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FujiFilm FinePix 2800Z 2.0MegaPixel Digital Camera

FujiFilm FinePix 2800Z 2.0MegaPixel Digital Camera - PCSTATS
Abstract: Retailing for around $790CDN the 2800 is a mid-level 2 Megapixel camera useful for images up to 1600x1200 pixels in resolution.
 81% Rating:   
Filed under: Digital Cameras Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: FujiFilm Feb 15 2002   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Digital Cameras > FujiFilm FinePix 2800Z

Flash Media, File Management, Video Conferencing

SmartMedia Flash Memory Image Storage

There are differing opinions on what is the best type of flash media to use with a digital camera. While compact flash is quite popular, I tend to prefer SmartMedia Flash memory because it is quick, and uses a simple thin formfactor. The cards look reminiscently like the old 1.44MB floppy disks of old, but are very different in how they function.

The FinePix 2800 ships with one 16MB card which is good for roughly 20 1600x1200 shots, or 49 (1280x960) pictures. That size of storage media also equates to 122 (640x480) pictures and approximately 94sec of movie. The SmartMedia cards are priced pretty well compared to other storage media and up to a 128MB card can be used for storage.

To install the SmartMedia card, the user need only flip open a flap on the left side of the camera and insert the card in the correct orientation (a small gold sticker gives a hint). As long as the camera is off, the user can then just pull the SmartMedia card from the FinePix 2800 and replace it with another one to continue taking pictures.

Unlike the Compact Flash storage cards which generally need a mechanism to remove them from the unit, Smart Media just slides out. As I once used a Kodak camera with compact flash that "accidentally" shot its storage media half-way across the room, you'll appreciate this media for its simplicity. The only rule is to not bend the cards, they are thin and may be damaged.

If the camera is inadvertently left on and the flap is opened it will cut power to prevent any damage to the media from occurring. There are no ejection mechanisms to remove the memory, it need simply be pulled out of the slot by hand.

The Camera: USB Connection / Video Conferencing

Integrated USB support for digital cameras used to be a luxury, but now it is essentially a must. Rather than having to remove images from the flash card media via some third-party reader, the FinePix 2800 camera can simply be connected to a computer with a special USB cable.

Once the FujiFilm's FinePix Viewer software (along with a few other programs) is installed on the host computer, the camera will show up in Windows Explorer as a removable drive and the images or movies can be moved to the hard drive as you would move any file normally.

This process is a bit heavy on the battery, and if they go dead the USB cable will not power the camera to keep up the transfer, so once again it may be wise to invest in that AC-Adaptor and save you AA batteries.

With the FinePix 2800 connected to our computer the FinePix Viewer software is automatically launched. The software does three main things for the user. First of all it displays the images which are stored on the FinePix 2800's flash memory as thumbnails, or as a detailed list as shown below. The user can click on each of the entries to view the full sized image, or copy the entire "100_Fuji" directory to the hard drive for permanent storage and sorting. The program in analogous to ACDsee if you have ever had the chance to use it, and is very straight forward.

FinePix Viewer also enables the user to set the camera up for video conferencing, which is kind of handy. Before the camera will work a as video camera, the user first needs to switch it over from "DSC" to "PC Cam".

This is done in the setup menu on the camera and basically tells the camera that when the USB cable is connected, and it is turned on, it should act like a video camera, and not try to transfer files to the computer. Most of Fujifilm's camera's support this feature with the FinePix Viewer software.

Since all the image data is transferring over a USB 1.1 compatible cable, and not USB2.0 data rates are capped at 12MB/s. With that in mind, the picture is a bit choppy, but should work adequately for impromptu meetings. Obviously, the camera should be connected to the main power supply via the optional (it really should be included) AC adaptor.

After about 30 seconds the PictureHello Ver1.1 box popped up. Had we actually had someone to connect to over the internet, we could have had our in-office model conduct a meeting. Picture quality is surprisingly good, much better than when recording an AVI movie to the smart media.

I haven't played around with video conferencing too much so it is difficult to offer an objective comparison to other products on the market, but the FinePix 2800 would definitely be useful in this regard - especially for business trips where sales people may need to have a face to face meeting with HQ.

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Contents of Article: FujiFilm FinePix 2800Z
 Pg 1.  FujiFilm FinePix 2800Z 2.0MegaPixel Digital Camera
 Pg 2.  The Camera From All Angles
 Pg 3.  — Flash Media, File Management, Video Conferencing
 Pg 4.  The On Screen Controls
 Pg 5.  Final impressions and Conclusions

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