Two years ago I purchased my first digital camera. At that time, prices for a 3.0 and higher mega pixel camera were around $350. Since then, as with all electronic gadgets, prices have dropped significantly while the mega pixels have gone up. I chose the Fujifilm's A303 digital camera, which has fared well for me, so permit me the opportunity to tell you why.
I desperately needed a digital camera when my web business took off. On many different occasions I found myself wanting to take a picture of a person, place or thing and having to rely on a 35mm camera. Trouble was I wasn't very good at taking pictures. Usually my subject came out blurry or the picture needed cropping. Yes, getting pictures developed on disk would have resolved the latter problem, but it was the former problem -- blurry pictures -- that was causing me the most grief. If only I could see "on the spot" how my picture turned out. If it turned out poorly, I could reshoot. Naturally, a digital camera presented to me something that no 35mm camera could offer; I made the purchase of a 3.2 mega pixel camera by Fujifilm after considerable shopping around and reading product reviews online.
Packed within a tough grey shell, the A303 is lightweight and can fit easily into your pant pockets. The camera's controls are simple to figure out and include a Menu/OK button, Back button, viewfinder, viewfinder lamp, a display buttion and LCD monitor to preview pictures without looking through the viewfinder or to review pictures already taken. A round dial in the back of the camera features a self timer mode where you can set the camera and ten seconds later have the picture go off. Great for when you want to get the entire family's picture and no one is around to take it. There are also close up modes, still image, playback and movie modes. The movie mode results in a fairly choppy and short film, but it is a neat feature to have nevertheless.
The standard camera comes equipped with a 16mb picture card. Most people will find that inadequate, so I paid a little bit extra and bought the 64mb upgrade. I also purchased rechargeable AA batteries -- it takes two -- and a recharger. You will sap your batteries quickly if you take 30-40 or more pictures at a time, so the recharger makes sense. I purchased the accompanying Fujifilm carrying case to house my other supplies.
Pictures come out clear and in two years of picture taking I have not experienced a single problem with the camera. At 3.2 mega pixels the pictures are more than adequate as virtually everything I do gets posted to the internet. Supposedly you do not need more mega pixels when posting/viewing pictures online. With the included USB cable and HP software, you will be uploading pictures to the internet in no time.
If there are any drawbacks with the A303 there is just one and it is a glaring problem: the time between shots can seem endless! I suppose the elapsed time is only about ten seconds, but it seems like an eternity especially compared to 35mm cameras. Technological improvements have closed the gap considerably with newer models, but if you need this camera to take a group of shots quickly you will be disappointed.
All in all, the A303 is a very good camera. I give it a 4-star rating for ease of use, price, and dependability.