Fuji unveils seven new compact and bridge cameras, including HS50EXR and SL1000 superzooms, XP60 waterproof


posted Monday, January 7, 2013 at 4:00 PM EST

While we've not yet put together all the details on Fuji's big news of the day from the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas -- the announcements of two exciting new X-series cameras, the X20 and X100s -- we do have the skinny on seven new FinePix compact and bridge models released today.

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR
In Fujifilm's extensive lineup of bridge, or superzoom, cameras, the HS-series sits at the top of the heap, and the new Fuji HS50EXR takes the line to new heights. Chief among its headline features is a 42x zoom lens that covers a range from 24mm to 1,000mm (in 35mm equivalent terms), with optical image stabilization and a maximum aperture range of f/2.8-f/5.6. The older HS30EXR had a 30x zoom and used sensor-shift image stabilization.

The Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR now boasts hybrid phase-detection autofocus.

Although the FinePix HS50EXR's 16-megapixel CMOS sensor is the same resolution as previous HS-series models, it's a new device with built-in phase detection autofocus capability, giving the HS50EXR the fastest AF in its class, according to Fujifilm's tests. Also notable is the new LCD, which has the same 920,000-dot resolution as the previous model, but can now both tilt and swivel for full articulation.

Read more in our Fuji HS50EXR preview.

Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR
The new Fuji HS35EXR slots in as the new low-end model in Fujifilm's HS-series of higher-end bridge, (superzoom) cameras. Unlike the simultaneously announced HS50EXR, which incorporates significant advances over previous models, the HS35EXR is a very modest upgrade to earlier HS-series Fujifilm bridge cameras -- in fact, it's really a continuation of their basic capabilities at a lower introductory price.

Like its predecessors, the Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR sports a 16-megapixel EXR CMOS sensor and a 30x zoom lens that covers a range from 24mm to 720mm (in 35mm equivalent terms), with a fairly bright maximum aperture of f/2.8 to f/5.6 at telephoto. Zoom position is controlled by a manual ring on the lens. In Super Macro mode the lens can focus as close as 0.39 inches (1cm). One new addition to the FinePix HS35EXR is Fujifilm's Advanced Filter function, which provides a set of digital special effects filters. These include Pop Color for a contrast and saturation boost, Toy Camera for a vignetted 1970's look, Miniature for simulating the blurring effect of tilt/shift lenses, High Key for a bright, low contrast look, and more. 

Read more in our Fuji HS35EXR preview.

Fujifilm FinePix SL1000
Most new cameras offer incremental improvements over previous, similar models, but now and then you get a doozy of an upgrade. The Fuji SL1000, the latest model in Fujifilm's mid-level range of bridge -- or superzoom -- cameras, is one of those doozies. Its long list of major upgrades includes a new 16-megapixel sensor, a 50x zoom lens and a much higher-resolution electronic viewfinder and LCD than were available on its closest predecessor, the FinePix SL300. 

The Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 sees clear into next week, thanks to a 50x optical zoom lens.

The biggest news is probably the FinePix SL1000's new 50x zoom lens, which covers an eye-popping range from 24mm to 1200mm (in 35mm equivalent terms) and boasts a reasonably bright maximum aperture of f/2.9-f/5.6. Equally interesting is the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000's newly developed 16-megapixel back-side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor; it permits Fujifilm to boost the SL1000's top ISO by one EV, letting you record images at up to ISO 3,200 at full resolution or ISO 12,800 at reduced resolution. The FinePix SL1000 can also capture images in raw format, a feature previously limited to the company's HS-series top-end bridge camera. 

Read more in our Fuji SL1000 preview.

Fujifilm FinePix XP60
The Fuji XP60 joins Fujifilm's XP series of ruggedized, waterproof cameras designed for hikers, boaters, and other outdoors enthusiasts -- or anyone who's just tough on cameras. Similar to last year's XP50, the Fujifilm FinePix XP60 slots in as a base model in the XP lineup, offering a good range of still and video features and capabilities but without the extras such as GPS geotagging or WiFi connectivity found on its more expensive XP-series siblings.

The rugged, waterproof Fujifilm FinePix XP60 follows in the footsteps of last year's XP50.

The Fujifilm FinePix XP60 continues with the familiar Cyclops-like styling of previous XP models and, of course, it boasts Fujifilm's "Four-way Protection," common to all XP models. In the XP60's case, the camera is waterproof to 20 ft./6m, shockproof to a fall from 5 ft./1.5m, freezeproof to 14°F/-10°C, and dustproof. Headlining the new features is the XP60's 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, which offers improved image quality, according to Fujifilm. Other notable new features include a 60 frames-per-second burst mode (at reduced resolution), a set of filters for special image effects, and a re-designed, double-sealed battery door lock.

Read more in our Fuji XP60 preview.

Fujifilm FinePix S8300 and S8200
Bridge, or superzoom, cameras have long been a specialty of Fujifilm, and the company's many bridge models are split into three tiers: The entry-level S-series, the mid-level SL-series, and the high-end HS-series. The Fuji S8300 is the latest model in the entry-level S-series, and it arrives with substantially upgraded features and performance compared to its predecessors. (The Fuji S8200 is being announced alongside the S8300, and it's identical in every way except that its lens is a smaller 40x zoom, rather than a 42x zoom, and costs US$10 less.)

The Fujifilm FinePix S8200 is slightly less expensive than the S8300, and has a shorter zoom.

Fujifilm has provided worthwhile upgrades to much of the rest of the FinePix SL8300. The newly developed 42X zoom lens covers a very useful range from 24mm to 1,008mm (in 35mm equivalent terms) while the S8200's 40x lens covers a range from 24mm to 960mm. The sensor in the Fujifilm FinePix S8300 is a new 16-megapixel back-side illuminated CMOS device, and it has allowed Fujifilm to bump up the maximum ISO on the camera to 3200 at full resolution or 12,800 at reduced resolution, a 1 EV increase compared to previous S-series models.

Read more in our Fuji S8300 preview if you want a longer zoom, or our Fuji S8200 preview if you'd rather save a few bucks.

Fujifilm FinePix T550
One popular type of compact digital camera is the pocketable point-and-shoot with a fairly wide-range zoom lens, aimed at photographers who value both portability and lens versatility. In recent years, competition among the major manufacturers, including Fujifilm, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus and others, has produced a crop of nice examples costing less than $200.

The Fujifilm FinePix T550's sleek styling belies its entry-level pricetag.

Into this mix comes the Fuji T550 with a 16-megapixel CCD sensor and a new 12X zoom lens that covers a range from 24mm to 288mm (in 35mm equivalent terms). The camera also sports faster autofocus compared to its predecessor, the FinePix T400, updated styling and new special image effects, among other enhancements.

Read more in our Fuji T550 preview.