Fuji will ship its first digital cameras to implement the xD-Picture Card format that it announced earlier this week in September in the US.

The format, developed jointly with Olympus, promises the lowest-sized, highest-capacity drive – the size of a UK penny. xD-Picture Cards can hold up to 8GB data, though lower-capacity cards are being introduced initially.

xD-Picture Card was designed with fast read/write capabilities for "smooth digital-camera operation". A 16/32 32MB card can record data at 1.3MB/second. A 64MB or higher card can record data at 3MB/second, and both offer a read speed of 5MB/second. The card was designed to minimize power consumption, so saving battery life.

Fuji's FinePix A200, FinePix A203, FinePix A303 and the FinePix 3800 ship in the US this September. Each ships with a 16MB card.

The A200 and FinePix 2650 models are the entry-level products that implement the new, high-capacity standard. Both 2-megapixel cameras offer 3X optical zoom in an SLR-shaped form factor.

Fuji's two A-series cameras are lightweight units for more advanced digital photographers. These offer 3X optical zoom and video conferencing capabilities. The FinePix A303 offers 3.24 Megapixels, a macro focus mode and an increased flash range.

The FinePix 3800 is a 3.24-megapixel model offering high-end features, including a manual mode with aperture control and exposure compensation, a 6x optical zoom and support for lens adaptors.

PCMCIA and CompactFlash card adaptors will be available, allowing use of xD-Picture Card in a variety of cameras and other devices.

The xD-Picture Card initially will be available for purchase in 32MB, 64MB and 128MB capacities, at $29.99, $49.99 and $89.99 respectively. A 256MB card is planned for later this year.