Fujifilm Finepix 30i review

Started Apr 13, 2003 | User reviews thread
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Richard Lum
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Fujifilm Finepix 30i review
Apr 13, 2003

Great Value and lostsa fun! Sure beats the Kodak MC3. Prices for 30i have recently dropped a lot on eBay ...must be on the verge of being discontinued. This is a point and shoot, carry anywhere camera. And for your trouble of lugging it around in case a photo opp comes up, you get to listen to MP3's (ballpark 3-4 hours on a pair of 1700 maH batteries). Only whish Smartmedia came in bigger sizes than 128m! This is a fun device!

I also have a Olympus, but it was too big to carry around casually and no matter how good a camera, if you don't have it with you, you don't get very good shots. This small, sleek 30i fits the bill as a carry all that also let's me have fun.

It's a decent, no frills, Fixed focus/focal length 2 MP camera that's very portable. It's a rather bulky but good sounding MP3 player. It's a also a basic WebCam that I probably won't use very much.

The camera operation is fairly quick with fast start up times and pretty low shutter lag. Perfect for the opportunistic photographer who never knows when his kid is going to do something goofy. Pretty decent shot to shot speed as well for those moment of continuing goofiness. You can even delete all MP3 or song by song in case your goofiness needs more room.

As far as I am concerned Fuji got the combination right and have produced the right level of Camera with the right level of MP3 player. Improvements can be made on the ergonomics (using that remote for anything except the big button is a two handed operation to identify which switch is which).
Original price was too rich for my purposes but at the current price levels, this fits right in with the carry it everywhere, multifunction device that I was looking for. At least until someone gets ther right combination of Cell Phone/PDA/DigiCam/MP3/Radio at the right price some years down the road....

Problems:

Well No problems with the camera really, but some considerations. Given the specs before buying it, this camera does have limitations but they appear to me to be well thought out compromises.

I could not get the sound activated picture taking to work no matter how much I shouted, clapped, sang. Seemed like a neat feature to use but no joy in spite of camera seeming to confirm that it was in the sound activated mode.

If there is a concern for the camera's reliability, I would suspect that the switches that it uses will probably be the first to go. Some feel too stiff or too loose and not very robust (clearly subjective) but only time will tell if this is a concern. They contrast in the nice smooth lens cover action.

Pictures Quality is decent if you have reasonable expectations for small flash and relatively slow F4.8 lens. Noise in low light is apparent. Color rendition produces pictures that are striking richness...probably inaccurate but generally pleasing photos. But hey, if you're going to start getting that fussy, you probably will want to carry around the heavier artillery.

I don't know if this thing has a real mechanical shutter but it sure produces a realistic sound of shutter. Kind of threw me off for a while as I was expecting the usual beep.

For MP3, Living with the Infobind security is not so bad as I thought it would be. If you expect this to be a one way transfer (PC to 30i) only then, you won't be disappointed. Wouldn't really expect people to be using the rather smallish SmartMedia for file trading anyway. Don't really like the realplayer interface but it does works as long as you follow the printed instructions for setup (simply installing and following screen menus defaults will get you in trouble). Realplayer can also downsample your higher quality MP3 down to the required 128kbs or less. To date, I've found that this thing is in MP3 mode much more than in Camera mode and the ability to take pictures when ever I want is pretty cool. And it's a much better camera than the Kodak MC3 which was the only other camera that had the same general feature set within this price range.

The length of the ear bud cord to the remote is unusually short. I guess they expect the remote to live in a vest pocket but I can't figure out why one ear bud has about 7 inches in extra length compared to the other, resulting in a mild tangle of wires no matter what you do.

USB cords are a bit of a bother. The PC end is the same for all but the camera end is different for all. If you have multiple USB devices, you have to either get a USB hub or keep plugging and unplugging cords for the desired device.

Richard Lum's score
4.1
Average community score
4.1
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