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I bough the A340 off ebay for £45, complete with case, tripod, memory card and everything it came with as new - utter bargain!
I was upgrading from a Polaroid Izone 300 (but that's another story :-/), and found the different settings easy to navigate and was soon snapping away like nobody's business.
On a weeks holiday, the charge on my batteries lasted through 4 days of constant picture taking and I was very impressed.
The quality of the pictures is great, being very sharp and a vast improvement on my old camera. I too have never veered from the default settings and also do not bother with the software, I merely copy the files to my pc and arrange them from there.
The camera itself is nice looking and lightweight, the only thing I would say is that when I next upgrade I would want a built in mic, a better flash as it only really works well indoors if you're quite close to your subject, and a stronger optical zoom.
The macro feature is also very handy, having the 'one stop button' and takes some really clear detailed shots.
Anyone who has used a digital camera before would have no problems navigating the different features on this one without the use of a manual.
I've owned mine for six months now so it has had a proper field test! upgrading from a kodak 1.3 mp, the criteria was for a camera that only took 2 batteries instead of 4, a sliding cover that covered the lens, and as high a res as my buget would allow!
I've never lowered the setting from the default 4 mp res, why would I? the pictures are superb! I've printed at A4 size on my crappy canon 30 quid printer and the results are good enough to frame!
I have installed the software and had a play with it, but to be honest, I don't use it. I just plug it in the usb and use it as a removeable drive. No fault of the camera, just the failing of the XD card means if you swap the images on to the PC first, they respond much quicker to alterations etc.
Never had need to use as a web-cam, you would still need an external mic as there is no mic built into to camera. Shame that as the movie recording feature would be used a lot more.
The camera is 'picture bridge' enabled and i have a Canon photo printer, and frequently print straight from the camera.
Re-chargeable Ni-Mh batteries last ages, even with constant viewing of the screen on the back.
The best features are the red eye flash setting, that elimiates red eye. Basically, it fires 2 flashes, the first one closes up the retina in the eye (that reflects the light and causes red eye) then the second flash, is the one timed with the shutter that takes the shot.This setting is now common to most cameras, but was new to me and it has impressed. The other great feature is the macro setting, or close-up setting. This is activated by pressing just one button instead of having to trawl through loads of menu options, as with other cameras. ebayers need a camera that does good close-ups!
Something it ain't intended for is using as a 'floppy disk'! If i'm working on a document, mp3's, or anything at all in fact, on my tower computer, i can just plug in the camera, bung whatever files i want on it, then plug it into my laptop and transfer them! It works for me!
Seen these go for very reasonable prices on ebay, would make a sound buy!
The FinePix A340 offers faster operation times and improved power consumption with new, user-friendly menu navigation. The cameras allow first-time digital photographers to capture great pictures easily, while keeping the overall experience simple and fun.
The FinePix A340 offers picture-takers 4.0 million effective pixels, combined with a 3x optical zoom, for printed images that look as real as life. This camera offers streamlined menu navigation, a quick playback mode and a slide-powered boot-up in sleek metallic bodies.
The camera offers four scene position modes usually found in more advanced Fujifilm cameras, including portrait, night, sports and landscape settings. The macro setting on this camera allows users to capture images of items only 4 inches away from the lens. In addition, AVI movies can be captured at a rate of 10 frames per second.
The FinePix A340 offers a 3.3 second start-up time, and an increased efficiency in frame-to-frame shooting. This model also offers improved power consumption, taking an average of 220 images on a new set of AA alkaline batteries, with the flash on half of the time and LCD off.