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Fuji Launches FinePix F50fd; Unveils Face Detection 2.0

With today’s launch of the FinePix F50fd, Fuji unveiled the second generation of its fd technology, face detection 2.0, as the manufacturer is calling it. The 12-megapixel point-and-shoot camera features updated face-finding technology to account for p

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July 26, 2007 – Fuji unveiled its second generation of face detection technology with today's launch of the FinePix F50*fd*. The F50*fd* includes Fuji's Face Detection 2.0, new dual image stabilization (with CCD-shift technology), expanded thumbnail view, and automatic red-eye correction. The 12-megapixel Fuji FinePix F50*fd* has a price tag of $299.95 and is expected to ship in September.

The FinePix F50*fd* joins Fuji’s F-series line of advanced point-and-shoots, which has been a strong performer for the company, according to Fuji representatives. Fuji first brought face detection to its point-and-shoot models with the launch of the F31*fd* at Photokina 2006. Since then, the Fuji technology has evolved into what the manufacturer is calling "Face Detection 2.0.'  With the second generation of face detection, the F50*fd* promises increased flexibility from the technology. Previous cameras were restricted to front-facing portraits at limited angles. The new Fuji F50*fd*, however, can account for side profile shots and extreme angles, according to Fuji representatives.

"The camera will find and detect the face in virtually any position," said Fujifilm Senior Product Manager David Troy of Consumer Digital Cameras in a press interview.

Fuji’s face detection system detects up to 10 faces in a scene in 5/100 of a second. It also has an increased threshold of 90 degrees in both profile directions (left and right) and up to 135 degrees up and down, for a total range of 270 degrees of flexibility.

A key component of the updated face detection system is the new Automatic Red-eye Removal Function, a built-in editing feature that works with the face detection system. Unlike built-in red eye fix, the new function only requires the user to select face detection mode. The camera zooms in on each face detected, corrects for red-eye, and saves the edited photo plus the original to the memory card.

Red-eye is one of the biggest complaints among digital camera owners, next to blurry images, according to Troy. "We think that red-eye removal is something that requires no user interface other than selecting face detection mode," he said. "It’s really going to start a new trend in the market place that will put Fujifilm out in front."

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The F50*fd* is also one of two cameras announced today to offer mechanical image stabilization, a notable omission on previous FinePix models. The F50*fd *includes Fuji’s new anti-blur Dual Image Stabilization that combines mechanical CCD-shift image stabilization with high ISO sensitivity to compensate for hand shake and moving subjects.

Other features include iFlash technology that promises even, natural-looking flash and a Portrait Enhancer Mode to minimize skin blemishes. Users can also view a batch of photos in one view with a new GUI Micro Thumbnail function that displays a 100-image index on the monitor, allowing for users to scan through photos faster.

In addition, the FinePix camera carries IrSimple technology, a feature carried over from the F40*fd*. IrSimple technology allows users to wirelessly transmit photos from the camera to other IR-enabled devices.

The Fuji F50*fd* is fitted with a 3x optical zoom lens like its predecessors, the F31*fd* and F40*fd*. The new camera has a bigger 2.7-inch LCD but maintains the same screen resolution at 230,000 pixels. The Fuji F50*fd's* sensitivity range extends to ISO 1600 at full resolution and 6400 ISO at reduced resolution for additional low-light capabilities.

The Fuji FinePix F50*fd* accepts Li-ion batteries, quoted at 230 shots per charge, and is compatible with xD, SD, SDHC media.

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