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Moving on from Fuji A310 ,,,



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 28th 05, 11:48 AM posted to rec.photo.digital
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Default Moving on from Fuji A310 ,,,

My first digital point-and-click was a Fuji Finepix A310. Since it
died, I am stuck with the XD cards, so looking for an up-to-date
equivalent, hopefully impoving on the most annoying features (easy
accidental turning on in pocket, batteries falling out, switching off
all the time, obliterating continuous pictures by continuing to snap
the pavement when batteries low, large file size for not-so-great
images).

I am a bit confused about the spec. The A310 claims 6 m pixels, and
certainly creates large enough files, but also claims only 3.1 m
effective pixels. The A350, on the other hand, claims only 5.2 m
pixels, but also 5.2 m effective pixels. In normal mode its pictures
are smaller, but it also has a "fine" mode, which takes yet bigger
pictures (in file size).

Are the inconsistences in information simply due to changes over time
in the way they advertise the different camersas? Is the A350 a higher
spec equivalent of the A310?

I am guessing that the "fine" mode on the A350 might be the same kind
of electronic trickery that takes 3.1 m to 6 m pixels on the A310, but
that they've stopped claiming the equivalent higher figure in more
recent specifications.

Thanks for any advice on this rather basic question.

(Incidentally, the death of my A310 seems to be just that it can't get
enough power. Maybe there is some kind of leakage, but it works
briefly on fully charged rechargeables, and won't work at all with
normal batteries. Is this a common fault? I can't imagine it to be
worth fixing.)

  #2  
Old December 28th 05, 12:27 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
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Default Moving on from Fuji A310 ,,,

wrote:
My first digital point-and-click was a Fuji Finepix A310. Since it
died, I am stuck with the XD cards, so looking for an up-to-date
equivalent,


Just because you have a pocketful of XD cards, don't think you have to
stick with that format. Media costs pittance these days, especially in
relation to the cost of a new camera. Don't be afraid to chuck those XD
cards out and buy whatever media your new camera uses.

I am a bit confused about the spec. The A310 claims 6 m pixels, and
certainly creates large enough files, but also claims only 3.1 m
effective pixels.


Effective pixels is the key factor. Some manufacturers program the
camera to electronically "guess" the values of more pixels and those are
inserted into the image. A dubious practice, and a good reason for
ignoring brands that do it IMHO.

The A350, on the other hand, claims only 5.2 m
pixels, but also 5.2 m effective pixels.


"Sensor size" is normally the same as "effective pixels" but they
occasionally differ when a manufacturer uses a sensor that is slightly
too big for the lens to focus on, or where the sensor is slightly
obscured in some way. Under these circumstances a 5MP sensor might only
provide 4.8 effective MP. That's not so bad, but if it's quoted,
effective pixels is the figure to look at.

I am guessing that the "fine" mode on the A350 might be the same kind
of electronic trickery that takes 3.1 m to 6 m pixels on the A310, but
that they've stopped claiming the equivalent higher figure in more
recent specifications.


"fine" or "high quality" mode refers to how much data is thrown away
during the compression of an image in order to reduce the size of the
photo on the storage media or computer hard disk. All sensible people
put the setting in highest quality mode and leave it there. If you run
out of storage space on your media cards, buy more media.

I'm not sure quite what Fuji are claiming, or what they are producing.
The fact they are trying to blind you with marketing bull**** that makes
their 3.1MP camera look like it produces 6MP images would make me not
consider their products further.

Have a look at the camera side-by-side comparison feature on
http://www.dpreview.com/.
  #3  
Old December 28th 05, 06:02 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
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Default Moving on from Fuji A310 ,,,

On 28 Dec 2005 03:48:18 -0800, wrote:

I am a bit confused about the spec. The A310 claims 6 m pixels, and
certainly creates large enough files, but also claims only 3.1 m
effective pixels. The A350, on the other hand, claims only 5.2 m
pixels, but also 5.2 m effective pixels. In normal mode its pictures
are smaller, but it also has a "fine" mode, which takes yet bigger
pictures (in file size).


Fuji used an unusually designed CCD in some of its older cameras
that tried to add a slight bit of extra detail by using software
interpolation. The bad news was that the extra detail didn't amount
to much, maybe 5% at best, and even that couldn't always be
guaranteed, since it depended on what was contained in the image.
And to get that minuscule extra detail, the file sizes doubled,
since the interpolation created twice as many "pseudo" pixels as
actually existed on the camera's sensor. With these cameras, it was
probably best to select a resolution matching the cameras actual
number of pixels. The good news is that Fuji seems to have stopped
using this interpolation in their cameras, so if a camera is listed
as having 5mp resolution (such as the A350), it will be based on
having a 5mp sensor. The maximum file sizes will be much smaller
than what the older cameras would have produced. In their "A" model
lineup, I think that Fuji stopped using those interpolated sensors
when they replaced the A310 with the A330 (also discontinued).


Are the inconsistences in information simply due to changes over time
in the way they advertise the different camersas? Is the A350 a higher
spec equivalent of the A310?


Not inconsistencies so much as the fact that Fuji's cameras now
use "standard" sensors. The A310 had a 3mp sensor. The current
cameras in this model line are the A345 (4mp) and A350 (5mp).
There's also an A360, but it's just a relabeled version of the A345
which is sold by Walmart.


I am guessing that the "fine" mode on the A350 might be the same kind
of electronic trickery that takes 3.1 m to 6 m pixels on the A310, but
that they've stopped claiming the equivalent higher figure in more
recent specifications.


No, the "fine" mode on the A350 is the same 5mp resolution as the
"normal" mode, the only difference being that the file sizes are
larger because "fine" mode uses less compression when saving the
JPEG files. If the A350's 5mp sensor was of similar design to that
used by the A310, using interpolation to produce a barely improved
image, Fuji would be able to advertise that the A350 had 10mp
resolution. They've stopped using those types of sensors and I
doubt that anyone really misses them.


(Incidentally, the death of my A310 seems to be just that it can't get
enough power. Maybe there is some kind of leakage, but it works
briefly on fully charged rechargeables, and won't work at all with
normal batteries. Is this a common fault? I can't imagine it to be
worth fixing.)


Cameras can fail in many ways, that doesn't sound like a typical
or common failure mode. You're probably right about the A310 not
being worth fixing. Getting it repaired might well cost you nearly
as much as buying a new, similar camera, and all of the internal
parts (such as the flash tube and flash capacitor) would still have
several years of use on them. The A350

  #4  
Old December 29th 05, 07:23 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
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Posts: n/a
Default Moving on from Fuji A310 ,,,


ASAAR wrote:
On 28 Dec 2005 03:48:18 -0800, wrote:

I am a bit confused about the spec. The A310 claims 6 m pixels, and
certainly creates large enough files, but also claims only 3.1 m
effective pixels. The A350, on the other hand, claims only 5.2 m
pixels, but also 5.2 m effective pixels. In normal mode its pictures
are smaller, but it also has a "fine" mode, which takes yet bigger
pictures (in file size).


Fuji used an unusually designed CCD in some of its older cameras
that tried to add a slight bit of extra detail by using software
interpolation. The bad news was that the extra detail didn't amount
to much, maybe 5% at best, and even that couldn't always be
guaranteed, since it depended on what was contained in the image.
And to get that minuscule extra detail, the file sizes doubled,
since the interpolation created twice as many "pseudo" pixels as
actually existed on the camera's sensor. With these cameras, it was
probably best to select a resolution matching the cameras actual
number of pixels. The good news is that Fuji seems to have stopped
using this interpolation in their cameras, so if a camera is listed
as having 5mp resolution (such as the A350), it will be based on
having a 5mp sensor. The maximum file sizes will be much smaller
than what the older cameras would have produced. In their "A" model
lineup, I think that Fuji stopped using those interpolated sensors
when they replaced the A310 with the A330 (also discontinued).


Are the inconsistences in information simply due to changes over time
in the way they advertise the different camersas? Is the A350 a higher
spec equivalent of the A310?


Not inconsistencies so much as the fact that Fuji's cameras now
use "standard" sensors. The A310 had a 3mp sensor. The current
cameras in this model line are the A345 (4mp) and A350 (5mp).
There's also an A360, but it's just a relabeled version of the A345
which is sold by Walmart.


I am guessing that the "fine" mode on the A350 might be the same kind
of electronic trickery that takes 3.1 m to 6 m pixels on the A310, but
that they've stopped claiming the equivalent higher figure in more
recent specifications.


No, the "fine" mode on the A350 is the same 5mp resolution as the
"normal" mode, the only difference being that the file sizes are
larger because "fine" mode uses less compression when saving the
JPEG files. If the A350's 5mp sensor was of similar design to that
used by the A310, using interpolation to produce a barely improved
image, Fuji would be able to advertise that the A350 had 10mp
resolution. They've stopped using those types of sensors and I
doubt that anyone really misses them.


(Incidentally, the death of my A310 seems to be just that it can't get
enough power. Maybe there is some kind of leakage, but it works
briefly on fully charged rechargeables, and won't work at all with
normal batteries. Is this a common fault? I can't imagine it to be
worth fixing.)


Cameras can fail in many ways, that doesn't sound like a typical
or common failure mode. You're probably right about the A310 not
being worth fixing. Getting it repaired might well cost you nearly
as much as buying a new, similar camera, and all of the internal
parts (such as the flash tube and flash capacitor) would still have
several years of use on them. The A350



Thank you both for the replies. I understand now about the compression
in the fine mode.

Also, the explanation for the interpolation used on the A310 explains
both the large file size and the lack of corresponding quality.

I note that there is now also an A370, which doesn't seem to be greatly
different in spec from the A350, but may be all that can be found in
some shops.

 




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