Fujifilm has announced seven new digital cameras that it will be showing at PMA, and as predicted the list includes a new high-end semi-pro superzoom model that exceeds the specification of the already awesome FinePix S9600.
Fujifilm's new flagship superzoom camera is the FinePix S100FS. It is an SLR-style camera with a very impressive specification. It features a big f2.8-5.3 14.3x manual zoom Fujinon lens with optical image stabilisation and a focal length range equivalent to 28-400mm, a 2.5-inch 230k pixel tiltable LCD monitor, and an 11-megapixel 2/3-inch Super CCD HR VIII HR sensor. This is a larger sensor than any of Fuji's previous superzoom cameras, and in theory at least should provide lower image noise and high dynamic range than the smaller sensors found in most other non-SLR cameras.
The FS in the name comes from the Film Simulation mode, a technology borrowed from Fuji's professional DSLR the S5 Pro. The RP (Real Photo) Processor III provides four film modes for portraiture, low-contrast (soft), vibrant colours (Velvia), or general use (Provia), as well as three extended dynamic range modes (100%, 200%, 400%). The high speed processor also provides DSLR-like performance, with 3fps shooting at full resolution in both JPEG and RAW modes, and 7fps shooting at the lower resolution 3MP mode. ISO settings of 100-3200 are available at full resolution, with 6400 ISO available at 6MP and 10,000 ISO at 3MP.
The S100FS also borrows a few features from Fuji's compact camera range, including hardware-based face detection and automatic red-eye correction from the F50fd, and a multi-format memory card slot compatible with SD, SDHC and xD-Picture cards. It has a VGA 30fps movie mode, and multiple bracketing modes, including Film Simulation Bracketing, Dynamic Range Bracketing and AE Bracketing. Fuji has stated that the S100FS isn't immediately replacing the S9600, which will still be available while stocks last. The FinePix S100FS will be available from March 2008, although the recommended retail price is yet to be confirmed.