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Need a superzoom camera? There’s a Fujifilm for that

There is no doubt that camera systems featuring interchangeable lenses such as DSLRs and the Micro Four Thirds system are getting more affordable nowadays. However, there are also people in the market who are willing to forgo that flexibility for the convenience of ‘superzoom’ camera that offers a fixed but extremely versatile lens. And with such cameras being Fujifilm’s signature products, it should probably come as no surprise that it is superzooms-galore over at Fujifilm’s booth in this year’s CES.

Many years back, the trend in compact consumer digital cameras was to pack everything into the smallest possible body while maintaining an overall stylish package in order to attract the average end-user who only needs a camera to capture decent snapshots. Needless to say, it worked rather well: just about everybody in town has a compact camera of some sort which sells mostly on looks and ease-of-use thanks to the abundance of automatic controls which makes capturing images a breeze.

Today, it seems that the trend has shifted from simple-to-use compacts to entry-level DSLRs and prosumer compacts which feature a wide variety of manual options for greater artistic control over one’s images. While Fujifilm no longer makes DSLRs for sale, the company still maintains an extremely strong presence in the prosumer compact market. And making their entry into this niche segment are five such cameras from Fujifilm.

Fujifilm HS20/HS22 EXR

Do you still remember about the Fujifilm HS10 we talked about in our Christmas Buying Guide last month? You know, the one that ditched the traditional CCD image sensors in favor of a backside-illluminated CMOS sensor? Well, it appears that Fujifilm has decided that the HS10 needed an upgrade, and the result comes in the form of the new HS20/HS22 EXR superzoom camera, which sports the same sensor and 30x Fujinon zoom lens as the HS10.

Veterans would probably realize that one of the biggest differences between the HS10 and this new superzoom is that the HS20/HS22 proudly sports an EXR branding which was conveniently absent in the HS10. It seems that Fujifilm has understood that a prosumer camera is not a true-blue Fujifilm camera if it does not sport the same EXR technology found in its older cameras, and thus has gone ahead and implemented the feature in the HS20/HS22. This allows the HS20/HS22 to achieve a far greater dynamic range of colours as opposed to the HS10.

In addition, the HS20/HS22 EXR also comes with added features to assist newbie and amateur photographers in taking better photographs. While the HS10 could only recognize up to six scene modes, the HS20/HS22 EXR one-ups its predecessor by offering support for up to 27 scene recognitions. Last but not least, the HS20/HS22 EXR will also feature a 14-megapixel image sensor (the HS10 tops out at 10 megapixels) built-in support for TTL metering, remote shutter release devices, SDXC compatibility and film simulation.

Fujifilm S3200, S3300, S3400 & S4000

Of course, not everybody needs the full range of manual controls and options available on the HS10 and HS20/HS22 EXR prosumer superzoom cameras. For such users, fret not: Fujifilm has also introduced four new S-series superzoom cameras which offer a good mix of a small range of manual controls complemented with various automatic features.

As S3000, S3200, S3400 and S4000 prosumer superzooms make use of the same body, attempting to distinguish between the four cameras announced by Fujifilm is not going to be the easiest of tasks. Indeed, Fujifilm has confirmed in its press release that the only distinguishing factor between the superzooms is the the zoom magnitude found on them.

The differences are as follow:

 S4000  30x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 24 -720mm)  3.0” LCD (460K resolution)
 S3400  28x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 24-672mm)  3.0” LCD (460K resolution)
 S3200  26x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 24-624mm)  3.0” LCD (460K resolution)
 S3000  24x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 24-576mm)  3.0” LCD (460K resolution)

Do take note that the S-series of prosumer superzoom cameras utilize a two-step aperture system and offer neither a hotshoe nor manual focus.

No prices have been announced for either camera yet.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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