Fujix DS-300 (1997)

The Fujix DS-300 was announced on 1997-03-26. The Camera had been developed based on the realization of high image quality professional specifications similar to DSLR cameras thus easy to operate. The camera could be connected to a extension unit and be hooked up with a digital printer and made continuous shooting at 4.5 fps possible. The extension unit also sported a high-speed SCSI port for connection with a PC. For this camera Fuji created a new signal processing algorithm called 'Hycpa circuit' to improve image quality for image processing. The lens is built into a aluminum lens barrel and they chose the super EBC Fujinon lens for this which had the same multi-coat processing as the highly evaluated broadcast lenses among professionals.

The magnesium alloy body was the first in the industry to be a lightweight, highly rigid, high corrosion resistant, high purity magnesium alloy molded by the Thixmolding (Chixo molding) method. Even a GPS receiver could be connected to the camera to record GPS data with each image. There were several accessoires sold for this camera from which three are remarkeable:

- special dust cover CV-D3
- extension units EU-D3 and EU-D3A
- LCD monitor kit for flash hot shoe PA-D3C

The Fujix DS-300 provoked interest throughout the camera business. It was shown during PMA '97 and MacWorld Expo '97. Fuji spared no expense and put the electronics in a magnesium alloy body and the optics in a an aluminum lens barrel to increase accuracy and stability. To make the most of this camera one needed to buy the optional extension unit (EU-D3) and attach it. This allowed the DS-300 to shoot images at 4.5 frames per second to a total of 12 images. However this was not all the extension unit could do, you could also connect the extension unit directly to a digital printer and print images or connect it to a PC via SCSI and remote control the camera.
Furthermore the camera sported a digital 6x zoom and an abundance of shooting functions and automatic settings. A video-out port, automatic strobe, compressed and uncompressed image storage and status display highlighted this camera. Despite it's large and bulky appearance it still lacked an LCD screen for reviewing images. A problem Fujifilm solved with it's successor, the DS-330 and the accompanying LCD viewfinder LV-D3.
Although the DS-300 was almost indestructible, Fuji thought of an extra case to protect it even more!? Anyway, above you can see a very rare picture of the DS-300 with the case. Now, there are many, many reviews about the DS-300 on the internet so I will let you in on some information you won't find on other history websites. The DS-300 was among one of the cameras to take part in the LeMans Internet Project of 1997. An initiative started by Nissan Motors and LeMans University in 1995. The goal was to do a multimedia coverage of the LeMans 24hrs races through audio-visual equipment and the internet. In 1997 a journalist from Japan covered the LeMans race by using the then new Fujix DS-300 camera. See some of the pictures taken during that race.

All images © digicammuseum.com and digitalkameramuseum.de except LeMans pictures © Kazuhisa Nishikawa

Specifications

  • Brand: Fujix
  • Model: DS-300
  • First mentioned: 1997
  • Marketed: yes
  • MSRP: $2,500
  • Imager Type: 1.4MP 2/3" VT CCD
  • Resolution: 1280x1000
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: PC Flash ATA cards Type I/II / SmartMedia in PC Card Adapter
  • Lens: f = 9.2mm~25.8mm
  • Shutter: 1/4s to 1/1,000s
  • Aperture Range: F3.5, F5.6, F8, F11 (wide side F3.5 telephoto side F5.6 as an open F value)
  • LCD screen size: -
  • Size: 153 x 96 x 78mm
  • Weight: 620 gr.
  • Remarks: -

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