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1) 6X f2.8 OPTICAL ZOOM LENS! (Kicks ass!)
2) EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) (Next best thing to a true SLR when composing images. Allows you to see exactly what the camera sees when framing a shot, even fully zoomed with no parallax error.)
3) Capable of using STANDARD AA Batteries as well as NiMH rechargeables. (Useful when you run out of power and need to buy batteries at the local 7-11)
4) Image output is JPEG format in medium or fine resolutions ranging from 640X480 to 1600x1200
5) Standard USB connection recognized by most operating systems as plug n play USB Bulk storage right out of the box.
6) Media is Smartmedia (Cheap and readily available. 128 MB card holds about 400 1600x1200 medium quality shots. Ships with 16 MB card which makes a really cool keychain if you drill a hole thru it and run a chain thru it :)
7) Can also operate as a webcam. (I've never used this feature. If you need a webcam spend $30 and buy a cheapie dedicated webcam that won't leave you in tears when the cat knocks it on the floor)
8) Records Video and Sound with built in microphone. (Also never used this feature. Video sucks up RAM faster than you can shake a stick at so unless you carry a LOT of REALLY BIG storage cards around with you it's unlikely you'd use this feature.)
9) Fuji's experience with film and cameras make this camera reproduce very full and vibrant colors under most conditions, though colors tend to be a bit greenish on cloudy winter days. Tweaking color balance in your favorite editing program compensates for this quite easily though. Also there are several exposure color balance settings built into the camera that probably could fix this if I ever figure out which one works best on cloudy winter days :) )
10) Built in flash is limited to about 12 ft or so like most low end digitals, and there is no provision for an external flash synch. Also since flash is mounted directly above lens, it has a problem with red eye. There is a red eye setting built into the camera to compensate for this, but even so I end up fixing red eyes in most indoor portraits afterwards in PSP.
11) Tripod mounting thread on bottom of camera, nicely centered to keep the camera well balanced on even the flimsiest of mini tripods.
12) Autofocus and autoexposure seem to work quite well under most conditions.
13) Menu options are icon based and somewhat cryptic as on many digital cameras, but one quick readthrough of the thorough manual will give you all the basics you need to rapidly start shooting.
1) EVF is somewhat hard to see in low light conditions.
2) Exposure can be pushed up and down within a limited range but no fancy features like aperture priority or shutter priority. Great point and shoot type camera but I've never really tried anything fancy with it.
3) No way to attach filters or auxillary lenses to the lens. Therefore you are unable to use a UV filter as a lens protector (Something I got used to with Film SLR's) but requires you to be very very careful in using the lens cap to prevent scratches. The zoom is pretty adequate though for most uses and doesn't really require any additional lenses.
4) The large lens gives this camera an odd shape that won't fit most standard cases but you can buy a fitted case from Fuji that works with this model as well as their other oddly shaped cameras like the 4800, 6900, 3800, S602, etc. A little pricey but well worth the investment if you want to protect the camera in typical use. Likewise the large glass gives the camera a bit more weight and bulk than other digital cams in its price range, but the inconvenience of lugging it around is more than compensated by the quality of the images which it produces.
All in all I give this camera 4 stars out of 5 for overall ease of use and image quality. The 6X Optical Zoom Lens and the EVF are the main reasons I bought this camera and I don't regret my decision after a year of use. The lens is the same lens as the newer Finepix 3800 (Though it's my understanding that they added filter mounts to that model) and similar to the S602 though it lacks the manual focus feature of that model. I sort of have my doubts about trying to focus manually through an EVF anyway. Limited resolution will make it difficult to focus on anything with any degree of precision. If you are looking for an entry level camera that will handle everything you need from ebay ads to vacation pictures to saving precious moments this camera will fit quite nicely in your budget, especially now that it is being sold at bargain prices. If you crave more megapixels, then I'd suggest going with the 3800, though it's almost double the price. For my needs, I find the 2,1 Megapixels more than adequate and conisider the camera to have long since paid for itself with hundreds of quality, inexpensive images.