FujiFilm A201 is a fixed-lens digital
camera designed especially for beginners but suitable for use as a pocketable,
low-cost alternative for users at any skill level.
Prior models in this lineage include the FujiFilm
1200, 1300, and 2300 models, and the most recent 2 megapixel (MP) A201
is part of a pair that includes an almost identical counterpart, the 1.3
MP A101. Notes on the A201, with the primary exception of MP and price,
apply to the A101 as well.
Some of the improvements over prior models include:
- Better picture quality
The A201 has an improved sensor and electronics that provide more saturated
colors and better automatic exposure than prior models, even versus
their prior, higher-end offerings such as the FujiFilm 40i. Pictures
viewed on screen appear noticably more colorful and lifelike vs. identical
pictures taken by their prior models.
(This identical sensor appears to be used across Fuji's lower-end offerings,
including the 2600z and 2800z models.)
Improvements here also result in image files with fewer visible JPEG
compression artifacts and blockiness than prior models. In addition,
the automatic exposure is more reliable and often reproduces the true
color and look of a scene well.
The A201 continues to use a very sharp, fixed-focus lens similar to
those found in prior models that produces very good results at all distances,
including macro closeups.
Overall, the A201 produces high-quality 2MP pictures that compete well
with other high-quality 2MP digital cameras on the market today at an
- Extended battery life
Whereas prior models would run out of AA battery power in less than
an hour and fewer than a hundred shots, the A201 utilizes improved low-power
technology to stretch battery life into the hours, allowing for hundreds
of high-resolution pictures before the two AA batteries run out.
If you turn the camera off after taking some pictures during the course
of a day-trip, you can easily expect the camera to last about 4-8 hours
and take enough pictures to fill a 128MB SmartMedia flash card with
over 200 high-resolution 2MP pictures on a single set of AA alkaline
(~200 pictures is equivalent to taking approximately
eight rolls of film on a traditional 35mm point and shoot camera.)
- Lighter weight & comfortably pocketable design
The A201 slims down to a svelte 145g / 5.1oz, shockingly light when
you first pickup the camera out of the box without batteries inside.
Packaged in a classy, chrome-accented & rounded body that's only
99x65x41mm / 3.9x2.5x1.6" in size, the A201 easily and comfortably
fits into a jacket pocket or a khaki pants pocket. It is not as slim
as the slimmest digital cameras available so it will not fit the slimmer
shirt pockets well.
The lack of squared, hard-metal edges allows the pocketed A201 to move
comfortably against your body when you sit.
Owners of the lightweight A201 can replace the included hand-strap with
any good neck-strap for convenient carry about their necks during extended
- Faster operation
Improved processing electronics help the A201 process full-resolution
image files far faster than in prior models, which often had a noticable
delay. The A201 quickly switches between modes and saved images cycle
on-screen quickly with little pause, while saving pictures is rapid.
Because the A201 is a fixed-focus lens camera, there are no focusing
delays and pictures are taken almost immediately when the shutter button
Everything is quick enough that you're never left waiting too long for
the A201, even when using the highest resolution settings.
- Smarter, Sensible body design
With the latest A201, the main control dial has been moved up to around
the shutter button, smartly integrating what you need on an outing right
at your fingertips. The extremely clear labeling gives you your three
modes of operation - still picture record, playback, and movie record
- and allows beginners to easily remember how to access each mode.
Coupled with a clean sense of design and just a handful of smartly placed
control buttons on the back and elsewhere, the A201 is one of the easier
to understand and use digital cameras on the market, especially after
reading through the comprehensive, 86 page manual with clear step-by-step
instructions and pictures.
(Not at all like some digital cameras which are often
too complex, forcing even savy owners to refer to the manuals numerous
The built-in lens cover automatically closes to protect the lens when
the camera is switched off - no lost lens caps to worry about.
The stylish, camera-like design is one you can easily take to many events
without receiving odd stares from guards and others event goers.
- Multimedia features
The A201 now include the ability to act as a webcam (web camera) when
attached to your PC with the included USB cable to allow others to see
you from afar when they're similarly connected and conversing with you
over the Internet.
The A201 does lack a built-in microphone so it does rely on the PC for
transmitting sound in this mode. Unfortunately, it is an oversight since
this also prevents users from recording sounds with the short, but silent,
movie clips the A201 is capable of recording.
Both modes require lots of light, so daytime use is suggested.
When attached to the PC, any SmartMedia flash card inside the camera
will appear as another removable storage device, and can be used as
such to store and transport documents from PC to PC. This also allows
easy access to the images you've taken although the included picture
viewing software does a great job at automatically starting up when
it detects the A201 and displaying the images as thumbnails or full-screen
In summary, the FujiFilm A201 is a suprisingly affordable 2MP digicam
that possesses very good image quality, battery life, and design. It will
be liked by beginners and advanced users alike for its ease-of-use, which
makes taking good pictures more enjoyable. The lack of a microphone is
perhaps its only noted flaw.
to operate, fast response, long battery life, good image quality,
pocketable and lightweight (~6oz).
+ Colorful packaging makes for an inviting gift. Includes everything
you need to begin taking pictures within 5 minutes of opening
+ Comprehensive, easy-to-understand manual.
+ Sharp, fixed-focus lens camera for a low price (~$200 USD).
Purchase a 64 or 128MB SmartMedia flash card to allow the A201
to store 159 or 319 pictures in the default settings for longer
trips. The included 16MB card can store 39 pictures.
+ Because the A201 lasts so long on regular alkaline AA batteries,
you may not want to purchase an Ni-Mh AA recharger kit, which
runs about $20.
A 40 pack of AAs can be found for about $15 and allows the A201
to take approximately 20 (pair of AAs) x 80 (shots per pair Fuji
guidelines) = 1600 photos!