Face recognition and night vision (sadly not on the same model).
With the near endless variants of 5/6MP cameras out there with 2.5in LCDs, 3x optical zooms and VGA video recording it is taking a lot more to step out of the shadows than it used to. So bring on Fujifilm’s face recognition and night vision technology.
Not quite as futuristic as it sounds, the new advancements are divided up between two new models: the great-for-drunk-people S6500fd and the great-for-(s)perverts(/s)–(s)voyeurs(/s) night owls F20.
The former (above) utilises a fully automated system which – through the unexplained wizardry of the release – claims to zero in on whichever poor unfortunate you intend to snap and optimise settings such as focus and exposure levels before recording their embarrassed mugs for all eternity. It takes just 0.04 seconds supposedly to make this calculation and can track up to 10 faces in a single shot.
Other than this defining techno tomfoolery the S6500fd also manages to cram in a whopping 10.7x optical zoom lens and hefty ISO 100-3200 sensitivity. Jpeg and RAW file formats are supported and shutter lag is just 0.035 seconds (roughly the same amount of time it takes me to get sick of any Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson buddy movie). Predictably VGA video recording at 30fps also makes an appearance.
Also in the offing is the F20, sporter of the aforementioned ‘night vision’. This 6.3 megapixeler is the little brother of the F30 and claims to ensure “crisp, clear images that are as close as any digital camera gets to reproducing a scene just as the human eye sees it, even in low light, without the use of flash”. Naturally enough little explanation is given how this is achieved, but many will be wishing this feature could be combined with the 10.7x optical zoom of the S6500fd…
The company’s idiot-proof dual shooting mode (automatically taking one shot with flash, one without), now dubbed ‘Natural Light & Flash’ – or ”hedging your bets” as I prefer it – turns up along with an ISO range up to 1600. A decent 300 shot battery life, anti-blur mode, 1.4 second start up time and (of course) that VGA 30fps video mode bulk things out a bit.
Fujifilm has withheld prices for both the F20 and S6500fd at present but promises September and October release dates respectively. Now if only the company would bring out a model that compiled both these technologies and I wouldn’t have been slapped with that restraining order…