updated 08:05 am EST, Tue February 17, 2009
Fujifilm S1500 and More
Fujifilm this morning paved the way for its PMA photo show launches with multiple cameras, headed up by a replacement for its long-lasting S1000. The FinePix S1500 has the same 10-megapixel sensor and 12X, 33-396mm equivalent lens but adds true hardware image stabilization, improves software features such as automatic scene recognition and face detection, and gives full manual control. The camera continues to shoot at up to 1.4 frames per second and ISO 1,600 at full resolution but can step up to 7.5 frames per second and ISO 3,200 by lowering the resolution.
The S1500 likewise continues to record 640x480 video and takes AA batteries for power. Fujifilm anticipates shipping the camera in March for $249.
More unique for the camera maker is the Z33WP, its first explicitly waterproof camera. The point-and-shoot comes in a sealed-off shell that lets the camera reliably take shots at depths of up to 10 feet. It gets the improved scene and face detection modes of the S1500 but adds a Blog Mode that produces smaller images that can be given minor edits on the camera itself. It shoots 10-megapixel images through a 3X lens and drops hardware stabilization in favor of ISO boosting (up to 1,600). Fujifilm plans a late March release at $200.
Two conventional cameras finish the updates. The J20 and J250, like the others, both shoot at 10 megapixels with scene recognition and face detection; the J20 is the basic model with 3X zoom, ISO-only image stabilization and a 2.7-inch LCD. Moving to the J250 adds a 5X, 28mm wide-angle lens as well as sensor-shift stabilization and a 3-inch preview screen. The differences put the J20 at a $130 price where the J250 will cost $200; both are due in March.