Steve's Digicams

MX-2900 Zoom User Review


Fuji MX-2900

The FujiFilm MX-2900 Zoom we previously looked at was a pre-production prototype, I'm happy to report that we now have a final production version of the camera to fully review.

Fuji tells me that the new 2.3 megapixel MX-2900 will be officially launched here in the U.S. on August 17th.

Fuji MX-2900

MX-2900 Overview

The MX-2900 has a high tech magnesium alloy body, weighs 12 ounces and measures a diminutive 5.1 (w) x 2.35 (h) x 2.7 (D) inches. It features an optical 3x zoom lens with 2.5x digital zoom. For framing or review there is a bright, 2-inch, TFT color LCD on the back.

Fuji MX-2900

Conventional photographic features:

  • Hot shoe for an external flash
  • Optional 43mm filter and 28mm wide angle attachments
  • Adjustable shutter speeds
  • Adjustable aperture settings (F4 and F8 or auto)
  • Multiple white balance options
  • Exposure compensation
  • Manual exposure
  • Flash intensity adjustment
  • Multiple light metering modes
  • Continuous shooting

The Aperture-Priority mode can be used to select a large or small aperture value for depth of field control. The Slow Synchro mode of the MX-2900 combines use of the flash with a slow shutter speed to allow shots that beautifully capture both the foreground subject and an evening backdrop.

The MX-2900's metering mode allows photographers to select the desired type of exposure metering. AVERAGE: an average value for the entire image is used; SPOT: where the exposure is optimized for the center of the image; and MULTI: where the camera automatically assesses the scene and selects the optimum exposure.

User Controls

Fuji MX-2900 controls

The 4-way rocker switch is the heart of the user controls and activates all menu selections. The switch at the 7 o'clock position is the "execute" button for locking in menu options. Directly above the 4-way switch is the tele/wide zoom lens control, you lift it with your fingertip or press it downward. To the left of that control is the flash mode button and the macro focus button. The On/Off switch is at the top right of the main LCD display.

Data LCD & Command Dial

Fuji MX-2900 top LCD

There's a small info LCD on the top that shows remaining battery power, pictures remaining, image resolution, quality (compression) setting, macro and flash modes. The main command dial is setup like most digicams and the icons are easy to understand. Going counterclockwise from the 1 o'clock position is: self-timer, setup, manual record, automatic record, playback and delete and connect to PC modes.

Flash Hot Shoe

Fuji MX-2900

The MX-2900 includes a flash hot shoe so you can attach a more powerful flash unit or one with a bounce head. Using the aperture priority mode you set both the camera and the strobe for F8 and the result is nearly perfect flash shots everytime. And it's a real joy to be able to use a bounce flash to eliminate the usual redeye problems that occur with the builtin flash units.

The proof is in the pictures. The picture on the left is using a Vivitar 285 flash with the MX-2900 and strobe set for F8. The picture on the right is using only the builtin flash in automatic. Both pictures shot in nearly total darkness with no software adjustments.

I/O Ports

Fuji MX-2900

On the left side of the camera body are the I/O ports. The MX-2900 comes with a serial cable for both the PC and Mac and plugs into the "Digital" port. Video out uses a standard 2-conductor mini plug. The DC In 5v port is where the AC adapter and battery charger plug into the camera.

Also note the diopter control for the optical viewfinder.

SmartMedia Card Storage

Fuji MX-2900 SmartMedia door

The MX-2900 uses SmartMedia memory cards and accomodates any capacity up to the new 32MB (64MB soon) size cards. The access door is located on the side and to remove a card you push it inward and then it pops out. Unlike some SmartMedia cameras, the MX-2900 ejects the card out far enough so even my big fingers could grasp it easily.

Fuji offers an optional SM-R1 SmartMedia card reader for computers equipped with the Universal Serial Bus (USB) port. Read my SM-R1 user review here.

Rechargeable Lithium Battery

Fuji MX-2900 lithium battery

The MX-2900 includes the NP-80 lithium battery pack and an AC adapter/battery charger. The lithium pack is good for 250 shots without the LCD or 100 with it turned on. Charging time for a fully discharged pack is about eight hours. There is an optional BC-80 rapid charger for the NP-80 and NP-100 lithium battery packs.

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MX-2900 ZOOM Specifications

CCD sensor 1/1.7-inch CCD with 2.3 million square pixels
Resolution 1,800 x 1,200 / 640 x 480 pixels
File format JPEG (Exif 2.1) with 3 compression levels (1/5, 1/10, 1/20) and TIFF-YC
Storage media SmartMedia™ Card (3.3V, 2MB to 64MB)
Number of images Mode   MG-4S   MG-8S   MG-16S   MG-32S MG-64S
Hi (1/1) 0 1 3 7 14
Fine (1/5) 4 8 18 36 73
Normal (1/10) 8   17   34   70 142
Basic(1/20) 17   35   70   141 284
Lens focal length Equivalent to 35-105 mm on a 35 mm camera
Focus Auto/Manual
Focus distance Normal: 0.9 m/3 ft. to infinity
Macro: 25 cm/9.8 in. to 0.9 m/3 ft.
Aperture F3.3 / F7.6 (wide-angle) to F5 / F11 (telephoto)
Viewfinder Real-image optical; Frame coverage: Approx. 80%
Exposure control 64 zone TTL metering
Program AE/Aperture-Priority AE/Manual
Sensitivity Equivalent to ISO 125
Electronic shutter Variable-speed
1/4 to 1/2,000 sec. (AE), 3 to 1/1,000 sec. (Manual)
White balance Automatic/Manual (6 modes)
Photometry Multi/Spot/Average
Flash Auto flash using flash control sensor
Effective range: Approx. 0.4 m/1.3 ft. to 3.5 m/11.5 ft. (wide-angle),
Approx. 0.4 m/1.3 ft. to 2.5 m/8.2 ft. (telephoto)
Flash mode: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash
LCD monitor 2-inch, low-temperature polysilicon TFT (130,000 pixels)
Digital interface   RS-232C
Video output   NTSC/PAL
Power source   Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Dimensions   129.5 (W) x 68.5 (H) x 59.8 (D) mm/5.1 (W) x 2.7 (H) x 2.4 (D) in.
Weight   345 g/12.2 oz. (excluding battery)
Digital 1.2x / 2.5x Telephoto
Slow Synchro
Exposure Compensation (-0.9 to +1.5 in 0.3 steps)
Playback: Single Frame (with 4x
Playback Zoom)/9 Multi-Frame/Automatic Playback
Effect: Rainbow Cross, Silver Cross, Sepia, B/W    
Resize: 1,800 x 1,200 >>> 1,280 x 1,024 / 640 x 480
Protect, DPOF
Included accessories
SmartMedia ™ Card (8 MB, 3.3V)
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery NP-80
AC power adapter
Lens cap
Video cable
Hand strap
Serial cables for Windows and Macintosh
CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh
>Data transfer software for downloads
>TWAIN driver for downloads
>Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition 3.0 for Windows
Specifications are subject to change without notice.

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