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I bought this camera for Christmas (2001), and it was my first Digital Camera. Having spent a lot of time researching into what I wanted, I couldn't be happier with the results. First of all, my main criteria for a digital camera was that it could act as a standalone "point and shoot" camera, for taking snaps and family pictures quickly and easily. It wasn't going to be used just by me, so it needed to be user-friendly enough for the less experienced to use. Secondly, I wanted some more advanced features at my disposal - full manual control of exposure etc - and I was more than happy with what this could do. I'm only a beginner in photography, so haven't yet explored all the options; but it's all there for when I need it. Thirdly it has an excellent view-finder, which again makes it really simple to take quick pictures. Also: 1. You can plug it into your TV to view photos you've just taken 2. You can take short videos 3. You can "upgrade" the memory storage by simply buying other cards and slotting them in 4. Connection to your PC is via USB, and is highly impressive - the camera acts like a removable drive, so you just drag-and-drop your photos to your PC 5. You can alter the compression, ISO and picture-quality of your photos 6. It has an *excellent* "Macro" mode for doing closeups 7. The auto-focus is pretty good, but if you feel it's slightly out then a small twist of the manual focus takes care of it I've seen literally 100s of professional photos taken by others using this camera, and they're absolutely stunning. I would say this is probably slightly *too* good a camera for an absolute beginner in photography - I have some background in film-photography, which has helped a lot, but I could see others struggling to cope and use all of the features. It was reasonably expensive at about
£500. The downside of it is the battery life (the viewfinder drains it quickly), and no case on purchase - other than that, it's stunning. Note that few shops sell this camera anymore, due to it being replaced by the Fuji 6900. The only improvement that 6900 has over this 4900 is a greater MegaPixel size; you'll probably find some shops still selling the 4900, and at VERY low prices. Don't hesitate - buy it! You can view some of the photos I've taken at the URL below: http://www.localbounty.com/pingo/browse.cfm?d=Will&s=0&t=owner
Not being able to afford this camera myself, I was thrilled to bits when I got the opportunity to try it out on my PC. There is a bit of elusive software somewhere on that CD, but failing to find it within the few milliseconds of my patience wearing thin, I gave up due to my excitement and got straight to the camera itself. While not exactly feature-packed, you do get an adequate amount of specialities as is appropriate for it's hefty price tag. The autofocus works brilliantly (although not through glass, or fences etc.) and with the flash on it seems to cope admirably with poor light conditions. The colour quality is excellent in the pictures with bright, vibrant natural shades. Clearly defined shadows and marvellously varied mid-range tones. It really is the best I've ever seen as far as standard picture quality goes. The only faults I could pick up are: The design of the camera, whilst very sexy, makes the beast a little unbalanced in the hand which, if you're not careful, leads to shaky or slanted pictures. Also, you do require a very steady hand to get the most from this piece of kit. Overall, if you can afford it, buy it, you really aren't going to get much better.
I bought this camera about a month ago. I am very pleased with the quality of pictures it is taking, and I am finding it really easy to use. There are loads of buttons and switches on it, all over the place, and it's a bit daunting to start with but I didn't try to learn it all at once, I just took it a bit at a time and it all fell into place. I like the way that you can override the automatic settings to give the camera either shutter priority or aperture priority, so for instance if you're taking action shots, you can set a fast shutter speed and the camera will adjust the aperture to match it. You can also set the equivalent of the film speed, so for taking shots where the light is bad, you can set it to 800 iso. I have got some great indoor shots using this facility. All these settings are accessible via menus which you can see either through the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. There are things I don't like about the camera. On all digital cameras, you get that delay between pressing the button to take your picture and the camera actually taking the picture. This is annoying if you're taking an action shot because you can easily miss the moment. The thing that I don't like about this camera is that when you press the button to take a shot, you get a frozen image in your viewfinder (or on your screen, which ever you select), but this isn't the image that the camera has actually taken, so again if taking an action shot, your frozen image might show your subject in the middle of the frame but in reality the subject isn't in the frame at all, you've completely missed it due to the delay. However, you can get around this by using the Preview setting. With 'preview' on, you get a frozen image of your actual shot and then you can decide whether to save it or delete it. I keep mine set on this all the time now. The camera itself is very light and easy to hold, and looks
like a proper camera, not like those ugly flat things. The lens cap is easy to put on and take off (not like the lens cap on my last Fuji digital camera, which was very fiddly to get back on). It also takes movies (without sound). I've tried it out and it works ok but I'm not sure what I'd use it for really. I think it's a bit gimmicky to be honest. I am very happy with the quality of picture that it takes and the 6x zoom is very good, although sometimes when I zoom right in on something, the image I'm seeing through the viewfinder is blurry. However if I take a picture the actual shot is sharp. All in all, I'm very happy with the performance of the camera. I don't think I'll be trading it in just yet.
I have recently got myself this wonderful camera, I can't speak highly enough of it. Taking really good high quality photos is a breeze. It's light weight and compact with so many useful feature, an ideal camera for those 35mm devotee's who don't think digital is for them. If you get the printer to go with the Camera you don't need a PC to print your photos, however if you had a PC the software that comes with the camera is the easiest software I have ever used to download Photo's to PC. Simply plug the uSB into your cam and turn it on, that all you do!