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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Fujifilm FinePix E900

Fuji Digital Cameras

   


Fujifilm FinePix E900 Review

Review Date: Nov 3, 2005

Category: Serious Amateur

Fujifilm FinePix E900

HANDLING & FEEL

The Fujifilm FinePix E900 feels nicely warm to the touch thanks to its non-slip rubberized handgrip with comfortable and gentle curves. The looks are classic and fashionable at the same time. Startup and shot to shot time are fast at around 1 sec. Autofocus is fast and precise.

STYLE
- Colours: overall black with silver accents and dark grey top plate
- Looks: classic, fashionable
   
FEEL
- Comfortable to hold and operate
- Non-slip rubber-coated handgrip
   
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
- Compact: fits in a coat pocket, soft bag hung from the belt or medium-sized handbag
- Dimensions: 102W x 63H x 34.4D mm / 4.0W x 2.5H x 1.4D in.
- Weight: feels lightweight at 200g / 7.1oz. (excluding batteries and xD-Picture Card)
- Takes only 2 AA rechargeable NiMH batteries or 2 AA type alkaline batteries
   
SPEED OF OPERATION
- Fast startup with lens extending about 3 cm (1.25 in.) and LCD turning on in about less than 1 sec.
- Shot to shot time in about 1 sec.
   

Included in the box are 2 rechargeable NiMH AA Batteries, and a power outlet plug-in battery charger. It takes approximately 5 hrs to recharge a fully depleted battery.

Controls

Many of the most important functions are accessible via dedicated control buttons. The Mode Dial has the standard AUTO, PASM (Programmed Auto, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority, and Manual) modes, plus Movie mode and 4 Scene Modes: Natural Light, Portrait, Sports, Night.

The Mode Dial can be rotated with the thumb and has a positive locking click to it.

You can record movies with sound at either 640 x 480 pixels 30fps (you'll be able to record about 14 min 54 sec on a 1GB card) or 320x240 30fps (record about 29 min 20 sec on a 1GB card).


FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from the Mode Dial)
- Mode Dial (AUTO, PASM, Movie, Natural Light, Portrait, Sports, Night)
- Zoom
- Playback
- 4 Way Arrows (Macro, Erase, Flash)
- MENU/OK
- DISP/Back (displays a Framing Guide or turns off LCD monitor completely)
- Photo (F) Mode (Image Quality, ISO, Color)
- Exposure Compensation
- Continuous Shooting
- Flash Pop-up
   
PROGRAM SHIFT
- Program Shift is ON by default (the way we like it)
- Use the UP and DOWN Arrow keys to select different shutter speed/aperture combinations without changing the exposure
   
CONTINUOUS SHOOTING
- Top 4-Frame: allows you to shoot up to 4 frames at 1.5fps
- Auto Bracketing: takes 3 shots of the same image with different exposure settings (correctly exposed, over-exposed, under-exposed). The Auto bracketing settings can be specified in the MENU as ±1/3 EV, ±2/3 EV, or ±1 EV
- Final 4-Frame: This is an incredibly useful feature for increasing your chance of catching action at just the right moment. Press and hold the shutter release button down as the action nears the point where you want to take the shot. The camera will take up to 40 shots as you follow the action. When you let go of the shutter release button at the right moment (say, as the puck or soccer ball goes into the goal), the camera retains the last 4 shots.
- You select a Continuous Shooting mode by pressing and holding down the Continuous Shooting button and using the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys
   
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION / HISTOGRAM
- To access the Histogram or exposure compensation, you press and hold the Exposure Compensation button down and use the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to select a value.
- The Histogram does not stay on screen unless you keep the button pressed down. It makes great sense to pair the Histogram with the exposure compensation (since you use the exposure compensation to affect the histogram), though some would probably prefer to have the option of displaying the Histogram on screen all the time. You can also display the Histogram in Playback mode.
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (13 steps in 1/3 EV increments)
- The screen brightness will increase or decrease to reflect the value you use
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is retained even when mode is changed or camera is turned off (so remember to reset to "0" after using it or the next time you turn the camera on, your shots may be over- or under-exposed.)
   

LCD & Menus

There is an optical viewfinder as well as a large 2 in. LCD monitor with a standard 115,000 pixels resolution. The LCD has a fast refresh rate for a smooth display. You can manually adjust the LCD monitor's brightness in SETUP to display a brighter image.

There is no AF-assist but I've found auto focusing to be quite fast and precise in most low-light situations, even better than some digital cameras with AF-assist.

There are 2 MENU screens and 4 SETUP screens. The user interface is straightforward and well implemented.

Depending on your type of photography, some of the functions that are often used in the MENU screens are:

- Photometry (Multi, Spot, Average metering)
- White Balance
- AF mode (Center, Multi, Area, Continuous, Manual)

A great feature is the AF Area focusing mode with (7 horizontal x 7 vertical =) 49 positions. You can move the AF target point to any of these 49 positions and the camera will focus where the AF target point has been moved. I find this very helpful in macro photography and whenever the subject is off-center.

Depending on your type of photography, some of the functions that are often used in the SETUP screens are:

- RAW
- Format

Advanced photographers will be glad to know that it is possible to save images in the RAW file format. It takes about 11 sec. to save an image in RAW. Continuous Shooting is not available for RAW.

The flash is the kind that requires you to manually press a button to pop it up. That's the kind I like, preferring to decide when to use flash and when not to do so. For beginners, a Flash pop-up reminder displays in yellow on screen to remind them to manually pop-up the flash when it is needed.

MENU 1 of 2

- Self-timer: 10 sec. or 2 sec.
- Photometry: Multi, Spot, Average
- White Balance: AUTO; Custom; Sunny; Shade; Fluorescent 1, 2, 3, Incandescent
- AF: Center, Multi, Area, Continuous, Manual
- Sharpness: Hard, Standard, Soft

MENU 2 of 2

- Flash Brightness Adjustment: -2/3 EV to +2/3 EV
- Auto Bracketing Setting: ±1/3 EV, ±2/3 EV, ±1 EV

SETUP 1 of 4

Image Display
Shutter Volume
Beep Volume
Playback Volume
Frame No.
LCD Brightness

SETUP 2 of 4

- LCD ON/OFF
- Digital Zoom ON/OFF
- RAW
- Auto Power OFF
- LCD Power Save
- Format

SETUP 3 of 4

- Date/Time
- Time Difference
- Language
- Background Color
- USB Mode (DSC/PictBridge)
- Video System (NTSC/PAL)

SETUP 4 of 4

- [Ni-MH] Batteries Discharge
- Reset

Photo (F) Mode - Image Quality

- Ships from factory set to 9M N

Photo (F) Mode - ISO

- Ships from factory set to ISO 200

PROGRAMMED AUTO MODE

Clockwise from Top Left:
- Multi AF
- Image Quality 9M F
- Available frames: 228
- ISO 80
- Camera Shake warning
- Flash pop-up reminder
- AF target point (in center)
- Shutter Speed and Aperture values (---- indicates outside range) with Program Shift indicator

NATURAL LIGHT MODE

Camera disables flash and selects a higher ISO for correct exposure

AF AREA

- Select AF Area in the MENU

AF AREA

- You can move the AF target point to any of (7 horizontal x 7 vertical =) 49 positions on screen
- Very useful anytime your main subject is off center, esp. in macro photography
- Framing Guide displayed

The Fujifilm FinePix E900 is overall a well-built, ergonomic and user-friendly digital camera. The camera feels light and handles comfortably. The rubberized handgrip gives it a nice "temperature warm" feel when you pick it up. Operations are fast, even though you might need to go into the MENU to access a couple of functions. I like that Program Shift is defaulted, and the availablility of selecting the Natural Light scene mode right on the Mode Dial is a plus. The Exposure Indicator makes using Manual mode easy. Serious amateur photographers should definitely try out this easy-to-use, but versatile, 9MP digital camera.

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