Real World Impressions
As with all things, the FinePix 2800 has its quirks. The
worst of which for your wallet is an unquenchable thirst for AA batteries.
The four alkaline AA batteries which were included with the camera ran out
after about three days under our hands. Next we loaded in a set of brand new
Duracell batteries and they lasted about a week and a half.
Finally, we paid the big money and bought some Duracell Ultra batteries, and so far they have lasted two weeks and are still going strong.
The FinePix 2800 draws a lot of power, especially when transferring image files over the USB cable to the computer. Now we've probably shot about 300-350 pictures on the FinePix 2800 during our testing with these three sets of batteries, and at about $5 a pack that could get quite expensive.
FujiFilm have an optional AC adaptor and Ni-MH rechargeable battery kit for this camera, and I would highly suggest getting it. It won't recharge the batteries in the camera however - which would have been a nice. Incidentally, lithium, manganese, or Ni-Cd batteries should not be used.
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Most of those three hundred or so pictures we took with the FinePix 2800 were
of objects less than two feet away (real world tests in the lab under real work
environments), or on macro.
As these types of shots are often a little more difficult to do when
compared to distance shots, it was here that we gained more respect for the ease, and quickness of the 2800.
respect was gained because we really didn't experience any problems with the camera. Focusing was straight forward,
the camera was always set to auto, so lighting and shutter speed were taken out of the picture, and both the EVF
viewfinder and 1.8" LCD viewfinder worked equally well for setting up a shot.
One tip though, be sure to take a few pictures and compare them to how the
scene looks through the LCD. You will most likely have to turn down the
brightness on the LCD panel so it better approximates what the final image will
Also, what may look sharp on the
LCD, is not necessarily in focus when taking macro or close up shots.
We found it best to leave about 10cm between the camera and the object (when
not in macro) for taking pictures that would actually be in focus. This isn't a
fault of the camera, but rather a limitation of the LCD panel. For a small
degree, the panel can't distinguish between in focus and almost-in-focus.
For distance photography the 2800 works very smoothly. With an automatic
shutter it is a good idea to bring along a tripod for low-light
conditions like the picture above, or any shaking of the camera will blur the image
slightly. Zoom controls are located. just above where the
thumb sits and are easily accessible. A small white indicator on the left hand
side of the viewfinder lets you know just how far along the zoom you.
Initially we felt that the FinePix 2800 would be too low
end for any real usefulness. That opion changed a lot after using the camera steadily for a few weeks, and we have now come to see
it does have its place with average users. The 2800 is
not a professional level camera, even though it does come in an
SLR format. Rather it is an attempt to give the
average consumer who poses basic knowledge of photography an easy and capable means
to shoot digital pictures.
The SLR format in this case simply makes it easier to
hold the camera. With a resolution of 2Megapixels the 2800 is not the highest camera in its class, or even it its price range. The FujiFilm 6400, which offers a sleeker design and several additional features matches this resolution, and surplants it with FujiFilms SuperCCD technology which offers
a bit better image quality. With the 2800's reliance on AA
batteries, it is almost a necessity to track down that optional Ni-MH rechargeable
battery kit from the outset.
Ease of use for the user is very good, although we personally found the navigation buttons undersized for
our large fingers. In the end, with its compact SLR size, and
fairly simplified controls, the FinePix 2800 offers up a mid-level 2 Megapixel
camera platform which is good for the average user, and
which provides a decent set of resolutions, a nice 6X optical zoom and some pretty good image quality.