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Fujifilm's line-up of consumer digital compacts can be bewildering, with the A-series offering simplicity, the F-series being for advanced users, the Z-series are slim stylish models and the S-series offering DSLR-like operation. In all there are 29 consumer models currently available, some with different colour options.
In the F-series, the new top dog is the F100fd, a feature packed 12MP model featuring Fujifilm's Super CCD HR VIII sensor. The sensor uses the same technology as the top of the range S5 Pro DSLR. Without being too technical about it, the sensor uses a unique pixel array designed to capture a broader dynamic range, in other words the full range of tones from highlight to shadow detail and everything in between. This is especially important in very bright sunlight, when deep shadows and glaring highlights are common.
The camera features a host of other cutting edge technology, including Face Detection auto focus. This technology, now almost universal in compact cameras, recognises faces in the frame and focuses on them, as well as optimising exposure and digital parameters such as automatic red eye removal.
This model can recognise up to 10 faces in the frame and, as well as being faster than previous models, can recognise faces at more extreme angles, claims Fujifilm. The anti red-eye system can correct the image in 0.1 seconds and saves both the original file and the corrected file.
The other headline feature of the camera is its image stabilisation, offering both a mechanically stabilised CCD (i.e. the sensor moves to counteract the effect of camera shake), and high ISO sensitivity to avoid subject based movement. Of course the latter also allows for photography in low light. In fact Fujifilm has really pushed the boat out when I comes to the camera's ISO range, stretching as it does from ISO 100 to 12,800, although ISO 6,400 and 12,800 are at a reduced 3MP resolution.