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Fuji FinePix 4700

Fuji packs a 2.4 million pixel "SuperCCD" sensor and 2400 x 1800 images into an ultra- compact digicam!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 10/7/2000

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Ultra-compact design
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2.4 megapixel SuperCCD sensor delivering 2400x1800 pixel images
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True 3x optical zoom lens
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SuperCCD for normal ISO 200, optional 400, 800
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AVI motion JPEG movies with sound (320x240, 10 fps)
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USB computer interface
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Manufacturer Overview
Fuji has been producing digicams for several years now, cranking out a wide range of models for both themselves and other companies (Toshiba and Leica). Their product mix has evolved in two directions, with one series that closely resembles conventional point & shoots, plus a compact line that are highly "pocketable", with a small (tiny?) form factor, and retracting lens covers to instill confidence at just dropping them into your pocket. Recently, Fuji announced their "SuperCCD" technology, which promised higher light sensitivity and greater interpolated image resolutions than were feasible with conventional CCDs. The FinePix 4700 is the first of their SuperCCD cameras, using a 2.4 megapixel sensor to create image files 2400x1800 pixels in size. Fuji drew some harsh criticism when the camera was first announced, because they labeled it a "4.3 megapixel" camera, referring to the final image size, rather than to the underlying sensor pixel count. Fuji's contention was that the SuperCCD technology facilitated a higher level of interpolation than did conventional CCDs, justifying the higher pixel count. In the production release of their camera (at least here in the US), Fuji has dropped the explicit "4.3 megapixel" labeling, instead referring only to the pixel dimensions of the final file.
This is the first public review of a production-level 4700, so we've tried to be particularly careful in our testing to insure accuracy in setup of the shots and handling of the files. (We had our hands on a prototype unit a few weeks ago, but wanted to wait for a production model before presenting any test shots, given the scrutiny they'll doubtless receive.) Was the 4.3 megapixel resolution claim justified? Well not entirely, in our humble opinion (IOHO) but we tend to agree that there's some justification for a claim beyond the 2.4 megapixels of the sensor itself. We feel that there is some benefit to the unique design of the SuperCCD sensor, albeit not as great as Fuji initially claimed. This highlights an important issue in the consumer digicam market: We badly need a universally agreed-upon standard way to specify and refer to image resolution. The ISO-12233 resolution target that we use in our own tests was designed to address that, but in its simplest usage, the numbers derived from it are still subject to interpretation, while in its most rigorous application, the results it produces are too complex and confusing to be of any use to the average consumer.
If we can ever find time amidst the ongoing flood of digicams needing testing, we'll write a white paper on digicam resolution: The community badly needs a discussion of this critical area. In the meantime, we'll make the best use of the tools at hand. (We're pleased to see that at least one of the major Japanese digicam testing sites has now begun using the ISO 12233 test in the way that we pioneered over two years ago.)
Given the level of interest surrounding the FinePix 4700's introduction, we're sure that many of our readers will want to immediately skip to our index page for its sample images. To satisfy that urge, here's a link to that page. - Do come back for the full review though, as there's a lot more to the story, detailed below!
Highlights

  • 2.4 megapixel CCD delivering up to 2400x1800 pixel images.
  • 12 inch, low temperature polysilicon TFT, color LCD monitor.
  • Fujinon 3x, 8.3 to 24.9mm lens (equivalent to a 36 to 108mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • Auto and manual focus options.
  • Up to 3.75x digital zoom extends effective telephoto range to 405mm in lowest resolution mode.
  • Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Manual, Continuous and Movie exposure modes.
  • Seven white balance settings: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Daylight Fluorescent, Warm White Fluorescent, Cool White Fluorescent and Incandescent.
  • Built-in, pop-up flash with Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced, Suppressed and Slow-Synchro modes, plus a variable intensity setting from -0.6 to +0.6 EV.
  • ISO equivalent to 200, 400 or 800.
  • Automatically controlled shutter speeds from 3 to 1/2000 seconds.
  • Automatically controlled aperture of f/2.8 or f/7.0 in wide-angle ranging to f/4.5 or f/10.8 in telephoto.
  • Average, Spot or Multi exposure metering options.
  • JPEG (Exif ver.2.1) and AVI file formats.
  • Image storage on SmartMedia.
  • USB interface for connection to PCs or Macs.
  • DPOF (Digital Printing Order Format) setup options.


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