Fuji Finepix A600 Review

Simple and Easy

Picture
Fuji Finepix A600 Ease of Use 10
Features 6
Movie Mode 5
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 7
Style 7
Lowlight 7
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
6.3 Megapixels
3x Zoom
2.4 inch LCD Screen
93 x 60 x 30.1mm
145g

Overview

The Fuji Finepix A600 is a simple point and shoot digital camera. It has six megapixels and a three times optical zoom lens. The main selling points of the Finepix A600 are its ease of use, a good number of megapixels for a point and shoot camera and a fairly low price.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

6.3
3x
2.4 inches
93 x 60 x 30.1mm
145g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

10cm
No
No
AA
xD-Picture Card

Image Quality

Having reviewed a number of other cameras in the Fuji A series I must admit the results of my tests with the Finepix A600 came as a bit of a surprise to me. Overall the picture quality was a lot stronger than I has been able to produce previously. It is possible that enhancements have been made to this camera by Fuji, but to be absolutely honest with you I am at a bit of a loss to fully explain the level of improvement.

Starting with the outdoor shots the level of sharpness displayed by the three scenic shots is good. The second photo where the zoom lens is not in use at all is on the soft side, but this is a picture a lot of digital cameras struggle with owing to the distance between the camera and the scene and the fact that there is no prominent feature for the camera's focusing system to lock on to. The sharpness of the brickwork in the first photo is above average for this type of camera and it is not until you get quite close to the edge of the shot that the focusing levels tend to drift away.

Staying with the first outdoor shot it is noticeable that the camera struggles with very light areas. There is a loss of detail on the white boats and also in the wooden slats beneath the roof of the building. There is also a purple line added under the white slats. This suggests you are likely to see purple fringing from time to time when light strikes the edge of light objects. The Finepix A600 handles darker areas quite well. Example areas are around the trees in the scenic shots.

In terms of colour the camera handles well. The test for colour shows no single colour dominates. Looking at the colour of the sky and foliage in the outdoor shots these are a fair reflection on the conditions at the time each photo was taken.

The two portrait shots work well. The outdoor portrait does lose a bit of detail on the darker side of the face. Otherwise the colours look natural. The indoor portrait shot is the surprise of the batch. This is where other cameras in this series have tended to struggle. The Finepix A600 manages to take a sharply focused and well lit shot. The downside is the level of red eye in the photo.

My other indoor test is taken in darker conditions. This is clearly a step too far for the Finepix A600 and the camera is unable to focus. Combining this result and the test for the indoor portrait my conclusion is that you will need to take care to make sure the camera is fairly close to the subject for lowlight photography and that there is also a limit in terms of just how low the light can be. Once lighting falls below the limit, the camera will find it very difficult to produce a decent photo.

The macro shot works well. Considering the price bracket this camera falls into it is a very creditable effort.

Likewise when shooting at higher ISO ratings the camera outperforms just about all other cameras in this category. This is an area where Fuji appear to have an edge over other leading manufacturers.

Shutter Lag and Recycling Times

I was able to take a single photo in 0.32 seconds and five photos in 15.25 seconds. The time taken to take a single shot is about average. The time for five shots is on the slow side. Even so the Finepix A600 compares fairly well with other similar digital cameras.

You can compare this camera to other models by taking a look at the Shutter Lag Comparison Table.

Features

The three times optical zoom lens has a focal length equivalent to 36 - 108mm in 35mm format. This is supported by a 6.3 times digital zoom. For close up photography the Finepix A600 can focus from 10cm away from the subject.

For composing images there is a 2.4 inch LCD screen. The screen consists of 112,000 pixels. This is a step up in size from previous models in the A series. The downside is that this increase in size means there is no room for a viewfinder.

The flash works in a range of 3.2m when the zoom is not being used to around 2m when the zoom is fully extended. The flash modes you can use are Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction + Slow Synchro.

Four pre programmed scene modes are available. These are Portrait, Landscape, Sport and Night. By selecting a scene mode you indicate to the camera the type of photo you are about to take. The camera will then use what it considers to be the optimum settings for the shot.

For when you would like to appear in a photo there is a self timer. This can be set to a delay of either two or ten seconds. There is also a 3:2 aspect ratio. This is ideal for taking photos that will be made into 6x4" prints.

After a photo has been taken you can add a voice memo to it, make a copy and trim the photo too.

There are very few features you can take control over. Those that you can include ISO sensitivity (ISO 100, 200, 400), exposure compensation, white balance (Automatic, Preset (Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light)) and continuous shooting (one frame per second for up to three photos).

Apertures work in the range f2.8 and f5.2. Shutter speeds are set between 2 seconds and 1/1600 seconds. Both the aperture and shutter speed is set automatically by the camera.

Short movies with sound can be recorded. The maximum resolution is 320 x 240 pixels and the maximum speed is ten frames per second. Zoom cannot be used while a movie is being recorded. The maximum length of a movie is one minute.

Fuji supplies all the necessary cables and software to connect the Finepix A600 to a computer, PictBridge compatible printer and a television set.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is probably the strongest feature the Finepix A600 has. In terms of features it has less than the majority of digital cameras. The upside of this means there is very little for you to control, making this camera a true point and shoot model. Key controls for zoom, flash and accessing the menu can all be found on the back of the camera. The menu system is as easy as you are likely to find.

Cost

You can pick up a Fuji Finepix A600 for around £110. This compares to around £115 for a Sony DSC S600, £105 for a Olympus FE-140 and £115 for a Nikon Coolpix L2.

As you can see there are a number of six megapixel point and shoot cameras to choose from. Out of the four listed above I have a preference for the Sony DSC S600, but the Finepix A600 is not that far behind.

Style

The camera is a fairly typical rectangular box. I am struggling to find much to say about it in fact. I would describe the camera as practical rather than beautiful.

It has dimensions of 93.0(W)x60.0(H)x30.1(D)mm. It weighs in at 145g.

Batteries and Memory Cards

Two AA batteries are used to power the camera. I found the camera to be quite battery hungry and would suggest considering picking up a set of rechargeable batteries with a high mAh rating (at least 2000, preferably higher).

12mb of memory is built into the camera. I was only able to take three photos using fine mode before the memory was full. Therefore before you can really test out the camera you will need to pick up a high capacity card to go with it. The camera is compatible with xD cards.

Click here to save money on xD cards..

Points I like:

Ease of use

Where it is not so hot:

Very basic movie mode

Summary

The Fuji Finepix A600 is one of the most simple and straightforward digital cameras you are likely to find. Apart from struggling in very lowlight and a very basic movie mode this is a pretty solid model and certainly offers good value for money in terms of megapixels to price.

Fuji Finepix A600 Front View Fuji Finepix A600 Front View

Fuji Finepix A600 Back View Fuji Finepix A600 Back View

Fuji Finepix A600 Top View Fuji Finepix A600 Top View

Sample Menus

Fuji Finepix A600 ISO Fuji Finepix A600 shooting mode

Fuji Finepix A600 quality Fuji Finepix A600 self timer

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Related Pages

Fuji Finepix A600 Review Fuji Finepix A600 Specification Fuji Finepix A600 Sample Images Fuji Digital Cameras

Review Date

September 2006

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