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Fuji FinePix 1300

Fuji updates their entry-level 1.3 megapixel model, adding USB for fast file downloads

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Page 2:Executive Overview

Review First Posted: 11/28/2000

Executive Overview
The 1.3 megapixel FinePix 1300 offers compact, portable design with the ease of a traditional point-and-shoot camera. Its small, lightweight body measures approximately 4.3 x 3 x 1.5 inches and fits easily into a pocket or purse. Finger grips on the front and back of the camera provide a secure, comfortable hold. All adjustment buttons and major controls are located on the back panel, except for Macro/Normal lens control, which is set on the left side of the camera near the fixed-focus, wide-angle lens.

The shutter button, SmartMedia slot, battery compartment, and tripod mount are located on the top, sides, and bottom of the camera, respectively; however the tripod mount is shifted slightly off-center due to the large battery compartment. A static, clear plastic cover protects the lens, eliminating the need for a lens cap or mechanical lens cover (though we prefer some kind of lens cover to prevent scratching and smudging). Accompanying the lens on the front of the camera is the viewfinder window, built-in flash, self-timer lamp, and flash control sensor (to determine whether flash is needed in Auto mode).

The FinePix 1300 provides an eye-level optical viewfinder and LCD monitor to assist in image composition. The optical viewfinder features a faint center target and an LED lamp that glows green, orange, or red to indicate camera status. To conserve battery power, the 1.6-inch LCD monitor is not activated in Auto Photography (Record) mode, unless you turn it on. Pressing the Display button above the monitor brings up both the image and camera settings. Pressing it a second time turns the camera settings off, and leaves just the image. In Manual and Macro modes, the monitor automatically turns on when you activate the Record mode. Manual mode displays only the camera settings initially. Pressing the Display button once will show the image area with camera settings, and pressing it a second time will show the image without settings. Macro mode displays an LCD image at all times, because the optical viewfinder isn't accurate up close.

The fixed-focus Fujinon lens has a focal length of 5.8mm, equivalent to a 38mm lens on a 35mm camera. Variable aperture settings of f/4.5 and f/11 are controlled by the camera. Focal range is approximately 2.3 feet (70 cm) to infinity in normal mode, and 3.1 to 5.9 inches (8-15 cm) in Macro mode. A digital telephoto magnifies the image by 2X, but will sacrifice a degree of image quality.

Exposure control is good overall, though fairly basic. Auto mode controls everything except Flash, while Manual mode allows you to alter the White Balance, Exposure Compensation (EV) settings, and Flash modes. By selecting the Self-Timer option in the Record menu, you can set the camera to count down 10 seconds before it fires the shutter (in Auto mode only). Continuous Shooting mode enables you to capture up to nine consecutive frames at approximately two frames per second, for as long as you hold down the shutter button (also in Auto mode only). Continuous Shooting mode automatically sets the image size to 640x480. Both the Macro and Digital Telephoto functions are manually controlled in either Auto or Manual mode.

The Flash mode offers five settings: Auto Flash, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, and Slow Synchro. White Balance offers seven settings: Automatic Adjustment, Sunny, Cloudy, Daylight Fluorescent, Warm White Fluorescent, Cool White Fluorescent, and Incandescent. Manual exposure compensation can be set to nine different settings, from –0.9 to +1.5 exposure equivalents (EV), in one-third-step increments.

The FinePix 1300 uses four AA batteries (alkaline, NiCd, or NiMH) for power. We strongly suggest that you purchase two sets of rechargeable batteries and a battery charger. The rechargables last longer than alkaline batteries and they'll save you a lot of money in the long run.

Like many digicams on the market, the FinePix 1300 stores images on SmartMedia cards. An 8MB card comes standard with the camera, but is upgradeable to 16, 32, or 64MB. The FinePix 1300 lacks the video-out capability of other Fujifilm digital cameras we've tested, but images can just as easily be viewed on the computer. A USB cable for both Mac and PC computers is supplied with the camera, as is a Fujifilm utilities software CD with USB Driver 2.0, Exif Viewer 1.1, DP Editor 1.0 for Mac and Windows, as well as Adobe ActiveShare, PhotoDeluxe HE 4.0, and Exif Launcher 1.0 for Windows only. (Since PhotoDeluxe and ActiveShare are compatible with Windows systems only, Macintosh users must either purchase a Mac version or be content with the offerings of the Fujifilm package).

The FinePix 1300 is perfect for consumers who want hassle-free digital photography, in a megapixel-plus range, at a modest price. The Auto mode empowers the camera do all the thinking, but if you want to make some exposure decisions, or try some special effects, the Manual mode provides a little extra control.

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