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FujiFilm camera design to withstand water, shock, dust, freezing temperatures

The company's new FinePix XP50, due in June, will cost about $250 and has a 14.4 megapixel CMOS with 5X optical zoom

FujiFilm said Wednesday it will begin sales of a digital camera in June that is waterproof, shockproof, sealed against dust and sand, and works at temperatures below freezing.

The company's new FinePix XP50 comes with a 14.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and five times optical zoom, with a 2.7-inch LCD screen. But its main sales point will be its durability -- FujiFilm says it can be operated at depths of up to five meters, will take drops of 1.5 meters and can withstand temperatures down to minus 10 degrees Celsius.

With prices and profit margins of digital cameras plunging, manufacturers are searching for niche products that will appeal to specific types of users. In January, FujiFilm announced a whopping 19 new fixed-lens cameras, including the XP50.

The camera is the latest in the company's XP line, which focuses on durability. Earlier this month FujiFilm announced the slightly higher-end XP170, which can survive higher drops, works deeper underwater and features wireless image transfer.

The XP50, the latest camera in the line, will launch in Japan on June 6 and has an estimated market price of ¥20,000, or about US$250, according to the Tokyo company. It will go on sale globally during the same period.

Its ports are sealed against dust, and the lens is specially coated to keep water droplets from adhering to it and obstructing photos. The main door has dual locks for added protection against the elements.

The camera comes in five colors, including blue, orange and green, and supports standard SD memory cards, as well the newer high-speed SDXC specification. It is designed for firing off rapid snapshots and can shoot up to 10 frames per second, as well as high-definition video at 1080p and 30 frames per second.

It also features an interface to tag photos and videos for Facebook or YouTube, so they are uploaded automatically when the camera is hooked up to a computer.


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