Fujifilm FinePix J250 review
Been trying the J250 out the past couple of days with mixed but improving results. Construction quality and handling/ergonomics are good, pic quality seems somewhat of a mixed bag. Don't get me wrong, this camera is capable of very good, even stunning photos, at least comparable to the Canon SD780 or SD1200 samples I've downloaded but they don't always happen magically. If you want the best IQ you can't just select an auto setting, click away and be guaranteed great IQ, there seems to be only about a 50% chance the camera will self select a low enough ISO (50-200) for that to happen. BUT, you can select a low IS0 in Manual mode and the camera will do some or all of the rest automatically & indicate its speed & aperture pre-selections on the lcd. This is a more reliable way to get a good pic than any of the auto modes if you have some basic photography knowledge but it probably won't be common knowledge to most casual point & shoot users. In any of the many Auto or Scene modes the camera will unnecessarily select a 400 or 800 ISO, which doesn't have good results for this camera and you end up with a lousy or deleted pic if you're a pixel peeper, or as fussy as I am. The 400-800 range ISO pics probably still print great up to at about 8x10 though.
Some other comments are the lens seems good at wide angle & mid-range, soft at extreme telephoto, some purple fringing (not too bad) in some situations, battery life OK (not great), highly reflective LCD has adjustable brightness but very hard to see in direct sunlight, flash good for wide angle and up to about 4M distance in telephoto. Face detection can take a while to lock and works only sporadically, often the camera has difficulty in getting focus lock in dim light but this seems to be a fairly common issue with this type of camera.
So, in spite of it's very reasonable cost and likely target market, this probably isn't the best camera for beginners, point & shoot pixel peepers, or anyone unwilling to learn its idiosyncrasies. However if you don't mind using Manual mode (speed and aperture still automatic) and set the ISO below 400 you can get a lot more guaranteed keepers. Great value for a 28mm P&S, camera rewards a bit of effort beautifully!
Not for fussy beginners, the Auto & IA modes often uneccessarily selects a too high ISO (seems about 40% of the time). Don't buy this camera for its movie mode!
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