The entry-level Fujifilm FinePix AX230 is based around a 12.2 effective megapixel,1/2.3-inch CCD image sensor coupled to a Fujinon-branded 5x optical zoom lens. Maximum image resolution is 4,000 x 3,000 pixels in the camera’s native 4:3 aspect ratio, and both 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratio modes are also available. The AX230’s lens offers actual focal lengths ranging from 5.0 to 25.0mm, equivalent to 28 to 140mm on a 35mm camera – a useful wide angle to a moderate telephoto. The Fuji AX230 has a two-step aperture, offering either F3.6 or F8.0 at wide angle, and either F5.9 or F13 (with an ND filter) at telephoto. Minimum focusing distance is ordinarily 1.5 feet at wide angle or 2.6 feet at telephoto, but drops to just 3.9 inches in Macro mode at wide angle, or 2.0 feet at telephoto. There’s no true optical viewfinder on this model, with all interaction taking place on a 3.0-inch LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution, and this display provides 96% frame coverage.
The FinePix AX230 offers ISO-equivalent sensitivity ranging from 100 to 1,600 ordinarily, but can raise the maximum to 3,200 equivalent at a reduced resolution of three megapixels or below. Exposures are determined using 256-zone metering, and shooting modes include Auto, Program, and a generous eighteen scene modes that allow a modicum of control over the look of images. The Fuji AX230 doesn’t offer any form of optical or mechanical stabilization, opting instead solely for a software-based approach to combatting blur from camera shake. Shutter speeds range from 1/1,400 to eight seconds. Burst shooting is possible at up to 1.6 frames per second, albeit with a burst depth of only three shots.
The AX230’s contrast detection autofocusing system offers a single focus point at the center of the frame. Seven white balance modes are available, including automatic or six presets; manual white balance is not possible on this camera. The Fuji AX230’s built-in seven-mode flash has a range of two to 9.8 feet at wide angle, or to 6.6 feet at telephoto, which can be reduced to a range of one to 2.6 feet in macro mode. A two- or ten-second self timer is available to allow the photographer to get into the photo, or to reduce blur when shooting on a tripod.
As well as JPEG-format still images, the Fuji AX230 can capture Motion JPEG-compressed AVI video with monaural audio. Movie resolutions include high-definition 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels) at 24 frames per second, as well as VGA (640 x 480 pixels) and QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) with a rate of 30 frames per second. The AX230 does allow use of the zoom lens during movie recording, but mutes audio while the zoom is operating.
The Fuji FinePix AX230 stores its data on Secure Digital cards, including the newer SDHC types, or in a not-so-generous 9MB of built-in memory, enough for a handful of test shots if you forget to buy a flash card with the camera, but not much else. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 High Speed data and NTSC / PAL standard definition video output. Power comes from two AA batteries, with alkaline disposables included in the product bundle. Battery life is rated at 180 frames using the included alkaline batteries, or 400 frames when using 2,700mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries.
The Fuji FinePix AX230 is not currently scheduled to ship in the USA, and pricing information for overseas markets was not available at press time.