Considering buying a Fuji MX-1200 digital camera?
©: Lynda Archard 2001
I bought the Fuji digital MX-1200 camera that would give me both 640x480 pictures for screen quality and 1280x960 pixels for print quality. It was the cheapest 1.3 mega pixel camera I could find and so far the best quality that Iíve seen. It came with only a 2mb memory smart card, which held either 6 print quality or 15 screen quality pictures. I had to buy a 16mb card or it would have been no use taking my camera on holiday with me. The 16mb smart card allows me to store approximately 60 screen quality pictures or 30 print quality ones. If I am taking pictures for printing then I use the high quality setting but if it is for the Internet to add to an article or my WebPages then I will use the lower setting to save space. I can switch between settings if I want to at any time, and if I have time.
What does it all mean? Well the more pixels across a page can produce a much higher picture quality when it is printed. The advantage of higher quality is that it prints like a professional photograph. Which brings me to printer quality.
My tired old HP 660 printer has been battered a bit with constant use over 5 years for printing flyers and articles. The odd picture on a flyer was small and the quality didnít matter much. If I try to print a high quality picture from my camera it looks terrible. The reason is not that my printer is old now, but that my printer is only 300 dpi (dots per inch) and 1 dot = 1 pixel. I now need a new printer with a minimum of 1200 dpi.
After researching this subject I have found that the dpi is not the only concern when buying a new printer. Some ink cartridges hold a lot less ink than others, and vary in price and quality. I wonít go into details about other printers now but I will tell you that I have decided without doubt to buy a new HP printer again, with a minimum 1200dpi, just as soon as I can afford one. My second choice will be a Lexmark Z40. The Lexmark is a cheap printer with a high quality engine inside it. The Lexmark will produce the same high quality pictures but the ink is more expensive. The other consideration is its cheaper quality casing. The HP is much more sturdy and will last for years. As I have said before, I do a lot of printing and the Lexmark is better for the low user than for me.
When buying HP ink, (it is recommended to buy the makers products), I must also avoid the box that says Ďfor low users.í These are sold in supermarkets and are slightly cheaper in price. When I asked what the difference was I was told that they only contain half the amount of ink to prevent clogging up when not used often. I certainly donít want half the ink for only a fractional saving. If you are an occasional printer then you can still buy a full cartridge and if it clogs up then gently wipe it with a damp tissue. It is not recommended but I have done it on occasion and it has then worked perfectly.
Update - July 2002
I eventually bought a Hewlett Packard Deskjet 659c and it is brilliant. The ink is the same price now that my old one was when new and it prints superb quality pictures upto 2400 dpi. Such a big difference from the mere 300 of the old one. Of course my camera now needs upgrading.
After using the camera constantly for my journal 'Lynda's London' this camera is now obsolete so far as I am concerned and I want a new one, with an optical zoom lens and different shutter speeds for night photography. The camera is still a good point and shoot for daytime pictures and the Internet but forget it if you take pictures at night or want excellent quality rather than just good. The one-setting shutter speed gives a blurred night picture even when you try to hold the camera still while taking the picture. A tripod should be used but I don't have time if I see something to picture at that exact moment. As for foxes, well they blend into the background whatever the colour. Although good software can allow digital pictures to be brightened and the gamma and colour can be corrected if the picture is very dark, the picture shows more pixels with each correction. Digital is still much better than a conventional camera simply because you have the ability to process and improve the quality. Digital cameras work using light and a very dark picture can be brightened to show detail that you would not see on an ordinary picture. With ordinary processing this sort of picture would be returned with a sticker stuck across the front telling you something meaning you are a bad photographer -and you will still pay for it.
To see the best pictures I take at night click the 'Lynda's London' link below.
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© Lynda Archard