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A compact point-and-shooter with a big zoom and a budget price tag
Fujifilm’s new addition to its J-series of compacts sports a sculpted chassis made from brushed metal. This lends an expensive, elegant appearance, while also shielding it from everyday scrapes. However, looks can be deceiving as the JZ300 is actually priced at less than £150. Some online retailers are even offering the camera for well below £100, which is great news for budget buyers.
The JZ300 is a point-and-shooter that comes with a mode dial full of automatic modes. It’s really simple to get to grips with as there are so few buttons to tackle. The controls that are present are all clearly labelled and the menu is a simple scrolling affair. This all helps to quicken the shooting process, particularly if you’re in fully automatic mode where you only need to be concerned with composition and hitting the shutter button.
You can get a bit more creative by clicking the dial around to Scene Position and selecting the appropriate scene mode. There are plenty to choose from, including Landscape and Night mode, which automatically alter the camera’s settings to best suit the surroundings. This is fairly accurate; however, the Sunset mode does have a tendency to underexpose. When the sun goes down, the camera manages to take some average shots without too much noise intrusion, but image quality is at its best when used in good lighting conditions.
Overall, images are good enough to print at 6 x 4 and pack in a lot of detail. Colours are true to life and the white balance is reliable. It’s quick to fire up and take the first shot and there is barely any lag between taking one image and getting ready for the next. This is also helped by the fast autofocus that locks onto its target like a pro sniper, and the Dual Image Stabilisation that steadies shots when stretching the zoom to its 10x maximum. At such a low price, the JZ300 is good value for money, even if it is a somewhat limiting purchase.
The FinePix JZ300 is a great point-and-shoot option that you can pick up for under £100. It offers an impressive 10x zoom in a compact metal body