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Fuji's FinePix 30i digital camera. Courtesy of Fuji Japan with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Fuji announces FinePix 30i digital camera! (UPDATED)
By
(Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 18:09 EDT)

Newest model in the 'i'-series of MP3 player / digicam combos adds mobile connectivity, cuts costs...

Fuji has today announced an addition to its 'i'-series of MP3 player / digital camera combos for the Japanese and German markets, in the form of the new FinePix 30i digital camera, our friends at digitalcamera.gr.jp and letsgodigital.nl report. The 30i closely resembles the existing FinePix 40i and 50i models, but with a number of interesting changes.

Size and weight remain very near the same levels as the past models, and the only significant addition we could find is connectivity with certain Japanese cellular phones, allowing Japanese users to transfer images without the need for a computer. There are a number of changes aimed at reducing the camera's costs however - most significantly the replacement of past models' 0.588" SuperCCD image sensors with a significantly smaller 0.370" standard RGB CCD sensor. Hand-in-hand with this change, the interpolated 2400 x 1800 pixel maximum resolutions of the past models have been removed, with the new two megapixel (effective) CCD sensor yielding the same maximum non-interpolated resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels as the 50i's 2.4 megapixel SuperCCD.

Other cost-saving changes include a new fixed-focus f/4.8 lens equivalent to 38mm, in the place of the the previous models' brighter f/2.8 36mm-equivalent autofocus lens, removal of video output connectivity, a slightly lower-resolution 72,000 pixel 1.8" LCD display vs. the 110,000 pixel display used in the past, reverse galilean viewfinder and a reversion to the AA batteries used by the original FinePix 40i model (whereas the 50i used a proprietary Lithium Ion battery).

The FinePix 30i will ship in Japan on November 23rd at a price of ¥64,800 (US$528), and in Germany in November at a cost of €510 (US$454). No plans have been announced to bring the camera to the US market at this time; we're awaiting confirmation from Fuji USA as to whether they plan to carry the new model. Two sample images can be seen on Fuji Germany's website, and full specifications for the camera are in our database, whilst highlights follow:

Specification Highlights - full specifications here
Fuji FinePix 30i
Fuji's FinePix 30i digital camera. Courtesy of Fuji Japan with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Model Number: 30i
Camera Format: Ultra-compact
Price: ¥64,800 / US$528 (Japan); €510 / US$454 (Germany)
Date Available: November 2001
Image Capture
Image Sensor: 2.00 megapixel (effective)
Image Resolution: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480
Lens
Focal Length (effective): 38mm (fixed focal length)
Digital Zoom: 1.25 (1280x960) / 2.5x (640x480)
Auto Focus: No (Fixed focus type)
Manual Focus: No
Normal Focus Range: 60 cm to Infinity; 24.5 in to Infinity
Macro Focus Range: 8 cm to 15cm; 3.3 to 6.1 in
Aperture Range: f/4.8, f/11
Display
Optical Viewfinder: Yes (Reversed galilean type)
LCD Viewfinder: Yes (1.8 inch, 72,000 pixel)
Exposure
ISO Settings: 100
White Balance Settings: Auto, 7 presets
Manual White Balance: No
Shutter Speeds: 1/2 - 1/1000 second
Exp Adj Range: Steps / Range unknown
Metering Modes: 64 segment matrix metering
Exposure Modes: Auto
Self Timer: 10 seconds
Flash
Internal Flash: Yes
Flash Modes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, On, Off, Slow Synchro
Flash Range Description: 0.6 - 3.0 meters (2 - 9.8 feet)
Ext Flash: No
Image Storage
Flash Memory: SmartMedia and ID SmartMedia
Memory Included: None (Japan); 16MB (Germany)
File Formats: JPEG, AVI (MotionJPEG) with sound
More Information
Weight: 205 g; 7.2 oz
Weight With Batteries? Yes
Size: 85 x 73 x 30 mm; 3.3 x 2.9 x 1.2 in
Notes & Features: US price estimate of $528.10 based on conversion of Japanese retail price, 64,800. Availability date of November 23rd 2001 is for the Japanese market; no plans have yet been announced for US sales.

Complies with 3.3V SmartMedia or ID SmartMedia in capacities of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128MB .

Available in rose pink, silver or orion blue body colors. Can be connected to certain Japanese cell phones and images transferred to other cellphone users or to the Internet. Bundled headphones include remote control with backlit LCD display that shows track / artist name. Can function as a tethered USB webcam using Fuji's FinePix Viewer PictureHello software.

Digital zoom is only available at lower resolutions (1.25x at 1280 x 960 pixels, 2.5x at 640 x 480 pixels). Has exposure compensation function, range / step size unspecified. Voice memo function allows 30-second audio clips attached to images, or up to 4.5 hours of audio to be recorded (with 128MB SmartMedia and AC adapter).

In Japan, no memory card is bundled with the camera. In Europe, a 16MB SmartMedia card is included in the bundle.

Battery life claimed at 4.5 hours in MP3 playback mode, or 120 shots with LCD monitor on / 300 shots with LCD monitor off, 50% flash usage. With NiMH battery, no flash usage, no LCD usage and 640 x 480 pixel resolution, battery life claimed as 5400 shots (180 minutes).

MP3 audio can only be played back from ID SmartMedia cards, which feature built-in copy protection. Can store 160 minutes of MP3 audio on a 128MB ID SmartMedia card. Complies with 44.1KHz MP3 files, 96 / 112 / 128KBps encoding. Uses InfoBind copyright protection.

Comes bundled with 2 x AA NiMH batteries, BC-NHS charger, shoulder strap, USB cable, remote-control equipped stereo headphones, CD-ROM, instruction manual and warranty card. Optional accessories include SC-FX30 soft case, CC-FX1A and CC-FX2T cellular phone cables and AC-3V AC power adapter.
More Photos
Fuji's FinePix 30i digital camera. Courtesy of Fuji Germany with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Fuji's FinePix 30i digital camera. Courtesy of Fuji Japan with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Fuji's FinePix 30i digital camera. Courtesy of Fuji Japan with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Fuji's FinePix 30i digital camera. Courtesy of Fuji Germany with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.
 

UPDATED 2001-10-23 18:09ET: Fuji USA has now confirmed for us that they don't currently have plans to bring the FinePix 30i to the USA...

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