Full review posted for Fuji FinePix S602 Zoom!|
(Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 20:34 EDT)
Dave looks at Fuji's enthusiast-oriented 3 megapixel, 6x optical zoom digital camera...
I've been testing and playing with a Fuji S602 Zoom digicam for a week plus now, and I think Fuji's finally hit a genuine home run in the "enthusiast" category. The 602 is a follow-on product from their 6900 that proved to be a surprise favorite late last year. The new product has the same 6x zoom lens and a 3.1 megapixel SuperCCD sensor, but this sensor is one more generation advanced than what was in the 6900, and it shows in terms of lower noise, improved color, and some very interesting special capabilities for high-speed, high-resolution motion capture and ISOs as high as 1600. (Albeit that the latter trades off resolution to achieve that rating.)
Coming in at a surprisingly aggressive MSRP of $799, the S602 Zoom looks to have most of the features "enthusiast" photographers look for, including full manual exposure control, a hot shoe for connecting to generic external strobe units, and extended battery life thanks to a move to a 4-AA cell power source instead of the tiny NP-80 battery of its predecessor.
There's also some surprises in the performance area too, with one of the fastest AF shutter lags I've seen for under $1500, excellent shot to shot cycle times, and some nifty continuous shooting modes that make it easy to capture those fleeting moments that usually escape digital shooters not able to afford pro-level digital SLRs. Oh - and did I mention that it can capture full VGA-resolution video (640x480 pixels) at 30 frames per second straight to the memory card? (It takes both SmartMedia and CF memory cards, including IBM Microdrives.)
Overall, this is a very appealing camera. The only real negative I found to complain about was that it's geometric distortion is higher than average at the ends of its zoom range, but apart from that, I was very impressed with the 602's performance and picture quality. If you're in the market for a high-end prosumer digicam, you really owe it to yourself to check this one out. Read the review for all the details!