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I decided it was time to treat myself to a new camera and this one was on offer in Tesco. I've had it a couple of years now so at the time I think it was supposed to be £130, I got it for around £60.
I'm really not a very good picture taker but this camera really helps you out. It has a lot of features (probably including some I don't know how to use!) but I find it quite straight forward. Generally I have it set to automatic, meaning that the camera picks the best settings for me depending on what it thinks it is looking at.
My favourite photo is one of a dandylion - not the most glamorous of subjects but after a bit of whirring whilst the camera adjusted it's zoom and focus, we took the photograph and it came out really clear.
I get that a digital camera can take away some of the skill required but for me, that's OK! I want to be out there taking pictures, not sitting inside learning to use my camera. The great think about a Fujifilm camera is that a bit like Microsoft, once you learn one program (camera), you are reasonably familiar with them all. Of course some things change but generally, the button that takes you to the gallery on one, will take you to the gallery on another.
This camera can also take film which I really like. My old camera can only take 60seconds whereas this takes 15. I think that is a reasonable length of time, and the quality is OK too. I find it a bit hard to zoom in and out whilst keeping the camera steady though.
On the one hand, I like the fact that the camera is small and compact. On the other, I sometimes wish that everything were a little bigger to make one handed photography a bit easier. The smart answer would be to buy a little tripod!
My only beef with it really is the battery life. It seems to be absolutely dreadful! I'm using Duracell rechargeable batteries so not too expensive thankfully, but I have to make sure that I always have at least one spare set with me if I want to take more than a handful of snaps.
When connecting the camera to a PC to download your pictures, it can be a little slow to start (I blame my PC!) but the interface is really simple and easy to use.
A word of warning to anybody buying one though; I don't think that it comes with a camera case. Mine certainly didn't, and you'll want one to protect the LCD screen.
I do have a smart phone with a camera but this is definitely better. It's lightweight and easy to carry, just make sure that you keep some spare batteries lying around!
The FinePix AX245 is an entry level point and shoot compact digital camera from Fujifilm boasting a 12 megapixel resolution and 4x optical zoom. The camera is available in black, silver and blue and is available for around £50. I got mine (blue one) from Tesco Direct for £60 over a year ago so might be able to find it for less now.
Aside from the price and my previous ownership of a Fujifilm FinePix camera, I chose the AX245 because of the 12MP Pixel count (granted this doesn't necessarily determine picture quality), 4x optical zoom count and the fact that it runs on AA batteries. The batteries last a fair number of shots but I use rechargeable batteries so maybe don't last quite as long as alkaline batteries.
First impression when I took it out of the box for the first time was that the camera looked very much like a toy. Very 'plasticy', especially the blue part, which looked much nicer in the pictures! I First ever camera I've owned that wasn't either black or silver turned out to be a bit of a disappointment (I really should have gone with silver) when it came to looks but that aside, the size is good for a compact camera.
Picture quality varies, but are generally okay in good lighting. However, when taking fairly close up images of objects, with or without needing Macro mode, I often had problems with over exposure whereby the flash is reflecting off the object. Not great for me, especially if I'm using the camera for taking pictures of stuff I intend to flog on eBay! To counter this, I often turn off the flash and hope for the best but results were better that way.
The camera itself is very easy to use and has lots of different modes but I do find it to be a bit on the slow side. After pressing the 'take picture' button, it makes a funny noise and then pauses for a second before it actually takes the picture. The noise sounds very mechanical as if something inside the camera needs to adjust before the picture is taken. This is rather annoying as quite often, I press the button only to find that the picture hasn't been taken and then I have to press the button again. It sounds like the camera has to 'adjust' the focus every time, which isn't good as it means you could miss shots if you're taking pictures of moving objects. Good thing my eBay items don't run away!
It's got Macro mode, which is crucial for me as I take a look of pictures for selling on eBay. This means lots of close ups. It's also got loads of others like night mode, action, etc but you can also use automatic mode just to use it as a point and shoot camera. It has a display and view finder, which help with the picture-taking. I really like the panoramic mode whereby it lets you merge several shots together to form one wide picture.
You can use the USB cable that came with the camera to download the pictures. Annoyingly, it came with a USB cable with a proprietary (non-standard) plug. My previous Fujifilm had a standard mini USB socket, which are much more common. So if, I'd lost the original cable, I could easily pick up another. Not a huge problem, just inconvenient if you prefer to use a cable to download the pictures / movies. Alternatively, you can also eject the SD memory card and then download the pictures that way. Most modern laptops have SD card slots built-in and card readers are widely available. My previous Fujifilm used XD Cards, which I didn't like as not all card readers/laptops supported so the switch to SD is welcome.
- High pixel count
- 4x Optical zoom
- Low price
- Takes AA batteries
- Takes SD Cards
- Lots of modes
- Colour choices
- Build looks cheap
- Slow to get ready
- Uses non-standard USB cable
- Flash over exposure
It's an okay camera for the price but if you have a bigger budget than £50, then I would get a more expensive and better one. It's a digital camera that works but does have a few annoying niggles so I would look for alternatives unless you can find it dirt cheap and just want it as a gift for a young person as their first digital camera.
Thanks for reading
Out of all the compact cameras I've ever owned, this is by far one of the best. Some of the features it includes are better than some that bridge cameras offer.
Out of the box I was pleasantly surprised by the look and feel of it, especially how I had only got it for around £50. There was a large screen on the back that allowed you to clearly see images that I took, and also boosted 12 Mega Pixels. It was ergonomically designed, making it easy to hold and reach the buttons and featured simple to use menus. It was quite clear how to change the various settings.
After playing around with it I was still impressed with both the quality of the photos, as well as the amount of settings that the camera allow you to play with. The automatic mode made photo taking easy, with even snow shots coming out clear and crisp. The only problem with this mode, is it makes some loud whirling noises as it focuses. Not a issue normally, but it can be annoying at times. It also comes with image stabilisation and red-eye removal, functions that are not normally available on cheap cameras. So it certainly has the toys you would expect to have on expensive cameras.
Be warned that it doesn't come with a internal memory, so you'll need to buy a memory card separately. Luckily it takes normal SD cards, which can be picked up nearly anywhere for a fairly decent price.
The Finepix is also capable of taking videos. Its meant to be able to take HD videos, although I'm not entirely sure it always manages this, but at least it is still watch-able, and is actually better than my rather old and battered camcorder.
There is a little bit of a delay when in auto-mode, that can cause problems when taking pictures of things that move, but if you depress the button half way so that you focus the camera, it is much quicker in taking shots.
- Summary -
Its a nice little camera that is good for taking pictures on holiday, or when you go out for the day, but if you are a serious photographer, or someone who wants to get shots perfect everytime, then this may not be the correct camera for you.
After reading the one review of this camera I felt I had to provide a realistic review of its features!
Yeah, it doesn't come with a memory card - however practically no new camera (certainly not low-priced ones) come with a memory card. Annoying - Yes, but hardly the end of the world!
Onto the camera. This can be picked up for £50 to £60, and for this price it is an absolute steal! 12Million pixels and with a proper optical zoom and a quality lens means it is very easy to take pictures. The camera has loads of features and options.
The prime feature, particularly for anyone who wants a "point & shoot", is the option for the camera to select all the best settings automatically (called Auto SR). In this Auto Scene Recognition mode it decides whether it is a close-up image, general scenery or portrait amongst others, automatically adjusting for daylight, indoors or night-time and even removing 'red eye' from people.
This camera also has features you normally only find on much more expensive cameras such as Image Stabilisation, Panoramic images (where you take three pictures and the camera joins them at the edges), and Face Recognition where it recognises if people are in the picture and can automatically remove 'red eye' from any of the faces.
The camera does make some whirring noises, particularly when you have it on AutoSR - it is simply the camera doing lots of find adjustments to the focusing and lens etc.
It takes AA batteries, but you might want to invest in some decent high capacity re-chargeable ones.
I got the Fujifilm Finepix AX425W digital camera for £49.99 from the Tesco catalogue depot, where it had a tenner off the usual RRP of £60. I was after a pocket-sized digital camera to replace the half-loaf-of-bread-sized behemoth of a model that I bought in error the last time, and was attracted by the Finepix's small size, its 12 megapixel resolution capacity, its 4x optical zoom, and to be quite honest, what I thought was the rather snazzy shade of metallic, electric blue that its outer part is mainly coloured. (It's also available in bright red, silver and black). It was something of a rushed purchase, as I had two screaming sprogs plus one catalogue-shop-weary adult with me at the time I went to Tesco to buy it, which meant I had to make my selection / decision in quite a hurry.
As mentioned above, the last time I bought a digital camera, I opted for a large, SLR-style 'proper camera' looking model that turned out to be a terrible disappointment, as when it came out of the box it had a memory capability of approximately zero, and was as I have outlined previously, terribly cumbersome to carry about / use. I have been using the old camera religiously for the past five years, 'to get the value' - and also if I'm honest, in the hope that one day I'll accidentally drop it or it'll accidentally fall to the bottom of the sea, or something so that I'll have an excuse to buy a new, smaller replacement. I mention all this because the old model was a Fujipix also, and I've been so unhappy with it that I would never knowingly have purchased another camera made by this company.
So imagine my dismay when I realized I'd only gone and gotten another Fujupix digital camera!
Initially I was very happy with the Finepix however. It's small, and lightweight, and very easy to use. It looks good, and will fit easily into a trouser pocket. Two (non-rechargeable) batteries are supplied with it, and once you work out how to put them in, that's all fine. The 2.5 inch LCD screen at the back is very large in proportion to the size of the camera, taking up approximately three quarters of the space at the back. It also has a number of 'modes' that can be switched through via the buttons (the modes show up on the LCD screen) - landscape, group portrait, snow, beach, fireworks and even a 'baby pictures' setting - that make it easier to use, and a timer. It comes with a CD enabling you to download the pics you've taken to a computer, and an USB cable for this. There is also a 'wrist strap' that you can connect to the camera to avoid dropping it.
This camera also has a very nifty 'panorama' setting, wherein you can take up to three pictures of eg. a landscape, using the camera to 'join the edges up' between shots so that you end up with a continuous picture. I'd read about digital cameras these days being able to process shots like this, but had forgotten about it when I came to selecting my new model, so I was very happy to see that the Finepix has this capability. We tried this out indoors just to see how it works, and it's surprisingly effective as well as surprisingly easy to use.
Two panorama shots of three consecutive pictures each, and a couple of other trial shots the first night we used it however, and that was the camera's 'internal' memory full to capacity. And it doesn't come with its own memory card! There's just a space for a memory card in the space where the batteries go in.
What a total swizz! I honestly couldn't believe it. You get a new camera, and then have to buy the memory card for it - separately! Bloody Fujifilm digital camera that have zero memory - it's just like the SLR-looking one I bought from them before (the memory card of which, that of course I had to buy separately five years ago, incidentally, is incompatible with this new model). I think this is just shocking and extremely disappointing, and although the camera itself is nice, not bad value and probably will work quite well, I have rated this review with fewer 'stars' accordingly.
(In fact, now I've used the camera a few times I can comment that there is an appreciable delay - of about two seconds - between your pushing the button and the shutter opening, which makes taking photos of moving subjects (such as small kids) surprisingly difficult. ) The resolution on the pics isn't brilliant either. In short, this thing has underwhelmed me, overall.
A memory card for this camera - we got a 4 gigabyte one from again, Tesco - cost me the equivalent of the tenner that was taken off the camera's original RRP at Tesco catalogue shop. So that's swings and roundabouts all round there then, isn't it? Pathetic.