Fuji FinePix A800
Launched in the UK late March 2007 this is the latest in the popular A Series.
The A Series started life as a range of quite basic cameras aimed at those on a low budget and who didn't want to get involved in the photo taking process - ie. Easy to use.
Unlike some brands entry level camera though, they all feature full colour depth CCD's so as well as offering a decent number of pixels the range of colours and levels of brightness have not been compromised to acheive a lower price.
The cameras all feature 3x multi-coated glass optical zooms as well as a digital zoom.
New features on the A800
Looking very similar to the A600 (6 M Pixel) the A800, not suprisingly offers 8 Million Pixels (8Mp). Now with genuine (not image enhanced) 800ASA sensitivity, so low light photography without flash even in very poor light is an option.
Fuji's are renowned for being quick of the mark and a quick test proved that this is no exception. It takes the picture when you hit the button not some time afterwards!
The controls have had some attention to make them even easier for new users and really makes use of the crystal clear 2.5" LCD Screen.
Large pop-up information windows and thumb wheel control makes navigation of the camera's special scene modes and other settings as easy as they can be. Finding features and functions without refering to the book is a simple task.
The camera has 10Mb of built-in memory, but this is not sufficient for a 8 Million Pixel camera only allowing you to record 6 pictures in it's highest setting, so you will need to add a memory card. Fuji and Olympus cameras all take xD Picture Cards, however, Fuji have realised that they are poaching sales from buyers who previously had cameras from Canon, Pentax, Nikon and the now dufunkt Konica / Minolta so have added an SD Secure Digital Card Slot as well. So buyers upgrading can use their old cards of up to 2Gb in this latest FinePix.
One of the new features in the playback menu is trimming. Now you have 8 Million pixels to play with, this is a really usefull feature allowing you to crop on camera, again making good use of the big screen.
Overall I find that this is an ideal high quality camera for a 'non hobbiest' or begginer. It produces outstanding results in any lighting condition, takes amazing close-ups and is as easy to use as digital camera's can be. The screen refresh is real time, the shutter lag is non-exsistant so you will catch the fastest action. The high sensitivity Super CCD means you do not have to rely on anti-shake devices to keep the image still - it simply uses a faster shutter speed. At sub £140 it offers real value for money.
This is not a camera for the hobbiest who wants double exposure, inverted image, solorisation or any other 'special feature' - It's just a camera to take pictures in any normal condition with as little fuss and effort as possible. It does not come with enough memory, so you will have to buy an xD card of at least 256Mb or use an SD Card from a previous camera. Although battery life is good, I would advise using rechargable NiMh batteries.
Case - A Series
xD or SD Cards 16Mb - 2Gb
Underwater Housing - WP-FA800
Mains Power Supply - AC-3v
For anyone wanting a smart looking compact digital camera with no fuss and the abilty to heavilly crop and/or produce large prints of exceptional quality and that shoots as soon as you hit the fire button - I give this 9/10
If you want the same features in a camera with more over-ride options and a lithion rechargeable battery then consider the Fuji FinePix F Series (F30 is closest match).