Photokina 2002: Fujifilm has today announced the new multi-function FinePix M603. This 'two in one' device is designed to provide the best of a still camera and a camcorder. It can record VGA moves at 30 or 15 fps with video and also capture still images using its 3 megapixel SuperCCD (6 megapixel final image size). The M603 supports both xD-Picture Card as well as Compact Flash (specifically the IBM Microdrive). With a Microdrive installed the M603 can record 15 minutes of 30 fps video or 30 minutes of 15 fps video.

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Press Release (Fujifilm UK):

Lights, camera, action! Fujifilm bridges the gap between digital stills and movies with the ultimate multimedia camera

Announcing the Fujifilm FinePix M603: stunning digital stills and full size (VGA) digital movies combined in a single ultra-compact camera

Anyone tired of juggling a stills camera and camcorder - especially when on the move - will want to get their hands on the new Fujifilm FinePix M603, announced today.

This exciting new camera combines a fully specified 3rd Generation Super CCD digital stills camera with outstanding digital movie capture, in a beautifully designed, compact body. Unlike other digital stills cameras, the FinePix M603's movie mode captures digital video at a full 640 x 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, allowing full screen high definition playback on a standard TV, and includes an unrivalled range of movie features.

Compatible with both xD-Picture Card and IBM Microdrive™, the FinePix M603 is fully equipped to take advantage of the latest developments in high capacity storage. Up to 15 minutes of high quality video can be stored on a single 1GB Microdrive (30 minutes at 15 fps). Plans for the newly developed xD-Picture Card include cards with a capacity of up to 8GB, meaning that the FinePix M603 will eventually be able to record up to two hours of quality movies onto a single card smaller than a postage stamp.

Gadget lovers, holidaying families and businessmen 'on the go' are bound to love the FinePix M603's unique combination of movies and stills, its stunning 2.5 inch ultra-bright TFT screen and its amazingly compact, vertical design.

No compromise

Unlike many 'combination' products, the FinePix M603 makes no compromise when it comes to capturing still images, delivering richly detailed 3.1 million effective pixel (6 million recorded pixel) images, free from colour casts and noise.

FinePix M603 Features at a Glance

  • New 3rd Generation Super CCD sensor with 3.1 million effective pixels (delivering more than six million recorded pixels) producing ultra-low noise results, even at the highest sensitivity
  • Dual Media slots: uses xD-Picture Card and IBM Microdrive™
  • High performance Super EBC Fujinon 38-76mm (35mm equivalent) 2x optical zoom lens
  • 4.4 x digital zoom*
  • Movie mode offering full TV screen video (VGA, 640 x 480 pixels) at 30 frames per second, with sound
  • Movie recording with zoom and auto focus operation possible throughout
  • Wide range of sensitivities equivalent to ISO values 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600**
  • High speed, continuous shooting mode (up to 4 frames per second for up to 5 frames)
  • Voice memo mode for up to 30 seconds per picture
  • Powerful built-in flash
  • Exceptionally large (2.5"), high resolution (118,000) TFT LCD screen with custom monitor hood for easy viewing in bright daylight
  • New, easy-to-use graphical user interface that includes a full range of movie playback functions
  • PictureCradle™ (included) for convenient downloading of images and recharging of batteries
  • Compact, stylish upright design with convenient handgrip (included)

3rd Generation Super CCD for excellent image quality and exceptional movies

Key to both the remarkable image quality of the FinePix M603, and its superb movie recording abilities, is the 3rd Generation Super CCD sensor. The latest version of this innovative chip improves upon the class-leading colour reproduction, high sensitivity and low noise of the previous sensor. The significant increase in top sensitivity (ISO 1600** equivalent) is made possible by the use of Pixel Data Coupling, a Fujifilm technology that makes use of the fast processing abilities of the LSI. The ultra-low noise and superb colour characteristics mean more authentic colour images are delivered, even with skin tones and in low light levels.

That same fast processing, combined with Pixel Mixing, make the multimedia capabilities of the camera extremely impressive. Pixel Mixing enables the recording of high resolution, high frame rate video - unique in the current digital still camera market. It exploits the multi-megapixel nature of the Super CCD and groups pixels (in arrays comprising two vertical and two horizontal pixels) into sets that deliver high output signals. Coupled with fast processing, this signal can be quickly retrieved and stored, ensuring high-resolution images at high frame rates.

Superior still images

In addition to its movie credentials, the FinePix M603 is an exceptional digital stills camera offering easy to use, fully automatic point-and-shoot operation, with additional manual overrides to cope with difficult lighting conditions. The advanced metering, focus and white balance systems ensure that users can be sure of getting perfectly exposed, richly detailed, noise-free photographs boasting accurate colours and delicate skin tones at all times.

Three special continuous shooting modes are available. In order to capture action shots, up to 40 frames can be shot in rapid succession**. To ensure you never miss that special shot, the FinePix M603 also enables the user to record either the first four - or the last four - frames in a series of shots, to capture a moment in time.

Exceptional movie performance

The movie mode in the FinePix M603 records VGA (640 x 480 pixel) quality images at a frame rate of 30 frames per second, with sound. When played back on a conventional TV, this delivers full screen, flicker-free movies. Up to 15 minutes of video can be recorded using a 1GB Microdrive, or 30 minutes at the lower 15 frames per second rate. A high-capacity battery pack (NP-120) is available as an option, to facilitate extended movie recording.

To enrich the movie making experience, the FinePix M603 boasts a very large 2.5" TFT LCD monitor on the back, and the camera is supplied with a monitor hood to shield the screen from extraneous light.

Comprehensive on-board movie editing

The FinePix M603 offers a range of playback and review functions for recorded digital movies. Repeat Play mode allows the user to repeatedly playback a selected piece of a movie clip. Fast Search helps the user to find that elusive clip by replaying at between 2x and 60x normal playback speed. Furthermore, Easy Edit makes it simple to delete unwanted scenes and insert new material.

Adrian Clarke, Director, Consumer Products at Fujifilm, said, "It's the combination of outstanding image quality and movie performance, as well as plug-and-play versatility, that makes the FinePix M603 such a unique proposition. With one of these in my pocket, I have everything I need to take great photos and video without the hassle of carrying a gadget bag full of kit! And it looks absolutely superb, too."

Product options

Two different options will be available for the FinePix M603. Customers will be able to choose from a camera-only option, or a camera with 512MB IBM Microdrive for additional storage.

Accessories included with both options are: a USB PictureCradle™ for image download and battery charging, an NP-60 Lithium-ion battery, AC power adaptor, 16MB xD-Picture Card, strap and case. The supplied software CD includes USB drivers, Fujifilm's FinePix viewer for image browsing and corrections, DP Editor and VideoImpression for movie editing.

Optional accessories include additional xD-Picture Cards (16-128MB currently, with larger capacities available soon), IBM Microdrive (capacities up to 1GB), high capacity battery pack (NP-120), USB xD-Picture Card memory card reader and Microdrive card reader.

Availability and Pricing

The FinePix M603 (both options) will be available from leading retailers from November 2002.

The FinePix M603 camera including 512MB IBM Microdrive is likely to be priced at a Suggested Retail Price below £700 (inc. VAT). Prices will be confirmed nearer the date of retail launch.

* In 640 x 480 pixel mode
** In 1280 x 960 pixel mode only

Fujifilm FinePix M603 specifications


Sensor 1/1.7" Fujifilm SuperCCD III
Effective pixels 3.3 million
Maximum image size 2832 x 2128 (6.03 million) - 'processed'
Other image sizes • 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
Image format JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
Lens 2x zoom, 38 - 76 mm equiv.
Movie recording
(inc. audio)
• 640 x 480 - (30 fps: 15 mins, 15 fps: 30 mins)
• 320 x 240 - (15 fps: 60 mins)
Internet conferencing Yes
Voice memo 30 sec per picture
Storage • xD-Picture Crad
• IBM Microdrive (Compact Flash Type II)
LCD Monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 118,000 pixels
Cradle Included 'PictureCradle'
Power • NP-60 Lithium-Ion Battery
• AC Adapter / Charger (provided)
• Optional NP-120 Lithium-Ion battery (longer life)
Dimensions 65 x 93 x 32 mm
Weight 210 g