Most helpful positive review
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
The best ultra compact camera yet..
on August 10, 2005
Ok, I guess I have to start by confessing to being a Fujifilm fan. This is my fifth digicam, the previous four being a Fujifilm FinePix 1300, a Fujifilm FinePix 2800, a Fujifilm F410, and a Fujifilm F420.
What a tiny gadget this is, and it still manages to fit in 5 megapixels, and 3x optical zoom. Very fast start up time too. As an architect, I love to be able to whip out and shoot any scenery, sunset or building that catches my fancy at anytime and this serves just fine. This leads me to mention the one gripe some people might have with it, people with large hands/fingers might have problems accessing the tiny buttons, but not me.
And what a stunning looking gadget it is! It comes in 2 colors; silver (the one I went for) and black. Very slim, slimmer than Kate moss, LOL! Never fails to grab attention when I whip it out. Excellent design! To switch on, you slide back the front panel.
It is very simple to use (you literally snap away once you have set up, which is very easy to do) and shortcut buttons eliminate the need to twiddle in the menu section in search of most options such as different flash settings, different resolution settings, Macro mode (amazing close ups), and many others. There are also some pop ups to guide you, reducing your dependence on the manual (which, like all Fujifilm manuals I have seen, is very detailed and easy to use) except for really major issues.
Like I mentioned, the camera has 3x optical zoom. The zoom lens does not project out of the camera. It instead uses a system where it zooms vertically inside the camera and images are reflected to it. Image quality is not compromised at all.
Images viewed in the large 2.5" LCD display are really clear and bright when it is used as a viewfinder, especially for indoor shots. Depending on the light condition of the environment, the LCD automatically adjusts to compensate, enabling you to view in almost any condition, a very good feature, especially as there is no optical viewfinder. This can also be adjusted manually. Oh, and the LCD is extra toughened to resist scratches/breakage. I unwittingly tested this when I accidentally dropped mine LCD face down on some cobbled street. I picked it up with my heart in my mouth and besides a few scratches on the case, no scratch on the LCD. There is also a new feature that enables you to view past photos taken while taking a new one. Cool!
The AF/AE lock is a breeze to use and takes exceptional shots every time. Photo quality is really amazing. You can pick out fine details in the background of the subject. Colours and contrasts are good and sharp. Flash modes are easy to access and dark indoor shots taken using suppressed flash yielded amazing results. Pictures taken without the flash come out amazingly natural looking, thanks to some new low light feature. Outdoor shots on a bright day are unbelievable in their clarity.
A very useful addition is the introduction of a short cut button to get to the timer; previously, one had to go through the menu which involved quite a number of steps.
The Movie clips with audio are very simple to make, and it is very easy to switch between resolutions (320x240 or 160x120). Results are very good as the movies are shot at 30 frames per second which gives TV quality movies. Best results are obtained where there is a lot of light, e.g. outdoors on a sunny day. However, it is amazing to see how the camera adapts rapidly to changes in light conditions while shooting. Length of clips is restricted only by size of memory card.
The video out function enables you to connect the camera to a TV to view images/movie clips. Very good.
Battery life is very good but it's always best to have a spare. The battery charges rather quickly.
The cradle is stylish looking too. I have mine permanently hooked to my PC and just place the camera on it, switch it on, and the software launches and downloads everything quite fast. The cradle also doubles as a tripod stand receiver.
The FinePixViewer software is very good. It is very easy to view folder contents at a glance, set up a slide show, etc. You get lots of print options from full photo, Index 1x2 (2 photos on a sheet), 2x2, through to 7x5.
Print results are simply breathtaking, whatever the size of paper, up to A3. Colours are rich and images very realistic looking.
This is a camera I would recommend without hesitation. It blows away any other camera in its class or price range. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive, compact, high resolution camera, look no further. The perfect camera for people like me who don't want to do too much adjusting/setting etc. I hope this review helps you.