Four new Finepix cameras from Fujifilm

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The touchscreen Z800EXR is amongst four new FinePix cameras from Fujifilm

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The latest FinePix compact camera releases from Fujifilm offer either 12 or 14 megapixel sensors, between 5x and 18x optical zoom lenses with both wide- and super wide-angle varieties available, and both touchscreen and non-touchscreen LCD displays. Panoramic image sweep and 720p high definition video feature on all four models, and one unit lets users not worry about forgetting to pack the charger by offering power in standard AA battery format.

If you're looking for a new camera to take on holiday then Fujifilm has just announced four new FinePix compacts for your deliberation. The word "super" seems to come up quite a bit with the 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 inch FinePix F300EXR. The camera features a 15x Fujinon Super Wide-Angle (24mm - 360mm equivalent) lens with a Super EBC coating to help keep ghosting and flaring in check.

There's also a 12 megapixel Super CCD EXR sensor which has the ability to intelligently decide whether a shot would best be taken using Phase Detection auto focus or Contrast auto focus to achieve an overall auto focus speed of 0.158 seconds. The EXR technology can also take care of exposure and white balance, as well as selecting the optimum sensor setting for each shot. The F300EXR also benefits from a newly enhanced gyro sensor incorporated in the image stabilization system, that is said to be capable of overcoming "handshake and can compensate for both sharp and wide hand movements."

It's a sensitive little compact too, with an ISO ranging from 100 to 1600. At the sacrifice of some image pixels, this can be increased to ISO12800. Other features of note include a panorama mode with in-camera stitch functionality to make sure the finished image is seamlessly spliced together, and a Pro Focus Mode which snaps several images at the same time and merges them to create "a crisp shot of the subject against a defocused background and foreground."

Within the sculpted black metal shell with a double coated lacquer finish is a 3 inch, 460,000 dot high-contrast LCD display for helping to frame up the shots or view ones already taken. For moving pictures, the camera can record 720p video in Motion JPEG format at 24 frames per second but, in common with the other models listed here, there's no SDXC card support so users are restricted to maximum card storage of up to 32GB SDHC. The battery is said to give around 250 frames per charge.

The FinePix F300EXR will be available in late August 2010 at a retail price of $329.95

The slim JX280

At its thinnest point, the FinePix JX280 is only 0.72 inch thick, so users can forget about it being the cause of any unsightly bulges. It sports a 14 megapixel Super CCD EXR sensor with ISO100 to ISO1600 full resolution. Again, at the expense of a few pixels, this can be extended to ISO3200. There's a Fujinon 5x wide angle (28mm -140mm) optical zoom lens with digital image stabilization and, like the F300EXR above, a motion panorama mode.

The camera also features tracking auto focus and intelligent scene detection, 720p video in Motion JPEG format at 30 frames per second and a 2.7 inch, 230,000 dot LCD display.

The FinePix JX280 will be available end of August 2010 at a retail price of US$149.95

Get touchy, feely with the Z800EXR

One touch subject focus is possible on the FinePix Z800EXR's 3.5 inch, 460,000 dot widescreen touchscreen LCD display. There's a 12 megapixel Super CCD EXR sensor with up to ISO1600 at full resolution, or up to ISO3200 at the expense of some pixels. New to the EXR sensor is the capability to extend a panoramic sweep range to 180º, 240º and 360º.

The Z800EXR has a Fujinon 5x, 36-180mm equivalent optical zoom lens with horizontal cover, intelligent image stabilization and 720p high definition movie capture at 24 frames per second. Its Li-ion battery should be good for about 170 frames between charges. The camera will be available towards the end of August in matte black, red, gold or shell pink for US$229.95

The Long Zoom S2800HD

The FinePix S2800HD benefits from a 14 megapixel, mechanically-stabilized CCD sensor and up to ISO6400 sensitivity (which should help keep annoying motion blur in check). Its Fujinon 18x Wide-Angle, 28mm-504mm equivalent, optical zoom lens can be used with something called Instant Zoom, which Fujifilm describes as allowing a user to "keep their subject in a shot at long distance by offering a wide viewing area around the frame and then immediately cropping to the subject once the photo is taken."

Tracking auto focus keeps a moving object in crisp focus for still images and like the other models listed here, the S2800HD features motion panorama mode. No doubt given away by its name, the camera records 16:9 aspect, 720p video in Motion JPEG format, and there's an HDMI port for onward connection to a suitable high definition television. The camera is also compatible with Fujifilm’s optional HD Player Kit which includes a card reader, connects to HD televisions, and allows wireless control of the slideshow or movie from the comfort of the couch.

The S2800HD features both a 3 inch, 230,000 dot LCD display and an electronic view finder. There's the useful addition of the ever more common Programmed AE, Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE, Manual settings control dial. Users are also offered the chance to free themselves from charger dependency by powering the camera on four AA size batteries and can expect between 300 (for standard alkaline batteries), 500 (Ni-MH rechargeable batteries) or 700 (Lithium) frames before the power runs out.

The S2800HD is set for an early September release at a cost of US$259.95

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