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Digital cameras are fastly becoming a necessary part of peoples daily business and social lives. From capturing nights out in town, to documenting imported company meetings, cameras are almost essential to our every day. So it can be irritating and difficult to choose the 'right' model when so many are jumping out at you from a vastly over-crowded market.
Before I purchased my Panasonic Lumix camera (reviewed ealier), I bought one of these 'Fujifilm Finepix F11' and used it regularly for several months. I still have the thing, so I decided to get it out and give it a review. To begin with, what features does the device have?
- A robust part plastic, part metal exerior body makes the product durable and long-lasting - there are hardly any scratches and no dints on my model after months of extensive usage.
- A 3x optical zoom planted in a 'FujinonZoom Lens' - though this isn't as powerful as many others, the clarity of zoomed in photographs is incredible.
- The ability to capture up to 6.3 megapixels - on the camera I have now this can be extended to 12 megapixels, yet I keep the camera on 4-6 as I don't see the point in clogging up the cameras memory so quickly.
- A decent flash which can be set to automatically signal.
- A simple to understand (and very similar to other models) button layout on the back of the device - from here you can flick through existing images on the cameras database, deleting and editing photographs.
- USB connectivity via a small jack from which a jack to USB cable can be attached (included with the product).
One thing I wasn't very impressed with within this camera was its rather dated software interface. The information displayed on screen, including the remaining battery life, megapixel size, flash operation and the cross-hair in the middle to help you line up your target is pixelated and unclear. The symbols could have been made to look clearer and more colours could have been used. Similarly, the symbols could have been placed closer to the sides so they don't infringe on your picture taking.
Once you have uploaded some images onto a PC, you realise that the quality is very good indeed. The camera is hindered in no way by the lack of megapixels in comparison with other models, and the colour vibrancy of the imagery is excellent. From you computer (accessing the images through 'My Computer') you can drag images into editing software and begin to shape your portfolio.
All in all I have been exceedingly impressed with this model, it may look slightly outdated on the inside and out, but theres no denying its durability, relaibility and quality. If there weren't cheaper, more powerful cameras out there now I would still go for this one - but that's the wonder of technology, it never sleeps.
Overall this has been a great little camera, and although it is getting on a little now, I'd still buy another tomorrow, if it was cheap and mine broke.
The first thing is the looks. This is not a stunner! It's quite functional and well made though and sits quite nicely in the hand. It feels as though it will take a fair amount of abuse, but I haven't tested this fully (yet!)
Switching it on, the first thing you will notice is that the startup is very quick for a compact. Press the power button on top, and in under 2 seconds you are ready to shoot. Focusing is fast as well, and there is even a rapid focus setting for when you really can't wait. This uses a little extra battery apparently, but it's not an issue because the battery life is great. I leave mine on rapid all the time and still get over 500 shots between recharge. I mostly leave the flash off however. Haven't really used the flash much so couldn't say of battery life with flash. The battery is a Fuji 1950mAh Li-ion so the downside is you can't buy AA's etc on holiday for instance. A small price to pay I think.
The modes are pretty self explanatory and easy to use, and while it doesn't have a mode for every concievable circumstance, a little common sense from the user will see you right. I leave it in manual and set white balance and exposure compensation according to conditions. The menus are easy to navigate once learned (5min job) I wish they had put white balance on the shortcut "f" key though. Also there is no mode to set both aperture AND shutter speed, just aperture OR shutter speed: the camera always chooses one. This is disapointing as it just seems so easy to have done.
Taking a picture you are forced to use the screen; there being no optical viewfinder, but it is big and bright and quite satisactory for me. The auto-focus is fairly loud but it doesn't bother me.
Pictures look sharp and vibrant; it does an excellent job with colours but does have a tendency to over-expose IMO. However this is what exposure compensation is for! I generally leave it at -1/3, moving to -2/3 occasionally, and the pictures look good. Not dSLR professional good, but good, quality home snaps.
Back to the flash, the reason I don't use it is because the higher ISO's are useable. It goes up to 1600, and 400 is very useable, with little noticeable noise, 800 too. Whilst you wouldn't not notice leaving it set at 1600, in a museum with no flash allowed, it allows you to photo what you otherwise couldn't. Very useful.
I've had the camera a year or two now, and whilst cameras have definitely moved on, this still gets my seal of approval.
As an amateur photographer, this was one of the first camera i owned. I still use this camera for taking quick snaps or in situations where i would rather not take my other camera. As most Fujifilm cameras, this camera comes with a very good quality lense as standard.
It has a number of modes which can be used, enabling the user to customise most settings on the camera, useful for both begginers and more advanced users. As well as the manual settings, there is an automatic mode which works well in all situations. The battery life in the camera last for a very long time, i have owned this caemra for 2 years now, still using it regularly and the battery still lasts for more than 2 weeks being used continually. Ideal for holiday situations, the Lithium battery is also advantageous as there is no need to buy batterys. The large screen makes it easy to view pictures once they have been taken.
One only disadvantage that i have found is that the camera uses as xD - Picture card, this are a little more expensive than the SD cards which most other cameras use.