Top critical review
54 people found this helpful
Nice camera but not waterproof
on 26 June 2011
I bought this camera for my snorkelling holiday in the Med as it claimed to be waterproof to 5m.
To try to be fair to this camera, I'm listing what I thing the strengths & weaknesses of the camera are:-
1. Brand name
Fujifilm - I've owned their cameras before & always liked them
2. Shooting Modes
Good range of settings for the pictures (see comments later)
3. Large LCD screen
Nice & big for the size of camera
4. Separate video & still photography buttons.
What a brilliant idea! Why doesn't everybody do this?!?
5. Panorama setting.
Allows you to take a panoramic picture. Very slick! Very easy to use. Liked this a lot.
6. Picture & video quality
Picture & video quality were very good.
Ha ha ha ha ha. Maybe someone else's one is, but mine filled up with water at less than 100mm depth. I tried this over a number of days & decided with a little effort I could get it to stay moderately watertight to a depth of about 2 metres for about 30 minutes. The good news is that I managed to dry the unit out each day & reuse it.
Long term, this will be a problem with the innards corroding, especially if used in the sea.
(I suppose the good news is that the water hasn't yet penetrated the optics... does that constitute good news..?? )
This can go into the camera the wrong way.... yet you can't put it into the charger the wrong way around. Fortunately, no damage seems to have occurred but really that's a bit of a fundamental design flaw. I haven't had that problem with a camera for many years.
3. Lens position.
For most people operating a camera of this type, putting the lens in the top left or top right is asking for trouble. Lots of pictures of fingers. This is a camera design 101 type flaw. Yes, you can learn to move the fingers out of the way, but good design thinks about this & finds a way around it before you go into production.
Oh yes, there is no cover for the lens so expect to get smudges & fingerprints on your pictures. It's a minor gripe but worth mentioning.
4. Memory card / battery compartment/ USB doors.
There are 2 of these. Why? It makes life difficult & as far as I can tell, this is where all the water gets in. The latching mechanism is similar to the one used on my old Minolta & was sooooo prone to breaking & cost me a fortune to get fixed. Sorry guys, a quite unnecessary piece of bad design.
5. LCD screen.
Not bright enough, particularly underwater. You struggle to see what you're filming/ photographing. The screen has a problem when viewed above & below the centreline of the screen. It means that it's difficult to know what your picture is like. I didn't have this with my previous Fujifilm or Samsung cameras, so why now?
6. Feature selection.
Some of these 'stop' when you do things like switch off the sound (beep) - some menus become no longer available. Once again, this doesn't happen in other cameras so why on this one? Bad design.
7. Picture settings (Shooting mode).
There's 21! Too many. There are 3 for underwater use alone! This needs simplifying. Just because you can make 21 different settings doesn't mean you should. In any case, most of them seemed to be the same
8. Data file errors
I got lots of file errors using mine. Probably 1 in 7 pictures ended up with a 'Read file error' message. I tried different SD cards that I knew worked ok in other cameras but got the same results. To be fair, this could be the dried remains of the Med still in my camera causing this....but this shouldn't happen, full stop.
There are other niggles that I could mention but I won't.
In summary, if you want a camera for everyday photography, then it's very good but you'll probably get lots of fingers in shot. Samsung & Canon probably will do better designed units for a similar price tag.
If you want it for underwater (snorkelling) depth then there are better things out there & judging by some of the other reviews, you'll have trouble with this camera. (I also bought the Kodak mini video camera for £26 & was very impressed with it for the money). If you want an underwater camera, buy a good camera & then get a waterproof housing for it (I've seen these for about £75+)
It's a shame because the features & the concept of the Fujifilm camera are very good, just poorly executed.
I am now looking for the packaging so I can return this to Amazon for a refund.