PHOTOPLUS: Fuji gives Luma buyers camera, Power Mac

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Here's a deal that some will find hard to refuse. Fujifilm has sweetened the pot for photographers considering exploring the digital domain. If you buy the company's Luma digital camera back, the company will give you a Fujifilm GX680III pro camera and a Power Mac G4 for free.

Admittedly, like other pro digital camera backs, the Luma isn't cheap -- it costs almost $20,000, and it only works with some medium-format cameras like certain Fujifilm and Hasselblad models. But Fujifilm reps at this week's Photo Plus Expo said that they expect it may be just the incentive that some pro photographers who use medium-format cameras will need to get into the digital domain.

The Luma back comes bundled with software to enable users to integrate it into a digital workflow, and were demonstrating it at the show working on Adobe Photoshop 6.0. The digital back downloads images to the Mac via FireWire. The Luma features a 3.6cm x 2.4cm CCD array with 2,048 x 3,072 pixel resolution and 12 F-stops of dynamic range using 14 bits of data per color channel. Fujifilm noted that the camera back is fully compatible with standard studio lighting, like electronic strobe, tungsten, HMI and even daylight. You can also program an ISO of 25 to 200.

If the idea of a free Power Mac G4 doesn't excite you, Fujifilm is also offering Luma buyers another option -- you can opt for the Fujifilm Pictrography 3500 Digital Printer, if you prefer.

Fujifilm also indicated that the Luma II is on the way -- the unit will become available early year. The new digital camera back will feature an 11 megapixel CCD (the current model is about 6.3 megapixel). Fujifilm plans to offer new and existing Luma customers a special pricing on a Luma II upgrade when it becomes available if they purchase the Extended Warranty Program now.

In related news, Fujifilm also announced price reductions on its FireWire-equipped Pictrography 3500 and 4000II digital printers. The printers sport what Fujifilm calls "Laser Exposure Thermal Development and Transfer Technology," which produces high-quality photoprints on a photosensitive donor material. The 3500 is available for US$3,295, and the 4000II runs about $9,995.

Scanners are also on Fujifilm's agenda for this show -- the company is showcasing its FineScan 2750 and 5000 models this week. Both models share some common ground, such as SCSI II, FireWire, 10,500 pixel arrays and Fujifilm's ColourKit 2.3 software. The 2750 is targeted at small- and medium-sized photo labs and studios. It has a twin-lens design and an optical resolution of 762 dpi and 2,743 dpi, and it can manage about 15 scans per hour. The 5000 is an industrial-strength high speed model that can do about 40 scans an hour (based on the Seybold standard of a 6x7 cm image scanned at 350 dpi with 400 percent enlargement, noted Fujifilm). It uses a four-lens design that automatically switches elements depending on the original and the required output format. The 2750 runs $9,995 and the 5000 costs $19,995.

This story, "PHOTOPLUS: Fuji gives Luma buyers camera, Power Mac" was originally published by PCWorld.

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