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Fuji FinePix A820
Fuji FinePix A820

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Point and Shoot Digital Cameras category.

Fuji FinePix A820

Editor's Review

The Fuji A820 packs high-end, advanced features into a simple and affordable camera suitable for anyone from beginner to pro. Closely related to the A900, which is identical aside from an extra megapixel, the A820 features a 2.5-inch anti-glare LCD and a quality Fujinon 4x optical zoom lens. Fuji's own Super CCD sensor technology and Picture Stabilization help create high quality photos even in less-than-ideal conditions. For those among us who hate reading instruction booklets, the A820 features an icon-based Graphic User Interface, which displays a brief explanation of modes each time a setting is changed, making it easy for amateur users to learn the ropes quickly. A convenient dial allows one-touch access to the most commonly used shooting modes, meaning it's a breeze to change settings and keep up with the action. Last but not least, this camera makes a leap forward in common sense by accepting both xD and SD/MMC memory cards.

Specifications

  • 8.3 megapixels
  • 4x optical zoom / 7.6x digital zoom
  • Auto focus
  • Auto and manual exposure
  • JPEG file format
  • ISO 100-800
  • AVI (motion JPEG) movie mode w/sound
  • AA batteries
  • 2.5 inch LCD
  • SD/MMC, xD Picture Card storage (10MB internal)
  • IrSimple wireless capable
  • Part Number: 15747897
  • UPC: 074101477108
  • Release Date: Mar 15, 2007

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Fuji FinePix A820 Reviews

Fuji FinePix A820 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
Over ambitious? (Dave Roberts — 12/20/2008)

Many of the reviews I have read about this camera lead me to suspect that many owners expect too much from an entry level compact. If you want more control over the photographs you take then buy a good Bridge Camera or a DSLR, or maybe even a modern top-end (but unduly expensive) compact. I use my A820 as the camera I have with me at all times and I think it is great as long as you take the same care as you do with any camera.

1. Anti-shake will not let you get away with 'murder'! It will assist in keeping your snaps as sharp as possible but it is still up to the photographer to keep the camera as still as possible. Don't expect any anti-shake system, even in very expensive DSLR's, to correct poor photo taking.

2. There is room for considerable creativity despite the lack of manual shutter and aperture adjustment. For instance, if you are at a party and people are milling about, don't set the camera to Party mode, set it to sport/action and this will ensure fast shutter speeds and the sharpest possible shots. It might also help if the photographer him/herself is a little inebriated and waving the camera around like a wand!

3. You can even take those milky shots of waterfalls by setting the camera to Fireworks and shooting with an MD filter held over the lens. These filters cost about £5 ($7) each.

4. If you are bothered by not having an optical viewfinder (which have their own problems of parallax anyway) and the difficulty of framing the image in bright light, just set the screen to its brightest setting and hold your left hand over the top of the camera as you take your shot. It can be as simple as that!

In terms of absolute positives regarding this camera, as long as you get the basics right, the sharpness and colour rendition of the images can be excellent. Overall, as an experienced photographer who carries the A820 at all times, especially when my much heavier and bulkier cameras are not practical, I find it excellent in terms of the images it can produce and as value for money. The only negative is that the camera cannot record RAW files, but at this price what camera can?

I wish this website allowed me to post one of the shots I have taken with this camera so that I could show readers how good, with care and diligence, it can be.

  • 3.0 out of 5
terrible (mosyafa gaweesh — 11/25/2008)

the on&off botton is disable

  • 3.0 out of 5
Shocked (rj — 02/11/2008)

Well this is a nice camera, only down falls are

1) no View finder (nightmare taking photos in brightlight, as you can't see the picture on screen)..

2) Yet another fuji camera without a Li-ion rechargeable battery pack (Fuji are years behind most other makers).

3) Lack of carrying case is also a poor point. Older models came with one.

4) Anti-shake is extremely poor.. Works well if you use a tri-pod, however this do defeat the object.

5) No face recognision on it.

  • 3.0 out of 5
For beginners only, maybe not even then (Mark P — 01/13/2008)

For everything except raw resolution, zoom, card capacity and movie quality, i'd be tempted to rate this actually below my first digital camera - a Fuji FP A200, for reasons of raw image quality, reliability and usability. The A200 was also a simple point-and-shoot camera, but wasn't also bogged down with a range of "features" that didn't really do much; you could turn flash and self-timer on and off, alter the res, take 'stills' or 'movie' and switch between fixed infinity and macro focusing with a switch on the front. And that was it. No pretensions.

The A820 seems to have a few, however, and is bogged down with it. I should maybe explain I've been a bit of a power user in the past, even if it is itself pretension on my behalf. I like being able to tweak things, experiment, overcome limitations to get nice pictures... this camera was obstructive to this and baffled me by having a smaller 'real' feature set and worse overall performance and image quality than the 5mpx camera it was replacing from a supposedly inferior brand.

There's a plethora of programme modes, many of which seem to do the same thing as each other, making selection a slow and confusing process. Some slightly illogical button sequences in an otherwise fisher-price-simple menu layout didn't help matters.
Besides this, no real "manual" mode. What fuji *call* a manual mode is pretty much Programme mode on any other camera - you can choose ISO, white balance and exposure compensation... and that's about it. Want to make a long exposure, for example? You're stuck with the auto settings in "night" mode, which only go up to 3 seconds, and then it's locked into super grainy ISO800.
Picture quality was generally disappointing. The colours, etc, were fine, and the lens etc seemed capable of giving a pretty sharp 8mpx picture when everything else was ok... but usually it wasn't. The picture engine tended to over-smooth everything (perhaps a confession to its tendancy to slip into the higher ISOs even in fair lighting conditions without any way of capping it outside of 'manual' mode), making everything look both mushy and indistinct AND somewhat fuzzy/hazy on zooming into a full-res (or a less fortunate 4mpx) image. I had trouble even capturing a decently legible page of text in 'Text' copy mode thanks to this.
Casual low light performance, e.g. indoors with subdued lighting, was fairly good (excepting the invasive grain) thanks to the high ISO, but as the exposure lengths were limited (1/4 sec in general use, 3 sec 'night'), thus quickly hitting a certain level where things inevitably faded to black earlier than they might with a less sensitive but more flexible camera.
Besides these points, the pictures were generally over-compressed. There were few options for altering the quality it saved at; the only res modes are "8F" (fine being roughly the 'middle' setting on other 3-compression-position cameras), "8N" (equivalent to 'low'), and then simply 3:2 (8MP in a different arrangement) 4MP, 2MP, and VGA - these last 4 all seemingly being the same compression as "8N". Many artefacts on top of the already compromised image. Can't remember seeing an option for sharp/medium/soft either, but this is one thing I wouldn't have much complaint about as when everything else was ok, this seemed perfectly balanced, the same as the colours and lens system.
Had trouble focussing. Often. Much worse on zooming or in low light conditions. Even though I'm used to and fairly competent with a range of AF equipment and know how to e.g. lock onto a subject then move the camera to get the whole scene, this camera produced a raft of blurry pics. Would take my phone camera's fixed focus over this sloppy AF. Plus "snap" picture taking response could often be slow whilst it tried and eventually gave up on fixing focus.
Movie mode is strangely limited to one resolution, one frame rate.
No voice recorder or sound notes for pictures, few other "toys" at all in fact. Even the "image stabiliser" mode is a lie - it merely employs a form of flexible shutter priority, going for as fast a setting as possible (and no lower than 1/8th) within the limitations of ISO and aperture. In actual use I gained no discernably clearer pictures with this than I did in auto mode, as they both tended to lock into 1/2.8f and iso800 quite rapidly. There are NO real electromechanical or software-reconstruction elements to the 'stabiliser' 'function'. If you want this camera, and stable low-light or zoom pictures, get a tripod.

Now I've dispensed with all the gripes, there are a few good points to balance it out.

If you just want to run it in full auto all the time, and can live with the glut of blurred or fuzzy images, it's a perfectly fine, easy-to-use camera. Insert batteries, insert card, press power button, start shooting. No faff. Has a video-out port to show pictures to people via a composite-video plug and an IR panel that can supposedly transfer pictures e.g. to printers without having to use a cable or remove the card (couldn't get this to work, however, despite previous phones offering the same function flawlessly)
The picture taking response is INSTANT. As in a ~1/100th second shutter lag, once the focus is sorted (tried photographing stopwatches, things thrown in the air). I've never used such a responsive camera. Would be excellent for shooting sports pictures. Turns on quickly, too.
Looks nice :) In fact, it's a very good design, well laid out, attractive and quite lightweight. Fuji seem to have had a knack for this all the way through from their early VGA and 1.3mpx digital models.
Takes SD and AA's, which is always a plus. Though it's not SDHC, it DOES run a HELL of a long time on a single pair of batteries.
Flash is perfectly balanced. Didn't have any incident of it being too bright, or failing to carry to the required distance, though backgrounds could sometimes be too dark (more likely a problem of the processor over-emphasising the contrast).
The low light sensitivity carries across to the movie mode...

Er, that's about all the good things I can say about it. I had to return it to the shop in the end and get a refund (which was complicated, as it was a gift). I will now be spending slightly more on a camera that better suits my needs. If I was spending the same money again, I'd be having a good hard look at rival models, and whether it might actually be a better idea to visit eBay instead... Though it has good points, and a couple of excellent ones (response, battery life), the bad points are enough that I'd have a hard time reccommending it to anyone, let alone even a semi-serious hobbyist.

The nature of the beast is best summed up by what happens when you press the 'playback' button whilst in playback mode, which on most cameras (including the A200) sends you back to shoot mode; instead a curt little message pops up telling you to press the shutter button (which again does the same thing on most cameras, often you can use either). This comes up EVERY time. If they were able to put enough thought and effort into programming this message, why not just make the button do what's expected of it, or cancel the function altogether and allow the user to figure out what's going on after the second or third press? Or make it selectable in the setup menu? Plenty of bright ideas and big words, but not a great deal of intelligence gone into the detail of the thing.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Awesome and nifty (Neo Anderson — 09/16/2007)

I also own a Fujifilm Finepix S5700 and a Uniden UDC-7M and this has provided me with the best results of the lot. The only problem I have had with it is automotive photography as it seems to glare too much and I have been forced to use my S5700 instead, apart from that I am loving the macro mode and the white balance works perfectly for my lifestyle.

  • 5.0 out of 5
first-time owner of a digital camera (STEPHANIE — 09/11/2007)

i love the camera..takes crisp pictures. i would reccomend this camera to anyone. easy to use..i always read manuals on my electronics didn't have to on this one.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Nice point and shoot (BArl — 09/08/2007)

Sofar i love this little guy.... Only poor pics were from indoor shoot where i should have forced the flash..DOH

I am having trouble retrieving the last few pics i took using a card reader..they look fine when viewed from the camera but do not open when placed on my HD....

BArl

  • 5.0 out of 5
Nice little camera (vintagegal — 08/29/2007)

I have had a Fuji A200 (with no zoom and only 2MP) for about 4 years. I was so satisfied with the Fuji product that when time came to buy a new camera - a Parisian vacation to celebrate my birthday - I looked at Nikon and Cannon but ultimately went back to Fuji. The A800 is rated higher on this site, but I can't think why. The 820 has all the same features plus a better zoom. Already having a Fuji, it was an easy transition from that to this. I do miss having a viewfinder on camera for those sunny shots, but the LCD does its best to be visable and overall that's a minor quibble. Buy rechargable Ray-O-Vac dual batteries for longest battery life and enjoy!

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