updated 08:25 am EST, Thu January 5, 2012
Fujifilm F770 EXR and SL300 lead zoom camera pack
Fujifilm's virtually complete overhaul of its camera line continued Thursday with long-zoom cameras. The F770 EXR, F750 EXR, and F660 EXR all upgrade to a new half-inch, 16-megapixel CMOS sensor that improves low-light shooting, especially in the EXR dynamic range and low noise modes. The F750 EXR and F770 EXR also use a new 20X, 25-500mm equivalent lens, while the F660 EXR uses a still-long 15X (25-360mm) lens.
The collection can shoot 1080p video with mini HDMI out. They likewise have a new, intelligent stabilization system that can both tell when subjects are moving and hike the sensitivity (up to ISO 12,800) as well as use a gyroscopic sensor to more aggressively correct for either low light or the narrow apertures at maximum zoom. In theory, the EXR models can capture a low-light shot at ISO 400 instead of 800 or 1,600.
The trio rely on a three-inch, 460,000-pixel preview LCD and can shoot at up to 11 continuous frames per second, albeit usually at a medium resolution. Sweeping panoramas have more flexibility with between 180- to 360-degree arcs as options. Only the F770 EXR can shoot in RAW or geotag shots with GPS.
All three EXR models are available in March and will carry prices of $280, $350, and $380 for the F660, F750, and F770 respectively.
More conventional ultra-zooms are served by three new models, the S4200, S4500 and SL300. The new range starts up and autofocuses faster, a relatively quick 0.35 seconds even in dim conditions. Each has a 14-megapixel CCD and 720p movie capture.
Differences focus on lenses and control. The base S4200 carries 24X (24-576mm) glass, while the S4500 and SL300 both move up to 30X (24-720mm). SL300 owners have both the option of barrel twist and motorized zoom. The first two run on AA batteries, while the SL300 runs on a lithium-ion pack.
The S4200 and S4500 long-zoom cameras will ship first, arriving in February for $230 and $260. SL300 buyers will have to wait one month to get the camera at its $300 price.