Moving on from Fuji A310 ,,,

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Guest, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    My first digital point-and-click was a Fuji Finepix A310. Since it
    died, I am stuck with the XD cards, so looking for an up-to-date
    equivalent, hopefully impoving on the most annoying features (easy
    accidental turning on in pocket, batteries falling out, switching off
    all the time, obliterating continuous pictures by continuing to snap
    the pavement when batteries low, large file size for not-so-great
    images).

    I am a bit confused about the spec. The A310 claims 6 m pixels, and
    certainly creates large enough files, but also claims only 3.1 m
    effective pixels. The A350, on the other hand, claims only 5.2 m
    pixels, but also 5.2 m effective pixels. In normal mode its pictures
    are smaller, but it also has a "fine" mode, which takes yet bigger
    pictures (in file size).

    Are the inconsistences in information simply due to changes over time
    in the way they advertise the different camersas? Is the A350 a higher
    spec equivalent of the A310?

    I am guessing that the "fine" mode on the A350 might be the same kind
    of electronic trickery that takes 3.1 m to 6 m pixels on the A310, but
    that they've stopped claiming the equivalent higher figure in more
    recent specifications.

    Thanks for any advice on this rather basic question.

    (Incidentally, the death of my A310 seems to be just that it can't get
    enough power. Maybe there is some kind of leakage, but it works
    briefly on fully charged rechargeables, and won't work at all with
    normal batteries. Is this a common fault? I can't imagine it to be
    worth fixing.)
     
    Guest, Dec 28, 2005
    #1
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  2. Just because you have a pocketful of XD cards, don't think you have to
    stick with that format. Media costs pittance these days, especially in
    relation to the cost of a new camera. Don't be afraid to chuck those XD
    cards out and buy whatever media your new camera uses.
    Effective pixels is the key factor. Some manufacturers program the
    camera to electronically "guess" the values of more pixels and those are
    inserted into the image. A dubious practice, and a good reason for
    ignoring brands that do it IMHO.
    "Sensor size" is normally the same as "effective pixels" but they
    occasionally differ when a manufacturer uses a sensor that is slightly
    too big for the lens to focus on, or where the sensor is slightly
    obscured in some way. Under these circumstances a 5MP sensor might only
    provide 4.8 effective MP. That's not so bad, but if it's quoted,
    effective pixels is the figure to look at.
    "fine" or "high quality" mode refers to how much data is thrown away
    during the compression of an image in order to reduce the size of the
    photo on the storage media or computer hard disk. All sensible people
    put the setting in highest quality mode and leave it there. If you run
    out of storage space on your media cards, buy more media.

    I'm not sure quite what Fuji are claiming, or what they are producing.
    The fact they are trying to blind you with marketing bullshit that makes
    their 3.1MP camera look like it produces 6MP images would make me not
    consider their products further.

    Have a look at the camera side-by-side comparison feature on
    http://www.dpreview.com/.
     
    Derek Fountain, Dec 28, 2005
    #2
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  3. Guest

    ASAAR Guest

    Fuji used an unusually designed CCD in some of its older cameras
    that tried to add a slight bit of extra detail by using software
    interpolation. The bad news was that the extra detail didn't amount
    to much, maybe 5% at best, and even that couldn't always be
    guaranteed, since it depended on what was contained in the image.
    And to get that minuscule extra detail, the file sizes doubled,
    since the interpolation created twice as many "pseudo" pixels as
    actually existed on the camera's sensor. With these cameras, it was
    probably best to select a resolution matching the cameras actual
    number of pixels. The good news is that Fuji seems to have stopped
    using this interpolation in their cameras, so if a camera is listed
    as having 5mp resolution (such as the A350), it will be based on
    having a 5mp sensor. The maximum file sizes will be much smaller
    than what the older cameras would have produced. In their "A" model
    lineup, I think that Fuji stopped using those interpolated sensors
    when they replaced the A310 with the A330 (also discontinued).

    Not inconsistencies so much as the fact that Fuji's cameras now
    use "standard" sensors. The A310 had a 3mp sensor. The current
    cameras in this model line are the A345 (4mp) and A350 (5mp).
    There's also an A360, but it's just a relabeled version of the A345
    which is sold by Walmart.

    No, the "fine" mode on the A350 is the same 5mp resolution as the
    "normal" mode, the only difference being that the file sizes are
    larger because "fine" mode uses less compression when saving the
    JPEG files. If the A350's 5mp sensor was of similar design to that
    used by the A310, using interpolation to produce a barely improved
    image, Fuji would be able to advertise that the A350 had 10mp
    resolution. They've stopped using those types of sensors and I
    doubt that anyone really misses them.

    Cameras can fail in many ways, that doesn't sound like a typical
    or common failure mode. You're probably right about the A310 not
    being worth fixing. Getting it repaired might well cost you nearly
    as much as buying a new, similar camera, and all of the internal
    parts (such as the flash tube and flash capacitor) would still have
    several years of use on them. The A350
     
    ASAAR, Dec 28, 2005
    #3
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest


    Thank you both for the replies. I understand now about the compression
    in the fine mode.

    Also, the explanation for the interpolation used on the A310 explains
    both the large file size and the lack of corresponding quality.

    I note that there is now also an A370, which doesn't seem to be greatly
    different in spec from the A350, but may be all that can be found in
    some shops.
     
    Guest, Dec 29, 2005
    #4
  5. Guest

    ASAAR Guest

    You're welcome.

    While speaking with Fuji's tech. support the other day about the
    availability of some their lenses I also asked about the A series
    and was told that the A345 and A370 are the same cameras, where the
    A370 is the European version, just as the A360 is the Walmart
    version. If Walmart has European branches I imagine it would retain
    the A360 designation but I didn't ask about that. :)

    The only difference between these three and the A350 that I'm
    aware of is the 4MP sensor they share vs the 5MP used by the A350.
    I also didn't ask about a European version of the A350, but if there
    is, or will be one, I imagine it would be sold as an A375 or A380.
     
    ASAAR, Dec 29, 2005
    #5
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