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Fuji FinePix S602 Zoom

Fuji's latest electronic SLR offers improved image quality, fast response, high ISOs, and 30 fps movies at full VGA resolution!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 4/18/2002

3.1-megapixel Super CCD interpolates to produce 2,832 x 2,128-pixel images.
Improved CCD system with Pixel Coupling allows 1,600 ISO at 1.0-megapixel setting with low noise.
Faster than average shutter response and shot to shot cycle times.
6x telescoping zoom lens (35-210mm equivalent).
Pixel Mixing Technology for high-quality, VGA digital resolution movies at a full 30 frames/second!
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Manufacturer Overview
Fujifilm has become one of the major players in the digital camera field, and over the last two years (2000-2001) have made major strides in the marketplace. Their strengths heretofore have been in the categories of "stylish sub-compact" and "entry-level zoom" cameras, their very popular FinePix 6800 and FinePix 2600 models being exemplary of their offerings in these areas. They seem to be gaining ground in the "enthusiast" category as well though, as evidenced by their highly popular FinePix 6900, which sold far beyond Fuji's expectations in late 2001.

Now, after a bit of a gap following the sellout of the 6900, Fuji's back with a new offering for the enthusiast crowd, and it looks like a winner. The new FinePix S602 Zoom builds upon many of the popular features of the 6900 (like the 6x optical zoom lens), but offers improved color fidelity and reduced image noise as well as enhanced shooting speed. They've also listened to the market, switching to AA-cell battery power for greatly increased run times, improved the electronic viewfinder, adding support for both SmartMedia and CompactFlash memory cards (including IBM Microdrives), and significantly improving the camera's white balance when dealing with the incandescent lighting so common in the US.

The 602 also sports some genuinely unusual features, including an amazing 640x480, 30 frames/second motion capture mode, special high-ISO modes (to ISO 1600) that cleverly trade resolution for lower image noise, and a couple of exceptionally handy motor-drive modes that really help you capture fleeting moments.

All in all, Fuji's packed an incredible range of capabilities into the FinePix S602, but still managed to deliver it at a very aggressive price. This looks to me like a real winner, a camera that will find a broad following among those looking for a bargain in a high-end "prosumer" camera with rich features and great picture quality.

High Points

  • 3.1-megapixel Super CCD, interpolates for images as large as 2,832 x 2,128 pixels, with Pixel Data Coupling Technology.
  • 0.44-inch electronic optical viewfinder with increased 180K(!) pixel resolution and dioptric adjustment, plus 1.8-inch color LCD monitor.
  • 6x Super-EBC Fujinon 35-210mm zoom lens, with f/2.8 maximum aperture.
  • Macro shooting includes normal macro and "Super-Macro" option that focuses down to 1 cm.
  • Hybrid passive-IR and CCD-based contrast-detect focusing for improved focus speed and low light performance.
  • Adjustable ISO setting with 160, 200, 400, 800, and 1,600 equivalents. (800 and 1,600 only available at 1.0 megapixel resolution.)
  • Pixel Data Coupling technology trades resolution for improved image noise at ISO 800 & 1,600.
  • Up to 4.4x digital telephoto.
  • Auto and manual focus options, with adjustable AF area.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/10,000 to 15 seconds.
  • Built-in, pop-up flash with five operating modes.
  • External flash hot shoe.
  • Nine user-selectable white balance settings, including a manual adjustment. (Improved white balance performance for household incandescent lighting.)
  • Movie with sound and Voice recording modes.
  • Super CCD-based "Pixel-Mixing Technology" allows 30 frame/second movie recording at full VGA (640x480 resolution)!
  • Program AE, Auto, Scene Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes.
  • Three Continuous Shooting modes, plus Auto Exposure Bracketing and a Multi-Exposure mode.
  • Three image quality recording modes in JPEG format, and an uncompressed TIFF option.
  • Dual media slots support SmartMedia (16MB card included) or CompactFlash Type II, including IBM Microdrive memory cards.
  • NTSC video cable included.
  • Power via four AA-type batteries or optional AC adapter (four AA alkaline batteries included).
  • USB cable and interface software for connecting to a computer.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Compatibility.

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