Fuji FinePix 1400A sleek design, great 1.3 megapixel picture quality, a 3x zoom lens, and a great price!
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Page 2:Executive OverviewReview First Posted: 6/6/2000
With the new F1400 Zoom, Fuji's come up with an affordable camera that boasts a compact, portable body and all the basic exposure control necessities plus a nice array of features. The camera's sleek, light weight body design allows it to tag along wherever you go by easily slipping into most shirt and coat pockets. A sliding cover protects the lens, eliminating the hassle of a lens cap. We were glad to see that unlike other digicams of similar design, this sliding cover does not serve as the power switch, which can sometimes be a little tricky. Instead, the camera is turned on through the mode dial on the top panel, which then activates the lens to slide out into its operating position. We also appreciated the very clean look the camera has, thanks to a limited number of external controls. Although this means that the LCD menu system must be used to adjust most of the camera settings (which can put a little extra load on the batteries), it presents a very simple user interface that is easy to figure out.
The F1400 Zoom offers both a real image optical viewfinder and 1.6 inch color LCD monitor for composing images. With the exception of specific exposure variables such as aperture and shutter speed, the LCD screen provides a fair amount of information about the camera, including file size, the number of images recorded, etc. This information display appears in both Record and Playback modes, and can be easily dismissed by pressing the Display button. We were glad to see the inclusion of a playback zoom and a nine image index display mode as well.
The 3x, 6 to 18mm lens (equivalent to a 38 to 114mm lens on a 35mm camera) provides a nice zoom range and automatically controlled aperture settings of f/3.5 or f/8.7. Focus is also automatically controlled (from 31.5 inches or 0.8 meters to infinity) and a macro setting gets as close as 3.9 inches (10 cm). The 2x digital telephoto is enabled by zooming past the optical zoom range, but only when the 640 x 480 image size is selected. Exposure-wise, the F1400 Zoom covers all the basics with options for Automatic or Manual exposure mode. Automatic mode is very straightforward, putting the camera in charge of everything except the flash mode, file size and image quality. Switching to Manual mode allows you to adjust the exposure compensation (from -0.9 to +1.5 EV in 1/3 EV increments) and the white balance (with choices of Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Daylight Fluorescent, Warm White Fluorescent, Cool White Fluorescent or Incandescent) in addition to the previously mentioned settings. Something interesting we noticed is that the 10 second self-timer is only available in the Automatic exposure setting, since the option disappears once you switch to Manual mode. Flash is controllable in both modes, with settings for Auto, Redeye Reduction, Forced, Suppressed and Slow-Synchro, all accessed by pressing the Flash button on the back panel.
Images are stored on 3.3v SmartMedia cards and a 4MB card comes with the camera. Images can be saved as 1280 x 960 or 640 x 480, with an option to resize the larger resolution images to 320 x 240 under the Playback menu. Quality settings range from Fine to Normal to Basic in each file size. Four AA alkaline batteries accompany the camera, but you can also use four AA Ni-MH or Ni-Cd rechargeables and/or purchase the AC adapter accessory (both of which we highly recommend). Even with it's reliance on the LCD, the F1400 Zoom actually performs quite well in the power consumption category, being a bit more efficient than most cameras we've tested. Despite the lower-than-normal power consumption though, we still strongly advise purchasing a good charger and a couple of sets of AA NiMH rechargeable batteries: You'll save a huge amount of money in the long run.
The camera connects via a USB cable to a PC or Mac and comes with a nice complement of software on one CD. The Exif Viewer, DP Editor and Adobe PhotoDeluxe programs allow you to not only view and organize images, but also set them up for printing, make minor corrections, apply filters for more creative results and take advantage of templates for making greeting cards, calendars, etc.
We have to say that we were pretty impressed with the F1400 Zoom. In a compact, sleek package, you get a 1.3 megapixel camera, a zoom lens, all the necessary exposure control, advanced playback features and very nice image quality, all at a very reasonable price. This camera is perfectly matched for the consumer who wants to take great pictures without worrying about a lot of exposure settings or spending too much money. Given its compact size, we think the F1400 Zoom will prove an excellent companion for just about any destination.
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