Review: Fuji FinePix 2600 Zoom
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: Friday, November 2, 2001
Friday, December 7, 2001
2600 Zoom is one of the newest models in the FinePix line from
Fuji. At $299, it's also their lowest cost optical zoom camera.
There has been a lot of reader interest in this camera as well as
for the FinePix
2800 Zoom, which has a 6X optical zoom lens for $499.
is a pretty crowded field, so how does the FP2600 compare? Find
in the Box?
FinePix 2600 has an excellent bundle. Here's what you'll find inside
2.0 (effective) Mpixel Fuji FinePix 2600 Zoom camera
AA-sized NiMH rechargeable batteries
charger (holds 2 cells)
featuring FinePix Viewer Software and drivers
page manual plus software manual (printed)
is one of those camera manufacturers who "gets it". They
include rechargeable, standard batteries. They include a battery
charger. And, they include a memory card that can hold more than
includes two NiMH rechargeable batteries (1700 mAh), as well as
a charger that plugs right into the wall. The charger takes 5 hours
to full charge these two. Of course you can buy a faster charger
if you want one. Fuji estimates that the camera can take between
150 and 300 photos with fresh batteries, depending of course on
nice thing is the 16MB SmartMedia card, which is quite large for
a 2 Megapixel camera. I won't mention a certain other manufacturer
that includes the same sized card with a 5MP camera!
camera has a built-in lens cover, so you don't need to worry about
lens caps. In the above photo, you can also get a good feel for
the size of this camera.
those of you with Windows PCs, the FP2600 can also double as a "PC
camera", for teleconferencing on the Internet. This feature
isn't Mac compatible so I couldn't try it out.
camera does work correctly with Mac OS X version 10.1. The Image
Capture application starts right up.
FinePixViewer software is just average, and useful only for transferring,
rotating, and resizing images. You'll want a more powerful photo
editing suite if you need more than those features.
manuals for Fuji cameras have always been better than average, and
that's still the case here.
FinePix 2600 Zoom is an all-plastic camera, and I'd rate it about
average in terms of build quality. The camera is light, and should
fit easily into most pockets. The camera is easy to operate with
one hand or two.
official dimension of the camera are 3.9 x 2.6 x 2.1 inches (W x
H x D) and it weighs just 200 grams empty. Let's start a 360 degree
tour of the camera now.
the front of the camera, with the lens cover opened. To turn on
the camera, you have to open the lens cover (obviously) and also
hit the power switch on the top. If you do the switch before the
cover, the camera will put a warning on the LCD.
F3.5 Fujinon zoom lens has a focus range of 6 - 18mm, which is equivalent
to 38 - 114mm. The lens is not threaded.
northwest of the lens is the flash, which has a working range of
0.2 - 3.0m at wide-angle, and 0.8-3.0m at telephoto.
is no AF illuminator on this camera to help the camera focus in
low light situations.
keyword with the FinePix 2600 is simple. There aren't a lot of buttons
and everything is easy to navigate. The 1.8" LCD is good-sized,
but seems too dark to me, even after bumping up the brightness.
optical viewfinder, just above the LCD, covers about 80% of the
frame. There's no diopter correction, so those with glasses may
find things a little blurry at times.
the right of the LCD are three buttons: Disp(lay) toggles the LCD
on and off. Menu invokes the menu, and doubles as the OK button
while inside them. The back button does just as it sounds in the
the top right is the four-way switch. This is used in menu operation,
as well as for controlling the zoom. The zoom mechanism is quiet
on top of the camera you'll find the power switch, mode dial, and
shutter release button. Up here I always like when there's an LCD
info display, but like with most cheaper cameras, there isn't one
on the FinePix 2600. Thus, you'll have to turn on the LCD in order
to see how many photos you have left.
choices on the mode dial are Record, Playback, and Movie. I'll have
more about each of these later in the review.
this side of the camera, there are two I/O ports. The one on the
left is for the optional AC adapter, while the one on the right
is for USB. There is no video output on this camera.
the other side, the only item of note is the hook for the wrist
here's the bottom of the camera, all opened up. If you open the
plastic cover, you will find the battery compartment (note that
it only takes two AA batteries!) as well as the SmartMedia slot.
The door that covers these seems like it could bust off if too much
force is applied, so be careful.
other item on the bottom is the tripod mount, which is made of plastic.
You can see it just left of the batteries.
the Fuji FinePix 2600 Zoom
camera takes about three seconds to extend the lens and "warm
up" before you can start taking photos. The LCD is off by default
and there is no way to change that, so you have to hit Disp overtime
you want to turn it on. When you depress the shutter release button
halfway, the camera usually locks focus in under a second. When
you press it fully, the photo is taken after a noticeable lag of
almost a second. Shot-to-shot speed is very good -- you'll wait
about two seconds before you can take another photo.
in record mode
are many choices available for resolution and quality on the FP2600,
as this table explains:
photos on 16MB card (included)
photos on 64MB card (for reference)
(1600 x 1200)
(1280 x 960)
(640 x 480)
is no TIFF or RAW mode on the FinePix 2600, which isn't surprising
considering its cost.
menu system on the FinePix 2600 is all new, and pretty colorful
too. There are little tabs with different options, each with it's
own color. There is a manual mode, which essentially unlocks some
menu items. Strangely, manual mode locks out one useful option.
Anyhow, here are the menu choices:
(Auto, redeye reduction, forced flash, no flash, slow synchro)
(on/off) - 10 seconds - only in auto mode (!)
compensation (-1.5EV to +1.5EV in 0.3EV increments) - only
in manual mode
balance (auto, sunlight, shade, fluorescent x3, incandescent)
- only in manual mode
Setup (LCD brightness, auto/manual mode, quality)
take a look at our photo tests now.
FP2600 did a great job at the macro test. The colors on the figure
are correct, and the image is sharp. The focal range in macro mode
is 10 - 80cm on the FinePix.
with all point-and-shoot cameras, the FinePix didn't fare too well
in the night shot test. The lens is rather "slow", and
since you can't set the shutter speed manually, there's not much
you can do about it. In the shot above, I even cranked the exposure
compensation all the way up.
I was pleased with the photo quality on the FinePix 2600. Images were
usually sharp, and colors were accurate. I didn't see any major purple
fringing (chromatic aberrations) either. Take a look at the photo
gallery and judge for yourself.
FinePix 2600Z can record movies as long as 20 seconds, at 320 x
240 and 10 frames per second. No sound is recorded during filming
since the camera lacks a microphone.
in movie mode, the camera is locked at wide-angle, and only the
digital zoom can be used.
camera can hold about 94 seconds of total video on the included
a quick sample movie:
to play movie (AVI format, 1.6MB)
FinePix 2600's playback mode has all the basic features that you'd
expect. That includes thumbnail mode, DPOF print marking, and zoom
and scroll. One basic feature that I was surprised not to see is
image protection so you don't accidentally delete important photos.
Another feature that I would've liked is the ability to rotate photos
zoom and scroll feature, as I call it, lets you zoom in as much
as 5X into your photo, and then scroll around in it.
between photos takes just over two seconds. When you want to delete
photos, you can do one at a time, or all. There is no way to delete
a selected group of images.
addition, there isn't any information about your photos, other than
their number and time they were taken.
Does it Compare?
think the interest in Fuji's FinePix 2600 Zoom is justified. It's
a fine, entry-level optical zoom camera. While it's fairly limited
when it comes to manual controls, it's intuitive menus make it very
easy to use. The photo quality is quite good, and it's nice to have
a 3X optical zoom on a $299 camera. Also, I appreciate Fuji including
both a large SmartMedia card as well as rechargeable batteries with
the camera. On the downside, the playback mode is limited, and there
is noticeable shutter lag. Overall though, I think the camera is
a good buy, considering what you get for a low price.
good photo quality
value - 3X optical zoom for under $300
system intuitive, easy to use
be used for videoconferencing - though Windows only
I didn't care for:
a little dark
Playback mode could have more features
sound in movie mode
entry-level cameras zoom cameras worth looking at include the Canon
FinePix 2800 Zoom, Kodak
DX3600, Olympus Brio
D-150Z and D-510Z,
DSC-P50, and the Toshiba
always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try out
the FinePix 2600Z 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?
sure to read Steves
Digicams review of the FinePix 2600 Zoom.
welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking for
a personal recommendation.