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Fujifilm Face Detection, Finepix S6000fd, Finepix F20 Digital Cameras Announced
by Ben Stafford -  7/13/2006

Today, Fujifilm has announced a new addition to their Real Photo Technology line-up - Face Detection Technology.  It's not the first time we've seen something like this, but read on for Fujifilm's approach to achieving it.  Along with the announcement of the Face Detection Technology, Fujifilm announced the Finepix S6000fd, the first digital camera to use the new technology, and the Finepix F20, a sister camera to their F30 digital camera.

Face Detection Technology

Although facial detection is not something new to digital photography - Nikon has a Face Priority AF system - Fujifilm is putting another spin on it with their new Face Detection Technology.  Once Face Detection is activated, the hardware-based technology detects up to 10 faces in a frame.  Since it's hardware-based, the detection can happen as quickly as 0.05 seconds and it's able to "do more".  From the faces in the frame, the Face Detection system chooses a primary face and outlines it with a green rectangle.  Other faces, considered lower priority, are outlined with a white rectangle.

fujifilm Face Detection Technology

Once faces are detected, the camera automatically focuses and calculates the best exposure for the faces in the picture.  Coupled with their intelligent i-Flash system, which varies flash output based on results of the Face Detection, Fujifilm has provided a new way to get properly exposed, properly focused "people pictures".

Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd

Fujifilm just couldn't announce a new technology without a new camera, now could they?  I think not.  Thus, we have the Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd, the first digital camera to use their new Face Detection Technology and luckily, they made it easy on us by adding the "fd" to the name.

 Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd
(view large image)
 Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd
(view large image)

The S6000fd has a 6.3 megapixel Super CCD and a 10.7x optical zoom to let you get close using the manual zoom ring on the lens (35mm equivalent of 28-300mm).  It also has the capacity to shoot up to a sensitivity of ISO 3200, like the Finepix F30.  A 2.5 inch LCD with 230K pixels provides a high resolution way to frame and view your pictures.

For shooting modes, you get Auto, Picture Stabilization, Macro, Movie, Continuous and Scene Position.  For Scene Positions, you have 14 scene modes, including their Natural Light mode, to choose from.  Movies can be captured at up to 30 frames per second at VGA (640x480) resolution with audio.  A neat Dual Shot mode captures two images in a row, one with the flash, and one without the flash.

The camera accepts xD-Picture Cards and uses 4 AA-sized batteries for power.  Look for the Finepix S6000fd in September 2006 for a retail price of $499.

For more details, see the Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd product page at Fujifilm.

Fujifilm Finepix F20

Introduced as a sister camera to the Finepix F30, it looks like Fujifilm is trying to cover another price point with a slight decrease in specifications from the F30.  The Finepix F20 still shoots at 6.3 megapixels, has a 3x optical zoom and a 2.5 inch LCD.

 fujifilm finepix F20
(view large image)
 fujifilm finepix F20
(view large image)

The F20 can shoot to a maximum sensitivity of ISO 2000, and doesn't include any of the manual modes that you'll find on its sister camera.  With the F20, you get a similar shooting mode set as the S6000fd, with Auto, Picture Stabilization, Macro, Movie, Continuous and Scene Position (15 modes available).  Movies can be captured at up to 30 frames per second at VGA (640x480) resolution with audio.  The F20 also has the Dual Shot mode, as described above with the S6000fd, where two images are captured in a row, one with the flash and one without.

The Finepix F20 is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack that is good for 300 shots (less than the 550 shots of the F30).  Look for the Finepix F20 in August 2006 for a retail price of $299.

For more details, see the Fujifilm Finepix F20 product page at Fujifilm.