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I was given the Fujifilm Finepix AV250 upon the unfortunate breakage of my previous camera, a General Electric point and shoot. For some years, I'd yearned for a "proper camera", but this camera has showed me that you can achieve quality photography with a humble point and shoot.
The Fujifilm Finepix AV250 is a little silver camera - also available in a shiny black - fronted by a 3x zoom lens, a flash bulb, and simple "Fujifilm" branding. The opposite side holds a large glossy screen, zoom controls, mode buttons, including playback/review, timer, macro, and flash controls, and navigation buttons for traversing the firmware's various menus. The bottom has a tripod socket and a cover for two AA batteries and a SD or SDHC card. Mine cost around £50, so I was completely unprepared to discover such a good camera.
The AV250 is a surprisingly light camera, but not so much that it runs the risk of dropping from your hand! It doesn't, incidentally, come with a lanyard or strap, so I do sometimes fear for its safety when leaning over high drops. It takes photographs up to 16MP, and stores them to a SD card. It apparently has some internal memory, but I suspect that mine is faulty, as it saves only to SD cards - that isn't really a problem for me, however, as I have plenty of SD cards, and your experience of what seems to be a one-off production error may vary.
The camera's flash can be quite harsh, but it can be deactivated using the circular button set on the side facing one's face. This button's neighbour governs macro mode. Other modes, such as portrait (softer colours) and night (slower shutter), can be reached via the menu button.
The menu button also allows access to things such as ISO, white balance, and exposure compensation. Incidentally, there isn't very fine-tuned control over white balance - it's limited to several named, preset options, such as "natural" and "fine" - but it isn't too much of an issue for me. You can also choose resolution here, as well as image quality - I recommend "fine" to realise the full potential of this camera.
Your nice, shiny, crisp captured photos can be reviewed by hitting the button with a little play symbol, but the HUD sadly covers up much of the picture and you can't get a very good idea of what exactly you've taken until you transfer the pictures to your computer.
The motion sensor deserves a special mention - in some point and shoots, the blurring can be horrible, but, despite my fervent attempts to wave things in front of this camera and produce some unsightly blur for testing reasons, I can't squeeze any out of it.
For £50, I expected a camera similar to my previous. What this is is a powerhouse of the point and shoot world. The images it produces are dazzling, features such as face detection and automatic programming have yet to fail me, and it's very intuitive to use. I give this camera an easy five stars.
I received my Fujifilm camera a few years ago as a birthday present. I was delighted. The camera itself at the time took a good picture and it's one of those that you feel safe carrying around.
Unfortunately, technology ages extremely quickly and it is said that technology is pretty much redundant 2 years after its release date. This is a real-world situation of that saying. Although the camera is still good, the menu is easy to sort through, it has slots for an SD of any size and is extremely userfriendly, it is the picture quality that suffers. Do not fret, the quality is good! However, it is with the abundance of Smart phones (blackberry's, Iphones etc...) that really pound the poor Fujifilm into submission.
A large amount of these phones can offer just as good a picture with instant access to the internet to upload that picture to anywhere in the world instantly.
All that being said, mine does occasionally see some use when I just want a quick photo of something for reference. It's extremely intuitive user interface lends itself to being easy for even the technophobes to just rip it out the box and start taking pictures.
Realistically, would I buy it again? No.
These days if you are going to buy a camera, I'd make absolutely sure that your phone (or any other device you own) isn't already capable of the same quality or better before you shell out your hard earned money.
There are numerous amounts of camera's in the house with myself being a photography enthusiast, I have a collection ranging from top of the range SLR to the most basic compact. This camera is one that is used by the whole family for day trips out when the bigger camera's aren't convenient to take. We purchased this camera fairly recently, in the past year or so as we thought our old basic point and shoot was a little dated and the image quality it was giving wasn't at it's best.
This camera is around the £50-60 mark depending on where you make your purchase. Id say that this is an average price for a standard point and shoot and the fact that it's an affordable camera also reflects that there is no real wow or additional features.
DESIGN AND EASE OF USE
The camera is a very good compact size it'll fit comfortably between most people's top finger tips to the bottom of their palm, great for transporting the camera on low key trips. I have this model in silver as it was the only colour they had in stock at the time of my purchase, however I do think the black model looks more expensive and has a certain amount of sleekness to it.
There are minimal buttons on the designs and only the flash, lens and logo is present on the front of the camera, I think the minimalistic design of the camera makes it look very mature and is also very welcoming to anyone regardless of their experience with photography.
The few buttons that are on the camera are very reasonably sized and spaced out from one another, I think this is a great design concept as there are a few of my cameras that are so jam packed with small buttons you're constantly hitting the wrong ones, then by the time you get the camera ready the photo opportunity has gone! However, this camera is excellent for time efficiency and getting those quick snaps, quickly.
There are no snazzy features on this camera that you wouldn't already expect from a standard point and shoot camera, you have the ability to zoom, the choice of flash a built in self timer and a macro option, other than the ability to take the picture that's pretty much all the features you get with this camera. Being an enthusiast I see this camera as quite dull and boring and I tend to only use it when its absolutely necessary. On the other hand, my parents and siblings love this camera, as they have next to no knowledge of photography and it allows then to easily understand a few features and take great photos.
The camera has a 3x optical zoom, this doesn't offer a fantastic range but it can get you just a little bit closer to your desired subject without sticking the camera in their or it's face, and it also give you the opportunity to get a better frame on the picture by in affect cropping out unwanted background. Just don't expect anything amazing with the zoom, it's probably camera phone zoom range!
You have a choice of turning the flash on and off, this is good for days at the zoo or in enclosed areas where flash is not allowed.
This is for close up shots and allows you to capture (usually a small sized subject) in great detail and usually with vibrant and vivid colours. The macro on this camera works well but not great, you can see more detail in the images but not a great amount. I'd say this macro focuses more on depth of field (Focusing more on making the background blurry rather than bringing detail out).
Great for group snaps, allows everyone to be in the photo providing you have a tripod of a surface to securely hold the camera. I've not really used this feature much on this camera as I think it's more hassle than it's worth, I'd rather ask a tourist or someone walking by to take a group picture for us.
The picture quality is good, there is minimal blur and the images tend to be sharp and clear. The camera has 16 megapixels which means its a very good size if you want to blow your images up to a reasonably larger size.
This camera produces good pictures and has a good range of features providing you don't want anything great and you just expect the basics. I think £50 is a good price for this camera as it's durable and does what it says on the packet. This is a great camera for those starting out in photography (such as young children) or those who just need a basic camera that can take good quality pictures.
I had planned a gift for my father who is visiting us this spring and picked up this camera so that he could store his memories during his stay with us. I have had a few trial runs with this piece and now seem confident enough to attempt a review.
Firstly, I picked it from the Amazon marketplace for around £50ish. Currently it shows £53 on the marketplace and £59 on Amazon.com. So it is a budget camera and should not necessarily come with the frills. Perfect for an old gentleman who simply wants to aim and shoot without necessarily being bothered about the more fancy features. However, it does comes with the bells and whistles that I realised later and hence is very good value for money. Secondly, it is very is very easy to use. Thirdly, it takes decent pictures. Perfect to store those memories without trying to attempt anything artistic having aesthetical relevance. And finally, it has a brilliant frill - high definition movie recording feature. Not sure whether my father would necessarily want to record movies but then I can very well record a memorable evening family chatter and banter and download it onto my computer for keepsake.
IS IT A GOOD BUY?
Surely, if you are not fussy about super quality photos then it is a perfect buy. BTW, if you are an average person with no great photographic talent it is quite impossible to distinguish between a decent quality images from its super quality photograph. Also, you should be a minimalistic person who is not obsessive about the bells and whistles that adorn a product but buys things for what they are basically supposed to do - in this case take good quality photographs.
At a glance (from manual)
LCD Screen: 2.7 in
Dimensions: 93 x 60 x 28mm
HD Movies: Yes
Manual Controls: No
Batteries: 2 AA
Memory Cards: SD/SDHC
I have seen many persons basing their digital camera decisions on the megapixels it has. I believe that it is a good boast but it does not necessarily result automatically in good photograph. 'Megapixels is not everything' for taking a good photo. Also it depends on what you use the camera for. If you like to take family photos or shoot holiday pictures (like in this case) and view it on a computer or laptop, all you need is 4 megapixels at best. Yes, only 4, nothing more. Why is this so? Because megapixel literally means million pixels and this is the amount of pixels that the camera can capture from its lens. So what it means to the user? It means how much pixels will the user use even if the camera is designed for capturing 16 million (in this case). If you do not print (90% of time) then you can only use the maximum pixels that your computer can offer you. A high end computer monitor has a resolution of 2048×1536 or 3,145,728 pixels (approximately 3 Megapixels) or not more than 4.
So if you plan to see the photos on computer - 4 megapixels is enough and 16 megapixel offered by this camera is a luxury which you cannot use.
What about printing photos? I actually went and checked as to how the megapixels are related to the print quality. I would like to share some findings which would help you decide things for yourself - not with purchasing this camera but any camera as such.
Maximum Print size of 5 in x 7 in with a resolution (dots per inch) of 2048 x 1536 would need a 3 megapixel camera for good quality print.
Maximum Print size of 8 in x 10 in with a resolution (dots per inch) of 2560 x 1920 would need a 5 megapixel camera for good quality print.
Normally, you would print with a resolution of 240 or 300 DPI (dots per inch) which giver super quality print. If we need a 300 dpi (highest quality) print of size 8 in x 10 in (a normal family album size), the calculations for the number of megapixels needed would be 300*8*300*10 = 7,200,000 megapixels (less than 8 megapixels).
With this camera having 16 megapixels, it is technically possible to get a super quality print photo of the size of 12 in x 15 in (16,000,000/300x300), which is an enormously large photograph and will be printed for special purpose only.
Verdict - The megapixel offered by this camera far exceeds what you would normally need. It's nice to have but not something that I would highlight.
This camera has a 3x optical zoom. Optical zoom is what is called a real zoom. I personally never get bothered by digital zoom which is basically image expansion as even normally done on a camera. Optical zoom, on the other hand, actually brings image closer ensuring quality and resolution is maintained. When the lens of the camera moves forward then a greater optical zoom is achieved. Higher the optical zoom, better it is. So how good is a 3x optical zoom? 3x optical zoom would bring the image 3x closer. What needs to be considered is the focal length, which is 32 - 96mm. It is pretty weak.
Verdict - This camera is not good for taking long distance shots. I would say this would be perfect for normal snapshots, parties, family portraits and closer objects but would struggle to get good close-up shots of anything longer than 5 feet away. Normal shots of long distance objects would be fine but you are bound to miss the details, if that is important.
LCD Screen -
It is easiest to frame shots using the LCD screen. Sometimes the glare of the sun creates problem and you remember the need of the viewfinder. But at this price point it is not possible to have a camera that also offers a viewfinder. Finepix A250 does fine by not having a viewfinder. The camera has a standard 2.7 inches screen size which is the norm for any standard point-and-shoot camera. The quality of the screen is slightly basic.
Verdict - As good a size as anything else, in this price range and similar point-and-shoot cameras. Compromised on quality, which might be an issue if the sun shines brightly (not here in Scotland J)
It has an inbuilt flash positioned in the middle.
Verdict - Very nice because there is no way that your fingers and thumb would be anywhere near so as to block the flash light.
Dimensions, Weight and Controls
It is slightly bigger than a normal compact camera but to compensate it provides firm grip and dimpled resting place at the back of the camera for your thumb. Good for an old man whose thumb might start tiring after a day of photography. Nothing much to say than that it is light and compact. Good, handy stuff but you need to be careful with this shiny piece because it does not look sturdy.
There is an on-off button and a shutter button on the top. At the back of the top you have the zoom control where you press one end to zoom in and the other to zoom out. Midway there is the button to change menus on the LCD and to review the photos taken. Lower down you have the main controls - exposure compensation, deleting unwanted photos, selecting flash mode, activating self -timer and for shooting close subjects.
This camera has the ability to shoot High Definition movies. High-definition movies has rapidly become a must-have feature with even budget camera offering this exciting possibility of using the same camera body and lenses for both still and movie shooting. However, it requires a memory card of class 4 and above (expensive than standard). This camera can shoot 1280 x 720 pixels resolution HD movie for a maximum of 9 minutes. This is very impressive.
Verdict - This is an impressive feature for making short movies and recording memorable vents for posterity. 9 minutes is good length for a birthday cake cutting ceremony or a kiss or even a short thank you speech or a funny moment.
Memory Cards -
There is no internal memory so you will need a memory card even before you start. That means you need to spend on buying the memory card SD or SDHC and if you plan to take HD movies make sure they are more than class 4.
Verdict - Expensive proposition but absolutely necessary. I have the opinion that providing some internal memory to take care of a sudden need in case the memory card gets filled up would have been wonderful.
These include white balance (to adjust colour), exposure compensation (lighten or darken your photos) and ISO (add more light / freeze action).
PHOTO SHOOT METHODS
There are number of preset modes that can be used for taking photos, a good feature when the user is not well versed with the intricacies of photography. The preset mode selects the most optimum setting for your photograph and there is no way you can make any errors of judgement. The shooting modes available are natural light, portrait, babies, landscape, sports, night, fireworks, sunset, snow, beach, party, flower and text - pretty much everything that you might possibly need for a photography setting.
It also can take photographs in the near range - as close as 10cm away or even nearer from the subject, which is remarkable for a budget camera.
It is however not perfect for shooting movie object in a still photo mode because of slow shutter speed leading to slow turn on and shutter delays.
And now to the most important thing to consider while deciding on any camera - hoe good is the photo quality? Considering that it is a budget camera, the photo quality is quite up there at the top. The colours are vibrant, the images effervescent and the focus sharp. The print also would come out very nice provided you apply decent resolutions and not try to be over ambitious. Otherwise you would get some colour bleed and blighting.
The outdoor shots are nearly as nice as any other within this measly budget. Focus is sharp and colour dazzle. There appears to be some impair where there is inadequate light.
Zooming works well as long as you do not try to see the photo at full resolution on the computer. However works fine with low resolution.
As for taking photos of people it works very well in adequate light. Indoor shots taken with flash alter the colour balance. However, indoor shots without the use of flash make for more natural photos though it reduces the sharpness.
Finepix AV250 is a simple aim and shoot camera which is easy to use and have enough frills to interest the novice or those who are simply interested in recording memories rather than indulge in fanciful photography.
For its simplicity, low price and decent quality photos, it deserves an A.
Also in Ciao UK under same name and title
After breaking my camera I was looking for an affordable replacement. I am not an expert in this field so I can provide a review from an amateur in photographer for those of you who aren't looking for a camera to capture images of your friends, family and the odd view. Firstly, I felt this camera was a bargain! I bought it in Tesco for around forty-five pounds. It was 16 megapixels, even I know that for 45 pounds this is incredible! It is light in weight which makes it perfect for carrying with you everywhere you go so you never miss a photo opportunity! It's small size and light weight means it is now a permanent object I carry in my handbag. It is incredible easy to use with a specific button to access the photo gallery. It has many options to ensure you get the clearest picture for the exact situation. For those of you who, like me, are not incredibly knowledgeably on how to take the "perfect photo" there is an auto setting. This setting means the camera will adjust itself to fit best to the situation. I rarely take the camera off this setting as it provides clear pictures almost every time.