Fujifilm FinePix A345 Review
The FinePix A345 is among the latest "A" series offerings from Fujifilm in 2005, and is equipped with a 4.1 megapixel imager complemented by a FUJINON 3x optical zoom lens. This simple point-n-shoot model allows the beginner to snap photos easily when using its "Auto" mode, while still offering several appealing features like adjustable White balance settings and Exposure Compensation when in the Manual mode. You can use one of four pre-programmed scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Sport and Night) or record movies with sound at 320x240 resolution.
Ergonomics were good. I was happy to see that Fuji removed the sliding lens cover from these models. For the most part the controls are well placed, with the exception of the Zoom control. Although it's located in the "normal" position on the back, the Up and Down motion is a bit awkward; I found myself accidentally enabling Macro or changing flash modes quite often. Usually these switches rock left and right, which is much more comfortable. The menu system was easy to navigate and allows you to quickly change settings. The 1.5-inch LCD worked OK outdoors, but there were several angles which reflected the sun making it difficult to use; this is when the optical viewfinder comes in handy. The FUJINON 3X optical zoom lens produces relatively sharp results throughout its range, with some noticeable barrel distortion at extreme wide angle and slight pincushioning at full telephoto. The operation of the optical zoom is smooth and quiet, but not continuous; it moves through its 35 - 105mm (35mm equivalent) range in 18 distinct steps, more than adequate for composing most shots.
Shooting performance was average. Power-up to first image captured measured about 3.6 seconds. Shutter lag, the delay between pressing the shutter release and capturing the image, averaged 3/10 of a second when pre-focused and 5/10 of a second including autofocus. Shot-to-shot delay averaged 3.2 seconds without use of the flash and 3 - 5 seconds with the flash, depending on subject distance. The A345 has a continuous capture mode, using it I was able to capture 3 frames in approx. 1.8 seconds. The LCD goes completely blank when shooting in this mode, making it impossible to follow a moving subject; you'll have better luck with the optical viewfinder. Our tests were done using a Fujifilm 512MB xD-Picture card, 4M/Fine size/quality, preview off, flash off (unless other wise noted), and all other settings at default. Times may vary depending on lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.
Image quality when using 4M Fine mode was average for a camera in this
class. Outdoors, the majority of our samples showed good overall exposure and
colors seem to be nicely saturated. I did however notice visible edge blurring
present in many of our sample photos as well as some exposure issues when
shooting outdoor portraits. You can see what I mean by looking at our
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