The Fujifilm FinePix E900 is a pricey 9Mp camera that takes very sharp photos and is easy to use.

Digital camera resolution keeps going up, and the Fujifilm FinePix E900 continues this trend with a healthy 9Mp sensor.

The Fujifilm FinePix E900 is no slouch in the features department, either, offering a long 4x optical zoom and Fujifilm's Real Image Processor chip.

The images that this combination produces are very attractive. In our tests we saw vivid yet accurate colours and very accurate exposures under a variety of lighting situations; the Fujifilm FinePix E900 coped with daylight and studio setups equally well.

Most impressive, the Fujifilm FinePix E900 scored well for image sharpness. There was also little evidence of noise at lower ISO settings, although some noise appeared when the ISO was bumped to the maximum of 800. (Other Fujifilm cameras have offered an ISO setting of 1,600, but not this one.)

The Fujifilm FinePix E900's case feels robust, and should stand up to knocks and bumps. The only possible concern is the pop-up flash on top. A small button nearby opens it, and it could easily get caught on something and damaged if it accidentally opens inside a pocket or bag.

The LCD screen on the back of the Fujifilm FinePix E900 was also a little disappointing. At 2in and 115,000 pixels, it is much smaller than those on many other cameras, and its lower resolution makes checking image focus a bit difficult. It seems rather odd that the highest-resolution point-and-shoot camera we've encountered would have one of the smallest and least usable LCD screens we've seen. However, the Fujifilm FinePix E900 also has an optical viewfinder, which can replace the LCD for shooting and help save battery life.

Not that battery life is a problem for this camera. Powered by two AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, the Fujifilm FinePix E900 lasted an impressive 326 shots in our tests, easily enough for a trip of several days. And you can swap out the included rechargeable batteries in favor of a pair of disposable AAs, which is useful if you run out of power away from the charger.

The Fujifilm FinePix E900 is very easy to use. The rounded bump on the front provides a comfortable hand grip, and the shutter and zoom controls fall right under the index finger and thumb. You can access most of the controls through the on-screen menu by using the four-way control dial, which has a button for opening the menu and selecting options in the middle. At the bottom left of the back panel is a button (marked with an F) that provides quick access to commonly used settings such as image size and quality, ISO settings, and color settings.

Also featured in the Fujifilm FinePix E900 is a good selection of manual controls, including a full manual mode, and aperture and shutter priority. There is no manual white balance, though; you must use either the presets or the automatic setting. Unfortunately, some of the controls are not easy to use. The manual focus is a particular pain. You have to press two buttons at once to change the focus point, and the small LCD screen makes determining when the camera is properly focused difficult.

In our evaluations, the Fujifilm FinePix E900 was pretty responsive, exhibiting a shutter lag of around half a second and taking about 3 seconds to start up. That's acceptable, but not great - you could miss some shots if you aren't quick on the shutter.

But these complaints are fairly minor, and the Fujifilm FinePix E900 works well in the automatic modes. You get few shooting modes (natural light, portrait, sports and night), but they should be enough to cover most situations.

Fujifilm FinePix E900: Specs

  • Storage media: xD Picture Card
  • standard supplied memory size: 16MB
  • optical zoom: 4x
  • sensor resolution: 9 megapixels
  • 640x480 video
  • viewfinder type: optical viewfinder, 2in LCD screen
  • Digital zoom: 7.6x
  • 200g
  • 102x34x63mm
  • 2xAA batteries
  • Storage media: xD Picture Card
  • standard supplied memory size: 16MB
  • optical zoom: 4x
  • sensor resolution: 9 megapixels
  • 640x480 video
  • viewfinder type: optical viewfinder, 2in LCD screen
  • Digital zoom: 7.6x
  • 200g
  • 102x34x63mm
  • 2xAA batteries

OUR VERDICT

The Fujifilm FinePix E900 is a nice camera for the user who wants the simplicity of a point-and-shoot model in addition to the ability to take control when required.

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