4megapixel camera for the novice snapper.
Despite its 4megapixel sensor, the new Finepix A340 Zoom is aimed squarely at the entry-level digital camera market.
There's no denying that Fujifilm has done a good job in making the camera look attractive. Its silver case gives a good first impression, although we have our reservations about the sliding lens cap: it's all too easy to scrape it against the lens when turning the camera off.
In terms of usability we didn't have any major issues with the menu system, mostly because there isn't much to play with. In auto-shooting mode you can select the resolution and activate a self-timer. Manual mode gives you just two more options in the form of exposure compensation and a selection of preset white balance options; there's no manual white balance setting.
Tests produced mixed results. We were impressed with the Finepix A340's colour handling, particularly in well-lit outdoor shots, but indoor performance was less pleasing. Image noise was especially noticeable in low-light conditions, while the flash struggled to illuminate entire scenes. In addition, the automatic exposure occasionally produced dubious results with both indoor and outdoor images.
While the 4megapixel sensor sounds attractive, it's worth remembering that 3megapixel CCDs are capable of high-quality 6 x 4 photos and even acceptable A4 prints. The greater resolution gives you more freedom to crop images, but for standard size photos you won't really notice a quality increase. You may be better served by a 3megapixel camera with a greater range of features.
The Finepix A340's limited features place it firmly in the point-and-shoot category. Those interested in creative shooting should look elsewhere.
Contact: Fujifilm 01234 245 383
Pros:Easy to use; good colours.Cons:Poor indoor performance; lack of features.Overall:A good point-and-shoot model, but performance isn't great and it has limited features.
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