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2.2 Res 2-3 MP
•3x Optical Zoom
•16mb Smart Media Card
The camera takes great outdoor shots, but lacks when taking indoor shots. Lighting is very important with this camera, because if there is not enough light, the pictures may come out blurry and light red. Another nice feature with this camera is its ability to take 20 seconds of video. Even though it does not have a microphone, taking a small clip may come in handy. Smart Media is very cheap these days, so expanding to more memory will not cost much extra. Battery life is good when using the camera without the LCD; however, if you take pictures with the LCD, battery life will become very short. Overall, this is a good entry level camera.
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.
The controls and menus are easy to use as this camera is basically a point and shoot with few manual adjustments. Because of its fast startup time (less than 2 seconds) it's a perfect camera for family outings. You won't miss a picture opportunity waiting for the camera to cycle. I highly recommend this camera for beginners due to it's ease of use. I have shot over 2000 pictures since the fall of 2002 and have no complaints.
Prices range from $225 to $400 so be careful where you shop. Buy and enjoy!
•3.0 SUPER Megapixel Mode (high-level interpolation)
•SONY CCD Sensor
•3X Zoom (3X Digital)
•4 White Balance Settings (day, shade, tungsten, flourecent)
•3 Focus Modes (Macro, Landscape, Portrait)
•8MB built-in flash memory
•Record 60 secs of video WITH audio (plays back with audio also!)
•F/2.8 ~ F8 Lens
This camera takes excellent pictures. It's strong point is in full auto mode during the day. The optics and sensors though are not as "smart" at night. You can recover by taking control of some of the settings yourself and increasing the exposure value +/- 2EV by 1/3 (or .3) REALLY improves indoor photography.
Image capture is very forgiving and you can get good shots even moving slightly. (I once took crystal clear pictures of traffic with the camera balanced on the steering wheel while driving!) To optimize use of the focus modes you must "sync" the camera and lens but half pressing the shutter release after changing modes. (i.e. portrait (5-15ft.) to landscape (12ft-infinity) you must half press the shutter in order for the lens to "switch" from one mode to the other else all the subsequent pics will usually be out of focus.
Some operational shortcomings are that it uses Secure Digital memory cards which are typically more expensive then some of the others. The Zoom is 3X which is standard even on cameras with twice the MP, but this can be a handicap depending on what you tend to shoot. Moving the camera while "focus locking" will also cause the image sensor to completely lose the shot and you must focus lock once more to reacquire the subject. The last few things that can cause problems are that going from 'No Flash' to 'Auto' or 'Force' and from Macro/Landscape to Portrait will cause the camera to pause for 5 seconds while it "gets ready" for the next shot. This can cause you to miss an important shot but can be bypassed by preping the camera ahead of time. There is also no auto shutoff function so you can easily drain your batteries if you are not careful.
Battery life is decent and at least 1800mAh NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) should be used for best performance. If Alkalines must be used the specially formulated high capacity alkalines are a must. If using all available power (flash, LCD, & Zoom) at the same time, the batteries will report no power and shut down the camera no matter what level the batteries are. However this is only due to the rapid discharge when shooting the max number of pics possible by the camera in a short span of time. Powering up the camera again will reveal the true level of power.(As far Alkalines go though Radio Shack ENERCELL's are good) and will typically give you 3-4 times the power of just a standard battery.
For a beginner to digital photography and if you can find it for around $150, it's definitely a good start.