Fujifilm FinePix 2300Fuji updates their "value priced" entry-level camera with 2 megapixels and USB connectivity.
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Page 3:DesignReview First Posted: 07/2/2001
Trim, compact, and lightweight, the FinePix 2300 is a very portable addition to the Fujifilm FinePix digicam line. The camera's rectangular body has an attractive brushed silver surface and sophisticated styling, with a mix of black, silver, and gray highlights around the control buttons and windows. The camera's surface is free of any major protrusions (even the lens is nested into body), making it a likely tagalong to the beach, mountains, or summertime road adventures. Measuring only 4.3 x 3.0 x 1.5 inches (110 x 77 x 39 mm), the FinePix 2300 weighs about 10.6 ounces (300 grams) with the batteries and SmartMedia card installed, so it's just the right size and shape to fit into a large coat pocket, purse, or waist pack. (It passes the "shirt pocket" test, fitting into a standard men's dress shirt pocket.) The accompanying wrist strap provides a little extra security while carrying the camera outdoors, but we also recommend investing in the optional soft case to add protection from the elements.
The FinePix 2300 features fully automatic exposure control, 1,600 x 1,200-pixel resolution, and a limited number of external controls across the camera's surface. The front panel is especially feature-free, with only a viewfinder window, built-in flash, fixed focal length lens, and a set of two small circles next to the lens, including the Self-Timer lamp and flash control sensor. Instead of a lens cap, the 5.8mm lens (equivalent to a 36mm lens) is covered by a protective clear plastic shield that remains in place to prevent any damage to the glass lens surface. Though this plastic cover is fairly tough, it's still prone to scratches, so must be treated kindly. (We also noticed that the location of the lens made it easy to smudge with your fingers when picking up the camera.) Though there isn't much of a hand grip on the FinePix 2300, a curved beige recess on the front of the camera gives your fingers an area to cling to as they wrap around the camera body.
Centered on the right side of the camera is the SmartMedia compartment, with a small sliding release button to open it from the side. A plastic door protects the SmartMedia slot, and a small LED lamp inside the compartment stays lit whenever the camera is accessing the card (never remove the card while this light is on). At the top right side is metal rod eyelet for attaching the wrist strap cord.
The left side of the camera features the USB and DC-In jacks at the bottom, and the Macro / Normal lens focus switch on top.
The Shutter button is the only control on the top panel, located on the far right side, within easy reach of the forefinger.
All of the remaining camera controls are located on the back panel, along with the LCD monitor and optical viewfinder eyepiece. A small LED lamp on the right side of the eyepiece reports the camera's status by glowing or flashing different colors, depending on the function. For example, when the lamp flashes green, the camera is warning of a slow shutter speed or that the automatic exposure system is still setting the exposure. A solid green lamp indicates that the camera is ready to shoot. If the LED lamp flashes orange, the Flash is still charging, while a solid orange lamp reports that the image is being recorded on the SmartMedia card. Finally, if the LED lamp flashes red, the camera is warning of a SmartMedia error, the details of which are reported on the LCD monitor. Next to the viewfinder is the sliding Power switch, and to the right of that are the Menu / OK button and four-way Arrow Rocker pad, linked by small bridge. On the far right is the Mode dial, with three settings -- Setup, Photography (Record), and Playback -- and a Display button sits right on top of the 1.6-inch LCD monitor to rotate between different information displays. A series of raised bumps covering the lower right corner of the back panel serves as an effective thumb grip.
The battery compartment and tripod mount are both located on the FinePix 2300's bottom panel, positioned too close together to allow quick battery changes while the camera is mounted on a tripod. The plastic battery compartment door slides forward before opening outward to reveal the compartment. The plastic threaded tripod mount is a little off center, to accommodate the extra battery weight on the right side of the camera.
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