DCRP Review: Fuji FinePix 2400 Zoom
by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: Friday, November 17, 2000
Last Updated: Sunday, December 3, 2000

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The Fuji FinePix 2400 Zoom is the follow-up to the FinePix 1400 Zoom, which was announced way back in February at the PMA show. The 2400 is essentially the same camera as the 1400 (see our review), but with a 2.1 Megapixel CCD instead.

The FinePix 1400 was designed to be very much like the Olympus D-400 series, and the 2400 is no different. When the Olympus D-490Z (see our review) was announced, there was little doubt that Fuji would soon release a a similar model... and here it is. Throughout this review, I'll try to compare the FinePix 2400 to the Olympus D-490Z.

What's in the Box?

The FinePix 2400 contains just about everything you'd expect from a midrange camera:

  • The 2.1 Mpixel Fuji FinePix 2400 camera
  • 8Mb SmartMedia card
  • Four alkaline AA batteries
  • Hand strap
  • USB cable
  • Software including Adobe PhotoDeluxe, ActiveShare, and drivers
  • Manuals for camera and software

About the only thing missing here are a set of rechargeable batteries. You'll want to pick up a set right away, since alkaline batteries don't last very long.

Two other missing features of note are support for serial connections, as well as video out so you can view your photos on a TV.

The lens cover is an integral part of the 2400's design. If you don't slide the cover open when you turn on the camera, a warning message will appear on the LCD display.

In the past, Fuji's manuals have been quite good, and I expect the same for this camera.

The Fuji beats out the Olympus D-490Z for this section -- while their bundles are very similar, only the FinePix has USB support. When you're downloading lots of photos, that makes a big difference.

Look and Feel

The FinePix 2400's body looks just like a 35mm point-and-shoot camera. That means that just about anyone can pick up the camera and start shooting, without a trip to the manual. The plastic bodied camera fits well in your hands. I found it easier to hold with two hands that trying to use one. The cameras dimensions are 4.9 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches, and it weighs in at 8.8 ounces. This makes it both smaller and lighter than the Olympus D-490Z.

The FinePix 2400 has a 3X optical zoom lens, with a focus distance of 6 - 18mm (equivalent to 38 - 114mm on a 35mm camera). The Olympus' lens is also 3X, with a focal length of 5.4 - 16.2mm, which is equivalent to 35 - 105mm.

Now let's look at the back of the camera. The 1.6" LCD display isn't that great. I found it harder to read the LCD outdoors on the FinePix 2400 than on most other cameras. Also, the text on the LCD seems compressed, and is hard to make out at times. I definitely prefer the 1.8" LCD on the Olympus D-490Z.

Above the LCD you'll find four buttons: Display (toggles the LCD on and off) , Flash, Back, and Menu/OK.

To the left of that is the optical viewfinder. It lacks diopter correction for those of us with glasses, and it covers only 80% of the frame.

On the far right of the above photo, there's a four-way switch. In addition to controlling zoom with the up/down buttons, you also navigate the menus with these buttons.

On the top of the camera, simplicity is the rule. There's a switch for putting the camera in record or playback mode, and the shutter release button. The shutter release button could use some more tactile feedback -- it's hard to tell how far you're pushing it down. The Fuji lacks an LCD info display up here, which the Olympus camera includes.

On the left side of the camera, there are only two ports. One is for the optional AC adapter, and the other is for the USB cable. Whereas the Olympus had serial instead of USB, the Fuji has USB instead of serial.

On the other side of the camera is the SmartMedia slot. The slot is protected by a plastic door which stays closed. The slot itself is not spring-loaded -- you just pull the card right out.

And finally, the bottom of the camera. The four AA batteries are stored securely in the compartment at left. Towards the middle of the picture is the plastic tripod mount.

For this section, I give the Olympus the edge. It's a better designed camera, with a better LCD and the LCD info display on the top of the camera, even though it does lack support for USB.

Using the Fuji FinePix 2400

I'm going to discuss the Record and Playback modes in this section.

Record Mode

Like its predecessor, the FinePix 2400 has a pretty basic record mode, even when "manual mode" is turned on. This is a point-and-shoot camera if there ever was one.

Record Mode

The camera takes about 4 seconds to extend the lens and warm up before you can start taking pictures (assuming you opened the lens cover). When you depress the shutter release button halfway, it takes around a second for the camera to lock focus. The picture taking itself takes less than a second -- lag is minimal. The delay between shots is around 3 seconds, in Normal mode at 1600 x 1200. The D-490Z was a bit faster in the speed department.

Record Menu System

The menus are very basic on the FinePix 2400. I'll put any "manual mode only" items in red, and any "auto mode only" items in blue:

  • Macro (on/off)
  • Exposure compensation (-0.9EV to +1.5EV in 0.3EV increments)
  • White balance (auto, sunlight, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent)
  • Continuous shooting (on/off) - shoot at 1.5 frames/sec, up to 9 shots, 640 x 480)
  • Self-timer (on/off)
  • Mode (auto, manual, file size/quality)

You're probably asking yourself why continuous shooting and self-timer are only found in auto mode, and not in manual mode... and so am I.

The chart below describes the various size and quality modes available on the FinePix 2400:

Resolution 1600 x 1200 1280 x 960 640 x 480
Quality Mode Fine Normal Basic Fine Normal Normal
Compression Ratio 1/5 1/10 1/20 1/4 1/8 1/8
Image Data Size 760KB 390KB 200KB 610KB 310KB 90KB
Num. photos on 8MB card 10 19 39 12 24 89

The FinePix 2400 did a pretty good job on our traditional macro test, especially with the white balance set to incandescent. One thing to note is that you cannot use the zoom lens while in macro mode.

The FinePix didn't fare quite as well in our nightshot test. While you can clearly see the skyline and bridge, they're pretty dark. Even after I cranked up the exposure compensation, I couldn't get any better. This is typical of cameras without manual control over the shutter speed and/or aperture. Luckily, there isn't any noise to speak of in the above shot. Due to poor weather conditions, I never got to take this shot with the D-490Z.

Unlike the Olympus D-490Z, the FinePix 2400 does not have a movie mode.

Overall photo quality for the FinePix 2400 seemed good -- though a bit "blue" in some of the gallery pictures.

Playback mode

The FinePix 2400 has a pretty basic playback mode. The only features available here are erasing/formatting, image protection, DPOF print marking, and zoom & scroll.

Playback Menu System

When deleting photos, you have your choice of deleting the frame, all the photos, or formatting the card. As DCRP readers probably know by now, I love to have the ability to delete a group of photos at a time, and the 2400 doesn't offer this feature.

Playback Mode

The zoom and scroll mode is just OK. You can zoom in quickly enough, but scrolling around inside the zoomed photo is too slow and choppy for my taste.

There is no additional information about a photo available, such as exposure information. The FinePix 2400 also lacks a slideshow mode for playing back photos automatically.

Moving between photos in playback mode took nearly five seconds, when going between two 1600/Fine images.

For the most part, the Olympus and Fuji cameras are about equal in the playback department.

How Does it Compare?

The Fuji FinePix 2400 is a decent midrange point-and-shoot camera for those who want a 2 Megapixel camera. The body style is familiar to almost everyone, so users won't have much trouble getting up and running. The camera is missing many of the bells and whistles of more expensive cameras, but most people won't miss them.

And that brings up the question: Of the FinePix 2400 and the Olympus D-490Z, which do I prefer? Feature-wise, I'm going to have to give the nod to the Olympus. While the D-490Z lacks USB, Olympus is currently offering a free Microtech ZiO! USB card reader with the purchase of the camera. With that out of the way, I preferred the design of the 490Z, as well as the extra features like uncompressed TIFF mode, adjustable ISO settings, and a movie mode. [Updated 11/22/00]

Things have changed significantly since I originally wrote this review. The FinePix now retails for $450, and the street price is closer to $350. Though I prefer the Olympus' features a bit more, the FinePix is definitely the better value here and should be strongly considered. [Added 11/22/00]

What I liked:

  • Traditional point-and-shoot body -- easy to pick up and use
  • Good bundle included with camera
  • Good macro shots and white balance
  • USB support
  • Good value for the money

What I didn't care for:

  • Photos show blue tint sometimes (see gallery)
  • A bit light on features
  • Menu system confusing -- some items in auto mode but not in manual mode
  • No movie mode
  • LCD small and hard to see

Some other cameras you'll want to consider include the Canon PowerShot S10, Casio QV-2000UX, Kodak DC3400, Nikon Coolpix 880, Olympus D-490Z, and the Toshiba PDR-M5.

As always, I recommend a trip out to your local reseller to try out the FinePix 2400 and its competitors before you buy! After all your views may differ from mine!

Photo Gallery

So how does the photo quality stand up? Check out the sample photos in our photo gallery!

Want a second opinion?

Check out Steve's Digicams review of the FinePix 2400.

Jeff welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to jakeller@pair.com.

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