Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Fuji Finepix Z200fd and A850 join the P&S crowd

Yes, new camera fans, Fuji has announced two new digital cameras today, the Z200fd, a follow-up to their lovely Z100fd, and the A850, a follow-up in their long-standing A-series, not to be confused with the Canon Powershot A-series. Both cameras have been added to our giant New Digital Cameras of 2008 list.




Meet the Fuji Z200fd
The predecessor was announced worldwide in late July 2007, but only recently (CES/PMA 2008) made the USA market. Fuji has been on record saying that they like to produce different models for different markets, so it is quite possible that this will not be available in the USA market, at least not initially.

So what does the Z200fd offer? A jump of course to the new 10mp 1/2.33" sensor, which is all the rage among the new digital cameras of 2008. It continues with a 5x optical zoom lens, which is now becoming the new "3x", an increasingly popular choice among ultracompacts. The lens starts at 33mm (35mm equivalent) which is not as bad as 38mm or 40mm that some of other models use. Not as bad for fans of wide angle photography that is!

It does offer sensor-shift image stabilization, which is almost a must-have feature these days, partially thanks to Panasonic for making MegaOIS available in all their digital cameras a few years ago, going all the way down to their $100 entry-level point and shoots. Ironically, none of their two dSLRs or the flagship LC1 had image stabilization!

As you can expect the camera has scene modes galore, but not a lot of manual control as it is designed as a point and shoot (then again, all cameras work by pointing and shooting). And you get the usual features in this segment, face detection, 2.7" LCD, video modes, couple detection mode, etc, etc. We were holding out for the "mistress detection mode", but apparently no one is offering this valuable feature yet!

And thumbs up to Fuji for supporting both SD/SDHC and xD memory cards, thus making their cameras appealing to the mass market (SD/SDHC users) but also not throwing their existing victims users under the memory card bus. Now if only Olympus and Sony followed this example! But of course camera manufacturer "stubborness" is one of the things that are ruining photography today!


Coverage of the Z200fd on the net
Press releases from Fujifilm UK can be found straight from the horse's mouth, at the Fujifilm UK Press Centre. There we learn that Fuji will be making this camera available in many many colors, including silver, black, pink, and our favorite, a black+red combination!

Meanwhile at the Adorama News Desk, we learn that USA price and availability are "to be announced". Not sure where or when. As we mentioned above, Fuji does like to have different models in different markets at different times and with different model names.

Also featured at Cameratown, where we learn the camera will be released in August, but the price has yet to be specified.

dpreview has also posted their trade-mark digital camera specifications which is a must read for the camera geeks out there.

digitalcamera.jp (translated) also featured the Z200fd, which is expected to be released in Japan in early June, with a starting price of around 40,000.


Meet the Fuji A850
We featured a couple of the other Fuji A-series models, the A900 and A820 in our under the radar series, a few centuries ago.

The Finepix A850 is a AA-based camera that tries to give the Fuji A-series a more stylish look while at the same time continuing with the AA-tradition. It has the usual specs, an 8mp 1/2.5" sensor, 3x optical zoom (36-108mm), SD/SDHC and xD memory card support, scene modes, 2.5" LCD, etc, etc.

The A850 will be available in silver and silver+black.


Coverage of the Fuji A850 on the net
Straight from Fujifilm UK, here is the Fuji A850 announcement, where someone at Fuji watching 80s TV reruns managed to make an "A-Team" reference in the title of the press release even.

The press release but no detailed specs at dpreview. Poor AA-based entry-level digital cameras, they don't get much love! :( But you can find the detailed specs at the Fuji UK press center link right above.

Also, the UK press release can be found at DC Views, look for it in the top-left box, and at dpnow.com, and the Adorama News Desk.

Interestingly, and unlike the Z200fd, the A850 has not been announced in Japan as it is not listed at digital camera.jp (translated).

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