Fujifilm FinePix A101 review
I received this, my first digital camera, for Christmas 2000. Growing up with 35mm SLRs, at first I was a bit skeptical - until I took a few impromptu snaps in and around the house on Christmas Day and was blown away! The colors in particular were excellent - vibrant and saturated without looking unnatural (blues and greens are beautiful). You could really tell the people who designed this camera knew how *photos* were supposed to look. It was quite a shock to see just how good it looked compared to scanned 4x6 prints from 35mm film. Jpg compression is low, with files sizes around 600kB for a 1.3MP image so artifacts are seldom visible. If the lens was sharp to the corners I would have gone up a half point in my score for IQ. Metering is generally very reliable; AWB works great in natural light and the presets are pretty good too (though with such a wide angle lens my use was mostly outdoors).
The WA lens is nice, though a bit soft in the corners. However, given the field of view the effect is seldom objectionable. Switching to macro, the image quality looks even better though DOF is pretty shallow and of course with a fixed-focus lens you have to compose pretty carefully using the monitor.
Lacking AF, it never froze because it was unable to to lock onto a subject, which made it an excellent tool for shooting out the window of a moving vehicle where more sophisticated cams (at the time) might not get the job done. Manual controls are limited and it's not especially responsive; when the batteries start to get low you can find yourself waiting around for quite a while for things to happen. Speaking of batteries, don't even think of using alkaline AAs in this camera - stick to high-capacity NiMH and you'll be fine. The XD media was a definite minus. It's well made and feels nicely solid in the hand. The monitor cover is glass, resists scratches and wipes clean easily.
This camera gave me a very happy introduction to digital photography!
None - it still works great even though I seldom use it nowadays.
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