Fujifilm FinePix J100 review: Fujifilm FinePix J100

The Good Simple operation; 5x zoom.

The Bad Lack of features; red-eye issues; general blandness.

The Bottom Line The Fujifilm Finepix J100 is so simple we almost feel patronised by it. There are a few quirks in the face detection and red-eye system, but the prominence of baby mode suggests this isn't a camera for the party scene. We'd even call it the consummate point-and-shoot, simply because you can't do anything else with it

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5.5 Overall

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The 10-megapixel Fujifilm FinePix J100 is described by Fuji as the "perfect family camera". That sort of description could mean one of two things: that it's a simple point-and-shoot, or it's a hideously under-specced snapper that's so short of features it borders on the patronising. Unfortunately, the £110 FinePix J100 is leaning towards the latter.

The J100 has a boxy shape, with rounded corners and bevelled edges giving it a retro, 70s look. It comes in matte black or brushed silver colours. Apart from the brushed metal effect at the front, there's not much in the way of styling. The fact that we thought, "Ooh, look at the curved lens opening," says a lot about how conservative this camera is -- at least for the silver model we tested. The black model has a touch more class.

At the rear there is a large 69mm (2.7-inch), 230,000-pixel LCD screen. The back has a stepped edge which may have been designed to minimise the camera's thickness, but to our eyes it draws attention to the camera's profile. While it's perfectly pocketable, it feels thick to us, mainly because of the size of the lens.

Though it sports a 5x optical zoom, the lens is not particularly wide -- 35mm -- at the wide end, which is equivalent to a 35mm film camera. The flash is a little close to the lens, which can lead to problems with red-eye.

There's a simple mode wheel giving access to a number of scene modes. Although we understand the usefulness of quick access, several of these modes are basically the same: the red-eye reduction position doesn't give you any extra red-eye-related options other than the automatic mode. The point-and-shoot audience for this camera probably won't be changing the settings too much anyway.

The J100's mode wheel gives access to useful settings, such as baby mode,  but several of them are essentially the same

The inclusion of 'baby mode' on the wheel shows that this camera is aimed at parents -- this feature warms skin tones, presumably to show Baby in the ideal light. Other scene modes include the usual portrait, as well as beach, party and fireworks, and all are accessible through the menus. Each is explained onscreen.

Face detection is included, but does place some restrictions on the other shooting options. Red-eye reduction is only available when face detection is on, while metering adjustment is also turned off when face detection is on.