Monday, December 19, 2011

Fujifilm announces FinePix F600EXR compact megazoom with improved GPS and motion detection

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Summary: Fujifilm updates its compact megazoom F Series with better GPS features, motion detection, and a new “intelligent” digital zoom.

At first glance, the Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR announced today looks a lot like the other two compact megazooms in Fujifilm’s F Series, the F500EXR and F550EXR which were announced at this year’s CES. The F600EXR sports the same body design (with a new rubberized coating to improve the grip and reduce fingerprints), and like its predecessors uses a 16-megapixel EXR CMOS sensor, a 15x wide-angle zoom lens (24-360mm equivalent), and a 460,000-dot, 3-inch LCD.

Like the F550EXR, the F600EXR supports raw and raw+JPG modes and includes a built-in GPS sensor, but the F600 ups the ante with a new Landmark Navigator mode that adds an on-camera database of roughly one million points of interest (POI). In addition to overlaying POIs on the screen, the camera can also display your relative position and distance. By pointing your lens down, you can get a 1.5km radar view of landmarks — a nice touch.  Place names are user-editable, and you can perform image searches according to the edited place names as well.

Another new feature in the F600EXR is its built-in motion sensor, which enhances the camera’s new EXR Auto mode with motion detection. This advanced scene recognition mode detects 54 scene types and automatically chooses the optimal settings (e.g., exposure, white balance, sensor mode) to create a blur-free image, even in low light. Using the motion detection technology, the camera can optimize sensitivity and image stabilization settings when it detects a moving object, in order to capture a sharp exposure .

The F600EXR also introduces a new Intelligent Digital Zoom mode, which selectively boosts sharpness in the cropped-in image that the digital zoom produces, theoretically improving the image quality over standard digital zooms.

Other features include:

High-speed auto focus (up to 0.16 seconds)Continuous burst shooting (up to 11fps for 32 frames; 8fps at full resolution)Motion Panorama mode for 360-degree panoramasISO sensitivity up to 12,800Five Film Simulation Modes (special effects filters)Shoots high-speed movies with slow motion playback at up to 320 fpsMini HDMI output1080p video at 30 fps with stereo sound

The FinePix F600EXR will ship in October for $349.95.

Related stories on ZDNet:

Janice got her hands on a Nikon Coolpix 900 back in 1998 and has been a digital camera enthusiast ever since.

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