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High Street digital prints from Fujifilm

Nov 16, 2000 at 04:00 GMT

Yesterday we attended the (UK) launch of Fujifilm's FDi Technology, primarily this consists of a kiosk which can accept SmartMedia, CompactFlash, PCMCIA Type II or CD-ROM and a software package which allows for touch-screen selection, editing and purchase of prints from these images. Initial users of Fujifilm's FDi Technology here in the UK are Jessops (a large UK photography chain) where the service is called Fuji Kiosk and Boots (a large UK pharmacist / traditional developer) where the service is called Photo Makeover.

System Overview

Here you can see the Kiosk in use, basically it's a touch screen system which has been designed to be as easy to use as possible. Exposed just below the touch screen monitor are the various media slots:

The on screen instructions then guide you through the process of downloading from your storage card / CD-ROM, a few editting features are available such as rotation, zoom and crop, brightness and contrast correction and red-eye removal. The next step is to select the images you wish to be printed, multiple copies of single images or of the whole set can also be specified along with print size. At the end of the process a receipt is printed along with the estimated collection time (depending on the service selected and number of prints in the queue - can be as short as 30 minutes).

Prints from Prints

On a tray just below the main system is a scanner allowing users to make prints from existing prints, selecting a different option on the main menu of the FDi system takes a preview scan, just select your original photo size and the system will perform a higher resolution scan. Images acquired can be editted / printed in the same way as an original digital image.

Online

Quality

The system can be connected to either Pictography or Digital Minilab's, on the day the samples we printed came out on the Pictography 3000 at either A5 or A4 sizes, and the results were very impressive, continuous tone printed on high quality Fuijfilm paper guaranteed to last FAR longer than anything you could print at home. As with most digital prints the images came out darker than they appeared on screen, but very natural and detailed.


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710 KB
Fujifilm Pictography print (A4)
(scanned @ 300 dpi)
Original
(Fujifilm 4900Z)

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731 KB
Fujifilm Pictography print (A4)
(scanned @ 300 dpi)
Original
(Fujifilm 4900Z)

Up-close comparison

To compare the output detail I reduced the scanned images down to the same dimensions as the original image (1800 x 2400) (so that the cropped areas would be equal) and cropped sections from each:


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710 KB
Fujifilm Pictography print (A4) crop
(scanned @ 300 dpi, reduced to 1800 x 2400)
Original crop
(Fujifilm 4900Z)

1,176 KB

731 KB
Fujifilm Pictography print (A4) crop
(scanned @ 300 dpi, reduced to 1800 x 2400)
Original crop
(Fujifilm 4900Z)