capsule review

Fujifilm FinePix A330

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujifilm FinePix A330 Compact Camera

Fujifilm FinePix A330
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The $200 Fujifilm FinePix A330, though relatively sturdy, has an economy feel to it. There are no covers on the USB, video-out, and DC-in ports, and the LCD screen is a smallish 1.5 inches. Also, the sliding lens cover did not always latch properly when we closed it; it flexed outward slightly when pressed too hard.

An XD-Picture Card with a capacity of only 16MB comes with the A330, but you can shoot 320 by 240 movies if you buy a larger card. There's no microphone, however, so you'll have to settle for watching silent films. The manual is complete and helpful (though it lacks an index and ours came with two pages of corrections), but it covers both the A3330 and its bigger sibling, the A340.

The A330 has some usability flaws. The zoom control is a button that you rock up and down. It feels uncomfortable under your thumb and is difficult to adjust accurately. It also serves as a menu selector button, and for panning and zooming when you play back your photos. We weren't thrilled with the camera's power-off function, either. By default, the camera automatically turns itself off after 2 minutes of inactivity, to save power. You might expect the button marked "on" to turn it back on, but instead you have to close and reopen the lens cover.

For a camera that costs $200, the A330 took surprisingly good photos. In our lab tests, its exposure and color balance stood up well to competitors priced twice as high. It earned very good scores in our flash-photo test, as well.

Using the A330 might frustrate photographers who like to cull their photos immediately. Took a shot that came out poorly? You'll have to work through at least five steps to delete it.

The camera does have a couple of advanced features that may prove useful. You can crop your images on the LCD screen--useful if you're connected directly to a printer. And if you're traveling, you can set up a temporary time-zone change; that way, when the images are downloaded to your PC, they'll be tagged with a meaningful time.

The A330 uses two AA batteries. But an optional cradle comes with rechargeable batteries and simplifies uploading the images to your PC.

If you're looking for a simple camera to take quick snapshots of your family vacation, the FinePix A330 may be ideal. At $200 with a 3X optical zoom, it's a bargain.

Paul Jasper

This story, "Fujifilm FinePix A330" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Fujifilm FinePix A330 Compact Camera

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