*February 14, 2006 – *Fujifilm updated the popular F10 with today’s announcement of the Fujifilm FinePix F30. The F30 has a much more sensitive 6.3 megapixel Super CCD and pairs it with an improved Real Photo Processor II that reportedly reduces noise in images even more effectively than the F10’s first generation processor. Perhaps more notably, the Fujifilm FinePix F30 is the first point-and-shoot model to come with an ISO 3200 setting. The F30 uses this high sensitivity and pairs it with the fast shutter speeds of several preset modes to provide sharper pictures in low light. The F30 will be available in May for $399.
The FinePix F30’s Super CCD is the same size and houses the same number of megapixels as the CCD of the preceding F10, but it is a sixth generation CCD that Fujifilm says is 30 percent more sensitive and produces 25 percent less noise, thanks to more efficient signal processing. The camera boasts Real Photo Technology that combines the efforts of the imaging sensor with the processor and the Fujinon 3x zoom lens.
With higher ISO sensitivities, the F30 is marketed with a new Picture Stabilization mode that is located right on the mode dial. This is not to be confused with image stabilization; there is no gyro-sensor to equalize the picture. Instead, the Picture Stabilization mode uses the high ISO 1600 and 3200 settings to brighten the image and pairs them with fast shutter speeds to reduce the effects of shaky hands. The Picture Stabilization mode is similar in concept to the F30’s Natural Light scene mode, but the Picture Stabilization mode activates the flash and the Natural Light mode suppresses it.
The Fujifilm FinePix F30 also has a Natural Light & With Flash preset mode that takes two pictures consecutively – one with the high ISO and fast shutter speed and the other picture with a lower ISO and the flash activated. The camera saves both pictures and users can later chose between the more naturally lit photo and the image taken using the flash.
Fujifilm improved on the F10’s flash by implementing an innovative system the manufacturer calls i-Flash. This system detects the subject’s size and position as well as the available light on the subject and in the background. The flash then automatically adjusts its intensity for a proper exposure. Fujifilm hopes this technology portrays images more realistically.
"With industry leading innovations such as the blur and noise-reducing Real Photo Technology and along with the i-Flash system for more natural looking photos, the FinePix F30 helps users capture the moment just as their eyes see it," said David Troy, senior product manager of consumer digital cameras at Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., in today’s press release.
The Fujifilm FinePix F30 still retains many of the functions found on the F10. It has the same manual, aperture priority, shutter priority and program modes. The cameras have the same movie mode that shoots 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixel video at 30 frames per second and do not zoom while recording video. Both FinePix models have a battery life of 500 shots, hardly any shutter lag, and a relatively quick 1.4-second start-up time. They both have Fujinon 3x zoom lenses and 2.5-inch LCD screens.
The F30’s LCD monitor is greatly improved, however. The F10’s had only 115,000 pixels on its screen while the F30’s screen doubles its resolution to 230,000 pixels. It also includes an anti-glare coating and a brightness adjustment for better viewing. The F30 includes 16 MB of internal memory, whereas the F10 only included a 16MB xD-Picture memory card. The F30 wraps all these features into an updated body that has more contours and curves than its boxier predecessor.