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article imageMore Bang for Your Buck: Fuji Releases Powerful, Affordable New FinePix Line

By Mike Drach     Oct 25, 2003 in Technology
TORONTO (djc) - Fuji’s newest lineup of point-and-shoot FinePix digital cameras is out, offering ease of use, compactness, professional functionality and high quality results at a more reasonable price than ever.
On the low end, you have the A205 and the A210, going for $299 and $399 respectively. The main difference between the two is the pixel count: 2 million versus a more robust 3.1 million-pixel CCD.
Based on the extremely popular 2500/2650 series, these follow a similar cubist, lightweight design, albeit with a little more substance and solidity. Fuji says its customers never really wanted an ultra-thin, cutesy device; they prefer something that actually feels like a camera.
Both include an AV out connection, a fairly expensive add-on for a camera at this price point. However, Fuji says they tossed it in at no extra cost. These also feature a 3x optical zoom, movie recording (with no sound), low power consumption, a multilingual OSD and a universal cradle, that can turn your camera into a makeshift webcam.
With basic manual overrides for more artistic touches and simplified mode switching, the A205 and A210 are perfect for amateur digital photographers who want to achieve great results without spending any more than they would for a film camera.
Next up is the A310, a mid-level camera originally released for the European market. Succeeding the similar A303, this version is faster, sleeker and lighter.
For $499, you get a camera with a 3x optical zoom and 3.1 effective pixels; however, with Fujifilm’s Fourth Generation Super CCD HR technology, you can create files up to 6 MB. Super CCD (Charged Coupled Device) uses octagonal photodiodes in an interwoven pattern, filling in the spaces to increase light and colour sensitivity, producing superior colour and higher-resolution pictures.
The A310 has a 1.5-inch multilingual LCD, an easy-to-use mode wheel and the “F-button,” a feature formerly seen solely on higher-end models. The F-button, or Photo Mode, makes it simpler to fine-tune such settings as ISO, film type and resolution. You can also shoot 320 x 240-pixel movies with sound for up to 98 seconds, with the included 16 MB xD-Picture Card.
Moving on towards the higher end, you have the $799 S5000, a full-featured unit similar to Fuji’s 3000/3800 series. The compact, elegant design houses a 10x optical zoom an 2.2x digital zoom, which capture precise details thanks to its 3.1-megapixel super CCD.
Redesigned for comfort and easier manoeuverability, the S5000 features a full-blown "digital SLR" as well as the convenient F-button. Intelligent quick focus, improved power-saving features, NTSC/PAL video output, wide-angle shooting, a pop-up flash and auto assist lamp round out this camera, which straddles the line between amateur and professional photography.
It can fit traditional Fuji filters and accommodates up to 2 gigs of memory, which you may need if you’re taking 6-MB pictures or using the 30-fps, 320 x 240-pixel QVGA video capture with sound. Needless to say, the results are consistently excellent.
No matter what your photography needs, Fuji’s new lineup covers all the bases. Happy snapping.
www.fujifilm.com
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