Product Type: Fujifilm digital cameras
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Excellent quality, value, budget camera
Fujifilm Finepix AV100
Member Name: prost
Fujifilm Finepix AV100
Date: 25/04/11, updated on 12/04/13 (195 review reads)
Advantages: great picture quality, value, quality lcd, quality video, reliable battery lid unlike Canon
Disadvantages: no manual white balance
Here is my review for the Fujifilm finepix AV100, which is almost identical to the AV180, as well as the A160, A170 and A180, which shoot 640x480 video but not 1280x720.
The AV180 is £49.95 at www.jessops.com who also sell a pack of LCD-screen protectors for it at £1 if you call 0800 083 3113---it's £5.95 on the web site. They offer free delivery for orders over £50. For every purchase you make at a Jessops shop, however, they give you a £5 voucher for free photo prints, valid for two months.
The AV180 has a 3-inch LCD; the others have a 2.7 inch.
Videos are stored as .avi files, which can be seen without need to download more codecs. Individual files have a limit of 2Gb. At 640x480 you get 25 minutes; at 320x240 you get 55 minutes; for 1280x720 it's 8 minutes. Picture quality is good but you have to press many buttons to use it first. You can zoom during recording unlike in many other camera makes. Never turn the camera quickly when recording video as this is poor shooting technique---you may be too close to the subject you're trying to film. Also, the video will be rather jerky, particularly at 1280x720.
I could hear bird song when viewing a video made from outside my home. Youtube has video samples from the Fujifilm Finepix AV100.
It has a timer which can delay picture taking by 2 or 10 seconds. The former can help prevent camera shake when you press the shutter.
The manual is not as user friendly as it could be but using the camera's menus is easy. The manual is on a CD-ROM in .pdf format, not paper. 3Mb in size, it can also be found at
Set ISO to 400---or 800 if you accept a little more noise---to reduce noise in low-light pictures without flash by using the Manual (Program AE) mode. The camera will give you a constant-blur warning because you're shooting at a lower ISO than it thinks you need. You can also increase/decrease the exposure compensation to let more/less light into the camera; try experimenting with different values.
Sometimes the screen goes darker for some reason; pictures taken are subsequently dark. It's best to wait for the screen to brighten again. Bear this in mind when taking video.
I found that not using macro mode for close-up shots was better than using it. If you want to takes pictures of text on an A4 page you need at least 1600x1200. Here is such a sample
There is a text mode for photographing text but you can get clearer pictures using manual mode.
Like all the other Fujifilm cameras it has a panorama mode where it stitches together 2 or 3 pictures, great for estate agents, architects etc. and also inside museums, stadiums & airports. A tripod is advisable, or perhaps a chair or table. You can try doing it without those; if it doesn't work then try again. (If you have friends who are estate agents or architects and you are not one, unless they have a Fujifilm, you can tell them that their camera does not have the panorama mode that you never use in yours.)
I have the screen set at nearly the dimmest setting; this is still bright enough. There is also a button you can press which will brighten the display when you shoot in bright sun; it works well. Press the button again to turn it off. Another button keeps the camera silent, not that it is noisy.
When viewing pictures if you have many you can choose how many get shown in thumb-nail mode, up to 100.
Viewing videos on the screen works well.
There is no histogram feature but it's easy to see whether the picture taken is too dark/bright.
When closing the battery lid make sure you orientate the camera enough so that you can see it closing properly. It is a good idea to practice it first.
Here are galleries of picture samples for the AV100:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brenpac/with/5519501 220/ (These are stunning pictures of museum exhibits in low light.)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/56475889@N05/sets/72 157625371553285/ (India)
Huge gallery of av180 pictures:
Big gallery of A160 pictures:
(On page 2 the photo in the first column, second row is out of focus. On page 8, although out of focus, are great shots of a pop concert at night taken at ISO 800.)
I created a series of macro pictures, shot at ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, to show the difference in quality. It's a fun thing you can do once you get a new camera:
You need at least a class 4, 6 or 10 SDHC card, which are fast enough for shooting 720p video. Always earth yourself before touching a memory card. Touch the back of a desktop PC or connect a metal wire to the earth pin of a plug and plug it in a socket. Take this with you on your travels. Always format the card after you put it in the camera to help preserve its life.
AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries 2500-3000 mAh are recommended; these are higher than normal rechargeable batteries. I use 1300mAh and they last long enough for me: a week-and-a-half on an average camera use. I store them temporarily in the fridge/freezer after they have been charged, to reduce charge loss, wrapped in a bag. Let them warm up before using them. It is recommended that you fully discharge Ni-MH rechargeable batteries after every 3-5 uses. The camera has a mode to do this. Otherwise, do not let them fully discharge before charging as this is not good for the battery; wait until it drops below 25%. Ni-cd rechargeable batteries must not be used.
It will store the time for 24 hours without battery power.
/GP_2700mAh_Rechargeable_AA_4_Pack_2_FREE__GPB-6A A2700-D (all one line)
sell GP 2700 mAh at £8 for 6, still a lot cheaper than Li-ion batteries.
they say that GP are an excellent make of battery unlike, say, Ross.
(Poundland sell a U.S.B. AA battery charger, which works, but has no indicator to show if a battery is fully charged. It will charge 1800 mAH in 10 hours, so 2700 mAh in 15.)
If you want a Li-ion battery camera try the Jv100, Jv200, jx210, z70, jz510; they shoot video as .avi up to 1280x720. The last one has 10x zoom. These batteries degrade 20% each year from the date of manufacture and need a nearly-full discharge after every 30 uses. There is a z70 review at www.cameras.co.uk
The AX350 has 5x zoom and takes AA batteries.
Note that any compact camera above 7 megapixels is meaningless unless you use a top-of-the-range compact.
You can also use a SquareTrade 3-Year Warranty+Accident Protection at £15 for any item less than £50---excluding postage---so it adds a further 2 years of warranty. You can buy this up to 60 days after purchase. The customer service is very good; others agree too.
sell cameras & offer an additional Warranty+Accident Protection on top of the original 1 year warranty: 2 years £12; 3 years £18; 4 years £24.
I find that the good thing about Fujifilm is that HD video is stored as .avi and not h.264. This needs a less-demanding PC; I can play 1280x720 .avi but I could not play h.264 on my PC. In future cameras may only store video as h.264. Also, cameras using AA batteries---which I prefer---may become extinct. So, my plan is to buy a Fujifilm camera now and another one a year later with an extended 3-year warranty. Prices keep coming down. Cameras may only last 1-3 years.
If you need a good non-compact camera which gives you more control consider something like the Fujifilm finepix S1600, £100 at www.amazon.co.uk
In google if you type in:
Fujifilm finepix z70 church site:flickr.com
it will search for flickr pictures from that camera. In this case any pictures that contain the word 'church' in the title. With that word omitted it will search for all pictures.
There's a new group for Fujifilm Finepix A/AV series Cameras
I found this on a page dealing with solutions for a stuck camera lens:
"Believe it or not, one BIG contributor to lens errors is using a camera case. Sand, gunk, case fibers, etc... accumulate at the bottom of the case. These materials love to cling to the camera by electrostatic build-up from the camera rubbing against the side of the case (especially those cases with soft fibrous intreriors). Once these materials work their way into the lens mechanism, that's all she wrote. I have many cameras, and NEVER use a case for this very reason."
My first thought was to wrap the camera in a sheet of A4 paper, put that in a jiffy bag, put that in a waterproof bag along with a pack of silica gel to help absorb moisture. Then wrap that in a plastic bag and change the A4 paper regularly. But, you could maybe wrap the camera in a sheet of A4 paper before putting it in a case. Then, add a pack of silica gel.
If you want to see the benefit of having a panorama mode in a museum see this picture:
Also, great pictures here
When you cut the LCD-screen protector make sure its size is 3mm less than the width and length. Otherwise, it's too fiddly to install. Don't worry about getting bubbles inside because once the camera is on it's unaffected.
You can wrap a piece of cable-tie wire around the strap so that it's not too big for your wrist or a piece of string.
has a list of free photo-editing software. One of them is Irfanview, which is user friendly. Another is Gimp. The links below show how to use Gimp to reduce noise/blur in pictures:
(Basically, they say use the Selective Gaussian Blur in the Filters menu: use around 8 for delta and radius. I found effective.)
Gimphoto, www.gimphoto.com , is a free variation of Gimp for Windows and Linux:
http://www.great-landscape-photography.com/remove -purple-fringing.html (and what it is)
If you accidentlly format a memory card:
Summary: Fujifilm is great for quality, value and reliability.
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