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Fujifilm's FinePix F420 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Fujifilm Japan, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Fujifilm Japan, Europe announce F-series digicam (samples online)
(Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 15:12 EDT)

Our friends at the main digital photography sites in Japan and Europe have today posted news of a digital camera that's heading for their continents from FujiFilm, the FinePix F420 Zoom.

Whilst it looks extremely similar to the FinePix F410 Zoom at first glance, the F420 actually has quite a few differences from its predecessor. Perhaps most noticeable, the camera is a bit smaller and significantly lighter - at 77 x 69 x 26.4 mm and 145 grams, it remains the same height and almost the same thickness, but 8 mm narrower and 40 g lighter than before. Less obviously, it uses a different lens which (whilst it is still an f2.8 - 4.8, 3x optical zoom) is a little wider, and stops down to f8 instead of f11.6 on the F410. The new lens focuses just slightly closer in macro mode, to a minimum of 8.5 cm.

Another significant hardware change (and a rather impressive one, given the fact that the new camera is both smaller and lighter) is the presence of a new LCD display that is larger and higher resolution than that on the F410. Where its predecessor had a 1.5", 118,000 pixel LCD, the F420 gets a 1.8" LCD with 134,000 pixels. There's also a new video out connection, which is NTSC / PAL switcheable for compatibility with the two most common TV formats.

One last hardware change is a switch from the NP-60 battery used in the FinePix F410 to an NH-20 battery, with compatibility for 2 x AAA alkaline disposable or NiMH rechargeable batteries as well - the best of both worlds, allowing you the longer life of a proprietary battery or the ability to walk into any store and pick up a battery that will work when you've unexpectedly run out.

There are also quite a few firmware changes. The minimum ISO rating in manual mode has been extended to ISO 160, and in automatic mode this drops as low as ISO 125. The maximum remains ISO 400, unless you're willing to trade resolution for sensitivity - in which case there's the same ISO 800 in 1 megapixel mode that is found on the previous camera. The built-in flash gets one extra mode which combines slow synchro with red-eye reduction.

Several scene modes have been added to the F420 - Portrait, Landscape, Sports and Night Scene - as well as two burst modes that capture 4 images at 4 frames per second (fps). The images are either captured immediately after the shutter is pressed in Top 4 mode, or the user holds down the shutter button whilst up to 25 images are captured in Final 4 mode, and then all but the last 4 images are discarded by the camera. The 160x120 pixel movie mode has been dropped, leaving only the 320x240 pixel mode - which has been boosted from 10 fps to 30 fps. One final update is the addition of support for PictBridge - the standard which allows printing directly from a digital camera via the USB cable without the need for a personal computer.

In the UK, the Fujifilm FinePix F420 Zoom will go on sale next February. In Japan, the camera will go on sale from November 16th, with two body colors available (silver, or metallic white). Two sample photos taken with the FinePix F420 are available on Fujifilm Japan's website...

Fujifilm FinePix F420 Zoom
Fujifilm's FinePix F420 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Fujifilm UK, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Number of effective pixels 3.1 million pixels
CCD sensor
1/2.7” Super CCD HR
Number of total pixels: 3.14 million pixels
Number of recorded pixels
Still image: 2,816 x 2,120 (6.0 million) / 2,048 x 1,536 / 1,280 x 960 / 640 x 480
Movie: 320 x 240 pixels, 30 frames / sec. with monaural sound
Storage media xD-Picture Card™ (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB available)
File format
Still image: JPEG (Exif Ver 2.2)
Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG)
(Design Rule for Camera File System Compliant / DPOF-compatible)
Printing PictBridge compatible
Lens Fujinon 3x optical zoom lens, f2.8 - f4.8
Lens focal length Equivalent to 36 - 108mm on a 35mm camera
Focus TTL contrast-type auto focus
Focus distance
Normal: Approx. 60cm to infinity
Macro: Approx. 8.5 cm - 80 cm
Shutter speed 2 sec. – 1/2,000 sec. depending on shooting mode
Aperture f2.8 - f8, 10 steps in 1/3 EV increments
Auto: Equivalent to ISO 125 - 640
Manual: Equivalent to ISO 160 / 200 / 400 / 800 (resolution fixed at 1M for shots taken at ISO 800)
Exposure control Program AE
White balance
Manual: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light
Viewfinder Real image optical, approx. 80% coverage
LCD monitor 1.8”, 134,000 pixel, micro-reflective CG silicon TFT, 100% coverage
Auto flash using flash control sensor
Effective range: Wide-angle: approx. 0.6m - 3.5m (Macro: approx. 0.3m - 0.8m) Telephoto: approx. 0.6m - 2.7m
Flash modes: Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro
Self-timer 10 sec. delay
Video output NTSC / PAL selectable
Terminal Output socket for USB / A/V or PictureCradle, power input socket
Power source NH-20 (included) / 2 x AAA size alkaline batteries / 2 x AAA size Ni-MH rechargeable batteries or AC power adapter (sold separately)
Dimensions 77 (W) x 69 (H) x 26.4 (D) mm
Weight Approx. 145g (excluding batteries and media)
Digital zoom 4.4x (640 x 480 pixels), 2.2x (1,280 x 960 pixels), 1.4x (2,048 x 1,536 pixels)
Shooting modes
Normal: Auto, Scene Position (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Scene)
Continuous: Top 4 – 4 frames at intervals as short as 0.25 seconds/sec.) Final 4 – release the shutter up to 25 times (at intervals as short as 0.25 seconds) and record the last 4 frames
Color modes B&W / Chrome / Standard
Movie recording 320 x 240 pixels, 30 frames/sec. with monaural sound, AVI format (Motion JPEG)
Voice Memo Up to 30 sec., WAV format
Playback Single frame (with max.18 x playback zoom), 9 multi-frame
Accessories included
  • 16MB xD-Picture Card™
  • Rechargeable battery (NH-20)
  • Battery charger (BC-NH20)
  • Strap
  • USB cable for FinePix F420 Zoom
  • A/V cable for FinePix F420 Zoom
  • CD-ROM
    • USB driver
    • FinePix Viewer
    • ImageMixer VCD2 for FinePix
Optional accessories
  • xD-Picture Card™: (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB cards available)
  • Rechargeable battery (NH-20)
  • PictureCradle CP-FX420 (includes AC-3VW)
  • AC power adapter (AC-3V)
  • PC card adapter (DPC-AD)
  • Memory card readers (DPC-R1, DCR-71, DPC-UD1)
  • CompactFlash™ card adapter (DPC-CF)
  • Soft case (SC-FX420)
More Photos
Fujifilm's FinePix F420 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Fujifilm Japan, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Fujifilm's FinePix F420 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Fujifilm Japan, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Fujifilm's FinePix F420 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Fujifilm UK, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

FinePix F420 Zoom: tiny and shiny, but no lightweight

Smallest Fujifilm camera to incorporate Super CCD HR technology and 30 frames per second video

21 October 2003: Fujifilm today introduced the FinePix F420 Zoom, an A-list compact digital camera that marries style with substance to stand out from the crowd.

Building on the success of the highly acclaimed FinePix F410 Zoom, the FinePix F420 Zoom oozes quality with its robust, metal body, yet measures just 77 (W) x 69 (H) x 26.4 (D) mm - even smaller than its predecessor.

A real show-stopper, the FinePix F420 Zoom is the smallest camera to include Fujifilm's 4th Generation Super CCD HR (High Resolution) technology and can realise 3 million effective pixels, producing 6 million recorded pixels. Its diminutive frame also successfully incorporates a 3x optical zoom lens and a voice memo recorder capable of storing up to 30 seconds of sound.

What's more, the FinePix F420 Zoom's high quality movie capture capabilities give an encore-deserving performance. It records at 30 frames per second, a frame-rate that will ensure silky-smooth movie clips.

While this camera's compact dimensions ensure it will fit into any shirt pocket or clutch bag, usability has not been compromised. The FinePix F420 Zoom comfortably incorporates a 1.8" LCD monitor into its svelte frame, as well as a Video Out socket for viewing images on a TV. The camera is also compatible with PictBridge, the industry standard for printing images from a digital camera without using a PC, making the process simpler and more efficient than ever.

This camera is a real crowd pleaser, and powered by its rechargeable battery (with an option to use AAA batteries should it run low), you can be confident the FinePix F420 Zoom will last the night - even if you don't.

Adrian Clarke, Fujifilm's Director of Consumer Products, commented: "Earlier this year, the FinePix F410 Zoom set some serious standards in photography; heavyweight picture power, contained within a small metal shell. The FinePix F420 Zoom crams greater firepower into an even more discreet package.

"This camera is that rarest of combinations - it looks great wherever you take it, and you can be sure the pictures will, too."

FinePix F420 Zoom: features at a glance

  • Fourth Generation Super CCD HR sensor with 3.1 million effective pixels, delivering 6.2 million recorded pixels
  • Movie capture at 30 frames per second (fps) with sound (320 x 240)
  • 1.8", 134,000-pixel LCD monitor
  • Video Out socket for fast and easy on-screen viewing
  • AAA battery supply for additional off-the-shelf power
  • Fujinon 3x optical zoom lens equivalent to 36-108mm on a 35mm camera
  • Continuous shooting with frames at intervals as short as 0.25 seconds
  • xD-Picture Card™ providing large storage capacity, low power consumption, fast write speed
  • PictBridge compatibility for direct printing
Super CCD HR technology
Fujifilm's Super CCD HR technology allows high resolution sensors to be housed in even smaller digital. The benefits include:
  • Ultra-high resolution images
  • Faster shutter speeds for action shots
  • Low noise photography
  • Low light photography
Availability & pricing
The FinePix F420 Zoom will be available in the UK in February 2004. Please contact Midnight Communications for up-to-date prices.

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