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Conclusion - Pros

  • Size, weight
  • Fairly good image quality, spoilt by noise in shadow areas, images look much better reduced down in size
  • Build quality, metallic case, sliding lens cover
  • Fast operation, no waiting around...
  • Movie clips with audio
  • Usable macro mode
  • Gadget factor (yes, it plays MP3's)
  • Wired remote control for taking photos as well as audio control
  • Excellent batteries, good audio battery performance, average photo battery performance
  • Supplied carrying pouch
  • Good supplied software (EXIF Viewer, Audio downloader etc.)


Conclusion - Cons

  • Noise in shadow areas (becoming a SuperCCD trait)
  • No image preview in record mode
  • Barrel distortion (slight, but it's still there)
  • MP3 player doesn't support bit rates higher than 128Kbit/s
  • MP3: No track name display on remote control
  • Poor quality supplied earphones
  • 8/16 MB SmartMedia is simply not enough for images & audio
  • Price.. Consider the competition at this price


Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Fujifilm Finepix 40i: (2 megapixel, fixed lens, multifunction class)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 9
Features 7
Image quality 8
Lens / CCD combination 6
Ease of use 8
Value for money 6

Lukewarm... I'm really not sure who's the target market for this product (Japan?). It's a package of compromises, great build quality with some neat touches yet average image quality, fixed lens, lack of support for MP3 > 128 Kbit/s.. And I'm not sure what you're going to do with the 8 MB card that's bundled with the camera (apart from get just 2 MP3 tracks on it), most users will HAVE to purchase a 64 MB card on top.. Putting the price of an already expensive gadget right through the roof.

It's a fun item and it's definitely got the gadget factor, I can imagine kids traveling to a party listening to music on the tube then using it to take party snaps when they get there... But I can't really picture another market for it. It really makes sense when you look at the technology, CPU, batteries, storage medium, portability - all things which both sides of the product share yet neither side excels...

Average

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

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