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Fuji a330 was my first digital camera that I brought for my fotki photo album online.It was 88 pound at the time in nov 2005,on amazon.Its a great camera and still working great three years later.Its at its best a taking pictures outdoors. As if you take picture indoors you loose the detail of people faces.even if you use the flash.The picture's don't look that great.I only use the camera outdoors now for that reason now. Its has a video capture feature that very good and makes me laugh filming myself.But also people don't look very clear on it if indoors.Its has different shooting mode for taking pictures which is very good.But its a bit heavy and chew up battery like no ones business.Get rechargeable batteries as it will cost your a fortune if you buy normal batteries.Its a great outdoor camera when lighting is good.but not good for indoors.And can be costly if your using normal batteries, but I think that the same with any digital camera.
I brought this camera over two years ago for my partner as a christmas present.
If i'm being completely honest i haven't got a clue when it comes to technology but i did know what type of thing he wanted.
I didn't like the look of this camera although it's reasonable small and doesn't weigh much it fits easy into a pocket.
Now i use it more than my partner taking photos of our two boys doing nothing really just silly things you like to remember, this camera is fantastic for that they always come up nice and clear.
With it comes a lead so you can put them straight onto your computer or it not you can leave them on the camera, it holds up to 300 pictures although this is only if you don't have it on the fine setting, the finer you set it the less pictures you can take.
It has a zoom in and out button, flash which you can turn on, off or auto which will decide for you if you need it.
It has a button on it so you can scan the pictures that you already taken (without needing to open the lens) with this you can go into the menu and erase any of the pictures you don't want.
I'm not going to give you all the fancy information as like i said before i haven't a clue when it comes to technology but i will tell you this, this camera only cost me £80 which i think for a digital camera is quite cheap, it works fantastic and as before has lasted me two years.
It is a 3.2 mega pixel digital camera with 3x optical zoom, if that sounds good to you good, but if your like me and don't know much about cameras then take my word for it, it's a great little camera.
FUJIFILM FINEPIX A330 3.2MP DIGITAL CAMERA
The 3.2mp count is a bit on the low side these days but the A330 still performs well and the pictures it takes is still excellent quality. It originally cost me £99 but should be a lot less if you find it today. The camera is silver, charcoal grey with a spot of metallic blue. It's made of plastic, and metallic in some areas. It has a viewfinder, flash, 1.5" LCD display and a sliding lens cover, which is used to turn the camera on and off. It's light, even with the two AA batteries inside weighing around only 200g. The LCD screen is burrowed down so it's not as easily scratched since it's not as exposed. I've not dropped the camera so don't know how durable it is. Battery life seems pretty good and lets you take over 150 pictures. I would recommend buying good quality rechargeable batteries to save money. The camera has a discharge batteries function so you can discharge the power so you can recharge the rechargeable batteries from empty, which makes them last longer next time they are used.
The A330 came with a hand strap, 16MB card, 3.5mm jack to Video Composite cable, and a 1m USB cable and cradle adapter. The video cable is used to connect the camera to your TV to view your pictures on your TV. To do this, just connect it up and switch to view mode. You can set the camera to flick through all your pictures automatically and it can even to cool transition effects between images.
The camera did not come with a camera case but I managed to get a £9.99 thrown in for free since the sales person wasn't able to price match the price down to £93.99. The DC power adapter and cradle need to be purchased separately, although they are both optional. The cradle adapter included is used with the cradle but it's only for those who buy the cradle. It would be better to use DC power if uploading pictures directly from the camera via the USB cable or if viewing pictures on the TV. I don't' have any complaints here since the price is pretty good.
The camera uses the slightly more expensive XD picture memory card. It has no internal memory but comes with a 16MB Fujifilm branded card. 16MB is tiny in terms of digital photography and can only fit 33 pictures at the lowest setting or 10 pictures on the highest and various other numbers with the settings in between. Anyway, I bought a 128MB XD card for £22 (fits 275 low quality pictures or 84 pictures at the highest setting) at the time but they're cheaper nowadays.
- Night - As it suggests, this is for taking pictures at night time.
- Sport - For moving objects using a quicker shutter speed.
- Portrait - For portraits of people. Skin tones show up better.
- Scene - Provides crisp clear shots of the sceneries such as buildings and mountains. Flash does not work in this mode as it's assumed you're taking pictures in daylight.
- Manual - Lets you set exposure compensation and white balance settings.
- Movie - Record AVI movies 320x240 (max time 60 sec.) or 160x120 (max time 240 sec).
- Automatic - Everybody's favourite mode. No nonsense, just point and shoot!
Turn the camera on, wait 4 seconds and just point and shoot in Auto mode. You can press the Display button to mark the centre with a cross and box, press again to display a grid. Pressing the button down half way focuses on whatever is in the centre. This auto focus means that the camera does the hard work for you and you can take pictures from any distance from your target. It's really simple to use. As with most digital cameras, you can turn the flash on and off. You can set it to automatic so it decides whether there's enough light for a shot. On top of that, there's also a red eye reduction option so the people in your pictures don't look like they've been possessed by Satan.
Unfortunately, the shutter speed is not as fast as I'd like it to be. I did a little test with a remote control car. Pressed the button half way and then fully when it got to a line in the middle that I had drawn, but the A330 was unable to capture the car before it got out of the frame. It caught the trail of light though. Even in 'Sport' mode, the picture taking speed is not up to scratch.
It takes about 1-2 seconds after taking a picture before you can take another. This isn't too long but some other entry level cameras have a 'burst' mode where it takes consecutive pictures quickly by holding down the button. This is good for more chance of catching certain fast moments.
The view finder and the pictures this camera takes aren't as wide as some of the more expensive cameras so you will just have to step back for group pictures with lots of people. Some picture modes (i.e. Night) have a very, very slow shutter speed so you will need to hold the camera very still or use a tripod. It takes a painfully slow 5 seconds to take pictures with those settings. Move and you spoil the picture. Once the pictures are taken, they will be in JPEG format with the .jpg extension.
SOME OF THE FUNCTIONS
The camera has 3x optical zoom and 3x digital zoom. Optical zoom zooms in with hardly any quality loss whereas digital zoom simply enlarges images thus decreasing image quality. After zooming to the maximum of optical, it then goes into digital zoom.
The most important function for me is the Macro function, which allows you to take clear close-up pictures. I think this is excellent quality and ideal for taking pictures of small items close-up. Great for those pictures for eBay. The Trimming and magnifying functions allows you to trim your pictures to get rid of bits you don't want. Additionally, you can delete frames, protect them, set print order, and do lots of other things with this camera. You can even use it as a webcam! It has an excellent number of features, although I didn't see the option to stamp the date and time on the pictures.
The picture quality is excellent. Night mode images are bit blurry and orangey but it picks up what it can't in normal modes. Pictures in normal conditions look superb. Pictures taken at the maximum quality setting are 2016x1512 pixels and are approximately 1.5MB in size. Pictures taken using the lowest setting are1280x960 pixels and are around 700KB in size.
Video quality isn't that great and movie length is limited. This feature is more a gimmick than anything else and it doesn't even record sound which is a real let down.
Transferring the pictures to your PC couldn't be easier. Just install the software, connect the camera to an available USB port, turn the camera on (if not already on) and browse the removable drive that appears and move/copy your pictures across to your computer. Transfers are quick via the USB connection but not as quick as USB 2.0. You also have the option of transferring the pictures directly from the card using a card reader. This means you don't have to waste your battery power if you don't have the DC power adapter. It would also be quicker if you had a USB 2.0 reader.
It's a bit dated now with only 3.2 megapixels but it still takes great pictures. It's not for the professionals but superb for eBay listings, holiday snaps and general family and friends snapshots. The number of modes makes it great for all sorts of situations although not so good for fast moving objects. The shutter speed is a bit slow for that, even when in 'sport' mode. The time from turning on to the time of taking pictures is pretty good. I would have liked more accessories to be included but it was probably not possible for that price at the time. However, if you were to find this camera today, it would be a lot cheaper. Picture quality is superb and the Macro function is excellent for close-ups. Overall, it's an excellent camera for the price and I definitely recommend it to those who want a basic or entry-level digital camera for fun or general use. If not this one, then definitely one of the newer models from the Fujifilm Finepix range. They go up to around 10MP now.
Thanks for reading!
~ ~ Some of you will probably recall that the mad cabbies first venture into the world of digital photography was an unmitigated disaster. Back in June of last year (2004) I bought the Creative PC-CAM 880 in a local electrical superstore, for no good reason other than it was under 100 in price, and boasted a resolution of 3.0 million effective megapixels. A huge mistake, as any of you who have read my review of the product will know! Fortunately, my wife (devious soul that she is) managed to reinsert the camera back into its original packaging and returned it to the discount warehouse where we purchased it. NOT a full refund I might add (unhappily) but at least we got a credit note from them that we can use in the future. Im permanently stuck with the 64Mgb memory card I bought for the Creative camera though, (about 50) as it wont fit into my new Fuji FinePix. (Bah!!)
~ ~ Anyways, not one to be deterred by a bad first experience, I reckoned that there HAD to be a digital camera out there somewhere that met our main criteria for purchase. Namely, pick up the damned thing, point it at what you want a picture of, and press the button, without first of all needing to obtain a degree in advanced photography to work out all the different options on the menu bar. In other words, a simple point and shoot camera, that is easy to use, and which will give you excellent results on an ongoing basis. Add to this a young lass (my 13-year-old daughter) who was pestering the life out of me for a digital camera, and I knew something had to be done. (For my own sanity if nothing else!)
~ ~ Id read good reviews about Fuji digital cameras both here at dooyoo and at various other sources, so when I paid a visit to a local camera shop (where I knew the owner personally) just before Christmas, this was the model of digital camera I had already half decided to purchase. Once I explained our basic requirements to her, she quickly produced the Fuji FinePix A330, saying that basically it was as easy to use as an old Kodak Brownie. (Point and shoot!)
It wasnt that the camera DIDNT have all the advanced features of its competitors. In fact, it has an extensive menu option with many extra features that you can explore at your leisure. But on auto mode the camera does all the hard work for you, and all you need do is simply click the shutter to produce excellent quality digital photographs. (Just what I wanted) When she said shed throw in a leather carrying case, four rechargeable batteries and a battery charger, a pack of Fuji photo quality paper for printing and a 64Mgb memory card, all free of charge, then the old credit card came out of my wallet quicker than Wayne Rooney reacts when he gets a sniff of the goalposts! Basic price was under 200 (194.95) and I reckon I saved in or around 80 with the free extras, so I was happy enough even though you can source the camera for less on the Internet.
~ ~ So why do I like our new little Japanese wonder so much?
Well, mostly for the reasons I have already stated. It really IS point and shoot and extremely easy to use, even for an ageing technophobe like myself. You dont even have to turn it on! Simply slide back the lens cover on the front of the camera and 3.3 seconds later the retractable lens had appeared and the camera has booted up and is ready to go. You can either look at the image in the small 1.5-inch colour monitor on the back of the camera, or do it the old fashioned way by looking through the viewfinder. The FinePix A330 does all the rest for you! All you have to do is press the wee button to take the piccy. The camera will automatically adjust itself to the lighting conditions, sort out the required shutter speeds and all that old guff for you, and even use the built-in flash if it feels its necessary.
~ ~ If you want a close up picture of what youre shooting, then the A330 has a zoom facility that allows you to move in on the subject easily, again with a simple press of a button on the back of the camera. The technical info says it boasts a 3 x optical zoom combined with a 3 x digital zoom, which supposedly gives you life like pictures with excellent colour quality. Im sure there are plenty of experts out there who could explain in vivid detail exactly what this means and how exactly the camera goes about achieving it, but as far as this wee mad cabbie is concerned all I care about is the fact that the zoom facility is easy to operate, and does the job its supposed to do, without the user needing an advanced degree in photography to figure it all out! In fact, so effective is the A330 that you can supposedly take a piccy of an object only a mere 3 inches away from the lens, although I havent felt the need to put this to the test yet.
~ ~ The camera comes with a 16Mb picture card supplied, but as I said earlier I got a 64Mb card thrown in free of charge. It really is worth your while investing in a larger memory card than the basic 16Mb one, for the obvious reason that youll be able to store far more pictures without either having to print them off or store them on the hard drive of your computer. At the default setting of 3.2 Megapixels, the 16Mb card will store up to 20 pictures, which increases to a massive 82 pictures with the 64Mb card. If you want you can change the resolution of your snaps to either 1 Megapixel or 2 Megapixels, which reduces the resolution (clarity) of your pictures somewhat, but will allow you to store far more on the memory card. (Up to 137 pictures with the 64Mb card!) The A330 will take up to a 512Mb memory card, which at the default 3.2 Megapixel setting will allow you to store up to 665 pictures, but the 64Mb card is plenty large enough for the average user. In fact, if youre not using it a lot, then the capacity of the supplied 16Mb card isnt that bad!
~~ The A330 gets its power supply from two AA batteries. Unusually these days you actually get the batteries supplied free of charge with the camera. With standard alkaline batteries youll be able to take about 160 pictures before you have to change them. Better still, use rechargeable batteries and youll get about 200 pictures, as well as saving yourself a small fortune for replacements. This is why I was absolutely delighted to get four rechargeable batteries and a charger thrown in with our camera free of charge. I can have two batteries inserted in the camera, while the other two batteries are charging, which means you never run the risk of running out of battery power. (Which lets face it, ALWAYS seems to happen at the most inopportune moment!)
If you want, you can also purchase a separate picture cradle for the camera to ensure its always fully charged. This is a little cradle that the camera sits into while not in use, and which recharges the batteries in the camera for you.
~ ~ As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of advanced features on the A330 for those of you with a technical bent, and even for somebody as dim as I am when it comes to technology most of these are fairly simple to get the hang of after you fiddle around and experiment with them for a while.
For example, you can select different settings for the type of picture youre taking. So if you select the portrait mode the camera automatically focuses more on the person in the shot and less on the surrounding area, while at the same time reducing the red eye effect you can sometimes get. (You know, the glowing red eyes that make the person look like the spawn of Satan!) If youre shooting at night time, then the flash stays on for longer and keeps the cameras shutter open for a longer period, thus increasing the light and resulting in a better, clearer picture. On the sports (or live action) setting, it increases the shutter speed so that you get less blurring of the picture that can happen when a person is in motion. You can even mess around with the different settings like the shutter speed, focus flash, etc yourself, but this is for somebody who knows what theyre about, and not a daft wee mad cabbie! One thing I WOULD like to get the hang of is operating the ten second delay feature, which would allow you to take a family shot without having to ask someone else to take the piccy for you. Ive managed to master setting it up alright, but then where do you put the camera to ensure everyone is in the shot, and that youre not simply taking a picture of the wall. Short of buying a tripod for the camera I cant see how you can manage this trick.
One last feature that my young lass simply loves is the movie mode. This allows you to use the camera as a sort of mini camcorder, and will record up to sixty seconds of footage. Every time she comes home from an outing with her pals I have to immediately download this onto the hard drive of the computer, as it takes up massive amounts of space on the memory card. If you were going to be using this mode extensively then I would suggest you opt for the largest possible memory card. (512 Mb)
~ ~ Which leads me nicely onto loading your piccys onto the old computer.
This is where the A330 really excels. Incorporated on the installation CD is a piece of software called the FinePix Viewer. This is similar to another picture suite I have already loaded onto the computer called the Adobe Photo Deluxe. Similar but SO much better, because like the camera itself, its so simple to use. To transfer your pictures to the computer all you have to do is plug the USB cable (supplied) into the camera. Thats it! The FinePix viewer does all the rest for you, downloading your piccys onto a file of your choice, and even turning on the camera for you!
Once they are downloaded you have the option of messing around to your hearts content with things like the picture quality, (brightness, contrast, etc) resizing the picture, or reducing the file size to make it easy to transfer by email or upload onto the web. And unlike the far more complicated Adobe software, this is once again very easy to get the hang of.
You can use the FinePix Viewer to view your pictures either individually or in a slide show, and to transfer them to a CD. Theyve even included an additional bit of software called the Image Mixer, which is an editing facility for any movie footage youve taken.
Theres even links on the toolbar of the Viewer to take you directly to the Fuji website, where you can do all the usual things like using their helpline or online help, and joining a forum to exchange advice and ideas with other Fuji owners.
Ive printed out quite a number of pictures using FinePix Viewer, photographic paper, and my ancient (but trustworthy) old Lexmark 3200 printer, and the quality is excellent. I can manage up to 10 x 8 prints using my printer, and its great for smaller 6 x 4 snapshots. You can also hook the camera up to one of those new fangled photo printers if you have one, and print out your shots direct from the memory card.
One last little feature which Ill mention, but which I havent tried to use yet, is the ability to link the camera up directly to your television, and view your piccys on the larger TV screen. (Ill get around to trying it out at some stage!)
~ ~ So my overall assessment of the Fuji FinePix A330 digital camera?
Well, as youve probably already gathered, Im absolutely delighted with our new (newish) purchase, and give it my highest possible recommendation. This isnt the most technically advanced camera on the market by any manner of means, but its absolutely ideal for the average home user who doesnt want to re-mortgage the house to buy a digital camera. Its small and compact, (4.09 x 2.42 x 1.23 inches) fits easily into a pocket (or handbag) and is simplicity itself to use, giving excellent picture quality.
Pricewise (as always), it pays to shop around. I was happy enough with the price I paid, (194.95) especially since I saw the very same camera in the Argos store only last week for 185, MINUS all the little extras I got thrown in free of charge with my own. A quick investigation on the web shows that youll probably be able to purchase one for under a £100 Sterling if you shop around at sites like eBay or the like.
Highly recommended by the mad cabbie.
© KenJ February 2005