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Fuji FinePix 2800 Zoom

Two megapixels, a 6x zoom lens, great pictures, and a bargain price: Another great "value leader" from Fuji!

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Page 2:Executive Overview

Review First Posted: 02/06/2002

Executive Overview
The FinePix 2800 Zoom is the latest in Fuji's line of compact digicams, but this most recent addition features a slightly bulkier body, to accommodate the 6x zoom lens. Highly portable and lightweight, the 2800 Zoom can go just about anywhere, though it won't fit into a standard shirt pocket. It should, however, fit into a larger coat pocket or purse, and comes with a neck/shoulder strap to make carrying it easier. Measuring 3.7 x 3.0 x 2.8 inches (95 x 77 x 71 millimeters), the 2800 Zoom weighs 12.9 ounces (370 grams with batteries and SmartMedia card) and fits well into one hand. The 2800 Zoom offers a two-megapixel CCD, which delivers clear, sharp images as large as 1,600 x 1,200 pixels.

A 6x, 6-36mm lens is built into the 2800 Zoom, which is equivalent to a 38-228mm zoom on a 35mm camera. A small, plastic lens cap protects the lens when not in use, and tethers to the camera so you don't have to worry about losing it. The telescoping lens extends from the camera when powered on, and retracts when the camera is shut off. Apertures are automatically controlled, but range from f/2.8 to f/8.2. 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 to 31.5 inches (10 to 80 centimeters) in Macro mode. In addition to the 6x optical zoom, the 2800 Zoom also offers as much as 2.5x digital enlargement, depending on the image size selected. For composing images, the 2800 Zoom offers both a TTL electronic 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 lets the user adjust the camera's white balance and exposure compensation settings. Shutter speeds range from 1/1,500 to 1/2-second, but are not reported on the LCD display. The 2800 Zoom uses a 64-zone metering system to determine exposure, placing the greatest emphasis on the center portion of the image area. Light 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 2800 Zoom's built-in flash operates in your choice 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 2800 Zoom can also capture movies (with sound) as long as 60 seconds each, while in Movie capture mode. Movie files are saved in the Motion JPEG format, at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. A Voice Caption option allows you to record as much as 30 seconds of audio to attach to an image. For capturing a quick series of shots, the Continuous Shooting mode captures as many as four images at approximately 0.5-second intervals (depending on resolution settings and SmartMedia space).

Images captured by the 2800 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 2800 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 2800 Zoom into a videoconferencing tool.

The 2800 Zoom utilizes four AA batteries for power, and a set of alkaline cells accompanies the camera. As always, I recommend getting a couple of sets of high-capacity rechargeable NiMH batteries and a good-quality charger: You'll quickly go broke trying to keep a digicam fed with disposable alkalines! An AC adapter is also 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, rechargeable batteries would eliminate the need for the AC adapter.

With its compact and lightweight body, the convenience of full automatic exposure control, two-megapixel CCD, and impressive 6x zoom lens, the 2800 Zoom is a good choice for consumers looking for portable, affordable, easy to use digicam that takes good pictures. The 2800 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.


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