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Fujifilm's FinePix Z3 digital camera. Courtesy of Fujifilm, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Fujifilm announces FinePix Z3 (UPDATED)
(Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 01:06 EDT)

Fuji Photo Film USA Inc. has today unveiled a new ultracompact camera model that is a replacement for the existing FinePix Z1 model (an intermediate model from Europe and Asia, the FinePix Z2, was not offered for the US market).

Featuring a 5.1 megapixel Super CCD HR imager and Fujinon 3x optical zoom lens, the Z3 retains much the same styling and lens as its predecessor, although the body has been updated somewhat. (There's also a new color choice on offer, in addition to the original silver - an attractive metallic blue). Although the Z3 actually uses the same fifth generation Super CCD HR sensor as the original Z1, Fujifilm has increased the maximum ISO sensitivity from 800 to 1600. Fujifilm USA is referring to this as "image stabilisation", although it should be noted that this isn't the same thing as mechanical stabilisation systems - although it offers the ability to freeze not only camera shake but moving subjects as well, it will come at the expense of some extra noise / reduced image detail.

Other features of the Fujifilm FinePix Z3 digital camera include Fujifilm's "Natural Light" shooting mode that allows low-light photos without unflattering flash - great for birthday parties! - as well as the company's i-Flash intelligent flash metering system. The Fujifilm Z3 offers image resolutions up to 2592 x 1944 pixels, 256-zone TTL metering, VGA movie mode, and fourteen scene modes, plus xD-Picture Card storage, 10MB of built-in memory, and a large 2.5" LCD display with 230,000 pixels.

The Fujifilm FinePix Z3 will ship in July 2006 at a price of $279.95 - a whopping 38% below the original list price of the FinePix Z1 just over a year ago.

Fujifilm FinePix Z3
Fujifilm's FinePix Z3 digital camera. Courtesy of Fujifilm, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact
Model NumberZ3
Dimensions3.5 x 2.2 x 0.8"
89.0 x 56.0 x 20.5mm
Weight130.5 g
4.6 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/2.5" Fujifilm SuperCCD
5.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)2736 x 1824 (5.0 megapixels)2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Capture SpeedStandard: 1.4 frames per second
Continuous: 2.2 frames per second for 3 frames
Image Preview / Review
LCD2.5", 230,000 pixels
100% field of view
Lens TypeFujinon Zoom
3x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length6.1 - 18.3mm (actual)
Aperture RangeWide: F3.5 / 5.0 / 8.0 (3 step); Tele: F4.2 - ???
Focusing RangeNormal: 25" - infinity (61 cm - infinity)
Macro: 3.3" - 32" (8 cm - 79 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 1600
Shutter Speed4 - 1/1000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering Modes256-zone TTL metering
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Fine, Shade, Daylight fluorescent, Warm white fluorescent, Cool white fluorescent, Incandescent
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction + Slow Synchro
Scene ModesNatural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party, Flower Close-Up, Text
Digital Zoom5.7x
Self TimerYes, 2 or 10 seconds
Time LapseNo
Movie FormatAVI (MotionJPEG) with audio
640x480 and 320x240
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Recording MediumxD Picture Card, Built-in
File SystemComplies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG (EXIF v2.2)
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherCamera cradle
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary NP-40
Product Bundle
SoftwareFinePixViewer, ImageMixer VCD2 LE for FinePix
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary NP-40 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory10.0MB built-in memory
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Remote ControlNo

UPDATED 2006-05-31 10:29ET: We received information from Fujifilm this morning noting that it had accidentally referred to a "sixth generation" Super CCD sensor in the FinePix Z3. The camera actually contains a fifth generation sensor, and the article has been updated to reflect this new information.

Original Source Press Release:


Successor to the FinePix Z1 Gets a Performance Upgrade and a Cool New Color

Valhalla, NY, May 30, 2006 – Continuing its history of developing digital cameras that look as good as the pictures they take, Fujifilm today announced the launch of the FinePix Z3, the latest model in Fujifilm’s slim and stylish Z-Series of digital cameras and the successor to the FinePix Z1.

With an updated body and a new, funky second color – metallic blue – to go along with the traditional silver, the FinePix Z3 appeals to the most fashion-conscious consumer searching for an ultra-portable digicam that looks good as it takes great pictures.

Taking memorable, high-quality photographs while out on the town with friends at a restaurant or other nighttime spot is a challenging exercise for any owner of a compact digital camera. These picture-worthy moments often are snapped in close proximity to the subject and in low light, conditions that can lead to blurry photos, ‘washed out’ subjects and backgrounds lacking in detail.

With a 5th generation, 5.1 MegaPixel Super CCD sensor and a 2nd generation RP (Real Photo) Processor on board, the delete button may be one of the least-used controls on the FinePix Z3. The controls that will spell the end for those spoiled shots include:

Picture Stabilization
The FinePix Z3 combines higher light sensitivities (up to ISO 1600) with faster shutter speeds to stabilize pictures and reduce blur caused by both camera shake and subject movement. To make it easy for FinePix Z3 users to achieve blur-free results, Fujifilm has added a convenient ‘Picture Stabilization’ button to the FinePix Z3.

The FinePix Z3’s Intelligent-Flash system, or “i-Flash”, is more advanced than similar flash systems because it can detect more accurately the subtle lighting differences within a scene, and then light the subject accordingly with a variety of flash intensities. If the subject is off center and standing under a streetlight, the i-Flash system will correct the exposure automatically. i-Flash leads to pictures with more natural looking subjects and backgrounds that are full of bright and crisp detail.

“Natural Light” Shooting Mode
This mode preserves the scene mood and enhances background detail by shooting with faster shutter speeds at higher light sensitivities (if necessary) with a suppressed flash. This mode is perfect for low light moments that would otherwise be ruined by a powerful flash or situations where the use of flash is inappropriate.

Users can also experience the benefits of Natural Light through a feature called the ‘Dual Shooting Mode’. In this mode the FinePix Z3 quickly shoots two images in rapid succession – one with and one without the flash – saving both. This convenient function, which is unique to Fujifilm digital cameras, allows for an on-the-spot picture comparison by the user, who can decide which photo is preferred.

In addition to these innovations, the FinePix Z3 has a number of other noteworthy features:

  • A reinforced, scratch-resistant, 2.5-inch LCD with a 230,000-pixel resolution and Fujifilm’s glare-reducing CV Film for better viewing in direct light.
  • A high-quality, non-extending, refractive 3x optical zoom lens from Fujinon that keeps the FinePix Z3 thin.
  • Fourteen pre-programmed scene positions that trigger optimal settings based on the surrounding conditions.
  • VGA movie recording of 30 frames per second with sound.
  • The FinePix Z3 features 10MB of internal memory, a convenient feature that ensures extra storage space should the user want to squeeze in a couple of additional shots once their xD Picture Card is full.

“The FinePix Z3 has combined Fujifilm’s rich photographic legacy with the style and sophistication that made the FinePix Z1 such a popular digital camera,” explained David Troy, Senior Product Manager, Consumer Digital Cameras, Electronic Imaging Division, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. “With industry leading innovations such as Picture Stabilization and the i-Flash system, along with its sleek design and cool new color, the FinePix Z3 is sure to turn heads.”

The FinePix Z3 will debut in July 2006 at a retail price of $279.95.

About Fujifilm
Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. is a subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. and delivers technology solutions to meet the imaging and information needs of retailers, consumers, professionals and business customers. As a global leader in digital imaging, Fujifilm pioneered the development of digital medical systems, and today is the leader in digital minilab systems. The company was ranked number 15 for U.S. patents granted during 2004, employs more than 75,000 people worldwide and in the year ending March 31, 2006, had global revenues of $22.8 billion.

In the United States, Fujifilm is a leader in delivering high quality, easy-to-use imaging and information solutions in the following categories: Digital Imaging Systems, Film and Imaging Systems, Recording/Storage Media, Motion Picture Film, Graphic Arts and Printing Systems and Medical Imaging and Diagnostics Systems. Fujifilm is an environmentally friendly, humane enterprise and an exemplary corporate citizen.

For more information on Fujifilm products, consumers can call 800-800-FUJI or access the Fujifilm USA Web site at www.fujifilmusa.com. Consumers also can receive news and information direct from Fujifilm USA via RSS. Subscription is free at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.


All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

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