Review: Fuji FinePix 2300
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: Monday, July 2, 2001
Tuesday, July 3, 2001
and more products are popping up for consumers who just want an
easy to use, no-frills digital camera. The Fuji
FinePix 2300 is one such camera -- priced at just $279. It replaces
the popular FinePix 1300, upping the resolution from 1.3 to 2.1
Megapixels. The FinePix 2300 is a fixed focus, 2.1 Megapixel, digital
zoom camera without a lot of bells and whistles. And my guess is
that there are many people who are looking for just such a device.
in the Box?
FinePix 2300 has a pretty good bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:
2.1 Mpixel FinePix 2300 camera
alkaline AA batteries
featuring FinePixViewer, PhotoDeluxe (Windows only), ActiveShare
(Windows only), and drivers
isn't much to comment on here. I wish Fuji included rechargeable
batteries instead of alkalines, but I guess they had to keep the
cost down. My advice is to pick up one or two sets of NiMH rechargeables
and a charger.
no lens cap of any kind included, so do take precautions to prevent
damage to the lens.
FinePixViewer software is decent (on the Mac at least) but not wonderful.
The PhotoDeluxe software (Windows only, unfortunately) is definitely
better for photo editing.
manual for the FinePix 2300 is good -- as is the case with all of
are no accessory lenses or filters available for the FinePix 2300.
FinePix 2300 is a light, gray plastic camera that is exceptionally
easy to hold (with one hand even). While the body is all plastic,
it does seem sturdy enough. The dimensions of the FP2300 are 4.3
x 3.0 x 1.5 (W x H x D) and it weighs just 200g (7.1 oz) empty.
a look at the front of the camera. The lens, as I mentioned, is
fixed focus, with a focus distance of 5.8mm (equivalent to 36mm).
FP2300's flash has an effective range of 0.7m - 3.0m.
the back of the camera. The 1.6" LCD is fluid, but harder than
most to use outdoors. You can adjust the brightness by holding down
the Display button, but it only helps somewhat. The LCD is off by
default when the camera is turned on. Nose smudges will only be
a problem if you use your left eye with the optical viewfinder.
the top-left of the photo, you can see the optical viewfinder. There
is no diopter correction for those of us with glasses, but the viewfinder
was good sized. It shows 80% of the actual image captured by the
Display button (above the LCD) turns the LCD on and off. Just above
that is the power switch, while to the right you'll find the buttons
for controlling the menus.
the far right is the mode wheel, which has just three choices: play,
record, and setup.
the top of the camera, where you can see the shutter release button.
one side of the 2300. At the top, you can see the switch which puts
the camera in macro mode. Don't forget to switch it back to normal
when you're done taking macro shots, or your photos will all be
blurry. I say this because I did this myself.
below that, you can see the USB and DC in ports. There is no serial
support on this camera, nor is there video out.
here's the other side of the camera, with the 8MB SmartMedia card
shown. The SM slot is one of those "just grab the card"
types (meaning not spring-loaded).
here's the bottom of the camera. There's a battery compartment for
those 4 AA batteries, as well as a plastic tripod mount.
the Fuji FinePix 2300
FinePix 2300 takes about 2 seconds to start up before you can take
photos. The LCD is off by default. The camera is responsive when
taking photos -- since there's no focusing needed, the shutter lag
is minimal. The camera's shot-to-shot speed is a bit on the slow
side. You'll have to wait 6 seconds before you can take another
photo (1600/Fine Quality), or 4 seconds at 1600/Normal quality.
are quite a few choices in photo resolution and quality on this
photos on 8MB card (included)
photos on 32MB card (for reference)
digital zoom function is available, but only at the 640 x 480 resolution.
At that resolution, you can zoom in at 1.3X or 2.5X. Do note that
with digital zoom, the photo quality is dramatically reduced.
2300 has both automatic and manual modes. I was kind of puzzled
by the fact that some manual-sounding features were only available
in auto mode. Here's what's available in each:
(Auto/Redeye Reduction/Fill/Off/Slow Sync)
shooting (2 frames/sec, 640 x 480, no flash, up to 9 shots)
(same as above)
compensation (-0.9EV to +1.5EV)
balance (Auto, sunlight, cloudy, fluorescent [3 choices], incandescent)
took me a while to get a decent test macro shot with the FinePix
2300, and you can probably tell it's still not perfect. The lighting
in my "lab" is bizarre, and it tricks a lot of cameras
white balance system. Without manual white balance, there isn't
a lot you can do about it, either. If this one looks a bit brown,
that's the reason.
I had to get closer than normal due to the nature of this fixed
focus camera. The macro range is 3.1 - 5.9 inches.
I don't have any night test shots to show you, but in the past,
these fully automatic cameras haven't fared very well.
FinePix 2300's playback mode has nearly every feature you'll need.
This includes thumbnail mode, protect mode, DPOF print marking,
and zoom & scroll. A few notes on some of these:
between photos takes 4-6 seconds, depending on the photo quality.
That's slower than average. The FP2300 doesn't show a low res version
first, so you'll wait longer to get the high res thumbnail.
from the basic information (time/date, photo number), no extra info
on a photo is available such as exposure settings.
zoom and scroll feature is well done. You use the 4 way switch to
move into a photo up to 4X. You can then hit the Display button
to scroll around the photo.
most cameras (unfortunately), the 1300 only lets you delete one
photo at a time, or all of them. I really like cameras (e.g. Nikon's
Coolpix line) where you can select the photos you want to delete
instead of going one at a time. You can sort of do this on the 1300,
by protecting the images you want to keep, and then erasing the
Does it Compare?
must confess that after using so many high end cameras, using the
FinePix 2300 is kind of a shock. There are no bells and whistles,
gimmicks, or smoke and mirrors on the FP2300. What you will find,
is a low-cost camera that takes good pictures. The things I'd like
to see (such as an optical zoom and movie mode) would definitely
move the price of the camera up another $100 or so, putting it out
of reach for first time digicam buyers. But for those new digicam
owners, I think the FinePix 2300 will suit them just fine.
pictures, low price
easy to use
I didn't care for:
reading/writing files to SmartMedia
zoom and continuous shooting only work in 640 x 480
rechargeable batteries included
are some other low-cost cameras to consider: Canon
PowerShot A20 (more $$, but offers optical zoom), Fuji
FinePix 2400 (zoom), Kodak DC3400
(zoom, movie mode), and the Toshiba
always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try out
the FinePix 2300 and its competitors before you buy!
how does the photo quality stand up? Check out the sample photos
in our photo gallery!
a second opinion?
Digicams review of the FinePix 2300.
welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to my limited resources, please do not ask for personal camera