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Fujifilm FinePix 2300

Fuji updates their "value priced" entry-level camera with 2 megapixels and USB connectivity.

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Page 12:Test Results & Conclusion

Review First Posted: 07/2/2001

Test Results
In keeping with our standard test policy, the comments given here summarize only our key findings. For a full commentary on each of the test images, see the FinePix 2300's "pictures" page.

As with all Imaging Resource product tests, we encourage you to let your own eyes be the judge of how well the camera performed. Explore the images on the pictures page, to see how the FinePix 2300's images compare to other cameras you may be considering.

Throughout our testing, the FinePix 2300 produced good color accuracy and saturation. The automatic white balance system handled most of our lighting situations fairly well, though we noticed it had a tendency to produce a slightly cool cast, especially in our Outdoor and Close-Up portraits. We also noticed orange and magenta casts in our Indoor Flash Portrait from the background incandescent lighting. On the Indoor portrait without flash, the FinePix 2300's incandescent white balance setting handled the tough lighting fairly well, though the image was slightly warm with a magenta tint to it. The large color blocks of our Davebox test target appeared accurate, though slightly undersaturated. The FinePix 2300 handled the difficult blues in the flower bouquet of our Outdoor test shot very well, though the blue flowers were somewhat light in hue (these blues are a common problem for many cameras we've tested). We also noticed a slight oversaturation of magenta in the skin tones. Overall, we were fairly pleased with the FinePix 2300's color performance.

The FinePix 2300 performance in our resolution target test was about average for a 2 megapixel camera, producing strong detail up to 750-800 lines per picture height, although it showed some artifacts as far back as 500 lines. As a result, we were a little perplexed as to how to rate it, and ended up assigning a rating of 550 lines. Optical distortion on the FinePix 2300 is moderate, as we measured an approximate 0.46 percent barrel distortion from the wide-angle lens. Chromatic aberration is low, showing about three pixels of coloration on either side of the target lines.

The FinePix 2300's optical viewfinder is rather inaccurate when framing images, as it shows a much smaller subject area than what is actually captured by the camera. Your view also changes quite a bit as you move your eye around the eyepiece, making it difficult for us to frame the target exactly. We lined up our standard lines of measurement in what we thought was the middle of the optical viewfinder, which resulted in an approximate 86 percent frame accuracy. The LCD monitor produced much better results, with 95 percent frame accuracy. Since we generally like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accurate as possible, the 2300 performed pretty well in this respect. Bottom line, the LCD viewfinder is pretty good, the optical viewfinder needs some work.

The FinePix 2300's Auto exposure control and limited shutter speed range result in limited low-light capabilities. We were only able to capture a reasonably bright image at the eight foot-candle (88 lux) light level, though we wouldn't really call the image "usable" as it was still somewhat dim. The target was still visible at the two foot-candle (22 lux) light level, but grew less visible with each lower light level. Noise is moderate at the eight foot-candle light level, increasing to a moderately high level at the one-half foot-candle (5.5 lux) light level. To put the FinePix 2300's low-light performance into perspective, an average city night scene under modern street lighting corresponds to a light level of about one foot-candle, so night exposures will require the built-in flash.

The FinePix 2300 performs very well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of just 3.66 x 2.75 inches (92.97 x 69.73mm). As noted earlier, there's a bit of a gap in the focus range, between macro and normal focusing, but as long as you keep track of how far you are from the subject, the results are pretty good. The FinePix 2300's built-in flash does a pretty good job of throttling down for the macro area. The camera was not tricked by the shiny coin, and though the flash doesn't provide even coverage, it does illuminate the entire subject area reasonably well.

Despite limited exposure control, the FinePix 2300 performed pretty well throughout our testing. Images showed moderately high resolution, as well as good detail, color, and quality overall. Though you'll need a flash for most low-light shots, the FinePix 2300's macro capabilities are quite commendable and the camera should handle most typical shooting conditions quite well.


Conclusion
The FinePix 2300 is a great option for novice photographers who want point-and-shoot simplicity in a digital camera. The 2.11-megapixel CCD captures great detail and color, while the uncomplicated user interface ensures smooth operation. The FinePix 2300 provides reliable automatic exposure control, plus a handful of basic adjustments for special shooting situations. The wide-angle, fixed-focus lens will set some limitations in subject matter, as there's no optical zoom to magnify subjects from a distance. Therefore, it's we'd recommend it for day-to-day people photography rather than fast-paced sports or nature photography -- perfect for teens and families on the go.

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