Kicking off the New Year in style, Fuji has unveiled three new cameras including the FinePix F40fd, the latest in its flagship range of F series compacts.

Kicking off the New Year in style, Fuji has unveiled three new cameras including the FinePix F40fd, the latest in its flagship range of F series compacts. Featuring Fujifilm’s Real Photo Processor II, Super CCD HR VI and hardware-based Face Detection focusing, the camera packs in ISO 2000 sensitivity at full 8.3 megapixel resolution, 3 x optical zoom and a quoted 300 shot battery life.

The camera?s aimed at ?prolific snappers or enthusiast photographers who need a high-performance take-anywhere digital camera? and in a first for Fuji it features a dual memory card slot, which accepts not only Fujifilm’s traditional xD-Picture Card but also SD cards as well.

The new camera also debuts a redesigned outer-shell and new user interface system for Fujifilm’s F series, which is currently made up of the F20, F30 and F31fd. Slimmer than its predecessors at just 23.3mm deep, it?s available in three colours; silver, gunmetal and blue. There?s also a 2.5″ LCD screen with Fujifilm’s wide view filter expands viewing angle by up to 25 degrees compared to earlier models.

The FinePix F40fd is Fujifilm’s fourth digital camera to feature hard-wired Face Detection technology, joining the FinePix S6500fd, F31fd and Z5fd in Fujifilm’s current range. Face Detection ensures the camera prioritises faces in the frame, even if the frame contains a more obvious focus point. Fuji claims that because the technology is hard-wired to the camera’s processor, it is capable of detecting faces and taking a photo in just 0.05 seconds. In Playback mode, Face Detection will automatically zoom in to subjects’ faces and trim the shot for optimum portraits.

An Intelligent Flash is included, which analyses the subject of the photo and sets power output accordingly. When combined with Face Detection, the system prioritises flash settings for reproduction skin-tones, in an attempt to avoid the ghostly, white-faced effect of traditional on-camera flash. A Natural Light & Flash mode goes one step further, taking two photos in quick succession – one without flash, and one with that are then displayed side by side for easy comparison.

The 40fd offers 14 scene modes including Underwater, Snow, Night and Close-up, Users can also take movie clips at 30 frames per second limited to the size of memory card used.

Adrian Clarke, Fujifilm’s Director of Photo Products, says: “Fujifilm’s F series cameras lead the way in low light photography. The FinePix F40fd further establishes the series as champions of our proven Real Photo Technology. Face Detection, Intelligent Flash and class-leading sensitivity combine to achieve the high image quality that people have come to associate with Fujifilm cameras.”

FinePix F40fd features at a glance:

Face Detection Technology built-in to the camera’s processor

Real Photo Processor II and new Super CCD HR VI

ISO 2000 sensitivity at full resolution (1600 selectable)

8.3 megapixels

3 x optical zoom

Long-life battery (up to 300 shots)

IR Communication

VGA movie capture of 30 frames per second with sound

PictBridge compatible for direct printing without a PC

The FinePix F40fd will be available from March 2007 and pricing and stockists will be announced nearer to the date of retail launch.

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