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The Fujifilm FinePix F40fd includes ISO sensitivities as high as ISO 1600 equivalent (with ISO 2000 possible in two of the scene modes), courtesy of a sixth generation, eight megapixel Super CCD HR image sensor. Fuji's Super CCD HR sensors use an octagonal array of photodiodes that increase image resolution in the horizontal and vertical planes - where the maximum detail in pictures should be found. Fuji's Face Detection feature, first seen in the FinePix S6000fd, is achieved with a dedicated LSI chip in the F40 and can detect up to ten faces in the photo simultaneously. With the feature enabled, the camera indicates the faces detected in the scene by framing them with rectangles in the display - white for all but the top priority face, which is framed in green. The locations of faces are then used by the Fuji F40 to confirm the appropriate location for focus and exposure detection, so as to ensure that your subject is correctly focused even when off center. In Playback mode, the feature can be cleverly used to automatically zoom images to the primary face in an image (for confirmation of pose, focus, etc.), and can also be used to automatically crop a shot for optimum portrait framing. The face detection functionality can be disabled, as desired.

The Fujifilm F40fd's image sensor is coupled with a 3x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 36 - 108mm - a moderate wide angle to a moderate telephoto. On top of the exceptional ISO / noise characteristics (by compact camera standards, anyway), the Fuji F40fd also includes an intelligent flash system dubbed "i-Flash", which takes a range of variables including subject size and position in the frame, ambient light and backlight intensity into account, then calculates the required flash intensity. In lieu of any optical viewfinder, the Fujifilm F40 also has a larger than average 2.5" LCD display with a resolution of 230,000 pixels, used to frame and review photos.

The announcement of the FinePix F40fd marks a first for Fuji, in that it includes not just 10MB of built-in storage and an xD-Picture Card slot, but is also compatible with Secure Digital cards - a move we're sure will make the F40fd far more attractive to users considering an upgrade from an existing SD-based camera. The Fuji FinePix F40fd's retail pricing is set at US$299 when it ships this March.