3X Optical Zoom Lens
The MX-2900 has a Fujinon optical 3x (35-105mm) zoom lens that has a
unique collar that comes off to allow the addition of auxillary lenses
such as a 0.8x wideangle converter. There is a little flap that covers
the optical viewfinder when this lens is attached which forces you to
use the LCD to frame your shots.
The 3x optical zoom lens extends from the body during use and
automatically retracts when the camera is powered down. And Fuji has
even included a tethered lens cap too.
This is the Setup screen, options are:
Using the Shift button on the left side of the LCD brings up another
menu of user settings as shown above. These settings are changed by
holding the Shift button down and pressing the desired button.
Manual Record mode
Manual record mode allows the user access to all of the MX-2900's
advanced camera controls. There is a sub menu of options shown along
the bottom of the LCD screen that is activated by pressing the
Menu/EXE button. A description of the settings follows:
When switched into the Playback mode the last image captured is retrieved from the memory card and displayed. You can navigate forward or backward through the images by using the right and left buttons on the 4-way switch. You can zoom into the picture up to 4x in 0.2x increments. Once zoomed in you can move around the image segments by holding the "shift" button down and using the 4-way directional switch.
When in Playback mode pressing the "Disp" button will bring up a 9-picture thumbnail screen so you can quickly locate and display any picture stored on the flash card.
Automatic Playback is the slideshow mode where you can output your pictures one after another automatically. This is great when you have the camera hooked up to the TV set or are recording your pictures to a video tape.
When in Playback mode you can delete single frames by displaying them on the LCD and then pressing the "Menu/EXE" button. An onscreen menu will popup allowing you to Delete a single frame, Delete All or Format the memory card.
To prevent accidental erasure you can Protect images. Single frames or
ALL images can be selected and then protected.
You can also apply post-processing filters to the stored images which will do the following:
The 1800x1200 pixel images can be resized down to 640x480 while the memory card is in the camera. This can be handy if you suddenly realize that you are out of memory space and still need to capture more pictures.
The MX-2900 supports the new DPOF (Digital Print Order
Format) system. This allows you to specify printing options for any or
all of your images on the memory card. This can be used by printing
services and is also supported by some of the new personal photo
printers that directly accept flash memory cards.
It sports a 3X optical zoom lens and has lots of Manual mode controls including shutter speed priority, aperture priority, adjustable flash output power, exposure override, multiple white balance options, three exposure metering modes and a true external flash hot shoe.
The MX-2900 comes complete with a rechargeable lithium battery and a combination AC power supply and charger. This saves the user from the additional expense of buying NiMH batteries but it also means that the Fuji battery pack is the *only* source of portable power for the camera, you cannot use AA batteries in a pinch.
Ergonomically the MX-2900 is very comfortable in the hand with a large oversized fingergrip. All of the camera controls are easy to get to and the only function that requires two buttons to be pushed at the same time are the Shift options.
The Bad News
The Continuous Picture mode only works in the lower VGA resolution and there's no internal RAM buffer to allow you to shoot a picture before the previous one has been processed and stored. The Aperture Priority mode only allows for a selection of F4 or F8. The uncompressed TIF format used is not supported by PhotoShop 4 or ThumbsPlus 3.x but it can be read using the supplied Fuji EZ Touch software and converted into BMP or JPG format.
The shutter button needs to have better tactile feedback, it's difficult to tell when you're at the halfway (prefocus) point. The main command dial needs heavier detents to insure it isn't accidentally switched into another mode.
The Bottom Line
The image quality can be judged for yourself by looking at my sample pictures page. I was quite satisfied with the available light pictures but felt that the flash pictures all needed to be brightened up about one f/stop. This can easily be done by using an exposure override value of +0.3 or +0.6.
The white balance was almost always on the money when left in the automatic mode. Colors were well saturated with no blown out highlights except in extremely harsh lighting conditions. I did notice some artifacts in shadow areas, they appear as little "speckles" and this has been observed in every 2.3 megapixel camera we've tested so far.
Even though it's not as speedy as some of the other 2.3Mpixel cameras we've tested, it's still a winner. I especially liked the flash hot shoe feature which lets you add a more powerful bounce flash on the camera. The builtin flash is OK but it isn't very powerful and it's prone to redeye problems because it is mounted so close to the lens. At least with the hot shoe you now have the alternative of adding any flash unit you want.
Steve's Fuji MX-2900 Sample Pics
Imaging-Resource's MX-2900 Review
DC Resource's MX-2900 Review
PC Watch: FinePix 2900 & 1500 Sample Pics
DreamArts Fuji 1500/2700/2900 Sample Pics
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