Fujifilm's J-series cameras are designed to be fun, affordable and suitable for family use. They're certainly affordable -- canny shoppers should be able to snap up the FinePix J110w for around £90. For that, you get a metal body, 5x optical zoom and 10-megapixel sensor -- not bad.
The J110w is one smart little camera. By today's standards, 10 megapixels might not be cutting-edge, but it's more than enough for most jobs, and, in real terms, 12- and 14-megapixel models don't really deliver much more definition.
The 5x optical zoom is quite a surprise at this price, especially since it's a wideangle zoom equivalent to 28-140mm.
The specs are good, but the design is even better. For the money, you'd expect little more than a plastic blob, but the J110w has a really elegant, minimalist finish. There are two controls on the top -- one's the power button, the other's the shutter-release/zoom lever. Round the back, there's just a mode dial, a navigation pad and a pair of buttons.
The pictures look good, too. Detail is crisp, colours are strong and both the exposure system and auto white balance do a good job in a wide range of conditions.
But the J110w looks rather familiar. We've reviewed the FinePix J150w too, and, at first sight, these cameras look identical. In fact, you have to dig pretty deep to find any difference at all. The difference turns out to be that the J150w has a 76mm (3-inch) LCD and can display 100 shots at a time, while the J110w has a 69mm (2.7-inch) display and can't.
Okay, so most makers bloat their product lines with modest variations in specs and features, but Fujifilm's really pushed the boat out here. Including the FinePix J120 and FinePix J100, there are no fewer than four of these J100-series cameras, all with 5x zooms and 10-megapixel sensors, but with varying screen sizes, lens types (wideangle or not) and exclusivity. The J110w is a Jessops exclusive, as it turns out, while the J120 is exclusive to Comet.
Basically, you'll want a wideangle model if you can get it (one with the 'w' after the model number), and one with a 76mm screen might be better -- the 69mm screen on our J110w was pretty dim and flat-looking in bright daylight, and made colours look much colder than they actually were.
Like the J150w, this is a good camera. The autofocus isn't that fast, the 'image stabilisation' is basically just an auto high-ISO mode, and Fujifilm's image processing is bizarre, as it super-sharpens moderately fine detail, and suppresses anything finer, presumably in an attempt to control noise. But you can't spend £90 on a camera and expect it to produce pixel-perfect ad hoardings.
It's got its limitations, but the Fujifilm FinePix J110w is an excellent family camera for the money, and doesn't sacrifice style. You're probably better off with the J150w, though. It's not much more expensive and the 76mm LCD is an improvement.
Edited by Charles Kloet