Focus Peak Highlight function will also help to identify which parts of a composition need some focus ring attention.
The new camera also gets a newly-designed, HT-EBC coated fixed 23mm/F2 FUJINON lens consisting of eight elements in six groups (including a high-performance double-sided aspherical element and highly-refractive converging glass elements). Users can choose between four different shutter sounds, should they so wish. The menu system has also been updated to include a Q button, which caters for quick access to frequently-used menu items, and eight different artistic effects are on offer, including pop color, dynamic tone and soft focus.
The X100S is capable of Full HD video recording at 60 frames per second, and benefits from a 460,000 dot, 2.8-inch Premium Clear LCD panel with a wide viewing angle. It has a magnesium alloy top and base, milled metal dials and rings and an exterior that's finished in synthetic leather.
The X100S will be released at the end of March, 2013 at US$1,300.
All the main features are highlighted in the following video.
The second new member of the X Series is the X20, which keeps the same megapixel count as the X10 announced in September 2011, but has been treated to a newly-developed 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II image sensor. Like the X100S, the X20 also gains the new EXR Processor II, and the two work together to offer a quicker autofocus time than the X100S, at 0.06 seconds, but the same nippy start-up, shutter lag and shooting interval times. This model is also built on the same optical-low-pass-filterless architecture as the X100S.
The camera's optical viewfinder, which is synched to the zoom lens, sports a newly-developed 1-mm deep, highly transparent Digital Trans Panel that presents the user with shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focusing area and other shooting information. The X20 utilizes lens-shift image stabilization to compensate for camera shake by up to four stops, has a sensitivity range of ISO100 – 12,800, and a separate Multiple Exposure mode that allows users to combine two different compositions into one photo.
The camera comes with a bright HT-EBC-coated F2.0-2.8 4x FUJINON manual barrel zoom lens made up of 11 glass elements in nine groups and incorporating seven diaphragm blades that help create those sought-after bokeh effect images.
The X20 is capable of Full HD video recording at 60 frames per second, and many of the stills features are made available while shooting movies. The camera offers a choice of aspect ratios, has a built-in, pop-up flash and has been treated to a refined graphical user interface. Its display panel has the same size/resolution as the X100S detailed above. This model comes in all-black or two-tone black/silver.
The X20 will be priced at $600 when it is released at the end of March.
The main features are presented in the following video.
This model takes the mantle of Fujifilm's new flagship FinePix long-zoom camera and, like the HS30EXR announced at last year's show in Las Vegas, it sports a 920,000-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch vari-angle LCD display panel – also at 920,000-dot resolution. It features the company's latest 16 megapixel 1/2-inch EXR CMOS II sensor with phase detection pixels and fast EXR Processor II that give the camera a world-beating autofocus time of 0.05 seconds.
It's capable of burst shooting of 11 fps at full resolution, can call on 108 EXR Auto shooting patterns and has a sensitivity range of ISO100 – 12,800. The HS50EXR is capable of recording video at Full HD (60 fps), and has been given a new 42 x FUJINON optical (manual) zoom lens with a focal length range of 24 – 1,000 mm and aperture range of f/2.8 to f/5.6.
The HS50EXR is priced at $549.95, again with an end of March release date.
The following promotional video from Fujifilm outlines its capabilities.
The second of this year's new superzooms, the SL1000, gains a new Super EBC coated, 50x FUJINON optical zoom lens (24 - 1,200 mm) consisting of 17 elements in 12 groups and with fast apertures of f/2.9 to f/6.5. In addition to a zoom toggle button atop the camera body, there's a second zoom lever on the side of the lens barrel to allow users to adjust the zoom range with the left hand while the right grips the body and prepares to fire.
Elsewhere, the camera benefits from a 16 megapixel 1/2.3-inch BSI-CMOS sensor, ISO64 – 12,800 sensitivity and manual exposure control and users can frame shots using either a tilting 920,000-dot LCD display or 920,000-dot electronic viewfinder. It has 1080i/60 fps video recording capabilities and stereo sound, and is powered by an included Li-ion battery that's reported to be good for at least 350 shots between charges.
The SL1000 will cost $399.95, with availability from the end of March.
Have a look at the feature set in the video below.
FinePix S8200/8300/8400/8500 bridge cameras
All of the new S Series models feature a 16 megapixel, 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS image sensor, have ISO64 – 12,800 sensitivity, are capable of continuous shooting at 10 frames per second at full resolution, and have 1080i/60 fps video recording capabilities with stereo audio. They have a 3-inch, 460,000-dot LCD display and a 200,000-dot electronic viewfinder to the rear and are each powered by four AA-sized alkaline batteries, providing an approximate 300 shot battery life.
The only difference between the models in this series is the zoom capability of the f/2.9 to f/6.5 aperture FUJINON lens. The S8200 has a 40x optical zoom lens (24 – 960 mm), there's a 42x (24 – 1,008 mm) version on the S8300, a 44x optical zoom lens (24 – 1,056 mm) on the S8400, and the S8500 is top of the tree with a 46x optical zoom lens (24 – 1,104 mm).
The S8200 is priced at $299.95 and the S8300 will go for $309.95 from the end of March. Pricing for the S8400 and S8500 is yet to be announced.
FinePix T500 and T550
The new 12x zoom (24 – 288 mm) T Series compacts are just 18.6 mm (0.73-inches) thin, yet manage to squeeze in a 16 megapixel CCD sensor with optical image stabilization and ISO100 – 3,200 sensitivity. These models are capable of 720p video recording via the dedicated movie button and have been given a USB charging port for topping up the Li-ion battery. The T500 has a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot display while the T550 gets a 3-inch, 460,000-dot panel.
The T550 is priced at $159.95 with an end of March release date.
Last but not least is the tough guy of the bunch, which brings image quality improvement over last year's XP50 but retains the 5x optical zoom lens (28 – 140 mm). The XP60 rugged compact features a 16 megapixel CMOS image sensor with a sensitivity range of ISO100 – 6,400 and is capable of 10 fps continuous shooting.
It's waterproof to a depth of six meters (20 ft), shock resistant to 1.5 meters (5 ft), sealed against dust (or sand) penetration and will continue to operate in temperatures as low as -10° C (14° F).
This model can record video at 1080i/60 fps, is HDR-capable and individual shutter 3D photography allows the user to take two shots from slightly different angles and combine them into one 3D image. There's a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot LCD display with an anti-reflective coating round the back.
The XP60 will be priced at $199.95 with the same end of March release date.