This is getting ridiculous

For many years, I was a cheapskate about digital photography. I had a simple scheme: every 2 years, I would buy the best camera that I could get for $300. Typically the cutting-edge models were in the $500-750 range, but that was OK with me. On one occasion my purchase was forced (I left the old one on a plane), but overall the plan worked well.
I didn’t anticipate the new FinePix F50fd from Fuji. This looks stunning:

Combining a 12-MegaPixel, 7th Generation Super CCD with a 3.0x optical zoom and a 2.7″; high-resolution 230,000 pixel wide angle view LCD… With the addition of Dual Image Stabilization, Face Detection 2.0 Technology with Automatic Red Eye Removal function, and ISO settings of up to ISO 6400, the F50fd takes compact digital cameras to the next level…

Damn right it does. And at last Fuji has abandoned its quixotic reliance on the proprietary xD format; the F50fd will accept SD-HC memory. OK, there are some compromises: you’ll only get ISO 6400 at 3MP resolution, and the best you can get at 12MP is ISO 1600. I can live with that. No Bluetooth, unfortunately. (It supports IR, but does anybody really care?) In any case, for $299.95, this looks like a winner. It must be two years since my last upgrade, don’t you think?

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