Fujifilm FinePix A210 Review
Offered at an MSRP of $279.95, Fuji equipped the FinePix A210 with a 3.2 megapixel imager, 3X optical zoom lens, movie mode without sound, and webcam function. This automatic point-n-shoot is simple enough for a novice to obtain good results, but offers little creative control for the intermediate user. In addition to automatic exposure shooting mode, the A210 offers manual settings for only Exposure Compensation (+1.5/-2.1EV), and White Balance.
The Fujinon 3X optical zoom lens produces sharp results throughout its range, with some barrel distortion at extreme wide angle and pincushioning at full telephoto. The operation of the zoom is not continuous, but instead consists of 5 distinct steps. Because of this, you might find yourself using your feet as well as your finger on the zoom control to precisely compose your shots.
The FinePix A210's shooting performance is average. From power-on to the capture of your first image takes under four seconds. Shutter delay, the elapsed time between releasing the shutter and capturing the image, measured a respectable 3/10 second when pre-focused, or just under 1 second including autofocus time. Shot-to-shot took just over 3 seconds; the A210 is not equipped with a continuous capture mode. These times are based on 1600 x 1200 images without the flash on. The A210 is barely responsive enough for you to capture images of your children's sports activities, but do not expect a high percentage of good results.
Outdoors, the FinePix A210 produces good results, both well-exposed and nicely saturated. The 3X optical zoom lens has enough range, 36-108mm in 35mm equivalence, to provide flexibility in composing your shots and is sharp enough to produce pleasing 8X10-inch prints. Although the LCD viewfinder has no anti-reflective coating, its brightness can be adjusted and we found it to be usable in most outdoor shooting situations. The A210 is also equipped with a zoom-coupled optical viewfinder that you will find preferable to use on the brightest of days.
Because of the limited flash range and 36mm wide angle focal length, you'll realize the best indoor results when shooting portraits of individuals and small groups; capturing an image of a large banquet room is beyond the A210's capability. You'll be able to include yourself in group portraits because the FinePix A210 is equipped with both a tripod socket and self-timer. You'll have some difficulty obtaining good results in low ambient light; the FinePix A210 is not equipped with a focus-assist lamp and you'll sometimes be notified of its failure to autofocus. The A210 did a reasonable job of squelching its flash during macro-photography, and would make an acceptable camera for online auction product shots. We also found the LCD viewfinder quite usable in low light.
The A210's battery life was acceptable during our tests. Using a pair of AA NiMH 2000 mAh rechargeable batteries, we were able to capture nearly 100 images with the LCD on before a low battery warning occurred. We always recommend using NiMH batteries when possible, and you should have several charged pairs on hand.
At an MSRP of $80 more than the Fuji FinePix 205, and offering only an extra 1.2 megapixel of resolution to distinguish itself, you will have to be the judge of this camera's value. The A210 will produce pleasing family and travel photos of up to 8X10-inches, and double as a webcam. If you are in the market for an entry-level 3 megapixel family camera, be sure to consider the Fuji FinePix A210.
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