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The Film in Fujifilm Goes Digital in the S100fs

The Fujifilm FinePix S100fs translates the characteristics of Fujifilm’s professional Provia and Velvia films to the digital realm and pairs a huge 2/3-inch sensor with a long 14.3x optical zoom lens.

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Jan. 24, 2008 – Fujifilm today announced a new star in its ultra-zoom series, the Fujifilm FinePix S100fs. The "fs" designates "film simulation" as the main feature on this 11-megapixel digital camera. It translates the characteristics of Fujifilm’s professional Provia and Velvia films to the digital realm and pairs a huge 2/3-inch sensor with a long 14.3x optical zoom lens. The unique Fujifilm FinePix S100fs is aimed at serious photographers and will retail for $799 in February.

The Fujifilm FinePix S100fs comes with four film simulation modes: portraiture, low-contrast (soft), Velvia (vibrant), and Provia (general use). This is the first time that Fujifilm has used its Fujichrome film branding on its digital cameras. To make the settings more accessible for first-timers, the S100fs has a film simulation bracketing mode.

The S100fs has a 2.5-inch LCD screen that tilts. The tilting LCD was last seen in the S-series on the Fujifilm S9000 in mid-2005, but its LCD measured only 1.8 inches and had only 118,000 pixels. The S100fs also has a Fujinon 14.3x optical zoom lens with a manual zoom ring. Fujinon R&D engineers "approached the design effort as a single project, creating the lens and CCD for express function as a single unit," states today’s press release. "This design allows the ultra-high precision Fujinon lens to achieve maximum resolution at all focal lengths of 28-400mm equivalent and aperture stop settings."

The lens has an optical image stabilization system. Other FinePix cameras have a sensor-shift system, but the S100fs has a movable lens element that compensates for shaking hands.

"The S100fs… is really designed for the consumer who wants the DSLR experience without the hassle of changing lenses, working with dust…but still wants that feel of an SLR," said Darin Pepple, marketing manager for consumer and professional products at Fujifilm U.S.A. Inc.

The Fujifilm FinePix S100fs looks and feels like a DSLR – and sometimes even sounds like one. It measures 5.2 x 3.7 x 5.9 inches and weighs nearly 33 ounces. It has a large 2/3-inch Super CCD VIII HR image sensor paired with a 3rd generation Real Photo image processor.

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"This powerful combination allows the S100fs, with its wide dynamic range, to capture the subtleties in color, tone and detail to deliver perfect shot conditions every time," said David Troy, senior product manager of consumer digital cameras at Fujifilm U.S.A. Inc. The S100fs has a new dynamic range expansion feature that allows photographers to extend to three settings; the maximum setting gains two EV over the standard.

The FinePix S100fs may be built for prosumers, but it has ease of use features too. The dynamic range extension comes with a dynamic range bracketing mode. When the shutter release button is pressed once, three shots are taken – one at each expansion setting. "Dynamic range is always one of those features that is... not fully understood and often confused as to which dynamic range setting to use," Pepple said. "This new feature really makes it simple." In addition to the film simulation and dynamic range bracketing modes, the standard exposure bracketing is available.

The Fujifilm S100fs has a healthy ISO range that offers options up to 3200 at full resolution, up to 6400 at the 6-megapixel image size, and up to 10,000 at 3 megapixels. The image size also shrinks to 3 megapixels in the 7 fps high-speed burst mode. It can snap up to 50 shots.

In full resolution, the burst mode snaps 3 fps for up to seven shots. The Fujifilm S100fs has Manual, Priority, Program, and Auto modes along with 14 scene modes. JPEG and RAW image files can be recorded to the 25MB of internal memory or to the xD, SD, or SDHC card in the media slot. There is also a movie mode that is capable of recording 30 fps videos at 640 by 480 resolution that allows the optical zoom to be used while recording; most cameras don't allow this.

The Fuijfilm FinePix S100fs is very different even from its closest relatives. Other S-series digital cameras operate on AA batteries, but the Fujifilm S100fs runs on a lithium-ion battery pack. Many other FinePix models, including the S8000fd, have "fd" as an addendum to show off their face detection feature. The F100fs showcases its film simulation modes, but it also has Fujifilm’s Face Detection 2.0 technology. Fujifilm claims it can recognize up to 10 faces whether they are looking straight at the camera, at a 90-degree profile, or 135 degrees leaning in or lying down. It also has automatic red-eye removal. 

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