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★★★★☆

“This Fuji Finepix 1300 is one of the best digital...”

Written on: 26/08/2002 by Ron. (1 review written)

Good Points
Sharp pictures for a fixed-focus lens.
Very accurate colour (especially blue sky).
No visible colour aberrations.
Excellent Macro performance.
Simple to use.
Small, easy to carry.
Lots of pictures on a set of NiMH batteries (1600 mAh).
Fast downloads.

Bad Points
Flash too close to lens (dust particles in the air can look like snow).
Low flash output makes backgrounds very dark.
Lens protector vulnerable to scratches, fingerprints.
Need to preset AE if overcast sky to prevent underexposure.
LCD unuseable in sunlight (need to go in shade to see it.)
Unable to use self-timer in manual mode.

General Comments
This Fuji Finepix 1300 is one of the best digital cameras in it's price range with similar features. It's colour, contrast, and lack of colour aberrations make it a great outdoor camera. For example, it's replacement, the A101, had aberrations in the corners of the image, as do many pricier cameras. Although subjects within it's short flash output range are sharp and well exposed, backgrounds (in large halls etc) have a "tunnel" effect as they are so dark. Subjects need to be in front of a light coloured surface to prevent this effect. The LCD is almost useless in bright sunlight, no matter what it's variable brightness is set to. Macro, with and without flash is wonderful. No objectionable barrel distortions; flash works fine to minimum distance. Although not mentioned in the manual, you can take Macro pictures beyond the official range. I have sewn white threads across my handstrap, marking it into 1/3s. The middle third is the normal macro range. If you set the macro slider to it's midpoint, you can take pictures from the maximum recommended macro distance up to about 2 feet. On bright overcast days, you should preset the Auto Exposure with no sky in the finder, then recompose. Otherwise most of these shots will be underexposed and cannot be fixed properly in PhotoDeluxe without adding extra noise and losing colour saturation. As it has an f/4.5 lens, shutter speed will slow considerably in shady areas or at dawn and dusk, as the ASA/ISO is only 125. This leads to many blurred pictures when the light seems decently bright (but isn't). Carry a mini clamp-tripod combo. they are compact and inexpensive and can save many of these shots. There is very little difference in quality between Fine, Normal, and Basic compression ratios. I use Fine when I'm at home and the others dependent on how long a trip I am on (and how many shots I think I'll take).

Highly recommended as a first, or backup digital camera if viewing on a monitor or 5x7 inch prints are all you need. The FinePix Viewer Slideshow sizes each picture to fit the full display where possible.

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