I predict that the advent of products like the Fujifilm Finepix F30 Zoom could spell disruption for the cosy and solid sales performance enjoyed by the digital camera business. Finally, individuals who wanted to own a good quality digital camera but not break the bank can finally do so.
At a mere €379.99, the F30 is considerably cheaper than the standard €400 or €500 upwards it costs to get your hands on a digital camera these days. I had to admit genuine surprise — and delight — at such a reasonable price for what is a truly great piece of kit.
It is also a robust and tidy piece of technology with an outstanding LCD display and is choc-full of useful features that you would not expect in a digital camera at such a low price.
With the F30, Fujifilm has certainly attacked a market that was becoming complacent.
So, what do you get for €379.99? A lot more than you would expect. The 6.3-megapixel device features a long-life battery capable of taking 580 shots in succession and some nifty anti-blur and anti-redeye technologies. It also boasts a VGA movie capture of 30 frames per second with sound.
The F30 also includes an intelligent flash system that combines natural foreground illumination with balanced exposure in the background, thereby avoiding the messy background blur of a traditional flash.
The camera is intuitive enough and without having to resort to the instruction book (too much) you very quickly can figure everything out and get snapping.
The one drawback from my point of view, however, is that the device does not ship with the required x-D Picture Card. You have to buy that separately. As a result, internal storage on the camera appeared to be confined to a mere five shots at a time, which curtailed my overall enjoyment of the device.
All in all, however, I think that with the price point and the sheer amount of functionality and technology crammed into something the size of a box of cigarettes, Fujifilm have broken the mould for affordable digital photography.
Product: Digital camera
Price: €379.99 (including VAT)
Value for Money: ****
By John Kennedy