The Finepix iX-100 is perfect for newcomers to digital photography, yet is feature-packed enough to offer Mac owners a real taste (iMovie, iPhoto, iTools) of what Apple means by digital hub.
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That Fujifilm opted to release the Finepix iX-100 shortly before Christmas comes as little surprise – it’s very much an entry-level digital camera, but one with enough extras to distinguish it from the crowd. The iX-100 offers a bottom-of-the-range 1.3-megapixel CCD (a top resolution of 1,280-x-1,024 pixels) and neither does your money buy anything more than a basic 2x digital zoom with a focal length of 45mm, or 20cm in macro mode. However, what your £119 does buy is a great feature-set. The iX-100 can capture up to 90 seconds of soundless movie footage at 10 frames per second and at a resolution of 160-x-120 pixels. This is a rare feature in such a low-end model, and one that iMovie 2 can make even more fun for digital-camera newcomers. The “i” in this camera’s name refers to the fact that, via a supplied USB cable, it can double as a webcam, opening up another world of possibilities for rookies. Its limited CCD (Charge Coupled Device) means images can’t be printed at anything larger than postcard size without quality being compromised. However, it does come bundled with ArcSoft’s PhotoImpressions 3.0, fun software that means images can easily be turned into postcards, greetings cards or calendars. For Mac OS X users, Apple’s iPhoto will also add value to this camera. Completing the software line-up is QuickTime 5.0, and the iX-100 driver, which means there’s no need for a stand-alone card reader, something that’s always welcome. Charged with two AA batteries, the iX-100 also offers a TV slide-show mode, and comes with a video-output cable. One gripe is that it is bundled with just a 4MB SmartMedia memory card, which is a tad stingy for a model offering a movie mode. Buy a