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Fujifilm FinePix A600 review: Fujifilm FinePix A600


The A600's blocky body manages to be both unimpressive and awkward to use. A stiff zoom rocker and the two buttons on either side of it are the camera's primary controls. Besides zooming and activating flash/macro, the buttons serve as an uncomfortable control pad for navigating the A600's sparse menu system. The rocker is located in the top-right corner of the camera's back panel, while the actual Menu/OK and Back buttons sit in the lower right, making the simplest activities a thumb-stretching chore.

6.2

Fujifilm FinePix A600

The Good

Responsive; decent photos.

The Bad

Stiff, awkward controls; very few features.

The Bottom Line

The Fujifilm FinePix A600 produces nice images, though its awkward design and mundane features hold it back.
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The Fujifilm FinePix A600 doesn't do much, and it isn't very pretty, but this shooter does deliver decent photos for less than $200. Some might call it the archetypal budget snapshot camera--a clunky, six-megapixel point-and-shoot with a cookie-cutter feature set.

As a budget point-and-shoot, the A600's features don't exactly stand out. The 6-megapixel Fujifilm SuperCCD sensor is complemented by a mundane 36m-to-108mm-equivalent lens. It lacks image stabilization, so the most you can do for low-light or high-speed shooting is turn on the flash and bump the sensitivity up to its maximum of ISO 400. The camera includes an anemic video mode that records QVGA (320 x 240) footage at 10fps, little better than most camera phones' video modes. It also includes 12MB of internal memory for shooting without an xD memory card. However, 12MB will get you only seven full-resolution shots at best, so a memory card is still highly recommended.

Despite its low-end status, the A600 displayed decent performance. After taking 2.7 seconds from power-on to first shot, we managed to take a shot every 3.1 seconds thereafter without flash. With the onboard flash enabled, that time increased to a more disappointing 5.8 seconds. The shutter release responded quickly, lagging only 0.7 second between button-press and shot. The camera's burst mode could handle only three shots at a time, but it managed to take those shots in just 2.2 seconds, for a rate of 1.4fps.

The A600's images turned out well, though they were hardly perfect. Fine details in our test shots were softened by numerous compression artifacts and heavy fringing on the edges of bright white objects. Despite these flaws, the photos looked good, with even exposure and accurately reproduced colors.

Though its images satisfied, the Fujifilm FinePix A600's design left a lot to be desired and its wake-up and shot-to-shot times could have been faster. Between its clunky body and awkward control scheme, the A600 simply isn't very fun or easy to use. If you're looking for a simple, attractive, inexpensive camera, you might consider the Olympus FE-190 instead, though it doesn't include a continuous shooting mode. If you're looking for a budget point-and-shoot with strong manual features, consider the Canon PowerShot A540. The two cameras are quite different from each other, but each vastly improves upon the A600's flaws.

Shooting speed
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Time to first shot  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Samsung Digimax L60
2 
2.1 
0.7 
Canon PowerShot A540
2 
1.9 
0.7 
Olympus FE-190
1.9 
2 
0.7 
Fujifilm FinePix A600
3.1 
2.7 
0.7 

Typical continuous-shooting speed
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Typical continuous-shooting speed  

6.2

Fujifilm FinePix A600

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 6Performance 6Image quality 7