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managed to snap this puppy up for a cool three hundred pounds when they released the newer version the 50i. What a bargain. No need to read the manual. It is quite intuative!
Camera .... 2.4 mega pixels and doubled with enhancement.
Digital zoom, 2 inch LCD display. With 128 card you can have around 350 (approx) pictures on lowest resolution or about 60 on highest. Pictures come out superb even on the lowest setting.
MP3 player is superb. Sounds great. The headphones it comes with are not the best and the remote control isn't too flashy but it does the trick. With a 128MB you can have around 2 whole albums.
Video player is cool too. It records eighty second bursts and you can get a few of the on a 128 card. Cannot see video very well on the 2" display!
On the whole a fantastic piece of kit. The only problem is that it takes Smartmedia and this is incompatible with a Palm Pilot. Would have been better if it used secure digital or Multimedia cards. Also compared to the 50i it is a bit of a pain to keep taking the batteries out for charging. Whereas the 50i has a cradle, which you can just plonk it in.
Firstly, I should mention that Fuji was rather pioneering and creative in a fun way to come up with this 2 Megapixel gadget. It didn't do anything particularly better than their unipurpose competitors (namely: MP3 players, "real" digital cameras, video cameras, and digital voice recorders) however it did them all together in one relatively small package.
I owned first the 30i model and only had repeated batter cover breakage due to a poorly designed nearly microsopic outcrop of plastic meant to withstand an approximate 3 foot-pounds of outward pressure. But afer watching a few episodes of MacGuyver, I went to my hardware shop and solved the problem with some industrial strength, ultra-sticky velcro. I just returned from a 3 week vacation in a dodgy country and the thing actually held together!! Yeah!
Now onto the 50i model. I used to think I was a lucky guy until this camera entered my life. It worked absolutely perfectly for about 15 months and then all hell broke loose. The apocolypse began with some purple psychadelic coloring on the pictures. Then the bloody camera would not turn off until I removed the batteries which magically reset whatever circuit was confused. Then the slider button to turn the camera on would slide freely without achieving anything other than perpetuating my need for Codeine enhanced Advil. Finally, the remote control also worked intermittantly which, in the end, leaves me no choice but to give this camera a big, huge, fat, Siskel and Ebert, THUMBS DOWN!!! I was forced into giving this camera one star as the rating for sub-abysmal is missing from the "overall rating" box. Best of luck to everyone
None finer than Finepix I should first point out that the Finepix 50i is currently only available from Dixons and PeeCee World, neither of which are particuarly my favourite retailer (see my earlier bitch about Dixons), however the features this camera provides at the price in my view makes it unbeatable. The camera currently costs £400, which is steep, until you consider that this little (and it IS incredibly dinky!) beauty boasts a top resolution of 4.3 megapixels (million pixels)- unheard of at the price. It acheives this startling resolution by cheating a bit - it's technically capable of 2.4 megapixels but uses some clever internal software to bolster this. Different resolution settings are available, and these can be set using a variety of menus on the camera itself. It also has a number of different flash modes (normal, outdoor, red-eye reduction and none) and can even be set on a timer so you can get yourself in the frame - either a straight ten seconds after pressing the button, or, more cleverly, it can react to a loud noise such as a hand-clap, and fire off then. The camera comes with a neat clear-plastic docking station into which the camera slots in to communicate with your PC (via USB) and charge it's lithium batteries. The inclusion of a recharging battery is a particuarly nice feature, as I have many friends with cameras that eat AA batteries like there's no tomorrow. The camera has a full colour screen on the back for you to either use as an extra viewfinder or review your snaps. There's a nice little sliding cover on the front which you click off when you want to take a picture. The Finepix 50i is REALLY dinky - and will fit into your pocket with ease - just make sure you don't lose it. And as for a carry case - it comes with a nice leather one - many of the Fuji cameras have this included, but this is a rarity as many cameras from the likes of Kodak et al don
9;t - and these can set you back another £15 - so it's a bit of free value thrown in. Now then, I've just scratched the surface with regards to features so far. I feel like the guy who narrates the "Showcase Showdown" on The Price is Right because we also give you .... a BRAND NEW CAR!! No, not really - but (cue the music).... also an MP3 player! The FinePix50i comes with some groovy software that allows you to upload MP3s onto the card and then carry them around on the camera. In order to hear your lovely tunes, a set of headphones is supplied, which connects through a dinky and very sexy controller, a bit like those on the expensive Sony Minidisc players. This allows you to view the name of the track you're playing, fast forward, volume up and down etc. Very nice, and the perfect excuse to carry your camera around with you whilst you wait to snap the perfect photograph! On top of that, the camera also has the facility to take MOVIES! You can make reasonable quality movies in AVI format - perfect for baby's first steps... or whatever! A small microphone in the front of the camera captures sound. And as well as that, you can also make sound recordings! Just switch the camera to movie mode, close the shutter and voila - you can then record sound and download it in WAV format later. As if all that wasn't enough, it's also a WEBCAM! Just slot the finepix 50i into it's cradle and open the shutter, and you have a webcam which you can use with Netmeeting, CUSeeMe or similar software. Phew! I think you will agree you get a lot for your money, and I have to say that having owned this camera for almost six months I have only found one fault with it. In webcam mode it doesn't use it's internal microphone, so if you want to use sound on Netmeeting, you'll need to plug a microphone into your PC. Small price to pay, and I feel this is more to do with Windows arch
itecture than any fault on Fuji's part - as I have yet to see a stand alone webcam marketed with sound capabilities (although please correct me on this point if I am wrong!). It comes with a 16mb smartmedia card which is a little bit tight - however with the price of these cards coming down so fast - you can pick up a whopping 128mb card for well under £100. Installation of this camera was a breeze - even on Windows XP to which I have now migrated. As the camera is only on sale in PC World and Dixons (Curry's too I think - next to the washing machines!) I thought there was no chance XP would know about it - not so, I plugged it in to my new machine and it said "Hello, you're a Finepix 50i - what do you want to do? - view a slideshow of your pictures? Transfer them to hard drive?" How convenient! So there you have it, anyone after a camera should get this one. It's fabulous. The picture quality is amazing, the design of the dinky little thing is amazing, the features it offers are amazing. At £400 it is now £50 cheaper than it was at Christmas - although admittedly I was lucky enough to get it as a present so I didn't have to shell out all that cash. That said, if this is a little above what you were wanting to pay, I'd recommend going the extra mile just for the great resolution this baby provides. Failing that, I have friends with other Finepix models and the performance of all is superb - bear in mind though this one has the rechargable battery and docking station, so you could save a fair bit over time. Go on, swallow your pride and go in Dixons - you could even order one off their website!! :-)