A newcomer looking at the bewildering range of digital cameras available on the market at present could be excused for wondering how to get started. If all you want is a basic, cheap camera that takes good quality pictures and has the minimum amount of control systems to wade through, then the FinePix J12 is as good a place as any to start.
It’s remarkably light at 110g and comes in the ultimate boy/girl primary colours: metallic blue or pink. It’s easy to slip into a small bag (measuring 91 x 55 x 19mm) but for some inexplicable reason the 2.5-inch anti-glare LCD screen is not set flush with the metal casing, so it leaves a sharp surround that can snag clothing or skin.
Packing a decent 8.2 megapixels and a relatively modest 3x optical zoom, the FinePix J12 has been deliberately designed to be as uncluttered as possible. On the top are the simple power and shutter buttons and round the back you have Zoom, Display, Playback and Menu controls.
The battery compartment is in the base as usual, together with a slot for both xD-Picture Card and SD memory cards. It does come with 12MB internal memory but you won’t manage more than a couple of shots on that.
In addition to the expected Auto mode, there are 16 shooting modes including Baby (for that natural skin tone), Anti-blur, Snow (highly appropriate this month!), Sunset, Flower, Museum and Text. The Movie mode captures footage at 30 frames per second at a maximum 640 x 320 pixels in AVI format with monaural sound, and the ISO range is from 64 to 1600, though there are notable noise issues above 400. There are five flash modes including Red-eye reduction, Fill-in and Slow.
What is remarkable about this no-nonsense camera is that it can produce such sharp images with authentic colours for a fraction of the price of its bigger and more complex rivals. At less than £80 it’s the ideal camera for every member of the family to take on holiday or have for that party or special anniversary.
A USB lead is included in the box for transferring images to your PC, and within the camera you can view your results as a slide show or in Multi-frame mode. Thoughtfully, Fujifilm supplies both paper and disk versions of the manual, plus its handy FinePix Viewer S software.
Contact: 0870 084 1310