FinePix F610 Zoom
The Fujifilm FinePix F610 Zoom has an unconventional orientation. The camera is longer (93mm) than it is wide (72mm), which means it needs to be held upright. This takes a little getting used to, but other than that it is easy to use.
- Interesting design, manual controls, endless continuous shooting, nice images
This very nice camera package would set you back a fair bit of money, but would be worth it for many people.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
The shutter button, positioned on the top right, is easily reached by your index finger and the zoom--which is a 3X optical--on the back panel is also within reach of your right thumb. Forming an "L" with your left index finger and thumb ensures the camera is held steady and shots are focused when taken. Because of its size, it takes a slim rechargeable NP 40 battery rather than AAs, as is the case with the Fujifilm FinePix F6000.
As well as its orientation, the camera's back panel is also different to most cameras. It has an 1.8" LCD screen in which to view and shoot images, as well an illuminated display panel that shows shot info and camera settings. Here images can be deleted or protected. There are also a variety of functions here, such as image size (one megapixel to 12 megapixel), sound, ISO (160, 200, 400 and 800 when in manual mode), aperture (f2.8 to f8) and shutter speed (three seconds to 1/1000 of a second). The controls are well laid out and it's easy to navigate the F610's many settings and features, thanks largely to the secondary LCD mentioned above.
As is the case with all Fujifilm digital cameras, pressing the "f" button on the camera provides quick access to important camera settings. The image size, ISO and image type can be set. The image types are varied: standard, black and white or chrome (where colour saturation and contrast are set to high). Pressing the "f" returns you to the main index on the secondary panel.
When in Auto mode there is no manual control over focus, but much can be done when the camera is set to Manual. For example, an AF area can be selected from one of about 30 focus areas on the LCD screen. Simply clicking the Menu/OK button sets that area. Alternatively, Continuous, Centre or Multi-focus areas can be selected. It is a bit clunky, but does work. Whether it's worth the effort is another question.
Another feature is continuous shooting that lasts as long as the button is held down and there is space on the memory card.
Given that it is a 6.3 megapixel camera, and each shot taken at the highest resolution averages 1.6MB, you get about 10 shots on the 16MB xD-Picture Card the camera ships with.
The FinePix's claimed 12.3 megapixel output (Fuji claims the camera can capture such images because of its unique CCD technology) wasn't overly impressive. It gave an unnatural hue to strong vibrant colours. The results from the native 6 megapixel resolution were much better. This offered a much better colour palette, packed with pin-sharp detail.
When scrolling through white balance settings, the LCD monitor adjusts the picture in that frame according to that setting. This enables instant playback to see what the image will look like. There are seven white balance settings: auto, outdoors in fine weather, outdoors in shade, daylight fluorescent light, "warm white" fluorescent light, "cool white" fluorescent light and incandescent light.
The top of the camera features the shooting modes-- auto and manual--and once that is selected you can shift between Program Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and a fully Manual mode. Auto scene positions include portrait, landscape, sports and night scene.
Movies, which are saved in motion jpeg AVI format, are taken at 30fps and either at 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 resolution. The camera's flash was effective and adjustable. Flash is adjusted in several increments.
Overall, images were of great quality. Focus and detail was consistent throughout the image scenes. Some cameras have a tendency to blur backgrounds when focusing on something in the foreground, but this compact handled such images well. Macro shots closer than 10cm had a tendency to blur.
This is a neat camera in every sense of the word. It's a point-and-shoot camera with stacks of features to keep you happily entertained.
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