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Fuji FinePix 2600 Zoom

2 megapixels, a 3x zoom lens, great pictures, and a bargain price: A great "value leader" from Fuji!

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Page 2:Executive Overview

Review First Posted: 11/08/2001

Executive Overview
The FinePix 2600 Zoom is the latest in Fuji's line of small, compact digicams. Highly portable and lightweight, the 2600 Zoom is fit for most any excursion, as its small size will let it slip easily into coat pockets and purses. Measuring 3.9 x 2.6 x 2.1 inches (99.8 x 65 x 53.9 millimeters), the 2600 Zoom weighs just 7.1 ounces (200 grams without batteries or SmartMedia) and fits well into one hand. The 2600 Zoom offers a two-megapixel CCD, which delivers clear, sharp images as large as 1,600 x 1,200 pixels.

A 3x, 6-18mm lens is built into the 2600 Zoom, which is equivalent to a 38-114mm zoom on a 35mm camera. A sliding lens cover protects the lens when not in use, and eliminates the need for a traditional (and easily lost) lens cap. The telescoping lens extends from the camera when powered on, and then retracts when the camera is shut off. Apertures are automatically controlled, but range from f/3.5 to f/8.7. Focus is also automatically controlled at all times, with a focal range from 2.6 feet (0.8 meters) to infinity in normal mode, and from 3.9 inches to 2.6 feet (10 to 80 centimeters) in Macro mode. In addition to the 3x optical zoom, the 2600 Zoom also offers as much as 2.5x digital enlargement, depending on the resolution size selected. For composing images, the 2600 Zoom offers both a real-image optical viewfinder and a 1.8-inch, D-TFT color LCD monitor. The LCD monitor has a limited information display, reporting various camera settings, as well as an optional framing guide display, which divides the image into thirds horizontally and vertically.

Though the camera offers Automatic and Manual exposure modes, the camera remains in control of aperture and shutter speed at all times. Manual exposure mode simply enables the user to adjust the camera's white balance and exposure compensation settings. Shutter speeds range from 1/1,000 to 1/2-second, but are not reported on the LCD display. The 2600 Zoom uses a 64-zone metering system to determine exposure, which places the greatest emphasis on the center portion of the image area. Sensitivity is rated as equivalent to ISO 100, and is not adjustable. When shooting in Manual exposure mode, exposure compensation is adjustable from -1.5 to +1.5 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-third-step increments. White balance offers seven settings, including Auto, Daylight, Shade, Daylight Fluorescent, Warm White Fluorescent, Cool White Fluorescent, and Incandescent.

The 2600 Zoom's built-in flash operates in one of five modes, which include Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced, Suppressed, and Slow Synchro modes. A 10-second self-timer is available in Automatic exposure mode only, and is activated via the LCD menu system. The 2600 Zoom can also capture movies as long as 20 seconds each, while in Movie capture mode. Movie files are saved in the Motion JPEG format, at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels.

Images captured by the 2600 Zoom are saved to SmartMedia cards, and a 16MB card comes with the camera. (A fairly generous card size for an inexpensive camera.) In addition to the 1,600 x 1,200-pixel resolution size, the 2600 Zoom also offers 1,280 x 960- and 640 x 480-pixel resolution sizes. Three JPEG compression ratios are available, including Fine, Normal, and Economy. The Playback menu offers DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) settings for printing images on a compatible device. A USB cable and software CD accompany the camera, allowing for high-speed connection to a computer. The software CD is loaded with Fuji's FinePix Viewer software, which organizes and displays downloaded images, as well as provides printing and minor editing capabilities. Windows users can take advantage of PictureHello, which turns the 2600 Zoom into a videoconferencing tool.

The 2600 Zoom utilizes two AA NiMH rechargeable batteries for power, which accompany the camera. A battery charger is also included, but we still recommend picking up a spare set of batteries and keeping them freshly charged. (This inclusion of rechargeable batteries and charger further contribute to the excellent value of the 2600 Zoom. More camera makers should do this!) The AC adapter is a separate accessory, but is helpful for saving battery power while reviewing and downloading images (as well as using the camera as a videoconferencing webcam). Unless you're taking advantage of the camera's webcam capability though, the rechargeable batteries mean you won't likely need the AC adapter.

With its compact and lightweight body, the convenience of full automatic exposure control, and two-megapixel CCD, the 2600 Zoom is a good choice for consumers looking for portable, affordable, easy to use digicam that takes good pictures. The 2600 Zoom offers a basic level of exposure control when you want it, and a Movie mode for capturing quick bits of action. All in all, one of the better bargains in the digicam market today, and very complete "out of the box", thanks to the inclusion of a decent-sized memory card and rechargeable battery/charger kit.


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