Twelve years ago today Fujifilm announced six new compacts all at the same time, which is something that camera manufacturers used to do a lot. Here’s a fun game: ask anyone who writes about cameras to tell you about CES in the mid-to-late 2000’s, but don’t be surprised if they start babbling incoherently about megapixels and run screaming from the room.
|The Fujifilm E550 Zoom. Similar to its more elegant sibling, the F810, it offered a high ISO 800 setting at a reduced 3MP.|
Back in August 2004, Fujifilm launched its FinePix E Zoom compact series, describing it as ‘no-nonsense’ and ‘sure to bring even the most hardened sceptic round to Digital photography.’ The E500 and E510 boasted conventional 4.1MP and 5.2MP sensors respectively, while the FinePix E550 offered a 6MP SuperCCD HR sensor, Raw shooting and sold for a ‘competitive’ $350/£300. Also introduced was the FinePix F810 Zoom, with many of the same specifications at the E550, but with a few premium touches like a metal body and a 2.1″ widescreen LCD.
But there was more! Also announced were the FinePix S3500 and S5500/S5100 Zoom SLR-style bridge cameras (the latter being our own Richard Butler’s first digital camera). The S5100 used a conventional 4MP sensor rather than the Super CCD sensor used by its predecessor, and offered such luxuries as Raw shooting, VGA 30 fps video recording (with sound!), a 115,000-dot LCD and PictBridge compatibility.
|The Fujifilm FinePix S5500, or S5100, depending on where you live.|
Priced at $399/£250, we liked the S5100’s ‘fuss-free operation’ but wished it included optical image stabilization for its 10x zoom lens. It falls just a bit short of the 50x zoom lenses we routinely see in superzooms these days, but all in all it was a great value proposition in its time.
Did you own any of these cameras? Let us know in the comments.