updated 09:25 am EDT, Thu July 26, 2007
Fujifilm high-end compacts
Beginning a surge of camera announcements, Fujifilm has unveiled two high-end compacts, the F50fd and the F480. The former is the preeminent model, as it features an unprecedented 12-megapixel sensor -- a dimension rarely seen outside of digital SLRs. Additionally, the camera introduces a mechanized image stabilizer, and can reach light sensitivities up to ISO 6400. At ISO 3200, however, it steps down to six megapixels, and it is limited to three megapixels at 6400. Meanwhile, Fujifilm's Face Detection 2.0 can identify up to 10 human faces and automatically adjust focus, exposure and white balance for them, even if they are standing in profile or laying down. SD, xD and SDHC cards are supported.
The F480 is scaled back: it uses an 8.2-megapixel sensor, and has neither mechanized stabilization nor ultra-high ISO levels, instead being limited to 800. Likewise, there is no use of Face Detection 2.0. The camera's one advantage is an extension from 3x optical zoom to 4x, giving it the equivalent of a 28-112mm lens on an SLR. The F480 will be out in September for $180; the F50fd should ship at the same time for $300.