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The Fujifilm FinePix J38 has a slim 0.8" (20mm) body whose front panel holds a Fujinon-branded 3x optical zoom lens offering a range from a 32mm-equivalent wide angle to a 96mm-equivalent telephoto. Behind this lens sits a 1/2.3" CCD image sensor with twelve megapixel resolution. Sadly, there's no mechanical image stabilization, with the Fujifilm J38 limited to what Fuji is terming "Picture Stabilization mode" which attempts to freeze blur by boosting the ISO sensitivity (and hence shutter speeds / noise levels). ISO sensitivity ranges up to a maximum of ISO 1,600 equivalent at full resolution, or ISO 3,200 at reduced resolution of three megapixels or below. The Fuji FinePix J38's rear panel has no provision for an optical viewfinder, instead opting solely for a 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 dots of resolution.

Belying its entry-level position and economic pricetag, the Fuji J38 doesn't offer a lot in the way of manual controls - instead focusing on simplicity and ease of use. Focusing is via contrast detection Center AF with Face Detection capability. As well as being linked to the autofocus system, the Fujifilm J38's face detection function includes automatic red-eye removal capability. Shutter speeds range from 8 seconds to 1/1400 second, and apertures from F2.9 - F8.8 at wide angle, or F5.2 - F16.0 at telephoto. These are all controlled automatically, with sixteen scene modes offering the J38 owner's main method of controlling the look of images. The Fuji FinePix J38 is also capable of recording VGA or QVGA videos at 30 frames-per-second with monaural sound. Movies are saved in AVI format using Motion JPEG compression.

The Fujifilm FinePix J38 stores its images on SD or SDHC cards or in 10MB of built-in memory. Power comes from an NP-45A Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. The Fuji FinePix J38 will be available from August 2009 with pricing of about $130.