The Bottom Line
If a company is going to manufacture a very easy to use, point and shoot camera that's aimed exclusively at beginning photographers, it might as well carry a very low price, too.
As my review of the Fujifilm FinePix A220 digital camera shows, Fujifilm did exactly that with this camera.
The A220 (which is called the A225 in some countries) doesn't carry any advanced features, outside of its 12.2 megapixels of resolution. That lack of advanced features does have one benefit: The A220 is pretty easy to use with very few buttons.
Its overall performance level and image quality are below average, however.
- Very low price
- Good for beginning photographers
- Runs from two AA batteries, which is handy for beginner camera
- Very few buttons means confusion is minimal
- You can temporarily increase LCD's brightness
- Overall performance could be better
- Menu structure is cumbersome; choosing settings should be easier
- Macro focus is poor
- Zoom moves slowly
- No 16:9/HD ratio shooting option
- Resolution: 12.2 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 3X (32-96mm)
- LCD: 2.7-inch, 230,000 pixels
- Maximum image size: 4000 x 3000 pixels
- Battery: 2 AA
- Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.7 x 0.9 inches
- Weight: 4.2 ounces (no battery)
- Image sensor: CCD 1/2.3 in.
Guide Review - Fujifilm FinePix A220 Review
For a camera with a $109 MSRP, the A220's image quality is good most of the time. I did notice some exposure problems when shooting strongly backlit subjects. Most photos had accurate and bright colors, although a few photos were darker and duller than I'd like to see.
The 12.2 megapixels of resolution will allow you to make large prints, but you may need to perform some post-shooting editing on the dull photos.
You can shoot at several different resolutions, ranging from 12 megapixels to VGA (0.3 megapixels). Unfortunately, you have no HD ratio option. You're limited to a 3:2 ratio at 11 megapixels, as far as shooting at non-standard ratios.
The performance level of the FinePix A220 is about what you'd expect in a budget-price camera: Average to below average.
Start-up is good, requiring only a little more than a second. Shot to shot delays are minimal most of the time, but you will have some delay problems when shooting over long distances with the flash.
Shutter lag is one of the FinePix A220's biggest problems, even in good exterior lighting. Expect to miss a few spontaneous shots with this model. With moving subjects, you'll definitely want to use the "sports" scene mode.
The FinePix A220's macro mode offers hit and miss results, with some photos washed out because of an overly strong flash and some out of focus.
The A220 is very easy to use, as it has a minimal number of buttons. It's a very small camera, but it seems a little thicker than most point and shoot models, which does make it easier to hold and use comfortably.
I like the fact that the FinePix A220 uses two AA batteries; that feature is nice in a beginner-level camera, making it easier to replace batteries while traveling.
The LCD is a good quality screen, and you can temporarily increase the brightness to make it easier to see.