Fuji Finepix AV250 Review
The Fuji Finepix AV250 has a low price tag and offers very good value for money. It is easy to use, takes decent snapshots and records High Definition movies. The Finepix AV250 is well worth considering if you are looking for something simple and you do not need all the latest features.
Why Buy The Fuji Finepix AV250
The Finepix AV250 is a good choice if you are looking for a no fuss, low price digital camera. It can take good quality snapshots.
93 x 60 x 28mm
Megapixels and Zoom
The Finepix AV250 has 16 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom lens. The focal length is equivalent to a 32 - 96mm focal length on a 35mm camera.
You can use either SD or SDHC memory cards with the Finepix AV250. Fuji have not built any internal memory into the camera, so you will need a memory card before you can start using the camera.
Power is supplied by two AA batteries.
The Finepix AV250 is capable of shooting High Definition movies. The maximum resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels. To be able to record High Definition movies you need a class 4 or higher memory card. The maximum time for a single movie is 9 minutes.
The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size. You may find the occasional camera with a 3 inch screen at this price point, but the majority of direct competitor digital cameras are likely to also have a 2.7 inch screen.
Fuji have added a set of pre programmed shooting modes to the Finepix AV250. When you select a shooting mode the camera is able to identify the type of photograph you are about to take and select the optimum settings for the shot. The shooting modes are natural light, portrait, babies, landscape, sports, night, fireworks, sunset, snow, beach, party, flower and text.
For close up work the camera is able to focus from 10cm away from the subject. Strangely it focused from closer in than that for the macro test for this review.
Although this is one of the more basic digital cameras available you can adjust a few advanced features. These include white balance (to adjust colour), exposure compensation (lighten or darken your photos) and ISO (add more light / freeze action).
The Finepix AV250 is a step up in size then a true ultra compact digital camera. That slightly larger size has its advantages in that it is easier to get a good grip of a larger camera. There is just enough room on the back of the camera to place your thumb. The thumb area is dimpled to help grip.
The flash is positioned centrally. The advantage of this is that it is away from any fingers and thumbs that may block out light from the flash unit.
LCD Screen Quality
This is an area where compromises tend to be made when companies are trying to keep process down. The screen quality is a little basic, but this is only likely to be an issue when light sources shine directly onto the screen.
Turn on Time and Shutter Delay
As you might expect the Finepix AV250 is not one of the fastest cameras to turn on or focus and take a shot. Even so all times are reasonable. This is an area where it helps to give some consideration to how you plan to use your camera. If you think the majority of photos you will be taking will be of subjects that do not move quickly then you do not need exceptional performance in this area. If you do need something a lot better than the Finepix AV250 then the price is going to be higher.
Design, Build Quality and Finish
There is a solid enough feel to the camera although it is not made from the highest grade components. As long as you handle your camera with a degree of care that should not be an issue. Fuji have added a shiny finish to the Finepix AV250.
There are not too many buttons and dials. On the top there is the on off button and the shutter button.
At the top on the back is a zoom control. You zoom in by pressing one end and zoom out by pressing the other end of the control. Half way down are buttons to change the information showing on the LCD screen display and for reviewing your photos. Further down is the main control section. Here you will find controls for exposure compensation (and deleting unwanted photos), selecting the flash mode, activating the self timer and playing the camera in macro mode.
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Picture Quality Summary
Taking the price of this camera into account picture quality is very impressive. There are very few problems that are likely to blight your photos as long as you are not over ambitious with printing. In most cases focusing is good and the colours are vibrant.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
I would have been happy to have seen this photo as a test result from a much more expensive digital camera. Focusing is very good and the Finepix AV250 has managed to pack plenty of colour into the shot. If you blow the photo us to full size you do see a degree of noise, but that should not show if you keep print sizes sensible. There is a small loss of detail in the lightest areas of the shot.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
Zooming the lens out also produces impressive results. Sure if you view the photo at full resolution on a computer screen parts will look smudgy as detail is lost, but that should not show up when you are making snapshot sized prints or showing a low resolution image on the Internet.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
On the whole focusing is sharp, but it does soften as you reach the right hand edge of the shot. This suggests the Finepix AV250 can find it difficult to focus right across scenes that that become progressively more distant.
Sharpness does drift towards the edges of this test shot, but overall it is another good effort. There is also a touch of purple fringing showing around some of the windows in the shot, but as with other image issues this should not be noticeable with smaller prints.
You should be able to reel off pleasing outdoor portrait shots outside in good light. There are no issues with the Finepix AV250 here. Being that bit closer in the camera finds it easier to focus. Colours are well balanced too.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
The flash light is perhaps a little harsh. This creates a less flattering photo. This is a fairly common problem with entry level digital cameras and you may have to look to pay more if this is something that really concerns you.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
Although this photos has a more natural look to it than the portrait taken with flash it is not pin sharp. All digital cameras work better outdoors in good light than in lowlight and this point tends to be even more pronounced with cheaper models.
This is another shot that a fair few more expensive cameras would find hard to match. The colours are vibrant and focusing is impressive for an entry level digital camera.
If you are looking for a camera capable of producing snapshots with punchy colours then you should have no problems with the Finepix AV250.
As mentioned above noise and other factors that can take the edge off definition do show in large prints and when photos are viewed at high resolution on a computer screen. Unless your photos are taken in poor light noise should not be a serious issue.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time
Ease of Use
The Finepix AV250 is as easy to use as just about any digital camera. Based on simplicity this is a good choice if you are new to digital cameras and all you want is a camera to get out and take snapshots with.
Points I Like
Ease of use, value for money
Where it Could Improve
Some focusing and noise issues
The Fuji Finepix AV250 offers surprisingly good photos for a camera in this price bracket. It proves you do not need to spend a fortune if all you require is decent quality snapshots. It is very easy to operate and picture quality is very impressive when taking the price into account.
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