FujiFilm FinePix F401 Zoom

The FinePix digital camera range from FujiFilm heralded the combination of snazzy compact style with superb functionality, not forgetting good digital photography for a reasonable price and a total out-of-the-box solution. FujiFilm introduces another FinePix contender and this time the manufacturer is aiming its new camera at novice users on a budget.

The FinePix F401 Zoom combines all the features you’d expect from FujiFilm and, after putting it through its paces in our Test Centre, we can safely say this is one of the best all-round starter digital cameras on the market at the moment. That’s not to say that the F401 is not without its faults -- it doesn’t offer the amazing true megapixel-per-pound ratio found in the ultra-cheap $599 Nikon Coolpix 2000, but it’s still a worthy buy.

The FinePix F401 Zoom has an effective range of 2.1Mp (megapixels) but the third-generation Super CCD manages to extract 4Mp from the sensor. It’s worth noting that this is without the aid of interpolation, which means that the photography retains a natural look rather than ending up suffused with unnatural colours. The picture quality is, without a doubt, better than that of other 2Mp cameras in this category with fine detail shining through on high resolution shots. With this quality on show it’s a shame FujiFilm doesn’t offer a TIF option to complement the JPG shots.

The 3x optical zoom is standard fare on beginner cameras these days, but the 3.6x digital zoom is a better offer than you’ll find on most low-end devices. That said, every magnification on a digital zoom degrades and pixellates the shot so we recommend sticking with the optical zoom and simply moving closer to the object or person you wish to photograph.

Other specifications that impressed us are the ISO equivalent settings. If you’re taking photographs reaching a resolution of 1280x960 you can set the camera up to an equivalent film sensitivity setting of ISO 1600 -- an impressive feat even on high-end digital cameras. This means you can shoot low-light conditions without flooding the frame with a glaring flash. The backlash for digital cameras with high sensitivity is electronic noise interference -- that is, noise produces a grainy, dirty effect on the image. However, FujiFilm compensates for this by including noise reduction technology on the FinePix. We took some shots at the ISO 1600 speed equivalent and were impressed with the lack of noise interference, so the technology is obviously doing a good job.

The movie capability now comes with sound but, of course, if you want to truly take advantage of this feature it’ll require the largest SmartMedia storage card money can buy and not the 16MB card that is bundled with the F401 Zoom.

To be fair, the 16MB SmartMedia card is a generous bundle at this price point. In fact, the whole bundle is generous because this version contains the Premium kit -- it includes an adapter for the rechargeable lithium battery, docking station with USB connection, good software and a useful case. Our only complaint is that the small lithium battery doesn’t have the life span of larger models so it’s worth investing in a spare battery.

While the FinePix F401 Zoom lacks the stylistic grace of its more expensive sibling, the F601, it retains the brushed steel finish and the autoslide lens cap for protection. The compact chassis is almost square and weighs a mere 185g -- if you like to feel you’ve got an expensive piece of kit in your hand then the F401 may disappoint. For anyone looking for a shirt pocket or handbag camera, though, this is a great choice.

The flash is built in rather than pop up and FujiFilm has kept the navigation buttons down to a bare minimum to appease first-time users. That isn’t to say that the F401 doesn’t cover some good configuration options for various photographic conditions -- it just means that the camera has been carefully designed not to frighten off people used to point-and-click photography.

FujiFilm FinePix F401 Zoom
4 ½ stars
As a Beginner digital camera, the FujiFilm FinePix F401 zoom is at the expensive end of the scale so it’s not the best value-for-money device out there. However, FujiFilm packs in a lot of decent features and enthusiasts looking for a bit more from their first digital camera won’t be disappointed.
Price: $999
Distributor: Hanimex
Phone: (02) 9466 2600
URL: www.hanimex.com.au

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Spencer Dalziel

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?