Fujifilm FinePix J12 review

17 Jun 2009

Great low-light performance, but others offer better value overall.

Price when reviewed: 
69(£69 inc VAT)
4

The body of the J12 can best be described as a standard compact, falling midway in size between the likes of the Panasonic Lumix TZ6 and the super-wee Ixus 100 IS. Like the Casio Exilim, the J12 lacks both optical image stabilisation and a true wide-angle lens, being limited to 38mm fully wide, which is restrictive by modern standards.

Image quality is a mixed bag. Fujifilm was one of the first manufacturers to tout high ISO performance in its compacts, and this really shows with very impressive ISO 1600 shots that you could confidently put up on Flickr, although you'll soon see the limitations if you try to print them at A4. It doesn't approach the quality of a DSLR at high ISO.

On the downside, take it outside for normal shots and heavy processing plus sharpening lead to smearing and loss of detail. Dynamic range appears limited compared to the best too, with a definite lack of subtlety to shadow and highlight areas. In addition, auto white balance struggled in our straightforward outdoor scene test, producing an image with a distinct greenish colour cast. It isn't disastrous but it's noticeably poorer than the image-quality leaders this month.

The price reflects the J12's age and it may soon become hard to find - note the pink version is more readily available. It's a bargain at this level and won't disappoint the casual photographer. But the bottom line is it's worth getting a more recent model if you can afford it.

Details

Price ex VAT £60
Price inc VAT £69
Overall rating 4
Performance N/A
Features & Design 3
Image quality 5
Value for Money 5

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating 8.2MP
Camera screen size 2.5in
Camera optical zoom range 3.0x
Camera maximum resolution 3,264 x 2,448

Weight and dimensions

Weight 130g
Dimensions 91 x 20 x 55mm (WDH)

Battery

Battery type included Lithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard) 150 shots
Charger included? yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash? yes
Aperture range f2.8 - f5.2
Camera minimum focus distance 15.00m
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent) 38
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent) 133
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed 1/1,200
Bulb exposure mode? no
Exposure compensation range +/- 2EV
ISO range 64 - 1600
Selectable white balance settings? yes
Manual/user preset white balane? no
Progam auto mode? no
Shutter priority mode? no
Aperture priority mode? no
Fully auto mode? yes
Burst frame rate 1.0fps
Exposure bracketing? no
White-balance bracketing? no
Memory-card type SD, xD-Picture
Viewfinder coverage N/A
LCD resolution 153k
Secondary LCD display? no
Video/TV output? yes
Body construction Alloy
Tripod mounting thread? yes
Data connector type Micro-USB

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual? yes
Software supplied FinePixViewer
Accessories supplied Strap, USB cable, video cable