The Fujifilm FinePix A610 (available for around £90) is an entry-level digital camera that's well constructed and offers a few worthwhile features.

The Fujifilm FinePix A610's basic specs are a little more generous than those of other similarly priced point-and-shoots you may see: a 3x zoom, a 6.3Mp sensor, and a 2.5in LCD (some other models offer fewer megapixels or only a 2in screen). The Nikon Coolpix L10 5Mp compact camera, for instance, has only a 5Mp sensor.

The Fujifilm FinePix A610 is best suited to people who rarely make camera adjustments in their search for the perfect photo. That's because it offers few manual controls. For example, the Fujifilm FinePix A610 lacks aperture- and shutter-priority modes, and you can't manually calibrate the white balance - a feature common even on low-cost cameras.

You do get six white-balance presets (including three for different fluorescent lighting conditions) as well as exposure compensation for when auto settings don't deliver an accurate exposure. Another convenience is that the Fujifilm FinePix A610 allows you to manually set the ISO; this is handy when you want to shoot in low light.

However, the Fujifilm FinePix A610's maximum setting of ISO 400 won't get you far in very dim conditions. Some other models in this price range offer up to ISO 800, and a few have an antishake mode, which the Fujifilm FinePix A610 also lacks.

This Fujifilm FinePix A610 offers a generous number of scene modes - 14 in total. The top button, which is for deleting photos during preview, can also be used to adjust the brightness of the LCD. At its highest setting, this screen is bright enough for viewing in midday sunlight - a welcome feature, since the Fujifilm FinePix A610 lacks an optical viewfinder. Other than these controls, you'll have to dive into the onscreen menus to make most changes because the Fujifilm FinePix A610 doesn't have a mode dial.

Overall, the Fujifilm FinePix A610's scores in our image-quality tests were about average, but impressive for a budget-priced camera. In lab tests, our jury gave the camera scores slightly above average for the colour and exposure accuracy of its images, but rated it slightly below average for image sharpness.

The Fujifilm FinePix A610 runs on AA batteries and in our tests it lasted just 195 shots before running out of juice, compared to the average of 260 frames. In contrast, the similarly priced Nikon Coolpix L10, which also runs on AA batteries, lasted 343 shots.

The Fujifilm FinePix A610 comes with a well-organised printed manual - no need to resort to a PDF file. The FinePix Viewer software is for uploading, viewing and printing photos. There is also an email function, which simply launches your default e-mail program with selected photos automatically attached to a message. You can also make slide shows, although the software does not offer any editing functions.

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Fujifilm FinePix A610: Specs

  • 6.3Mp
  • 3x optical zoom 6,2x digital zoom
  • SD Memory Card, xD-Picture Card
  • 2x AA batteries (included)
  • built-in red-eye reduction
  • focal length: 6.6mm-19.8mm
  • lens aperture:F/3.0-5.4
  • built-in flash
  • 98x31x62mm
  • 145g
  • 10MB built-in memory
  • 2.5in LCD display - TFT active matrix
  • 6.3Mp
  • 3x optical zoom 6,2x digital zoom
  • SD Memory Card, xD-Picture Card
  • 2x AA batteries (included)
  • built-in red-eye reduction
  • focal length: 6.6mm-19.8mm
  • lens aperture:F/3.0-5.4
  • built-in flash
  • 98x31x62mm
  • 145g
  • 10MB built-in memory
  • 2.5in LCD display - TFT active matrix

OUR VERDICT

Although the Fujifilm FinePix A610 is a competent low-cost camera, a few more features would make it a better deal.

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