Review

by Joe Gillespie — Jan 1, 2002

FujiFilm FinePix 6800 Zoom

FujiFilm FinePix 6800 Zoom

If you look at ads for digital cameras, or just about anything else for that matter, you will be confronted with something called a 'feature list'. This is the marketing people's way of telling you how 'much' you are getting on the assumption that the more features there are, the better the product. Well, there's an old saying, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating", which is very apt in this case.

Before I look at a camera's feature list, I want to see the image quality. There is no point in having every feature under the sun if the pictures are basically rubbish.

FujiFilm have such confidence in the superiority of their product that they put "the proof of the pudding" on their Web site. This one image does more for the product than page after page of features. The camera uses a 3.3 MegaPixel SuperCCD array, which gives a 6 million pixel resolution file – roughly equivalent to a 6 Meg high quality JPEG file, in its best quality mode. I won't bore you with the technical trickery involved, just let's say that the results speak for themselves.

If you are going to buy a digital camera, you will probably first decide how much you are prepared to spend. That narrows down the abundance of choice from the outset. Having had a number of digital cameras in the past, including an earlier FujiFilm model, I knew pretty much what I was after. As well as image quality, I wanted convenience because getting images from the camera into the computer is not always as easy as it should be. The FinePix 6800's USB cradle serves as a battery recharger and computer interface. Stick the camera on the cradle and it appears on my Mac desktop like an external disk with all the images on it ready to be previewed or opened in Photoshop – couldn't be easier.

Now, I have to admit that the name 'F A Porsche' on the camera had some bearing on my choice too. Sure, it's nice to say that you have a Porsche but the more important factor is that this camera has been designed by a leading design house, not just styled, but designed! That means that its functionality is as good as its looks. From the happy "Hello!" you get when you switch on to the "See you" when you shut down, the concept of 'user friendly' doesn't get any better. The few operational buttons provided are arranged to be easily accessible with one thumb. There are two LCD screens, one is monochrome and gives general interface information about button functions and battery level. The colour one gives the picture preview and an excellent hierarchical menu to access the various modes and features.

Features? Yeah, sure the FinePix 6800Z has features. F2.8 3X zoom lens, mini-movie faculty, voice annotation of photographs, multi-program modes, auto bracketing, blah, blah, blah. The important thing for me is that it gives superb results, easily.

FujiFilm FinePix 6800 Zoom
Features Features 90%
Ease of Use Ease of use 95%
Value for Money value for money 85%
'Must Have' factor "Must have" factor 90%
Manufacturer FujiFilm
Price $800
Summary Superb image quality, easy to use and stunning design.
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