|*||True 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD, for uninterpolated image size of 2048 x 1536|
|*||Excellent color rendition|
|*||Unique “cradle” design for easy downloads, web cam capability|
|*||Movie and Audio modes make camera a true multimedia tool|
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Fujifilm has become one of the major players in the digital camera field, and last year in particular (2000) had a number of major product announcements. This year promises some interesting things too, based on what we know of their product plans, as well as models that have been announced elsewhere in the world, but not yet in the US.
For some time now, Fujifilm has had a very attractive series of sub-compact digital cameras, with a vertical form factor and a telescoping zoom lens design that made them favorites of the pocket-camera crowd. A year ago, Fujifilm announced the FinePix 4700 Zoom, the first camera in their ultra-compact line to use their honeycomb-array SuperCCD sensor design. The 4700 was a notable success, as it offered high-quality images from its 2.4 megapixel sensor (interpolated to 4.3 megapixel image files), in a very compact package. The 4700’s color and form factor were big pluses, but higher-than-average image noise kept it from top marks. Fuji’s handling of the 4.3/2.4 megapixel issue also caused some confusion amongst consumers, and ill will among the digicam cognoscenti, who felt that their marketing department was being over-agressive in their resolution claims. All in all though, the 4700 was a good and popular camera design that found many happy homes.
This year (2001), Fuji has revisited its ultra-compact line, bringing to light the FinePix 6800 Zoom. This model sports a full 3.3 megapixel SuperCCD sensor, housed in a body crafted by the famed F.A. Porche design firm. Looking at our test pictures, it appears that the new sensor has brought both more vivid color and reduced image noise, noticeably improving the image quality of the earlier 4700 model. This time around, we’ve also taken Fuji up on their recommendation to form opinions based on printed images, as opposed to viewing them solely on a computer monitor. We confess that we were surprised by the visible differences between the 3 megapixel “sensor resolution” images and the 6 megapixel interpolated ones: The 6 megapixel files showed noticeably reduced artifacts and improved image detail, although we felt the results still fall short of what you’d expect to find from a camera with an actual 6 megapixel sensor. Still, we have to admit that the interpolated images produced by the 6800 do extract additional detail beyond what we’d normally expect to see from a 3 megapixel sensor.
Overall, the FinePix 6800 is a very interesting camera. It offers very high image quality in a compact package, with excellent resolution and color purity. It also offers exceptional ease of use, thanks to a unique “dock” solution that simplifies image transfers to the host computer. Kudos to Fuji for a significant advance in the compact-digicam category!
- 3.3-megapixel Super CCD delivering as 2,048 x 1,536 pixel images (interpolated as high as 2,832 x 2,128 pixels).
- Real-image, optical viewfinder and 2-inch, color LCD monitor.
- 3x, 8.3-24.9mm lens (equivalent to a 36-108mm lens on a 35mm camera).
- 4.4x digital zoom.
- Automatic and manual focus control.
- Apertures from f/2.8-f/10.8.
- Shutter speeds from 1/2,000 to 3 seconds.
- Automatic exposure control, plus four Scene photography modes.
- Adjustable ISO with three settings.
- Spot, Average, and Multi metering options.
- White balance setting with seven operating modes.
- Continuous Shooting, Multiple Exposure, and Auto Bracketing features.
- Built-in, pop-up flash with five modes.
- Movie with sound recording mode.
- Images saved as JPEG files to SmartMedia memory cards.
- NTSC A/V cable for connecting to a television set.
- USB cable and software CD containing drivers, interface software, ArcSoft VideoImpression, Adobe PhotoDeluxe, and Adobe ActiveShare.
- DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.
- Power from NP-80 rechargeable battery or AC adapter (included).