Top critical review
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Basic compact, but does the job
on 22 March 2014
The Fuji is a pretty simple affair as you expect at this price range.
Build wise it's acceptable for a camera costing under £50 plastic body and controls seem to be durable enough to withstand day to day use.
There isn't a lot to get excited about with models like this, it's all fairly simple and predictable, but I've certainly used worse compacts in the entry sector
In the box you get
2x AA alkaline batteries
As expected a fairly standard zoom range of 5x giving 33-165mm equivalent (on 35mm)
That's not really wide (ie 28mm and under) but about normal for a compact like this
+ Takes AA batteries, this is a big plus for me as I've tons of them around
+ Battery life is good with decent quality NiMH batteries I got over 400 shots (some with flash) that's good for a compact (Forget using AA alkaline cells they just don't last long at all ok for an emergency but little else)
+ Image quality is "acceptable" don't get too excited, but you will get reasonable prints at lower ISO levels (intended market) or no problems with "social media" shots
+ Flash exposures are quite good (Fuji tend to do well here) and the camera balances the light output well (ie powers down the flash so it doesn't blow you out)
+ Display was fairly easy to see in most light, it's a 2.7-inch, 230,000 dots affair par for the course on models like this
+ Video 1280 x 720 pixels is "ok" mono sound but not too bad
+ Simple to use
- 16mp is more like 4-5 megapixels in real world, Most basic compacts have neither the lens nor sensor quality to yield true high resolution images, this is no different to other makers. Ignore the number, I would suggest setting the camera to M (medium image size) 3264 x 2448, you won't see any improvement in images at the 16mp setting
- Rear LCD isn't 100% coverage, not quite
- Macro could be better, it's about 10cm at the wide end (half that would be much better) it's ok for closer up shots
- Only has "digital stabilisation" not sensor or optical, it helps but it's not as effective
- High ISO is quite mushy so I'd try to keep it to ISO 400 or below
You get your usual scene modes and Auto do everything, but you do have exposure compensation of -2.0EV - +2.0EV, which is about your only manual control (But a pretty handy one)
Some of the modes allow you to go down to 8 seconds exposure which might be handy for night shots.
By no means a bad basic little compact, this is quite easy to use and takes passable images. If you are looking for an inexpensive compact, that takes ok shots and you don't have to "pamper" (ie worry about losing it or breaking it/or as a kids camera), then the AX650 isn't bad at all.
I find the flash exposures one of the main reasons I find Fujifilm a better bet than some other makers, a lot of compacts I try wipe the subject out with harsh flash, the Fuji's a bit better here and thus I give it a modest thumbs up.