Fuji’s New 6 MP Camera/Camcorder

Fuji has just released news of the upcoming 6 megapixel Finepix 610. The camera, which has the same upright for-factor as the older 601, has an improved CCD from previous models claiming 6 megapixels (12 mp interpolated?) for near-professional image quality. It has other tweaks, such as improved shooting speed, a second LCD for camera functions, continuous shooting mode (3.3 frames per second), and a high-quality movie mode that captures at 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second. At that rate of capture, the movie mode is easily as good as most standard tape-based video recorders. Most of these features are already available on the FinePix F700 ($350 street), including the 3x optical zoom, though that model doesn’t seem to have the improved CCD. Price of the new F610 is yet unreleased, but look for it around $500 in the first quarter of 2004. But before you spring for one of these please note that they both use the expensive proprietary xD card for picture storage.