Fujifilm has unveiled the FinePix F300EXR which debuts a new Hybrid autofocus system that the company claims is as fast as that on DSLRs. The camera automatically chooses between using the contrast-detection AF method used in compact cameras and the phase-detection method usually used in DSLRs. In addition the F300 offers a 15x optical zoom lens starting at a wide 24mm, a 1/2" 12MP Super CCD EXR sensor and a 460k 3.0" LCD. The camera's image stabilization system has also been tweaked, adding a 'Gyro' sensor to detect a wider range of camera movements that can contribute to shaky images. Other features include manual exposure modes, 360 degrees Motion Panorama and a Super Intelligent flash that attempts to balance flash illumination across the foreground and background.

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Press Release:

Introducing the new 15x Super ‘F’ compact, the F300EXR, with second generation EXR Sensor technology

July 21, 2010: Following in the footsteps of award-winning ‘F’ series models, the F200EXR, F70EXR and F80EXR, Fujifilm is pleased to announce a new top-end 15x zoom model, the F300EXR. Today’s discerning photographers are looking for a camera with a high zoom range, yet compact and pocketable, with no compromises on picture quality.  The FinePix F300EXR delivers on all those counts, and is destined to be the star performer in this year’s intense competition for the best ‘superzoom’ compact. The F300EXR’s features at a glance:
  • 12 megapixel, ½ " Super CCD EXR second generation sensor
  • Full EXR modes, with EXR auto
  • 15x Fujinon lens, 24mm – 360 mm equivalent
  • New Hybrid Auto-Focus System (Contrast AF and Phase Detection AF)
  • New accurate zoom control with low noise
  • Full HD Photo and 720p HD Video
  • 3.0”, high contrast (1:1200), 460k dot LCD with Wide View Filter
  • CCD Shift Image Stabilisation System using new Gyro Sensor
  • Super Intelligent Flash
  • Compact size, only 103.5 (w), 59.2 (h) and 32.55 (w)mm
  • Ergonomic grip, with slanted mode dial
  • Photobook Assist via Star Rating System
  • P/A/S/M Exposure Control
  • Face Detection, Face Recognition, Pro Focus Mode
  • Motion Panorama 360˚

Second generation EXR Sensor technology NEW! Hybrid Auto Focus System NEW!
One of the disadvantages of longer zoom compacts is relatively slow auto focusing. Typical compacts rely on Contrast Detection, which works by fixing the focus by searching for contrast differentials.  Some expensive cameras, including many DSLRs, use two focusing systems in tandem to improve the time taken to auto focus. Phase Detection AF works by dividing the incoming light into pairs of images and calculating the phase difference to find if the object is in front focus or back focus position. Contrast AF is generally better in low-lit scenes, while Phase Detection AF is extremely responsive in good light.  Having both systems on one camera is perfect. The FinePix F300EXR uses both Contrast AF and Phase Detection AF to offer auto focus speeds as good as, or sometimes better than expensive DSLRs.  To achieve the incredible AF speed of 0.158*1 seconds, Fujifilm engineers placed pairs of phase detection sensors on the EXR sensor, which work exactly like external sensors on DSLRs.  The FinePix F300EXR automatically selects the optimum focus system, by measuring the amount of light or contrast in the scene. The benefit for the photographer is immediate and obvious: an almost instantaneous capture of the subject in the viewfinder, with no missed shots or subjects half out-of-frame.

Super CCD EXR - The Quality Edge
Introduced last year with the FinePix F200EXR, this radical new approach to sensor technology has been met with rave reviews and numerous awards from international industry organisations such as EISA and TIPA. The FinePix F300EXR sports the latest 12 megapixel version of the EXR sensor, offering even higher resolution than its predecessor whilst still offering class-leading dynamic range and low noise/high sensitivity options. Modelled on the human eye, the EXR sensor's unique design means that the user can switch the behaviour of the sensor according to the scene to the photographed. When the light is strong and even, the camera can be switched to HR (High Resolution) mode to ensure every small detail is recorded. When light is strong but contrasty, the sensor can switch to DR (Wide Dynamic Range) mode to get the optimal balance between highlight and shadows. Lastly, in low light the sensor will switch to SN (High Sensitivity and Low Noise) mode, to ensure clean noise-free pictures even in the darkest conditions.

EXR Automatic or Manual operation – You decide
For the ultimate in 'point and shoot' simplicity with perfectly optimised results whatever, whenever and wherever you're shooting, EXR Auto mode takes the guesswork out of setting the camera by doing everything for you. With six pre-set scene modes covering the most popular subjects; Landscape, Portrait, Macro, Night, Night Portrait, and Backlit Portrait, EXR Auto automatically detects the scene and not only optimises the focus, exposure and white balance but chooses the optimum EXR mode, too. If you prefer the hands-on approach, all three sensor modes can be selected manually for true creative freedom and total control. EXR was developed by Fujifilm to maximise quality in camera designs where larger sensors simply cannot be used, making it perfect for a long zoom compact, delivering extraordinary results even in the most challenging conditions. Fujinon 15x Optical Zoom Lens

Super Wide to Super Telephoto (24-360mm*2)
Teams of Fujifilm sensor and lens engineers worked closely together to develop a lens/sensor combination which works perfectly together.  The toughest assignment was to produce the high quality 15x lens, which offers an incredible 24mm – 360mm focal length, while still optimising quality via the new EXR sensor.  From sweeping landscapes, interiors and large group shots to distant sports or wildlife action, the FinePix F300EXR opens up a world of photographic possibilities that you can carry with you wherever you go.

The secret of the Slim design
Such high zoom ratios have hitherto only been possible in larger ‘bridge’ cameras, but Fujinon engineers have developed a clever ‘double sliding’ lens mechanism, which means that 2 lens elements neatly fold away from the path of the retracting lens, giving a remarkably neat, compact look, and a camera depth of 32.6 mm, which is similar to a number of lesser zoom models on the market. Professional Optics
Long zoom compacts depend heavily on the quality of the optics, so no expense has been spared to provide the FinePix F300EXR with the sharpest, clearest Fujinon 15x zoom lens. With a Super Electronic Beam Coating (EBC), that keeps ghosting and flare to a minimum, you are ensured optimal picture quality. The Fujinon brand name guarantees optical quality across the entire zoom range that you'll see from the first picture you take. Fujinon lenses are acclaimed by photographers, broadcasters (Fujinon are the world's leading manufacturer of television camera lenses) and industrial users across the globe.

Advanced technology in a slim shell
Gyro Sensor to improve Image Stabilisation on both movies and stills NEW!
To achieve the sharpest possible pictures, even at the longest telephoto range, Fujifilm engineers have developed a new gyro sensor to radically improve the performance of the CCD-shift image stabilisation.  Previously, the stabilisation worked very effectively to control high frequency narrow-range vibration, but less well with slower, broader-sweep movement.  The new sensor in the FinePix F300EXR works very well with both, controlling all forms of handshake movement to produce sharp, crisp, images at the touch of a button.  Increasing the ISO to freeze the action is no longer as necessary, meaning beautifully sharp low-light pictures can be achieved at ISO 400, rather than 800 or 1600 ISO.

Perfect Handling
Despite its pocket-friendly size, the FinePix F300EXR sits nicely in the hand for easy controlled shooting.  The sculpted grip fits the fingers perfectly, while the slanted mode dial gives easy access to all the important camera controls.  The finish to the black, all-metal chassis, is solid and finely crafted, and offers protection from minor knocks or abrasions.  At only 103.5mm wide, 59.2mm high and 32.5mm deep, the camera is remarkably compact for a 15x zoom lens.

3.0” High Contast, High Resolution LCD screen
Of considerable benefit in bright sunlight, the 3.0” high contrast (1:1200 ratio), wide-view LCD screen allows you to tilt the camera at various angles and still see the picture on the screen. Additionally, with a new enhanced 460K dot resolution NEW!, this LCD screen will really bring out the detail and colour in your photos and allow you to see every last blade of grass.

360˚ Motion Panorama for the Perfect All-Round Shot NEW!
Recently popularised on cameras employing a ‘Backside Illuminated’ CMOS sensor, ‘sweep’ or ‘motion panorama’ shots have really become popular with photographers wanting to create beautiful panoramic landscape shots.  New to the second generation EXR sensor is a and extends the sweep range from 270˚ to 360˚ (shots can also be taken vertically).  Combining this with high quality printing on Fuji Frontiers or inkjets, astounding scenes can be taken, showing fine detail, low noise and high resolution.

Super Intelligent Flash
The FinePix F300EXR is fitted with a class-leading flash control system that efficiently controls the flash power to produce beautifully balanced flash illumination across the foreground and background, even in macro mode. Gone are the ugly washed out shots where the subject is blasted with light and the background dark and under exposed. With the improved gyro stabilisation system, lower ISO settings can be used, meaning that slower shutter speeds give more balanced night portrait shoots, with smooth gradation and lower noise.

Improved Pro Focus Mode
One of the ways to distinguish DSLR photography from compact camera photography has been the use of a wide aperture to produce a narrow depth of field separating the main subject from a soft background. Introduced on the F200EXR, Pro Focus Mode has proved very popular with photographers. Through complex digital imaging technology, several exposures are combined to create a crisp shot of the subject against a defocused background and foreground. Ideal for portraiture, nature photography or any subject that needs 'lifting' from its background, the FinePix F300EXR Pro Focus Mode provides satisfying professional results at the touch of a button.  Good results are now even simpler to achieve as Pro Focus Mode has been been combined with Face Detection and Face Recognition.

Designed for the Photographer
Similar to other high-end FinePix models, the FinePix F300EXR offers five different film 'modes' to allow the photographer full creative expression to explore a variety of pre-set colour and contrast modes designed around Fujifilm's most famous film emulsions. The modes are:

  • Velvia/Vivid (for dramatic full saturation colour)
  • PROVIA/Standard (for classic 'neutral' photography)
  • ASTIA/Soft (for gentle, low contrast portraiture and soft, fine, smooth tonality)
  • Sepia (for antique, warms tones)
  • Black & White (for dramatic monotones)
The FinePix F300EXR offers Program Mode, Aperture-Priority Mode, Shutter-Priority  Mode and Manual modes to give the photographer creative control for those difficult or challenging subjects. Auto Release for photos of babies and children
We’ve all tried to take a photo of kids who will just not sit still. A clever new mode on the F300EXR will not fire the camera until the subject looks straight at the lens. Using Face Detection technology, the camera can ‘recognise’ a front-on face and will quickly take the shot before attention is distracted.  It takes all the hard work out of taking pictures of children and is remarkably successful at capturing sharp, high quality shots with minimal fuss.

High Definition movies and stills
The FinePix F300EXR features a high resolution HD movie mode (720p) with sound, and the camera's micro HDMI*3 output allows you to easily display ultra clear high definition photographs and movies on high definition televisions.

*1 Fujifilm’s research July 2010
*2 35mm equivalent
*3
HDMI cable required. Sold separately

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR specifications

Sensor • 1/2" Super CCD EXR
• 12.0 million pixels
Image sizes • 4000 x 3000 (12M)
• 4000 x 2664 (3:2)
• 4000 x 2248 (16:9)
• 2816 x 2112
• 2816 x 1864 (3:2)
• 2816 x 1584 (16:9)
• 2048 x 1536
• 2048 x 1360 (3:2)
• 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
Movie clips • 1280 x 720 pixels (HD), 24fps
• 640 x 480 pixels
• With monaural sound
File formats • Still image : JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.3 )
• Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG) with sound
Lens • Fujinon 15x Optical zoom lens
• F 3.5- F5.3
• f=4.4mm - 66.0mm
• 24-360mm equiv.
Image stabilization Yes, Sensor-shift
Digital zoom Approx. 4x
Focus Mode
• Single AF
• Continuous AF
Type
• TTL contrast AF
• Phase detection AF
AF area modes • Multi
• Centre
• Tracking
Focus distance • Normal: Approx. 45cm/1.5ft to infinity / Tele: Approx. 2.5m /8.2ft to infinity
• Macro: Approx. 5cm-3.0m / 2in-9.8ft / Tele: Approx. 1.2m - 3.0m / 3.9ft. - 9.8ft.
Metering TTL 256-zones metering
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• Auto 400
• Auto 800
• Auto 1600
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
• ISO 6400
• ISO 12800
ISO3200 : M mode or lower, ISO6400, ISO12800 : S mode
Shutter speed • Auto : 1/4 sec. to 1/2000 sec
• 8 sec. to 1/2000 sec
Aperture F3.3-F9 (Wide) F5.6-F16 (Telephoto)
Exposure Modes • Programmed AE
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter-Priority
• Manual
Shooting modes Scene:
• Natural Light
• Natural Light & with Flash
• Portrait
• Portrait enhancer
• Landscape
• Sport
• Night
• Night(Tripod)
• Fireworks
• Sunset
• Snow
• Beach
• Underwater
• Party
• Flower
• Text
• Dog
• Cat

EXR mode:
• Auto
• Resolution priority
• High ISO & Low noise priority
• Dynamic range priority
• Face recognition
• Face Detection
• Auto red-eye removal
• Film simulation
• Dog / Cat detection
• Power management
• Framing guidline
• Frame number memory

Advanced mode:
• Motion panorama360
• Pro focus
• Pro low light
White balance • Auto
• Preset (Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White),Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light, Underwater, Custom )
Self timer Approx. 10 sec.2 sec. delay
Continuous shooting • Top-5 (max 1.5 frames/sec.)
• Top-23, High speed (max 4.5 frames/sec, "S" images only)
• Final-5 (max 1.6 frames/sec.)
• Final-23, High speed (max 4.5 frames/sec, "S" images only)
Flash • Auto flash (Pop-up)
• Effective range: (ISO 800): Wide: Approx. 15 cm–3.2 m/0.5 ft.–10.5 ft.,  Telephoto: approx. 90 cm–1.9 m/3.0ft.–6.2ft. 
Flash modes Red-eye removal OFF: Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro.
Red-eye removal ON: Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
LCD monitor • 3.0-inch
• approx. 460,0000 pixels
• approx. 100% coverage
Digital input/output • USB 2.0 High Speed
Video output • HDMI (Type D)
• NTSC / PAL selectable
Storage • 40 MB Internal memory
• SD / SDHC memory card
Power • Rechargeable NP-50 Li-on battery
• CP-50 with AC power adapter AC-5VX (sold separately)
Weight (no batt) Approx. 195g (6.9 oz)
Weight (with batt) Approx. 215g (7.6 oz)
Dimensions 104 (W) × 59(H) × 33 (D) mm  (4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3(in))

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