Being the first digital camera I ever bought four years ago, my camera and I have been through a lot together. It has documented some of the better experiences of my life, festivals and holidays included, and so it is fair to say that I have had some pretty good use out of it. In fact, I am impressed that, four years later, it is still in working order. Many of my friends' cameras have died after unfortunate nights out where they were carelessly dropped or simply from 'old' age. While it looks a bit worse for wear in terms of scratches on its case, the Fujifilm FinePix A610 is still fighting for life and holding strong, but is it actually any good?
So, what do you get?
At the time of buying, the Fujifilm FinePix A610 was one of the cheaper 6.3MP cameras on the market, and this swayed my decision to purchase it, costing somewhere in the region of £90. It was also fairly compact in my mind, measuring 9.8cm x 6.2 cm x 3.1cm (approx. 4" x 2.5" x 1.25") - it was the perfect size for fitting in my pocket, which was ideal for me, as I never used to carry a bag anywhere. Its LCD preview screen size of 5.5cm x 4cm (approx. 2.125" x 1.5") was a revelation to me, as I could only compare it to the tiny screen on my parents' digital camera, on which you had to squint to even vaguely make out any detail.
In terms of software, I only wish I could remember whether any came with the FinePix A610. There is a USB slot, and from digging in my memory, I do believe that there was a cable that came with the camera for transferring pictures. However, I have long lost this cable, and any software discs that may have come with the camera. Despite this, I always find electronic devices' software to be a nuisance rather than a help, and for quite some time, I have transferred my photos by removing my SD memory card from the camera and inserting it into my laptop, which I believe to be far easier and hassle free. No annoying set up tutorials to go through, no stress.
That said, the camera does not come with a memory card of any sort. While it does have 10MB of internal memory, I would strongly recommend buying an SD/xD memory card for the camera, as not only is it easier to transfer pictures this way, but 10MB barely holds more than 20-30 photos (quality depending).
On the other hand, the camera did come with 2 AA batteries but, as a forewarning, I would stock up in advance. The only other means of powering the camera is by buying an optional mains power adapter. Do not be fooled into thinking that this would charge an internal battery - it could only be used for powering the camera within your home, something that may be useful for documenting Christmas or a similar event where everyone is in one room, but otherwise would be highly restrictive. I never opted to buy the adapter, as I personally would not see the point.
Get snap happy
The camera is ridiculously easy to navigate. Once switched on, there is a very obvious 'MENU/OK' button, which leads to a variety of shooting modes. Selecting 'SHOOTING MODE' gives you a variety of photo options including Movie, Auto, Manual, Museum, Baby Mode, Sport, Landscape, Portrait, Fireworks, Snow, Sunset etc. Each option has a small description as to what it supposedly adds to the picture e.g. for Museum mode, the camera automatically turns off the flash and sound, while Fireworks mode turns off the flash and slows the shutter speed.
You are also able to change the quality of the pictures you're taking, giving you the possibility of switching from the highest quality of 6.3MP to the lowest quality of 0.3MP. This is useful if you care less about the quality of the photos and more about the amount you want to take, as 0.3MP quality pictures will obviously take up far less memory on your memory card than 6.3MP pictures.
There is also a 'SET UP' section to the menu which allows you to effortlessly change options such as the time, date, language and so forth.
Not only is the menu easy to navigate, but the layout of the buttons on the camera make it very user friendly and easy to work. The navigational buttons double up as feature buttons. So, for example, when in Shooting mode, as opposed to Menu mode, the left button doubles up as a Macro button, allowing close up shots to be taken easily and without fuss. Similarly, the right button doubles up as the flash button, making it easy to change between auto, red eye and flash off. The same principle applies to the down button, which doubles up as a timer button.
Zooming in and out is also extremely easy. Circling the shutter button, you are able to twist the zoom adjuster effortlessly to get your desired shot. For those interested in technical details, this camera apparently comes with 6.2x digital zoom. However, this means little to someone like me who uses a camera only very casually - all I know is that the zoom satisfies my camera needs.
Bottom line - is this camera any good?
Despite having highlighted its ease of use, one of the more important things to me in my camera is its ability to take clear, vivid pictures. This is where my camera and I fall out. Unfortunately, the shaky hand technology had not quite developed back then as well as it has today. Thus, if you turn the flash off the camera, picture taking becomes a nightmare. Often I have been somewhere at dusk or night time, thinking it to be especially pretty, and being frustrated by camera's inability to take a good photo. With flash on, you lose the quality and atmosphere of the picture you want to take with the harsh light ruining the photo. With the flash off, your hands have to be completely still; one small twitch and your photo is ruined. Of course, I suppose this could be solved by investing in a tripod, but it would be impractical for me to carry around.
Another gripe I have with the camera is 'Movie' mode. I was really excited at the prospect of being able to film gigs etc. and relive that period in time at a later date. However, I was crushingly disappointed that this camera does not have a sound recording ability, and so films essentially become silent movies. While this has not bothered me too much if I want to film a wide panoramic view, recording an event with people on this camera is pointless.
Another consideration buyers may wish to make is that this camera does not come with additional shooting modes like 'Black & White', 'Sepia', 'Panoramic Views' or rapid one-after-the-other shots that other cameras are capable of. This also disappointed me somewhat after I'd purchased the camera, as I thought it was a standard feature of all digital cameras to have such things.
The last complaint I have about this camera is its APPALLING battery life! When I advised earlier in this review to stock up on batteries, I wasn't joking. The biggest negative point to the camera is that it becomes very expensive to continuously have to invest in AA batteries just because this camera eats batteries like its starving. I have tried using rechargeable batteries in an effort to save money, but find that these are worse than normal batteries in terms of the length they last. I can remember feeling horrified that after about 5 pictures, they were dead already! My next camera will definitely be rechargeable, I can tell you now!
All in all, despite having taken some great photos on this camera (not at night, funnily enough), I have to say it is a poor performer compared to the others now available on the market. At the time, it suited me as it was affordable and attractive thanks to its 'high' megapixel quality (6.3 is nothing these days!). Available for about £45 nowadays (used quality - cashgenerator.co.uk), I would encourage prospective buyers to spend a little more, as I am certain that there are cameras on the market that are far better in quality and battery life.
I got this camera for my birthday which was about a year ago now, so i've had plenty of time to test out this camera and see how it copes capturing some great experiences. Throughout the year that I have owned this camera i have never had any problems with it. It gives out great quality pictures and has lots of different modes for taking photos. Personally I have never really tested out many of the modes but i have seen the great range of options to choose from. If you're thinking of buying it as a casual camera then I would say 'go for it' because the layout of this camera makes it very simple and straight forward to use. It's accesable to anyone and it's size makes it extremely handy as you can just whip it out of your pocket when ever it's needed. The only criticism I have for this camera is that it takes 'AA' batteries, so you have to spend extra money on batteries instead of just recharging. However I did buy a special pack specificly for this camera which came with rechargable 'AA' batteries, although the batteries still don't last as long as I would like them to. Overall I would definately recommend this camera to anyone considering buying a casual camera which doesn't cost a fortune.
I have had this camera for about a year now and it I love it!!
Excellent Digital Camera!
The camera itself cost me around 50 pounds from Tesco and it has been worth every penny.
The Camera is silver in colour and has a front lense which moves in and out when you turn the camera on and off. There is a large flash pannel on the front as well as the text logo of Fujifilm.
The camera is 6.3 mega pixels, i dont know what that means but the picture quality is really really good. When loading the camera you, the logo comes onto the screen, which is on the back of the camer and then your ready to take photos, the button at the top takes the photo. You can take many photos on this camera and store them to a sd memory card, i personally have a 1GB memory card and this holds hundereds. To be precise the camera holds around 400 pictures if you want the 6mega pixels photo,, and around 1500 if you have 3mega pixel photos, I normally use the latter and my photos come out in great quality.
It is really simple to transfer your photos to your computer as the camera comes with a usb lead which connects into your camera and into the back of your computer, a new drive will then appear on your computer, from which you can copy your photos and place them on your computer.
You can also take the memory card to a digital photo booth (as like the one in asda) and print your photos out from there. If you want to get your photos developed online you can copy your photos from your camera on to computer and upload them to the tesco website and get them developed this way.
The camera has different modes, i.e. baby mode (no flash), museum mode, party mode and many many more, suitable for every occasion.You can see all the photos you have taken, zoom in really really close, delete phots, you can also set a timer so the photo gets taken after so many seconds.
This camera also has a mode so you can record motions. As far as I am aware this does not include sound and does take alot of your card memory up, these can be transferred to a computer in the same way as the photo's.
The only problem I have had with my camera is that it doesnt seem to hold battery power for long and therefore I am constantly going through batteries, the kodak ones seem to work the best for the longest. I don't know whether this is a standard fault or whether my batteries are rubbish... lol
Overall a brilliant camera, great to capture those special moments.