Fuji Japan prepares F401 update|
(Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 16:22 EDT)
A teaser on the Fuji Japan website shows what looks to be a replacement for the FinePix F401 digital camera, a model which only recently began shipping in the USA.
Few details about the new camera (which is as yet unnamed, beyond that it will be part of the F-series) are divulged in the shockwave teaser which is currently on the site's main page and was first noticed by our friend Yamada Kumio at the digitalcamera.jp website. That said, we can make some guesses that seem fairly logical. First though, a caveat: bear in mind that we're speculating based on the shockwave presentation, and some of these guesses may turn out to be off base.
The FinePix F401, which was first hinted at on May 23rd, and later officially announced in the USA at the end of the month features only SmartMedia storage - and as regular readers will know, Fuji has been introducing the new xD Picture-Card format across its product line. Hence it makes sense to presume that the main reason for the update is to include an xD Picture-Card slot... The sensor is still a third-generation SuperCCD, and we're guessing will likely remain the same as that used in the F401, along with probably the same lens.
From the picture below taken from the teaser (a very cropped view of the front of the camera), we can see that the LED lights on the handgrip have been retained, but appear to have been incorporated into one larger lighted area, rather than the three separate blue LEDs of the original design. It also seems to us that in the picture, Fuji is hinting that it has redesigned the camera (which was rather square before) with a curvier motif. While the overall outline still seems to be pretty much square, it seems this may have been softened somewhat - notice what appears to be a very defined circular pattern in the brushed metal front to the case, as well as the fact that all of the vertical lines look curved as well...
The teaser also mentions a "blue line" - this will be a reference to the small curving dark-blue line to the right of the LED light. The F401 had a similar blue line which which appeared alongside the handgrip when you turned the camera on (achieved by sliding the entire handgrip towards the edge of the camera slightly). We'd presume this feature has been retained, although again following the curvier motif.
Finally, one other detail in the pictures stands out to us. On the F401, the mounting point for the hand-grip was midway down the the camera on the handgrip side - right where the palm of your hand would be when taking a photo right-handed, and about level with the center of the lens. We notice in the teaser what appears to be this same handgrip mount on the left-hand side, and the edge of the lens - no longer level with it - on the right-hand side. Moving the lens would likely necessitate redesigning most of the camera's internals - so we'd guess that instead the mount for the handgrip has been moved, probably to the top corner of the camera on the same side, where it might actually help you keep a grip on the camera, rather than poking into your palm. (If we're right, then that photo has been flipped vertically, incidentally).
More on this once the camera is officially announced, which will apparently be Thursday of next week in Japan...