Now that the home entertainment market has moved towards streaming video services and Blu-ray content, there has never been a better time to convert DVD collections to digital.
Fujifilm FinePix J10
A basic digital camera at a low price
- Relatively low chromatic aberration, pictures sharp enough for good 4in x 6in prints, fast shot-to-shot time, basic image stabilisation
- Some over-sharpening issues, exposure a little off, loss of detail at higher ISOs, minimal features, sluggish start-up time
It doesn't do anything fancy and its pictures aren't perfect, but the FujiFilm FinePix J10 is a decent entry-level point-and-shoot. Its shots are fine for standard 4in x 6in prints and its basic feature set won't bother novice photographers.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Sitting slightly lower in FujiFilm's FinePix camera lineup than the FinePix J50 we looked at recently, the J10 is nonetheless similar in many ways. It is a basic entry-level camera targeted at users who need a point-and-shoot-unit with no frills. Its feature set is fairly basic, and its images, while serviceable, are a little below par at times; however, the low price tag may make this an enticing option for some buyers.
It is definitely a sign of the times when even a sub-$200 entry-level unit sports an 8.2 megapixel sensor. Regardless of your budget, these days you can get a high resolution sensor.
That said, while the J10's images will be fine for many users and should produce good looking 4in x 6in prints, they do have a few flaws that will become more apparent at higher magnifications. Our pictures were generally sharp; there was perhaps a little less detail than we're used to in some complex areas. On the whole, most edges were crisp and sharp. In fact at times things were somewhat over-sharpened, which was corroborated during our Imatest testing.
Chromatic aberration was evident, with some minor detail loss towards the edges of the frame and a little haloing in our high-contrast indoors shots, but it wasn't particularly problematic. This is one area where budget models typically struggle, so it was good to see a strong performance from the J10 here.
Image noise was a mixed bag. Even at ISO 100 and 200 it was a little higher than on many other compacts, but the images produced were still alright for regular-sized prints. The noise was small and fine and fairy unnoticeable at small magnifications. At ISO 800 and above, however, the noise correction algorithm began to cause a decline in sharpness; we'd recommend sticking to ISO 400 if possible.
Exposure was the source of our main complaint with the images. In many of our outdoors shots the sunlit roads were far too bright, losing all definition. Meanwhile, dark areas had a distinct lack of detail. Colours were strongly saturated, producing a bright vibrant look that some may like, but they weren't always perfectly accurate. The J10 doesn't offer any options to adjust colour mode, which is a little disappointing.
The entire feature set is fairly bare. You can change the very basics such as ISO sensitivity and white balance (although there is no custom option) but that's about it, meaning this model is strictly for novice users. There are 15 scene modes, which are a nice addition. There is an electronic image stabiliser that is somewhat effective at minimising hand-shake.
There is a burst mode that operates at a fairly sluggish two frames per second, and the camera's start-up time was a little slow at 3.4sec. Similarly, the shutter lag was a little behind the pack at 0.11sec; however, shot-to-shot time was a very impressive 1.4 seconds.
Aesthetically, the J10 is the epitome of an entry-level camera. It is boxy and silver and completely plain looking. While it won't take out any fashion contests, it is built mostly from metal and feels sturdy. The controls and interface are simple and intuitive, which should make it a breeze for even novices to use.
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