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FUJIFILM FinePix F601 Zoom Camera Review

July 1, 2002



As you know, kids are uncontrolled. And now FUJIFILM decided to refute this statement having released its FUJIFILM FinePix F601 Zoom camera. At first glance at the front this model doesn't differ from its predecessors: FinePix 4700, 4800 and 6800 Zoom. It sports the same design from Porsche. Only the number has become shorter. However, its back is much redesigned. There is no an LCD indicator anymore - only a small color LCD screen and buttons placed to suit your right thumb. In general, we have a miniature photo camera with time-proved ergonomic design allowing shooting both in vertical and horizontal positions. The technical data are also very similar to the Fuji FinePix 6800.

The traditional ergonomic CCD matrix allows for shooting frames of 2832 x 2128 pixels. The camera has a 8.3 24.9mm lens, which is identical to 36-108 mm of a 35mm camera as to the viewing angle.

The capabilities have undergone considerable changes. Now a user can rely on the automatic control or choose a mode himself. Its controllability doesn't yield to that of its advanced siblings. You can set modes of portrait, landscape or night shooting, or use ordinary aperture and exposure modes. You can shoot with the shutter priority or aperture priority or use a completely manual mode which allows setting the exposure from 1/2000 to 3 s and aperture (F:2.8; F:4.5; F:7.0; F:10.8). Both automatic focusing and manual ones are supported. The sensitivity has also a wide range of values: from 160 ISO to 400 ISO. In case of small frames of 1289x960 pixels the sensitivity can be set either 800 ISO or 1600 ISO.


You can switch from one mode to another using the wheel. The chosen mode will be displayed on the back panel.

The manual settings are very rich. The photo shows information displayed on the screen in case of shooting in the aperture priority mode and manual focusing.

The menu of the plot program mode is rather scarce. It easily goes in just one screen.

The video shooting menu is rather modest.

And this picture can be seen on the screen in the dictaphone mode

The camera can record video in the AVI format (Motion JPEG) - frames of 320x240 pixels, 15 fps. Another useful feature is sound recording in the dictaphone mode. 272 min. on a 127 MBytes SmartMedia memory card. The LCD screen of the camera is quite small - only 1.5", but with a very high resolution 110,000 pixels. As compared with its predecessors, this model has different power supply. It comes with a flat Li-Ion battery NP-60. You can also connect it to an AC network, and in this case the battery recharges right in the camera.

The camera has now only two connectors: a power one and a universal one to dock the device or for connection of a USB cable.

The dock doesn't ship together with the camera, but it's possible to apply a video signal to TV only with it. When connected to a PC through the USB, the camera can be used as a web one. It works only in the ArcSoft VideoImpression program provided, but it lacks for any possible management. In this mode the buttons of the camera don't work either, that is why if you have to set a definite focal length, do it before you connect the USB cable.

The compact size of the camera doesn't suggest any attachments. This model is supposed to be used as is. On the other hand, the Super EBC Fujinon lens allows shooting through a microscope's eye-glass or using the camera for viewing images under a microscope on the PC screen. I think, it's not worse as compared with the Intel Play QX3 microscope, though the ArcSoft VideoImpression program is quite weak for this purpose and doesn't allow stretching an image onto the whole PC screen.

The photo printing on the EPSON Stylus Photo 950 printer showed that in the 10x15 6Mp format a shot made with this camera (though 6 Mp is, of course, interpolation here) is almost identical to a 6Mp shot made with the EOS D60. The most interesting thing is that a print of a shot made in the 1.2Mp mode (1280x960) can be discerned from that made in the 6Mp one (2832x2128 ) only using a magnifier. But note that the original frames are still different a little.


Fragment of a shot made with the Canon EOS D60. Full size is 3072x2048 pixels Fragment of a shot made with the FUJIFILM FinePix F601. Full size is 2832x2128

Technical parameters of the lens and matrix haven't changed much, that is why the shots of the resolution chart and gitter didn't amaze us.

Frame center, ISO 160, F:8, F=8mm, automatic white balance, the chart is printed on the diffusing film and is illuminated with a luminescent lamp with the conditional color temperature of 8000 K.

Spectrum of the halogen incandescent lamp KGM-250 obtained with a gitter. The letter D marks graphs which correspond to balancing for daylight, T - for incandescent lamps. You can shift the lower diagram upward until it coincides with the upper one. The diagrams were plotted with the Levels program developed by Dmitry Kuznetsov

The camera comes with the FinePixViewer 3.0.03E program which has replaced the Exif Viewer. It differs mostly in the interface. Both programs are the best for viewing information on shots. They can also let you record your comments directly into files with images. Unfortunately, other programs reading EXIF Tags display records correctly only in the Copyright1 column. By the way, the comments can be read if you open the JPEG file's contents in the text editor.

So, we have an excellent pocket camera which you can always take with you to register any events. Taking into account the dictaphone provided, this model can be a good choice for a pressman. The striking capabilities of this miniature camera almost exclude a situation when you won't be able to make a shot. Probably, if a shot can't be taken with this camera, it can't be taken at all. The only thing I wish were here is adjustment of the white balance with a gray card.

Technical characteristics


Sensor CCD; 3.3M pixels; GRGB
Matrix size 1/17"
Frame size 2832x2128 (interpolation), 2048x1536, 1280x960, 640x480 pixels
File format JPEG(Exif)
Sensitivity ISO 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (only in 1280x960 pixels mode)
Memory card Smart Media 16 MBytes
Lens focal length 8.3 - 24.9 mm (36-108 mm in 35mm equivalent)
Aperture ratio F:2.8 - F:4.5
Exposure 3 1/2000 s
Aperture F:2.8- F:7.0; F4.5 F:10.8
Auto focus 60 cm infinity
Macromode 20 cm 80 cm
Viewfinder Optical and 1.5" LCD screen (110,000 pixels)
White balance 7 modes
Inouts/outputs USB, Video NTSC or PAL (with dock provided)
Flash Auto/manual
Power Li-ion NP60 and AC-5VHS/AC-5VS adapter
Dimensions 72x93x34 mm
Weight 220 g

Photos


1280x960 pixels,
296 KBytes,
ISO160,
F=9 mm,
1/350s, F:8
2832x2128 pixels,
2391 KBytes,
ISO160,
F=9 mm,
1/350s, F:8
2832x2128 pixels,
2715 KBytes,
ISO160,
F=25 mm,
1/250s, F:8

These are the miniatures. Click on them and you will see the original images.

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