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Adrina Adie

Fujifilm: Focusing on the competition

The new FinePix XP90 is shock-resistant and waterproof up to a depth of 15 metres. — Fujifilm

Fujifilm's latest new models serve as a reminder that while smartphone imaging capabilities may have come on in technological leaps and bounds in recent years, in some situations, a real camera still takes some beating.

Fujifilm is making this point, literally. Its new FinePix XP90 is shock-resistant and waterproof up to a depth of 15 metres.

It will also keep working at temperatures as low as -10°C, making it as appealing to climbers as divers.

In terms of imaging specs, it's got a 16.4-megapixel sensor, a decent optical zoom and can shoot full HD at 60 frames per second and has a dedicated slow-motion setting too. It is WiFi-enabled for fast image and video transfer, and this connectivity means that it can also be used with a remote control app.

And at US$229.95 (RM1,009) when it goes on sale in February, it's cheaper than a host of flagship smartphones and a lot more robust too.

Photography has never played a greater role in consumers' lives. According to Deloitte, this year some 2 trillion photos will be shared and transferred via the Web. However, 90% of them will have been taken with a smartphone rather than a dedicated digital camera of any kind.

That means traditional camera companies are aiming for the elusive 10% that still put a premium on pro-level photography or that treat it as an art form rather than as a simple visual aide-mémoire.

It's why Canon recently launched a huge marketing campaign to remind people how revolutionary its EOS Rebel range has been in giving consumers access to professional-level DSLR cameras. It's also why alongside the rugged XP90, Fujifilm has also unveiled three new devices that put an equal premium on individual style and aesthetics as on latest generation imaging.

The X-E2s packs a 16.3-megapixel CMOS sensor.

The pick of which is its new mirrorless camera, the X-E2s, that has been designed in the rangefinder mould given much kudos by companies like Leica.

So as well as an interchangeable lens setup and a rear screen, there's a proper viewfinder. It packs a 16.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and it's fast. It can autofocus in 0.06 seconds and settings can be accessed quickly via knobs and dials rather than via sub menus viewed via its rear screen.

Custom modes can also be set up and attributed to dedicated switches. And, like the rugged XP90, this camera has WiFi for quick sharing and remote control.

The X-E2s will cost upwards of US$699.95 (RM3,070) – lenses will be sold separately – when it goes on sale in February. — AFP
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