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Fujifilm DS-260HD "BigJob"
User Review - Page 2








Fujifilm DS260HD BigJob


On the back of the DS-260 are all of the user controls. The big mode dial is basically self-explanatory via the colored icons. The 4-way jog switch allows you to navigate the menus, operate the zoom lens and control playback functions. There are two record modes, the large red camera icon with the black background is the point-n-shoot automatic mode.

The other red camera icon with the "M" next to it is the Manual record mode. In this mode the camera will let you access the various advanced features that we'll go into more detail on the following screen shots.



Fujifilm DS260HD BigJob


This is the only real menu displayed on the LCD and allows the user to configure the major camera options.

  • Sharpness: Soft, Normal, Hard
  • Color: Color or B&W
  • Frame No.: Renew (start numbering at 1) or Cont (continuous numbering)
  • Beep: Enable or disable camera sounds
  • Date/Time: Set internal clock



    Fujifilm DS260HD BigJob


    In Automatic, Manual or Selftimer mode you can set the following camera options:

    • Flash Mode (automatic, redeye, forced on, slow sync, off).
    • Image Quality (Fine, Normal or Basic).
    • File Size (1280x1024 or 640x480).
    • Enable or disable the Macro mode.




    Fujifilm DS260HD BigJob


    When shooting in the Manual mode you get to review the picture and can either store it or discard it and shoot it again.



    Fujifilm DS260HD BigJob


    In Manual mode the following advanced options are user-settable and the camera will retain these settings from power off to power on:

    • White Balance: Automatic, Outdoor sunny, Outdoor cloudy, Flourescent bluish, Flourescent reddish or Incandescent
    • Exposure Compensation: 9 levels from -0.9 to +1.5 in 0.3EV steps
    • Flash Brightness: 2 levels from -0.6 to +0.6 in 0.3EV steps
    • AE Mode: Automatic, Maximum Depth of Field or Maximum Aperture
    • External Flash Sync: On or Off (requires a slave flash)




    Fujifilm DS260HD BigJob


    A typical playback mode screen showing the last image taken with all of the onscreen data overlayed on top of it.



    Fujifilm DS260HD BigJob


    Pressing the Display button while in Play mode brings up the thumbnail display which allows you to quickly review the stored images and select one for fullscreen playback.



    Fujifilm DS260HD BigJob


    When viewing an image you can zoom in up to 4X magnification to allow for critical examination of color or focus detail.





    Steve's Conclusion

    If you're looking for a digital camera capable of surviving the worst of what Mother Nature can throw at you -- it's the Fujifilm DS-260HD. The "HD" stands for Heavy Duty and they're not kidding. This camera is built like an M1-A1 battle tank and even though the case is plastic, it's very thick, impact resistant plastic. Quite a bit of the case is covered with a rubberized material which makes it easy to handle even while wearing gloves.

    The DS-260 is not an underwater camera but it is extremely water resistant if it has been properly maintained. The three doors that allow access to the SmartMedia card slot, the I/O ports and the battery compartment all have O-ring seals around them. You need to be careful not to get dirt or sand on those seals and to apply a coat of silicon grease on them from time to time. They also need to be periodically replaced to insure maximum integrity.

    You can safely take this camera to the beach, out in the boat, into a dust storm in the Sahara or most any other place that you'd NEVER take any other digicam. That said this is a megapixel resolution camera that takes excellent pictures even in the worst of conditions. If you're familiar with Fuji's MX-600 or the Toshiba PDR-M3 (OEM MX-600), then you'll know what to expect from the DS-260. Other than the weather proof case with its special knobs and buttons, they're exactly the same camera.

    The D-260HD has an accessory shoe on top to accomodate external flash units like Fuji's GA-645 but it must have a slave trigger built into it, the shoe does not have an electrical contact to fire the flash. The lens does not come with a cap but it is well protected behind a weatherized "snout." It is threaded and will accept filters and add-on lenses with 43mm threads. Fuji has a 0.8x wideangle adapter (WL-260HD) lens that converts the camera's lens to 28mm (35mm equivalent.)

    In actual use I found the DS-260HD to be very easy to operate except that it takes a extra firm push on the shutter button to perform the autofocus and an even firmer push to take the picture. Several times my finger did not hold the button down far enough and I had to half-press and autofocus again before taking the picture. This is just a matter of getting used to the tactile feedback from that rubberized shutter button.

    The overall image quality is very good and typical of the one megapixel Fuji cameras. Color balance was excellent and I was more than pleased with the exposure range the camera chose in automatic mode. Battery life is good, if the LCD useage is kept to a minimum you can easily shoot a hundred or more shots per charge. I'd still recommend having a spare NP-100 battery, there's nothing worse than having the camera go dead when you have more pictures to take.

    The bottom line is that this camera does exactly what it was designed to do, survive in the worst weather conditions and still take great pictures. The Fuji DS-260HD and DS-250HD are the only cameras of their kind currently in production.







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