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Digital cameras are dropping in price all the time. This latest FinePix A204 Zoom from Fujifilm costs roughly half what an equivalent camera would have set you back a year ago. The chunky A204 has a two Megapixel CCD array for good resolution and a 16 MB memory card to hold the pictures.
This is an xD-Picture Card, a new format from Fujifilm which is about the size of a Multimedia card and set to replace the SmartMedia format Fujifilm has mainly used until now.
Controls on the camera are arranged in three groups. On top are a sliding power switch and a shutter release, with a rotary switch arranged around the shutter button to select record, playback or video modes. At top-right on the back panel is a row of three buttons used for selecting menu options and for zooming in and out. Just to the right of the good-quality, colour LCD display you'll find the final three buttons, labelled Display, OK and Back. The menu system is easy to navigate and well differentiated with bright colours.
The FinePix A204 Zoom has a sliding cover which protects its lens, but oddly this isn't linked to the power switch. This means you can have the camera on with the cover still over the lens and the camera off with the lens uncovered--neither combination is good. Images from the A204 Zoom are finely detailed and well balanced, with natural colours, though a bit over-vivid in bright light.
You transfer your pictures through the supplied USB cable, using Fujifilm's own software, supplied for both PC and Mac. It includes transfer, viewing and photo manipulation applications. Both the software and the camera itself are good value and easy to use. --Simon Williams
The FinePix A204 Zoom is an ideal combination of 2.0 megapixel performance, 3X optical zoom and long battery life. The 3X optical zoom lens makes this camera well placed to take photos across a wide range of situations at the press of a button.
The movie mode enables QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) movie clips of up to 20 seconds (each) duration to be recorded, whilst the camera can also be used as a webcam. The supplied FinePix Viewer software makes it simple to download and manage images. The ideal solution for anyone requiring a well specified zoom compact at an economic price.
I received my camera about 2 weeks ago now so I've had a bit of time to play with it. The pictures the come out are very clear especially outdoor shots, the macro mode works well on the tests I've done so far. I was surprised how vivid the colours are. The movie mode is fun - nothing more however. 20 seconds shooting time and no sound mean that you won't use it that often.
It comes with a 16 MB xD card which is fine for a while but you will have to pick up a bigger if you're going on a long holiday. xD is the new card format from Olympus and Fuji and they are tiny. The only real problem I have with them is that there are no cheap card readers like there are for the other formats (Amazon sell one but I think it’s too expensive at the moment).
The battery life is really good, I got LOADS of shots from 2 1300mh batteries.
- Good clear pictures
- Fun movie mode
- Perfect for point & shoot pictures
- Great battery life
- No case
Would I recommend this camera to friends? No Doubt.
On the negative side I do wish a case had been included with this camera and a power supply. Although these are not utterly essential a case does help protect a camera(and is a nuisance to buy seperate) and the power supply would help preserve battery life when downloading photos from camera to pc.
On the whole I am very pleased with the camera and would recommend it to anyone who wants an easy camera that takes good photos.
Overall a truly first class camera with a solid feel to it and one to be recommended especially at the price.
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