FujiFilm FinePix 2300
State-of-the-art 2-megapixel quality combined with simplicity and value...
that's the idea, but does it work out in practice?
The FinePix 2300 is identical to the more expensive 2400 in almost every respect except its lens. So is it possible to see any difference in picture quality? We couldn't. Test images looked as though they could have been taken by the same camera. Sharpness and detail rendition is very good, exposure control is very good under a variety of conditions, as is colour balance.
If you're interested in image quality, rather than a zoom lens, the 2300 makes a great deal of financial sense. It has the best performance-per-pound ratio here.
The FinePix 2300 is a pretty good compromise between cost and performance. You don't get a zoom lens, but you do get solid 2-megapixel performance, and at a pretty good price.
You also get exposure compensation, white balance control, a self-timer and five flash modes, including slow synchro, so while this looks and feels a pretty basic model, it's actually pretty tempting for more serious photographers. It offers macro and continuous shooting modes, too.
The FinePix 2300 starts up quickly, the optical viewfinder is very bright and clear, and focusing is so unobtrusive you're not entirely sure it's doing any.
The 2300's smooth-cornered shape makes it ideal for slipping in and out of pockets. And at this price and with this performance, you may decide that style can take a back seat. But the 2300 is pretty ugly. One to go for if you buy with your head and not your heart.