Fuji FinePix 1400A sleek design, great 1.3 megapixel picture quality, a 3x zoom lens, and a great price!
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Page 3:DesignReview First Posted: 6/6/2000
When Fuji first told us about the FinePix 1400 Zoom, they emphasized that this was a camera that had been designed in response to US consumer input, and was tailored to American tastes and preferences. At first sight, the fruits of this focus were immediately obvious in the appealing design and how it fit our hands. (We're Americans, after all. ;) Our own reaction was borne out by others we showed the camera to: While there's nothing startling in its design, it elicited very pleased reactions from virtually everyone we showed it to.
With overall dimensions of 4.9 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches (125 x 65 x 39mm), the FinePix 1400 Zoom should easily fit into most shirt and coat pockets, making it very portable. It's lightweight too, at only 12.3 ounces (350g) without the batteries. The entire camera is designed with clean lines and smooth contours that make it easy to hold as well as pleasant to look at.
The front of the camera is very smooth, featuring a sliding lens cover that retracts to expose the lens. (No worries about keeping track of a lens cap!). However, unlike some digicams with similar lens cover designs, the lens doesn't telescope into action until the camera is turned on via the mode dial. Even then, it only protrudes about three quarters of an inch from the body, maintaining the camera's sleek physique. The only other components on the camera front are the built-in flash, which is always exposed, and the front of the optical viewfinder.
The right side of the camera (looking at the front) simply holds the USB and DC input jacks. Both are uncovered and easily accessible.
The SmartMedia card slot is located on the opposite side of the camera, beneath a hinged, plastic flap that locks securely into place when shut. We always appreciate it when digicam manufacturers make card slots uncomplicated and easy to operate.
The majority of the camera controls are on the back panel: Display button, Flash control, Cancel and Menu buttons, zoom control and two arrow keys. Because most of the camera settings are controlled by the LCD based menu system, the back panel of the camera isn't overly crowded with buttons and switches. Also on the back panel are the LCD monitor and optical viewfinder. A small, textured thumb grip gives you a pretty secure hold.
The remaining camera controls are on the top panel, namely the mode dial and shutter button. Both are accessible with your right hand, and it's conceivable that most people can operate the camera one-handed, based on the positioning of the other controls. A nice feature on the mode dial is the small tab that sticks out and provides a nice little grip for your finger. The dial clicks firmly into each position so that you don't have to worry about turning it too far and missing the stop.
Finally, the bottom of the camera houses the battery compartment and tripod mount. We're glad to report that the battery compartment is very simple to operate, without any complicated locks or tricky doors. You just slide the door outwards and flip it open to access the batteries. The battery compartment and tripod mount are too close to each other to allow battery changes while using a tripod, but this is only a minor concern as this camera was definitely meant for more spontaneous applications than studio work. (We tend to be picky about this, given the amount of studio shooting we do).
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